Global Power Dynamics Reversed: Travaglio Examines the West’s Decline in ‘Why They Hate Us’

Explore Marco Travaglio's insightful take on the West's geopolitical decline and its growing isolation in the face of rising Eastern powers
Marco Travaglio

In his editorial “Why They Hate Us,” Marco Travaglio paints a vivid picture of the current geopolitical landscape where the West, led by NATO, appears increasingly isolated and on the decline. Travaglio notes the stark contrast between predictions of Putin’s imminent downfall and the reality of the Russian autocrat’s unshaken grip on power. Meanwhile, several Western leaders who underestimated him have fallen like dominoes. As the West claims to have cornered the so-called Russian-Chinese “Axis of Evil,” the reality is quite the opposite. Russia and China are not only gaining new allies but also extending their influence. The BRICS countries are contemplating a new currency to rival the dollar, and Iran is upping its game in the Middle East. Moreover, the Chinese and Russian presence in Africa is on the rise. Travaglio argues that the growing animosity towards the West stems from its flawed foreign policy, marked by wars and sanctions. Rather than isolating the “barbarians,” these actions have inadvertently boosted their support and influence.

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di Marco Travaglio

Since NATO and its cheerleaders decided that Putin’s days were numbered—due to death, doubles, default, deposition, or defeat in Ukraine—the Russian autocrat has never seemed so firm. Almost all the heads of government who wrote him off have toppled like bowling pins: Draghi, Johnson, Truss, Rutte, Sanna Marin, Morawiecki, Ódor. Even the survivors Biden, Scholz, and Macron aren’t faring well. Since the Western “Empire of Good” proclaimed the isolation of the Russian-Chinese “Empire of Evil” and braced for World War III, Moscow and Beijing have never been so popular since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The BRICS are expanding and planning a new currency against the dollar. Thanks to the blunders of Netanyahu, the stutters of Biden, and the so-called Europe, Iran is increasing its influence. The Red Sea now falls prey to the Houthi pirates, who even flaunt their model looks in the Western press, gaining sympathy—especially since the clever “Empire of Good” turns a blind eye to Israeli crimes and bombards Yemen (echoing the irony of the English battling new-age piracy, oblivious to their own Drake and Morgan legacy). Meanwhile, in Africa, the Chinese are buying land, and the Russians, even after the supposed death of Prigozhin, are expanding their influence: an alliance with Haftar in Libya, planning new military bases; a partnership with South Africa; a pact with the Central African Republic, allied with Uganda; and the trio of anti-Western military juntas in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, ousting the French with cries of “Long live Putin.”

A growing, unquenchable hatred for the West is rising from South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia, embracing the neo-colonialism of Russia and China. Not because it’s better than ours, but because ours has left a bitter taste and we’re doing nothing to make them forget. On the contrary, we persist with wars—both military and economic—that make us even more loathsome. A visionary American and European leadership would ponder over this tsunami of hatred and change its approach to stem it. Instead, our little old world, increasingly isolated, declining, and depopulated, digs in its heels defensively against the “barbarians,” deluding itself that it can isolate them with bombs and sanctions. Gifting new followers to the enemy every day. Reminiscent of the soldier’s joke: “Captain, I’ve captured ten prisoners!”; “Great, bring them here.”; “Well, they won’t let me come!”

Il Fatto Quotidiano, January 27, 2024


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