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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/24/21

An Internationalism for the Future

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Message Jason Sibert

Trends in world politics don't bid well for those who believe security is best achieved through arms control, pursuit of the natural interest, and the establishment of international law.

A commitment to this form of security requires that we adhere to some form of internationalism. We must realize there's such a thing as the international community, meaning there are certain forms of behavior we should encourage and not encourage. The challenge in doing this is confronting ideologies, like right-wing populism, that are hostile to the internationalist project and power interests in Washington, D.C.

Where do we start our move toward a sensible internationalism? The United States must start by returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, sometimes called the Iran Nuclear Deal. The Donald Trump administration withdrew from the deal, cut by President Barack Obama, in 2018 and restored sanctions on Iran. Enrique Mora, the lead negotiator for the European Union and coordinator of the indirect talks between the United States and Iran, said this year that he is "quite sure there will be a final agreement" that restores the JCPOA. The EU and United States are in negotiations to restore the deal. Iranian negotiators have struck a positive tone with Abbas Araqchi, Iran's lead negotiator, appearing on Iranian television this year and saying that "the framework and structure of the agreement has been defined," but he also said that certain clauses must be discussed. Of course, some in the diplomatic community are less optimistic with France, the United Kingdom, and Germany admitting there are challenges that can't be dismissed.

Iran has said all sanctions must be lifted for them to return to the deal. The country's centrifuges are an issue that must be resolved, as it introduced hundreds of advanced centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium. The topsy-turvy politics of the U.S. is an obstacle when it comes to developing an internationalism that the American voter can support. If our political dialog includes nationalistic calls to not trust any country period, we will go nowhere in the fight to restore JCPOA, engage in quality arms control in other parts of the world, and build a defense structure acceptable to the challenges at hand (a vision at odds with the defense structure favored by the companies and politicians that drink at the bar of the military-industrial complex).

What is needed at this moment in our history is a leader, or leaders, on security and arms control. Such leaders, and they may be in the field of politics (although I doubt it) or the non-profit sector, will communicate the need for a sense of international law amongst the world's nation states and city states, regardless of the type of politics that defines those states. This internationalism must reach across party lines, which is difficult.

Such an internationalism would draw from the thought of Renaissance thinker Hugo Grotius and our own history when it comes to defining international norms. It would involve the United Nations, or a successor organization. The big opponent in the room is the right-wing populism, defined by an inward-looking nationalism, and the military-industrial complex that has little to gain from the world advocated in this story. Let's hope our country can be led to an appealing internationalism in the years to come.

Jason Sibert is the Executive Director of the Peace Economy Project

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Jason Sibert worked for the Suburban Journals in the St. Louis area as a staff writer for a decade. His work has been published in a variety of publications since then and he is currently the executive director of the Peace Economy Project.
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