The Real China Threat is China Threat Theorists
May 08, 2001
"There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it ever come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence."
-- Daniel Webster
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-- Abraham Lincoln
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
Executive Summary: Our American way of life is under threat. Not from PLA F-8 interceptors in the South China Sea, but from China Threat Theorists on Capitol Hill. These Blue Team Sinophobes demand the domestic adoption of right wing socialism, better known as fascism, in order to combat a nonexistent foreign threat of left wing socialism, better known as communism. Unless Real Patriots expose these China Threat Theorists' "impostures of pretended patriotism," the great republic bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers is at serious risk of being transformed into a Warfare State waging "perpetual war for perpetual peace." Ordinary Americans' lives, liberty and property will be sacrificed on the Altar of the Almighty State, long before any foreign threat appears on the horizon.
"Moral judgments must be "universalizable." This notion owed something to the ancient Golden Rule... anyone who uses such terms as right and ought is logically committed to universalizability. To say that a moral judgment must be universalizable means... if I judge a particular action... to be wrong, I must also judge any relevantly similar action to be wrong. The same judgment must be made in all conceivable cases... the same prescription has to be made in all hypothetically, as well as actually, similar cases."
Ethics / 20th-century Western ethics / Metaethics / Universal prescriptivism
On April Fools Day, 2001, a US Navy EP-3 Aries engaged in "routine" spying on highly sensitive military installations on China's Hainan Island, collided with a Chinese F-8 interceptor. A Chinese "surveillance aircraft" did not collide with a US Navy F-14 while "routinely" spying on southern California's San Diego Naval Base.
China, in marked contrast with the World's Self-appointed Policeman, does not routinely dispatch Chinese warplanes 8,000 miles across the Pacific to spy, or in Pentagon spinmeister Craig Quigley's coy formulation, conduct "overt, routine surveillance and reconnaissance" of US military bases in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Amid the claims and counterclaims over "who swerved into whom," and who was "flying straight and level," this fact is undisputed. It is undisputed by President George W. Bush, by Vice President Dick Cheney, by Secretary of State Colin Powell, by National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
And this fact represents everything wrong with our post Cold War China policy.
Media Beat, U.S.-China Dispute: From Other Side of Media Window
The Cold War is over. There is no "Communist Threat"
"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-- Thomas Paine
"Without a Golden Rule at the heart of our relationship, we are left with what our hawks define as the Moral Equivalence doctrine. We are more "moral" than the People's Republic of China... we are able to hold the PRC to higher standards... we must be permitted to fly along their coastline, giving them only a 12-mile cushion, but if they come within 200 miles of our coastline, we won't simply harass them, we will shoot them down. Our hawks carry this Moral Equivalence doctrine into every corner of our relationship with China... "
-- Jude Wanniski
Moral Equivalance or Golden Rule?
The only moral use of force is in self defense. Any non-defensive use of force is initiation of force, i.e., aggression, and untenable by any code of morality one cares to invoke.
Marxism-Leninism was a messianic revolutionary movement with no regard for national sovereignty, dedicated to the violent overthrow of capitalism the world over. Marxism-Leninism respected no borders, therefore the Cold War against international communism could logically be considered defensive. I myself subscribed to this reasoning during the Cold War. I myself was among the coldest of Cold Warriors, and considered Richard Nixon "soft on communism."
But the Cold War is Over
The Cold War with the Soviet Union ended in 1989, when Mikhail Gorbachev in effect acceded to Ronald Reagan's ringing demand, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
The Cold War with "Red" China ended even earlier, in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping, whom Mao Zedong denounced as "Number Two Capitalist Roader," turned his back on Marxism-Leninism, declared that "To get rich is glorious!" and led China down the path to free market capitalism.
With the ideological demise of doctrinaire communism, Taiwan's capitalism was no longer under threat from mainland communism, and the conflict between Beijing and Taipei reverted to the status of a non-ideological Chinese Civil War within the confines of China's borders.
With the end of the Cold War the issue of America's self defense had been removed from the Chinese equation. America no longer had any dog in China's fight.
