Crisis after crisis would be avoided if the west could learn to understand nuances that are vital to interpreting international affairs. Take Iran – where the western narrative is that the west is honest and straightforward, Iran lying and mendacious, but the reality is far less clearcut. Take North Korea – where the really important nuance of the recent rocket launch was that, for the first time, the North Korean government immediately admitted failure. And take Myanmar – where the dominant western narrative, that sanctions forced the country to open, is plain wrong. Western sanctions did not work; ASEAN engagement with Myanmar did.
A self-serving western narrative just cannot understand the complex new world that is emerging – and progressing, while the west languishes. Yet the era of western dominance is gone. Can the west begin to understand the new and more complex world order unfolding before our eyes day by day?