Russia, China And India Can Turn America First To America Second  

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

America first is just another name for American arrogance and American Exceptionalism. Even though Trump people are explaining that America first means putting America’s interests first yet in practice, it is just an excuse to continue arrogant and hegemonic American policies of the previous administrations. The underlying concept behind these policies is to analyze and react to the world situations from purely American perspective and to preserve and advance American interests only. Is there anything wrong with this approach? There is nothing wrong in America preserving and promoting its interests. However, to do that and keep claiming that we are doing that in the best interests of everybody is a deliberate misrepresentation of the reality.

America may say that the world has accepted and tolerated such policy before. Therefore, it will do the same now. However, then and now are two completely different situations.  The others accepted and tolerated these policies because they did not have any other choice. America was the only superpower in the world and no other country had the power to stand up to America. However, situation is very different now. America is no longer the only superpower in the world and the combined strength of Russia and China seems bigger than that of America. It is obvious that America no longer has the strength to make everybody do what it wants.

America is giving an ultimatum to the other countries to completely stop buying oil from Iran by November 4th. Nikki Haley, on her visit to India, openly asked India to stop buying oil from Iran. India is the second largest buyer of Iran’s oil after China. Iran is the third largest seller of oil to India after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. However, it is not just a question of the volume of oil import India has a multidimensional relationship with Iran. India has helped Iran to develop the port of Chabahar. It is almost like China helping Pakistan to develop the port of Gwadar. India is considering building pipelines under ocean which can bypass Pakistan and bring gas from Iran. This will save India considerably compared to bringing it by ships.

Moreover, Iran and India have long term historical relations. Both people are of Indo European descent. Two of our famous queens were of Iranian descent, Nur Jahan, wife of the Mogul emperor Jahangir and Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan. The famous Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in her memory. Persian was the state language under the Mogul emperors and even under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

If India caves in to American pressure and stops all oil imports from Iran then it will raise very serious questions about  the independence of Indian policies and give this impression that India is a subservient state. Such an image can tremendously hurt India’s image at home and abroad.  India has to maintain its credibility as an independent state. In a way by making a public demand, Nikki Haley has made it harder for India to comply.

The net result of this pressure and coercion can be that India moves closer to the Russia-China axis. Together these three countries can make sure that America moves from the first place to the second place, if it already has not. America should realize that the unipolar world under its domination has already become multipolar. America is no longer in a position to dictate terms to everybody. America has to change its long time held views and attitude and become a team player rather than a bully. Russia, China and India can completely change the rules of globalization and America can end up losing more. For example, the American dollar can lose its special status which it has enjoyed since the end of the Second World War.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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