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March 08, 2007



Very interesting. This guy's really trying to get himself a free trip to a Syrian prison or Guantanamo, isn't he?

Well, I like what he says about China, but one thing he says has me a little worried:

"It's the same kind of adjustment that should have been made in the 20th century to the rise of new sources of power in Germany, in Russia, in Japan. The failure by the sated English-speaking powers -- above all, England and the United States -- to adjust led to savage and essentially worthless wars."

Not sure exactly what he's getting at, but if he's referring to WW2 it sounds like an argument for appeasement. The inclusion of Russia, though, makes it look like he's referring to WW1, though.

And his arguments for MAD are a little disconcerting.


and I had the good sense to send the article to a friend who has now gone off on some nutty extreme right (wrong?) wing rant..... Apparently it can all be blamed on libruls and dark-skinned people.


I agree with quite a bit of his criticisms of US foreign policy, though he doesn't mention that foreign policy being written by MNCs and edited by the relgious right.

As for his China comments, he sounds like one of the guys that pushed Nixon and Kissenger to give up what was a fairly successful support of the Tibetan resistance to make nice with Mao and begin the farce of "1 billion customers".

Kaiser Kuo

@Chriswaugh - I don't think it's an argument for appeasement that Johnson's making: he's talking about Germany's rise from the time of Bismarck, and Japan's from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5, I suspect. It's an argument against policies that pressure-cook dangerous reactive nationalism--like delimiting naval tonnage ratios, and that sort of thing.

@Nanheyangrouchuan - It's not always going to be like this with you, is it? That anyone who fails to horsewhip Beijing on Tibet or Xinjiang to your satisfaction--at this or any time in, say, the last 40 years--is, perforce, a shill for global capitalism? Surely you'll grant there are arguments for engaging China (and against, oh, arming or training or otherwise iving succor to what Beijing deems separatist groups) that go beyond "If we don't antagonize them, we can sell 'em lots of stuff!", right? I think any power's foreign policy is plain dangerous when it either adheres too doggedly to an ideological doctrine (be it human rights, communism, or Wahhabism) or lets go of idealism altogether. Tough balance to strike, but in something as critical as Sino-American relations, it's one both parties need to strive to achieve.


@chriswaugh: my understand of the comment about Germany, Russia and Japan is that Johnson argues the US and UK, along with other Western nations like France, have been making the mistake what he believes is the downfall of every empire (including those three) - complete intolerance for another center of power. That intolerance leads to militarism, imperialism and the ceding of power to a dictator or authoritarian leader (which Chalmers thinks the US is well on its way towards accomplishing). I think he's referring to the reaction to Germany before and after WWI. He uses Hitler, by contrast, as an example of how a power eats itself by embracing militarism and giving up democracy.

@Senor Chuan: So if I understand correctly, you believe the right policy on China would be to support separatist proxies and thump the Mainland economy, among no doubt other things, for what I assume is your objective, the downfall of the CCP. Let's just say that happens, and works: what happens after that? What do you think China will turn into if you bring all that to bear?


@Kaiser, it is bad advising by people like Chalmer that also led the US to save Mao from the KMT, not that chiang kai shek was a saint, but we conveniently ignored what we were told about Mao's behavior in China's countryside.

@dave, actually China would probably be financially better off and more politically stable if it wasn't so pre-occupied with territorial conquest. Ever stop to think how much money and resources China puts toward stabilizing its long lost territories?


@Nanheyangrouchuan: but that wasn't my question. My question was not what would happen if China up and decided on its own to withdraw from Tibet and Xinjiang - which they're not. My question was what would happen if other nations pushed China into doing so, which is what you appear to advocate. Totally different things.



Pushing China? Certainly no one is because they don't want to mess with commercial access for their companies (aka "selling out", dancing with the dev kowtowil, etc.). War to liberate these areas isn't in the cards, but nations should try standing for what's right instead of doing what their companies want them to do. It is commercial greed that led to the removal of Taiwan in place of the CCP in the UN and the conquest of Tibet is no different.

Try standing for something instead of kowtowing, Dave.

Kaiser Kuo

@Nanheyangrouchuan: It really doesn't look from where I sit like you're willing to listen to argument. If you want to just talk past someone you disagree with on your pet issues, there are plenty of places on the Internet where you can do it. If you want to use my little living room as a place to exchange views, please maintain a civil manner, and please do the other party/parties the courtesy of taking the time to read their posts carefully, then responding to points they make.

I refer you to my first response to you in this chain; your remark in reply reads like a total non sequitur, and I just don't see how that's productive. Let's really try to be productive here. That's all I ask. Otherwise, please take your issues and your urge to fight back to the Peking Duck.


@Dave and Kaiser: I believe you both have better interpretations of his comment on Germany, Russia and Japan than I did. Thanks.

Oh, and yesterday I noticed this Nanheyangrouchuan guy left word-for-word identical comments (of a predictable nature) on several different blogs. Now, I can tolerate his repititive and often irrational China-bashing, and he has shown he can contribute to the debate, but behaviour like what I saw yesterday leaves me wondering.

Now I'm off to hug a few pandas. Pandas need hugs.

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