U.S. on the verge of losing influence in all of Asia

Trump is a godsend for all of our foreign rivals who want to see an end to American hegemony.
When even our lapdog Japan speaks up, you know things are getting out of hand.

Japan, Russia and Turkey have warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminum, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. tariff bill to around $3.5 billion annually.

At the center of this Resistance to Trump and America (not the phony Democrat one) is Russia, China, and Iran. Together they form a solid political and economic block, and our "sanction first, threaten with force second" foreign policy has pushed them together.

In one of the most concrete moves yet against renewed US efforts to choke off Iran economically, a Russian-led trade bloc signed an interim trade deal with Iran and signalled plans to negotiate a free trade zone.
Meanwhile, Iran's oil minister said that Chinese state-owned oil company CNPC was ready to replace Total on a major gas field project in Iran if the French energy giant pulls out.
...In the Kazakh capital Astana, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union trade bloc signed an interim trade deal with Iran that lowers tariffs on hundreds of goods.
The bloc that also comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, also plans to begin three years of talks with Iran that aim to create a free trade zone.

That alone is enough of a threat to American power, but lately much of the rest of Asia is acting outside of American influence.
The most significant nation to defy our orders is India, which has the nerve to simply ignore our mandates.

In a blow to the West, Mr Modi is expected to reassure Putin that India will not join a US—backed, anti-Russia security partnership with Japan and Australia.
...One of the key issues that will be discussed by the two leaders in the informal talks is the fate of Russia’s previously agreed military exports to India, which is estimated to be worth $12billion (£8.9billion).

China has been mending fences with both India and Japan in direct response to U.S. threats.

India's rival, Pakistan, has also found a "new partnership" with Russia in trade and defense. In September 2016, Russia and Pakistan held their first ever joint military exercise.
Even more significant is Turkey's defiance.

U.S. officials said Pompeo warned Turkey that countries that purchase military hardware from Russia risk running afoul of new sanctions the United States imposed last year on Russia's military and defense industries.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shortly afterward told Turkish broadcasters that the $2.5 billion purchase of S-400s was signed in December and was "a done deal."

The split with Turkey is even more pronounced when it comes to Iran.

Airing Ankara’s worries, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin declared, “The unilateral US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement will lead to new conflicts and instability.” He added, “We do not wish the Iranian people to be negatively affected by these sanctions and we won’t hesitate to do our part if we’re to do something about them.”

China and India has set up barter deals to do business with Iran using local currencies, while Turkey conducts some gold for oil deals with Iran.

Indonesia and Vietnam also buy weapon systems from Russia, and thus risk U.S. sanctions.
Washington has already threatened Iraq with sanctions for considering buying Russian weapon systems. It didn't stop Iraq from purchasing Russian tanks.

While Europe's rebellion to our Iran sanctions have gotten alot of press, what has mostly slipped through the cracks is that it is pushing Europe and Russia together.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Russia this week once threatened to split France from its European allies. Now it’s part of a wider European effort to tie President Vladimir Putin to the Iran nuclear accord.

Much of this has been building since 2009, and the fall-out of the 2008 Wall Street crash. China and Russia had already laid the groundwork for an alternative financial/trading system by 2014.
But things have accelerated under Trump because he acts likes a schoolyard bully, and the world isn't his schoolyard.

Daniel Chirot, Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington, said the Trump administration "believes it can bully other countries into acceding to its demands, even if those are often mistaken".
"The Trump administration is oblivious to the harm it is doing to relations with friendly allies," Chirot told Al Jazeera.

At this rate, all of Asia but the Gulf nations and a few Far East nations will be permanently outside of American hegemony by the end of Trump's first term.
This is where the decline of the American Empire starts.

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36 users have voted.

Comments

Azazello's picture

There are erstwhile revolutionaries who insist that elections are pointless and that we must rise up and throw our bodies against heavily armed, militarized police in order to bring an end to Anglo-American imperialism. I don't think that's true. The empire is dying, like they all do, from natural causes. Our President is accelerating that process. I say, Bravo Mr. Prez. Bring it on, more Pompeos, more Boltons and Haspels. There may be some pain at first, but we'll all be better off when America is no longer exceptional.

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25 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Azazello And who's saying we have to throw our bodies at the pigs?
The (alleged) quote by Mark Twain comes to mind, "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated".

