Why Dissing China Ought Not to Become An American Sport

-

hubush.jpg
James Fallows crossed swords with Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt earlier this week in a short essay charghing Hiatt and his co-editors with recklessness in their reporting both about China recently and about Iraq before the invasion.
I agree with Fallows that:

The tone of the Post‘s editorials was not the major factor, but was a factor, in cowing people in DC who might have objected to the rush to war [with Iraq].
I’ve got nothing against Hiatt personally, whom I like; but I do have something against his page’s pro-war tone in those days. I mention it because, again, I think there is a similarity in the “don’t bother me with details, goddammit” tone.

Being against the Iraq War did not require one to be a pacifist. It was reckless on a great number of levels — including one consequence that we are dealing with today. Throwing off the equilibrium between Iraq and Iran meant that Iran’s pretensions would grow in the region once Saddam’s power structure was toppled.
Fallows goes after Hiatt because of this statement, what Fallows terms a “hollow threat”, from a Hiatt authored oped titled “What We Owe the Burmese“:

And here’s something else I would do: Tell China that, as far as the United States is concerned, it can have its Olympic Games or it can have its regime in Burma. It can’t have both.

In a show I did with him on CNN’s Crossfire, Richard Perle in unison with numerous neoconservatives offered the same prescription of taking away China’s hopes of hosting the Olympic Games in April 2001 after the US-China EP-3 spy plane incident.
Boycotting the Olympics today or trying to preempt China’s hosting the games as Perle suggested in 2001 are hollow threats that perpetuate the mistaken notion that America is in a serious position to isolate China.
It is China that is “out multilateral-ing” the United States today. As we have been distracted in Iraq, China has rolled out aid and development programs globally, helped institute yet another Asian multilateral effort in its “East Asian Community” initiative, launched a multilateral security organization in the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization”, and was the key factor in the recent negotiating successes with North Korea over its nuclear program. As State Department Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and chief negotiator with North Korea Christopher Hill has said, “China has become the first stop for any American diplomacy.”
While much of the world perceives — at best — America as a status quo power but more realistically as a superpower in decline that will eventually look something like a well-endowed military state and more as an ordinary great power — that same world looks at China as an ascending power. China’s weight gains in global affairs matters.
Fred Hiatt and other commentators inflate America’s ability to kick China this way and that. If anything, China is demonstrating an interest in playing more of the “stakeholder” like role former Deputy Secretary of State and current World Bank President Robert Zoellick described a few years ago.
But that does not mean that China will simply be America’s puppet and will solve all of the problems we see in Burma, Darfur, and other parts of the globe because we have pressured it into doing so. China is a shrewd calculator of its interests. So too the United States used to be.
Today, if the key global points of instability are in Pakistan and Iran, one would think that we would try to build a collaborative set of interests with China on these fronts, discern and deliver on the key diplomatic and security objectives China might want from us, and we secure support from them. To the degree that the Darfur Crisis and the showdown in Burma weigh in to these factors, all the better — but they are not the forefront of America’s current security challenges today.
I very much hope that China does use influence that it can bring to bear on Sudan and the Burmese junta. But kicking China into doing it with the kind of bravado that seems divorced from the realities of America’s situation today is, like Fallows said, reminiscent of the “consequences be damned” style of those cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq.
I think that the trend of China playing a more responsible role in global affairs is strongly positive, but America has made this a pretty easy process by its absence from the economic, social and political challenges that Latin America, Africa, and South Asia have been confronting. China is active in all of these places.
My comments on China’s new global role are reflected in today’s New York Times article, “China Calling: Look Who’s Mr. Fixit in a Fraught Age” by Steven Lee Myers. Here is a section of the Myers article that includes some of my commentary:

