War Over Taiwan, a New and Gorgeous Advance in Stupidity

Judging by statements from the Pentagon and Washington, the US is preparing the public for war with China. Why such a war? China is no threat to America and provides the low-cost goods on which America depends. Since the rest of the world also depends on Chinese goods, a war would wreck the global economy. Is this a good idea? Has anyone asked the rest of the world? Why does Washington want this?

Because China (and a rapidly growing Asia) threatens the American military empire. You, gentle reader, may not be interested in empire. You may want jobs, medical care, prosperity, good schools for your children. But Washington wants empire. Wants it badly, at any cost.

Thus we are being prepared. In particular we hear about Chinese aggression,” which for some reason America must fix. But it doesn’t exist. China is not militarily aggressive. Look at the record. Choose a year–say, 1800–and count unprovoked wars started by China against other countries. There was the annexation of Tibet, arguably a war, in 1950. China fought a short war with Vietnam after the American defeat, and took part in various border clashes of disputed with India. That’s about it. China has one overseas military base, at Djibouti. Americas has something like 750.

By contrast, since that date America and its European parents have fought constantly against each other and invaded most of the world. Whether the aggressiveness of the European races is genetic is a question for those wiser than I.

China currently is at war with nobody and shows no sign of wanting to be. It is a commercial nation. By contrast, America has recently wrecked Iraq, spent twenty years killing in Afghanistan, wrecked Syria and Libya, bombs Somalia, runs a war against Russia in Ukraine which has killed some two hundred thousand Ukrainians and Russians, and wrecked Europe’s economy, prepares to provoke a war with China, and threatens to invade Mexico. Where in this do we see Chinese aggression?

The underlying cause for the aborning war fever is of course that the Asian economies will dwarf that of America. The proximate cause is Taiwan.

Why Taiwan?

From Washington we hear the usual about freedom, sovereignty, goodness, human rights, democracy, and niceness, about none of which Washington cares at all. The real cause is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, TSMC, which is the largest and most advanced microchip manufacturer in the world.

Until Trump began America’s attempt to strangle China technologically by cutting it off from supplies of advanced chips, TSMC was happily making semiconductors for all the world. Washington, grimly determined to maintain its imperial control of the world, is terrified that China might take over Taiwan and its chip fabs. This, not motherhood and human rights, explains the constant provocations of China.

The plan seems to be to arm Taiwan, as it did the Ukraine, and then provoke a war, as it did in the Ukraine, and let Taiwanese do the fighting as it did with the Ukrainians. To reasonable people, the solution might be to leave TSMC alone to sell chips to anyone who wants them, but that is not Wahington’s way.

One should not underestimate the seriousness of the hostility to China. America cannot compete with the Chinese in normal international competition. The US seems to have realized this. America collapses internally, its education fails, it increasingly depends on Asians in matters technological, and its finances seem on the brink. The solution is war.

If you doubt Washington’s obsession with TSMC: China hawks say that if in a war, China seemed to be winning, America would destroy TSMC in a scorched-earth policy. That is, if it does not get its way it will destroy Taiwan’s most important industry and cause a catastrophic, years long shortage of chips for the entire world.

America starts its wars by overestimating itself, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the kind of war it is getting into. The overconfidence arises because we are told from birth that America is the freest, most democratic, wisest, most scientifically virile, virtuous, and militarily astonishing country ever. Some of this was true, some almost true, but that was then. The economic, financial, and technological center of gravity shifts hard to the east. Note, for example, that Taiwan, not America, is the most advanced maker of semiconductors.

What would happen in a war? We don’t know. Military men are remarkably poor at predicting outcomes of wars. Politicians are even worse. Martial expectations almost routinely turn out to be catastrophically wrong. This is another point worth considering carefully. Pardon the length of the following list of disastrous martial misjudgement. It may prove enlightening.

When Napoleon invaded Russia, he did not foresee Russian soldiers marching in Paris. Which is what happened. The American Civil War was expected to be over in an afternoon at First Manassas, wrong by four years and perhaps six hundred thirty thousand dead, equivalent to about six million in today’s population. When Germany launched WWI in 1914, it expected a short war of movement followed by victory. It got a four-year war of attrition followed by defeat. When the Japanese Army brought on WWII, its war aims did not include GIs diddling its daughters in the bars of Tokyo. Which is what happened.

