DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY "B"
This article is part of an ongoing series of dispatches from Moon of Alabama
WITH SELECT COMMENTARY THREADS FROM THE ORIGINAL
Andrew Bacevich points to an interesting essay by Richard Hanania about the "threat" from China as perceived by the U.S. establishment.
The author says that China, even as it is growing and has passed the U.S. economically, is not an enemy of the U.S. and no danger to U.S. or others' security:
While China is not blameless, one could reasonably make the argument that, from an international perspective, it has had easily the most peaceful rise to great power status of any nation of the last several hundred years.
Perhaps, as the McMasters of the world claim, this is all because Beijing is biding its time in hopes of world domination. Alternatively, China may be an inwardly focused civilization that, while it may have disputes with its neighbors, is not on a mission to fundamentally remake the world. While it would naturally prefer rules that favor it and resists any principles that would legitimize regime change supported from abroad, Beijing does not seek to fundamentally replace the U.N. or rewrite international law. Its strategy has mostly sought stability and growth within the rules of the system developed by Western democracies in the aftermath of the Second World War. While its current position of strength is recent, it has not yet broken from this precedent.
Nor does it, as far as is known, plan to do so.
Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth. That ideological argument was used to seek and kill various 'dictator' dragons abroad. China has proved them to be wrong. And therein lies the real danger to the U.S. establishment.
China's development over the last 40 years proves that it is not necessary to wage wars in foreign countries to be secure and to prosper. For U.S. ideologues that is a bad example that should not exist:
If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history—or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity—how can the American role in the world be justified? What will it say about the American system if the U.S. is no longer the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, having been surpassed by a country that became the dominant power in East Asia without even paying lip service to democratic ideals?
Ultimately, Americans themselves might begin asking themselves difficult questions about how well they have been served by their own system, including the sacrifices in blood and treasure they are regularly asked to make abroad.
That would be really bad as the monetary fodder in the trough the national security establishment is feasting from would suddenly be seen as an unnecessary waste. That is the real danger to the blob:
Ultimately, the danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony. Perhaps not every state is destined to become a liberal democracy, and nations with very different political systems can coexist peacefully, as many countries in East Asia do. Maybe the U.S. will not always be at the frontier of military and economic power, and the country that overtakes it may have completely different attitudes about the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens.
While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind. Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong.
What then is the U.S. establishment going to do?
[Pure Evil, as usual]
The U.S. rose to global supremacy on the back of two world wars which destroyed the industrial capacities of its main competitors while the wars hardly touched its own country. Could it arrange for a comparable event, by maybe instigating a conflict between Japan and China, that would again lead to a major destruction of global production capabilities while the U.S. stays on the sidelines?
Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (!) have their own nuclear weapons, as another writer proposes, may be a way to get there:
What to do [about China]? There is one way to square the circle. The Biden administration should reconsider reflexive U.S. opposition to “friendly proliferation.”
Taiwan is in greatest need of such a weapon, but developing one would be highly destabilizing, since Beijing would be tempted to preempt the process. The alternative would be for Washington to fill Taiwan’s need, with a profound impact on Sino-American relations. Proliferation would not be a good solution—but it might be the least bad one.
No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States.
It is easier to know what not to do with China than what to do. Don’t go to war. Don’t stage a new cold war. Don’t sacrifice core values and basic interests. Don’t make the issue all about Washington. Don’t waste money and credibility on overambitious, unsustainable attempts at containment. Don’t attempt to dictate to the PRC.
But what to do? The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do. Including, perhaps, developing nuclear weapons.
I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.
Posted by b on January 5, 2021 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink
^5000The arch-hypocritical corporate media are our worst enemies.
They shamelessly block truth, peace, equality, and true democracy.
They are shills for those who murder the environment with impunity.
It's time you embrace YOUR media, the citizens' press.
Be sure to support the Greanville Post. If not you, who will?
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