Friday, July 23, 2004

i will post an actual blog tonite....just later. also, i will update my daily quote link...just later.

so for now, i will leave with this article on china, which i received as a forward from amy, for you to read. you decide.


Here is an interesting article in preparation for next week's fundraiser on China. The New International Socialism Journal #106 is also leading with an article on China. 

Is China Next? 

by Chalmers Johnson 

So you've just been to see Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." And you've read that Bush has the lowest poll numbers since his administration took office. Our proconsul in Iraq just sneaked out to the airport and boarded an Air Force jet for home. And the Supreme Court woke up long enough to slap down Bush and Ashcroft on their claims that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to them. Maybe you're thinking that the system works, and the separation of powers, the Constitution, the electoral system, etc., will save the American Republic from its war lovers. Well, think again.

Quietly and with minimal reportage in the American press, the U.S. Navy has just announced that in mid-July through August it will hold "Operation Summer Pulse 04" in waters off the China coast near Taiwan. It will be the first time in U.S. naval history that seven of our twelve carrier strike groups (CSGs) will deploy in one place at the same time. It is hard to imagine what an armada this will be (or what it will cost). At a minimum, a single CSG includes the aircraft carrier itself (usually with nine to ten squadrons of about 70 aircraft), a guided-missile cruiser, two guided missile destroyers, an attack submarine, and a combination ammunition, oiler, and supply ship.
Normally the United States uses only one or at the most two CSG's to show the flag in a troubled spot. In a combat situation it deploys three or four, as it did for both the first and second wars with Iraq. But seven in one place is unheard of. It's the peacetime equivalent of the Normandy landings.

Which only goes to show that our foreign policy is increasingly made by the Pentagon. Of all the money the United States spends on foreign affairs, 93 % is controlled by the Department of Defense and only 7 % by the State Department. The various regional commanders, CENTCOM for the Middle East, PACOM for the Pacific, SOUTHCOM for Latin America, and so forth, have ambassadors reporting to them. Even the current secretary of state for only the third time in our history is a military officer -- former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell (his two predecessors were George C. Marshall and Al Haig). 

Operation Summer Pulse 04 was almost surely dreamed up at the Pearl harbor headquarters of PACOM commander Adm. Thomas B. Fargo and then rubber stamped in the Pentagon. It is doubtful that Congress was even consulted. The seven aircraft carriers that are assembling to impress the Chinese are the Norfolk-based USS George Washington, USS Harry S. Truman, and the USS Enterprise, the San Diego-based USS John C. Stennis, the Japan-based USS Kittyhawk, the Florida-based USS John F. Kennedy, and the soon-to-be San Diego-based USS Ronald Reagan, now on its maiden voyage to the Pacific. According to Chinese reports, Taiwanese ships will join their American colleagues in this modern rerun of nineteenth-century gunboat diplomacy. 

Needless to say, the Chinese are not amused. They say that they are currently capable of taking on one or two CSGs, but that combat with seven would overwhelm them. The result is that they have embarked on a crash project to meet and defeat seven U.S. carrier strike groups within a decade. There's every chance they will succeed. China is easily the fastest growing big economy on earth, with a growth rate of 9.1% last year. On June 28, the BBC reported that China had overtaken the United >States as the world's biggest recipient of foreign direct investment. China attracted $53 billion worth of new factories in 2003, whereas the U.S. took in only $40 billion, India $4 billion, and Russia a measly $1 billion. 

Instead of trying to intimidate China with our navy, we should be trying to adjust to China's commitment to peaceful commerce. If left alone by American militarists, China will almost surely, over time, become a democracy on the same pattern as that of South Korea and Taiwan (both of which had U.S.-sponsored military dictatorships until the late 1980s). Our military fanatics and neo-conservative ideologues know this and appear to be trying to precipitate a confrontation with China. If they are successful, the results are all too predictable: we will halt China's march away from communism and militarize its leadership, bankrupt ourselves, split Japan over whether to renew aggression against China, and lose the war -- just as we lost our war against Vietnam and are in the process of losing the one in Iraq. We will also earn the lasting enmity of the oldest and most populous nation on earth. 

Chalmers Johnson's latest book is The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (2004). 


Ching Cheong, "US Plans Huge Show of Force in Pacific," Straits Times (Singapore), June 30, 2004.

"Carrier Strike Groups Feel the Pulse," Navy Newsstand, June 30, 2004. 

"Seven Carrier Strike Groups Underway for Exercise 'Summer Pulse 04'"

"Carrier Strike Grouyp (CSG)" 

BBC News, "China Tops US in Investment Table," June 28, 2004

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