Nixon's Successes Could Guide Bush to Re-Election

| January 29, 2004

Nixon opened the U.S. to China, negotiated an end to the Vietnam war, and took the dollar off the gold standard. Franz Schurmann thinks history could repeat itself -- with Iran as Bush's China -- just in time for the 2004 election. While major realignment of foreign policy is unusual, election years and wars create circumstances where policy can turn around on a dime. Schurmann writes: 'Just as China was the key to ending the Vietnam War, so is Iran the key to an end of warfare in Iraq, due to its huge influence over Iraq's Shiite population.' He suggests that secret negotiations may be underway whereby a pacified Iraq is dominated by a U.S.-friendly Iran.

And the parallels with Nixon go beyond Iraq: Just as Nixon cleared the way for a more global economy by cutting the dollar loose from gold, so too might George W be making changes in international currency. China's yuan is pegged at 8.3 to one US dollar -- a rate than many American politicians say undervalues the yuan and contributes to the US's soaring trade deficit with China. With American encouragement, plans are underway for China to unplug the yuan from the dollar by trying a new monetary system called 'basket of currencies,' whereby the yuan will be linked to all major currencies. Writes Schurmann: 'As with Nixon's monetary move, the idea is to benefit the U.S. economy -- and, for Bush, to win re-election. Could a universal monetary currency be down the road? As the Chinese say, 'Every journey begins with a single step.''
-- Joel Stonington

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