Well, Of Course

Via Sullivan, James Fallows:

The same people — same individuals, same organizations, same publications, same blog sites – that ginned up a war with Iraq, and that have supported ginning up a war with Iran, are settling in for a longer term confrontation with China.

Well, of course. These little wars we are fighting with conventional weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq- those pay the bills for the defense contractors and their friends for now. But the real money, as anyone will tell you, is in the long wars. They need hostile relations with China to keep the big money and the big contracts and the weapons research flowing. When the Iraq insurgency finally burns itself out or we finally get the willpower to withdraw, they will need a hot zone in China to keep justifying 500+ billion a year in your money going to the machines of war.

Think big, think longterm. The entrenched interests are, and there is money to be made.

And yes, I realize I am starting to sound like Noam Chomsky Eisenhower.






93 replies
  1. 1
    zmulls says:

    If you want to surrender to the Chinese before we’ve even had a chance to fight them, you’re a coward and a traitor.

    OT: Did you see the pictures of Bush endorsing McCain. McCain looks like his granduncle…..

  2. 2
    salvage says:

    An important distinction; China is a real threat to a tiny Democracy in the region and they are a very evil government.

    No, I’m not saying there needs to be a war (it’s one that I doubt either side would win) but there does need to be a strong defense against various scenarios.

    One of the many things that angers me about Iraq is that it’s taken focus off real dangers to Western Democracy like China.

  3. 3
    Svensker says:

    And yes, I realize I am starting to sound like Noam Chomsky

    That’s what happens to conservative libertarian types once they stop drinking the K.A. :) “War is the health of the state” stops being theoretical, don’t it?

  4. 4
    Jake says:

    Great, and China can enforce the Pax Ankh-Morpork: If you fight us, we’ll call in all your debts.

  5. 5

    Well, sadly, Chomsky has been saying things that needed to be said for a long time. He generally gets ignored and villified because:

    1. What he say goes against the standard narrative of :The Mighty Wurlitzer”. You cannot expect bubble-brained “squawking heads” and their producers to truly grok what he is saying. Besides, they all have spent years in “The System”, and for all of the careers of most, that system has been getting their information and quotables from The Republicans. They know no other way.

    2. His treatises are, both verbally and in writing, soporific at their core. He does not involve himself in the popular forms of polemic, which provides poor grist for the mills.

    3. By the third sentence, he loses everyone with an IQ lower than body temperature, which really pisses off the right, because you are talking about most of that constituency. So they get their “Craig’s Notes” version of Chomsky from right-wing polemicists who have a vested interest, both idealogical and fiduciary, in demeaning and deriding him. After all, you cannot expect an honest interpretation and distillation of his words from them.

  6. 6
    Incertus says:

    Sad thing is that it was a Republican president who warned about the military industrial complex, and yet his party–along with their pals on the other side of the aisle–can’t wait to spend more every year on the war machine.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    An important distinction; China is a real threat to a tiny Democracy in the region and they are a very evil government.

    Translation: CHINA’S GONNA NUKE TAIWAN RIGHT NOW IF YOU DON’T GIVE US A $1 TRILLION TO BUILD A SUPER ORBITAL DEATH LASER THAT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW OMG OMG OMG !!!!11!oneone!1-hundred-and-eleventy-one!!

    China, to date, hasn’t been particularly more evil than the US, as far as I’ve been able to determine. That they started out as a one party state and we were just aiming for it doesn’t make much difference when you consider that we both censor free speech, throw people in jail indefinitely, torture, bomb innocent people for natural resources, and use iron-fisted control over our media institutes to lie our publics into thinking this is all totally necessary.

    Taiwan and China have had a relationship that’s been cooling off for the last fifty years. There is absolutely no reason they can’t settle their differences diplomatically. The only people interested in seeing otherwise are the self-same people who want to “protect” us from the evil empires they so love to poke with sharp sticks.

    Of course, you may ask who’s leading the charge to protect us from China? The Cheneys.

    Early in 2001, the commission presented a report to the incoming G.W. Bush administration warning that terrorism would be the nation’s greatest national security problem, and saying that unless the United States took proper protective measures a terrorist attack was likely within its borders. Neither the president nor the vice president nor any other senior official from the new administration took time to meet with the commission members or hear about their findings.

    The commission had 14 members, split 7-7, Republican and Democrat, as is de rigeur for bodies of this type. Today Hart told me that in the first few meetings, commission members would go around the room and volunteer their ideas about the nation’s greatest vulnerabilities, most urgent needs, and so on.

    At the first meeting, one Republican woman on the commission said that the overwhelming threat was from China. Sooner or later the U.S. would end up in a military showdown with the Chinese Communists. There was no avoiding it, and we would only make ourselves weaker by waiting. No one else spoke up in support.

    The same thing happened at the second meeting — discussion from other commissioners about terrorism, nuclear proliferation, anarchy of failed states, etc, and then this one woman warning about the looming Chinese menace. And the third meeting too. Perhaps more.

    Finally, in frustration, this woman left the commission.

    “Her name was Lynne Cheney,” Hart said. “I am convinced that if it had not been for 9/11, we would be in a military showdown with China today.” Not because of what China was doing, threatening, or intending, he made clear, but because of the assumptions the Administration brought with it when taking office.

