Thursday, May 17, 2007

More Signs of Decline


I’ve written before about the certainty that the bellicose U.S./Israel axis and the U.S. “Grand Imperial Strategy”, which induces perpetual war, will cause a drawing together of other nations in protective alliances.

In February I wrote in “Defending Against a Supertyrant”, ‘Nations which feel threatened will increase their strength not only by adding muscle to their own military, but also by forming alliances. The main area of alliances which I see in the making is that part of the Earth which includes Russia, China, and Iran. Afghanistan and Pakistan are in the same geographical area, which includes the potential power of the “Heartland” of Geopolitical theory.

‘Another area for natural alliances for defense against U.S. abuse of power is Latin America. The seeds are visibly sprouting now.’

I’ve also warned that the arrogant U.S. policies and aggressions will hasten the decline of the U.S. from “last remaining superpower”. Already the U.S. has lost the respect of most nations and is considered more a threat than a potential ally. As a result, U.S. political influence is dwindling. Its economic strength is also shrinking, and when creditor nations decide to stop supporting America by lending it money, the beggar nation will be revealed in its true rags. The only “superpower” attribute which the U.S. has left is its military might – which is the major factor in causing other nations and regions to pull together in self-defense . . . protecting themselves until the day U.S. military superiority vanishes along with its other former strengths. All can see that the foundations are rotten; it is only a matter of time before the colossus collapses into mediocrity.

Here are a few indications of the way the world is responding in various ways to the American bully:


From the BBC a year ago: ‘ Chinese influence in Brazil worries US’

‘Under the slogan of "peaceful rising", China is selling itself to the developing world as an alternative model for ending poverty. The spectre of an encroaching China is made worse by a string of elections which has produced populist and US-sceptic, left-wing leaders. In Brazil itself, the view is very different. It is about two developing countries, the giants of their regions, forming a natural alliance.
‘The flurry of China-Brazil business began less than two years ago after an exchange of visits between Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
‘Since then China's influence can be seen everywhere in Latin America: oil, gas, railways, ports, steel and - worryingly for the US - defence.
‘"Everything I do is with China now," says one student Priscila Marques, who runs a Brazilian freight forwarding company. "It's Brazil-China; nowhere else."‘


AP, May 17, 2007:
‘BEIJING - A Chinese rocket blasted a Nigerian communications satellite into orbit on Monday, marking an expansion of China's commercial launching services for foreign space hardware, state media said.
‘The official Xinhua News Agency said it was the first time a foreign buyer has purchased a Chinese satellite and its launching service.
‘The launch coincides with the opening of the African Development Bank's annual board meeting in Shanghai this week, reflecting growing African-Chinese ties.’


‘The end of empire: Wolfowitz on the ropes’
By Andrew Leonard (Salon)
‘[Wolfowitz’] ouster will symbolize far more than just the gotcha of Wolfowitz's personal misdeeds as contrasted with his campaign to fight corruption in the developing world. There's far more at stake here: The presumably successful effort by Europe, Latin America and other regions to dislodge Wolfowitz represents a profound recalibration of global realpolitik.
‘Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has reigned alone as the supreme superpower. The absence of any countervailing force enabled and encouraged the Bush administration to pursue its spectacularly self-destructive foreign policies. The very appointment of Paul Wolfowitz, key architect of the Iraq war, as president of the World Bank, reeked of imperial arrogance.
‘But for every action there is a counterreaction. The rest of the world is fed up. As economic power in the world becomes more diffused across the globe, the ability of any one nation to call all the shots will progressively weaken. Understanding that fact will be a key prerequisite to successfully negotiating future global challenges.


The following article from the Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2007, shows how American support of Israel and consequent alienation of Muslim countries are driving the Muslim countries (“West Asia” rather than “Middle East” in their terminology) into closer ties with East Asian economic powerhouses. The catastrophic consequences of U.S. pro-Zionism are hinted at in euphemistic statements like these: The ties between East and West Asian countries stand “in potential contrast to tensions that have flared occasionally between the Middle East and Western consuming nations.”

‘RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A gathering here of Asian and Middle East energy ministers has cast a fresh spotlight on how rapidly the petroleum-rich Persian Gulf and energy-hungry East Asia are intertwining their economies, with potentially significant consequences for the international balance of power.
‘The 16 ministers at the meeting -- jointly hosted by Saudi Arabia and Japan -- represent the huge oil exporters of the Persian Gulf region, dubbed West Asia by the group, and such major consumers from East Asia as China, South Korea and India.
‘The growing ties have broad implications for Western nations as the Mideast and East Asia gain oil-market clout. State-controlled oil companies, particularly in the Persian Gulf region, have taken the lead in developing major new reserves, while major Western oil producers find access to new supplies increasingly limited. Where companies and decision makers once focused on events in Western energy capitals such as Houston, New York and London, these same players are increasingly concentrating their efforts in places like Dubai.
‘Rising East Asian investment in the Middle East could prompt burgeoning powers China and India to take a more active interest in trying to stabilize the region, while also encouraging Middle Eastern leaders to look East, not just to traditional powers such as Washington and Moscow, as players in the volatile region's diplomacy. In Middle Eastern capitals, decisions made in Beijing and New Delhi could ultimately gain the same heft as decisions made in Washington.
‘The meeting yesterday paves the way for more conciliatory ties between the nations on either end of the Asian continent. That stands in potential contrast to tensions that have flared occasionally between the Middle East and Western consuming nations.
‘The increasing links between the Gulf and Asia could have deep geopolitical ramifications. The Middle East-Asian romancing at these roundtable conferences . . . contrasts with the hostility and suspicion between OPEC and the West in the oil-crisis-ridden 1970s.’


I'll close with a comment on the WSJ article: “The oil-crisis-ridden 1970s” is verbiage designed to obscure the facts: In 1973 the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC, consisting of the Arab members of OPEC plus Egypt and Syria) announced that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations (primarily the United States) that had supported Israel in its "Yom Kippur War" with Syria and Egypt. The oil embargo caused inflation and economic hardship in the U.S.

The U.S. had unquestionably earned the OPEC retaliation through actions such as “Operation Nickel Grass”:

‘Operation Nickel Grass was a strategic airlift operation conducted by the United States to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The Military Airlift Command of the U.S. Air Force shipped 22,325 tons of tanks, artillery, ammunition, and supplies in C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft between October 12 and November 14, 1973. This rapid supply mission was critical to Israel's ability to recover from early losses in the war, and the operation is sometimes called "the airlift that saved Israel."’ Wikipedia.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. government and communications media did not explain to Americans waiting in long lines for high-priced gas that that situation was due entirely to U.S. support for Israel, any more than the media have explained that the same cause brought about the destruction of the Twin Towers.


Paul said...

I have to say, I've had the same feeling. You cite a number of things, and even more could be cited (as I have no doubt you're aware - you just decided you wanted to write a post, not book!)

What makes it so difficult to envision a turn around is that our very process for electing "leaders" has become so corrupted by big money. Without real leadership, leadership that cares and plans for future generations and not the next election cycle or its "legacy" (I'm tired of that word...) we're going to leave our children in a worse and worse position.

Fleming said...

Paul, thanks for the visit and the thoughtful comment. Yes, there are a lot more symptons and causes of U.S. decline than I mentioned, and I keep meaning to collect a list.

And I agree with you that we have lost all true leadership. As I've written in VIEW FROM THE MOON more than once, "democracy" in America is no more than a voracious competition for tax-paid jobs, and once in office the politicians are thinking only of the next election. I suppose there must have been a time in this country when at least a few people sought office because they wanted to accomplish something good for the people and the nation, but it was definitely not in recent decades.