What is the US doing in the South China Sea?
According to New York Times reporter Helene Cooper, "The United States and China are jockeying for dominance in the Pacific"  , or in this case the South China Sea, which is of course off the coasts of China, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Supposedly it has to do with keeping the shipping lanes open and freedom of navigation-as if China now poses a threat the US must counter.
In truth the US naval presence is just an updated version of the old "gunboat diplomacy" the US exercised in the 1920's made famous in the old Steve McQueen movie, "The Sand Pebbles".
The "exceptional" nation believes its Navy has a right to traverse sea lanes everywhere, now even in the "locally" disputed waters of the South China Sea.
That's right "locally" disputed waters between China and its neighbors listed above. The islands in the South China Sea have been in dispute for decades where these countries have always peacefully negotiated together; never to the point of engaging in armed conflict.
That is until the US "pivot to Asia" put the US squarely into the conflict by the US siding-coercing? China's neighbors to "assist" them against advancing Chinese presence in the area.
Sure the Chinese have been building man-made islands off the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea thereby upgrading its military presence. But this is merely a direct response to counter US hegemony in what is clearly a sphere of influence the US has no business interfering with.
Put it this way. Suppose the Chinese decided to put a naval presence in the Caribbean Sea, even a small one. Would not the US become apoplectic with such a Chinese presence send a US armada to the area and demand the Chinese leave immediately. Of course it would.
No, China nor any other country would even contemplate such an idea.
But to the US ALL the seas are nothing more than a US pond for its Navy to sail and enforce US hegemony. That's what it's all about.
In the Persian Gulf the US has at least one carrier task force directly off the coast of Iran.
In the Black Sea, NATO and US Navy ships sail in waters off the Russian coast line in a direct challenge to the Russian Black Sea Fleet legally stationed in Sevastopol, Crimea.
In the propaganda official Washington and its complicit corporate media spews to the world its merely to counter Iranian and Russian aggression, two authoritarian, rogue regimes that must be kept in check.
Such nonsense would be comical if it weren't for the ominous potential for war.
It is the US that is and has been since the end of WWII the perpetrator of more war, aggression, false flag operations, assassinations, coups of legitimately elected governments and regime change than any other country in the world.