  8. 8

    No, John, you don’t sound like Noam. He would have refused to accept any other geopolitical explanation for a war being necessary, and would have ignored cases like the Bosnian intervention as inconvenient.

    Just because Chomsky’s (_pace_ John S.) the genuwine authoritarian article with strong Stalinist tendencies as shown in his professional life doesn’t mean he’s wrong about everything. Just that his claims need to be read with his biases in mind.

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    Gak! Reposted one of John’s first links! I am fail!

  10. 10
    TheFountainHead says:

    I’m sorry, I’d love to get into this with you all right now, but I just can’t handle Clinton and China at the same time. I have to pick my battles, and while a billion Chinese are potentially a formidable opponent, this is Hillary Clinton we’re talking about here, folks.

  11. 11
    rafaelh says:

    Man, I’ve been reading you for a few years now and I remember asking myself how such an intelligent person could support the Republican Party. Gotta say, it’s kind of breathtaking what Bush has done to you, the awakening is something to behold!

  12. 12
    F says:

    Salvage,

    You’re babbling and making no sense.

    Taiwan is a made up entity, we protect them through our own self interest which has absolutely nothing to do with them being a “Western Democracy”. Our initial interest was as a bulwark against communism, it has now morphed into a jobs plan for the Military Industrial complex.

    And just as an aside; I wonder how you would feel if after the South lost the civil war England decided to establish Florida as a “separate” protected country that they would defend and O by way they’re going to call it the United States of America.

  13. 13
    Shygetz says:

    I’m with Incertus; you don’t sound like Chomsky, you sound like Eisenhower.

  14. 14
    Dug Jay says:

    China, to date, hasn’t been particularly more evil than the US, as far as I’ve been able to determine. That they started out as a one party state and we were just aiming for it doesn’t make much difference when you consider that we both censor free speech, throw people in jail indefinitely, torture, bomb innocent people for natural resources, and use iron-fisted control over our media institutes to lie our publics into thinking this is all totally necessary.

    Don’t you just love a reasoned and rational argument involving matters of life and death?

  15. 15
    HyperIon says:

    oh, demi-god, knower of all, what “strong Stalinist tendencies” have been shown in chomsky’s professional life?

  16. 16
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Um, if China is such a looming threat wouldn’t it be wise to stop buying shit from them? The lack of several hundred billion dollars a year flowing from the US might inhibit Chinese adventurism.

    I think that one of the old-time Commies once said something to the effect of: “You will provide the noose with which we hang you.”

  17. 17

    demi-god, knower of all, what “strong Stalinist tendencies” have been shown in chomsky’s professional life

    His repeated destruction of the careers of other linguists who had the temerity to disagree with him.

  18. 18
    zsa says:

    All due respeck’, but we’re not going to pick a fight with China. We’ve been hocking our kid’s futures to make sure the Chinese are so tied up in business relationships with the West as to make any overt hostilities a financial calamity for all concerned. Nixon, for all his faults, was not as dumb as he looked.

    And, frankly, China is big and more than a little scary. We don’t attack countries that can fight back. We only pick on crappy little countries (cf. The Ledeen Doctrine) that we can easily defeat.

    A war with a serious adversary would require, you know, sacrifice and shit. And nobody wants that.

    In general, I agree with your point … the Military Industrial complex is a beast that needs to be fed (and yes, I realize I am starting to sound like Dwight Eisenhower), and for that it requires An Enemy. It also requires the taxpayers to be in a perpetual state of fear.

    I would argue that China is the Old Enemy and “Islamic Fascism” is the New Enemy. This has the benefit of avoiding a conflict with China (which could potentially kick our asses in a few decades) and replacing it with a conflict with “Islamofascism” (which doesn’t actually exist outside of a few Waziristani caves and the conference room at the National Review).

  19. 19
    4tehlulz says:

    >>Um, if China is such a looming threat wouldn’t it be wise to stop buying shit from them?

    Thread over.

  20. 20
    Chris Johnson says:

    China, to date, hasn’t been particularly more evil than the US, as far as I’ve been able to determine. That they started out as a one party state and we were just aiming for it doesn’t make much difference when you consider that we both censor free speech, throw people in jail indefinitely, torture, bomb innocent people for natural resources, and use iron-fisted control over our media institutes to lie our publics into thinking this is all totally necessary.

    Thank you. I need to go take a shower now. Anyone got a good anti-shame cleanser?

    How could we possibly attack China? They own us. Unless corporate influence in government somehow magically went away that’s a nonstarter.

  21. 21
    Zifnab says:

    Um, if China is such a looming threat wouldn’t it be wise to stop buying shit from them? The lack of several hundred billion dollars a year flowing from the US might inhibit Chinese adventurism.

    I think that one of the old-time Commies once said something to the effect of: “You will provide the noose with which we hang you.”

    I doubt that. When was the last time we exported something to China?

    Don’t you just love a reasoned and rational argument involving matters of life and death?

    Life and death! Freedom or enslavement! Greatest adversary our nation has ever faced! End of Days! END! OF! DAYS!

    Yes, China is very scary. Why, with a whooping $112 billion yearly military budget (compared to our $722 billion), they’re out spending us 1-to-6! How can we survive such an onslaught?

  22. 22
    wingnuts to iraq says:

    Hey Dennis, we love buying oil from the Saudis even though last time I checked 15 of the 19 Hijackers were from there, as is Osama.