When Germany attacked Poland in WWII, having Berlin divided between US and Russian soldiers was not intended. It happened. When the French went back into Vietnam after the war, their intentions did not include getting clobbered by les jaunesat Dienbienphu. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, they were fought to a standstill by the Afghans and had to leave, which greatly surprised them. When the Americans invaded Vietnam, defeat and a panicked exit were not in their plans. When the Americans invaded Afghanistan, after seeing what happened to the Russians, they did not foresee defeat and route.

Is there a pattern here? Even cause for caution? Especially since the American military is short on experience?

The US military has not Fought a serious enemy since 1973 and the American fleet which would be crucial in a war over Taiwan, has not been in combat since 1945. Weaponry changes. We don’t know what a modern war would look like. We do know that China would prove a bruising, able, and powerful opponent. Various authoritative military sources, such as the Pentagon’s own Rand thinktank, predict an American military disaster. (See links at end.)

Americans have no idea of real war against a huge, technologically advanced military fighting with home-court advantage. The US is accustomed to bombing lightly armed peasants. American forces take for granted protected bases and airfields which, in war with China, they would not have. Casualties would be quick and ugly. Carriers have crews of thousands. That is a lot of dead.

Unused militaries deteriorate. A common problem is personnel rot. America no longer has a hardy, physically fit rural population. Since few of today’s young want to enlist, and few of those who do meet minimum physical, mental, or police-record standards, the military now accepts candidates of low mental category and even with criminal records. In peacetime, this doesn’t greatly matter. In war, it will.

In prolonged peace, the officer corps also deteriorates. An officer’s chief interest becomes promotion. He gets promoted by agreeing with higher-ups and never making waves. In today’s military, avoiding offense to racial minorities and sexual curiosities is more important than serious training. The military has become a social-betterment laboratory primarily interested in notions of political faddism. The officer corps knows that this is disaster in the making. That they accept it does not bode well should war come. But a major who wants to retire as at least a lieutenant colonel cannot afford to let military considerations trip him up.

Interestingly, America would be attacking a country that makes a high proportion of almost everything that Americans use. How much of China’s trade with what countries would be stopped by a war is anybody’s guess. Suddenly-empty shelves at Walmart and everywhere else would be noticed by voters, of course. I would like to see a list of things from pharmaceuticals to electronic components that come from China and that America could not make for itself without years of building factories. Of course American factories in China would instantly become Chinese factories.

A danger, almost a prediction, is that in war with China, Washington will have no Plan B, no idea of what to do if things go badly. In official Washington there broods a mixture of imperial arrogance, misinformation, and a sense of entitlement. This has to be experienced to be grasped. The hawks in Washington really do believe, viscerally, that America has both the right and the military and economic power to dominate the rest of the world. Most hawks have no military experience, much less in combat, and seem pathologically aggressive: Bolton, Pompeo, Biden, Nulan, Rubio. Like spoiled children whom they closely approximate, they will throw hissy fits if they don’t get their way. Here I am not calling names, or not merely calling names, but pointing to what seems a genuine character defect. What will they do if they have, once again, misjudged circumstances and America suffers a stinging defeat? They lack the maturity to say, ok, that didn’t work, let’s negotiated and get the best deal we can. They would likely go to tactical nukes, or bomb the interior of the mainland, combine the two, or block the Strait of Malacca. The consequences would be unpredictable.

Even at a glance, the idea that America can defeat China in its home waters is doubtful. (See links below.) To begin with, the Chinese are excellent engineers. They dominate America’s elite scientific high schools and technical universities. They make Mars landers, dominate in Five G are neck and neck with American in various fields and are gaining in others. Lightweights they are not. They have focused hard on the wherewithal specifically to defeat the US in nearby seas. They have hypersonic missiles, a technology in which they are currently ahead of America, that outrange carrier aviation, and they have the satellite guidance to hit moving targets.

Briefly—again, see links—modern warships are fragile. They are not the armored behemoths of WWII. A single missile hit would take a Tico class or Arleigh Burke destroyer out of the war. It is probably true that one plunging terminally-guided ballistic missile, punching through the flight deck and exploding in the hangar deck, would disable a carrier.

Maybe, just for once Washington should think before deploying.

Ghe first link is well worth reading. The others make the point that China is progressing in military technology, though details of technology and confirmed reports of effectiveness are lacking.