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9 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Azazello

Godsend indeed ...

There are erstwhile revolutionaries who insist that elections are pointless and that we must rise up and throw our bodies against heavily armed, militarized police in order to bring an end to Anglo-American imperialism. I don't think that's true. The empire is dying, like they all do, from natural causes. Our President is accelerating that process. I say, Bravo Mr. Prez. Bring it on, more Pompeos, more Boltons and Haspels. There may be some pain at first, but we'll all be better off when America is no longer exceptional.

I think that most Asian nations realize, too, that the American 99% have little or nothing to do with the crapola our so-called "leaders" puke out at them. They know we can't vote against Wall Street in any meaningful way.

What an irony it is that the likes of Iran, China, and Russia, by resisting America's military-industrial-financial-hegemonic complex, may well end up restoring actual democracy to America herself!

In that regard, these occurrances are a Godsend to the American 99%, too. Wink

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13 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

re: Iran

Americans were already not permitted to trade with Iran, except in a few cases. Now, everyone is prohibited from buying, selling, or investing in Iran. But Germany has more than 100 companies established in Iran, and 10,000 which trade with it. The Italians are very present; the French have Peugeot, Renault, Total. And the European Union buys 40% of the oil exported by Iran. Airbus had just sold more than 100 planes. All of this will have to stop.
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18 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

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20 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

edg's picture

Japan and China, enemies for centuries, brought together by the US. Pakistan and India, enemies for decades, brought together by the US. China and Russia, enemies for centuries, brought together by the US. Is there any rift the US cannot heal?

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26 users have voted.

@edg
Arrogance is a common theme for late-stage Empire.

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17 users have voted.

@edg

... Is there any rift the US cannot heal?

Just the sort having to do with income disparity and, of course, that between the application of law to Those Who Matter and the 99% who don't.

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18 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

no one cares about Russiagate

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) communications director Meredith Kelly admitted on Monday night that voters in swing districts don't care about the Russia investigation involving President Donald Trump.
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21 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

I suspect that judo master Putin was behind Russiagate hysteria, thus screwing Dims yet again.

son of a gun, that guy is slick.

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19 users have voted.

@irishking besides "A Better Deal"? Who knew?

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12 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Snode

They have a message? besides "A Better Deal"? Who knew?

The Dems don't even have that message as a party. Look how they treat their own who do have that message and want to make it stick.

Bad

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12 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

WoodsDweller's picture

all because Hillary Clinton has hacked Trump's iPhone. Trump is the real victim here. When will Congress investigate Crooked Hillary's hacking activities?

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15 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

@WoodsDweller
It's all because of Russian Twitter bots.
We've all been brainwashed by Russian puppy memes.

Speaking of Hillary

Many Clinton allies say Sanders played a role in Clinton’s defeat, and former aides to the Democratic nominee still sneer at Sanders.

On Monday, Dan Schwerin, Clinton’s speechwriter who helped write her book “What Happened,” took to Twitter to pile on after a news report called Sanders’s grass-roots group “flailing.”

“Brutal,” Schwerin wrote.

Last week, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill also gave short shrift to Sanders.

“I too want to see free college become a reality,” Merrill wrote on Twitter. “But I’ve done no more legislatively to accomplish that than Bernie Sanders. Thus, the title of my book will not include the word ‘win’ in it.”

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14 users have voted.
CB's picture

of the puppy memes.

After watching that video of the stupid Russian dog, my cat has informed me that felines are much more persuasive, especially when it comes to political views, and they were the ones responsible for denying Her Heinous the throne.

@gjohnsit

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12 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@CB

After watching that video of the stupid Russian dog, my cat has informed me that felines are much more persuasive, especially when it comes to political views, and they were the ones responsible for denying Her Heinous the throne.

I've said for years that Socks was the brains in that family.....

Too bad he wasn't the one in power! Smile

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7 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

k9disc's picture

during the election and Democratic cheating in the primaries than I am of Russians.

Ashamed to admit that I don't say it much Social Media (SoMe)...

I did say that all the 21st Century Presidents were War Criminals by any reasonable War Crime standards, though. I'm going to continue on that front. Who knows, maybe I'll get brave enough to challenge the Russia narrative?

It's really scary, though, that's some strong authoritah they got there. It is a rhetorical hill to die upon in American political discourse. Not sure if I can do that on SoMe.

