REMOVE THE BLINKERS – IT’S THE “USA THREAT”, ACTUALLY!
The China Threat
The Trump Administration created and marketed the “CHINA THREAT” to the world. We, in the West fell for it hook, line and sinker. In truth, “we” represent only 15% of the world’s population, those of us in the White World of US, UK, EU, and Australia. The other 85% which includes China, India, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Russia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa are all developing or developed countries, and are not China haters. It is time to look beyond the White Mans Media.
Washington’s foreign policy elite have been alarmed by China’s recent diplomatic moves, including President Xi Jinping’s Moscow visit affirming the Sino-Russian “no limits partnership” and China’s successfully brokering a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as Beijing’s release of a 12-point peace plan to resolve the war in Ukraine. Given the Biden administration’s framing of international politics as a struggle of “Democracy Vs Autocracy”, it is unsurprising that Washington has found itself shut out.[i]
Biden opened his recent summit for democracy with the farcical claim that democracies of the world were getting stronger while autocracies were getting weaker. Hungary and Turkey were not invited because they are increasingly autocratic whereas both Israel and India were in attendance despite protests due to their recent “democratic backsliding”.
According to the World Economic Forum, the USA is the oldest democracy going back to 1800. However, today democracy demands universal suffrage. On that basis, New Zealand has the best claim. By 1893, it allowed all women and ethnicities to vote. In contrast, while the US declaration of Independence occurred in 1776, women only became entitled to vote in 1920 and African-Americans, only in 1965![ii]
While the US speaks effusively of India’s commitment to “shared values”, it ignores the fact that India, the world’s “largest democracy” is no “liberal democracy”. B.R. Ambedkar who drafted the new Indian constitution warned that democracy in India was only “top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic”. Ambedkar also observed that democracy would not work in India because “We have got a social structure which is totally incompatible with Parliamentary democracy”. In March 2023, India’s governing party the BJP, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi expelled the top opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi for “defaming” the Modi name, leading to a dozen Indian political parties criticizing the expulsion as a dangerous precedent for India’s political institutions.
Merely claiming to be a “Democracy” does not make a nation democratic.
Flailing America Vs China
Opposition to Biden’s proxy war to destroy Russia has recently entered the 2024 US presidential election, with the two front-running Republican candidates, Donald Trump and Ronald DeSantis opposing the war. Trump argued that opposing Russia in Ukraine was not a vital American strategic interest. His anti-interventionist sentiments are well-known but the main US media were shaken when Ron DeSantis voiced similar anti-interventionist sentiments. Trump and DeSantis may be reflecting the views of a growing number in the Republican base.[iii]
When China put forward its peace plan for Ukraine, Washington (with no boots on the ground) was quick to say “NO”, but surely it is the combatants, their wives, sons, and daughters who are dying in Ukraine who must decide what is best for Ukraine. Continued fighting will inevitably result in Ukraine’s male population being decimated.
Imagine a Chinese-brokered rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia followed by a Beijing brokered ceasefire in Ukraine, and a thaw in cross-strait relations (which, by the way, may be a real possibility now that the Kuomintang (KMT) party is gaining momentum in the lead up to the Taiwan presidential election in January 2024). Instead, the US aims to keep the war going, and to play the Taiwan card to contain a rising China.[iv]
The following is extracted from Who Benefits from Confrontation with China? It is remarkable, not so much because of what is said but because it is published by The Editorial Board of The New York Times:[v]
America’s increasingly confrontational posture toward China warrants greater scrutiny and debate. Secretary of State Blinken has dismissed engagement with China saying that the US has tried with little success to compel “China to abide by American rules”. Yet, the relationship between the US and China continues to deliver substantial economic benefits to both countries and to the rest of the world and there is good reason to maintain those ties.
By superpower standards China remains a homebody. It’s foreign engagements outside its immediate surroundings remain primarily economic and China shows strikingly little interest in persuading other nations to adopt either its social or political values.
