Sunday, March 28, 2004

Watch Taiwan Carefully

One of the main reasons I was initially opposed to the war in Iraq is the threat posed to Taiwan from China. I mean, think about it. If you were China, and you wanted to take over the world, what would you do? You'd have to get the U.S. out of the way first. But if you directly engage the U.S. while they're not distracted, the U.S. and its allies will squish you, because the U.S. has a kick-butt military that despite its smaller numbers is the best in the world. So you have to be in a situation where (a) the U.S. is engaged militarily and (b) their allies are sort of disinclined to fight with them. And you can't make your first move on the U.S. homeland, because you know if you do something like that, the people will be against you. You may get a few fruit baskets from some of the fruit-baskets on the West Coast, but I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of Americans would not take kindly to a direct invasion. You might take California, but you'd never get past the Nevada border. No, if you want to invade the U.S. homeland, you have to seriously weaken the U.S. overseas first. And take the homeland you must, because the Americans have a history of using their copious natural resources to kick the war machine into gear and turn the tide.

In such a situation, imagine you (China) attack Taiwan. The U.S. is bound to defend Taiwan. With all the cuts in the military under Clinton (which we still haven't recovered from) and all the U.N. peacekeeping missions, the U.S. no longer has the ability to fight a two-front war without taking some serious actions (like drafting) that will leave a bad taste in people's mouths. So the U.S. war machine will kick into gear. China would then have to count on internal dissention to keep the war machine firmly in "park" so it doesn't go much of anywhere.

So the time is ripe for China to make its move. We are still engaged in Iraq; our allies are only somewhat with us and because of the precedent of being allowed to opt out, some would probably feel comfortable not participating in a defense of Taiwan; and we have a large enough chunk of our populace against our being anywhere fighting anything while there are still people at home without a chicken in every pot. So I think China is about to move on Taiwan. In fact I think our best chance to avoid this is to finish what we're doing in Iraq as fast as possible and get out. So I would like to assure everyone that in my opinion, there is zero chance the U.S. has imperialistic designs on Iraq-- not because, as others are arguing, the U.S. is just a really nice country despite being a superpower with global reach, but because we really don't have the ability to deal with everyone jumping us at once.

I do think it's important to do it right in Iraq, though, because setting up democracy in Iraq is key to the war on terror. And if there's one of the three conditions that are making it ripe for China to attack Taiwan that I do have any control over, it's the attitudes of the people back home. So I will do whatever I can to promote patriotism and love for our country, because let's face it: China has the numbers to be able to carry out an invasion of our homeland (with the help of a few turncoat former allies). If you don't want that to happen, then you damn well better rally 'round the flag and salute, because exercising your right to a bad attitude about your country can have unexpected consequences.