The imposition of sanctions on Washington by a world whose development is being grievously impeded by its brutal and asphyxiating hegemony is overdue.
The world that is invites us at seminal moments to contemplate the world that is not in obeisance to the understanding of history and historical events as the story of the roads not taken.
Imagine for a moment if instead of Alexander’s Macedonians invading and conquering the vastness of the Persian Empire, it had been the Persian Emperor Darius who’d invaded and conquered Macedonia and the Greek city-states with his elite army of Immortals. What kind of world would have been fashioned as a consequence?
Imagine if the outcome of the Second Punic War had not been Hannibal’s defeat at the hands of Rome but his victory over what was then a rising imperialist power and empire, crushing it at an early stage and thus changing the course of history.
Imagine, too, if the Europe of monarchy and aristocracy represented by the army of Wellington had been defeated by Napoleon’s Grand Armee at Waterloo instead of the other way round; imagine the succor such an outcome would have provided to the growing cause of republicanism and democracy in those parts of the continent where autocracy still reigned.
More pertinently, concerning us today, what if instead of the Soviet Union and really existing socialism leaving the pages of history in the early 1990s it had been US/Western imperialism and forces of free market capitalism that had gone down history’s plughole? Would such a world be better or worse than this one, more or less secure and stable? Ultimately the answer to those questions will vary according to where it is asked, in which parts of the world it is put.
Of the many countries and peoples with cause to lament the demise of the Soviet Union and the concomitant rise of US and Western hegemony, Iran and its people stand front and center.
Subjected as the country now is to the sanctions-happy mercies of a Trump administration whose actions are ever more consistent with a New York mafia crime family rather than a government engaged in the serious business of statecraft, Iran may hopefully be able to retrieve a semblance of satisfaction in the fact that its current position in the crosshairs of the Trump White House is a badge of honor rather than disgrace.
Simply put, Iran does not bow – as neither does Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, North Korea, Russia, and China; each of which is being bludgeoned, sanctioned, threatened, blockaded, maligned, and/or provoked by this out of control hegemonic juggernaut, to the obvious delight and glee of Western ideologues for whom the suffering of other people’s children is always a price worth paying.
The resumption of pre-JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) era sanctions on Iran is designed to exert maximum pressure on the country’s government via the exertion of maximum suffering on its people. It is a dynamic that should leave no one in doubt that economic and trade sanctions are a weapon of war, a war being waged across the world by an empire whose very survival is contingent on absolute domination economically, militarily, culturally, and geopolitically.
Such a world gives rise to its very own monsters – regime change wars, both direct and indirect by proxy; resulting refugee and migrant crises; and of course extremism and terrorism – monsters that have in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America succeeded in turning societies and entire countries in on themselves in recent times.
A recent piece run by the London Financial Times (no friend of the mad neocon-depicted ‘mad mullahs’ in Tehran, it should be noted) highlights the plight of Tehran housewife Malak in relation to Washington’s incoming sanctions tsunami. “‘It’s horrendous,’ says the 41-year-old mother of two, complaining that inflations has made red meat and fresh fruit unaffordable. ‘We are being tortured, little by little, day by day.'”
The FT thereafter provides a sober accounting of what’s in store as a result of the American Nero Trump’s economic assault on ordinary Iranians: “The financial pain is about to get worse [as a result of] Mr Trump’s decision in May to abandon the landmark nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015. While the US is seeking to change the behaviour of the regime in Tehran, it is poor Iranians who are likely to bear the brunt of the sanctions.”
The key passage in the previous aforementioned is “While the US is seeking to change the behaviour of the regime in Tehran.” Contained within this short passage is the very inversion that a world struggling to depart the kingdom of hegemony and enter the kingdom of justice must confront and contend with before any such journey can be successfully completed.
For it is, to elaborate, the extent to which the world succeeds in changing the behavior of the regime in Washington that dictates whether it is to remain a prisoner of US domination or be liberated from it. And lest there be a residue of doubt, liberation will not come easy and can only be won at a price – the price of a near complete and total restructuring of the global economic and geopolitical architecture.
No one on the right side of sanity would ever conceive of military confrontation with Washington as a rational choice or option, given the means of destruction both it and the world at large has at its command. Yet, even so, on the current trajectory of a Trump administration that is America with its mask removed serious military confrontation has never been closer.
Regardless, the well from which US hegemony sustains itself, including militarily, is the position of the dollar at the apex of the global economy. Without the dollar as the world’s primary international reserve currency, US hegemony is unsustainable, making it the soft underbelly of the Empire it has fashioned in its name and image.
Thus de-dollarization (amounting for all intents to de-Americanization) is an idea whose time has come, just as de-Romanization was in and around the 5th century.
Such a course is obviously pregnant with risk – after all, no Empire leaves the stage of history without a struggle on the part of its elite, and normally they collapse as a result of social breakdown within and external pressure combined in a prolonged and untidy sequence – but we have arrived at a moment when the continuation of the status quo is death itself.
Hope and salvation today lies in the ever-closer relationship being forged between Russia and China. It is one that increasingly takes on the character of an anti-hegemonic alliance, which itself may well (hopefully) develop into an anti-hegemonic bloc of sorts with the inclusion of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and the DPRK.
No matter what does come our way, there is no denying that the world’s day of Jubilee will have arrived when the ‘truly’ free world meets to agree the raft of economic and trade sanctions to be imposed on Washington.
For the Malaks in Tehran of this world, it is a day that cannot come soon enough
About the author
John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.