Qandil explains how US lost its sole superpower status, & how China, Russia & Iran globally challenge it today


In a recent interview with Syrian state television, senior Lebanese political analyst Nasser Qandil discusses how the United States has lost its status as the sole power dominating the world, and highlights the rise of China, Russia, and the Iran-led Axis of Resistance as competitors to the U.S. on the world stage.

Source: Syrian TV via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube)

Date:  August 14, 2022

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We will start with discussing what is happening in more than one area, both in the region and across the world, benefiting from your rich (analysis) pieces and impartial media observations of the reality we live in today. Why did you describe (our current situation) as the darkest and most difficult the region has ever witnessed?


It is clear first that the whole world is going through a state of political chaos resulting from the decline of US domination and the attempt to compensate for this weakness by provoking unrest and small wars, and attempts to create scenarios that could enable the American administration to restore some of its domination, presence, or role, after it has become incapable of ruling the world.

We must remember that in 1990, more than 30 years ago, the United States of America managed to dominate the world alone. The Soviet Union collapsed, Russia was weakened, China was still in the early stages of development, and there was no competitor (for the US) in the world. Even the European Union was established under American auspices as a project that doesn’t (aim) to compete with the US, but to replace the Soviet Union.

However, the country that ruled the world during these three decades has clearly begun to witness a fall since the year 2000. In this year, three (major) events occurred. The first was the liberation of southern Lebanon, that is, the defeat of Israel, the striking arm of the US in our region. The second was the rise or beginning of the rise of Russia with President Vladimir Putin taking over the presidency of the Russian Federation. The third was the blessed Palestinian Intifada (Uprising), which established the return of vitality and life to the Arab peoples. It was part of a general Arab climate that we experienced from the Maghreb to the Mashreq to all the capitals of the region. We must remember that millions of Arab peoples took to the streets in solidarity with the Al-Aqsa Intifada (the second Intifada), with three million demonstrators in Morocco alone.

This situation has (only) developed more and more and has grown more and more, and we are now witnessing its results, which are crystallizing at the (global) political level and not only at the level of certain events. Russia has been acting as a superpower in the world since its involvement in Syria in 2015, all the way to the Ukrainian war. China is also a superpower on a par with the US, after it has approached the stage of surpassing the US in terms of the size of the overall economy. The US is losing its grip over the region. Even though the US threw all its international, regional, financial, intelligence, media, and military weight to bring down Syria, it failed miserably. Syria triumphed and the US project collapsed.

Iran’s steadfastness and its rise as a regional power, the growth of the capabilities of the Axis of Resistance and its rise as an active axis, especially through the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, in addition to its presence in Yemen, which provided a model for what the Gulf security could be if the US persisted in its aggressive policies…We are witnessing the crystallization of the image of a new world in which the US loses the lead. Therefore, we are seeing these wars, turmoil and signs, like the last Gaza war, that are almost like “death tremors”, i.e., the refusal (of the US) to accept the new reality, and its denial, arrogance, and insistence on (always) being present and proving its power, but to no avail.


But there are those who say that what appears to be a wallow may be deliberate plans to ignite wars here and there, from Taiwan to Russia. Even the current threat to the unity of the European Union may be part of a plan because the US is still pressing ahead with its plans. As for Syria, (the US) continues to support terrorism and steal Syrian wealth and Syrian oil.


We have to distinguish between two things. Of course, for some people, even if the US admits its defeat, they will still believe that it has the ability to dominate and that it will never be defeated. An example of this is what happened when Israel was defeated in 2006 in its battle and aggression against Lebanon, and some Lebanese, not foreigners, insisted that Israel was not defeated. We will not discuss (the opinion of) such people. They are haunted by an inferiority complex which makes them believe that the US is a destiny that cannot be escaped. The US admitted that it was defeated in Vietnam, and some still see its withdrawal from Vietnam as a plan. So, let’s discuss the main idea.

Let us first look at the internal situation of the United States of America, is it still this major expanding power? No. I am not speaking for myself, let’s look at what the Americans themselves say. They say that ‘the great America’ has lost its greatness because it is no longer a great country. This is what Donald Trump says, these are not the words of anyone outside the US. The title of Joe Biden’s (presidential acceptance) speech was “America’s Return.” Trump used to say, “We are ranked third or fourth in the world. Our infrastructure is incapable of serving a modern economy. We cannot boast that we are the top country, neither in human rights nor in democracy.” The storming of Congress, about which hundreds and even thousands of articles have been written in the US, was a proof of the atrophy and decline of the American democratic model. The racist wars erupting across the US are all part of the reality and facts that Americans, not foreigners, speak of.

At the European level, the problem is not the disintegration or non-disintegration of the European Union. The problem is the collapse of the European model…Today, Syria has achieved a victory, but the Syrian people say that this victory remains weak and unstable so long as it has not been reflected in (the improvement of) people’s lives. People complain about their hardships, about their livelihood, so what if we are talking about Europe? (Europe is made up of a group of) countries that have been established as a model for a well-off life, countries that offer their citizens what no other citizen can receive in any other country in the world. However, the Europeans today live under energy rationing and promises that, in the winter, they will face bitter cold without heating; and preparations are being made for the closing of thousands of factories, the stopping of hundreds of companies from working, thus directing hundreds of thousands of unemployed people to the streets. This is what European officials are saying to their people about what awaits them in 2023. This does not show the disintegration of the European Union, but rather the collapse of the European model. Thus, this opens the door to social unrest and political transformations that no one can yet predict.

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