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19 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

"It is a scandal in contemporary international law, don’t forget, that while “wanton destruction of towns, cities and villages” is a war crime of long standing, the bombing of cities from airplanes goes not only unpunished but virtually unaccused. Air bombardment is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the antistate terrorists who ever lived. Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality. In the United States we would not consider for the presidency a man who had once thrown a bomb into a crowded restaurant, but we are happy to elect a man who once dropped bombs from airplanes that destroyed not only restaurants but the buildings that contained them and the neighborhoods that surrounded them. I went to Iraq after the Gulf war and saw for myself what the bombs did; “wanton destruction” is just the term for it.

– C. Douglas Lummis, political scientist

the long list is here...

who will stop the US when 'our' chickens finally come home to roost?

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15 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 – A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

source

Roosting chickens? Fuck, we can't even avoid bombing ourselves!

Bad

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8 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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2 users have voted.

None of those countries have standards of living high enough to sustain their own manufacturing base(s).
We're the world's biggest customer (importer). With the huge trade deficits we run with the rest of the world, it would be a net-plus for the US if those countries insist on isolating themselves.

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4 users have voted.

Mike Taylor

@Mike Taylor

a net-plus for the US if those countries insist on isolating themselves

It's the U.S. that is isolating itself. All of those Asian nation, plus now Europe, are reaching out to each other.
It's the U.S. that wants to shut doors.

Hell, the State Department isn't even half-staffed. So how much do we really want to talk if there are no diplomats?

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24 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

that the American standard of living has, at this point, dropped to the point where 2/3rds of Americans couldn't handle an emergency costing more than a few hundred bucks - and this drop in US living standards is worsening in proportion to the increases of wealth being sucked out of them now to the top fraction only of the 1%.

There is virtually no real economy remaining; the fragments are swirling around the bowl as we speak.

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15 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Ellen North

There is virtually no real economy remaining; the fragments are swirling around the bowl as we speak.

Good point, Ellen! FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) is no basis for a real economy! (Unless, of course, you're already stinking fucking rich....)

Bad

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10 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides

what comes around has to go around in sufficient quantities to maintain health in an economy, or die-off begins and ultimately cascades into disaster for all concerned and unable to migrate elsewhere.

When this is applied globally, no elsewhere remains.

Edited to add and riff off of the obvious which you already know, that '... FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) is no basis for a real economy! ...' because too much of it essentially creates nothing real, under currently distorted circumstances generally involving wealth sucked out of the many for the few rather than goods, services and enough circulation of wealth to maintain all areas of the economy.

A country is an arbitrary designation for an area populated by a specific group of people; the public good (which includes the environment and animal welfare) is the good of the country, which would not exist without the citizens forming it.

Whatever acts against the interests of that public good is an act against the good and security of the country; true patriotism therefore involves protecting the public good against predation and other abuses, as the two are intertwined.

Under any label, only a tyranny demands that the people be sacrificed for the state, as personified in the person(s) of the top oligarch(s); peeling off the neo labels to look at the principles involved can simplify the basics considerably and help to defeat attempts at confusion for the purpose of manipulation.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

CB's picture

@Mike Taylor
in the last few years. American consumers are taped out from decades of purchasing on credit. China and other developing countries have a higher savings rate and their burgeoning middle classes have increasing amounts of cash to spend.

The Rise of the Asian Consumer
...
The great economic expansion of the post-World War II era was fueled, to a significant extent, by the acquisitive American consumer. U.S. shoppers, flocking to their local malls, were coveted by companies from Ford to Sony to Samsung. The Gap jeans, Apple iPhones and Nike sneakers they purchased created the jobs that alleviated poverty in countries like South Korea and China and continue to help the poor today in Vietnam, Bangladesh and other countries. The American consumer was just plain indispensable to the global economy – and for the most part, irreplaceable.

Now, however, the American household is losing that stature. As incomes rise in once-poor, but rapidly growing developing economies, more and more families are joining the global middle class. And nowhere is that happening faster or with greater impact than in emerging Asia. According to a 2017 study by the Brookings Institution, 88 percent of the next 1 billion people to enter the middle class globally will be Asians. The size of the Asian middle class is expected to reach nearly 3.5 billion people, or 65 percent of the world's total, by 2030, a dramatic increase from 1.4 billion in 2015.

