Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Trending On Fox News And Among Republicans: Reversion To The Neoconservative, Warmongering Mean

China, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Neoconservatism, Russia, War

Mike Waltz, Republican representative from Florida, comfortably fumes against Russia, to applause on both sides of the aisle: “We’re on the edge of a crisis with Russia and Ukraine,” he states formulaically.

That’s the formula. Donald Trump briefly and imperfectly departed from neoconservative foreign-policy dogma to the cheers of the base, which was willing to contemplate “certain national-conservative governments in East Europe” as “natural allies to conservative policy makers, stateside.

Mike Pompeo, a shadow of his former self, having slimmed down to size svelte, swells the chorus on Fox News in advocating muscular threats to Putin, rather than respectful negotiation with a nuclear power with legitimate concerns about the incursion of the US and NATO into its neighborhood. He exhorts the US to “act to make clear to Putin that ‘the cost will be enormous,'” finding the “good” graces to growl against Iran, too.  Starve ’em, sanction them…

Fox is guilty of normalizing the empty-headed, zero-information ditz and ditto-headed split-screen panel in adjudicating matters of life-and-death. It used to be one could expect to hear from deep thinkers on Russia like Stephen Cohen, RIP, or Pat Buchanan, whose foreign-policy knowledge and insights are desperately needed now.

Now it’s Da Idiocracy: Foreign policy “insights” flow on Fox News from Lara Logan (read “No, Lara Logan, Only Simpletons Think Afghanistan Is Simple“), beefcake Rambo types like Pete Hegseth and the deeply dumb Johnny Jones; media writer Howard Kurtz, and from the stoic tabula rasa that is Mollie Hemingway—she’s dour and serious so she must know something, right? Wrong! Humdrum Democratic strategists are a-dime-a-dozen in shouting at the screen about what once used to be the purview of serious, learned people.

Then again, that’s how easy it is to thoughtlessly imbibe the neoconservative-neoliberal, Deep State-stamped foreign policy scrip.

Above all, let us not forget the war porn: For war paint and trashy, tasteless attire, there is no beating Fox News female personalities. The Fox News war porn—females in war paint, bosoms panting and heaving for blood—helped sex-up and sell the offensive against Iraq. (“TUNED-OUT, TURNED-ON, AND HOT FOR WAR“/2003)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Knew What Ukraine, NATO & US Neoconservatives Were Up To

BAB's A List, Christianity, Foreign Policy, Globalism, History, Iraq, Nationalism, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Russia, The West

 Solzhenitsyn: The USA and NATO are in the process of encircling Russia and depriving Russia of its independence as a nation state.

By Boyd Cathey

In all the hysteria over the latest strain of the Coronavirus virus, the frenzied ideological (and essentially authoritarian and anti-constitutional) activities of the House January 6 “Investigatory” Committee, and the frenetic lead up to this recent Christmas, one significant anniversary was missed, or rather ignored, by our media, including the so-called “conservative” media: the birth on December 11, 1918 of arguably the 20th century’s greatest novelist and social/cultural critic, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn, let it be said, will long be remembered when the names of moronic fanatics like Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and others of that ilk, have become filthy curse words symbolizing the political and cultural nadir of our once great republic.

Yet, with all the ejaculatory exclamations and dire warnings, and subsequent demands for “American” and “NATO” action to thwart the supposed “threat” by the Russians, under that evil genius Vladimir Putin, to use bloodthirsty Cossack troops to invade and conquer poor, little democratic Ukraine, Solzhenitsyn’s comments shortly before he died on August 3, 2008, demand consideration.

No one can accuse the great Russian writer of being an advocate of violence, aggression or war. His experiences, so brutally and so vividly recounted in his various semi-autobiographical novels dissuade any dispassionate reader from that conclusion. He had seen the open jaws of bitter Hell, and that Hell attempted not only to swallow him but destroy him and his soul totally. That the Soviet Hell—the Gulag—did not succeed, and that he emerged stronger for it, a man of resilient and unquestioned Faith, is a remarkable example of how true religious conviction and Hope can indeed overcome even the worst trials, both physical and spiritual.