    But hey!

  23. 23
    cleek says:

    attack China? that would put WalMart out of business in a week.

  24. 24

    We couldn’t possibly go to war w/ China. Unlike Iraq and Iran, they *actually* have weapons of mass destruction! And delivery systems! We must talk with them, whether we like it or not.

    If anyone thinks it’s a good idea to stop buying things manufactured in China, check out a book called “A Year Without ‘Made in China'”.

  25. 25
    caustics says:

    Don’t you just love a reasoned and rational argument involving matters of life and death?

    Don’t worry Dug Jay, I’m sure that at least some of us take the existential threat of the Heathen Chinee very seriously.

  26. 26
    empty says:

    Jake Says:

    Great, and China can enforce the Pax Ankh-Morpork:

    If they have a Vetinari we’re done for:)

  27. 27

    I think that one of the old-time Commies once said something to the effect of: “You will provide the noose with which we hang you.”

    I doubt that. When was the last time we exported something to China?

    Zinger of the day.

    BY the way, the single best threat we have against China is…”mess with Taiwan and we default on our debt to you.”

  28. 28
    Martin says:

    I vote Ike as well.

  29. 29
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I doubt that. When was the last time we exported something to China?

    I was referring to the boatloads of money that we’re sending there.

    We do, however, export decades of research to China. We have them making everything from neodymium magnets to parts for airliners. Every time we show them how to make these things so that US companies can save a couple of bucks we provide them with the technology that it took us years and billions to research.

    We’re providing them with money and technology. They can afford the noose.

  30. 30
    Davebo says:

    No, I’m not saying there needs to be a war (it’s one that I doubt either side would win) but there does need to be a strong defense against various scenarios.

    Of course a side can win.

    President HU Jintao of China gets a call from his defense minister. “Sir, America is threatening us with war, what shall I do?”

    HU Jintao – “Nothing, I’ll call you right back”

    Then he calls his treasurer, tells him to sell off all the American T-Bills they are holding.

    War over, China wins, we lose.

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    Um, if China is such a looming threat wouldn’t it be wise to stop buying shit from them?

    They are only a threat to the poor people that would actually need to pick up a gun. The guys making millions off the Chinese will have plenty of time to jump in their Gulfstreams and flee to New Zealand.

  32. 32
    Janus Daniels says:

    Late Eisenhower (good company IMO) reads like current Chomsky.
    OH – has demimondian ever posted links for (admittedly irrelevant & ad hominem) Chomsky accusations?

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    When was the last time we exported something to China?

    the US exported $41B worth of stuff to China, in 2006. (latest #s i could find)

  34. 34
    Napoleon says:

    James Fallows is perhaps the best writer/journalist on economic and political subjects working today (for whatever my opinion is worth).

  35. 35
    zzyzx says:

    I want to know who we’d get to lend us money to fight this war if we attack China.

  36. 36

    Dennis, what kind of pointy-headed intellectual knows how to spell neodymium? I’ll bet you even know it’s a ferromagnetic rare-earth, right? You latte-swilling aesthete.

    Seriously, I worry less about the export of technology than most people do. We aren’t exporting our first generation technology; we’re way deep into second gen — and China is still exporting their seed corn to us. I know; they populate my office here in Kirkland.

    It’s what I hate the Republicans for most, actually. Their brown-pants attitude towards immigrants is not only morally repulsive, but is also economically idiotic. This is the party of economic growth? I don’t think so.

  37. 37
    w vincentz says:

    Yikes!!! What will Walmart do???
    And who’ll step up to finance the “war” in Iraq? Guess that one’s over if this on happens!
    At least the oil in Darfur will be up for grabs.

  38. 38
    Napoleon says:

    OH – has demimondian ever posted links for (admittedly irrelevant & ad hominem) Chomsky accusations?

    I can’t answer that question or even the substance of his accusations, but as someone who has read some linguistics books (although never anything of Chomsky’s) he clearly has a reputation in that community as being “difficult” and polarizing.

  39. 39

    has demimondian ever posted links for (admittedly irrelevant & ad hominem) Chomsky accusations?

    Nope. Wish I could, but the actual references would do more harm to other people. You’ll have to take my word for it or not; either choice is perfectly reasonable. In my own defense, though, remember, *I* wasn’t a linguist, so Chomsky’s hegemony had little effect on me professionally.

  40. 40
    Snark Based Reality says:

    Taiwan is a made up entity, we protect them through our own self interest which has absolutely nothing to do with them being a “Western Democracy”. Our initial interest was as a bulwark against communism, it has now morphed into a jobs plan for the Military Industrial complex.

    You’re just being anti-chink. Next you’ll be all against the Jews.

  41. 41
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Dennis, what kind of pointy-headed intellectual knows how to spell neodymium? I’ll bet you even know it’s a ferromagnetic rare-earth, right? You latte-swilling aesthete.

    Pinned! I was doing doing some research on the points where the fields generated by the little angels start to significantly degrade due to high temperature.

    In truth, I feel that sending technology to China, money too, isn’t the worst thing. In ten years or so they’ll be complacent enough to be completely distracted by Britney Chin, Paris Fong and “Dancing with the Stars.” I do object to using them as the bogey man while providing them with the means to make them a threat.

