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A Frightening Lack of Seriousness

A Frightening Lack of Seriousness

Sunday, 5 February, 2023 - 10:15
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

We are facing two international cases that show a shocking and frightening lack of seriousness and disrespect for international laws and regulations, and confirm that the world is changing and is even sliding into dangerous crises, from Asia to Europe and even the United States.

The first case is the Iranian response to the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which criticized Iran for making an unannounced change in linking two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60% purity, close to weapons grade.

Although the United States, Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement, denouncing Iran’s failure to fulfill its obligations, Tehran responded to the dangerous report by saying that the IAEA inspector made a mistake in providing the correct “interpretation”!

The second case, the Chinese balloon that hovered over American airspace. As China admitted the event, its foreign ministry said that some “politicians and the media in the United States used the incident as a pretext to attack China and tarnish its image.” Beijing issued a statement expressing regret and blaming the wind for pushing what it described as a civilian balloon into American airspace.

Nonetheless, this is a serious crisis, in terms of the timing, whether for the two countries’ relations, or the situation in the United States itself.

Therefore, the situation requires seriousness, not sensitivity. It also necessitates the formation of a cell to deal with a crisis that is dangerous for the two countries and the whole world, from Asia to the United States, passing through Europe itself. The Old Continent is in fact witnessing a war that has not yet been addressed with the required seriousness and rationality.

This frivolous conduct does not only apply to the previous two cases, but is also seen in our region. Take a simple example of what is happening in Lebanon, and even Syria, where the murderer and the murdered rush to demand an investigation and justice.

Specialized courts or bodies are formed to look into an assassination, or a major crime, such as the use of chemical weapons in Syria, or the Beirut port explosion, before declarations are later made that the evidence and the crime have been politicized!

We have seen many examples of this. Despite the ongoing crimes and criminal acts, justice is demanded and later, hollowed out. Justice is not applied and its outcome is ignored. Politics is used to cover the crime, for the sake of mere political gains.

True, the world is not such a virtuous place, particularly on the political level. But the increasing lack of seriousness, which is now remarkably noticeable, is dangerous, and reflects uncertainty in how countries deal with the crises facing the world.

All of this portends instability and the eruption of wars that will harm the whole world – a world that has not yet recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, nor the war in Ukraine, and is unable today to withstand a third crisis.

This is not a pessimistic picture, but an analysis of a world that has become more prone to clashes and irrationality, from the Iranian crisis and the actions of the mullahs to the war in Ukraine and the Sino-American tension, as well as Washington’s approach to all of this. There is an apparent lack of seriousness.

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