The U.S. has lost respect worldwide and control of West Asia and other regions.
A historic peace deal was announced March 10, 2023, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran adopting a trilateral peace agreement brokered by the People’s Republic of China.
In an instant the United States and its NATO allies lost control of West Asia and, most importantly, the international economic system has now begun to fragment. What this deal entailed is principally the normalization and re-establishment of relations between divided foes, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which has set in motion a global domino effect. Not too long after, a peace agreement was announced in Yemen that finally holds the prospect of ending a genocidal war that had been part of the U.S. strategy of trying to isolate and contain Iran.
The international economic system since the last world war has been dominated by one globe-spanning corporate power, America above all other nations. The system is most notable for the dominance of the U.S. dollar, which was christened at the Bretton Woods Conference after World War II. In the 1960s French Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing said that this system of American international finance is one of “exorbitant privilege,” thus coining the term of U.S. dollar dominance.
The USA props up its monopolies with the offset of international trading countries who have no other option but use the U.S. dollar as the international trade currency. The only state in the world who may intervene upon the U.S. dollar is the USA, in which money supply, money creation, interest, and price can be manipulated through central institutions like the Federal Reserve in the American interest, not any other nation or state’s interest.
America is reliant on a system of finance which outsources production to places where it is cheaper to do, as America loses its old productive forces as production moves outside of its borders through corporate monopolies becoming multinational. In-order to exploit the natural resources, cheap labor, and dominate the markets of other nations and states, America relies upon finance to keep its new form afloat
International trade is exchanged in U.S. dollars, through banking systems such as SWIFT, even if commerce occurs between countries other than the United States and whose currencies would not normally be the U.S. dollar.
However, many countries are now losing confidence in U.S. economic well-being and increasingly are attracted to rival powers like China and Russia and trying to form rival political-economic blocs.
Prominent economist Zoltan Pozsar says that the dominance of the dollar is now being challenged—along with U.S. global supremacy
The work to usher in a world of two systems has begun as many countries are non-aligning from the USA and it’s imperialist hegemony, however, under pressure to pick a bloc, countries like Saudi Arabia have defied the USA, choosing the alternative to NATO–the newly forming BRICS.
Saudi Arabia’s normalization and peace deal with Iran coincides with the interest to join the emerging financial infrastructure such as the New Development Bank (NDB), which a growing number of countries are partaking in the non alignment from the U.S. system, which is now snowballing into a movement
The most urgent need for the developing world, particularly in the last year since Russia’s Special Military Operation began, is a replacement of the SWIFT system, such as Russia’s SPFS interbank messaging system, and the potential of nations to trade in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, without fear of secondary sanction.
Russia has undertaken these new systems in the face of crippling U.S. sanctions, imposed under fraudulent pretexts, which have targeted its banking system and sought to freeze it out.
Saudi Arabia is known for its enormous energy sector and having a strong role in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The precession of these deals comes with the emerging possibilities of global trade with power-players like OPEC trading in yuan and other currencies in the near future. The global shift is gaining mass now, as countries tumble from the U.S. dollar. By April 2023, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa had surpassed the G7 nations in economic might. With Saudi Arabia heading OPEC, the economic weight of the non-aligning BRICS countries has become significant.
Diplomacy is easy if you try, and even easier when the bully isn’t in the room
Normalization and the establishment of relations of countries in West Asia ushers a new era in a region historically plundered and divided by Neocolonial forces for decades, reaping chaos and disaster in the name of US War on Terror, by swelling the U.S. military industrial complex in never ending war, taking the region’s natural resources,—namely oil, denial of competition, denial of sovereignty over the markets of regime changed states, and dividing supply chains pertaining to where trade can route and with whom.
Saudi Arabia now holds a great deal of leverage in its non-alignement from the USA. Saudi Arabia is treading carefully not to dump the Americans altogether. Russia, Syria, and Iran have had very little choice due to the sanctions against them.
The self-determination of the region was reset and accelerated by Chinese mediation, in which non-interference and win-win cooperation are the new norms between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. During the previous peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the USA had sabotaged them by assassinating Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in 2020 who had been overseeing the peace process. By restarting the process. Beijing sponsored the diplomatic reset in Beijing without fear of sabotage.
The Western rules based international order as a paradigm has peddled that intervention, installation of new governments backed by the U.S., and enforcement of norms violations as America–sees it, would dictate the only way a so-called ‘Middle East’ could develop. However, Chinese mediation has dawned a new period for the international situation by simply showing a will to try something else, whereby the win-win character of pluri-polar diplomacy has nothing to lose, and all the potential benefit to the world’s people to gain in cooperation and non-interference.