China is not Communist. There is no "China Threat"
"According to OECD Survey figures published in Economic Outlook (June 1998), the "Marxist" Chinese government collects under 11 percent of Chinese GDP, unlike most Western democracies that swallow up between 30 and 51 percent of the yearly wealth generated in their countries."
-- Paul Gottfried
Mainland China has not been communist for 23 years, the "anti-communist" New Republic and Weekly Standard to the contrary notwithstanding. Unfortunately millions of ordinary Americans aren't aware of this fact.
How many Americans know for example that mainland Chinese pay less in taxes than Americans? Not just slightly less than Americans, but up to two-thirds less than Americans? Mainland Chinese pay less than 11% in taxes, 6% less than the 17% China demonizer Steve Forbes proposed Americans pay under his highly touted flat tax scheme.
China's public sector today comprises a mere 30% of China's GDP. It is smaller even than the public sectors of France and Germany, and smaller still than those of Denmark and Sweden.
If this is what the Blue Team insists on referring to as "Communism," then I say let's have more of it! It probably never occurred to Forbes that one reason he couldn't reduce taxes on Americans any lower than 17% was that he and other alleged "fiscal conservatives" refuse to stop buying all those $36 million EP-3s they keep sending across the Pacific to spy on China.
Mainland China's phenomenal transformation from a totalitarian collectivist dictatorship under Mao Zedong during the 50s, 60s and 70s, to economically liberal free market capitalism under Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin during the 80s and 90s, is the best kept secret in the world.
Asian of the Century, Asiaweek magazine
China is Communist in Name Only -- How come the Americans can't see the country is changing?, Asiaweek magazine
China's Quiet Revolution, the Establishment Media's Open Secret
Why doesn't the American public know this?
They don't know this because Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin's post-Cold War transformation of mainland China, in contrast with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin's post-Cold War transformation of Russia, emphasized economic substance rather than political appearance.
They don't know this because even though mainland China radically restructured her economic system, and substantially liberalized her political system as well, she never underwent the high profile, media-genic "official makeover" of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries.
Mainland China never altered her official name from the "Peoples' Republic of China," never redesigned her national flag, never commissioned a new national anthem, and perhaps most important of all symbolically speaking, never ripped down the portrait of Mao Zedong above Tiananmen Square.
The bitter irony is that mainland China's gradualist, dare I say "conservative" reform strategy has worked against China's reformers image-wise. Because mainland China's post Cold War transformation stressed economics rather than politics, our own Political Class, which considers Politics their reason for living and Democracy their secular religion, demeaned China's quiet revolution, unprecedented in human history, as "mere economics," and heaped adulation on Russia's political reforms instead.
Hundreds of thousands of American expatriates living on the Chinese mainland however know better. These adventurous Yankee traders in Beijing and Shanghai know China is a free market capitalist economy which has neither any intention nor any desire to commit aggression against America.
The China Threat Theorists' Big Lie
The Blue Team of course also knows this. The Blue Team only pretends not to know. The Blue Team maintains its pretense of ignorance because it is determined to exploit "anti-communism" as a pretext for initiating force against China.
And if China refuses to wear the black hat, declines to be cast in the role of heavy in the Blue Team's smug "America Good, China Evil" morality play? No problem. The Blue Team will simply aid and abet Taiwan's separatist elite until China lashes out in frustration. At which point the Blue Team will triumphantly proclaim, "See, we told you the Chinese were belligerent! We told you the Chinese were a threat!"
The Blue Team reminds me of the wolf in the Aesop's Fable who petulantly accuses a lamb of muddying his drinking water. When the lamb protests "But I'm drinking downstream from you." the wolf promptly devours him. The wolf was never the slightest bit concerned with facts, logic, fair play, or "rights." The wolf merely needed the flimsiest of pretexts to do what he fully intended to do all along, prey on the weak.
This is the pseudo-logic behind the patently absurd "China is a bully, America is the champion of the underdog" drivel anti-interventionists have had to endure since the Straits Crisis of 1996, when Taiwan independence Quisling Lee Teng-hui attempted to incite a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident to justify US superpower intervention.