When Solzhenitsyn came to the United States and gave his famous address at Harvard, June 8, 1978, it was met first by shock, then by a studied if respectful silence by many in the media. For in that speech he had taken target at some of America’s showiest and most prized attributes:

He attacked moral cowardice and the selfishness and complacency he sees in the West. Materialism, sharp legal maneuvering, a press that invades privacy, “TV stupor” and “intolerable music,” all contribute to making the western way of life less and less a model for the world, he said. “A decline in courage,” Solzhenitsyn said, is the most striking feature of what he called “spiritual exhaustion” of the West. “The forces of evil have begun their decisive offensive, you can feel their pressure, and yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?” “To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being….”

And that was in 1978.

Furthermore, modern managerial democracy and its vaunted demand for universal (and chimerical) equality, imposed on the rest of the world and modeled on the US experience, actually led to the eventual triumph of totalitarianism.

After the fall of Communism and the end of the Soviet Union, it was gradually insinuated that the great writer was now, given the elapse of time, perhaps a bit passe’ or too much the slavophile or Russian nationalist. Indeed, increasingly leftist (and neoconservative) pundits and writers, while grudgingly acknowledging his literary ability, called him a “reactionary,” unable to understand the new globalist age.

But Solzhenitsyn’s comments about Ukraine made after the dissolution of the old Soviet Union ring true today and are even more prescient now than when they were made shortly before his death.

I transcribe below a letter he wrote to a Ukrainian friend, Sviatoslav Karavanski in 1990, later published in the journal Zvezda, December 1993. And I follow that with portions of an interview that Solzhenitsyn gave to The Moscow News, April 28/May 4, 2006.

Author Peter Rieth (in The Imaginative Conservative, August 24, 2014) commented on the Russian author’s warnings:

“Americans should take heed. Solzhenitsyn’s words would make President Reagan roll over in his grave. America in 2014 is supporting the goals of Lenin, helping pummel the city of Donietsk, a historic British city which was a bastion of anti-Leninist resistance and advancing a geopolitical vision dreamt up by German imperialists, pursued by Hitler in the west and Bolsheviks in the east. It is only historical ignorance which makes this possible….”

Here are the two items:

“Esteemed Mr. Sviatoslav Karavanski,

“I deeply respect you for all that you have suffered and for your calm under duress when you were made to suffer. I am happy that I can hear your calm voice, even though your countrymen—from the tribune of the High Committee of the USSR to the far off emigrant newspapers—have concluded on the basis of my writings that I am simply a believer in Greater Russia, a chauvinist, a colonialist, a servant of imperial tyranny, and a ‘retarded imperialist’ at that (as published in Gomin of Ukraine 10.10.1990). Such premeditated blindness and incompetence make one wonder, but also make one alert. Just what are they trying to hide by barking so loud?

“I can appeal to you sir, in the hope for mutual understanding, since they have not sought such mutual understanding with me.

“With regard to your historical arguments, beginning with your reflections on Tatar invasion (at least with respect to Red Rus and not Rus itself), one could elaborate on this matter for quite some time. Yet all such elaborations would pale when compared to the strongest argument which you now fail to make, perhaps because it is so clear: If the hearts of the people of Ukraine desire to separate from the Soviet Union, then we have nothing to quarrel about. All that is required is a movement of the heart! This was the thrust of my article. I also wrote about this in my Gulag Archipelago (part V, chapter 2). This is why my current view is certainly not without precedent. Yet even you, good sir, have failed to note that I have no quarrel with Ukrainian separatism, only with the factual state of Ukraine.