Nevertheless, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation, a bipartisan research organization in Washington, said that while some Americans express frustration at what they see as Chinese unwillingness to press Iran, China has already played an active role in trying to resolve tensions that could lead to another military conflict in the Persian Gulf.
He credited what he said were quiet Chinese efforts to win the release of four Iranian-Americans jailed by the authorities in Iran this summer.
With the North Koreans, China’s support proved more crucial than anything else. China, which for decades acted as North Korea’s protector, responded to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s nuclear test last year by cutting off military aid and joining the Bush administration’s efforts to choke off the country’s bank accounts abroad.
A senior administration official said in an interview that China’s diplomatic push began even before the test, after Mr. Bush assured President Hu Jintao that he wanted a peaceful resolution with North Korea during an outwardly disastrous White House visit in April 2006 in which a protester infiltrated their joint news conference.
Mr. Hu dispatched State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan that week for unannounced talks in North Korea that, after some ups and downs, laid the foundation for last week’s deal, the official said. “What changed was not them,” the official said of the North Koreans, “but the Chinese attitude.”
China, by virtue of its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, has always been an important diplomatic player. But its importance to the Bush administration has grown for two reasons: it has become more assertive around the globe and the administration has exhausted a lot of its options.
“I think we need China almost everywhere in the world because we’ve disengaged from the rest of the world,” Mr. Clemons said, criticizing the administration’s initial disdain for concerted international diplomacy and citing its preoccupation with Iraq.
Meanwhile, China has steadily expanded its diplomatic and economic ties far beyond Asia. Mr. Clemons suggested that that has caused a subtle tectonic shift in how nations view it and, conversely, the United States. “They see China as an ascending power,” Mr. Clemons added, “and they don’t see us that way any more.”

Finally, I want to share the interesting revelation that Conde Nast Portfolio Washington Bureau Chief Matt Cooper made on his blog some time ago. He went to Uruguay to speak on “journalistic ethics” at a meeting organized by the Organization of American States (OAS).
He stated that there were no American government officials in attendance — at all. The Open Society Institute folks were there — and so were the Chinese. In fact, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs helped finance the conference along with George Soros.
America is not solidly engaged in world problems. And frankly, just a serious and steady new commitment to global engagement will go pretty far in getting America somewhat back in the world’s good graces. But we can’t bounce back completely because the world has moved on — and nations like China aren’t just going to forgo the gains they’ve made globally.
So, folks can pine on about America boycotting the 2008 Olympics — or they can get back to the “serious” problem that America isn’t taken all that seriously anymore, and China is.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “Why Dissing China Ought Not to Become An American Sport

  1. hongkonger says:

    One should not take too seriously Richard Perle’s objection to China’s hosting the 2008 Olympics. One may recall that Mr. Perle was retained by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing to facilitate his purchase of the bankrupt Global Crossing corporation. Given that Mr. Li, a true Chinese patriot, has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party leadership, I am very much doubtful that it is the true intention of Mr. Perle to impede China’s rise.
    I find it very fascinating to observe the close business ties and personal bonds between neo-conservatives and members of the Chinese communist party. Rupert Murdoch comes to mind …
    Actually, it is very reasonable for neo-conservatives to support the current Chinese regime. Both the Chinese and the neo-conservatives, as well as, I should add, the Israelis, are reasonable and shrewd business people. (I mention the Israelis because of the large number of advanced weapons systems that the Israeli government have sold to China, and the true friendship that the Israeli government has always showered upon both the Chinese government and its people. Recall that Israel was always the first country to deliver large aid packages to a disaster-wrecked China in the 1970’s.) Among business people, it is always possible to make a deal, and there is no reason why the Chinese cannot co-exist happily with American business interests, as long as American politicians like Charles Schumer keep their noses of other people’s business and keep their hands off Taiwan.

    Reply

  2. hongkonger says:

    One should not take too seriously Richard Perle’s objection to China’s hosting the 2008 Olympics. One may recall that Mr. Perle was retained by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing to facilitate his purchase of the bankrupt Global Crossing corporation. Given that Mr. Li, a true Chinese patriot, has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party leadership, I am very much doubtful that it is the true intention of Mr. Perle to impede China’s rise.
    I find it very fascinating to observe the close business ties and personal bonds between neo-conservatives and members of the Chinese communist party. Rupert Murdoch comes to mind …
    Actually, it is very reasonable for neo-conservatives to support the current Chinese regime. Both the Chinese and the neo-conservatives, as well as, I should add, the Israelis, are reasonable and shrewd business people. (I mention the Israelis because of the large number of advanced weapons systems that the Israeli government have sold to China, and the true friendship that the Israeli government has always showered upon both the Chinese government and its people. Recall that Israel was always the first country to deliver large aid packages to a disaster-wrecked China in the 1970’s.) Among business people, it is always possible to make a deal, and there is no reason why the Chinese cannot co-exist happily with American business interests, as long as American politicians like Charles Schumer keep their noses of other people’s business and keep their hands off Taiwan.