Asia Times: US Can’t Win, and Scorched Earth
Chinese AI Piloted Fighter Beatss Human Pilot
Airborne Supercavitating Torpedo




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Comments 43

  • While, currently, the CCP isn’t as dumb as Washington. There is no telling who the next leader of the CCP will be. Time will tell.

    • one possible explanation.

      if it known we would likely lose, perhaps that is the intention.
      my guess is some people would be very well taken care of.

  • Whether or not the nation wants to fight another war, it simply can’t.

    The Civil War is renown for the carnage of fighting. We see movies and read books that give use an unshakeable misunderstanding of it. Only 19% of the Union soldiers were killed on the battle field. 63% of them died from disease, mostly typhoid. The South had similar statistics. The Civil War had three warring parties. Only the third party, disease, fought well. In Custer’s last stand, the Indians reported that the soldiers were unable to defend themselves — they were paralyzed with fear, shooting drunkenly, without effect, unable to hit their targets. In WW2, as with most wars, only 15-20% of U.S. combat soldiers fired their weapons. Of these 20% who did fire their guns, most fired away from their human targets. Very few foot soldiers are effective, .. not like the computer games teens like to play. How bad was it? Over 100,000 bullets were expended for every soldier killed. This statistic is common in most American military actions. It was the artillery, aerial bombardment, and other tactics that overcame the revulsion and paralyzing fear of death, and thus to achieve the War’s high death toll. In the Korean War, most of the 5 million deaths occurred that way. The next war will be fought with sophisticated technology, because humans make poor soldiers and only technology can achieve the strategic and tactical optimizations needed to overcome an opponent.

    The military will not rely on American foot soldiers anymore. Besides knowing American youth are too cowardly to fight, it has found, lately that 77% of young Americans are unfit, either mentally or physically, to serve in the military. Coincidentally, that’s approximately the same statistic that Pew research found in the employability of young people: Gallup polling found 70% of young people are not engaged “emotionally and behaviorally” (quotes supplied by Gallup) in jobs. 16% of these young people are actively disengaged, which means they are working to harm their company.

    The Military also knows we are fighting a losing civil war, by a population that is unhinged. Pew Research found 56% / 34% of young liberal white women/men have been diagnosed with a mental condition. The same study found 27%/16% of young conservative white women/men have been diagnosed with a mental condition. Effectively, we are an unhinged nation of mentally ill people, unable to work, fight, or cope with ordinary everyday life. Kind of hard to fight a war in these conditions, even with technology. We’re in a Civil War, with both sides losing badly. I doubt we could handle another simultaneous war. :).

  • Stay in Mexico Fred. You belong there.

  • Hey Fred, you didn’t post links. Good article.

  • “When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, they were fought to a standstill by the Afghans and had to leave, which greatly surprised them”

    This is inaccurate.
    it’s typical American / Western misinformation. What happened for Russia in Afghanistan is that first, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who hated Russia with an insane passion, created ISIS and other mujahideen from the extreme wings of Islamist activist religious fundamentalists in Pakistan.
    ISIS at that point was almost all Pakistan. He sent them on a fundamentalist mission into Afghanistan. At that time, Afghanistan was modern – you can see photos of young women at University wearing skirts, shirts and jerseys, bareheaded, laughing, walking freely in the streets and studying. The fundamentalists Ze Big sent in hated this. Afghan soon was in trouble, and called to its good friend Russia for help. as Ze Big had calculated they would. And Russia responded.
    The war got worse as things back in Russia got worse, and its economy was tanking, so the Kremlin call back the soldiers. They left in a planned, orderly manner, with the love and cheers of the Afghans.
    The US of course, has totally misrepresented this, but then again, women in
    Afghanistan are now swathed from head to toe in burkas, forbidden to leave their homes, to study, work or laugh, have the bloody sodding US to thank for this.

  • China, not aggressive? I want some of what you’re smoking… the difference is that China starts wars almost entirely for the purpose of annexing territory.