“Currently, as statues of Lenin are being torn down in Ukraine (as rightly they should be!), why is it that western Ukrainians of all people in that land desire that the state of Ukraine should have the borders made for it by Lenin himself? The borders which Uncle Lenin himself drew up for Ukraine? For the present borders of Ukraine are the result of Lenin seeking for a way to compensate the Ukrainian people for consuming their liberty under Soviet domination. Thus it was Lenin who arbitrarily attached Novorossiya, the Donbas (by which Lenin separated the Donbas from the anti-Communist counter revolutionaries of Donietsk) as well as attaching parts of the left bank to Ukraine. Later, Khrushchev arbitrarily added (1954) Crimea to Ukraine. And now Ukrainian nationalists stand firm in defense of their “holy” territorial integrity—of borders created by Lenin?

“I wrote in my article (though I suspect no one read what I had to say): ‘of course, if the Ukrainian nation does indeed wish to go, then no one can dare use force to prevent their departure’. But realize please how heterogeneous is this great territory and allow the local people to decide the fate of their districts. And for writing this, I am considered to be a ‘retarded imperialist?’ What of those who forbid the nation from expressing its will, and, along with those democrats and liberty lovers, even fear this expression of national will for some strange reason?

“Under such turbulent circumstances, it is impossible to discuss this complex problem through which our two nations have combined together through family ties in hundreds of cities. There is also an additional argument which, to my surprise, you make: you claim that the language which children will speak should not be left to the ‘whims’ of parents, but should be determined by the State? You write that ‘non-Ukrainians are free to make their choice’. But will you limit the amount of their schools? As for Ukrainians, I understand you to be saying they are not free to choose? Thus you support coercion yet again? No sir, this dictatorship is unnecessary. Let all cultures develop in a natural way.” (Published in Zvezda, December 1993)

*****

By 2006, Solzhenistyn had become far more pessimistic, as we can see from this interview:

“WT [interviewer]: Personally, I think that the three basic components of Christian civilization, Euro-Atlantic civilization—the United States, the European Union and Russia—should all create a strategic alliance with one another sooner or later. If they do not, then our whole civilization will cease to exist. How can we save our European and Atlantic civilization; does it need to be saved?

Solzhenitsyn: Unfortunately, global processes seem to be moving along a direction contrary to your desires. The United States of America are moving their occupation armies into ever newer countries. Such was the case of Bosnia 9 years ago. Such was the case of Kosovo (where they helped establish an Islamist state in the heart of Europe). We have witnessed it over the last 5 years in Afghanistan and over the last 3 years in Iraq. Although in Iraq, the occupation will not survive long. The activities of NATO and, separately of the United States, do not differ except in minor details. NATO clearly realizes that Russia is not capable of threatening the Alliance and thus NATO methodically and stubbornly develops its military apparatus from Eastern Europe to the south of continental Russia. One sees it in their open support for a variety of color revolutions as well as the paradox of North Atlantic interests taking precedent there over central Asian interests. All of this leaves little doubt: NATO is in the process of encircling Russia and depriving Russia of its independence as a nation state. So, to answer your question: no, allying Russia to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization that uses violent force in various corners of our planet to plant the seeds of an ideology of modern western democracy will not expand Christian civilization, only terminate it.

WT: What is your view about what is happening in Ukraine. And what is your view on the issue of fragmenting the Russian nation (the most fragmented nation in Europe)? Should Russia raise the prospect of uniting all of the Russian and Rus lands if the Ukrainian elites turn their country in the direction of NATO and the EU?