  42. 42

    nah John, you’ve a very long way to travel before you sound remotely like Chomsky. Ike-ish, sure. Chomsky’s domestic history take and yours are quite different and though you may have gotten somewhere similar on this question, how you got there is not at all similar.

  43. 43
    Fledermaus says:

    I don’t think the neo-cons are going to get their fantasy war with china – just not going to happen for the reasons illustrated above. They’ll still get the hardwar spending though.

    So where else could a group of well connected businessmen find profit. Perhaps “The War on Crime” like defense spending, spending on cops and prisons is totally free. Plus they will be big construction contracts and increasingly militarized police. And politican wins with tough on crime.

    Plus we’ll evenually have a bunch of Iraq vets, who already have been taught to see enemys where once human beings stood, looking for jobs in a sinking enconomy. Job growth areas? Hmmm let’s see, police academy anyone? Police acadmies are increasingly training with a “thin blue line between us and the monsters (monsters being non-cops)”

    Kick back an enjoy, the new police state has been brought to you by Bechtel, Blackwater and your local phone company. Suspicion breeds confidence, citizens!

  44. 44
    Svensker says:

    I would argue that China is the Old Enemy and “Islamic Fascism” is the New Enemy. This has the benefit of avoiding a conflict with China (which could potentially kick our asses in a few decades) and replacing it with a conflict with “Islamofascism” (which doesn’t actually exist outside of a few Waziristani caves and the conference room at the National Review).

    But you’re not adding in the “Cheney factor” and the Bush Doctrine. They want to be the ONLY superpower, which means these guys believe we (the U.S.) has got to keep ahead of China, box them in militarily, keep our alliances and bases such that they are forced on the defensive all the time. Cheney and his like-minded warbots want an arms race with China, which they believe “we” can win. Whether these insane creatures actually foresee an actual war with China, I don’t know. But they do want a return to the great and glorious Cold War, only this time with the Panda instead of the Soviet bear. Yes, they want war with “islamofascists”, but they want the Sino enemy as well. Heck, they’re even talking about “dominating” space with orbital weaponry to keep China in its place.

    These people are Fucking Nuts. Which is why Obama is my guy, since he seems the least like these wackos of any of the major candidates. If Hill gets the nod, she’ll do — she might not be that different from the warbots, but at least she doesn’t seem insane.

  45. 45
    F says:

    Taiwan is a made up entity, we protect them through our own self interest which has absolutely nothing to do with them being a “Western Democracy”. Our initial interest was as a bulwark against communism, it has now morphed into a jobs plan for the Military Industrial complex.

    You’re just being anti-chink. Next you’ll be all against the Jews.

    No, I’m being anti-I don’t want to be involved in someone else private war, whether its China vs. Taiwan or Israel vs. the Arab world. Its none of our business who rules Taiwan, the Nationalist lost their civil war, why should we continue to prop up their fantasy called Taiwan.

  46. 46

    […] Hurrah, we’re Klingons again! “Gotta say, it’s kind of breathtaking what Bush has done to you, the awakening is something to behold!.” —rafaelh, “Well, Of Course.” […]

  47. 47
    Jamey says:

    Oh noes, war with Chiner!

    And Sullivan will be there beating the drums and outing coastal fifth-columnists?

    I wish that fucking weasel would just go away..

  48. 48
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    And Sullivan will be there beating the drums and outing coastal fifth-columnists?

    I for one will no longer cook Chinese Cashew Chicken, henceforth I will cook only Star Spangled Cashew Chicken.

  49. 49
    Zifnab says:

    No, I’m being anti-I don’t want to be involved in someone else private war, whether its China vs. Taiwan or Israel vs. the Arab world. Its none of our business who rules Taiwan, the Nationalist lost their civil war, why should we continue to prop up their fantasy called Taiwan.

    Why do you hate the Chinese who love freedom? Also, why do you want to have Yassir Arafat’s ass-babies?

  50. 50
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Besides, if Taiwan falls it’ll mean the end of Taiwanese Parliament Fights. I don’t want that on my conscience.

  51. 51
    Shinobi says:

    A war with china is completely unrealistic. It would DECIMATE our economy. Look around your desk, I seriously doubt you can find more than one item that wasn’t manufactured at least in part in China.

  52. 52
    jcricket says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t see how this applies to why Clinton is going to tear the Democratic party apart. Can you explain?

    ;-)

    Not a big fan of Chomsky, but I don’t envy you John, learning that the DFH you so mocked, were so right all along.

  53. 53
    Cassidy says:

    Hmmm….interesting thought….there will always be a military business community, regardless of war or “peace”. Being that there is never really any peace, war isn’t required to sink billions of dollars into the military business.

    Ex.: I don’t have numbers, so I’m just going off of anecdote and experience. Even without Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia, the military, especially the Army, spent a great deal of money on new gear and upgraded parts and systems for vehicles. When I was with 10th MTN, we tested out a lot of new gear; it was issued like rations.

    Even during peacetime, the military prepares for war. The money will still flow.

  54. 54
    srv says:

    For those of us who knew what a neocon was before all the screaming, they were all dutifully writing about the era of the hyperpower and suppressing the rise of a peer.

    Then the GWoT got in their way, and local parochial concerns became tantamount. But from Presidente Vaders perspective, what is really happening in the ME is all about a proxy war to control the precious bodily fluids any future peer would need.

