By Steve Brown
Only near-universal acceptance of the dollar keeps the United States dominant as global hegemon. Fear of US military power is one thing, but shutting off the flow of dollars to a real or imagined US adversary is quite another. How dollar dominance will progress is a matter for continual debate. So long as the United States owns the bank accounts of just about everyone then significant resistance to US foreign policy and Washington’s hegemonic hubris will be limited.
Now, a unique trajectory in time and events has been attained where no complex math equation could ever describe the present global debacle even if it were somehow transposed into the realm of political science. Noting that there is no science to politics, other than what politically entrenched madmen submit who are somehow considered sane, but only when at University.
Even if the polity of science or science of politics is illusory, real history is not. Dr Ian Barnes from Classical World Mapping History on the Greek Tyrannies 7th-6th Centuries BC wrote:
In ancient Greece the Tyrannies were cities and states ruled by Tyrants, influential opportunists who seized executive power by securing the support of different factions in order to engage in autocratic government. The Greek Tyrannies grew out of a struggle of the popular classes against the aristocracy and priest-kings, whose archaic traditions and mythology sanctioned hereditary rights to rule. Tyrants were generally installed by coups, and often became or remained popular rulers, at least in the early parts of their reign. While they had no legal right to rule, people generally preferred them to kings or aristocrats.
Three thousand years on from the founding of “democracy” how and where is the above not true in the West today? One form of tyranny – Colonialism — has not really gone away. In fact Neo-colonialism is resurgent. Whether France in West Africa; or the US with its many military bases; to Turkey in North Africa or Israel seizing Palestinian land and bombing Iraq and Syria… the tyranny of government is based on the fallacy that might makes right and is as prevalent today as it was in the time of Thebans vs Spartans.
Now in 2020 we are at a unique point in the evolution of pre-apocalypse Empire where the pinball game has been full-tilt in favor of US hegemony since 1948. Since commandeering most of the world’s gold by hook or crook – or by default – along with its by-decree ability to create as many dollars as desired to vaporize on its many battlegrounds, the United States has been allowed by the rest of the world to pursue damaging interventionist policies for seventy years.*
US-State endless wars are desirable since many battlefields fuel military-industrial Corporate earnings. Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, General Atomic and Raytheon are guaranteed a good day on the share markets. And the battlefield provides a place where inflationary dollars can be comprehensively extinguished. That is the militarist view and vacuum in which US-State operates, as enhanced by increased weaponization of the dollar through sanctions since 2014. Now consider that the US-State unipolar New World Order has existed from 1991 until now… what possible scenario will render it obsolete?
The US-State stand-down after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq is quite telling. By standing-down Washington signaled that it is not prepared for a new war. At the same time the US Treasury announced it hopes to wage war financially and economically instead of militarily. Not a new concept, but not historic overt US policy either.
Syria appears to be lost to the west but Israel’s stated intent to annex at least one-third of the West Bank (Israel annexed the Golan in 1981) and its continued attacks in Syria prove that Israeli IASPS ambitions in the Middle East remain alive one quarter of a century later. Kushner’s Third Temple plan reinforces the Trump agenda to get all available Lobby funding for his re-election campaign. Somewhat surprisingly Trump did not mention the 51st state in his recent State address but did mention the US assassination of Suleimani. What Trump said about Suleimani and did not say about Israel implies a much greater role for Israeli influence in his next term.
Turkey’s militarist adventure in Syria and Libya – one to stop Syrian emigration to Turkey and the other to maintain a cheap source of oil in Libya – is ongoing and complicates closer alignment to the east for Turkey. Libya poses the African question where France, Italy, Egypt, Greece and the United Arab Emirates all have vested economic interests to exploit in Libya and the Sahel in general.
Next is US pressure on Venezuela. Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea and Africa still rotate on the back burner for now. China is impacted by the outbreak of disease which has created complications for its agenda and also for North Korea. To cap off, the US is increasingly isolating itself by immigration policy and by weaponized economic policy.
Back to the US dollar there is still no viable threat to dollar hegemony – there are just too many dollars afloat with only western big money debt instruments for them to go into. Fed/ Primary Dealer /Treasury gaming; derivatives and repos; bogus foreign aid; rigged markets; or dollars blown up in the form of weaponry on Washington’s many battle grounds guarantees the dollar for now. Wall Street is so rigged and gamed (besides the occasional down day to provide plausible deniability) the idea that US share markets could significantly decline or fall at all, seems a statistical impossibility.
China and Russia are the only real outlier challengers to Washington’s rigged game, which becomes ever more dangerous as it becomes ever more rigged and gamed. China will temporarily be restrained until a vaccine for the circulating viral disease can be manufactured, assuming the virus does not mutate. Russia must pursue pragmatic policies and is somewhat constrained by its involvement in Syria, a delicate balancing act that Washington wishes to continue to exploit.
Meanwhile Donald Trump looks set to campaign vigorously while ignoring all else. He will campaign on a domestic ideological theme particularly against socialism and immigration. His attack on socialism is partly based on his opposition, and partly based on American antipathy to government hand-outs despite a large proportion of the US populace receiving them.
Mr Trump is essentially guaranteed a second term. If re-elected, look for dramatic attacks on domestic social programs. Foreign policy will align more closely with Israel and Saudi Arabia where Saudi Arabia will pursue expansionist goals in Africa (particularly Libya) and Israel will be given free rein to engage in whatever havoc it so pleases. That havoc will continue in Gaza and in the Occupied Territories and in Syria, while Israel presses the US to wipe Iran off the map. And Washington’s Argumentum ad Baculum will give free reign to the US military where war with Iran may be virtually guaranteed by a new Trump regime.
All above looks very bleak. Just as the Tyrants ruled civilization nearly three thousand years ago, they still rule today and not just in the United States. The New World Disorder is apparently becoming more disorderly by the day.
*1950: Korea. 1953: Operation Ajax, deposing Iran’s only democratically elected leader Mossadegh. 1954: Operation PBSUCCESS, Guatemala CIA coup. 1961: Cuba, Bay of Pigs. 1964: Vietnam. 1967: US/ Israeli aggression versus Palestine. 1973: US coup and assassination of Allende. 1973: US intervention in the Yom Kippur war. 1979: Operation Cyclone, Afghanistan. 1981: US atrocities in El Salvador. 1981: Iran Contra. 1990: Desert Storm. 1990: Operation Just Cause. 1999: Kosovo. 2001: 911 blowback, 2003 Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan … etc.
Steve Brown is the author of “Iraq: the Road to War” (Sourcewatch) editor of “Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq” (Sourcewatch) “Trump’s Limited Hangout” and “Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913”; Steve is an antiwar activist, a published scholar on the US monetary system, and has appeared as guest contributor to Fort Russ News, Herland Report, and Strategika51.