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
— Joel Stonington
Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor
Like this? Want more?
Subscribe to Utne