China figures large in this transformation, but is not the only source of new Asian consumers. Brookings predicts that India will contribute 380 million people of the next 1 billion to reach the middle class – more than the contribution from China.

These Asian shoppers already play a critical role in the world economy. Brookings figures that in 2015, newly wealthy consumers in China and India already outspent their American counterparts, accounting for a combined 17 percent of consumption by the global middle class compared to 13 percent for the U.S. That gap will continue to widen. By 2030, the middle class in China and India will spend 39 percent of the global total; the U.S. will account for just 7 percent.

Such optimism about future prosperity was shown clearly in this year's Best Countries survey.
...
In many respects, the rise of the Asian consumer is good news. For the past six decades, global growth has been overly dependent on the U.S. – thus the old adage that if America sneezes, the world catches cold. But now the Asian consumer is creating an entirely new pillar of consumption to support the global economy. That's a boon to companies, as well. Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw recently noted that the company "now has two significant profit engines" – North America and Asia. In its last fiscal year, comparable sales in China rose 7 percent; those in the U.S., 3 percent.
...
"Globalization has untethered American companies from America," says James McGregor, chairman of consulting firm APCO Worldwide for China. "The leaders of China and India are becoming more important to many American multinationals than the people in Washington."
...

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17 users have voted.

@CB

and I believe this results in, and is a result of, increases in wages and improved working conditions in Asia. Which is essentially what we want, because that means manufacturing in Asia will start to cost more and compare less favorably to manufacturing in the United States. Therefore we will see more manufacturing in the United States. If and when manufacturing decision makers see no more people it can bludgeon and strangle into poor working conditions, maybe we'll see world peace, or maybe we'll stop underwriting the costs of bludgeoning and oppression.

This, I think, was essentially the argument Lincoln engaged in as he ran for president. Why should the people of the United States cover the cost of oppressing labor? All we were getting for it was a loss of free labor and a degenerate elite.

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12 users have voted.
CB's picture

@Linda Wood
countries will not increase manufacturing jobs. China is now working to become the world's leader in artificial intelligence and robotics.

Even menial McD's jobs are under robotic assault.

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6 users have voted.

Starting with Obama and now with Trump, the neocons are forcing allies to pay dearly for their foreign policy decisions via sanctions. Sanctions will work in the short term as EU companies heavily invested in the US will be screwed otherwise.

I am not sure that the sanctions will necessarily bring warmer relations with between the EU and Russia. The German FM is pounding his chest about Russia. I doubt if sanctions will be lifted over Crimea. I am beginning to think the German/Austrian companies involved with Nord Stream 2 may back out. Another false flag chemical attack and France will go along with some more bombing in Syria.

There will be temporary alliances for sure, but long term, maybe not.

However, while maybe not closer ties with Russia, definitely a drawing back from the US. Except for UK will any European country support a US war with Iran? Maybe Poland and Ukraine. Definitely no Asia country will support US military policy.

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14 users have voted.

@MrWebster

I am beginning to think the German/Austrian companies involved with Nord Stream 2 may back out.

I doubt it because there is already too much sunk cost.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier defended the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as Chancellor Angela Merkel met President Vladimir Putin in Russia Saturday, World Oil reported. Last week, the US warned it may impose sanctions to prevent Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom PJSC from completing the Nord Stream 2 link under the Baltic Sea.
..Altmaier said US efforts to block the link seem to be aimed at protecting Europe as a market for exports of gas in its liquid form from America. “They are looking for markets, which we can understand, and they can land it here easily," Altmaier said in an interview with German TV station ARD’s Morgenmagazin program. “But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream 2 on its own won’t guarantee exports."

We will probably sanction them, and the pipeline will happen anyway.
This will create a diplomatic rift.

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15 users have voted.

@gjohnsit Looks like Germans will stand tall on this one.

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11 users have voted.
edg's picture

@MrWebster

If I recall correctly, twas Germany that invaded Russia in 1941 after a certain dude with a mustache pounded his chest. Seems like Russia has more to fear from Germany than the other way around.

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5 users have voted.
Alphalop's picture

@edg think we could get Trump to grow one?

I'm not fond of German language but if it comes with health-care I could probably pick it up... Wink

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3 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

@Alphalop

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Alphalop's picture

@Ellen North @Ellen North now I don't think I will ever get the image of an orange one out of my head, lol!

Just a cheeto nub...

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0 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me