Solzhenitsyn: Events in Ukraine, ever since the time of the referendum in 1991, with its poorly formulated options, have been a constant source of pain and anger to me. I have written and spoken about this often. The fanatic oppression and suppression of the Russian language there (a language which polls show is consistently the preferred language of 60% of the people there) is a beastly methodology aimed primarily against the cultural prospects of Ukraine itself. The vast territories which were never part of historic Ukraine, such as Crimea, Novorossiya and the entire southeast were forcibly and arbitrarily consumed into the territory of modern Ukraine and made hostage to Ukraine’s desires to join NATO. Under the Yeltsin presidency, not one meeting was ever held with the Ukrainian President that did not end in Russia capitulating and accepting everything Ukraine requested. Yeltsin uprooted the Black Sea fleet from Sevastopol; something not even Khrushchev did under the USSR. It is all a simple minded, indeed simpleton and cruel joke perpetuated against the entire history of XIX and XX century Russia. Given these circumstances, Russia will never, in any way, betray the many millions of Russian speaking peoples in Ukraine. Russia will never abandon the ideal of unity with them.” (Moscow News, interview with W. T. Trietiakov published 28 April/4May 2006)

*****

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was mutually agreed by Yeltsin and President George W. Bush that the Soviet state would be dissolved and the former constituent states of the Union become independent, on condition in return that the United States and NATO would not incorporate those states into their military alliance, an obvious threat to Russia (and for which there would be now no real reason). But that is exactly what occurred, beginning with President Clinton and continuing under George W. Bush, and under Obama and Biden.

George Kennan, one of the most distinguished of American diplomats, told The New York Times he believed the expansion of NATO was “the beginning of a new cold war…I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves.”

And today Russia finds itself virtually encircled by an armed NATO, a Ukrainian government which mistreats and persecutes its large ethnic Russian minority (around 30%) and that has violated the peace terms of the Minsk Agreement (negotiated after the 2014 crisis), and American and European Union NGO agents provocateurs and subversion internally and in nearby pro-Russian associated states (such as, most recently, Kazakhstan).

In 2014 American government officials, including Obama’s Assistant Secretary of for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (wife of the late John McCain’s foreign policy advisor, Robert Kagan), were responsible in large part for instigating the “Maidan coup” which overthrew the popularly elected and pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. In a secretly recorded phone message Nuland declared that the Obama State Department had selected Arseniy Yatsenyuk to be the new prime minster: “Yats is the guy,” she said. Voting by Ukrainians be damned if not acceptable to the Foggy Bottom globalists.

Is the American State Department, infested as it is with Neoconservative globalists, willing—like England did to Poland before the outbreak of World War II—to give Ukraine the promise of (unlimited) military support which could unleash world conflagration?

Is the so-called “conservative movement” so corrupted by a secular and increasingly anti-Christian globalism that it now spouts ad libitum Leftist foreign policy talking points? To listen to a Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) or Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one would have to conclude so.

Already our misguided and belligerent policies have forced Russia into the arms of China—the two largest nations of the earth whose national and internal interests have sharply diverged, but who now find themselves drawn closer due to American insistence on imposing our form of democracy uber alles, our internal subversion (via the “color revolutions”) in former Eastern Bloc states, and our zeal to see Russia accept the worst gutter filth that we export around the world.

One year (2007) before he died, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn gave another interview, this one to the German magazine, Der Spiegel, in which he said:

“[Vladimir] Putin inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people…. And he started to do what was possible, a slow and gradual restoration. These efforts were not noticed, nor appreciated, immediately. In any case, one is hard-pressed to find examples in history when steps by one country to restore its strength were met favorably by other governments. Putin gives us hope and seeks to restore Russia’s Christian tradition. That I applaud.” [The Washington Post, August 5, 2008]

Once again, the American media and political establishment largely ignored his utterance, just as our nation has ignored the warnings of Lee Congdon, former Ambassador Jack Matlock, Paul Craig Roberts, the late Stephen Cohen, and others. And now it is we who have created the conditions for unnecessary conflict, misery, and global conflagration.

********

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~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

FRED REED: War With China! Another Bright Idea From The Yankee Capital

America, China, Foreign Policy, FRED REED, History, Military, Russia, The South, Trade, War

America starts its wars by overestimating its own capacities, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the nature of the war it is getting into…And the Chinese are not little-leaguers

By Fred Reed

Discussions of war with China over Taiwan often assume a short, regional war won by superior American technology, after which things go on approximately as before. A few observations:

First, overconfidence is an occupational disease of militaries and militarists. Wars very often fail to proceed according to the expectations of the aggressors and not infrequently end in catastrophe.  The American Civil War was expected to be over in an afternoon at First Manassas; wrong by four years and 630,000 dead, equivalent to over six million today.

