Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Empty Provocations, Real War?

Empty Provocations, Real War?
By Erick San Juan

In his catchy phrase as the title of his article, Doug Saunders of The Globe and Mail described the recently concluded fifth round of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue as – “U.S. and China smile for cameras, prepare for war”.

This month’s ‘dialogue’ in Washington like the meeting of both presidents Obama and Xi Jin Ping in California were full of rhetoric. As they met and talk of future undertakings like how to curb carbon emission to address the problem of climate change, their top military men are planning for ‘the war’.

As Jeremy Page of The Wall Street Journal noted recently, Mr. Xi has rehabilitated a group of ultra-hawkish generals and military advisers who have advocated a military strategy based on preparing for direct confrontation with the United States. He has particularly embraced Col. Liu Mingfu, whose calls for direct China-U.S. military competition had led his books to be banned, but are now back on the bookstore shelves in droves. Also widely published now is air force Col. Dai Xu, who wrote last year, according to Reuters, that China’s neighbors are “running dogs of the United States in Asia” and “we only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”

"This include Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are the three running dogs of the United States in Asia," added Dai.

The mere fact that China’s so-called group of ultra-hawkish generals and military advisers are already sending the signal of war preparations and using the old Chinese proverb – ‘kill a chicken to scare the monkey’,  that includes our country as one of the targets, being a close ally of Uncle Sam. So, do we have a choice? This is the price we have to take for being a loyal (and most of the time stupid) ally of the mighty Uncle Sam. Up to now our own war veterans are not fully compensated and we still continue to buy second hand war materials instead of using the much needed funds for our people's welfare.

“Both the Pentagon and the People’s Liberation Army are arming for an all-out war and pursuing enormously expensive master strategies that assume that such a war will occur."

In the case of the United States, this appears and disguise to be taking place without any authorization or approval from the White House or Congress. The Pentagon is now basing its global strategy on a detailed plan known as the Air-Sea Battle concept, in which the U.S. Army and Air Force defend the presence of 320,000 U.S. troops in the area by readying themselves for a full-scale land and air assault on China in the event of a threat in the South China Sea or its surroundings.” (Ibid)

Both Beijing and Washington are armed with not just muscles and arms but the think tanks behind such military strategies. In every war games, in every war rooms, strategists are the ones calling the shots, and they always plan ahead. In that case, do we have such think tanks and experts when it comes to strategies if ever a war will break out? None so far, maybe more of talking heads and reactionists, like showbiz people. When are we going to put our act together the soonest possible time for we are running out of time since the big brother announced its pivot to Asia via the Air-Sea battle approach?

The signs are here. Warships come and go from our ports, right down our noses. With who knows, how many US soldiers ‘visiting’ the country plus the top officials of Obama’s cabinet together with some  US legislators paying their courtesy call to a very loyal ally.

Wake up! Are there able people running the store?

As what Doug Saunders' reminder to us and to the rest of the world – “So we are in the absurd position of having the two superpowers at peace with one another while their armies prepare for total war. It is a dangerous state of affairs – something we ought to remember as we approach the centenary of 1914, when just such a mismatch led the world to war.”

God forbid!

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