Battleland

“Brazen Showboating”

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Kent Nishimura / AFP / GettyImages

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships JS Myoko and JS Shirane sit pierside at Pearl Harbo for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

Beijing is reacting to the Pentagon’s so-called “pivot to Asia,” and not in a friendly way. Amid several recent naval exercises — including the 22-nation RIMPAC now underway around Hawaii – China doesn’t like what it sees. Take this Friday editorial – headlined “U.S. Military Meddling” – in the state-owned China Daily:

Amid lingering tensions in Northeast Asia, people cannot help but ask what is the real intention behind such brazen showboating of military muscle in the region…The displays of force help drive home the message that for all its current woes the U.S. remains the supreme military power…Last but not least, it is widely perceived that the U.S. strategic maneuvers in the Asia-Pacific cater to its desire to counter the rise of a few regional powers, China included. As U.S. combat operations in Iraq have been brought to [an] end and it is pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the U.S. is counting on such a strategic shift to keep the vital region within the range of its gunpowder.

Guess China Daily wasn’t invited to participate in Tuesday’s conference call with Vice Adm. Gerald Beaman, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. “RIMPAC Not Targeting N. Korea, China, U.S. Says,” was the headline South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency used to sum up that chat. But no surprise there: China wasn’t invited to RIMPAC, either.

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James Hollifield
James Hollifield

As ATamp;T competes with Verizon, every American gets better/cheaper phone services. 

As US competes with China, every other country is getting free money, loans, military support, and all kinds of good deals/services.  

The bigger, bitter the competition (between the two nations), the bigger, sweeter the benefits that Japan, Russia, India, Vietnam, Africa, Europe,... will all get.  

And, competition makes one fit, adaptable and stronger, too.   During this process, both US and China will become better and better themselves.

So, be happy, everyone.  Take it positively.  It is beneficial to the whole mankind.   ;-) 

freefallingbomb
freefallingbomb

To the poster “Don_Bacon” (no “Reply” button once more under your last answer...)

You wrote: “Because the corollary to the PA is that the U.S. must have overwhelming, not equivalent, worldwide military superiority which includes the China Seas. China, as far as we know from the evidence, merely seeks regional hegemony.”

Oh, how very convenient for the U.S.A.: The famous, childish “Simply because!” justification... Just wondering: And I, an European, should worry about the build-up of China's Armed Forces “because”...?

Trouble is: Pax Americana is like a big bully. A bully only lives of his ego, not of real fights. 

Weak, Westernized nations in the Orient may even find this U.S. American superiority complex deeply comforting. Trouble is: Dogs that bark don't bite. Far from me to ever say anything nice about a djoow, but the truth is that everybody knows – for example – that “israel” has nukes, but “israel” never boasts about them. They prefer to BE more than is APPARENT from the outside (only in relation to their Military. In private djoows are the extreme opposite).

The opposite applies to the U.S. Armed Forces: Every time the big-mouthed U.S. American bully gets drawn into a REAL fight, especially in Asia, he ends up with Korea, Vietnam, Biafra, Somalia and Afghanistan, and twice also with near-bankruptcy at home. (Ok, granted, Grenada 1983 and Panama 1989 were smashing victories, totally unexpected and almost fought outside range)

Will the future U.S. Armed Forces be any luckier? Let's look for example at their best current (conventional) weapon, which they consider too good to be shared with allies. Last time America's most advanced warplane was flown the way its maker judged perfectly safe, it had to be dug up again from below 40 feet of earth. Two years later, not only its maker is still unable to point out what's wrong with his 150-million-$-a-piece-junk, as well as so many other deadly defects are being discovered all the time that F-22 pilots are on the brink of disobeying orders and ending their careers. (Only on 5.7.2012 it was revealed that the F-22s' pressure suits DON'T work and that the breathing hoses are LEAKING as well...

(Doubts? Just throw this Brazilian text into “Google Translate” and select Portuguese→English)

http://www.aereo.jor.br/2012/0...

But we can also discuss the “F-18s”...

Technology apart: I don't want to shock any daydreamers, but as much as a naval 22-nation exercise under U.S. command may massage some U.S. chauvinists' egos, how much can the U.S.A. really rely on the unconditional, political / military commitment of any of these 21 underlings, should China and U.S.A. ever face off each other DIRECTLY , NOT over some third country's security (Taiwan, North Korea) ? How deeply do these 21 war-gaming nations really respect the “leading” U.S.A. – and are their hidden, true opinions necessarily wrong? One thing is to tell an unruly Anglo tribe member (like New Zealand) to know its rank in the pack and occupy it again, but I'm PROUD to remind you that we're not all Anglos, and we non-Anglos cherish the moral question of every conflict A LOT . For example: Have you really not noticed that NOT A SINGLE “friendly” B.R.I.C. country ( = the next Super-Powers = your next rivals) sided with you during your recent criminal war against Libya?

