America has demonstrated under its weak Presidency that N. Korea with the backing of China is a stronger nation. Trump and Kim Jong-Un had a few nasty barking sessions and that is about it. N. Korea’s nuclear program is defensive only and doubtlessly the US will now not venture into China or Asia’s backyard. The Chinese message should sink in well if Vietnam is still in American memory.
The US had been engaged in a war of words with N. Korea terming it as a rogue state for developing nuclear and missile delivery systems aimed at it. CNN had published an interesting opinion by Jennifer Lind (Associate Professor of government at Dartmouth College) titled Will Trump’s hardball tactics work on China and North Korea? Lind wrote that in China’s view, North Korea is not the menacing rogue state; America is; that China sees North Korea as motivated by insecurity. The Chinese say that because the United States is so much more powerful, and because the United States goes around the world toppling governments, it’s no wonder that Pyongyang wants nuclear weapons. Iran shares same opinion.
It is no enigma, however, that Muslim nations whose leaders are corrupt are weaker than America but Iran is different and American leadership is unable to tackle Iran directly. The theater for the Great War will be in Asia’s Middle East, not Far East.
In my article “The Great War for Civilization: Lessons from History” I’d referenced an embedded video of Jerry Day titled We are being Judged by What We Permit to be Done. Hitler lied to the Germans and created an idealist nation based on hate, bigotry and war mongering threatening Europe and Jews. No one needs to be reminded the consequences of WW2. The world is now witnessing a similar idealism deepening in America from Trump’s alt-Right supporters.
There are now ever increasing flashpoints, domestic as well as global, that could lead to the Great War – one of desperation which had led to WW2. America is a nation in deep economic and socio-moral crisis at home while it continues its relentless belligerency towards other nations who do not antagonize it.
For a moment if Trump’s idealism of hate, bigotry and war mongering is ignored, there is a catastrophic epidemic growing within America. Donald Trump’s bipartisan opioid commission said 142 Americans die from drug overdoses every day. Since 1999, the number of American overdose deaths involving opioids (drugs such as fentanyl which is a hundred times more powerful than morphine and that act on the nervous system to relieve pain) has quadrupled, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died of drug overdoses, one death every 19 minutes, and opioids account for the majority of those. “It’s a problem the likes of which we have never seen and that no one is safe from the addiction” Trump admitted.
America is a deeply indebted nation due to cheap money printed following the great recession of 2008. Besides opioids Americans are addicted to the cheap money and being as severely addicted as their country, it has somehow stolen their sense of working hard and saving which had truly made America Great. This has led to the opioid addiction which is growing as determined by Trump’s Commission. The jobs that are being created are low paying service oriented, not manufacturing. Low cost consumer products with which Americans are addicted also are mainly manufactured in China and other Asian countries with which American entrepreneurship under a greed driven capitalist system cannot compete. Besides manufacturing the US is also gradually surrendering its service (financial and technological) edge to Asia.
Iran has been within Trump’s focus. He has promised to tear up the Iranian nuclear agreement of 2015 during elections. He has not yet at least and cannot but this is not preventing his administration to find excuses. According to The Times of Israel of August 7, 2017 Iran has termed the US suggestion of inspection of its military sites as absurd and a dream. The Iranian comment followed the Trump administration which is “pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal.” Trump’s aides have called “serious flaws” in the landmark deal that — if not resolved quickly — will likely lead Trump to pull out. Will he follow through with the excuse? Not likely. Trump’s ace card is not Iran. It is Saudi Arabia, a weak nation addicted to America.
As I wrote in my second article The Great War for Civilization: The Reasoning, the Muslim world is faced with a three pronged problem- fundamentalism, terrorism and extremism- that just are not disappearing. It started with Wahhabi Saudi Arabia in 1979 that with American support financed and sent the Jihadists (so called religious warriors) from various Muslim countries into Pakistan to eliminate Soviet Russia. They won in 1989. The Muslim world celebrated as victors delivering America its prize. America wanted more prizes so they engineered the coup de grace in 1990. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was tricked into invading Kuwait followed by the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq followed by its venture into Libya and Syria.
Saudi Arabia now has a young, 31 year old, reckless, pro-American Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) whose younger brother Khalid is Saudi Ambassador to the US. Both would likely serve the US as have other princes. Their 81 year old ruling father is sick and has delegated MBS to make all decisions. Can MBS be tricked into invading Qatar as Saddam was tricked into invading Kuwait? Shifting alliances are very common in the Muslim world. Qatar, due to the recent Saudi led trumped up unjustified embargo, is now allied with Iran and Turkey.
Qatar has invested its energy funds wisely by developing educational, technological and industrial infrastructure. It possesses a large sovereign wealth fund, highly attractive for Saudi Arabia and US. In many instances, Qatar is economically synonymous to pre-1990 Kuwait and as such is a candidate for a similar situation.
The embargo and an American inspired invasion of Qatar would likely be a clear recipe for Muslim Sunni and Muslim Shia civil war. Most importantly the US or Europe would not be blamed for the civil war which could easily flounder into global conflagration- the Great War.
The views expressed are the author’s own and not necessarily represent ones of the ORIENTAL REVIEW Editorial.