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The United States: History and Status

The United States: History and Status

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 21

In light of recent events in Ukraine and the broader Russian-American conflict, a question arises for the public: Has the world been suffering from American hegemony? Is the world already suffering from unipolar domination? I think this statement is exaggerated, but Biden’s policy has certainly created fear and distrust in the United States, especially given the sudden American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the current stance toward Ukraine. And yet, those who go back to history will find that the countries that partnered with the United States became among the largest economies. For example, Germany and Japan after World War II and East Asian countries such as Taiwan and South Korea in the 1970s. As for countries that didn’t achieve such strength and stability, despite their partnership with the United States, the reason was often due to the nature of their own internal political regimes. This includes the Shah’s Iran. The United States was a huge market for anyone who wanted to trade with it. This has been true even for countries with competing ideological differences to those of the US, such as China, whose exports to the United States amounted to about $380 billion before the last trade war between them. Indeed, the United States was the only country capable of intervening in crises and putting countries back on their feet. But this giant entity and its political establishment have been undergoing a strange and remarkable change. The biggest symbol of this change was Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections. Despite all the criticism and flaws directed against him, voters preferred him over the brother of former president George W. Bush at the party level, as well as over Hillary Clinton at the presidential level. This preference suggests that Americans may have sensed that what they are experiencing is a repetition in presidents belonging to either the Bushes or the Clintons. All of this explains the thinking of the average American voter, who is still dreaming of another Ronald Reagan who will bring back prosperity and growth. Yet voters have no other option but to ruminate on the names that remind them of previous successful administrations. With the current administration, the Ukraine crisis exploded at a bad time. The world has not yet overcome the pandemic, and China is still witnessing closures and lockdowns. Meanwhile, the world is facing a growing shortage of goods and supplies. The extension of NATO’s influence into Russia’s borders was not urgent or necessary at this very time. The World Bank estimates that some 40 countries will be severely affected by the current Ukraine crisis in terms of lack of basic food staples and raw materials. Therefore, the current administration is trying to solve the problem by removing the sanctions from the worst regime in the world, Iran. In my view, the United States has always been a force of global stability and growth. It gave rise to the notion of capitalism, which states that the markets will always correct themselves. And just like the markets correct themselves, so, too, we can hope, global politics will correct their course and undo the damages caused by the current Biden administration — on both the US and its allies around the world. –Mazen al-Sudairi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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