How the US would counter BRICS’ massive move?

Ashish Shukla
5 min readAug 27, 2023

(This is a reprint from NewsBred)

If the United States was a plantation owner, he would see a lot of noise around his chateau but would still delude himself that his subjects, crushed in spirit, would go weak in knees at the golden door.

Okay, India has been tolerated for its coming use against China; South Africa and Brazil are two loyal diffident led astray and Russia is burning itself from both ends. The subjects won’t risk a raid on own assets, blood in hearth or fire in the surrounding bushes.

Yes, they are meeting in Johannesburg, a few innocents in the crime capital of the world, but so have they gathered on 14 previous occasions and formed no better than a bank (New Development Bank) which cumulatively has disbursed three times less money than what World Bank does in a year. And why, the BRICS Bank still does 70% of its business in dollars, isn’t it?

Then the smug owner learns that six new subjects have joined hands with these irritants; enemies amongst themselves not long ago who are now pledging to be a help to each other. Imagine Saudi Arabia and Iran; Brazil and Argentina; Egypt and Ethiopia sharing the same bread when till recently they balked at each other.

It’s A Revolution, No Less

Now that’s more than a protest, a demonstration, a stirring or a revolt: It’s a revolution.

The Middle East which the United States had turned into its backyard, patrolled by its agent Israel, that 1973 deal with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia which made dollar the lifeline of world, the feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran it profited from, the role of a pariah that it had in mind for Tehran, the wreckage it wrought on Syria and Yemen, the contempt in which it viewed the lives of Palestinians, all these decades of monstrous acts could be paid in full by the serfs.

On first look itself, three of the biggest oil producers — Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran — on the other side is a bad news. The conspirators’ share of 40–45% of global oil exports, reserves or oil production is massive. And who knows under Russia at helm of BRICS in 2024, Venezuela, Algeria, Kazakhstan won’t be shoed in for almost 90% of global oil trade out of Washington’s bounds?

How’s that for a blow when all this while you have been spending hundreds of billions for inches sought in Donbass while the Global South was crafting itself in Russia’s own image elsewhere?

It wouldn’t have mattered to the Empire but for the little fact that Dollar is the reason it rules the planet. If Dollar is bypassed, countries trade in mutual currencies, and Yuan is an alternative, Dollar wouldn’t be the worth the piece of paper it’s printed on.

In one stroke, the Hegemon realizes, it’s subjects are throttling its windpipe. If the de-dollarization increases and the influence in energy market is gone, you could have your Greta Thunberg and all those jokers with their pantomime acts on green energy but your time is up.

All This While, It Was Coming!

All of this was coming. The United States wasn’t alarmed that none in the original BRICS had criticized or approved sanctions on Russia in the Ukraine conflict. That Saudi Arabia had refused to up the oil production as the US had demanded for its beleaguered Western partners. That China had brokered a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran. That Syria was being welcomed on both feet by the Arabs.

It failed to grasp the one basic instinct true for an individual as it’s for a nation: It’s the yearning for sovereignty, independence and non-interference in internal affairs. If you choose to use and throw — how could green energy be anything but to the detriment of Saudis — your subjects won’t see a future in you.

All of this was good till there was no alternative. Now Saudis sell their oil the most to Chinese and that too in yuan; Tehran has a $400 billion deal with Beijing; and the likes of Syria and Iraq are thirsting for revenge. The subjects arguably knew that you are an opportunist who would sacrifice a South Vietnam or Afghanistan in an instant: But that you could use sanctions, seize assets, treat global institutions and international laws as rubbish and punish nations who have nothing to do with Ukraine was a no-go.

I mean why Egypt can’t buy Russian wheat only because you don’t like Putin? Why Algeria ought to let go on its needs for weapons, nuclear plant only because trade in dollar is out of question? So all currencies must be tied to dollar but the dollar must not be hinged to anyone!

No country today feels safe if its wealth is tied to Dollar. What if the US government bonds become junk? So we have Saudi Arabia pulling out of its holdings and now has only $108.1 billion left in the US Treasuries, its lowest in six years. The United Arab Emirates has sold off nearly $4 billion of US debt in recent weeks.

It’s not just Russia which wants to avoid dollars. The feeling is contagious.

The United States all this while looked for contradiction within the BRICS:

That India and China could be pitted against each other as it was with Ukraine, Taiwan, Niger or countless other countries with their neighbours.

That how could producers like Saudis and Iraqis could be on the same page as consumers like India and China since one wants the maximum price while the other prefer lowest in trade of goods.

But then that’s multipolarity, the true democracy where each has its own voice, each has its own priority and each one is accommodated. No one is a boss, like it’s in a unipolar world.

This is not your usual ideology, but an ideology nevertheless where respect for the other person in the room is guaranteed. It doesn’t have a name, it’s not enshrined in statues, there’s no white paper on it. It’s fluid, trying to look after each other, an ethos borne out of necessity since currency, trade, supply chains, global institutions you had put faith on was no better than a whim for the Hegemon.

While the Hegemon was believing its own propaganda on Ukraine or Taiwan, the rest of the world, ever so silently, was working on an upheaval under its nose. This inclusion of six new members in BRICS didn’t happen overnight. The tectonic shift must have been a work-in-making for months.

This unravelling would only shift gears in near future. How would the United States react?

Either the US keep trusting its tools of IMF and World Bank, the impotence of UN, the primacy of its Dollar, the supremacy of its military might, the potency of its servile media or it learns to take its appointed place in the comity of global village.

In beefing Ukraine, it underestimated Russia and the domino effect it would have around the world. It believed its own seduction on India or for that matter on UAE and Saudi Arabia. Now what stops India from trading with Saudi Arabia in rupees? Modi’s India isn’t a fool to see which way the wind is blowing. More so when it itself is a major plank in this tectonic shift.

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Ashish Shukla

Author, International journalist, Publishes NewsBred.com as antidote to media lies