    Alas, as we masterbate about the ME and the world realizes what a jerk off we are, Iran and China whisper to us to wank harder.

    There has always been a strong suspicion that Cheney, or whomever drives him, is a mole. The reasoning is, they couldn’t ask for a better sabotuer of the hyperpower. So either they’re really that smart or Dick is really stupider than Doug Feith.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    Even during peacetime, the military prepares for war. The money will still flow.

    It’s HOW it flows that matters. Emergency funding for war isn’t subject to the same accounting scrutiny as the stuff in the general budget. You need that when you are going to shrink wrap and ship 363 tons of cash into a war zone.

    I wonder how much of that was laundered by contractors into soft-money political contributions.

  56. 56
    GSD says:

    Crazy moonbats, open your eyes. The Red Chinese said they will take over America from WITHIN!

    Now get in your car and drive around town(anytown USA) and tell me how many Red Chinese fifth columnists are quietly conniving and planning and preparing to take over America in their little fifth column enclaves named Royal Pagoda, Jade Garden, Golden Dragon and Lotus Blosson?

    Open your eyes before it is too late.

    -GSD

  57. 57

    I think the VRWC has a pretty good argument here. The Chinese have been trying to kill our pets. What next? Our house plants? Pretty sound reasoning for going to war if you ask me. WTF? It’s not like they can fuck it up or anything, eh?

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    what is really happening in the ME is all about a proxy war to control the precious bodily fluids any future peer would need.

    Isn’t that precisely what’s been going on in the ME since the start of the cold war, except that now it’s pre-emptive?

    And wouldn’t the technological world leader be able to declare a logically equal though inferior victory if they simply eliminated the oil supply like Goldfinger before anyone else had a chance to develop their economy through its use?

  59. 59
    Cassidy says:

    It’s HOW it flows that matters. Emergency funding for war isn’t subject to the same accounting scrutiny as the stuff in the general budget. You need that when you are going to shrink wrap and ship 363 tons of cash into a war zone.

    I wonder how much of that was laundered by contractors into soft-money political contributions.

    I’m not gonna argue with any of that. It may or may not be true, I don’t know. I’m just simply stating that the money will be spent, regardless of how you view war, or the military.

    The military will always figure out a way to get its money. Now if they’d only figure out a way to give me more of it…

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    I don’t mind the money being spent responsibly, but given the costs of this war (A billion dollars to build an embassy poorly? Seriously?) it’s hard to resolve whether it was a misguided military effort or a distraction while we raid mom’s purse.

  61. 61
    libarbarian says:

    Well, sadly, Chomsky has been saying things that needed to be said for a long time. He generally gets ignored and villified because:
    ….

    Bullshit!

    The biggest thing that rubs a lot of people, including me, the wrong way about Chomsky is that he behaves like a propagandist and not an truth-seeker – ie. he selectively includes facts that fit his thesis and ignores those which, even if relevant, do not support his point. Meanwhile, he criticizes others in the “media” for doing the exact same thing.

    Take his stance on the KR. To this day he insists that he really had no real opinion and was as open to the idea that the KR was comitting genocide as he was to the idea that they were not. However, it is obvious to anyone who read his works that he clearly did not believe the stories of genocide.

    Read “Distortions at Fourth Hand“. No one who is not already biased in favor of Chomsky can conclude anything other than that he did not believe the rumors of the Khmer Rouge mass-murder. He admits that he “We do not pretend to know where the truth lies amidst these sharply conflicting assessments” (emphasis added) but it’s pretty clear that he uses “know” in the strongest sense of the term and that he was very personally incredulous of the veracity of the reports. (I don’t pretend the know that Scientology is a crock of shit. However, I sure as hell think it is).

    To this day Chomsky will not admit what is plainly obvious – that he got fooled. Instead, for whatever reason, he claims that his statement “We do not pretend to know where the truth lies amidst these sharply conflicting assessments” proves that he had no opinion whatsoever and was merely offering a disinterested media critique. However, the blatant contradictions between his treatment of pro- and anti- genocide sources shows this for the lie it is.

    This paper says it best: “Together with Herman, Chomsky devised an attack strategy on the media that would allow him to criticize Ponchaud, Barron-Paul, and the media for specific erratas, but without the appearance of searching
    for facts on Cambodia. His favorable position towards the Khmer revolution would be hidden by the cloak
    of criticizing the print media’s biases.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    Isn’t that precisely what’s been going on in the ME since the start of the cold war, except that now it’s pre-emptive?

    Well, I don’t think we saw the primary consumers like Europe or Japan as threats. We already had our boots up their asses. As much as the Daniel Pipes of the world moaned about Soviet arms trading in Iraq and Syria and want of a warm water port, most people knew those were really jackalopes for a 600 ship Navy. We wanted to ‘secure’ these resources, not strangle somebody else.

  63. 63
    Cassidy says:

    I don’t mind the money being spent responsibly,

    My point being, to some people(s), spending responsibily will never exist as long as it’s being spent on the military, regardless of the legitimacy of its use.

  64. 64
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    BY the way, the single best threat we have against China is…”mess with Taiwan and we default on our debt to you.”

    Fine. Then everyone around the world says “cash first” the next time you want to buy something, and nobody but nobody wants to hold US dollars anymore.

    Which means you better consider oil tripling its current price to the US consumer.

