Postcards from the End of [the] America[n Empire]
Sunday, October 21, 2018
As posted at Tasnim on 10/21/18. The Iranian news agency doesn't know I'm no longer in Philly. I've changed the font color of the key paragraph for emphasis:
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst and writer based in Philadelphia described renewed US sanctions against Tehran as “economic suicide”.
"Since the American economy is much more fragile than it appears, America’s sanctions against Iran and Russia, as well as its trade war against China, constitute economic suicide. The US is also forcing its allies into closer cooperation with China, Russia and Iran, for otherwise, they will sink with the dying empire. Having wrecked several countries for Israel, America will end up imploding itself, for Israel," Linh Dinh told Tasnim.
Linh Dinh is a prominent progressive author and poet, internationally renowned for his outspoken criticism of the domestic and foreign policy of the United States, which he calls criminal and detrimental to the interest of the American people. Born on 1963 in Vietnam, he is the author of two collections of stories and five poetry books. The Vietnamese-American author whose writings frequently appear on CounterPunch, Common Dreams and other publications, has studied painting in the college and runs a photography blog. He has lived in Italy and England and is the editor of two literary anthologies, “Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam” (Seven Stories Press 1996) and “Three Vietnamese Poets” (Tinfish 2001).
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: US President Donald Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program. The US administration reintroduced the previous sanctions while imposing new ones on the Islamic Republic. A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil sales and its Central Bank. How much and in what way do you think the sanctions will affect Iran’s economy after Nov. 4?
Dinh: First, the renewed sanctions prove, once again, that America’s words mean absolutely nothing, for just two years after it signed an agreement, it decided, without any reasonable pretext, to tear it up. America is not just unreliable and unprofessional, but a rogue nation.
US sanctions will certainly hurt Iran’s economy, but not as much as intended, because key US allies such as South Korea and, most importantly, the European Union have decided to not honor these sanctions. Further, Iran will continue to trade with Russia and China. Who will be damaged the most by these sanctions, paradoxically, is the US, for American companies will be blocked from the Iranian market, and its vast energy sector. Do you think Boeing is happy with these sanctions?
Tasnim: How can Iran evade the sanctions this time? Do you believe that forging closer ties with China and Russia could help?
Dinh: It is inevitable that Iran’s ties with China and Russia will become stronger. With China and Russia leading the way, the Eurasian landmass is being economically integrated, and Iran is an important component of this, not just for its oil export, but its strategic location. Since the US has no role to play in this new alignment, it has done its best to sabotage it. This, it is doing by economically attacking, and even militarily threating, Russia, China and Iran, as well as preventing the European Union from having closer ties with these countries.
Iran has been harassed by the US for many decades, however, and the primary reason for this is that it is an enemy of Israel. To serve Israel, the US has waged war against Iraq, Libya and Syria, and it will continue to target Iran as long as Israel exists. The entire Middle East will not know peace until Israel disappears, and this possibility is actually much closer than one may think, for Israel’s main backer, the US, is on the verge of collapsing. Unlike the Soviet Union, however, it won't be able to remake itself as a stronger nation. We're witnessing the end of America.
Tasnim: On Sept. 25, the European Union, in a major snub to the United States, decided to set up a new mechanism to enable legal trade with Iran without encountering US sanctions. How much do you think this new system could work?
Dinh: Although many companies will be leery of offending Uncle Sam, it will essentially work, because Europe can’t make or break deals on the sudden whims of its psychopathic master, the United States. European governments must serve European interests, which in this case is normalizing trade relations with Iran.
Producing and exporting little, the real American economy has been in deep trouble for decades, but this is masked over by false statistics and the surging American stock market, as propped up by endless “liquidity,” or cheap money conjured out of thin air. Thanks to America’s superpower status, however, its money has not been depreciated, but this will surely happen as the world moves away from the US dollar as reserve currency, as process that’s already happening.
Tasnim: Do you think that the US could cut Iran’s oil to zero? Should we expect a global energy insecurity after Nov. 4?
Dinh: No, Iran will always have buyers for its oil, although global energy insecurity is certainly in our future, thanks to an ever-increasing demand against a diminishing supply. Inevitable wars over oil and energy supply lines will also jack up prices.
Since the American economy is much more fragile than it appears, America’s sanctions against Iran and Russia, as well as its trade war against China, constitute economic suicide. The US is also forcing its allies into closer cooperation with China, Russia and Iran, for otherwise, they will sink with the dying empire. Having wrecked several countries for Israel, America will end up imploding itself, for Israel.
While much of the world will welcome a desperate Uncle Sam destroying himself, there is a grave danger he will engage in a mass killing spree before he shoots himself in the head.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Seeing me photographing, she said, "Take my picture and find me an overseas husband, brother!"
"Ah, but I don't know any deserving candidates, sister. The people I know are all good for nothings and assholes!"
An old lady whose relationship to this woman was unclear then added, "She's suffered her whole life."
Earlier, the old lady said to me, "I remember you from before, from several years ago. I didn't recognize you at first because you're a lot older now."
"That was just last year, sister!" I laughed. "Just since last October, I've aged several years!"
Friday, October 19, 2018
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Lead car in a funeral procession. With so many old people in so many houses clustered together, there is nearly always a funeral in a Vietnamese neighborhood.
As the coffin leaves the house, it's turned around by the pallbearers and made to bow three times, and it'll bow three more times as it leaves its alley. I find this ritual very touching.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Sunday, October 14, 2018
- Linh Dinh
- Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.