You cannot divide and conquer a geopolitical domino effect in real time
The region has generally responded very well to the developments. Syria and Iraq have weighed in with similar interest in détente and cooperation in rebuilding the region. In 2021 Iraq had issued an arrest warrant for Trump over the assassination of Iranian general Soleimani, to rouse justice over the sabotaged prospects for the region’s other countries.
The New York Times had reported on March 10, “…could lead to a major realignment in the Middle East”. Past attempts to normalize the region based upon diplomacy and security had been seriously attempted. The difference now, is a clear snub to US imperialism.
The entire region’s nations and states–share a concern against U.S. imperialism. The non-alignment from the USA could be a sign of future alignment with the escalating New Cold War and the rise of China, which leaves the USA’s reputation ‘on-notice’ for the entire region.
The war on Yemen has seen very little prospects for Saudi interests since the war reached a stalemate by 2015, beyond the proxy interests of the USA in the regional denial of Iran. By normalizing with Iran, the proxy war on Saudi Arabia’s border neighbor of Yemen appears to be a regional liability of casualties and money, and whether the USA’s proxy continues to be convincing enough for the Kingdom to wage it on their behalf is up in the air. With the extension of a truce, Saudi’s Americanized foreign concept remains ‘peace through war’. Truces may not develop to peace until the US stops meddling in West Asia’s regional affairs.
Reports show that Saudi Arabia is set to reopen embassies with Syria, with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad making a landmark visit to Saudi Arabia on April 12 2023, signaling to the region an era of re-integration. Biden has committed to the continued occupation of Syria regardless of the sovereign surviving state re-integrating into the region.
Considering the normalization of West Asia, the economic temptation is rising for Pakistan to defy the US sanctions in proceeding with the Peace Pipeline with Iran, which would likely reveal the U.S. backed snakes mid-way into a coup to depose the democratically elected leader, Imran Khan. The internal pressure in Pakistan was already high.
The U.S., meanwhile, has been up to its old tricks in Pakistan where the Biden administration backed a coup against democratically elected leader Imran Khan, who attempted to defy U.S. sanctions by proceeding with a “peace pipeline” with Iran.
A bully on the defensive
But soon the “bully” won’t have many friends left to carry out its dirty agendas by proxy.
The standard is that anyone who resists Washington will be pegged for regime change. Washington, however, is now furious at the Middle East’s re-alignment. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has anticipated retaliation and now holds the international economy by its hair.
Saudi Arabia will not sell oil to any country that imposes price ceilings on its supplies,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said following the trilateral deal in March. The OPEC+ alliance would stick to production cuts agreed in October until the end of the year, and remains wary of the NOPEC bill (No Oil Production and Export Cartels) which has been proposed by the U.S. Senate along with other price caps imposed by Western countries.
Going forward with antitrust NOPEC legislation against OPEC could result in a dangerous backlash in global economic volatility and instability, especially if Saudi Arabia isn’t bluffing. On April 2nd 2023, the OPEC+ alliance of countries announced unexpected production cuts which will begin by May 2023 in anticipation of reduced demand due to global economic slowdown.
When 2 million bpd were cut in October of 2022, another 1.5 million bpd will be cut by May between OPEC and non-OPEC countries (OPEC+). “The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the White House announced.
Two considerations can be made in the surprise OPEC+ announcement, neither of which are exclusive of each other. First is the consequences of a systemic banking crisis after several banks collapsed, slowing the world economy with crude dropping to less than 75$ per barrel. A 10% drop in price marks a 15-month low. The second factor is the context of the aforementioned threat of turning off the taps in retaliation to the proposed antitrust measures such as NOPEC which comes as the tone from West Asia towards U.S. imperialism turns cold.
U.S. supply replacing displaced Russian energy has put Europe into an energy security crisis, where the supply chains remain fragile as American teeth sink into an unsettled Europe. Such volatility could put Europe on notice as a sacrificial lamb if Washington does not take the Saudi warning seriously.
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About the Author
Morrigan Johnson is an anti-imperialist writer and poet based in Calgary, Canada.
Morrigan currently leads the Calgary Peace Council. He has published on geopolitics, war and peace, international economy, and international governance.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
Great article. The participation of China and that Syria will rejoin the Arab community of nations is missing from the west media reports I’ve see.