  65. 65
    Shygetz says:

    Cassidy speaks like someone who is unaware of history pre-WWII. There is nothing inevitable about military spending, they don’t hold any magic ment-o-ray to make us fund them (and if they do, I think we can beat China easy), and there is no good reason why peace couldn’t and shouldn’t come with a peace dividend. It takes the will of the electorate, a large part of which remains incontinent after the terrorist attacks of Spetember, 2001. But it could happen.

  66. 66
    eponymous says:

    John,

    Something to think about – while a direct confrontation with China appears to be highly unlikely, I think there’s a good likelihood that in the future we could see proxy wars popping up all over as the US and China vie for control of the rest of the world’s oil.

    A good example of this is in Africa, where the Chinese have invested quite heavily in countries with substantial oil reserves. And not just in oil infrastrcture, but in other areas as well (roads, schools, irrigation, electricity, etc.) – often with no strings attached.

    The US, until quite recentaly (last 20 years or so) hasn’t been much intersted in Africa. However, like the Chinese (as well as European Union countries) are investing more resources in the oil rich countries of the region. I don’t think its a coincidence that the US has created a new military command – AFRICOM – to deal with the growing presence of the Chinese in the region (Note: I’m not saying that that’s the reason the command was created – far from it – but I do think that as countries, especially China and US, vie for what’s left of the world’s oil that it’s increasingly likely that wars will flair up over it – hence, the strategic necessity of AFRICOM).

    It would also be interesting to find out how good relations with China and Venezuela are (Venezuela sitting on top of the world’s largest tar-oil sands – potentially trillions of barrels of oil).

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    Well, of course. These little wars we are fighting with conventional weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq- those pay the bills for the defense contractors and their friends for now. But the real money, as anyone will tell you, is in the long wars. They need hostile relations with China to keep the big money and the big contracts and the weapons research flowing. When the Iraq insurgency finally burns itself out or we finally get the willpower to withdraw, they will need a hot zone in China to keep justifying 500+ billion a year in your money going to the machines of war.

    China is getting into space exploration, so …

    Satellite weapons, baby. Big juicy satellite weapons. And anti-satellite weapons. And weapons implanted on the moon.

  68. 68
    srv says:

    Take his stance on the KR.

    Many choose to pick through the detritus of the end result and roast the naive commentariat, rather than make accounting for how Cambodia got to the point where the Khmer rose to power.

    While the former is academically interesting, the latter is on par with holocaust enabling.

  69. 69
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    zsa Says:

    All due respeck’, but we’re not going to pick a fight with China. We’ve been hocking our kid’s futures to make sure the Chinese are so tied up in business relationships with the West as to make any overt hostilities a financial calamity for all concerned.

    Not to scare anybody or anything, but people were saying the same thing about England and Germany in 1910. There was even a best selling book called “The Great Illusion” arguing that the late-Victorian/Edwardian globalization made it impossible for a large great power war to break out, because it would destroy the economies of both sides, and everybody would run out of money to pay for the hostilities within a year.

    Turns out that when push came to shove for rational-maximizer-economic man, the force was not so strong with this one. Just sayin.

  70. 70
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    …oh and also, 1914 was not supposed to happen because the solidarity of the international working class transcended mere nationalism, so the socialist parties would shut down a war before it got started. Even Mussolini thought so. He changed his mind later.

  71. 71

    While the former is academically interesting, the latter is on par with holocaust enabling.

    And Chomsky’s behavior towards the KR was the real thing.

  72. 72
    ThymeZone says:

    Thus is all a lot of churn and heat but no light.

    We’re in a transition period in history, the period in which war is obsolete but the war machines still want to play their games.

    And if you are the Really Big Powerful Countries, how do you play the wargame games unless you can keep some of your people riled up about something and ready to, you know, have a war or something? I mean, you can’t hope for a 911 every 2 or 3 years, which would be the perfect setup if you were a war machine guy. So you have to find some way to keep the people scared or mad about something so that you can manipulate them.

    Ergo, the Problem With China. What will Warmachine do when Iraq isn’t on the radar and we need to keep the rubes paying for that $700b defense bill?

    The United States is a country acting out a false story, the story of the Big Powerful Nation that musn’t be fucked with. The bellicose, but gentle school-building giant.

    Of course we are ready to go toe to toe with China. We have always been at war with China.

  73. 73
    David Hunt says:

    Of course we are ready to go toe to toe with China East Asis. We have always been at war with ChinaEast Asia.

    Here’s hoping I got the coding right

  74. 74
    ThymeZone says:

    Here’s hoping I got the coding right

    You did indeed, sir.

  75. 75

    East Asis? What’s that?

  76. 76
    libarbarian says:

    says “>Chomsky 10/11/1980

    Some time ago I was asked to sign a petition in defense of Robert Faurisson’s “freedom of speech and expression.” … I was considerably more surprised to read in Esprit (September 1980) that Pierre Vidal-Naquet found the petition “scandaleuse,” citing specifically that fact that I had signed it.

    Chomsky refers to to having read the Sep. 1980 version of Esprit which includes the following description of Faurissons views on the Holocaust:

    September 1980 Esprit on Robert Faurisson:

    It is Faurisson who stands within revisionist truth [i.e. the real nature of the Holocaust denial movement] when he proffers his famous formula: “Never did Hitler either order or accept that anyone be killed for reason of race or religion” (Vérité, p. 91). The “revisionists”, in fact, all more or less share several extremely simple principles.