When Napoleon invaded Russia, he did not foresee Russian troops marching in Paris, which is what happened. When Germany invaded France in 1914, it expected a short, victorious war of movement, and got four years of a losing attrition war. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, GIs sleeping with their daughters in Tokyo was not among their war aims, but it is what happened.

When the French went back into Vietnam after WW II, being catastrophically defeated by les jaunes at Dien Bien Phu was not a strategic objective. When America invaded Vietnam, Washington did not expect a panicked flight from atop the Embassy. When Hitler invaded Russia, GIs in Berlin were not in his plans. When Russia invaded Afghanistan, it did not expect the same outcome that the Americans should have expected, but didn’t, when they did exactly the same thing. The list could be extended. Caution often is a wiser plan than martial enthusiasm.

Second, America starts its wars by overestimating its own capacities, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the nature of the war it is getting into. There is probably a manual on this. Usually the US has no end game and no “what if” plan in case the unforeseen occurs. These traits are clear in America’s wars since Korea.

The reason for this curious behavior is that war is only tangentially a rational endeavor, being chiefly a limbic, instinctually driven habit probably of genetic provenance. War is just what men do, tribe against tribe, country against country, empire against empire, world without end. War is a major, perhaps the major, focus of human endeavor. A glance at history reveals it to be chiefly a tapestry of war. The literature of civilizations reflects this: The Gilgamesh Epic, the Iliad, the Aeneid, El Cid, Orlando Furioso, Lord of the Rings.

Does America have a clear reason for defending Taiwan? It is not of vital importance to America, and arguably not of minor importance. Few Americans know quite where it is, and few can distinguish it from Thailand. If it became part of China almost no one would notice. Before getting into an unpredictable war with a massively populous nuclear power of formidable economic and military resources on the other side of the world, it might be wise to answer the question, “Why? What do we gain? How do we get out of said war?”

Regarding war in Chinese waters:

The US fleet has not been in combat since 1945, over seventy-five years ago. American pilots have not flown against a competent enemy since 1973, almost half a century ago. Enormous changes in technology and armament have occurred in the intervening years. Nobody really knows what a battle of naval forces against modern antiship missiles would look like. Those who can guess are not sanguine. Most warships today lack armor. Anyone looking at what a couple of French Exocet missiles did to the USS Stark in 1987 would not bet on equally unarmored Ticos or Arleigh Burkes. An aircraft carrier is a large bladder of aviation fuel wrapped around high explosives. Look at the accidental launch in 1967 of one Zuni five-inch ground-attack missile aboard the USS Forrestal, igniting raging fires, cooking off bombs, killing 134 sailors and putting the ship in the repair yard for many months.

Militaries grow slack in extended periods of peace. Training decreases to save money. War stocks of tank treads are cannibalized for training and aren’t there when war comes; the company that made them has gone out of business. Supplies of critical parts dwindle as budgets go to procurement of future hardware. After all, nobody really expects war. Rapid mobilization, it turns out, is impossible.

If the war was not won as quickly and decisively as hoped, as it very likely would not be, would an American public already under severe economic stress support the heavy cost of a war having no obvious end point or relevance to their lives? Conscription?

Within the Beltway many seem to think that China is Cambodia with more people. Some in Washington harbor a residual belief that America is militarily supreme, that its mere entrance into war seals the outcome. Think again, carefully. Rand has wargamed regional war in the Strait and South China Sea and concluded that America has a very good chance of losing. he Chinese are smart, and excellent engineers. Chinese students dominate America’s best technical universities and the elite high schools. CalTech and MIT, for example. Look at the Chinese space program, the upcoming 360 mph maglev trains using high-temperature superconductivity. The Chinese are not little-leaguers. They have put many resources into antiship missiles specifically designed for US carriers. These, note, greatly outrange carrier aviation. Iraq was predicted to be a “cakewalk.” China won’t be.