    Reply

  3. Sue says:

    For Pissed Off American:
    Need your help, please email me (lac889@hotmail.com) any contact information or references to craftsmen or guilds who operate with a high quality ethic. I want to create a trade school for young people to transfer the very knowledge you describe.
    Would love to talk to you off line.

    Reply

  4. Seyom Brown says:

    The Clemons piece on dealing with China is consistent with the emergent reality of a “polyarchic” world, in which today’s partner can be tomorrow’s adversary, depending on the issue at hand. The Chinese (no longer administering an ideological litmus test for partners in trade and investment)have adapted to that reality as have the Russians; so have the Indians and also many smaller Third World countries who are in the game of diversifying their dependency relationships.
    The United States, with worldwide access and assets, paradoxically is a laggard in this 21st century diplomacy. It is time for a rennaissance of the Washington/Jefferson tradition of no entangling alliances — not isolationism, not moral indifference; but rather the premise of
    no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests–which include humanitarian interests.
    With that basic posture, expressed in
    concrete policies, the United States need not soft-pedal its outrage at gross violations of
    human rights. And it can do so with tangible material sanctions, where these would have some leverage or symbolic value, as well as condemnatory rhetoric. If the Chinese, the Russians, and other deserving targets scream, so be it. As a full participant in the polyarchic
    world of the new diplomacy, as are the target states and political movements — not cutiting off relations with them, but slapping their wrists and more as deserved (which does have domestic impact abroad as well as at home), the United States can weather their screams, and put the burden on them of reducing our tangible interdependence with them.
    –Seyom Brown
    Tower Center, SMU
    Dallas

    Reply

  5. Sandy says:

    I believe that story has been discredited. Sorry. It’s usually a credible site.

    Reply

  6. Sandy says:

    And, I’m interested in this, too:
    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27523
    Why isn’t there a whole lot more screaming and w-o-n-d-e-r-i-n-g about what went on — and why — and WHO — with those nuclear bombs?
    and now SIX…..SIX…..young people who worked there are
    D-E-A-D???
    Talk about blatant cover-up!
    What was Cheney trying to pull? Going around the Joint Chiefs…and the military giving him a hard time about bombing Iran? Was he trying to take things into his own hands?
    The resemblance to Dr. Strangelove is, of course, just a coincidence. !!!