    1. There was no genocide and the instrument symbolising it, the gas chamber, never existed.

    2. The ‘final solution’ was never anything other than the expulsion of the Jews towards eastern Europe, their “repression”, as Faurisson elegantly puts it (Vérité, p. 90). Since “most of the Jews of France came from the east”, it may be concluded that it was never anything more than their repatriation, a bit as when French authorities repatriated Algerians, in October 1961, in their “native douars”.

    3. The number of Jewish victims of Nazism is far smaller than has been claimed…. Faurisson, for his part, (almost) divides the million [claimed by his fellow deniers Arthur Butz and Paul Rassinier] in two: a few hundred thousand deaths in uniform (which is a fine demonstration of valour) and as many killed in “acts of war” (Vérité, p. 197). As for the death statistics for Auschwitz, they “rose to about 50,000” (ibid.).

    4. Hitler’s Germany does not bear the principal responsibility for the Second World War. It shares that responsibility, for example, with the Jews (Faurisson in Vérité, p.187), or it may even not bear any responsibility at all.

    5. The principal enemy of the human race during the 1930s was not Nazi Germany but Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    6. The genocide was an invention of Allied propaganda, which was largely Jewish, and specifically Zionist, and which may be easily explained by the Jewish propensity to give imaginary statistics, under the influence of the Talmud.

    says “>Chomsky @ bottom of above letter – after having admitted to previously reading the above.

    “As noted earlier, I do not know his work very well. But from what I have read — largely as a result of the nature of the attacks on him — I find no evidence to support either conclusion [ie. anti-semitism & holocaust denial]. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence. As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort.”

    After claiming to have read something which CLEARLY and CORRECTLY laid out Robert Faurissons Holocaust Denial and Anti-semitism, Chomsky denies knowing anything about Faurissons views and calls him an “apolitical liberal of some sort”.

    Chomsky isn’t an anti-semite or a holocaust denier, but he has no problems working with them and defending, not only their right to free-speech but the content and character of their work because of their political activism regarding causes he does care about.

    Don’t defend someone who uses a brilliant mind to act like a third-rate hack.

    I’ve never heard David Duke speak or read anything he wrote. I could honestly claim that “I have never heard or read anything by David Duke that could be considered racist”

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    Shygetz makes assumptions and cherry-picks his pre-WWII history.

  78. 78
  79. 79

    Why do you hate America? (TM)

  80. 80
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    If the sun came up in the East this morning, there must be another entire post on BJ and 75 attaboy seal-barks that are all based on a flawed, undocumented, assumed premise. Fallows has nothing to back up his “now they’re gunning for China” assertion. Even the con-call he so, so, so tediously recounts (my lands, what an awful writer — I pity you guys more than usual if you have to slog through that guy every day) ended in the decision to upgrade communication with China and to put the port-rights deal and their military buildup “behind us.”

    Kind of the opposite of what Fallows concludes, eh, but what do you expect from un confrère of The Three Faces of Greenwald(s)? Links that actually back up the arguments? That’s for suckers! Come on, who reads links anyhow?

  81. 81
    w vincentz says:

    I wuz thinkin’…this might not be about Taiwan afterall…
    just maybe, maybe, it’s Korea’s chance for reunification.
    Let’s shut down the DMZ, it’s been that way long enough!

  82. 82
    ThymeZone says:

    That’s right EEEL, Sino-American relations have always been nothing but fucking peaches and cream.

    Nothing to see here, just move along.

  83. 83
    Jake says:

    East Asis? What’s that?

    How Bush pronounces Asia.

  84. 84
    sparky says:

    libarbarian:

    At the risk of wading into something that I didn’t know anything about till your link, it seems to me that your quotes misconstrue what Chomsky says. Your link is a letter from Chomsky that goes to some length to defend academic freedom; it cannot, I think, credibly be read as a defense of the substance of the ideas at issue.

    Here are some quotes from the link you provided:

    “First: I am concerned here solely with a narrow and specific topic, namely, the right of free expression of ideas, conclusions and beliefs. I have nothing to say here about the work of Robert Faurisson or his critics, of which I know very little, or about the topics they address, concerning which I have no special knowledge.”

    . . . .

    “Suppose, then, that some person does indeed find the petition “scandaleuse,” not on the basis of misreading, but because of what it actually says. Let us suppose that this person finds Faurisson’s ideas offensive, even horrendous, and finds his scholarship to be a scandal. Let us suppose further that he is correct in these conclusions — whether he is or not is plainly irrelevant in this context. Then we must conclude that the person in question believes that the petition was “scandaleuse” because Faurisson should indeed be denied the normal rights of self-expression, should be barred from the university, should be subjected to harassment and even violence, etc.”

    . . . .

    “I have frequently signed petitions — indeed, gone to far greater lengths — on behalf of Russian dissidents whose views are absolutely horrendous: advocates of ongoing U.S. savagery in Indochina, or of policies that would lead to nuclear war, or of a religious chauvinism that is reminiscent of the dark ages. No one has ever raised an objection. Should someone have done so, I would regard this with the same contempt as is deserved by the behavior of those who denounce the petition in support of Faurisson’s civil rights, and for exactly the same reason.”

