An excellent and detailed critique of the “end of empire” situation currently facing the US in the light of Germany, Britain, New Zealand and Turkey’s refusal to join the Huawei boycott.
Published on 21SilkRoad [Facebook Group], Feb 24, 2019
America’s full-spectrum campaign against Chinese tech leader Huawei is coming spectacularly undone. Curtains are imminent for Washington’s tawdriest global offensive in recent memory – featuring open extortion, kidnapping, demonization and intimidation of both friends and foes.
The signs were becoming progressively clear, as we noted in this group a couple of months ago (link 2 below). But de facto refusals to boycott in the past few days by staunch US allies Germany (link 1), Britain (link 3) and New Zealand, as well as NATO member Turkey (link 4) have all but sealed the deal. After all, hardly any country outside the Empire is signing on.
Even 61% of CNN viewers thought the move was motivated by politics, against 24% who believe Washington’s “national-security” line. All that apparently persuaded POTUS Trump to tweet about winning the tech race with China “through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.”
Washington’s stunning defeat stems from US leaders’ hidebound hubris, their utter inability to conceive of a world in which their country was no longer No. 1 in anything significant. Such navel-gazing put them to sleep, oblivious that history has marched past them in the form of China’s Huawei Technologies. Simple fact is – as Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei has been saying (link 5) – the Chinese firm is far ahead of everyone else in the development of 5G. Any nation that doesn’t want to be left behind rolling out the game-changing, next-generation communications technology has little choice but to do business with Huawei. Moreover, the firm has taken a leading role in shaping the very rules of 5G, on a global basis (link 6). Like China itself, Huawei simply cannot be contained.
There’s a bigger question underlying the Battle Over Huawei: Will it turn out to be the Suez Crisis of the American Empire? That 1956 watershed in the Middle East clearly signaled the end of the British Empire’s century-long domination of world affairs. America’s Eisenhower stopped cold a UK-led invasion of Egypt by threatening to dump Washington’s huge holdings of pound-sterling bonds and cripple the British financial system. China may not have hinted at selling its hoard of US Treasurys, but such a move has long been implicit.
After Suez, the world knew for certain there was a new No. 1 power: the United States. The battleground in 1956 was oil; in 2019, it is technology.
On other fronts, the signs are grim for Imperial Washington as well. Besides the revolt of the Europeans over Huawei, the German government is at odds with the Trump regime over a growing number of issues. They include Germany refusing to buy America’s F-35 jetfighter; spearheading the creation of a European Army, together with France; cementing Berlin’s (and the EU’s) ties to Russia through energy pipelines; forging a more independent European foreign policy; and, it’s whispered, eventually getting the US “army of occupation” out of Germany (link 1). If she proceeds, Chancellor Merkel will have solid public backing. A recent poll found that 85% of Germans considered Berlin’s relationship with the US “negative.” Some 42% said China made a more reliable partner for Germany than the US, while only 23% said the opposite.
In Asia too, Washington has been losing ground. Behind the scenes, the leaders of North and South Korea are spearheading the accelerating moves towards peace and perhaps eventual reunification, not Trump. They are being discreetly supported and guided by China, especially Xi Jinping (link 7). Even faithful US ally Japan has been engaging its Chinese archrivals in détente, even as it distances itself from an increasingly erratic Washington.
In the Middle East, America’s headaches are intensifying with a bedrock associate, Saudi Arabia. This week, Riyadh’s volatile, headstrong Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is visiting India and China in a clear bid to diversify his country’s reliance on the US for economic development as well as security.
In the American homeland, meanwhile, bitter political divisions make daily headlines, exacerbated by the pugnacious style of the Trump regime. Nativism and racism have raised their ugly heads to new highs for recent times.
Abroad, vassals are talking back and breaking ranks, while rivals gain ground and influence at US expense. At home, the nation chases its own tail incessantly, even as national institutions decay.
How much longer can the Empire hold?