The writer is a journalist and the editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA).
Though brief, the exchange between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia on November 16 has become a social media sensation. Xi, assertive if not domineering, lectured the visibly apprehensive Trudeau about the etiquette of diplomacy. This exchange can be considered another watershed moment in China’s relationship with the West.
Soon after arriving in Oslo, my taxi zigzagged through the city’s well-organized streets and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Large billboards advertised the world’s leading brands in fashion, cars, and perfumes. Amid all the expressions of wealth and plenty, an electronic sign by a bus stop flashed the images of poor-looking African children needing help.
The moment that Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was ousted by his own former military colleague, Captain Ibrahim Traore, pro-coup crowds filled the streets. Some burned French flags, others carried Russian flags. This scene alone represents the current tussle under way throughout the African continent.
Though Washington insists that it is not interested in a direct military conflict with Moscow, the latter claims that the US is, in fact, directly involved. But who is telling the truth?
As soon as I landed in Rome, I discovered that I was no longer able to access any Russian media whatsoever. Unfortunately, threats by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that Europe should sever all links with “Russia’s propaganda machine” were taken seriously by the Italian government.
The West is not just a term, but also a concept that acquires new meanings with time. To its advocates, it can be analogous to civilization and benevolent power; to its detractors, mostly in the global East and South, it is associated with colonialism, unhinged violence, and underserved wealth.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent tour in Africa was meant to be a game changer, not only in terms of Russia’s relations with the continent, but also of the global power struggle involving the US, Europe, China, India, Turkey, and others.
In a blog entry, reflecting on the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on July 7–8, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell seemed to have accepted the painful truth that the West was losing what he termed “the global battle of narratives”.