Allies? In naval circles there is much talk about the First Island Chain and an assumption that Japan will join a war against China to protect Taiwan, or at least let its bases be used by American forces. Are we sure? Japan is within missile and air range of China. All of its petroleum arrives by sea, and China has pretty decent submarines. Japan’s trade mostly moves by sea. China is a crucial trading partner whose elimination in a war would devastate the Japanese economy. Japan is close to China. America is not. Tokyo might worry that America would grow weary of the war and go home, as it usually does, and leave Japan, all alone, in a shooting war with China. How would that end?

What stake does Japan have in the independence of Taiwan? Today it trades with both Taiwan and China. If China absorbed the island, Japan would continue trading with both. Only the letterhead would change. Are we quite, quite sure Tokyo would want any part of this?

South Korea? Its cities and entire economy are within missile range of China. Does it really want to get into a shooting war with its huge neighbor, which has a land border with the peninsula, to maintain American hegemony in the Pacific? Having gotten into a war, how would it get out? The Koreans may have thought of this.

Wars as imagined inside the Beltway often seem to assume that the enemy will just lie there and be bombed without doing anything untoward or unexpected. Are we sure? The United States has 28,000 troops and their families within range of Chinese weaponry, the killing of whom would force Washington into desperate measures. Could China encourage North Korea to attack southward, creating a two-front war far beyond Washington’s ability to handle? Or Kim to think he saw a chance and attack on his own initiative? Might China annex Myanmar? Perhaps this is farfetched. Perhaps it isn’t. Remember that nobody expected China’s entry into the Korean war.

One might suspect that Taipei, seeing overwhelming forces arrayed against it across the Strait, will one day cut the best deal it can with Beijing rather than be devastated first and then have to accept whatever conditions Beijing chose to impose. It could get a sweetheart deal as Beijing would much prefer this to invading with all of its risks. Here is a factor I am not competent to judge, but that might be worth judging: The Chinese, as I knew them long ago when I lived in Taiwan, are (very) racially aware and nationalistic. The Taiwanese are Chinese. You can bet they know of the Legations, the Opium Wars, the Boxers, the burning of the Summer Palace, the Korean War. As I write, the most popular movie on the mainland is about a Chinese victory over Americans in the Korean War.

What might a Chinese attack on Taiwan look like? The Chinese general staff mysteriously does not confide in me, but a good guess is easy. The Chinese often do beach-assault exercises on their side of the strait, obviously practice for the genuine assault. One of these turns suddenly into the real thing. Ballistic missiles crater Taiwan’s military runways, missiles in large numbers hit air defenses. Troop ships head for Taiwan, getting there in eight hours at fifteen knots, helicopters and paratroops in less. China’s large and reasonably good air force bombs and bombs and bombs. After twenty-four hours, the US is still trying to decide what is happening, talking to the JCS, asking the President what to do.

Nathan Bedford Forrest, the talented Confederate general, is said to have said that the secret of victory is to “git thar fustest with the mostest.” In the event of a surprise attack, how long would it take—in the real world, not in PowerPoint slides—for America to get there with how much of what? If the Chinese got substantial forces ashore, it would be the end of the story. Keeping troops out of an island is one thing, getting them out quite another. Not even John Bolton—perhaps not even John Bolton—can imagine that America could win a land war with China in Asia. Selling the American public on a large war over things in which it has no interest would be difficult. Under these circumstances, the chances are nonnegligible that the US would make loud noises, huff and puff, save face as best it could, and do nothing.