Has anyone ever met a weak bully? I haven't, and I've met my share. Bullies are invariably strong. Our Pentagon, as the Colonel Blimps at the Weekly Standard never tire of reminding the world, is unchallenged in its military might. China's PLA is, relatively speaking, a 98 lb. weakling next to America's Charles Atlas. No other nation on the planet besides America meets the objective requirements required to be a bully. Only the Teddy Roosevelt Roughrider wannabes in Dubya's White House and a GOP Congress have both the means and the motive to be bullies. And "nobody does it better."
The Taiwan Relations Act, Pretext for Neocolonialist, Neo-imperialist Intervention
Congressional Blue Team members ritually invoke the Taiwan Relations Act as justification for US superpower meddling. They mindlessly parrot the catechism,
"The Taiwan Relations Act means America has a legal and moral obligation to defend Taiwan."
This is unmitigated, undiluted, unadulterated nonsense.
The Taiwan Relations Act, United States Code Title 22 Chapter 48, enacted 10 April 1979, was an Act of Congress. It was domestic US law. It was not an international treaty. In case you're wondering how the hell domestic US legislation, passed without the participation or consent of an independent foreign nation, can possibly overrule a foreign nation's political sovereignty and territorial integrity, the answer is, it can't and it doesn't.
Could China have unilaterally issued a "Confederate Relations Act" in 1861 and cited it as authority to dispatch Chinese warships to Charleston to prevent Lincoln from suppressing southern secession?
Of course not.
In fact the Taiwan Relations Act does not even authorize active US military assistance to Taipei, merely the sale of weapons, and only defensive weapons at that.
The merits or demerits of southern secession are not at issue here. The issue is who gets to make such decisions. The issue of resurgent southern secession must be decided by "The Several States" to the north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line, not by China, a foreign nation. Whether there is to be a future Confederate States of America, or for that matter, a Republic of Alaska, a Republic of Hawaii and a Republic of Texas, is up to Americans to decide, either through negotiation or armed conflict. Foreign political struggles which don't violate China's sovereignty are none of Beijing's concern.
By the exact same token the issue of Taiwan secession must be decided by the mainland and offshore regions of China to the east and west of the Taiwan Straits, not by America. Whether there is to be a "Republic of Taiwan" is up to the Chinese to decide, either through negotiation or armed conflict. Foreign political struggles which don't violate America's sovereignty are none of Washington's concern.
With the end of the Cold War the Taiwan Relations Act and the "Taiwan Security Enhancement Act" (Don't you just love Blue Team Orwellian Newspeak?) are nothing more than the flimsiest of pretexts for neocolonialist, neo-imperialist meddling in China's internal affairs.
The Taiwan Relations Act was passed unilaterally by Congress. It can be repealed unilaterally by Congress. It's high time Americans demanded its swift elimination as an obsolete relic of the Cold War.
What Lies Beneath
The Twilight Zone
"Four O'Clock" Episode 94, April 6, 1962
by Rod Serling, story by Price Day
Summary: Moralist zealot Oliver Crangle (Theodore Bikel) has single-mindedly dedicated himself to the punishment of ubiquitous evil in the world. He devises an elaborate scheme to shrink all those whom he has meticulously catalogued as evil down to two feet tall at four o'clock. His perfect plan backfires however when to his horror and bewilderment he finds himself shrunken down to size when the fateful hour rolls around.
U.S. Is Voted Off Rights Panel of the U.N. for the First Time
Washington Angry Over Losing Rights Seat
By Barbara Crossette, The New York Times
UNITED NATIONS, May 3, 2001 -- In a move that reflected a growing frustration with America's attitude toward international organizations and treaties, the United States was voted off the United Nations Human Rights Commission today for the first time since the panel's founding under American leadership in 1947. The ouster of the United States from the commission... was apparently supported even by some friends of the United States. "It couldn't be worse, all the conservatives in the administration will see this as proof that we are in an organization full of enemies."
Have you ever wondered just exactly what motivates our Benevolent Global Hegemonists' China policy?