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    The China thing is just par for the course. I don’t even have anything to say about it. It’s self evident.
    I think I will just keep on trying to disgust and infuriate everyone who reads here with the idiotic, hypocritical, corrupt state of our government.
    One of my favorite subjects surfaced today in my new alerts so I will use it as an example of our FUBAR government.
    For background, the US strongarmed Egypt into using Israeli products in their cotton manufacturing exports, their largest industry, or losing their duty free status on goods shipped to the US. Why? For Israeli interest of course. Call it extortion or whatever. It was a requirement that had no benefit to the American market and hurt Egyptians.
    What is did was put a lot of low income Egyptians competely out of work that were formerly making the items that the US now required to come from Israel and it’s workers for no reason except to profit Israel.
    One of the reasons this event struck me then and stuck with me is that I read the accounts of this in the European and overseas papers when it happened. I then came across the NYT Tom Friedman column on this where he was declaring it a historic agreement between Israel and Egypt and how the Egyptians were “celebrating in the street” at this new opportunity. Friedman being an example of the complete liar for Israel and US actions.
    The “street celebrations” Friedmen cited were actually documented in the overseas papers as protest and riots by the Egyptians workers who were losing their jobs in the button and bows segment of their cotton textile production that the US decreed must be taken from them and given to Israel.
    Now finally the US and Israel must want some concession from Egypt on another issue and have agreed to reduce Israel’s “take” of the Egyptian textile industry from 12% to 10.5%. Tony Suprano could take lessons from Israel. I won’t even go into the other obvious hypocritical issues raised in the news item below. But if you want to see how many times the US has pulled this shit in Israel’s behalf on other ME countries as well go to Govtrac and insert Israel into the search box and look at all the similar Israeli centric trade legistation that congress has passed.
    LOL…and you thought perhaps the US meant all that crap about lifting the economies of the Arab countries so they wouldn’t be terriers?
    Let me just point out that this aspect of the Israeli Lobby tail waging the US dog in the ME, aside from the glaring Palestine occupation is a prime example of …WHY THEY HATE US.
    “Egypt, Israel to amend trade agreement”
    The Associated PressPublished: October 8, 2007
    CAIRO, Egypt: Egypt and Israel have agreed to reduce the percentage of Israeli components that must be included in Egyptian-made products that receive duty-free status when exported to the United States, Israel’s envoy to Egypt said Monday.
    Israeli Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai and his Egyptian counterpart, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, will sign the amended agreement on Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador Shalom Cohen told reporters in Cairo following talks at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
    Under the 2004 Qualified Industrial Zone agreement, the U.S. agreed to waive duties on imports from Egypt if they were constructed with at least 11.7 percent Israeli components. Cohen said Monday the percentage would decline to 10.5 percent under the amended agreement.
    The Israeli ambassador said Yishai, who is also deputy prime minister, would meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as well while in Egypt.
    “Yishai’s visit reflects the good relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv and Israel’s readiness to strengthen economic and trade cooperation,” said Cohen.
    Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Monday criticized Israel’s attempt to obtain an exemption to nonproliferation rules so it can legally import atomic material from the “Nuclear Supplier’s Group” — 45 nations that export nuclear fuel and technology under strict rules meant to lessen the dangers of proliferation and trafficking in materials that could be used for a weapons program.
    “At the time when Egypt exerts every effort to establish a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, Israel is trying to undermine and scatter these efforts and insists on rejecting all international resolutions demanding it to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” said Aboul Gheit.
    The initiative appeared to be linked to a U.S.-India agreement that would effectively waive the group’s rules by allowing the United States to supply India with nuclear fuel despite its refusal both to sign the nonproliferation treaty and allowing the IAEA to inspect all of its nuclear facilities.
    Israel has also refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and while it has never publicly acknowledged having nuclear weapons, it is generally considered to possess them.
    Asked to comment on Aboul Gheit’s comments made earlier in the day, Cohen said, “We are accustomed to hearing these criticisms but each country has its own policy and I think these important issues should be discussed on higher levels.”

    Reply

  8. Sandy says:

    Well, when you read very far into the Neo-Conservative literature and learn what they believe in….it’s no surprise Kagan thinks we should go to war on China. The dumbass! THAT, in FACT, is what they believe in:
    WAR! WAR!! WAR!!!
    (Of course, that doesn’t mean that THEY would ever go. No, they would send someone else’s children to be sacrificed for their “noble” causes.)
    Soulless cowards.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sandy at October 7, 2007 06:43 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    My sister in law and another friend are both psychologist and they have discussed this use of the holocuast by the neo’s and zionist as a justification for the US premptively annihilating other peoples several times. They describe it as a sort of psychopathy being projected onto the nation, not unlike the nazis movement or other radicals, with the typical psychopath trait of contempt for any people but themselves. Their psycho babble is a little above my head but in the neo’s and Israelis that contempt for anyone but themselves, even the innocents in their annihilation plans for their enemies is definitely there.

    Reply

  10. bob h says:

    I’m also appalled by those neocons who seem to be salivating at the prospect of a future war with China. Robert Kaplan had an article on this ludicrous prospect in the Atlantic not too long ago. China is our friend and partner, and needs to be treated with respect. In any event, our countries are inextricably bound together economically.

    Reply

  11. Matthew says:

    Memo to the Washington Post: Aren’t boycotts supposed to hurt your opponent?
    If we boycott the Olympics, the Europeans and the Russians will just win more medals.
    And we will demonstrate again (sigh) our declining global influence when everybody but the Marshall Islands (subsidized member of the “Coalition of the Willing”) attends anyway.

    Reply

  12. Matthew says:

    Memo to the Washington Post: Aren’t boycotts supposed to hurt your opponent?
    If we boycott the Olympics, the Europeans the Russians will just win more medals.
    And we will demonstrate again (sigh) our declining global influence when everybody but the Marshall Islands (subsidized member of the “Coalition of the Willing”) attends anyway.

