Let's all admit it, the wars we have been fighting in the Middle East have been for resources, mostly oil. When something happens in other parts of the World that are devoid of resources, we invariably ignore it. One only has to look at the situation in Darfur, where people were starving en masse, and we turned a blind eye. If the country isn't in a strategic area, or it has no resources we want, we ignore whatever is happening there.
While we have been using our military to protect and seize the resources we need to keep our economy rolling along, China has been reaching out and making trade deals with other nations and sending men, materials and money to help them improve their situations. Of course they have asked for something in return, and that is to buy Chinese products and use Chinese engineers and contractors to help build their infrastructures. China is firmly entrenched in Latin America, Africa and in other regions of the globe.
Some economists have said that China has already overtaken the US as the World's largest economy. It is also possible, now that Washington has foolishly installed a fascist government in Kiev and caused the Ukraine to basically separate, while blaming Russia and Putin. Now, because of the sanctions the EU and the US has put into place against Russia, that country has seeming fallen into the arms of China.
This has dire consequences for the US. When Obama was re-elected he heralded his "pivot to Asia" doctrine. He wasn't kidding. The United States did attempt to do this but it seems nobody in Asia wanted us there. We tried to re-lease Cam Ron Bay from the Vietnamese and they said no dice. We tried to worm our way into Burma but they, likewise, didn't want us. We did however, get the Japanese to re-arm and got the Australians to let us station Marines there, but we didn't get the big bases we wanted. The Philippines wanted no part of us. The move was a dismal failure.
So what is an Empire to do now that everyone wants us to go away? Well, we always have the Middle East to play with. The only problem is that even if we control the entire Middle East, the Russians still control the natural gas that flows into Europe. This is the primary reason that the EU was reluctant to put sanctions on Russia. Our puppet continent now faces another few years of recession thanks to their friends in Washington. It may even get very cold in some nations this Winter if Russia decides to turn the gas taps off.
Some, like Pepe Escobar and a few others have even predicted that very soon the Russians and the Chinese would stop recognizing the US Dollar as the World's Reserve currency. This is Washington's nightmare. The problem with that scenario is that we could no longer just print money and increase balances on computers by adding a few more zeros to the balance sheets.
So what is Washington to do? Too bad that after World War II we decided (or rather people like the Dulles brothers did) to try to rule the world (or at least subjugate it) with military means. It may have been a good idea at the time, but constantly propping up the economy with spending on the military industrial complex has its limitations. Sooner or later, when you export everything but your defense industry out of the country, jobs become scarce and your economy gets, shall we say, get a little sluggish?
The basic fact here is that while China has it hands in everyone's pockets, we have no money in ours. Because the capitalist's saw they could make truckloads of savings in wages by outsourcing their manufacturing, they forgot that their biggest market was...you guessed it, America. Now they have all these products they are importing from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, and the people in America with all their degrees, can't find jobs. Sure, there are "service jobs" but they just don't pay the bills.
The problem here is that when the top 20% holds 90% of the wealth of this nation, just who is going to buy all these products imported into the US? Just about the only thing that Americans buy anymore are cars to get them to their crappy jobs. Seems like the government forgot about building public transportation. It's a good thing too, or else they wouldn't have any consumer spending at all.
So what is Washington to do? I'm glad I'm not the President because I have no answer for him. Maybe he can sell off some of our $13 Billion Dollar aircraft carriers. We have 12 of them. China only has one, much smaller than ours, maybe they will buy it.
We can of course, try to mend fences with the Russians and bring our manufacturing home. At this time, some companies that outsource to South Korea and China are finding out that the workers there are experiencing a higher standard of living and are clamoring for higher wages. One only has to add the cost of shipping goods back to the United States and they find that their profit margins are getting just a wee bit tight. You don't have to travel to China to see this happening, just go to Wal-Mart and check out the prices. I'd say they are getting a little steep.
We could adopt the Chinese model and pull our missiles, tanks, drones and troops out of all the countries they now can be found in and replace them with department stores full of US products. We could cut the military budget in half and take that money and loan it to nations that need it. They can employ US construction companies and architects to build their infrastructure at fair prices and fair interest on the money we loan them.
The truth is that it is probably we are (although maybe not), too late. What the people in Washington want is power and money for their friends that got them elected. The current model is failing the country but the fact is that they are making too much money to stop. When the bottom falls out (and it will), it won't be the top 20% that are left holding the bag. It will be the bottom 80% that are left penniless. The top 10% will just move to China and invest in their stock market and go along as they always have.
(Article changed on September 20, 2014 at 07:16)