GI Korea asks who really cares about Pyongyang’s attempts at provocation. Perhaps Washington, particularly the Defense Department, is too worried about Taiwan and China (via The View from Taiwan).
I sometimes wonder if the US underestimates China’s abilities, and the new links it is forging with the pro-China side in Taiwan….it is interesting that they chose to warn Beijing that it could lose its right to host the ’08 Olympics—as if they know China is at this very moment contemplating an attack. I’ve speculated before what a Chinese attack might look like, and also that it might be sooner than anyone thinks.
The "blunt warning" misses a key point: sanctions go both ways. While the US has been breaking its military and its treasury in its stupid and criminal failure in Iraq, China has been on the march all over the world. If the US intervenes, Chinese markets might be closed to it for years afterwards, and Chinese allies hostile to its interests. Here’s a sobering thought for the Pentagon: we are more hated than China at the moment, and given the manifest incompetence and venality of our President, this will only get worse.
With all this bravado flying around, along with missiles and an Aegis-class destroyer, I stopped tonight to watch Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner, Steven Culp, and Bruce Greenwood (and about a hundred other noteworthy character actors). For me, as a student, the Cuban Missile Crisis reveals the hollowness of the ordinary chatter about "national interest", and the way laypeople talk about "the US thinks this", etc. Governments are fractious creatures, full of ambitious mortals following procedures that sometimes get the best of them. Rationality in the midst of crisis is not a presupposition, it’s a goal, and a nearly impossible one at that.
Unlike in the Kennedy years, economics now is no longer just a secondary issue.
I hope the sun rises tomorrow, because I see so few "men of good will’.