But let us assume that Washington fought and lost the regional war, Taiwan perhaps surrendering after the U.S. lost a dozen ships and a carrier was disabled. What would Washington do after such a humiliation? Never underestimate the influence of vanity on world affairs. The hawks in DC have elevated titles and, sometimes, considerable ability, but they also have the same hormones and egos as patrons in Joe’s Bar in Chicago. A Chinese victory in the style of Tsushima Strait would end the world’s view of America as an invincible hegemon. The fernbar Napoleons might well decide to up the ante and turn a regional into a world war. This it would win. “Win.” Perhaps by blocking the Strait of Malacca and threatening the Three Gorges Dam. The expectation in the Pentagon would likely be that Beijing would see the futility of resistance and surrender. But if it did not?

America’s trade with China in goods in 2020 was $660 billion, $120 billion of that being exports, making it America’s largest trading partner… Cutting this off would wreck the American economy. This is far more than a matter of iPhones and cheap plastic buckets for Walmart. Though most may not know it, America is an economic dependency of China.  The US gets from China countless things it cannot make but cannot do without. For example, cars require computers to control their ignition and transmissions. Where do we think these are made? Companies like Boeing sound American but many vital assemblies come from China. High-end semiconductors, crucial to today’s economies, come predominantly from East Asian companies, notably Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung, both of which would be hostage to Chinese attack. The great majority of rare earths, critical to the manufacture of chips, come from China. Similar considerations exist for industry after industry. While America has the technology to make most of the things it gets from China, it does not have the manufacturing capacity, and would need years to develop it.

Has anyone in Washington checked industry by industry to see what the effects of the end of imports would actually be?

Further, China is the largest trading partner of most of the world, Germany and the European Union for example, and close with most of the rest. If an American war took China out of the global supply chain, the resulting depression would make 1929 look like the height of prosperity, turn the entire earth against the US, and likely lead to the lynching of everyone in Washington.

Never mentioned is that America is trying, with considerable success, to block China’s economic progress by preventing its acquisition of advanced semiconductors. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest and most advanced manufacturer of chips, is in Taiwan. Reunification of Taiwan with China would solve this critical problem. Beijing has probably thought of this.

Considering the costs, risks, and benefits if any of such a war, the question may be, “How bright an idea is this?”

******************************************

FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

* Image courtesy FP

China Is ‘Decoupling’ From Decadent Western Culture For Fear Of Being Infected

America, Capitalism, China, Communism, Foreign Policy, Nationalism, The West

Fareed Zakaria is a CNN serial plagiarizer. (Read “Fareed Zakaria Plagiarizer.”) Like another CNN offender, online onanist Jeffrey Toobin, Zakaria is always forgiven and brought back from literary purgatory, to inflict mediocrity and derivative insights on viewers who’re none the wiser.

The neoliberal Zakaria recently broadcasted a “television special, China’s Iron Fist.” He joined neoconservatives in calling China “The most serious competition the United States has ever faced. The Chinese are doing AI, biotech, hi-speed rail – the industries of the future.”

I watched the broadcast. It was the simplistic, angels-and-demons story-line, that proceeds from the premise that America is an oasis of freedom and happiness, whereas in China, which has become quite the middle-class, materialistic, consumerist society, all yearn to breathe free … in America, naturally.

Well, the Han Chinese, who constitute 94% of China, rather like their nationalistic, monolithic  (at least compared to the US) country.

What I most hate about the Chinese culture is its contempt and abuse of the natural world, critters included. But I couldn’t be bothered with the American foreign-policy elite’s sinophobia, which seems to be a distraction from the fact that the Chinese ruling class generally acts in the national interest; whereas American ruling elites act in ways so antagonistic to the people’s welfare as to constitute treason.

In any event, China, warned Zakaria, is becoming less western. The West being the best, such a trend is condemned. Well, the always low-key observations of The Economist make more sense:

“China’s leaders still want investment and technology from the West, but they think it is in decadent decline and are decoupling from Western norms and ideas.”

They have a point, no?

* Image courtesy The Economist