The Trump administration has segued from tragedy to comedy while unintentionally wrecking the US empire.
Didn’t know we were an empire?
You’re not alone. Most Americans believe the myth of American exceptionalism, where the USA is depicted as the benevolent Republic busy spreading peace and democracy.
Under the able guidance of the Trump administration, (snark), this original ideology is getting harder and harder to perpetuate.
Instead, Trump has ripped the mask of altruism off the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature. And, he’s managed to do that despite the best efforts of the liberal international establishment and corporate media courtiers, who are desperate to maintain appearances. In the process, Trump has been useful for flushing-out the bi-partisan, always-war, Beltway crowd, that some refer to as the deep state. He’s been such a lightning rod that he’s exposed for all to see what truly animates this political and media establishment.
What’s humorous, and quite predictable, is that much of the empire wrecking has come from the neocon advisors that Trump has surrounded himself with.
In his latest article, heterodox economist Michael Hudson says that, “Through their serial incompetency, the neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightm1are of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the Heartland nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.”
The objectives were to prevent collusion and maintain security among the EU-NATO vassals; keep tributaries pliant; keep the barbarians (Russians and allies) from coming together; most of all prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition–Russia-China alliance capable of challenging U.S. hegemony.
Hudson says that in addition to its military, the US uses its financial assets to maintain its hegemony. “Today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint.”
Perversely, the neocons, through their use of sanctions, are driving countries to abandon the dollar as a means of trade, that is facilitated electronically.
The major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium. Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. And now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.
On January 31 the European Union moved to create its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even Britain joined to create INSTEX — Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges.
The US effort to maintain its dollar hegemony helps explain events in Venezuela. Caracas has committed the cardinal sin–oil trading bypassing the US dollar or US-controlled exchanges. In 2017 Maduro, like Hussein and Gaddafi before him, stopped selling Venezuelan oil in dollars.
In order to shore up the petrodollar system amid its own looming economic recession, the United States needs a government in Venezuela that will denominate the sale of its oil in dollars to maintain its global hegemony.
As with Washington’s aggression on so many other fronts–towards Russia, China, Iran, Europe–the American coup against Venezuela is helping to bring about its worst fear: a multipolar world where US hegemony no longer prevails.
For all his talk on the campaign trail about changing US foreign policies and MAGA, Trump has turned out to be just like his predecessors in offering little besides austerity and endless war. Trump, who ran on promises to expand health care and raise taxes on the rich, as well as ending US regime change policies, began betraying his working-class supporters the moment he took office, pushing through big tax cuts for the rich and attempting to take health coverage away from millions, while staffing his administration with neocons who pushed for the same policies of empire.
It appears that in this context our best hope is the serial incompetence of the Trump administration, which through their bungling is hastening the end of the US empire.
Update: If only there was a principled #Resistance to Trump’s policies, whose fury at foreign meddling in the sacred tenets of American democracy, would apply universally.
“On January 24, less than 24 hours after Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuelan President, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (House Intelligence Committee Chair) blamed Maduro’s “dictatorial” rule for devastating Venezuela’s economy, then recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s “rightful leader.” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (Democrat-IL) piped in calling Venezuela’s 2018 election a sham before endorsing Guaido’s presidency.”
Of the 280 Democratic Senators and Representatives only 3 dissented from this gross meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela, that many would rightfully condemn as a coup.
Maybe the Venezuelans can start calling this latest state of affairs–America-gate.