  • I would debate the characterization of China as not aggressive. They seem to be all over the world and building new bases. The are allies with Iran and Russia and they use the N. Korean thugs for their wet work short of war. They participate in killing Americans with fentanyl and they “accidently” released a virus that killed millions. OK the virus thing is still too muddy. Maybe we also had a role in that. Chinese leadership, like most global leaders, act more like organized crime than political leaders.
    The chip issue may replace the oil issue and be grounds for another war, like the Gulf Wars, of pretend economic survival that turns into a war with few survivors.
    I do agree with the characterization of war and US military status. We have no idea what would happen but the decision makers pretend they do and the military reinforce that pretend to get more budget. It’s a recipe for catastrophe. Overconfidence is dangerous.
    TSMC is building fabs in the USA.
    My guess is the Taiwanese will realize, as the Saudi do, that they better make peace before we make war, and they end up holding the bag. No war. China and Taiwan reconcile.

  • Did Russia really invade Afghanistan? I read that the Kabul Socialist govt. asked Russia for help in combating the US backed Muslims who wanted to defeat the govt. so trapping the Soviets in their own Vietnam disaster which was the intention of the US all the time. Am I wrong?

    • I see no one here knows!

    • No. Soviets were invited, and when they left, the Afghani government stood for the 2-3 years.

    • Carter’s National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzeziński convinced Carter to arm religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan with the aim of drawing the Soviets in to defend their client government and creating their own “Vietnam”. It worked for 8 years. The Soviets withdrew after 8 years in good order, and their client state lasted several more years until the USSR dissolved and the Russian government was unable to support the socialist government in Kabul.
      So the Soviet Union did NOT invade Afghanistan. Nor did they flee with terrified Afghans dropping off their planes.

  • Please, Fred:

    Red China is PRESENTLY threatening Japan, the Philippines, Free China, and Vietnam. Perhaps you can throw South Korea into the mix.

    It’s a much bigger threat than Russia. Indeed, I would throw Ukraine under the bus to keep Russia and Red China apart.

    yours, John Gilmer

    • Please, John,

      America is PRESENTLY and in the PAST threatening the ENTIRE WORLD. Free the world from America and perhaps you can throw all its ass-licking allies in the mix as well.

      The five eyes are a much bigger threat than China, Russia and all the other countries you would throw under the bus to keep feeling good about your beloved English speaking, so called free countries. What is freedom when there is no security? Die free if you care about it so much.

      yours, Nate

  • Hi, Fred! Just wanted to point out that the links aren’t the actual links. The Asia Times article is found easily enough but the other two are hit or miss. Thank you for your no noncense level headed approach, I’ve been enjoying your excellent writing for many years.

  • So here we are in the comments. Bring on the Clowns….

  • Red China is threatening the Global American Empire in Japan, the Philippines, “Free” China, and Vietnam, and perhaps South Korea. If they – when they – leave the GAE to align with China, China will no longer be a threat to those locations.

    The rest of the world sees DC’s global empire spreading sodomy and color revolutions, and wants no part of it. The open evil emanating from DC is what is inspiring the BRICS, and the rest of the world, to align together, against DC.

    The last great Christian nation has aligned with the neo-confucianists and the hindus to oppose an evil empire, and the world outside Europe and North America is lining up with them.

  • Sobering essay.
    Fred, you make me wonder if all the bellicose posturing by the US might be to convince TSMC to move its manufacturing to America’s shores, like BASF was reportedly convinced to do after the US denied Germany cheap and reliable gas and petrochemicals last year .
    I do agree with you that the US can’t do big war these days, and maybe that is for the better.

  • I see no one here knows!

  • Fred, I truly enjoy your writings and have read many of your books. Keep up the excellent work. I particularly enjoy your attacks on Darwinian evolution you engage in when there is a slow news month. I make a living teaching Darwinian evolution and your observations are spot on but it would not be a good career move for me to espouse. God bless you!

  • Ruralguy says it all. Great comment.

  • Greetings Fred.

    You and I are generally on the same page relative to most everything you write. I do agree with some of your thoughts on this one but I take exception to your opening idea that China is not a threat to America. That country is very much a threat to most of the world economically and militarily. They have been building their military to include aircraft carriers, hypersonic missiles and diesel submarines – all a threat to the large US aircraft carrier — especially their long range hypersonic missile and the diesel submarine. The diesel submarine is much harder to detect than a nuclear submarine and out of US Navy stupidity all the Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) fixed wing S-3 aircraft were converted to tankers and then subsequently removed from the US aircraft carrier years ago. The only ASW assets aboard the US carrier today are the dipping sonar helicopters which are only good for a close in defense. I think the super large aircraft carriers were a big US mistake but that is not the issue here.

