Monday, January 24, 2005

China - Growing Threat Update II

The EU is to lift the arms embargo against China while China "is building up military forces and setting up bases along sea lanes from the Middle East" and announced she "is to hold unprecedented joint military maneuvers with Russia on Chinese territory next year involving both nations' air forces and navies".

At the same time China continues to crack down on dissidents.

Imagine the outcry if the US government had officially released Abu Ghraib photos, in which abject and terrified prisoners held little Arabic signs disclaiming their former allegiances, which were in fact infinitely more perverse. Though the Inaugural Address did not explicitly challenge the double standards of Western 'liberals,' it did imply a notion of human rights far beyond anything Jimmy Carter ever imagined. The former president thought that one could talk malefactors into being nice. The current president knows diplomacy can accomplish nothing to advance human rights without the credible backing of armed force. But I hope Bush understands that Syria, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Russia itself are only satellites of the Evil Empire now. The capitol is Beijing.

China recently signed an aid agreement with Cuba "...aimed at strengthening friendship between two of the world's last remaining communist governments."

China is to "Further Overall Cooperation with Iran".

Likewise, China, Syria to sign agreements.

China's rulers fear internal instability more than any outside force. No matter what their party or doctrine, they have always lived in dread of movements like Falun Gong, which have sometimes swept the nation with cataclysmic force. The Communist Party itself arose and gained power through such a social convulsion. Will China ever escape the treadmill of oppression and revolt? Not before it makes its bid to lead a world alliance of politboros, autocracies, and crackpot despots.

I'm becoming convinced that the Cold War never truly ended. We have been fooling ourselves. For what was the Cold War, really? Prior to World War Two, war between nation-states had been the characteristic form of Western conflict since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. T. M. Lutas has taken to calling the present period 'post-Westphalian,' because the US is currently warring with a non-Western international movement -- the Islamist jihad. But I think this is an aberration that conceals the true, underlying pattern. The Cold War was a principally a conflict between philosophies of governance: totalitarian versus consensual. And that conflict continues today, between nation-states and within them. The post-Westphalian period actually began more than half a century ago.

If I'm right, the Twenty-First Century will be blighted by strife between consensual and totalitarian governments. The latter will have differing motives, ranging from religious tyranny to secular control to cults of personality; but they have already allied covertly against their common enemy. Both sides will also continue to exploit non-state actors -- people like Osama bin Laden on the dark side, and Lech Walensa on the light. One side or the other will inherit the Twenty-Second Century. The world is becoming too small for both.

The one thing not discussed here are weapons.

The nuclear deterrent was a good idea at first. The down sides of nuclear winter, mass destruction of resources and infrastructure and long term contamination, are not so appealing. You will defeat your enemy but, unlike in previous conquests, you will not be able to claim the booty. While that may suit Islamic terrorists, who want to return to the stone age anyway, it would not suit Russia or China. Islamic nations are another matter; caring little for the mass destruction even if it is mutually assured.

Chemical or biological weapons don't have these down sides and would suit both Islamic terrorists and nations. But Islamic terrorists so far do not have the capability to use these weapons on a large scale. Nations are another matter.

Not long ago Russia test fired a new missile which was observed by the US.

Oddities were immediately apparent.

Visible through binoculars, the missiles fins glowed red hot. Why would you want to dissipate heat from a missile?

The warhead, after separation from the missile, deployed little bomblets that floated to the sea on parachutes. Why would you want to do that? Most bombs hit the ground, blow up and do their damage.

The US reportedly recovered some of these bomblets and found they were punctured with tiny holes. What are the holes for?

It has been suggested that the fins dissipate heat from the nose cone and away from the holed bomblets. Why would you want to keep the bomblets cool?

To keep something "alive". Russia has the largest stockpile of biological weapons in the world.

If China and Russia join forces the old alliances will be needed more than ever before.

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