For over two decades the US (Financial/Military Complex) has been trying to manners the Middle East into freeing up its military hands to pivot to China. They did so by vying to liquidate Middle Eastern and North African leaders whom they regarded as recalcitrant. They also attempted to achieve détente with the Middle Eastern superpower, Iran, by making a pacification treaty (the Iran Deal) with them. They have escalated arms sales to their allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. They have been building up their admiralty in the South China Sea. The logic of this is to quell China militarily and financially; China poses the single most entrenched threat to the Empire’s economy.
This pivot to China transcends administrations. There is an objective logic to it. When Empires fail in trade, if they possess military WD-40, they pivot to war. Mash up the game, steal the marbles, start again. But now, enter Donald Trump! Does Trump, through the sheer will of his person, possess the capacity to defy objective history, and avoid war with China? The following is a brief story of that history.
There was a time, in the late 19th Century, after the West was won and the Pacific was reached, that the US and her ‘kemosabe’ pardner, Great Britain, began to make demands upon China. The Chinese Emperor did not want to trade much with the West. Why should he trade, he questionedd, when China wants nothing from the rest of the world? So rich, he felt, that China was in the manufacturing and monetary arts. Great Britain and the US did not like. They began to flood the ports of China with opium, Afghan opium, via British India. They bombarded a couple of Chinese ports. They created an opium dependency in China; that is, a demand for British narcotic produce, and following that, British and American goods.
This led incrementally to the fall of the Emperor—the Boxer Rebellion, in 1899, against Western goods—and the emergence in the mid-20th century of Communist China. Now the US and its NATO allies had another bogey. China was oppressive. Isolationist. She needed to open her doors to global trade. Trade. Become democratic. Mao Tse Tung, break down those barriers to trade, free expression! In 1972, Nixon took the bull by its Chinashop horn and went to China. Open up!
The 1980’s marked the advent of Ronald Reagan. The ultimate bluffer, poker player, goodwill salesman. He managed to make Gorbachev soil his proverbial pants, drop the wall by bluffing that he had the ultimate Star Wars defence shield (Strategic Defence Initiative). He had nothing of the sort. He made the American dollar strong again. With Bretton Woods (1944), the restrictive gold standard, unilaterally scrapped (1971), the US began to print dollars; and backed it up, not with precious metal, but with US global prestige; Reaganesque panache. Money could be made from thin air; paper could be backed up with the illusion of American greatness! The gold standard became the prestige and strength, mystique, of the US war machine.
So, under Reagan, America became great again! Wielding might (terror) and economic power in Latin America, the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa. Everyone chased the US dollar. It became gold itself: the ultimate unit of global wealth, personal, corporate and national. You have US to change? That one green piece of gold could make eyes light up, make your day. It became the world’s choice reserve currency with a vengeance.
There was, for the US, one problem with this. It is okay to rule the world by the dollar, units of prestige. What happens if your counterparts in global trade end up warehousing it? They cease to become your counterpart; they became your opponent, enemy. For they could now buy into American greatness: your factories, jobs, banks, real estate, stock markets, into the Beltway political economy, Washington DC itself. And you own their debt. “Ahh! Come to mama,” the Chinese might be saying.
Donald Trump does not like this. He has complained that since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the US has lost 50,000 factories. That China is stealing US jobs. That China is “manipulating” its currency. Yes, but you begged for it kemosabe. China wields a low wage economy. Could produce and sell goods at less than cost. Alters the value of its currency. Floods your market. It has grabbed you by your proverbial ba***; your greenbacks; and now your hearts and minds must follow.
US media hype tells us that Russia is the real problem for the US. Not at all. China is the boulders in the craw of the US’s global Military/Financial Complex. But they cannot overcome China. Neither in trade, diplomacy, technology, satellite and interstellar space, nor war. China also exports its population, its manufactories; it uses its US dollars to wield political and technical influence globally. Will the US and Trump resort to war to resolve what they cannot in trade?
Trump must quell US’s overvaulting ambition, not overreach. He must end NATO and US genocide, and bring peace to the Middle East. And forget about bringing China to heel. He cannot. This option, peace for the Middle East, a moderation of Anglo-Saxon/Germanic and Roman/Latin predatory hubris, will make America, the Middle East and the planet grow again.