It can no longer be denied that US relevance in global affairs is fading. That is, as long as you leave bombs and threats out of the picture.
Of course, the US makes certain that bombs and economic threats are ALWAYS in the picture. However, even that is having a decreasing effect as other options are available.
Most recently and evident is the US withdrawing from the JCPOA. Also called the P5+1. Why P5+1? Because the signatories to that agreement include the 5 permanent members of the UNSC (US, UK, Russia, China and France) plus Germany. Kind of strange that Iran is not mentioned but obviously they are included. It is NOT a bilateral agreement between the US and Iran. Israel actually has NO part in it at all, while we keep hearing their voice on the matter.
Why is our withdrawal an issue? Because ALL the other countries that signed that agreement have remained in the agreement. Including Iran. The ONLY country to have withdrawn is the US. All the other countries state that Iran is in compliance with the agreement, based on actual ongoing inspections by the IAEA, an independent agency of the UN. The US claims Iran will not come to the bargaining table. This agreement IS the bargaining table. The only one to walk away from that table has been the US. Everyone else is still talking.
There has been no evidence offered by the US that Iran is not in compliance. The US does not have independent inspectors on the ground separate from the IAEA. The US has not made specific demands for Iran to comply with. There are inferences that Iran should give up any conventional ballistic missile programs. With Israel as a continuous threat. Israel illegally occupies Palestine and Syria. Israel has attempted to invade Lebanon, Egypt and Cyprus. Israel admits to giving aid and support to ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters. Israeli weapons including landmines have been found in weapons caches left behind by terrorists forced out of different areas. Israel is actively bombing Syrian military installments IN SYRIA.
Meanwhile, Iran has not invaded another country for over 200 years. There are claims Iran supports terrorist groups, using Hezbollah as an example. Problem with that? Hezbollah is a political party in Lebanon. They have won open elections. In addition, they have an organized military force and operate social support programs providing medical care and food. Of course, they have been known to kick Israel’s ass in Lebanon and now have far more direct combat experience than Israeli forces do.
Iran is only the most recent and glaring example. Not even the only current example. Consider North Korea. North Korea has met with South Korea in a meeting to which the US was not invited. Both countries have agreed to the removal of all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. That includes South Korea. The only nuclear weapons in South Korea belong to the US. So the meeting between North Korea and the US is pending. The US is demanding that ONLY North Korea give up nuclear weapons. We can only wait and see if South Korea stands their ground on the issue. Russia and China are not being invited to take part in these talks, while they should be included. Look at a map. Who would be the logical guarantors of any agreements? Who would have US forces on their doorsteps if the US attacked and invaded North Korea? If we launched a nuclear weapon at North Korea, how would they know the intended target before it landed? Who would be likely to launch countermeasures and respond if such an attack took place? Do you think the US would not respond if nukes were launched at Canada? Part of NORAD is in Canada. So that answers that question. Who are the countries that have all along called for diplomatic solutions rather than military solutions? Russia and China. Most of the world wants a diplomatic solution. Only the US is demanding a military solution.
Then we have Jerusalem. The US is moving our embassy to Jerusalem. Many countries in the UN object to this. While Trump is credited with making it the official stance of the US that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel (and ONLY Israel), he is not the first US president or candidate to have made that reference. In the past, Jerusalem has been referred to as the capitol and heart of Israel by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, GWB and Obama. Without looking it up, do you know what the capitol of Palestine is? (*Answer at the end of the article.) Jerusalem has been considered a shared city since the establishment of Israel. For the US to endorse it as sole Israeli ownership against international consensus places us on the outside once again.
Yet those are not the only areas where the US is losing influence. We sanction or threaten to sanction nearly every country on the planet. This has reached the level that soon we will not be able to buy anything from anyone. Sanctions and tariffs, as China has demonstrated, can work two ways. Meanwhile, we are not increasing manufacturing capacity and have a trade deficit with nearly every country we threaten to sanction. Sanctions are acts of war. They damage economies and livelihoods in real terms. They do more harm to people than governments. Nothing about them makes people angry at their own government, it makes people angry at the US. It also makes countries seek out other trade agreements among each other. Once those agreements are established, those countries may well have no desire to trade with the US if the sanctions are lifted later. Because the other trade agreements do not include threats.
Anyone paying attention knows that Russia has been developing military technologies which rival or surpass the US. They are selling weapons to a growing number of countries. Here’s the biggest problem with that. Even if the weapons only equal ours, those weapons sales do not include the requirement of military occupation or threats of military and economic retribution if the buying country does not submit to being a vassal state of the seller.
The petrodollar is at extreme risk. Russia is the largest oil producer on the planet. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves. Iran is increasing oil production rapidly. We have sanctions on all those countries. Meanwhile, China has established the petroyuan and many countries are signing on to sell oil in yuan, which is backed by gold. With these events comes inflation as gas prices have a cascade effect. Plus China has surpassed the US as the world leading oil consumer.
This is a short list. None of this began with Trump but is accelerating rapidly under him. As countries continue being forced to turn to each other and away from the US for trade, military support and diplomatic solutions, our influence wanes rapidly. Once those bonds are forged in actual agreement, the chances of the US forcing our way back in the door will decrease dramatically. Some in this country think this is good. That we will increase independence and regain manufacturing capacity. That may well happen but it will take years to do so. Then the only way US citizens will be able to buy items produced here will be if wages increase because it WILL increase cost of production. With trade agreements becoming precarious and diplomatic ties confrontational, the odds of selling to other countries narrows.
Make no mistake. Screaming about Trump has no effect at all. CONgress refuses to step up with any actual policies which offer solutions. Any “resistance” equates to nothing but name calling and insults. Because Trump is really only a continuation of the same policies of past administrations and an expansion of corporate interests. Interests which profit BOTH major parties at all levels, bottom to top. You can support Trump’s crude language or Obama’s nice words but the end result is the same. I refuse to recognize GWB with honorable mention.
I hate being fatalistic but we are beyond the point of no return. Americans want to continue that screaming match. Led on by the inane rantings of MSM marketing war and investments, convincing them all is right with the world because the stock market is up. That they are safe because we bomb and sanction anyone who disagrees.
Things will have to get a lot worse before they get better. Maybe more will wake up at some point. Because we cannot afford more wars. Literally, we cannot afford it. Until then, just keep screaming, “USA! USA!” and see where it gets you.
*The capitol of Palestine is.. Jerusalem.