    Reply

  13. DonS says:

    I haven’t bought a Freud blade for a couple of years, so I don’t have much experience. I’m a weekend/necessity kind of carpenter so I don’t run through a lot of supplies.
    I’ve filled out my “good” forstner bit lineup with Diablos and so far so good. I used a couple today (3/4 and 1 1/8″), boring about and inch into 2X southern yellow pine; all seemed ok. But I am ever wary each time I fire up a tool; expect a problem.
    As for the Canadian building project — which was and adventure to coordinate from SW Virginia — my contractor is obsessive so at least the structual work seems to have been done well. I’d almost bet that virtually all the wood products were Canadian.
    Anyway, so we’re OT, sort of. But not really when one considers how the good ole US of A has basically become a defunct trademark, from T squares to T bills.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Don, I have had a terrible time with the Freud blades I have been buying for my “in the field” saws, such as my 12″ power miter. That red “Diablo” blade, in a 12″, is garbage. On the last three I have bought they have twisted a tooth on basic cuts, unexpectedly, and inexplicably. Needless to say, I’m through thinking its just an anamoly to one blade. Perhaps they have consigned their name out so they can offer a cheaper product through Home Depot. Just a guess.
    I cope my base on the inside joints, rather than miter them. I bought a coping saw from Home Depot that is made by some outfit, (the name escapes me right now), that puts these dynamite ergonomic soft blue plastic handles on their saws. I was sure I would love the saw. Trouble is, when I went to put a blade in the damned thing, I discovered that it was virtually impossible to turn the blade on its axis like coping saws are supposed to do. The saw was, quite frankly, worthless. Whoever designed it had obviously never used a coping saw, nor had a clue how a coping saw was intended to be used. I can’t help but wonder how many Joe Homeowner novices have bought those saws, never knowing that the designer, manufacturer, and retailer had sold them a saw that could only perform 25% of the tasks that one should ask of it.
    BTW, you might check, but I’m pretty sure Canada refuses to import the plywoods from China that emit the huge amounts of Formaldahyde.

    Reply

  15. DonS says:

    POA. Thanks for extrapolating the building material issues. Particularly re plywoods. I’ve used and paid a contractor to use a lot of it on a place up in Canada, and I sure hope they’ve used the Canadian stuff.
    I’m a tool nut,and I’ve observed that lots of tools that were once made in the USA have gone offshore. I actually respect the ones made in Taiwan becasue they are superior to the Chinese. Too much of the time, though, only the Chinese are available. The price line has been held on a lot of tools and in some cases lowered (for a few months, and a competitive edge), from “renowned” companies, by outsourcing them to China. Some tools say made in China “to our specifications” blah, blah, blah. I’m not convinved.
    Many of the Chinese tools 1) don’t work well from the beginning and 2) need replacement at a rate of maybe 4 or 5 times a quality made tool. Few really care.
    I’m just waiting for Freud saw blades, drill bits, etc. to stop being made in Austria.

