Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I Can Draw a Line, Therefore I See the Future

This bit of ignorance is floating around the internet, masquerading as analysis. It is written by an retired Army Lieutenant Colonel.

"China has the right to protect it's vital interests, oil being a biggie, same as any nation. The fact that their economy is going gangbusters and absorbing all the oil, cement, steel, and other raw materials not nailed down makes the sea lanes of greater importance than ever before in Chinese history.

"China, for normal reasons of self defense, will come in conflict with other powers, most likely those on their periphery with priority to Taiwan as both the US and China recognize the status of Taiwan as belonging to China.

"They also have claims on Okinawa, taken by force from them over a century ago (they had rented it out to local Japanese feudal lords who then turned Okinawa over to the Emperor on his "Restoration". Chinese from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Mainland all assert the claim.

"China has now passed the U.S. as Japan's number one trading partner. Japan is the key to U.S. defense or offense vis-a-vis China. Neither of us can get to each other without Japanese support or neutrality... Not unless we can get our bases at Subic back.

"The Chinese dragon has awoken, and it is a huge dragon with long dormant talents and creativity. We can either cope with it or make the extremely stupid error of trying to blast the Dragon back to sleep.

All I can say to this is "huh?" Okinawa is Chinese? Does that mean Taiwan is Japanese? How long does a piece of land have to stay in the possession of one country before it is insured from reverting? Do we need to worry about Texas? Or Alaska? Of course not. Whoever has it and administers it has the right to transfer it. Whoever they give it to has it, with no takebacks allowed.

And how does that relate to the idea that Japan will accede to the will of China? The argument that because China and Japan are trading partners, Japan will play nice is just silly, especially if you have argued in the proceding paragraph that the PRC is pressing some kind of fantastical claim to Okinawa. The Japanese may outwardly be mild, and when compared to the Chinese, outnumbered 7 to 1, but the Japanese are certainly NOT going to be pushed around by the Chinese. And the Chinese may be pretty ignorant about the world but they know that Japan will not tolerate any substantial territorial claims. Okinawans may be second class citizens in Japan, but they are still citizens of Japan, in the eyes of all the Japanese people.

Regarding the idea idea that the US needs to pay obesience to China because their economy is firing on all cylinders and is about to overwhelm us. The truth is that China is the classic bubble and is ready to burst. Only fools listen to the economic data published by criminals like the Chinese Communist Party. The LTC has made the common mistake of most intelligence analysts. The easiest prediction to make is that the future is a straight line on the same vector from the direction it is going right now. However, the one thing that you can be sure of when predicting the future is that where ever a country is going is NEVER a straight line from now.