    I don’t think Washington wants a war, God knows we have had more than our share in the past 20 years, but Washington may get a Big One out of Stupidity. The balance of world power is out of whack mostly due to the fault of Joe Biden who thinks if we stop Russia in Ukraine that country will be put out of commission for a long time but “Shazam”… Here comes China with proposition for a New World Order with Russia as a partner to push the US out of the world picture. If that is not aggression I don’t know what it is. Today America is seen as weak so the balance of world power is shifting while gathering Russia, NoKo, Iran and who knows where India and Turkey will land. America is ending up on the short end of the stick running to maybe Canada for help. I don’t see any help there. We have saved Europe twice in the last hundred years and we don’t have the money to do it again. NATO should be funding the Ukraine as they would be the big losers if Russia takes the Ukraine. America is broke on her ass with a debt of $32+ Trillion.

    I don’t think America is Empire hungry either but wants to maintain the current world order as it is with the dollar as the international currency and no military aggression. China has become militarily aggressive as pointed out above as well as claiming rights to large areas in the Pacific (islands they have built with an air base). Moreover, China may not have military bases all over the world and they probably don’t want a war. They are intimidators and want to control the world economy without firing a shot. Their influence is expanding in Africa, South America and even in the United States and I would bet China de facto controls the Panama Canal these days. Could China be buying their way into the world much like the US has done?

    If Donald Trump was still siting in the Oval Office, the balance of world power would not be shifting relative to US weakness inviting aggression and world dominance.

    I am getting too long here but do agree with some of you comments about the “fog” of war and the unpredictable outcomes. I agree with your assessment of the US military is not as strong as it once was. Our recruitment is significantly down across all services. Who wants to go into the military to have Wokeism, pronouns, gender and other nonmilitary BS crammed down your throat. China brims over with self-discipline and courage where America is badly sagging. Most Americans are soft…. We are no longer hungry as we were as a young nation. I think if America allows herself to be sucked into a war with China, we would get our butts handed to us in both hands in addition to world wide devastation that no one needs. I invite your readers to read the “Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe. This book shows that major world changes take place every 75 to 100 years. It has been 78 years since the end of WW II. There is a major “Crunch” coming!

    • “If Donald Trump was still siting in the Oval Office, the balance of world power would not be shifting relative to US weakness inviting aggression and world dominance.”

      This is somewhat ambiguous: do you see Trump as good or bad?

      Outside the USA, the more or less universal opinion is that Trump is the biggest disaster ever visited on America, and unbelievably clueless in international diplomacy.

      • Somewhat ambiguous, David? I fail to see the ambiguity. Let’s put it this way: If Trump was the current POTUS, the balance of world power would not be shifting and world peace would prevail as it did during his Administration. I don’t believe Putin would have ever invaded The Ukraine — but that is pure speculation.

        Do I see Trump as good or bad? I see Donald Trump as the very last chance for America. I am with him to the end. If you have ever been to one of his rallies with 5,000+ people and thousands more standing outside, you might understand.

    • You go back, Jack, do it again, wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round
      You go back, Jack, do it again
      – Walter Becker & Donald Fagan

      You seem like a decent guy. Please (please!) look a little further than the ‘exceptional nation’, the ‘indispensable nation’ and its corollaries.

      As they say in Central Asia, “the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.”


      Best wishes.

  • Fred, this is the second posy, of two in a row, that I disagree with. Normally you are the gold standard for critical journalism, but this (and the awful piece last week on the Ukraine) fall far short of your own standards.

    China not aggressive? Highly debatable. Not least, because expanding economies have a tendency to want to become expanding countries. I do not see the PRC as bucking this trend. Others have commented on Chinese aggression, so I will just recapitulate: Korea, Tibet, border dispute with India, proxy war in Vietnam, war against Vietnam, and the current ruckus over the South China Sea. Next up: no aggressive intents? Then why the huge military buildup? A blue water fleet? Developing amphibious invasion capacity?

    The issue is that Taiwan is not attacking mainland China and has no intention of doing so, as far as I know. On the other hand, the PRC has made noises about Taiwan being a renegade province since 1949, and appears to be at least thinking tasking the issue in hand and solving it by military means. This, coupled with the military buildup, makes Taiwan uneasy, and justifiably so.