    Reply

  16. Sandy says:

    Oh, I saw that on teevee, Carroll. Awful!
    I came here….though I should be cooking dinner!….to post this one…for you, in fact:
    http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=27188
    POLITICS-U.S.: From Holocaust to Hyperpower
    Analysis by Jim Lobe (2005)
    WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (IPS) – The importance of this week’s recognition by the United Nations of the Nazi Holocaust lies as much in its relevance to today’s international realities as it does to the historical significance of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet forces 60 years ago Thursday.
    As noted by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other speakers at the memorial’s inaugural session Monday, genocide — as in Rwanda in 1994 and possibly in Darfur, Sudan, today — has not been confined to the systematic annihilation of some six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Gypsies in Europe.
    Of course, the modern-day international human rights movement owes its birth and moral force in many ways to the universal revulsion that followed the discovery of the concentration camps.
    But the Nazi Holocaust also lies at the core of the neo-conservative worldview that has animated and given coherence to much of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 foreign policy that itself is changing the world, albeit not necessarily in ways that either Annan or the international human rights movement would approve.
    “For those of us who are involved in foreign and defence policy today, my generation, the defining moment of our history was certainly the Holocaust,” former Defence Policy Board (DPB) chairman Richard Perle, a central figure in the U.S. neo-conservative network, told BBC as U.S. forces drove toward Iraq two years ago.
    To Perle, who like many neo-conservatives is Jewish (although most U.S. Jews are not neo-conservatives), the Holocaust is irrefutable proof of the existence of “evil” — a word that recurs frequently in their discourse. World events are viewed as a perpetual battle between, as one of their heroes Reinhold Niebuhr called it, “the children of light” and the “children of darkness”.
    In the last century, “totalitarianism”, whether of the right or the left, was the evil. But, as noted by the highest-ranking neo-conservative in the Bush administration in a talk late last year, evil never dies and now takes the form of what some call “Islamo-fascism”.
    “The thing that hasn’t changed, unfortunately, is that there still is evil in the world,” said Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. “It is a fascist totalitarianism not fundamentally different from the way it was in the last century — no more God-fearing than (the Nazis and communists) were.”
    Significantly, the White House chose Wolfowitz — rather than a top State Department official — to speak as the U.S. representative to the Holocaust ceremony at the United Nations Monday.
    Wolfowitz, a close friend and colleague of Perle since 1969 when they both arrived in Washington, did not mention that all members of the family his father left behind in his native Poland in the 1920s died in the Holocaust.
    A similar fate befell the family of the father of the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, Douglas Feith. Dalck Feith, a leading Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist, managed to survive the Holocaust, which, however, took the lives of both his parents, four sisters, and three brothers.
    These men, key players in the Bush administration’s foreign policy for the last three and a half years, obviously do not see the Holocaust — and the notion of “evil” in international affairs — as a relic of history.
    For neo-conservatives, the fact that the United States played a decisive role in the defeat of the evils of Nazism, fascism, and communism in the last century offers compelling, if not conclusive, evidence of its redemptive, beneficial, and “exceptional” mission in world affairs. It justifies the idea that its freedom to act should not be constrained by multilateral organisations or even international law if evil is abroad.
    International politics, then — conceived as a battleground between good and evil –presents a moral challenge for neo-conservatives that transcends simple legalisms, as expressed on the eve of the war with Iraq by commentator Charles Krauthammer.
    “By what moral calculus does an American intervention to liberate 25 million people forfeit moral legitimacy because it lacks the blessing of the butchers of Tienanmen Square or the cynics of the Quai d’Orsay?” he asked in reference to the argument by some that Washington should not go to war with the U.N. Security Council’s approval.
    For neo-conservatives, the 1930’s — the period that, in their view, created the conditions for the Holocaust to take place — offer the major lessons for preventing such a catastrophe in the future.
    First, the rise of Adolf Hitler, in their view, within Germany resulted from the moral weakness of the Weimar Republic, particularly the failure of democrats and liberals to defend it against extremists of the right and left.
    Their humanism, relativism, and secularism gave rise to a nihilistic spirit in the general population that ultimately made it receptive to the Nazi appeal. Thus, while neo-conservatives extol liberal democratic ideals in their rhetoric, they spend much of their time trying to discredit liberals.
    A similar phenomenon — albeit on the international level — also helped bring on the Holocaust. Like liberals in Weimar, the “liberal democracies” of pre-war France and Britain failed to confront German re-armament and expansion and instead pursued a policy of “appeasement”.
    This is a serious charge in the neo-conservative lexicon and one wielded without fail by neo-conservatives whenever any political figure or foreign ally suggests compromise or negotiations with perceived enemies, be they Nicaragua in the 1980s, Serbia in the 1990s, or Iran or South Korea today.
    A corollary of the “appeasement” lesson is the necessity at all times of having overwhelming military power against any possible challenger. While “soft power”, such as economic pressure, cultural influence, etc., has its uses, ultimately, according to the neo-conservatives, it’s “hard power” that counts in international affairs.
    Indeed, just as the failure of France and Britain to arm quickly in the face of Hitler’s challenges actually emboldened him to become more aggressive, “the main threat arises not from the United States’ being too powerful, but from its being perceived abroad as weak…”, wrote Frank Gaffney, another Perle chum who heads the Centre for Security Policy (CSP) here.
    The final lesson derived from the 1930s is the overriding necessity of keeping the United States, which is seen as the greatest force for good in international relations, engaged with the rest of the world and preventing it from taking what yet another Perle colleague and DPB member, Kenneth Adelman, calls the “default option” of U.S. foreign policy: isolationism. Washington’s disengagement from Europe in the 1930s, in their view, also contributed to the rise of Hitler.
    For neo-conservatives, the most effective way to avoid a return to isolationism is to identify enemies that may pose future threats against which public opinion can be rallied, as they tried to do in early 2001 against China, when a U.S. spy plane was forced down and its crew held on Hainan Island, and then against “Islamofascism” after 9/11.
    A former neo-conservative, the late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once cited this tendency as the reason he broke with the movement in the 1980s.
    “They wished for a military posture approaching mobilisation; they would create or invent whatever crises were required to bring this about”, he wrote.
    And thus Perle, in his 2004 book, “An End to Evil”, pulled no punches in laying out the stakes in the current “war on terrorism”.
    “For us, terrorism remains the great evil of our time, and the war against this evil, our generation’s great cause. … There is no middle way for Americans: it is victory or holocaust”.
    (END/2005)