That's why I already became anti-American since Iraq I, which in my opinion resulted from the failure of several esteemed international institutions. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was nothing but the inevitable, even long-announced (!) consequence of that injustice. Knowing how you U.S. Americans behaved during Iraq II, you would have done even much worse than Saddam did in Kuwait – and the Kuwaitis would have fully deserved it. Makes no sense to some of you, right? I bet it never did.

Back in the Cold War we Westerners had common enemies who pointed tens of thousands of nukes at our faces simply because they wanted to steal what's ours, no matter how much their ideology and Propaganda candied this crude instinct. It was really as simple as that, and they fooled no one except – ironically – the intellectuals. Since the military forces of both sides were approximately equal and also apocalyptically strong, the Reds didn't try to get our stuff and freedoms, but we didn't dare to attack them either.

Today China and the U.S.A. also have inimical ideologies and both Super-Powers are once again nuclear-armed and spacefaring (are the U.S.A. still in Space?), and this although today both Super-Powers are safe from a land invasion by the other. But there is something different, something strange about the current U.S.-Chinese rivalry: Their confrontation is not declared, official, formal, GENUINE like the East-West showdown was during the Cold War. Add to that

– the full-blown U.S.-Chinese economic cooperation (even partial dependency) despite their antagonistic ideologies (didn't happen with the U.S.S.R.),

– Capitalistic U.S.A.'s over-indebtedness to Communist China

– including to develop arms against China and build bases around China,

– but China knows it and nonchalantly lends more,

– China's repulsive grabbiness in relation to other countries' E.E.Z.s and “its former” territories

but

– their own interminable rows about these issues, too,

– the fact that practically all Asian peoples are friends, clients, allies and protégés of the U.S.A. and no one is China's friend

but

– these same Asian friendlies are unable to get over prehistorical traumas (utopical “israel”, Saudi Arabia amp; Iran, India amp; Pakistan amp; Sri Lanka, China amp; Taiwan, Japan amp; everybody),

– etc.,

and suddenly you've got a big moral confusion here.

How could it hurt in case of a bilateral U.S.-China conflict?

Imagine for example a Black Friday II in the U.S.A. . Palin succeeds Romney as President, the dollar and the economy plunge into freefall, Martial Law is declared, F.E.M.A. bulldozers shovel hungry and homeless demonstrators into Soylent Green recycling trucks, and the U.S.A. tell China: “We won't pay. Debt gone. Rating AAA.”.

5 minutes later 5 U.S. aircraft carriers vanish somewhere in the Pacific à la Amelia Earhart, and China replies: “Nope. You will. Every cent. With interests. Its mine. Dollars not accepted.”

If that – or similar stuff – happens (and there is an infinitely small chance that it could), how can the U.S.A., who famously invade others under fabricated pretexts to steal their oil or simply at miserable “israel”'s whipcrack, still present themselves as “victims of an injustice” while looking for international support? Would it still be morally as simple as shouting “The Reds are coming! The Reds are coming!” 50 years ago?

(I'm not thinking about the acritical, immoral Anglos)

Maybe it's better for the U.S.A. not to let that touching family picture of all RimPac participants get to their heads, and for China to keep detecting diplomatic subtleties in others, but to ignore them. Anything else is only petty, petulant and pathetic of China: After all, since nobody in his right mind will ever attack China, any war with China can only be started by China.

Unless of course China wishes to enjoy the same right as the U.S.A. to attack and plunder OTHER regional countries unpunished (“Because”), then China has a right to fear that everybody clusters around the lesser evil of the two...

Richard_Pietrasz
Richard_Pietrasz

The US military invaded China in the late 1920s.  

freefallingbomb
freefallingbomb

 Many Super-Powers disappeared since 1920. Even that changes... Where will the U.S.A. be in 90 years from now? (Will anyone even want to invade your country and its slightly different-looking population then?) China however has a record of being an Empire for most of its existence. And somehow they also ensure that their population is recognizable after several millenia.

Because that's the real game.

Cecelia O'brien
Cecelia O'brien

the US has been repeatedly inviting China to participate in joint military exercises for years - China always says NO,  So now suddenly they are so hurt that they aren't in Hawaii?  Sort of understandable that after being said no to so many years now - the US stops asking.

Crocodile tears from China.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

No.

1. China is questioning the joint naval exercises, not complaining that they weren't invited.

2. China has never been invited to participate in joint military exercises. Even mil-to-mil exchanges have been difficult.

