This is Foreign Policy?
September 7, 2001
This is a "special" Daily Whopper. No, not like the occasional
Saturday morning cartoon with an anti-drug message that, while
well intentionned, was universally as corny as corny things
No, this is the Whopper's first delving into foreign policy.
Good people disagree on foreign policy. Bad people disagree
on foreign policy, too. I mean, okay, I have a view of the
Israeli/Palestinian mess. Is it going to do me much good to
wade into it here? Probably not. Fortunately, there's a Whopper
that is quite large to address instead, one that's a bit more
cut and dry.
I suppose many readers have at least a passing recollection
of the story in the New York Times that said that the US was
telling the Chinese, wink wink, nod nod, you can build up
your military all you want and we'll just forget about treaties
and all that. Wanna test your nukes? So do we. In fact, we
just LOVE testing nukes. Let's just blow off this treaty together.
What's anyone going to say? Come on. You know you want to.
Let's abandon the practical problems of this policy and look
at the raw international implications in historical terms.
This is a crass attempt to undermine the restraints on the
US imposed by the global treaty system and expectations accorded
to it in its status as a Security Council member. I mean,
let's lump this in with the story that the US is conducting
germ warfare experiments, has a nearly working germ warfare
bomb for testing, and has been busy recreating their impressions
of Russian superbugs, anthrax super microbes that is. We've
been doing this in secret in blatant violation of previous
commitments. I mean, imagine if Saddam was doing this. We'd
hear calls for tactical nuclear weapons.
So the trap laid for China was, it was to be offered something
it was going to do anyway, accept it, and in doing so, help
the US bury it later through a combination of nuclear weapon
testing to create a better bomb, a nuclear defense shield,
and to top it off, large scale biological weapons, and delivery
systems for them, to wipe out the Chinese numerical advantage
in war. You do realize, after all, that we are going to go
to war with China. (Of course, we aren't, and we aren't going
to nuke and disease them, but the dreamers think differently.)
We're going to need to wipe out hundreds of millions of them
just to be safe. Why, it would be dang irresponsible for us
to not prepare for the inevitability.
China danced out of this trap using their 5000 year experience
in intrigue, diplomacy, and careful analysis of barbarian
liars. They simply said they were going to build up and had
planned to do so anyway, and it didn't matter what the US
said. Thus, they accepted the action allowed to them by the
US offer without accepting the offer itself (though it could
also be taken as a tacit acceptance, and just propaganda to
fool the masses, OR it could be taken as genuine, as an expression
of their desire for no US interference), and not suffering
any loss of face from angering the international community
by essentially kissing the post-WWII international system
goodbye (which it joined only through Nixon's dragging the
US kicking and screaming into reality and accepting that taking
Taiwan's government as the ruling government of mainland China
was/is rather silly), while leaving the US high and dry.
That's not the point at all.
That the US even attempted this is disgusting.
Is the US so desperate to destroy the basis of international
relations, the treaty system? You know, like non-proliferation,
UN conventions, Geneva conventions, arms control? It certainly
seems so. This had to be either a trial balloon (a preparation
of the public for the concept), or an attempt to ridicule
the policy, force the Chinese to deny it and to destroy it
before it could take hold. I don't believe #2 for a minute.
The "senior defense official" HAD to be Paul Wolfowitz, who
more than anyone else, except possibly Rumsfeld himself, has
made a career out of fearmongering, promoting world domination
(don't laugh, that's what people mean by 'hegemony', not conquest,
but mere domination), the absolute necessity of missile defense,
and the absolute futility of behaving in any way except the
neighborhood bully. Oh yeah, War In Space, too.
Put bluntly: The man believes in holding a Sword of Damocles
over every nation on Earth that we can use without being subject
to any fear of retaliation or harm.
To such a man, with such a foreign policy team, what is the
drawback of giving tacit approval to China, even ENCOURAGEMENT,
to build up their own supply of nuclear weapons, if it helps
them accomplish their dream?
How? So the war lobby can use them ("them" in this case are
the Chinese, but substitute any potential adversary as needed)
as a tacit, if not too publically stated, reason to have our
shield, because obviously the buildup is a clear and present
danger, and the US must be protected so that their pet cash
cow can be built.
The cynicism of this policy is rather great.
The Chinese evaded the trap, and the international system
lives on, but under such assault, for how much longer? I expected
Bush to accelerate the trend towards less US power in the
world by angering other countries, by presenting the appearance
of aloofness, and even, possibly, through a weakening of the
bread and butter military. (Speaking as an ex conservative
who saw the light, if Clinton was doing what Bush proposed,
he'd be eaten alive.) Bush seems to have an excellent strategy
for diminishing US power: Upset other countries, cut the Air
Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps, and invest heavily in
space-based weapons that may never work, and may be subject
to countermeasures much less expensive than the weapons themselves,
so much so that even our enemies can afford them.
The march of history may be leading in that direction, but
does Bush have to be so gleeful about helping it along?
The scary thing is, he really believes this is in our national
interest. Can we have Gore back? Please?