“The notion of a once-dominant nation in decline seems inconceivable to most Americans and its ruling authorities, yet it’s happening in plain sight,” Chicago-based Stephen Lendman told Tasnim in an interview.
“The US is a nation in decline — while China, Russia, and other nations are rising world powers,” he said, adding, “The myth of American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, an illusory moral superiority, and military supremacy persist despite hard evidence debunking these notions.”
Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for MoneyNewsNow.com and VeteransToday.com and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: Some analysts and media reports suggest that the recent G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, ended in failure as deep divisions between the US under Donald Trump and its closest allies became more evident. For example, the US-Europe dispute over Trump’s trade war with China was not bridged even a bit in the summit. Do not you think that these disputes indicate that the US allies are distancing themselves from Trump and his shifting policies?
Lendman: G7 summits are talking shops, things agreed on arranged in advance by senior and lower-level officials. Bilateral and multilateral relations that matter play out away from formal gatherings. There’s considerable disquiet among world community leaders over hardline Trump regime actions toward China and Iran. At a time when the global economy is softening, heading toward a likely recession in the months ahead, maybe a protracted stiff one, Trump trade/tariffs war with China is making things worse. What harms the US economy reverberates globally, especially in Europe and emerging markets worldwide. G7 nations Britain, France, Germany (and the EU) back Trump’s JCPOA pullout by not fulfilling their mandated commitments — an international agreement unanimously affirmed by the Security Council, making it binding international law. European and other G7 nations (Britain a likely exception) oppose possible Trump regime war on Iran, what would devastate the Middle East far more than already if launched. Is Trump isolated on the world stage as the Wall Street Journal suggested? Regardless of how Western leaders feel about him, their nations are very much allied with the US geopolitically — despite disagreements on some issues.
Tasnim: It seems that even Asian allies of the US have also distanced themselves from the Trump administration. For instance, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared in early August that his country would never allow the United States to deploy missile systems on its soil. Although there exists the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States, Duterte said he would bar the entry of foreign weapons, including nuclear arsenal in the country since this is considered a violation of the Philippine Constitution. What is your take on that? How do you assess the future of US relations with its Asian allies?
Lendman: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is allied with the US while forging closer ties to China. Last week, he met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing, his fifth visit to China. Its Xinhua news agency said both leaders have “a firm faith and strong will to bridge their differences and push aside any distractions.” Both leaders seek positive bilateral relations. Separately, Duterte vowed he’ll “never” let the US deploy nukes in the Philippines, adding, “I will never allow any foreign troops…I don’t want to fight China…If you go to war and (nations) release…nuclear missiles…this will mean the end of all of us.” China’s Foreign Ministry warned Beijing will “take countermeasures” against deployment of US nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles in the Asia/Pacific region. US relations with most Indo/Pacific countries are positive. At the same time, its hardliners irritate allies and adversaries alike. China’s carrot v. the US stick approach increasingly gains it regional and global allies, weakening US influence.
Tasnim: The Trump administration has walked away from various international agreements, ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. In early August, the US formally withdrew from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, which was signed by the former Soviet Union and the United States back in 1987. What is your assessment of Trump’s policy on international agreements? Are the US moves to renege on its international promises aimed at boosting its global hegemony, which has recently declined very fast?
Lendman: Time and again, the US breaches and/or abandons international treaties and agreements. That is why it can never be trusted. Operating by its own rules exclusively is all about advancing its hegemonic agenda, wars of aggression, color revolutions, and old-fashioned coups, its favored strategies. What’s going on is a failed attempt to regain losing influence. The US is a nation in decline — while China, Russia and other nations are rising world powers. The myth of American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, an illusory moral superiority, and military supremacy persist despite hard evidence debunking these notions. The US was at the height of its power post-WW II, maintained for some years in the post-war era, decline beginning and continuing in recent decades, notably post-9/11. It’s the same dynamic dooming all other empires in history – a nation in decline because of its imperial arrogance, hubris, waging endless wars against invented enemies, and its unwillingness to change. America is a warrior state, both parties pursuing the same course, operating secretly, unaccountably, intrusively, and repressively, a self-destructive agenda. The long-ago founded republic no longer exists, replaced by the imperial state, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military spending while vital homeland needs go begging, social justice disappearing. The notion of a once-dominant nation in decline seems inconceivable to most Americans and its ruling authorities, yet it’s happening in plain sight.