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The U.S. Muscles its Way into China's Backyard; Misguided, Dangerous Hubris

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Hubris by listia.com

A government driven by a hubristic mentality goes from war to war wasting hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars, and accomplishes nothing but death and destruction. This latest decision by the U.S. government and the military to significantly expand its influence and military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, China's backyard, is a move that could easily lead to a direct and dangerous confrontation between the two greatest powers on this planet.

Will this government and its military ever learn the lessons of history? In 1975 the U.S. was forcefully evicted from Vietnam. Did it learn anything from that debacle? No, it did not. Military hubris resurfaced when the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003; just recently, the last American troops were ushered out of that devastated nation. Now, in spite of all we may be hearing in the media, the handwriting is on the wall in Afghanistan; the Taliban, those "insurgents" who have never been defeated by any invading power are winning that battle and, once again, the U.S. military will be forced to leave, be it in 2014 or even sooner.

Any lessons learned by our government by these successive misguided hubristic military actions? Absolutely not! In fact, instead of learning anything, the government and the military are now gearing up to launch the next chapter of their totally misguided agenda of foreign policy intimidation. This time the designated target area for the expansion of the military empire is the Asia-Pacific region of the world that just happens to be a most important part of China's sphere of regional power and influence.

Why would this government and this president, as America tries to recover from the setbacks and monumental costs it has incurred over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, now want to establish a much greater presence in the Asia-Pacific region and directly confront its resident power, China? What's in it for the U.S. that they would risk another potential military confrontation? To answer that question one needs only to listen to the words of Hillary Clinton, our very aggressive Secretary of State.

As Secretary Clinton put it: "Harnessing Asia's growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests." Notice that she used the term "harnessing." Now if we look up the definition of harness, the verb; it is, " to collect and control something so that it can be used effectively." As a spokesperson for our government, by using that term, "harnessing", she seems to be saying that "what is mine is mine and what is yours is mine." This is nothing new; this is only the latest example of the continuing plan to control and collect the world's most critical resources, primarily petroleum and natural gas, no matter who happens to own them. Quite obviously, there is no longer any room for diplomacy, cooperation and negotiations in these matters.

If the powers that are driving this agenda to try to control the precious resources of that region, in which China just happens to be the resident power, think that they can do so without risking a serious military confrontation, then they need to think again. They are putting America into yet one more very dangerous situation that, once initiated, may be impossible to reverse. What they could not achieve by intimidation in smaller nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan can never be accomplished by taking on a giant such as China. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the power that China possesses in both military and economic terms.

China can't currently match America's military might but it is very powerful in its own right. This is a nation of over 1.3 billion people that has a standing army of over 1 million, an air force, sophisticated missiles capable of disabling aircraft carriers, a growing navy and, by the way, just happens to own a nuclear arsenal. But China has other very powerful weapons that America does not have. We should remember that China holds a significant share (nearly $1.5 trillion) of America's national debt, that it is America's primary credit card company, that it manufactures a very large portion of the products this country needs, including parts that are crucial to much of this nation's technology sector. Let's put it this way; the U.S has decided to go after the nation that holds most of the aces, that holds the winning hand, and can cash in its U.S. chips anytime that it feels that America has pushed it too far.

Here is further proof of the power that China now possesses. This interesting article   from Peakoil.com identifies five rare earth elements that America and other developed nations must continue to obtain for use in various highly important technological areas, among them the development of wind turbines, electric cars and new types of highly efficient lighting. It just so happens that China controls most of these resources and currently supplies 95% of the world demand. What will happen if a threatened, infuriated China decides to restrict the supply to the U.S.?

Trouble is already brewing in the South China Sea where China, Vietnam, the Philippines and several other nations are locked in a dispute over territorial rights, involving fishing and the exploitation of petroleum and natural gas. Tension is also growing over freedom of navigation through the Straight of Malacca, the corridor through which 25% or more of the world's crude oil passes into the South China Sea. This is the center of the region in which President Obama has vowed to expand its influence and power. "Let there be no doubt: in the Asia-Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in," he said. This Obama doctrine of involvement in this region represents an ominous sign of more trouble to come between the U.S. and China.

The Obama administration better rethink this new doctrine before it gets in way over its head. If the U.S. gets extremely aggressive and overly threatening, then China will, even if it damages its economy, take steps to drive America into a financial collapse. And it can, without a doubt, do just that because America is so heavily dependent on continuous Chinese loans.   Does the U.S. intend to bite the hand that feeds itself? Does it actually think it can threaten the nation that is keeping it afloat financially? At some point, logic and rationality need to replace hubris and hegemony.

When you find that you have dug yourself into a very deep hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. But this government doesn't seem to understand that at all. Instead of stopping the digging, it continues to dig and sink into one quagmire after another. So nothing ever changes, no lessons are ever learned and the hubristic blindness to reality continues on unabated. Is it any wonder why America, at this point in its history, has so many critical problems that it has no capacity to address?

With each one of these successive wars and their monumental costs, America becomes ever weaker and financially insolvent. As this military empire expands, America's ability to address its critical domestic needs is further dissipated. This latest movement into China's backyard may well prove to be the biggest foreign policy blunder in this nation's history.

So, we conclude with these words from Bob Marley's "War":

War in the east,
War in the west,
War up north,
War down south,
War - war

Michael Payne

 

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 

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st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } When you ... by michael payne on Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 at 5:42:59 PM
but it is hardly a unilaterally dangerous situat... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 at 9:44:58 AM
The tenuous situation between the U.S. and China i... by michael payne on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:26:19 AM
for the profligate idiocy that is the U.S. milit... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 at 11:51:32 AM
You make some excellent points but from what I hav... by michael payne on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 at 6:35:32 PM
Again, it is not 'the U.S.' that is doing this.&nb... by Keith Pope on Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 at 4:28:13 AM
This agenda of endless wars and intimidation is be... by michael payne on Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 at 10:13:24 AM