I'm not talking about what they claim motivates their China policy. I'm not talking about their manifestly phony, thoroughly repugnant expressions of "heartfelt concern for human rights victims in China" splashed across the editorial pages of the National Review, the Washington Times, FreeRepublic.com, Townhall.com, and WorldNetDaily. I'm talking about what actually motivates their China policy.
As the deadly sieges of Ruby Ridge and Waco by federal storm troopers demonstrated, neither Slick Willy's Humanitarian Interventionists nor George Dubya's Benevolent Global Hegemonists gave a damn about the First, Second and Fourth Amendment rights of white European Americans Randy Weaver and David Koresh in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
As the racially motivated Donorgate spy hunt and Lee Wenho witch trial demonstrated, the "bipartisan leadership" of the Democratic and Republican parties didn't give a damn about presumption of innocence, Habeas Corpus, and due process for American citizens of Chinese descent in Los Angeles and Los Alamos.
So why would they give a damn about the individual rights of espionage suspect Gao Zhan, detained Falungong members, Chinese Catholics, expectant Chinese mothers, or millions of other nameless, faceless "gooks," none of whom are even American citizens?
They wouldn't, and they don't. Anyone who imagines otherwise is a Wei Jingshen, Harry Wu style dupe and political naif, pathetically clueless about the dark side of the human psyche.
A handful of rabble-rousing radio talk show hosts and a rabidly Sinophobic editor for the National Review have openly urged herding Americans of Chinese descent into WWII style concentration camps, without prior evidence of individual criminal culpability, purely on the basis of ethnic origin. And these self-styled "patriots" have the chutzpah, the colossal effrontery, to equate free market capitalist China with Nazi Germany?
The clearest evidence of the Malevolent Global Hegemonists' primitive bigotry, and the Inhumanitarian Interventionists' hollow sanctimony is their "bipartisan" eagerness to declare war on China, so they can get on with the fun part -- dropping next generation smart munitions on the very same Chinese civilians they made such a conspicuous show of empathizing with as human rights victims, right along with the Chinese officials they denounced as human rights violators.
Globocops with Guillotines
What actually motivates Benevolent Global Hegemonists and Humanitarian Interventionists is what motivated Tomas de Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor for Ferdinand and Isabella's Spanish Inquisition, and what motivated Oliver Crangle in Rod Serling's classic Twilight Zone episode, "Four O'Clock," a neurotic, nay, psycho pathological obsession with "being right" and with "punishing evil-doers."
The Real China Threat, or Lew Rockwell is Right
"Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."
-- George Washington
"The main problem with the Blue Team is that its efforts will promote the very threat it warns against. More that one analyst has written that treating a country as an enemy guarantees that the country will become an enemy. Threats beget threats. Hostile words elicit hostile words. In effect, the Blue Team is taking Taiwan's side and has become a lobby for Taipei."
-- Nicholas Berry, Senior Analyst, Center for Defense Information
We Don't Need a Blue Team, Or a Red Team, Taking Sides on China-Taiwan Relations
When we examine a Donald Rumsfeld or a Richard Armitage under the evolutionary microscope, what we are in fact looking at is the catastrophic consequence of human technological progress running far ahead of human moral and spiritual development. Blue Team Holy Warriors such as Republican congressman Chris Cox are unevolved primitives who have had space age weaponry dropped in their laps by their intellectual betters, ironically by men such as scapegoated American weapons scientist Lee Wenho.
The China Threat Theorists' fingers might be poised over the consoles of high tech smart weapons, but their Neanderthal craniums can barely contain their reptilian consciousness. The last time such an anomalous state of affairs prevailed in a technogically advanced nation was in Germany circa 1933 and in Japan circa 1931.
Unrelenting demonization of China by Blue Team zealots, followed by precipitous, escalating military confrontation, constitutes a Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of ordinary Americans who want merely to mind their own business and live their own lives. This constant threat to ordinary Americans' lives, liberty and property emanates not from China, but from China Threat Theorists.
When George Washington referred to "Real Patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious" he was talking about scrupulously consistent libertarians such as Lew Rockwell, Karen de Coster, Justin Raimondo and others who refuse to betray their deeply held ethical and political principles selectively on the basis of race.