    You are right that the USA has a worldwide military presence, and not always for the better, but I have a more than sneaking suspicion that the PRC wants to take over that role one day, and I don’t know which day it is.

    Your reports on China have been most interesting, buy this piece on Taiwan is beginning to look as if you have become a shill for Xi Jingping. Heaven forfend.

  • They will let Australians fight for the holy democratic values of Taiwanese instead. Australian public is more fit and is already being conditioned by local MSM into accepting the rightfullness of such war that is planned for 2025.

  • The US cannot win a war with Russia. And certainly not with China. In a Pacific War it would have enough ammo for 3 weeks, maybe less because it would expend half of it in the first few days. Then, it would take years to restock because the industrial base is hollowed out. And guess what? China supplies the rare earths that the US needs for all sorts of hi-tech goods. China and Russia both prioritize education over military spending. 30% of Americans are technically illiterate. Another 60% just don’t read.That leaves 10% who actually think about things. As for social commitment, both China and Russia give everyone military training. The US gave up conscription when it realized that the public didn’t want its kids dying overseas (Russia forbids the use of conscripts outside the country).

    I explain this in two recent articles:



  • While I cannot use the adjective ‘delightful’ to describe the content of your writing, it fits perfectly with the pithy, elegance of your style. Thank you for your sarcastic, ascerbic, thoughtful and articulate newsletters.

  • Some comments from others.
    In college in the 80’s, a professor of mine taught China/Russia Cold War studies. he predicted that, in spite of the Sino-soviet rift then, both countries would come together in an alliance. The reason would be both would seek an accommodation with the West, but in the end, Western and especially American domination would be too hard to put up with, and they would see it made more sense to join together. Not bad for 1982.
    James Clavell, who wrote shogun and Tai-Pei, was a British author captured by the Japanese. He said the Chinese, despite all their rooting about revolution, were essentially a capitalistic, mercantile people and would eventually seek that kind of economy. He also felt once China went on this road, the West couldn’t really contain it. He felt Mao and the revolution was essentially a reaction against the 19th century and colonial penetration.
    I must say that all the great so-called power of Imperial Japan must be judged due to then Chinese weakness, disunity and corruption. Today, Japan might get it clock cleaned…and of course America would expect Japan to willingly die for us in future war. A Japanese threat against China would tick off China immensely.
    Gore Vidal, in the 1980’s, called for an end to the Cold War. He felt the obvious need was for America, Russia, and Europe to form a pact, so as to counter a growing Chinese presence.
    This was never possible. We want to do it and have it all.
    So many on this site talk of China’s aggression, domination, etc. Does it never occur to any of you we GAVE China all this technology and farmed out our industry to them? Really, when Clinton was president, we saw our missile technology given to China and they developed it. If you want to start a war, do it with our corrupt, vile, ruling class. Doesn’t anyone here GET that?
    Is China aggressive? No. I think they want their sphere of influence, and want to be left alone.
    The best way to counter this would be a strong, Industrial west, and we kind of gave that up, didn’t we? ‘E pluribus unum?’ Nope. ‘Cheap labor.’ Our new motto.
    Lt. Colonel McGregor, whom I’m sure a lot of you dislike because he’s not with you on whipping Ukraine, said China has enough problems keeping China together, let alone taking over anyone else. He also said we have no real military ability to project power any longer, and WE NEED PEACE to rebuild…and that means a new system, not just give more billions to contractors.
    And, I see the war drums move to China. All the talk show ‘conservatives’ are all for standing up to China. It’s just so in lockstep. “Oceania has always been at war with East Asia…” really.
    I recall my high school textbook discussing the Assyrian empire. It said, regarding Assyria’s brief ascendency, “certain countries appear and use their power to overwhelm other countries and rule strongly for a while, but, eventually, other countries will ‘gang up’ and beat it down.”
    I wonder if we’re going down that route, or maybe we’ll just fall apart.
    In the army, I noticed a new recruiting angle: if you get someone to join, you’ll get a promotion.
    That’s how far we’ve come.
    As Gore Vidal said concerning the probable rise of Chinese domination: “let us hope they treat us kindlier then we treated them.”