    And here’s the part you’re talking about:

    “Putting this central issue aside, is it true that Faurisson is an anti-Semite or a neo-Nazi? As noted earlier, I do not know his work very well. But from what I have read — largely as a result of the nature of the attacks on him — I find no evidence to support either conclusion. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence. As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort.”

    Now, this last bit could be read as you suggest, but without more, it seems to me that this is a misconstruing of his argument, especially since the language in your prior post is not part of this letter, nor does Chomsky specifically reference it here. But if you have more, I’d be interested to see it.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    If the sun came up in the East this morning, there must be another entire post on BJ and 75 attaboy seal-barks that are all based on a flawed, undocumented, assumed premise. Fallows has nothing to back up his “now they’re gunning for China” assertion. Even the con-call he so, so, so tediously recounts (my lands, what an awful writer—I pity you guys more than usual if you have to slog through that guy every day) ended in the decision to upgrade communication with China and to put the port-rights deal and their military buildup “behind us.”

    Kind of the opposite of what Fallows concludes, eh, but what do you expect from un confrère of The Three Faces of Greenwald(s)? Links that actually back up the arguments? That’s for suckers! Come on, who reads links anyhow?

    Myiq ain’t got nothin’ on that kind of Troll. Down! Back under the bridge! Back with you!

    *waves flaming stick in EEEL’s face*

  86. 86
    r€nato says:

    And yes, I realize I am starting to sound like Noam Chomsky Eisenhower.

    You should really consider writing a book about your journey from the darkness…

  87. 87
    Jody says:

    Yeah, you sound like Eisenhower. But he was RIGHT.

  88. 88
    caustics says:

    but what do you expect from un confrère

    Merde! EEEL spoke French, he’s beginning to crack. Soon he will be ours to control.

  89. 89
    chiggins says:

    Noamenhower Eisenchomsky!

  90. 90
    jones says:

    Yeah, because China represents absolutely no threat to US interests or to her neighbors in the region. Benign, benevolent China, who could doubt her honorable intentions and love for the American people?

  91. 91
    AnneLaurie says:

    Great, and China can enforce the Pax Ankh-Morpork: If you fight us, we’ll call in all your debts.

    I thought China already had, and that’s why all the Oval Office has done “about” Iran since their 2006 electoral defeat was big talk and dick-waving.

  92. 92
    libarbarian says:

    At the risk of wading into something that I didn’t know anything about till your link, it seems to me that your quotes misconstrue what Chomsky says. Your link is a letter from Chomsky that goes to some length to defend academic freedom; it cannot, I think, credibly be read as a defense of the substance of the ideas at issue.

    Sparky,

    Let me preface by saying that while we never really “know” for sure what is in someones head, as humans we regularly infer the motives, intentions, etc. of others. We base our judgments on many things, including the whole sweep of observables, as well as on our own biases and understandings. I am doing the same thing here. I make no claim to be able to “prove” what Chomsky meant or was thinking, and I understand how someone who is already favorably disposed to him might interpret the same observations differently.

    Now, let me summarize my argument clearly.

    1. Chomsky does NOT agree at all with Faurissons views regarding the origins of WWII or the Holocaust. Furthermore, Chomsky does largely believe in free speech and was being honest in what he said regarding the theoretical important of free speech even for disgusting views.

    2. Chomsky was not defending the views of Faurisson. He was defending Faurisson himself from the charges that he held those views. Chomsky DID MORE than defend his right to free speech – he directly claimed that he saw no evidence that Faurisson even held the views to which people were objecting.

    3. What motivated Chomsky is that Faurisson is an advocate of some positions, regarding topics like Israel and “Western Imperialism” with various parts of the world, which Chomsky shares (although for totally different reasons) and that Chomsky was cynically trying to defend a useful political ally as best he could without saying anything provably untrue.

    Other people who opposed the removal of Faurisson did confine themselves simply to addressing his right to free speech. Chomsky did not. Chomsky chose to bring up the issue of Faurissons views and, even though he qualify it with the caveat that

    “I do not know his work very well.”

    he explicitly avowed that

    “I find no evidence to support either conclusion. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence”

    Allow me to make this a little more tangible and pose a hypothetical example which I think relates to this issue. Here are two potential defenses I could offer regarding the right of free speech for an American racist like David Duke. Both are 100% true in the most literal sense.

    David has the right to free speech. I don’t know his work well, but it doesn’t matter because, regardless of the content, the right to free speech applies to all views.

    -or-

    David Duke has the right to free speech. I don’t know his work at all well, but I have neither heard nor read anything myself which would support the conclusion that he is a racist. To the best of my knowledge he is a relatively normal advocate for his own ethnic group.

    Now imagine that I happened to be a passionate supporter, although not racist, of other issues also championed by David Duke. Would you really interpret it as simply a pure defense of the principle of free speech, or would you interpret is as a cynical attempt to defend an ally from the substance of the charges against him?

  93. 93
    TenguPhule says:

    If they have a Vetinari we’re done for:)

    Vetinari, nothing.

    If they find a Moist Von Lipwig, we’ll be bent over a barrel and lubed up and smiling all the way.

    Our nation is being run by the fucking Clax board of directors.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Hurrah, we’re Klingons again! “Gotta say, it’s kind of breathtaking what Bush has done to you, the awakening is something to behold!.” —rafaelh, “Well, Of Course.” […]

Comments are closed.