Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Emails concerning my China posts

I am amazed at the amount of email generated by my last three post. Some folks ask if I have slipped off the edge of reality. Other state that my assertions are just too nefarious and nobody in a position of power would actually consider planning policy in such a way.

I can only say that you will never find any neo-con fully articulating what I have assigned to their position. Obviously they could not. How would that look to anyone else. Imagine the response.

"You invaded one country to contain another?"

Those that dismiss that China policy had a great deal to do with the War in Iraq are viewing the world too simply. The world really is not linear to the neo-conservative. They may speak in terms of Good and Evil, this is for public consumption. Behind the scenes their intelligentsias see a much more complex universe.

To demonstrate some of the things that played into the decision to invade Iraq consider this. (all can be gleaned from neo-conic writing if you read enough of it)

1) Ordinary Americans were very supportive of kicking somebody's butt after 9/11. The smallest linkage was enough to satisfy the need for retribution. This provided an opportunity.

2) Fundamentalist Christians are very supportive of any US action that offers more security to Israel. The idea of spreading "democracy" to Iraq sold well.

3) The US policy of Double Containment in the Mid-East (Iraq and Iran) was never more than marginally successful and always in danger of catastrophic failure. In the neo-conic equation the solution was to eliminate a variable. Point one above offered an opportunity to act.

4) As discussed previously, the neo-cons fear China, they are unwilling to propose fundamental changes in trade (consumerism and capitalism reign supreme) and are therefore forced to seek a strategy that allows engagement economically while offering the real threat of containment. The carrot and the stick.

5) Iraq was unlucky enough to have a stupid tyrant as its leader, be strategically positioned geographically where fundamental change would simultaneously support the containment policy against Iran and that of China.

All of these combined to shape a piece of the neo-conservatives foreign policy plans. It was as case of capability meets opportunity.

No one would propose that any one of these items alone were the only reason that we invaded Iraq. As I said it is just much more complicated than that. The invasion was a combination of colliding events that presented opportunities to take the initiative in a much broader strategic arena.

Many folks have written to me to say (I will paraphrase the six letters that expressed this sentiment)

"Hey you might be right. I did not realize that Rice had said those things about containment or that the Chinese themselves feared containment or that think-tanks had thought seriously about the possibly of restricting the flow of oil to China as a containment strategy. So what? China is a threat, just like the Soviet Union was a threat. We need to stand up to them before they get a real chance to threaten us."

Here lies the difficulty. Such a question bespeaks of you and I having a very different world-view. The very thing that the neo-conservatives so desperately want to avoid, i.e. conflict with China is exactly what they will engender.

China, because of historical dealings, has a deeply ingrained distrust of Western trade practices and foreign policy. Their security analyst predicted this move by the west in the early 90's. If they become more hostile, politically or militarily it is because they become akin to a cornered animal.

I do not dispute that this grand plan to encircle and subtly threaten China while concurrently pressuring their social, economic and political institutions MAY in fact work. It just may, then again it could fail. I in my youth stood on a wall in a foreign country and looked eye to eye with the soldiers of the Evil Empire. Young men did the same for 45 years. Containment of the Soviet Union behind walls may have been the only option. If the neo-con plan fails and China, cornered and afraid, retreats behind a wall in the face of an overwhelming enemy and this stalemate encompasses a generation of lives it is abstract failure. This is a distinct possibility that may result from the neo-con strategy.

To the paleo-conservative or Southern Nationalist the problem with this strategy is clear. Historically we have never gone looking for a fight, either in foreign policy or in our individual lives. To be sure we will not meekly sit by and let anyone push us around, either individually or collectively. Our ancestors have demonstrated our willingness to fight in places like Inverurie, Stirling Bridge, Bannockburn, Cowpens, Yorktown and Gettysburg. .We do not start wars, but we certainly fight when required. This is the nature of the Southern people. It is in our blood and can be traced back to the Celts that have so influenced our culture. It is also part and parcel of our Christian upbringing. "Do unto others" is not just words to apply to an individual life, they apply to nations as well.

Look at our heroes, Jesus Christ, William Wallace, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jackson. What do their words and actions say about proper conduct toward others? What do their actions say about the nasty business of war?

Look at the heroes of the neo-conservatives. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon.

What a cast of characters. Lincoln departed with almost 2000 yeas of western tradition and reintroduced the policy of making war on civilians. Teddy Roosevelt through his meddling in business greatly increased the power of the Federal government. FDR fundamentally changed the nature of government with The New Deal. Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society put the icing on the cake that FDR baked. Of course Nixon and his foreign policy remains the example to present neo-conservatives.

All of these men were pragmatist. They believed the world was too complicated to be held to standards of absolute right and wrong. They were progressives and considered compromise on core issues essential. To them, doing a little evil to perform what they say as a great good was ok.

This thinking applied to The Constitution, to luring other nations into war to achieve some other goal or in expanding the Federal government in ways it ought never to have been expanded to solve some contemporary problem.

It is as simple as this. Southern people have always been a people of principles. As Alexander Stephens said "times may change and men with them, but principles never." The Southerner that is true to blood, kin, home and principles knows these things. We are Paleo-Conservatives that are unwilling to compromise on principles. To us if China is a threat, we will deal with them, but we would not dare consider threatening them first or making war on another country because it presented a grand opportunity to gain a strategic advantage. This is contrary to all that we believe.

There is no middle ground on this issue. A Southern man cannot take a little of the compromisers position and still retain his heritage. Once we embrace the notions that are held by the empire builders, consumerism, unbridled capitalism, socialism, domestic tyranny in the name of security, and preemptive belligerence in the name of security we cease to have any birthright to the heritage of our forefathers.

The neo-conservative worldview is un-Christian, un-Southern, un-American and just plain wrong. It is time we focused our efforts exclusively on rebuilding our culture and gaining our independence from the neo-conservatives and their empire-in-the-making.

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