China is Right
Dance of the Warmongers
Are the Chinese Nazis?
When George Washington referred to "tools and dupes [who] usurp the applause and confidence of the people," he was talking about Lew Rockwell's critics on the Warfare Statist right. As Rockwell noted in his unflinching op ed piece "China is Right":
"There is only one evil empire alive in the world today, and it is not China."
The Blue Team's naked gunboat diplomacy not only will not hasten the introduction, or rather, reintroduction of pre-communist political liberty in China, it is certain to further obliterate what scant traces of individual liberty remain in America. Anyone who doubts this proposition need only answer the following questions.
Which government poses the greatest threat to American lives?
Is it more likely you will lose your life because Jiang Zemin orders wave upon wave of PLA Marines 8,000 miles east across the Pacific to stage an amphibious landing on Venice Beach, California? Or because our foreign policy geniuses in Washington order you 8,000 miles west across the Pacific to fight in yet another Asian civil war, on the side of god knows who and for god knows what?
Which government poses the greatest threat to American liberty?
Is it more likely you will lose your liberty because China invades and conquers the World's Only Remaining Superpower? Or because "National Greatness Conservatives" who demand "energetic government" impose draconian legal constraints on their fellow Americans in the name of "National Security" and "A Clear and Present Danger?"
Which government poses the greatest threat to American property?
Is more likely you will lose your hard earned wealth because "Red" or "Communist" China overruns the World's Only Remaining Superpower and nationalizes the assets of the Fortune 500 companies? Or because homegrown Warfare Statists tax you into the poorhouse footing the bill for Tomahawk cruise missiles at US $1,500,000 a pop? "Peace Dividend," anyone?
If you know the answers to these questions, you already know which government poses the greatest threat to American lives, liberty and property, and therefore which government represents the real "China Threat." As Daniel Webster noted, "There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it ever come at all, will be from another quarter."
"Abuse of power isn't limited to bad guys in other nations. It happens in our own country if we're not vigilant... Waco... Ruby Ridge... What kind of mentality does that? Those in power get jaded, deluded, and seduced by power itself. The hunger for absolute power and, more to the point, the abuse of power, are part of human nature."
-- Clint Eastwood
Eastwood on Government, Parade Magazine, January 12, 1997
"A person who wants to exercise political power over his fellow man...asks himself: "How can I 'do good' for the people if I just leave them alone?" [non-intervention]
... he does not want to pass into history as a "do nothing" leader who ends up as a footnote somewhere. So he begins to... force all other persons to conform to his ideas of what is good for them. If there is opposition, an emergency is declared or created to justify these actions. [The "China Threat"]
If the benevolent ruler stays in power long enough, he eventually concludes that power and wisdom are the same thing. And as he possesses power, he must also possess wisdom. ["The World's Only Remaining Superpower," hence "The World's Champion of Human Rights," by default]
He becomes converted to the seductive thesis that election to public office endows the official with both power and wisdom. ["The Leader of the Free World" or "The World's Greatest Deliberative Body"]
At this point, he begins to lose his ability to distinguish between what is morally right and what is politically expedient." [Insert name of any modern era American "leader" one cares to mention.]
-- Admiral Ben Moreell
Chief of US Navy Seabees during WWII
"If we have to use force it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future."
-- Madeleine Albright
NBC TV's Today, February 19, 1998
Lesley Stahl: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - and you know, is the price worth it?"
Madeleine Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."
-- Punishing Saddam
60 Minutes, May 12, 1996
It never ceases to amaze me how little genuine wisdom our seemingly intelligent political leaders in fact possess. Anyone with a shred of common sense knows that in interpersonal relationships the only truly effective way to influence another human being is through the power of example, not coercion. Yet the Rhodes Scholars and MacArthur Fellows inside our Beltway can't seem to absorb this elementary lesson of human psychology, let alone apply it to their foreign policy decision-making processes.
The lesson is clear, our federal Leviathan in Washington is no friend of human rights, either at home or abroad. Big Government is a Victor Frankenstein creation which, unless a nation's citizens remain eternally vigilant, will turn even on those who "democratically" voted it in.
