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Obama's Here, But Don't Forget the Influence of the Paranoid Right in US Politics
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All the news is on Obama, and I'm sure he will get pretty good press. He will make a couple of great speeches and say a lot of reassuring things.

But we shouldn't forget some of the anti-China influences on US politics that are well ensconced in Washington, D.C. Generally this includes both the Far Left and the Far Right, both of which are China Bashers, but for different reasons.

One nice depiction of future doom that has been percolating in the Intertubes of late is probably quite attractive to the paranoid neoconservative folks. It's a map, which purports to show the state of affairs in the US in the near future.

paranoid-us

Heh heh – I look forward to the struggle between China and Mexico over LA, which should be a hell of a good fight. This is all very amusing, yes, but seriously, this is the sort of vision embraced by a lot of Right-wing whack-jobs right now and, even more scary, they apparently are gaining influence among Republican legislators as the 2010 Congressional elections get closer.

However, this kind of bizarre stuff is not the end of it. You also still have a lot of Neoconservatives running around Washington, D.C. This despite the fact that their theories (i.e. Bush Administration foreign policy) are widely recognized as dangerous, proven failures.

Unfortunately, these jokers still have prominent positions with many think tanks and academic institutions, NGOs and in the American press. In particular, the influential Washington Post editorial page just loves them some Neocons.

Here's the latest China Bashing dreck from Robert Kagan et al:

Dubbed "strategic reassurance," the policy aims to convince the Chinese that the United States has no intention of containing their rising power. Details remain to be seen, but as with the Russia "reset," it is bound to make American allies nervous.

Administration officials seem to believe that the era of great-power competition is over. The pursuit of power, President Obama declared during a July speech about China, "must no longer be seen as a zero-sum game."

Unfortunately, that is not the reality in Asia. Contrary to optimistic predictions just a decade ago, China is behaving exactly as one would expect a great power to behave. As it has grown richer, China has used its wealth to build a stronger and more capable military. As its military power has grown, so have its ambitions.

Kagan is generally soft-spoken and reasonable sounding, for a Neocon, so the article at first glance seems like a decent argument. Don't be fooled by the style.

The above quote is the essential theme: China is rising, China is a threat to the US, and the West/US needs a new policy of containment.

Look, I've written about this many times in the past. These are folks who are perpetually stuck in a Cold War mentality, and the possibility that we can break out of a "zero sum game" situation just doesn't compute.

These guys are dangerous. They believe that either: China will be contained by the US (kept down) or they will some day dominate the US. Either way, a conflict will be necessary – the question is when and who shall win.

I've always felt that the "inevitable struggle" mentality is the number one threat to US-China relations, and although it is always drawn a minority of supporters, those folks just never go away. The fact that they have so much influence in the foreign policy community, and generally in Washington, is a continuous source of amazement.

Have fun reading about Obama's visit, but don't assume that his reasonable stances and accomodating policies represent a unified American perspective.

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© Stan for China Hearsay, 2009. |
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