November 10, 2016
The Trump Presidency and U.S. Foreign Policy, Financial Markets, Trading Blocks and Military Alliances By Abayomi Azikiwe
November 10, 2016
An apparent rightward shift will continue the imperialist policies of Washington and Wall Street
Former United States Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton phoned real estate magnate Donald Trump in the early morning hours of November 9 to concede defeat in the national presidential elections.
During the course of 2015-2016, the corporate media networks were highly critical of all campaigns outside the one conducted by Clinton. Nonetheless, both Clinton and Trump were perhaps the most unpopular and even loathed contestants for this office in the modern history of the U.S.
International financial markets were shaken by the prospects of the unknown quantity of Trump in an election which so-called “mainstream” corporate and government-sponsored media had repeatedly predicted up until the last several hours would result in a Clinton victory.
Reports in the press late into the night on November 8 indicating a Trump victory was inevitable prompted U.S. stock futures to decline by five percent in global trading. Asian markets which are essential in American trade policy responded to the shockwaves sent around the world responding to the rhetorical character of the purported “protectionist” line of the Trump campaign. Although by the close of trading on November 9 it was said that markets were rebounding, it is by no means clear what these developments portend for the next few days and weeks.
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal it says:
“The National Retail Federation is keeping a close eye on how Mr. Trump might alter cross-border trade, tax policy and labor laws. ‘The retail supply chain is a thoroughly global supply chain,’ said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the NRF on Wednesday. ‘Anything that threatens two-way trade can hurt retail and consumers,’ Mr. French said. It is unclear how the results could impact consumer sentiment and spending in the key holiday season. ‘This morning there are a lot of people who woke up very surprised,’ Mr. French said. ‘The divisions in the country are going to be hard to heal.’” (Nov. 9)
Overnight after the polls closed the U.S. dollar declined and gold futures gained value along with other commodities seen as a “safe haven” for capitalist investors. This unsettled situation had surfaced the previous week when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey indicated that the criminal investigation into the Clinton e-mail scandal was being reopened. Although two days before the final elections Director Comey announced that Clinton had been “cleared” once again, the damage had already been done. The potential for a newly-elected president facing a lengthy Justice Department probe weighed on the psyche of the electorate and the financial markets.
The New York Times had called the critical state of Pennsylvania at least an hour before the television networks resigned to the loss of Clinton. The former Secretary of State during the first administration of President Barack Obama refused to even come before thousands of her supporters at the Javits Conference Center in New York City. Prospects for an even more divided political landscape in the U.S. will compound the existing economic anxieties surrounding the persistent problems of high unemployment, increasing poverty, rising racial unrest and intensifying class conflict.
A report published by the London-based Financial Times noted that:
“The National Retail Federation is keeping a close eye on how Mr. Trump might alter cross-border trade, tax policy and labor laws. ‘The retail supply chain is a thoroughly global supply chain,’ said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the NRF on Wednesday. ‘Anything that threatens two-way trade can hurt retail and consumers,’ Mr. French said.” (Nov. 9)
This same report went to emphasize: “It is unclear how the results could impact consumer sentiment and spending in the key holiday season. ‘This morning there are a lot of people who woke up very surprised,’ Mr. French said. ‘The divisions in the country are going to be hard to heal.’”
Impact on Financial Blocs, Imperialist Political Groupings and Military Alliances
The European Union (EU) had already experienced a reaction to the capitalist economic crisis when the British public voted in June to leave the imperialist federation which grew out of the post-World War II scenario imposed by the dominance of the U.S. A court case filed by Members of Parliament to involve them in the Article 50 process of disengagement from the EU will prolong the Brexit causing further uncertainty within both economic and political institutions.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials are also concerned since there is speculation of a possible thawing of relations between the western imperialist states and the Russian Federation. At a NATO Summit several months ago in Poland resolutions were adopted which will enhance the military presence on the border with Russia as well as the escalation of Pentagon and its allies’ interventions in the Asia-Pacific region.
A consistent military policy of intervention by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Pentagon and NATO in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen has devastated the Middle East and Central Asia. These wars of regime-change and genocide have created the worst crises of displacement both domestically and internationally since the conclusion of WW II. Some 60-75 million people have been driven from their homes due to initiatives launched in Washington and on Wall Street.
Over the last decade the world capitalist system has undergone the most profound decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Millions have lost their homes, jobs, savings and pensions. A quarter-century of failed military policies has drained the economies not only of the impacted states and regions but also those within the industrial states themselves particularly in Western Europe and North America. A Trump presidency cannot fulfill its promises because modern day imperialism is representative of the notions of “free trade”, neo-liberalism and globalization.
Africa Policy and the Trump Administration
Over the last two administrations of Obama and his predecessor, President George W. Bush, Jr., the militarization of Africa has escalated. The founding of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in early 2008 has engendered greater instability and displacement on the continent.
The bombing of Libya under false pretenses, its destabilization and brutal assassination of longtime leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi can still be felt some five years later. Today Libya has become a major source of human trafficking and flight from the African continent across the Mediterranean into Europe. Pentagon bombing operations are being conducted on a daily basis in this North African state. Several attempts by Washington and its allies to create a stable neo-colonial dominated regime in Tripoli have failed miserably. Thousands are dying in their desperate attempts to reach a Europe under distress itself which is facing monumental economic challenges including unemployment and rising poverty.
In the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, a burgeoning military base at Camp Lemonier is serving as a staging ground for an ongoing air and ground campaign under the guise of fighting “Islamic terrorism” in Somalia. The Republic of Sudan, once the largest geographic nation-state in Africa, was partitioned at the aegis of Washington in order to undermine the emerging country’s oil industry which was in partnership with the People’s Republic of China.
The Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa are being subjected to efforts by Washington and London aimed at installing right-wing regimes which are compliant to imperialist foreign policy imperatives. These same policies are very much in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean considering the attempts and actual political coups which have been carried out against Honduras (2009), Ecuador (2010), Paraguay (2012), Brazil (2016) not to mention the present destabilization campaign against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Despite the public posture of “normalization” of relations with the Republic of Cuba, the Obama administration along with Congress are not working towards the lifting of the decades-old embargo nor halting their covert intelligence programs with the expressed intent to reverse the course of the national revolutionary and socialist trajectory.
A Trump presidency in order to maintain any semblance of what is perceived as economic stability and growth must continue the same capitalist relations of productions and international relations. The failure of this phase of imperialist domination could provide renewed opportunities for world solidarity of the working class and oppressed.
The global capitalist system must inherently find markets to exploit in order to earn ever-increasing rises in profits. Such a program will place the Trump administration and its corporate backers on a collision course with the majority of people both inside the U.S. and the world.
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