  • Also, a reminder to Ruralguy:
    The cavalry at Little Big Horn weren’t “shooting drunkenly.” Indians said the soldiers looked afraid and shook, but mostly that was because 1. They hadn’t rested before battle and had been hard driving to catch up with the Sioux, so they and their mounts didn’t get a chance to get prepared. 2. their rifles had copper cartridges, which, after repeated firing, would expand, and were hard to expel from the chamber. There was obviously a lot of concern when you couldn’t reload. Indians saw soldiers throw away their rifles; they thought it was fear, but it was due to inability to reload.Brass cartridges would have solved that, but the military was too cheap to buy them. Repeating rifles would have been better, but nope…too expensive. Officers bought them out of their own pay.
    The 7th Cavalry was put in a bad situation tactically by Custer splitting his command, and vastly underestimating how many Indians there were. The soldiers did the best they could, but it was a lousy plan, and some did try to run off, but didn’t make it. Crazy Horse was simply a better commander that day, and brought his men in concentrated waves. As Stephen Ambrose wrote in Crazy Horse and Custer, the 7th cavalry might have won or forced a stalemate had they remained together as a regiment, because regimental massed firepower could have held off Crazy Horse. Custer’s biggest concern was that the Indians would break up and vanish, like they had before. As it turned out, that was the least of his problems that day. When Benteen’s men approached, they set up defensive positions, Reno joined him, and they held off the Indians until they left. As noted, the Indians always lacked a killer instinct: when they won, they took off with their tribe Andrew moved on.
    I agree with your remarks on ammunition expended concur with S.L.A. Marshall’s studies.
    I just won’t have the men of the 7th slandered as drunks. They did the best they could, and Custer, for all his faults, wasn’t a monster. He had orders, he was enforcing government policy, and I hate seeing him degraded the way he is these days. He just had some rotten ideas of tactics, and expected the Indians to fold up when he charged.
    Maybe like some of our leaders have the same ideas when we decide to “charge” the Chinese.

  • There is two Americas. The fifty states and then there is Washington D.C., which I humbly have labeled Washington District of Caligula. It acts as if it is a country in and of itself. An action that was never an intention of its founders. But now the rulers are of a different nature than the ones who founded it. They are corrupt and rotted to the core. It is compared to the Roman Empire but there is one period in history that it is much closer in resemblance and is part of our past. It is the days of Tammany Hall and the shenanigans of Boss Tweed. I suggest reading up on that time period. It is as if the entire political body is a representation of Boss Tweed and his dirty deeds. And you can compare the country with the old NY county court house, also called The Tweed Courthouse. Read about and it will then make some good sense.

  • Fred has a mental problem.

    Neurologists have discovered a small area of the brain that is reponsible for generating cant: the smooth, comforting, conventional wisdom that makes us all feel good and which no one really believes (or disbelieves — ‘cant’ is not part of the category of refutable, testable propositions).

    Clearly, this part of Fred’s brain has atrophied — this tends to happen in old age, which is why older people get the reputation for being ‘grouchy’.

    So, if you want feel-good cant — and our basic instincts tell us to seek pleasure, avoid pain — you shouldn’t read Fred.

    As for China. Examine the relationship the US has had, and has now, with the Latin American countries. The weak ones which were close to us faced direct military intervention if they got out of line. The larger, further-away ones had to be ruled through locals. When necessary, the CIA gave them the names and addresses of troublemakers so that the death squads could be sent round.

    For countries outside the hemisphere, direct military intervention often didn’t work well, and even rule-by-installed-dictator wasn’t certain (Iran), so projecting ‘soft power’ was the remaining option, with varying success. (Does India do as it’s told? When it wants to.) Wise African kleptocrats will let China and the US engage in a buying competition.

    And this wasn’t always a bad thing. It’s good that South Korea and Taiwan are democracies, that Japan and Germany were put on the democratic path. The US prefers that other countries be free-market democracies — as witness its pressure on Pinochet to respect the Chilean referendum he was unwise enough to allow.

    This is probably how China will exercise its power, minus the preference for democracy, unless they’re unlucky enough to let their foreign policy be dictated by a Chinese version of the neo-cons … and assuming they can figure out how to make babies in test tubes.

  • Once upon a time China sent fleets of ships to see the outside world. It learned that the outside world had nothing China wanted that it didn’t already have more and better, and much that it didn’t want at all. So China burned its fleets and turned its back on the outside world.

    Then the outside world sent fleets to China. China learned that underestimating rivals is a mistake, and resolved to fix it, and never to do it again. And to encourage its rivals to make that mistake themselves.

  • An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people dont speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

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