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    O.K.
    I have another solution to our problems.
    Let’s have a war here. The pot bellied shriveled penis brigrade of the wurhawks vrs….the rest of us.
    Take a look at this fat hick wurrior of the pro war “Gathering Eagles Club”. At a peace protest where a man was pulling a coffin to signify his son who was killed in Iraq, this guy charged the coffin and stole the picture of his son that was on the coffin and tried to run of with it. When the father chased Peterson the other memebers of the shriveled penis club piled on to beat up the father.
    The hick was identified as Fred Peterson.
    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/carlos/pages/196949399-M_jpg.htm

    Reply

  18. Sandy says:

    I think Steve’s hiking buddy, Jim Lobe, gives the best take on all this — with his excellent summary.
    (The only thing I would disagree with is his statement – it was written in 2006:
    “We conclude that although the neoconservatives and their allied aggressive nationalists, such as Vice President Dick Cheney, retain sufficient weight to hamper efforts to push through major reversals in U.S. foreign policy, the increasing isolation of this political faction coupled with recent political events in the United States point to the potential emergence of a more cautious, realist-inspired agenda during the final two years of the Bush presidency.”
    A more cautious, realist-inspired agenda? Whaaaa? 🙂 )
    Still, it makes for fascinating reading….as a history of all that has gone so terribly W R O N G when you base your foreign policy on arrogance, a messianic self-image and HEGEMONY:
    http://rightweb.irc-online.org/rw/3713
    A Right Web Special Report:
    THE RISE AND DECLINE OF THE NEOCONSERVATIVES
    Jim Lobe & Michael Flynn | November 17, 2006

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    I have the solution to all our foreign problems.
    The descending, increasingly poorer and despised US gives Israel and it’s Lobby to the now ascending powers of China and Russia. They will screw up their policies, bleed them dry and make them hated by the entire world.
    Problem solved. We’re back on top.

    Reply

  20. Sandy says:

    Well, if you liked that one, wait till you read this:
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Bush_says_possible_US_Iran_attack_1007.html
    OMG! We are about to bomb Iran!

    Reply

  21. arthurdecco says:

    Sorry for not thanking you too, Kathleen, when I thanked Sandy.
    (I’m a caricature of a Canadian – it would eat away at me if I didn’t tell you that. LOL!)

    Reply

  22. arthurdecco says:

    Thank you, Sandy. That’s the event I was referring to.
    Is it just me, or is this aide’s sociopathology screaming out at all of us? …his contempt for anyone not in on the heist dangling out for all to see? And does he care? Noddachance! THAT is mental illness.
    So why no outrage in the media about this at the time? Or now? Gee… I wunder…
    and POA said, “Personally, being in the trades, I think that China is laughing at us.”
    I agree. And so are your self-selected leaders.

    Reply

  23. Sandy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
    IN THE NY TIMES MAGAZINE
    Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush
    By RON SUSKIND
    Published: October 17, 2004
    (excerpt)
    “…In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting
    with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
    The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.”
    I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued.
    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do….”

