In the words of former President George Bush Sr., this “big idea” is the proposition of a “New World Order.” Granted, the United States is not the only country which has exported this grand NWO concept.
By Jamie Brendan
The “Big Idea” — NEW WORLD ORDER
Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan, Canada, and many others have played and continue to play significant roles. But in the last one hundred years, America has arguably been the most active Western advocate.
Ironically, U.S.-based support for world order does not necessarily reflect the views of the average American citizen. Besides the fact that there is a vocal opposition element within the U.S., the real issue is underscored by the reality that a large majority of Americans seem to be unaware of this “big idea” or are relatively apathetic to its nature and scope.
American support, however, comes from within certain political and economic circles, beefed-up by a wide range of academic and lobbying interests. Even in this context, not all is at it seems.
In simplistic terms, those who walk the halls of political and economic power are not always in agreement as to how this big idea is to be managed, nor the ultimate range of its influence.
American Sentiments Conflict
Colonel Thomas McShane-a director at the U.S. Army War College-wrote a chapter in the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy titled “International Law and the New World Order: Redefining Sovereignty,” which emphasized one element of this dichotomy. McShane wrote:
Americans traditionally respect and support international law and have in fact been instrumental in its development for more than a century. At the same time, they become frustrated when international law restrains or limits the pursuit of national interests.
An International Police Force
Undeniably, America has a long tradition of supporting world order. In 1910, when Theodore Roosevelt accepted his Nobel Peace Prize, he endorsed the idea of creating a league to enforce world peace “by force if necessary.” That same year, under Republican President William Taft, the United States Congress called for a “peace commission” and the formation of “an international police force for the preservation of peace.”
Death of the Old World Order
When the fires of World War I spread across the European continent, American academic leadership called for a new global order. Nicholas Murray Butler, the President of Columbia University during the Great War, adamantly called for an internationally arranged political system. Speaking to the Union League of Philadelphia on November 27, 1915, Butler explained his view of the war and its political aftermath in language that is strangely reminiscent to the American political landscape of the early 1990’s.
The old world order changed when this war-storm broke. The old international order passed away as suddenly, as unexpectedly, and as completely as if it had been wiped out by a gigantic flood, by a great tempest, or by a volcanic eruption. The old world order died with the setting of that day’s sun and new world order is being born while I speak.
What did Butler’s “new world order” look like? In published speeches, Butler’s vision included the creation of a unionized Europe, a world judicial and police component, and the formation of a federated world government.
Keep in mind. Butler’s calling for a “new world order” took place almost one hundred years ago.
Highlighting the U.S. role in the post-World War I international system, Clarence K. Streit -one of the first to publish a comprehensive plan for a global “Federal Union,” including the amalgamating of America with Britain in a “Union of Democracies” – wrote in his book Union Now With Britain, “…in World War I the American people broadened the aim of the democratic side from the rights of small nations to the establishment of world government. It is noteworthy that an American led in making each of the four experiments in world government that followed: Woodrow Wilson, the League of Nations; Samuel Gompers, the International Labor Organization; Elihu Root, the World Court; and Owen Young, the World Bank.” [Note: Young’s World Bank is the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank for the world’s central bankers.]
Streit, a correspondent for the New York Times and aide to the U.S. mission at the Versailles Peace Conference, never hid the fact that America rejected its own creation – the League of Nations. However, with Britain’s participation in the world body, Streit recognized that the two nations were tightly linked, even as Wilson’s League failed in America. Writing of this Atlantic connection, Streit boasted, “No others have done so much to bring about world government as we Americans and British have.”
Wilson’s League of Nations and its downfall amply reflects America’s love-hate relationship with global governance.
Colonel McShane writes, “Revolutionary efforts to create a world government fell short – the League of Nations was a start, but not a sufficient one. President Wilson’s vision for the postwar order clashed with the national interests of the allies and frustrated effective, unified action. The Versailles Treaty became a compromise. Complicating matters, Wilson failed to persuade the American public or the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty creating the League of Nations; and without American participation, the League proved too weak to enforce Wilson’s vision of collective security…Wilson’s vision would be revived in 1945 and again in 1990 with relatively greater success.”
With World War II and the demise of the League, a new set of American-led options for global management was initiated.
1942 Terms of Global Governance
In 1942, the Brookings Institute – a leading U.S. policy organization – published its report Peace Plans and American Choices, which helped fuel the debate about America’s role in the next “world order.” Some of the ideas that Brookings proposed, with both pro-and-con arguments, are listed below. Do any of these propositions sound familiar?
- The concept of American mastery over world affairs, which assumed “a frequent, vigilant, and aggressive use of power to maintain world order” in a “form of independent internationalism.”
- A British-American alliance in which both nations would share mastery over world affairs.
- An Anglo-American Federal Union, bringing together the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa into a world order matrix.
- A Union of Democracies, which would form a larger global governance net containing all the democratic nations of western and northern Europe.
- Closer cooperation with the United Nations. Remember, this report was written well before the formal unveiling of the UN. According to the Brookings report, “Here we have already a real association of nations, a sound basis from which the ultimate world order will evolve.”
- The idea of forming regional political economic national blocks, such as the modern-day European Union, a Western-hemisphere block, and a unified Asian regional system.
During World War II, other leading U.S. policy groups, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, reviewed and forwarded similar studies. In fact, the Council on Foreign Relations, working hand-in-glove with the U.S. State Department under the Roosevelt Administration, was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations.
Americans Create the International Order
Likewise, key American personalities played active roles in advancing the new international order. Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State under Roosevelt, was so influential in establishing the permanency of the UN that the President dubbed him the “Father of the United Nations.”
