Column: Trump is Costing the US a Great Deal

In international relations, a nation having enough power for a move does not mean that it can exercise that power as it wishes. Applying force will mobilize another power against it and in this case, the price of using force would result in the limiting and depletion of its power.

By: Yasin AKTAY*

The U.S. does not owe the power it has held at the international level today to always using it recklessly and showing it off to others. On the contrary, its strength is based in the confidence it nurtured with respect to not using this power lawlessly, the strong impression it gave with respect to differentiating between friend and foe and that the use of its power is under control. In this regard, the greatest power is reliability.

The trust in U.S. President Donald Trump and the dollar has been completely drained by Trump’s use of the dollar and trade tariffs as leverage, particularly in the political dispute with Turkey. Thus, the greatest cost of the operation against Turkey for the U.S. administration has been losing trust, but that’s only the beginning.

The dollar has been presented as an autonomous entity that should never even be considered to be used in terms of U.S. politics, regardless of what happens. But it has never been left independent as it has been presented. Instead, the dollar has always been a trump card or a weapon used in covert operations. What’s different today is that this is being done very recklessly and explicitly.

This gives all international powers the opportunity they long sought to revolt against the dollar. Just as we have heard many legends about how the intention or attempt to leave behind the dollar caused the end of a country or its leader, from now on, we are going to hear common scenarios about how this is not so difficult after all. We are now in a period in which the collapse of the dollar has become unavoidable.

One other area that the U.S. should never consider to use in terms of politics, regardless of what happens, is law. Legends about the law being independent of politics in the U.S. are stricter than the American legend itself. Examples of how even U.S. presidents can be judged while on the job, where necessary further strengthens this legend. However, independence of the law does not always mean it is completely independent of politics.

After all, presidents and judges may hold differing views as a result of diversified politics, but this does not mean judges are completely distant from politics and independent – just as they are not completely distant from capital or oligarchic formations. U.S. authorities, who tried to force Turkey to memorize this legend in the Halk Bank executive issue or the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETÖ) case, have reached the point of pronouncing like a confession that accepting, in relation to Turkey’s law with respect to Pastor Andrew Brunson, law depends on what a politician says, is really something to do with their own situation.

There is one thing that Turkey achieved with the Brunson case, and that is raising this question in a strong manner: How can you not believe that there are courts in Turkey while expecting us to believe that courts exist in the U.S.?

It is impossible not to see how a disgusting orientalist prejudice is at play here. This prejudice continues to argue that there really is no independent, autonomous judicial authority in the Muslim world, hence in Turkey, while they do. Turkey is offering an extraordinary opportunity – through the Brunson case – to those who hold this orientalist view to confront their own realities.

The U.S., which thoughtlessly keeps Turkey’s free citizens in its own country based on some data about how they did not abide by the sanctions it forcefully imposed, or which has been inhumanely keeping the people it randomly gathered in Guantanamo under irrational, merciless torture conditions for years, without a trial, is able to come out and claim “innocence from the original and ongoing crime.” The U.S.’s hypocrisy regarding its citizen, whom it proclaims is innocent, collapses the claim of law in its own country.

One other hefty cost of Trump’s politics on the U.S. is the alternative power starting to form against the dollar and the U.S. We are talking about a process that is, after China, Russia and Iran, currently uniting its sole ally in the region, Turkey, with European countries against the U.S. The world of the future really is going to be a world with no American hegemony.

We used to see this in the very distant future, but thanks to Trump, it will happen a lot sooner.

*Yasin Aktay is a former member of the Turkish parliament and a leading figure of the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) in Turkey. (Published in Yeni Şafak Turkish newspaper on 18 August 2018)