The Biden administration’s continuation of Trump-era restrictions on trade with China is a dubious strategy. Much of the shift in America’s China policy has been justified as necessary for its national defence, but it also legitimises protectionist measures which are not in America’s interests. The best guarantee of American security has always been engagement with the rest of the world.
Many world leaders yearn for the return of a multipolar world, not just Russia and China, but others including India and Brazil. Similar sentiments have been expressed by leaders in Germany and in France. In 1991, the George HW Bush administration called for efforts to prevent the emergence of peer competitors anywhere in the world. However, restoring US unipolarity is probably impossible and trying to prevent multipolarity is futile.[vi]
The strengthening of relations between China and Russia, the new non-alignment and expansion of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa group (BRICS), and the attitudes of countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey clearly indicate that the geopolitical map has changed. The world is transitioning from a US dominated unipolar system.[vii]
The US “Rules”
The US describes the system which it organised and has controlled for the past half century as the “rules-based international order”. However, these “rules” are not the same as the rules of the UN Charter to which 193 UN member states are signatories. Instead, the US rules are whatever Washington says they are. Washington arbitrarily enforces its rules against other states by unilateral sanctions, blockades and wars.[viii]
The US has failed to ratify more than 30 international treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against women (1981) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990). It is not party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea but relies on this law to conduct “freedom of navigation” exercises along China’s coastlines, even though China is a full treaty member.
The US Threat
The US has gone from making war unsuccessfully against smaller, less powerful countries, Korea in the 1950s, Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s, Iraq in 2003 and a 20 year failed war against Afghanistan. Cuba has lived through a 60 year siege, imposed by the US because Cuba dared to pursue its own political system. The US has not learned. Now it seeks to crush a nuclear superpower, Russia while simultaneously planning its next confrontation with a much more formidable China.
Russia is no longer idly waiting for further military encirclement of its territory. After repeated warnings, Moscow launched its military operation. There are demonstrations almost every day in European cities against NATO’s participation in this war. No one can seriously contend that the Russian invasion against Ukraine is not “illegal”, but it is preposterous to ignore the circumstances, and the US driven events which preceded that invasion. According to the US National Security Archive at George Washington University, released in 2017, declassified documents show that security assurances against NATO expansion were given by Western leaders, including Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, and Major. Here is the link: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early
Who, one might ask is the “aggressor” and who applies “coercion” against other states?
How to End American Wars and Warmongering
America’s ongoing hostility, particularly directed at Russia and China threatens world peace and risks nuclear catastrophe. America is dependent on its alliances including, NATO (involving the whole of Europe), ANZUS and others which support and sustain 800 American military bases around the globe. What can be done?
If countries such as France, Germany, all of Europe, the UK, Japan, Australia, and others can muster the courage and foresight to say, “enough is enough” and to unequivocally declare that they will no longer participate in American wars nor host American military bases and personnel, America would be exposed as the “Emperor without Clothes”. There is absolutely no risk that America would turn on these allies, nor would it go alone in launching wars against other nations, big or small, let alone China or Russia. Nothing could be more critical for Europe. It was at the vortex of two world wars. The nations of Europe would not survive a Third.
That may sound naïve and may be wishful thinking, but what would be the benefit?
THE ANSWER IS SURVIVAL AND WORLDPEACE.
“AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM” – HEAR THE OTHER SIDE!
___________________ [i] China’s Diplomatic Wins Rise from America’s Losses, Asia Times 30 March 2023 [ii] The World’s Oldest Democracies 8 August 2019 [iii] Two Anti-war Voices in Republican Party Speak Up, Asia Times 28 March 2023 [iv] Alex Lo, A Ceasefire may Save Ukraine but Wreck the US Proxy War Plan, South China Morning Post 24 March 2023 [v] New York Times 11 March 2023 [vi] Stephen M Walt, Professor International Relations at Harvard University, America is too Scared of the Multipolar World, Foreign Policy 7 March 2023 [vii] José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez (Cuban Ambassador to US, 2015) Sovereignty, Dignity, and Originalism in the New International Order 14 March 2023 [viii]Rodríguez - Ibid