The citizens of each nation must reduce the size of their own governments, and relate to each other more as private individuals, as trading partners, as fellow human beings, not as uncritical, chauvinistic subjects of mutually hostile political collectives. If ordinary citizens within the nearly 300 nations on the planet were simply to engage in peaceful commerce with each other, and ignore the xenophobic exhortations of their "leaders'" to wage Holy Wars against their neighbors, mankind would be halfway there. Ordinary human beings already do this with fellow human beings living across town. There is no intrinsic reason why they can't do this with fellow human beings living across oceans.
The challenge for human beings living in an economically (not politically) globalized world, is to draw on the best that each culture has to offer in order to build a better common future for mankind. Most people want at some level to be constructive participants in such an endeavor, which paradoxically does not call for "heroic sacrifices to a greater cause," but merely for each individual to live as ethical a life as possible, and to refuse to condone their own government's abuse of power, both at home and abroad.
The Destiny of Nations
"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."
-- the Rev. Martin Niemoeller
German Lutheran pastor imprisoned in Dachau by the Gestapo in 1938
In my very first op ed piece for Antiwar.com, "American Values in Dire Straits," I wrote:
"As a first generation naturalized American I am all too aware that my patriotism is presumed suspect by many China-haters in Congress simply by virtue of my race and my national origin... I know by advocating policies which may appear "soft on communism" red flags will go up in the fevered minds of China Threat theorists... I could keep my mouth shut and my head down. But genuine patriotism demands that Americans defend the ideals of our Founding Fathers, and speak up for what is authentically American, and not meekly acquiesce, like "good Germans" or "good Japanese" in the 1930's, to the mainstream consensus while our nation continues its downward slide into imperial decadence."
My concerns back then are even more warranted today. Manzanar style concentration camps, this time for Americans of Chinese rather than Japanese descent are no longer "unthinkable." It can happen here. The sight of nonconformist political dissidents such as myself behind barbed wire ought to do wonders convincing the rest of the world they should emulate our political system.
Real Patriots must "moderate the fury of party spirit... warn against the mischiefs of foreign Intrigue... guard against the Impostures of pretended patriotism." Real Patriots must do so to "prevent our Nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the Destiny of Nations," namely the exhilarating, intoxicating, meteoric rise to Charles Krauthammer's vainglorious "Unipolar Moment," followed by the inevitable, sickening descent into oblivion, from which precious few nations in history have ever recovered.
Many Americans ignorant of history naively see our own American experiment as a permanent success story immune to historical cycles. They are looking but not seeing. America has undergone a major transformation in her brief history, and not for the better. In a relatively short span of time, far shorter than merely one many of China's many dynasties, America has degenerated from a vital republic into a decadent empire. America, as neocon triumphalist Krauthammer boasts, is now at its zenith. What Krauthammer doesn't seem to grasp is that this means America has nowhere to go but down.
China has demonstrated an uncanny ability to survive these long cycles, and to survive them repeatedly. Few other civilizations have been able to do so. India is another. Most other civilizations rise and fall, but never rise again. They far outnumber China and India.
America has yet to demonstrate this ability. Will America be a Periclean Golden Age comet which burns ever so brightly, ever so briefly, before winking out for eternity? The jury is still out. It is currently 2001. For the answer, check back in 3001, then again in 4001.
The prospect of eventual American decline resulting from imperial overreach is deeply discouraging. If America's modern "leadership" had the slightest vestige of reverence for the wisdom of our anti-imperialist Founding Fathers, this depressing scenario would not be unfolding. Objectively speaking it is totally unnecessary, a tragic waste.
China Threat Theorists need to get a grip. International free trade is not roulette or blackjack. Global commerce is not a zero sum game. Just as it is not necessary for China to lose for America to win, it is not necessary for America to lose for China to win. As Guy Kawasaki, Apple's old evangelist and CEO of Garage.com put it:
"Never think of the world as a zero-sum game. Don't think that someone else's good luck will take luck away from you. There is infinite good luck in the world."