CRS RL32496

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nat...

rory2012
rory2012

US fantasy is to try make China as the second Japan,you can expand economically and let US do the defend and safeguard your supply routes.US's intention can't be hided and fooled the world.Try to use China for its problem and try to contain China.Her policy is to exaggerate China's military power and stir up the Chinese Yellow fever.eg.Chinese second hand aircraft from Russia.US try to tell me China can't have the aircraft even some smaller country have one.Chinese space program is military served but not US's.If US has this sort of mentality,the world peace will never be achieved.Even China was poor and her weapons were outdated,they still willing to go to war in order to protect her interest in Korea and had conflict with USSR,Vietnam and India in the 60's and 70's.

freefallingbomb
freefallingbomb

If filthy rich China EVER cared about making any friends anywhere in the East (alias: Anywhere on the planet and beyond), it wouldn't verify that all Pacific nations exercise together regularly and ostensibly to prepare for war against China (because that's the baby's name). But sincerely, what other reaction does China expect from all its neighbours? What is China increasing its navy for: To fight only one major, sophisticated, distant adversary like the U.S.A.? Of course not, because operating freely in the entire Pacific requires a large fleet of supply ships, but they're not building them.

(And anyway, the U.S.A. haven't won a single war against a comparable, conventional enemy since World War II, and soon they'll rot away anyway due to several internal reasons, just like old Rome did, so in a couple of decades they won't constitute a menace anymore to anyone. Time clearly favours China)

Instead, the Chinese fleet aims exclusively to achieve complete regional superiority, meaning: To fight just about every other navy in the West Pacific simultaneously. What for? Well... a few decades ago someone else already tried once to conquer more vital space for his excessively big, colony-less population, using precisely the same “historical”, nationalistic arguments for his territorial pretentions as the Chinese, and the same contempt for his own and other individuals' rights – but fortunately without 1 billion+ worker ants, soldier ants and nukes... Short of that, History is repeating itself before our own eyes.

Who still has the plans for that old bunker?

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

 China enjoys friendly relations with many countries in the world, including not only Asia but also South America, Europe and especially Africa. One major reason for this is that China has a policy of non-interference in domestic affairs, which contrasts nicely with the U.S. policy. Countries naturally prefer non-interference.

freefallingbomb
freefallingbomb

Neutrality isn't friendship.

Ocenia
Ocenia

America interferes too often. take your ships and soldiers home - we don't want them. You should also be on notice for our base in our Ross dependency- which you lease.

There is no role for the USA in New Zealand's Ross Dependency and Antarctic Territories.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

 I didn't say neutrality, you did. Non-interference in domestic affairs is one feature of friendship, and China couples that with strong economic and investment ties.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

 A familiar saying in Washington is -

Those who seek peace should prepare for war.

from the original -Si vis pacem para bellum

(Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus in Epitoma rei militaris)

Why shouldn't that apply to China?

Richard_Pietrasz
Richard_Pietrasz

That saying is not relevant to USA, whose policy is, go to war, prepared or not.

freefallingbomb
freefallingbomb

 Then why does Pax Americana not believe in Pax Sino...?

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

 Because the corollary to the PA is that the U.S. must have overwhelming, not equivalent, worldwide military superiority which includes the China Seas.  China, as far as we know from the evidence, merely seeks regional hegemony.

Danyz
Danyz

I don't know if we can dignify some recent Obama moves with the term policy. Consider just a few recent events:  1) Sending a few hundred U.S. marines to Australia with the message - hands off Oz, China!  This is vaguely reminicent of the WW2 U.S. fortification of Australia against Imperial Japan. 2) Encouraging closer South Korean/Japanese military cooperation signals to this reader uncertainty and institutional feebleness in the U.S. to the point where policies of the 70's are revived. Here, right wing hardliner SK president Lee is grooming the daughter of unctious 1970's SK dictator and Japanese collaborator Park Chung-hee who too needed a beligerent North to stay in power, to succeed him. This all reads as retreat into the past rather than advance into the future.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Panetta, on China, in Singapore recently: "We both understand the differences we have, we both understand the conflicts we have, but we also both understand that there really is no other alternative but for both of us to engage and to improve our communications and to improve our (military) relationship."

Sure, except the obscene Pentagon budget needs a significant enemy to sustain it. Iran and North Korea hardly qualify -- so China is it. But why does Panetta then go on about improving the US-China military relationship?  Isn't he afraid that some genius in Congress will call hm on it and cut the obscene Pentagon budget for lack of enemies? Is he stupid?

Hah. Trick questions.

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