Washington sends so many threatening messages to so many countries that the only conclusion most of them draw is that they have to protect themselves from crazy Washington…with nukes if possible. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
President Donald Trump, having launched brutal economic war against Iran while ordering the assassination of one of its top officials, appears shocked that Tehran keeps firing back, most recently at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He remains full of threats, even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo withdrew some embassy personnel and considered closing the facility. Despite his bluster, Trump has been a fake, a faux warrior and paper tiger, thankfully preferring so far to avoid military confrontation.
However, he recently initiated one of Washington’s patented but least effective maneuvers, having the US military sail and fly somewhere to “send a message” to an adversary. The purpose is to cow opponents into fearful submission, leaving them hunched in the fetal position, trembling in terror at the display of America’s awesome greatness. More likely, alas, dedicated nationalists abroad respond by building more, bigger, and deadlier weapons, including nuclear arms, to deter US military action.
Being a superpower is hard work. During the Cold War the US confronted the Soviet Union around the world. Since then Washington has attempted to impose its will unilaterally – “what we say goes,” intoned President George H.W. Bush. However, other countries continue to stubbornly resist America’s will, causing every recent president to at least once intone “all options are on the table” when dealing with another government.
The world is resisting US unipolarity and is moving away from it. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:
A hefty case can be made that the Empire of Chaos currently has no allies; it’s essentially surrounded by an assortment of vassals, puppets and comprador 5th columnist elites professing varied degrees of – sometimes reluctant – obedience.
The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy.
– Pepe Escobar, in his recent Consortium News piece: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive
While the U.S. empire’s existed in various states of decline for much of the 21st century, I’ve been opining on the topic with far more frequency and urgency since the election of Donald Trump. This isn’t because he’s fundamentally much different from the imperial managers (aka presidents) that came before him on foreign policy, but because his personality, style and overall boorishness serve to accelerate the pace of decline.
As many astute observers have noted, what really bothers establishment types on the “NeverTrump” right and the “Russiagate conspiracy theory” left is not so much what Trump does, but how he does it. These political cliques may disagree on many issues, but what they have in common — aside from Trump derangement syndrome — is a love affair with U.S. empire and an unwavering dedication to the maintenance of American geopolitical dominance at all costs.
The War Party sees a unipolar world, a global Pax Americana. The rest of the world has different ideas. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
The outcome of the American midterm elections gives us an even more divided country, confirming that the United States is in the midst of a deep crisis within its establishment.
The midterm elections represented a substantial draw for Democrats and Republicans, a defeat for the Trump administration and a clear victory for the “war party” in Washington. The House of Representatives ended up in the hands of the Democrats, who managed to overturn the results of 2016 by winning 26 seats and bringing their majority to 219, with the Republicans with 193 seats. The Republicans, despite the feared “blue wave”, have increased their representation in the Senate, with 51 senators against the 45 of the Democrats. In terms of governors, Republicans remain ahead, with 25 red states against 21 blue. After two years of fake investigations on Russiagate, continuous attacks by the US media (except for the few pro-Trump channels like Fox News), the blue Democratic wave seemed inevitable. Instead, we witnessed a minor repetition of the 2016 elections, with Trump managing to perform above expectations.
The House of Representatives performs functions mainly related to domestic politics, while the Senate is responsible for confirming important appointments such as those to the Supreme Court. The Democrats holding the majority in the House makes Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign an uphill battle. Trump will need to be able to present to his constituents from 2019 with a series of 2016 promises fulfilled. Getting one’s legislative agenda passed with the House in the hands of one’s opponents is difficult at the best of times. For Trump the task becomes almost impossible.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged China, Europe, Multipolarity, Russia, Unipolarity, War Party
Unipolar moments are just that: moments. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:
In 1987, Paul Kennedy, a British professor of history at Yale University, unleashed a political and intellectual firestorm with the publication of his great (677-page) book, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.” Kennedy produced a magisterial overview of the competition for global power over the past 500 years from 1500 AD to the present.
Kennedy proposed the thesis that any power that achieved, imagined it had achieved or sought to achieve and maintain a dominant hyper-power role of global dominance was doomed to lose it and then rapidly decline in overall power, wealth, prosperity and influence.
Kennedy argued – with a wealth of detail drawn from different nations over his vast period of half a millennium – that the very attempt to achieve and maintain such power forced every nation that attempted it into a ruinous pattern of strategic overstretch.
This demanded every major global empire in their turn to devote ruinously far too many economic resources to unproductive military power and ever more costly global commitments and conflicts.
The more ambitious the commitments, the quicker came military defeat, economic ruin and national collapse, Kennedy documented.
Posted in Collapse, Debt, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Politics
Tagged American empire, Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Unipolarity