The State of the World Right Now: A View
EDITORIAL, 28 Nov 2016
#456 | Johan Galtung
“View” meaning not only a glimpse from above, but a position taken on the world on which the US electorate is now dumping Donald Trump.
That world is today basically multi-polar, maybe with 8 poles: Anglo-America, Latin America-Caribbean, African Unity, Islam-OIC from Casablanca to Mindanao, European Union, Russia more region than state, SAARC from Nepal to Sri Lanka, ASEAN, Australia-New Zealand.
And multi-regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, with China and Russia, Islamic countries, India and Pakistan.
There is a waning state reality, smaller states being increasingly absorbed in regions.
There is a waxing region reality with the above eight; adding West Asian, Central Asian and Northeast Asian regions, maybe eleven.
There is a global reality based on IGOs, inter-governmental organizations with the United Nations on top; TNCs, the transnational corporations with the US-based on top so far; and INGOs, international non-governmental organizations, with religions on top.
Insert into all of that something concrete from William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report #146 and his Rogue State. From WWII, the USA has:
- Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected;
- Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries;
- Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders;
- Attempted to suppress populist or nationalist movements in 20 countries;
- More involved in the practice of torture than any other country, performing, teaching, providing manuals and furnishing equipment.
Then, insert President Xi’s proposal November 17-23 2016 for Latin American countries and 21 APEC countries meeting in Lima, Peru:
- FTAAP: Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific; inclusive, for all;
- RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, also inclusive as opposed to TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, excluding China.
TPP to FTAAP moves the power center from Washington to Beijing.
Into this reality dump Trump who has pledged to ditch TPP.
That does not mean buying FTAAP-RAW; maybe more a set of Chinese divide and rule bilateral deals than a real multilateral IGO. However, negotiating deals with China should appeal to Trump the businessman.
Now, given the 5 Blum points from US history, will a move of one important power center from Washington to Beijing be permitted by the US military-economic forces, Pentagon-Wall Street, in conjunction? Will they prevail upon Trump to change his mind and ditch the pledge to drop TPP, or simply move ahead along the lines of points 1-5?
Depends on Congress overriding Trump Executive directives and Trump vetoing that, and so on. That in turn depends on to what extent Congress is now GOP Republican or Trump Republican. Nobody knows.
There is more going on in the world than USA-China relations.
China-India trade is overtaking China-USA trade before China overtakes USA economically. Both are Asian countries, both are SCO. A concrete implication is that a decreasing percentage of world trade deals is made in US dollars as they recognize each other’s currencies.
At the same time the top country in the EU, Germany, is in great difficulty because a leading corporation, Volkswagen has problems with its emission swindle, paying hefty fines, now sacking 30,000 workers. Now is the time, if ever, for France-Italy-Spain-Sweden-Czech to produce jointly an alternative car.
At the same time the bottom country in the EU, Greece, is doing well, playing the Chinese card. China is buying Piraeus, making Greece the entry point for Chinese business in Europe with products, goods and services at highly acceptable quality over price ratios.
At the same time US economy is running out of options, losing its hold on EU with Brexit. The Bratislava Summit of 27 EU members 16 Sep 2016 refused to fight US wars. That may tempt USA even more to wage their own with mini-nukes &c. But Trump foreign policies with Russia, China and in East Asia may deprive them of arguments for doing so.
However, what does Trump have to build upon to make America great again economically? With an American economy servicing huge debts, with freshly printed dollars far beyond the value of the economy (but still no inflation), with a risky finance economy in command, and little of quality to export but arms, and some cars? Jobs to build infrastructure have to be financed and he has promised lower taxes. Although reforming tax codes may stop some loopholes.
Possible answer: increased foreign trade, based on better foreign relations, seeing others as business partners, not as threats. Just wait, one day USA may trade with North Korea, competing with China.
If Trump can lay his hands on money flowing in from abroad, and make trading companies invest in the much lagging US infrastructure.
Yet, the counter-forces are strong. William Blum #146:
- Obama in the UN 2013, declared USA exceptional and Russia one of the three threats to USA along with IS and the ebola virus. Putin-bashing.
- A million refugees from Washington warfare currently overrun Europe; from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan.
- US fight Assad to use Syria for a pipeline to bring gas from Qatar to Europe to undercut GazProm, Russia’s largest corporation.
- Washington abandoned the ABM treaty and changed its war doctrine to permit US nuclear first strike.
- An independent EU would forbid member states from stockpiling US nuclear weapons, having a US ABM site, or a base close to Russia.
- Since 1980 USA intervened in Iran-Libya-Lebanon-Kuwait-Iraq-Somalia-Bosnia-Arabia-Afghanistan-Sudan-Kosova-Yemen-Pakistan-Syria-14 Muslim.
- USA surrounds China with aircraft, fleets, military bases in Japan-South Korea-Philippines-the Pacific-Australia, patrolling the waters.
- Crimea never voluntarily left Russia. A dictator made them do so.
Everything is “rigged” for a Clinton tenure of belligerence.
Instead they got Trump foreign policy. Against very heavy odds.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1670 articles and book chapters, over 450 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
Tags: Economy, Geopolitics, IGOs, IR, Trade, Trump
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Nov 2016.
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