By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
According to Federico Pieraccini, reproduced by Global Times on November 10, the midterm U.S. elections constituted a lottery of public office between Democrats and Republicans that culminated in a defeat for Trump’s administration and a clear victory for Washington’s “War Party”.
While it is true that it is in the Senate that the most important appointments are confirmed, it is the House that carries the main weight when it comes to domestic politics. The fact that Democrats have the majority of seats there makes the battle for Trump’s re-election in 2020 extremely arduous.
Trump should be able to prove to his constituents that he has kept the promises he made in 2016, and this is almost impossible with the House in the hands of his opponents.
As Pieraccini puts it, “the country faces a scenario of surrender to the war party, which is that faction that responds to the interests of specific conglomerates of power and not to voters. The real winners have been the intelligence agencies, Wall Street and the banks, the credit rating agencies, the Federal Reserve, the big media, the think tanks, the political directorates and the military-industrial complex.
Trump has been able to discover, in his first two years as president, how little autonomy he has in foreign policy, because of the warmongering of the American establishment.
The realistic vision of foreign policy on which Trump based his electoral campaign was swept away within days of his victory. Hoping to bribe the hawks in Washington, he surrounded himself with neoconservatives. They ended up trying to box him into something similar to the Washington Consensus in which any attempt at dialogue with opponents is seen as a weakness or a sign of surrender, Pieraccini notes.
“Washington and its elites live trapped in a uni-polar bubble, convinced that the United States is the only world power left on the geopolitical chessboard. Pentagon planners have confirmed in two official documents (the Nuclear Posture Review and the National Defense Review) how international relations have become a multi-polar reality in which the United States will have to deal with competitors like Russia and China.
The outcome of the midterm elections could accelerate this process. With the House of Representatives in the hands of the Democrats, Trump will have to abandon his vulgar foreign policy even more than he has in the past two years. The accumulation of foreign policy concessions is remarkable. Suffice it to note that in the enmity towards Iran is fostered by Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are the Trump administration’s main partners.
The same goes for China, with the antagonism fostered by Trump himself to justify the impoverishment of the American middle class that voted for him to change that situation. And, of course, then there follows the endemic hatred of Russia, the sworn enemy of the Washington establishment.
But after his defeat in the House, in order for the House to approve something, he will have to grant much more freedom in foreign policy to the neoliberals, eager to reactivate the foreign policy of Bush and Obama. Without any concessions from the House, all of Trump’s national promises to his constituents will be thwarted.
The permanent political civil war in the United States seems destined to intensify, and the prospect of an even less independent administration in foreign policy will push the rest of the world to become less and less dependent on Washington and start looking the other way. Even towards European countries like France, Germany and Italy. They seem to have understood that an exclusive alliance with Washington is not beneficial to them.
Indeed, it is doomed to failure as a result of the chaos in US foreign policy. While many Eurasian countries such as India, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan try to overcome their differences by creating international cooperation frameworks, Washington unnecessarily pushes the accelerator on disorder.
An example of Washington’s decline can clearly be seen in Korea, where Seoul and Pyongyang seem to be heading towards peaceful reconciliation, without the direct participation of the US.
In India’s disagreements with China and Japan’s disputes with China and Russia, the tension is always centered on the interests of distant Washington rather than those of the others involved. The next two years will resolve the question of whether the current reality is already multi-polar, or whether the uni-polar order remains, Washington being the indispensable nation for its friends and enemies.
November 12, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by citing the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.