Thursday, April 20, 2006

Klare: Containing China: The US's real objective

Michael Klare, whose work often appears in progressive publications, has a piece in Asia Times today on the "newly-revealed" Bush policy: contain China.

Slowly but surely, the grand strategy of the Bush administration is being revealed. It is not aimed primarily at the defeat of global terrorism, the incapacitation of rogue states, or the spread of democracy in the Middle East. These may dominate the rhetorical arena and be the focus of immediate concern, but they do not govern key decisions regarding the allocation of long-term military resources. The truly commanding objective - the underlying basis for budgets and troop deployments - is the containment of China.
Go and read it yourselves, though Klare is years late in appreciating this. There won't be much new in Klare's piece for people who have following events here. I just want to observe that like most commentators in the west, Klare actually doesn't understand the whole Taiwan situation very well, and ends with this:

This will make the amicable long-term settlement of the Taiwan problem and of North Korea's nuclear program that much more difficult, and increase the risk of unintended escalation to full-scale war in Asia. There can be no victors from such a conflagration.

As long as China threatens to plunge the region into war because Taiwan wants to be a free and democratic state, no amicable settlement of the Taiwan problem is possible. Klare is writing from the inherent "it's Taiwan that's the problem" perspective and misses this key aspect of the situation. Neither the US nor Taiwan are wholly the problem -- a key aspect is also Chinese expansionism. There seems to be a serious blind spot with "progressives" and Taiwan.....

1 comment:

STOP_George said...

The comments at my diaries at DKos, as you know Michael, show how little the Liberal progressives in America understand about the Taiwan situation. (here's my latest entry, which barely got noticed).

Sadly, the continuing insane antics of the Bush administration has done much to instill a stronger culture of mistrust within the community on the left side of politics in America. Whenever I point out the Taiwan situation at DKos -- the response is inevitably, "Taiwan should not spit in China's face" or something similar.

You see the parallel here? The left (understandably) has got such a hatred towards Bush's pre-emptive and aggressive policies that I think the people transfer this anger to geo-political situations which have nothing to do with an agressive and offensive "pre-emptive" strategy. In the mind of someone who does not follow East-Asian politics, (which is a large group in the U.S., I would imagine) Taiwan is always "rocking the boat" whenever China gets pissed-off.

So, Bushco. has not only corrupted the right -- it has also indirectly contributed to further corrupting the left (by lowering the threshold of the left's sensitivity to confrontation) due to its extreme foreign policy blunders.

The "boy who cried wolf" is a story from my childhood that I can't seem to get out of my head right now.