    Reply

  24. Kathleen says:

    arthurdecco… I think it was Karl the Roverator who said that. Of course with “executive privilege” operating full bore, reality is incidental to The Plan.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Personally, being in the trades, I think that China is laughing at us. The building materials made in China are so inferior, of such low quality, so dangerously structurally unsound, that such a low standard of quality MUST be a purposeful act. And whats worse, entities such as Home Depot are rendering our access to higher quality materials impossible, if one wants to compete in the bidding process. The public simply doesn’t understand the difference between an $80.00 sheet of plywood, versus a $40.00 sheet of plywood. And did you know we are the ONLY country that will accept Chinese plywoods that have a dangerously high level of formaldahyde in thier glue content? These plywoods are actually dangerously poisonous, yet they are being used in 80% of home and cabinet building. Some of the Chinese cabinet grade plywoods are of such substandard quality that the are unstainable, as the glue has permeated the finish layer of veneer. Nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc, all Chinese, all substandard. I just threw out a box of finish nails I bought at Home Depot because they were so soft and malleable that they were almost impossible to drive. A friend recently purchased a box of joist hanger nails that 60% would lose their heads as soon as they were driven home through the hanger openings. I wouldn’t want my guests on a deck that had 60% of the hanger nail heads missing, but there are literally tens of thousands upon thousands of decks, houses, and structures being built with those nails.
    I could continue, but whats the point, you get my drift. What to do about it? Who knows, seeing as how this fuckin’ Home Depot runs all the competition out of business. We could boycott Chinese goods, but if I did that, I would be out of business, because some goods in the trades are ONLY made in China now. So, for me, my niche is extremely high end, where people DO appreciate and understand the justification for higher prices, but that market is limited, and as the older clientele dies off, the learned awareness of quality workmanship dies with them, replaced by a generation of consumers that have only been subjected to substandard work and materials.
    And the Chinese chuckle. Fuck those Americans, they’ll buy anything, no matter how shitty it is.

    Reply

  26. arthurdecco says:

    Does anyone remember the Republican White House hack who said something to the effect of, “Who cares about reality? We create our own reality.” (or something like that?)
    These people, and I include WaPo editor, Fred Hiatt as well as war criminal Richard Perle in the group, appear not to believe engagement or truthfulness are the way to get what they want – they seem to be of the opinion they can create their own reality by ignoring events and situations that run counter to their manufactured myths about gd, America and War that they so obscenely spread with their disinformation campaigns in the MSM.
    What we don’t know is good for them.
    Not one of the Chinese clients I have had over the years has fallen for America’s myth-making machine, young or old, male or female. They say little, and talk around the grander claims of the Amerika boosters they come into contact with, (at least in my company). They keep their heads down and get on with doing what they have to do to get the job done. None of the Chinese I know have bought into the west’s expectation of instant gratification, as demanded by our self-described “elites”, as a good thing. They like nice things and the comforts that come from success but they don’t seem to be trapped in a cycle of selfish acquisitiveness – where winning, whining and plundering is everything.
    They tend to hold the long view, wise to the destructive effects of rash decisions and brash bravado as practiced these days by fascist Amerikans.
    So what’s my point? I’m agreeing with Steve. Unconditionally. LOL
    Aren’t the Chinese using America and the rest of the world to further their own interests in a much more intelligent way than the present American government?
    The Chinese are providing benefits to broad swaths of their population – improving the lives and living standards of millions and millions of their citizens, while at the same time the present American political system is stripping away the benefits of its supposedly free and democratic citizens to benefit the very few.
    Ironically, both countries may end up in exactly the same moral and political place, but China will have been seen to improve the lives of most of its citizens while Amerika will be rightfully seen to have willfully destroyed the hopes and aspirations almost all of its citizens on their divergent paths to parity.

    Reply

  27. Kathleen says:

    Dissing other nations who don’t tow our line is par for the course for Uncle Slam. I’ve seen the US Mission to the UN in Geneva regularly diss and boycot speeches by heads of state of countries we don’t like. We’re like infantile brats on a world stage, having our little tantrums. Pretty stoooopid to diss the guys holding the paper on all our debt.

    Reply

  28. Paleolithic Proctor says:

    Richard Perle opens his corrupt mouth and the world laughs. Boycott the Beijing Olympics? Yeah sure, sure. The world sees the U.S. as an arrogant and hideously wounded monster. A thing to be pitied and yet, viewed with suspicion. A wounded monster can still render much damage and carnage. What will the U.S. do when China takes Taiwan? The Chinese will take back Taiwan and it’s simply a counting game until times up. The Chinese hold about ALL of the U.S. debt notes and that is some serious leverage. Cretins like Perle need to shut up and go away. Better still, send Perle to the International Criminal Court at the Hague and he can stand in for George Bush. It would be rather satisfying to hear the Perle whine his excuses for being a blood-drenched warmonger.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *