An opportunity for Trump

Published 01.10.2018 01:38

Now that Germany, the U.K. and France are colluding with Russia and China to devise a new mechanism to transact among themselves and with other countries, President Trump will find his "Make America Great Again" strategy sinking faster than he says "Great. Greater. Greatest!"

Another point: Russia thinks all other countries should use the new system so that the American financial and intelligence agencies cannot catch who trading with whom, thus the internationally illegal U.S. sanctions against different countries won't work.

China hopes to utilize the new mechanism in all its international trade if it turns to be as robust as the SWIFT and IBAN schemes. It sure will.

When the United States replaced British colonialism with its own modern capitalistic imperialism, it first created what it called a "secure financial messaging network." Luckily everything fell into place, the international copper telegraph lines, then later telephone trunks across the oceans and the timely invention of automatic switchboards made the financial system work like clockwork. The U.S. even adjusted time to its taste: they redesigned Universal Time as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) thanks to their atomic clock!

Everything was fine and dandy until some African countries began calling this system nasty names like "neocolonialism." Also, individual countries began acting very strangely calling what they were doing as "resisting the dependency trap."

In the beginning the U.S. restored its gunboat diplomacy. When it seemed too crude a tool in the eyes of the civilized world the Manhattan cowboys developed finer schemes like "sanctioning countries."

The nationals of other countries claimed that they were sovereign citizens and sanctioning them was not legally kosher. It was outright international kidnapping. As in the case of Hakan Atilla, a former official at Turkey's Halkbank who was found guilty of taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions with evidence that even the judge said is not admissible in a court of law.

Trump appeared on the U.S. national political scene as a logical (and nationalistic) extension of the process that isolated the U.S. on the international arena.

His predecessor Obama had won the elections promising to undo what father and son Bushes had done by turning the U.S. into the gendarmerie of the world. But he simply made the U.S. sink more into that smelly hole. So far President Trump has been following Obama's footsteps foolishly. He is simply trying to outdo Obama.

The Reagan-Bush tradition believed the fallacy that good negotiation is negotiation from a powerful position. Perhaps Reagan was under the influence of his Western movies where they hang the man first and try them later. Trump in his day job is used to shaking his interlocutors so hard that he doesn't have much power left to reach a deal with them. He used to call this way his way of doing deals. He must have seen by now that it doesn't work in the post-neocolonialist era.

We know that power promotes readiness to act, helps prioritization et cetera, but it definitely goes to one's head. When its effect wears off and when you come to your senses, you find that those sober people you were dealing with (and antagonizing terribly) have gotten together and devised mechanisms to fool your sanctions.

Instead of colluding, if the U.S. could honestly cooperate with Russia this time and ask for its help in convincing Iran to withdraw its forces and armament from Syria, perhaps Israel would feel safer (not Netahyahu, since he has deeper psychological security issues) and the U.S. will not have to bury millions of otherwise useful dollars into Syrian steppes.

If he remembers similar millions had not done any good in Iraq to create an entity "between Israel and Iran." Like the Iraqi Kurds, the Syrian Kurdish tribes will join their Arab brothers when U.S. troops fly home.

They eventually do. Don't they?

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