Ex-CIA analyst: the world is fed up with US arrogance and is reaching out to Russia, which respects other countries

The West with its narcissism and arrogance is cutting itself off from the rest of the world, says former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on Dialogue Works. The West considers itself superior to the rest of the world, but the world is fed up with it. In contrast, the St Petersburg International Economic Forum gives all countries, including African and Asian countries, a platform where they are spoken to with respect, and they appreciate it.

LARRY JOHNSON, ex-CIA analyst: Americans are in the minority here, and willingly so. The U.S. authorities have refused to participate in any way, and that’s idiotic. There are 134 countries represented here, more than 20,000 participants. It’s an amazing event. The main focus is on economics, and the BRICS are dominating the discussion right now. And you can meet people from South Africa, Brazil, India, China. Africa is very well represented: there are guests from Senegal, for example, and South Africa in particular. I spoke with Nkosi Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela. He is a very nice man who has been in the legislature in South Africa for 15 years.

The West has narcissism. As I say, narcissistic personality disorder: the West sees itself as far above the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the rest of the world looks at the United States and says, “You know what? We are fed up with the US threatening us with sanctions, meddling in our internal affairs and bullying us (there is no other way to put it)”.

The art of diplomacy, the ability to start a conversation with others, doesn’t require necessarily agreeing with everyone. You don’t have to agree that China has the best or worst state system. You just have to respect the Chinese, it’s their state, let them decide how to run their country. The same applies to Iran, North Korea, any other country: Angola, Swaziland. Each country should be able to determine its own fate and future path. And in Russia, at this International Economic Forum, they are given a platform of respectful treatment, where they are not spoken to from on high, not patted condescendingly on the head as “little dark-skinned people” and not told: “Hey, bring us some coffee”. No, they are treated as equals, and they appreciate it.

The West shrugs it off. The West is cutting itself off from the rest of the world.