Brute force by the World's Only Remaining Superpower may inspire fear and loathing, but not respect, much less friendship. The Blue Team loves climbing on its high horse about "America's solemn commitments to her friends and allies in Asia." That's a laugh. As the humiliating United Nations Human Rights Commission vote makes clear, Uncle Sammy has no friends, in Asia or anywhere else. Only resentful populations under US military occupation such as the Okinawans, or obsequious clients under US military "protection" such as Taiwan's Quisling elite.
What America needs but desperately lacks is visionary leaders who would transform America into a giant version of neutral Switzerland, a nation modestly minding her own business, aggressing against no one. What America needs today is the reincarnation of George Washington or John Quincy Adams. Unfortunately it is the last thing America is likely to get.
For the record, if Republicans had their heads screwed on properly, another Texan, libertarian GOP congressman Ron Paul, and not Dim Bulb Dubya with his room temperature IQ, would be America's president.
Indeed, if the venom spewed at Lew Rockwell recently is any indication, even self-styled "libertarians" are testing positive for War Fever and Acute Sinophobia. Dissuading our interventionist nomenklatura from ordering the US Navy across the Pacific in a replay of Apocalypse Now in today's political climate may be hopeless. As hopeless as dissuading Bruce Ismay of the White Star Line from ordering Captain Edward Smith to set a transatlantic speed record amid drifting icebergs.
But then what is our alternative?
Appendix A: The Founding Fathers' Foreign Policy
"The Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns... Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European Ambition, Rivalship, Interest, Humour or Caprice? Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign World..."
-- George Washington
Washington's Farewell Address, 1796
"Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States... to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality... peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions... sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations... to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities... to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own... "
-- James Madison
First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809
"Independence... made us a nation, this sets our compass and points the course which we are to steer through the ocean of time opening on us. Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She should therefore have a system of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe.
-- Thomas Jefferson
to President James Monroe, October 24, 1823
"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions, and her prayers. But she does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assumed the colors and usurped the standards of freedom... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit."
-- John Quincy Adams
Secretary of State to James Monroe and author of the Monroe Doctrine, July 4, 1821
"By the policy to which we have adhered since the days of Washington... we have done more for the cause of liberty in the world than arms could effect; we have shown to other nations the way to greatness and happiness... Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and the cause of liberty, that, adhering to our pacific system and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning on this western shore amid the ruins of a fallen and falling republics in Europe.
-- Henry Clay
to Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth, explaining America's "ancient policy of amity and nonintervention" and why America refused to rescue Hungary
"The American people must be content to recommend the cause of human progress by the wisdom with which they should exercise the powers of government, forbearing at all times and in every way, from foreign alliances, intervention, and interference."
-- William Seward
Secretary of State to Abraham Lincoln, explaining to the French Emperor America's "policy of nonintervention - straight, absolute, and peculiar as it may seem to other nations," and why America refused to aid France,1863
Appendix B: Of EP-3s and SOP
The April 1 collision rekindled memories of mid-air interceptions of US Navy spy planes by ROC Air Force pilots in the skies over Taiwan. According to an April 8 article in the Chinese language United Daily News (Lianhe Ribao), US Navy EP-3 spyplanes routinely violated Chinese airspace controlled by Taipei as well as by Beijing.
The ROC Air Force initially dispatched single-seat fighters to chase away the EP-3s, but was later forced to send twin-seat fighters instead, according to one retired military pilot. The EP-3s would play cat and mouse games with the pilots of single-seat fighters, whose attention would be concentrated on photographing the intruders. They would slow suddenly by shutting off two of their four turboprop engines. Jet fighters tailing the EP-3s risked stalling their engines if they abruptly reduced their speed in response.
Another EP-3 trick was to suddenly execute a sharp turn. "Perhaps the American pilots thought the [ROC] interceptors would immediately fly away when the EP-3s made a sharp turn, so time and again they played these tricks." He said the ill-fated PRC F-8 pilot who died on April 1 might have failed to notice a sharp turn by the EP-3, collided with the US aircraft, and crashed into the sea.