Other Americans who were prominent in the UN’s early development included Wendell Willkie, a Republican Presidential candidate, and J.D. Rockefeller Jr. Under the President’s blessing, Willkie traveled around the world meeting with kings and rulers in order to raise awareness for a union of free nations. After returning from his trans-global trip, Willkie published his experiences in a book titled One World, which became a best-seller and played an important part in energizing U.S. domestic interest in the United Nations.
In 1946, after the UN was officially chartered, Mr. Rockefeller-as part of America’s foremost business family gifted $8,500,000 to ensure that UN headquarters would be built on U.S. soil.
These examples reflect only a tiny fraction of America’s involvement in the historical push for the United Nations facilitated world order. Many other American businessmen and politicians could be added to the list. Other experiments in internationalism.
We should not forget America’s involvement in other experiments in internationalism. During the Cold War, top ranking U.S. leaders were heavily involved in the “Atlantic ideal”-NATO, and the regrouping of Europe into today’s European Union. The Washington based Organization of American States, which is a UN-affiliated Western hemisphere unification body, was also guided by American hands. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund both have the U.S. to thank for their existence.
In more recent times, America has led the pack in structuring the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and the attempted formation of other regional governance blocks such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
American Presidents for NWO
During the last decade-and-a-half, America’s Presidential leadership has promoted and aligned themselves with a diverse array of international arrangements.
1. Republican George H. W. Bush was the president who made the phrase “new world order” popular and who progressively pursued UN empowerment through Operation Desert Storm. He sold that conflict as a United Nations collective security affair. Not withstanding Desert Storm’s UN affiliation, Bush, taking ultimate responsibility, wrote,
It is my decision – my decision to send these kids into battle, my decision that may affect the lives of the innocent. It is my decision to step back and let sanctions work. Or to move forward. And in my view, help establish the New World Order (January 13, 1991 diary entry).
That same month, in a personal letter to Mikhail Gorbachev concerning Baltic issues, Bush penned, “We have both talked of our desire for a new world order, and we both understand the importance of U.S.-Soviet cooperation to the achievement of that goal. I remain committed to that objective.”
A little over a year later at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Gorbachev openly called for a “new world order” in which the UN would be empowered into a type of global government.
Regionally, President Bush Sr. launched his Enterprise for the Americas Initiative on June 27th, 1990. Today this initiative is known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a broad economic, security, and political agenda which aims to integrate the Western Hemisphere into a regional block not unlike the European Union. [Note: because of South American objections, the FTAA process is currently at a standstill; however, other stepping-stone arrangements to integration are still moving forward.]
2. Democrat President Bill Clinton and his administration attempted to institute scores of sweeping United Nations treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. One particular treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity, was brought into play by a special Presidential Council, even though America’s elected officials refused to ratify it. Clinton’s international interests, however, went beyond UN treaties.
When the Clinton administration’s Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott – a good friend and old-time college roommate of the President- received the World Federalist Association’s 1993 Global Governance award, President Clinton sent a personal letter of congratulations and wished the WFA “future success.” When the WFA Global Governance Award was handed out in 1999, First Lady Hillary Clinton sent a special video message to the recipient Walter Cronkite during the WFA awards ceremony. “Tonight,” she explained, “we honor you for fighting for the ‘way it could be’.” During his acceptance speech, Cronkite explained, “Today we must develop federal structures on a global level. We need a system of enforceable world law – a democratic federal world government – to deal with world problems.”
The WFA, now known as Citizens for Global Solutions, was the largest pro-world government advocacy group in the United States. Deputy Secretary Talbott received the WFA’s award because of his 1992 Time article which openly promoted world government; and Cronkite was chosen because he publicly professed his desire for world government in his book, A Reporter’s Life.
Regionally speaking, Clinton pursued his predecessor’s hemispheric integration policy, demonstrating that it doesn’t matter if the leadership is Democrat or Republican, the agenda must go on.
3. Republican President George W. Bush, in one of his first orders of business, attended the Quebec Summit of the Americas in April, 2001, an FTAA steering event. Since then, his administration has worked hard on the continuing process of regional integration.
Beyond hemispheric unification, President Bush’s most interesting world affairs legacy is his administration’s link to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle have all been members of this controversial organization, and PNAC strategies can be discerned throughout Bush’s foreign policy programs.
What Makes PNAC Controversial?
In the 1942 Brookings document cited earlier, one of the options for a global system was “American mastery” – the idea of using America’s economic and military clout to force the world into accepting U.S. global dominance. PNAC follows this line of thinking: America, asserting its position of power, should become the de facto international police force. Essentially, this is world government enforced by a single country. The implications are enormous.
But “world order” under this administration includes more than the “mastery” approach. After an almost twenty year absence, this administration has returned America to UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Speaking at the UNESCO Roundtable of Ministers on October 3rd, 2003, Bush’s Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, stated that”…we must make education a universal reality. Our governments have entrusted us with the responsibility of preparing our children to become citizens of the world.”
World citizenship fits UNESCO’s purposes. Julian Huxley, the first Director General of UNESCO, wrote in his book UNESCO: Its Purpose and its Philosophy,
Specifically, in its [UNESCO’s] educational program it can stress the ultimate need for world political unity and familiarize all peoples with the implications of the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world organization. But more generally, it can do a great deal to lay the foundations on which world political unity can later be built.
All of this brings us around to an interesting observation. Whether you are personally for or against a new global order – in whatever form that may take-America’s contribution to this international ideal cannot be ignored. Colonel McShane, writing for the U.S. Army War College states,
The new world order…is real, and it is here to stay. The ties that bind the international community are strong and enduring, and international institutions enjoy unprecedented support and influence. Perhaps the most amazing point of all is that American values and leadership were instrumental in creating this environment. We are reminded once again that we have to be careful what we wish for.
Learn more by reading World Government Forming Now by Irvin Baxter.