a Conflict with China
By Paul Craig Roberts
Washington has pressured
the Philippines, whose government it owns, into conducting joint
military exercises in the South China Sea. Washington’s excuse
is that China has territorial disputes with the Philippines,
Indonesia, and other countries concerning island and sea rights
in the South China Sea. Washington asserts that China’s
territorial disputes with the like of Indonesia and the
Philippines are a matter of United States’ national interests.
Washington has not made it clear what Washington’s stake is in
the disputes. The reason Washington cannot identify why China’s
disputes with the Philippines and Indonesia are threats to the
United States is that there is no reason. Nevertheless, the
undefined “threat” has become the reason Washington needs more
naval bases in the Philippines and South Korea.
What this is all about is provoking a long-term cold war
conflict with China that will keep
profits and power flowing into Washington’s military-security
complex. Large profits flow to armaments companies. A portion of
the profits reflow into campaign contributions to “the people’s
representatives” in DC and to presidential candidates who openly
sell out their country to private interests.
Washington is going to construct new naval bases in the
Philippines and on the environmentally protected Jeju Island
belonging to South Korea. Washington will waste tax revenues, or
print more money, in order to build the unnecessary fleets to
occupy these bases. Washington is acquiring bases in Australia
for US Marines to protect Australia from China, despite the lack
of Chinese threats against Australia. Bush and Obama are the
leading models of the “people’s president” who sell out the
people, at home and abroad, to private interests.
Why is Washington ramping up a new cold war?
The answer begins with President Eisenhower’s warning to the
American people in his last public address about the
military/industrial complex in 1961. I won’t quote the warning
as it is available
online. Eisenhower pointed out to Americans that unlike
previous wars after which the US demilitarized, after World War
II the cold war with the Soviet Union kept the power and profits
flowing into the military/industrial complex, now known as the
military/security complex. President Eisenhower said that the
flow of power and profit into the military/industrial complex
was a threat to the economic wellbeing and liberty of the
No one paid any attention, and the military/security complex was
glad to be rid of the five-star general war hero president when
his second term expired. Thanks to the hype about the “Soviet
threat,” the military/security complex faced an unlimited
horizon of mounting profits and power as Americans sacrificed
their future to the interests of those who protected Americans
from the Soviet threat.
The good times rolled for the armaments companies and security
agencies for almost three decades until Reagan and Gorbachev
reached agreement and ended the cold war. When the Soviet Union
subsequently collapsed, the future outlook for the power and
profit of the US military/security complex was bleak. The one
percent was about to lose its fortunes and the secret government
was about to lose its power.
The military/security complex went to work to revive the need
for a massive “defense” and “security” budget. Among their
willing tools were the neoconservatives, with their French
Jacobin ideology and Israeli loyalties. The neocons defined
America as the “indispensable people.” Such extraordinary people
as Americans must establish hegemony over the world as the sole
remaining superpower. As most neoconservatives are allied with
Israel, the Muslim Middle East became the target of opportunity.
Muslims are sufficiently different from Westerners that Muslims
are easy to demonize.
The demonization began in the neoconservative publications. Once
Dick Cheney had the George W. Bush regime staffed with
neoconservatives, the next step was to create “threats” to
Americans out of verbiage about the Taliban’s responsibility for
9/11 and about “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” including
verbal images from Bush’s National Security Advisor of “mushroom
clouds” over US cities.
No one in the US government or the “free” US media or the media
of the US puppet states in England, Europe, Japan, Taiwan,
Canada, Australia and South Korea was struck by Washington’s
proposition that “the world’s sole superpower” was threatened by
the likes of Iraq and Iran, neither of which had any offensive
military capability or any modern weapons, according to the
unequivocal reports of the weapons inspectors.
What kind of “superpower” is threatened by Iraq and Iran?
Certainly, not a real one.
No one seemed to notice that the alleged 9/11 hijackers were
Saudi Arabians, not Afghans or Iraqis, yet it was Afghanistan
and Iraq that were labeled “terrorist threats.” Saudi Arabia and
Bahrain, which do terrorize their subjects, are safe from having
America bring them democracy, because they are Washington’s
puppets, not independent countries.
As fear of nonentities swept over the population of “the world’s
sole superpower,” the demands for war against “America’s
enemies”--”you are with us or against us”--swept through the
country. “Support the troops” plastic ribbons appeared on
American cars. Americans went into a frenzy. The “towel heads”
were after us, and we had to fight for our lives or be murdered
in our beds, shopping centers, and airliner seats.
It was all a hoax to replace the Soviet threat with the Muslim
The problem that developed with the “Muslim threat” is that in
order to keep the profits and power flowing into the
military/security complex, the promised six-week war in Iraq had
to be extended into 8 years. The war in Afghanistan against a
few thousand lightly armed Taliban has persisted for more than a
decade, longer than the attempted Red Army occupation of
In other words, the problem with hot wars is that the need not
to win them in order to keep them going (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq,
Afghanistan are all long-term wars never won) in order that the
profits and power continue to flow to the military/security
complex demoralizes the US military and creates the world-wide
impression that the “world’s sole superpower” cannot even defeat
a few thousand insurgents armed with AK-47s, much less a real
In Iraq and Afghanistan more US soldiers have died from
demoralization and suicides than from combat. In Iraq, the US
was humiliated by having to end the war by putting the Sunni
insurgents on the US military payroll and paying them to stop
killing US troops. In Korea the US was stopped by an army of a
backward third world country that lived on rice. What would
happen today if the US “superpower’s” militarily confronted
China, a country with an economy on which the US is dependent,
about equal in size to the US economy, operating on its home
territory? The only chance the evil in Washington would have
would be nuclear war, which would mean the destruction of the
entire world by Washington’s hubris.
Fortunately, profits are more important to Washington than
ending life on earth. Therefore, war with China will be avoided,
just as it was avoided with the Soviet Union. However, China
will be presented by Washington and its prostitute media,
especially the New York Times, Washington Post, and Murdoch’s
collection of whores, as the rising threat to America. The media
story will shift the importance of America’s allies from Europe
to countries bordering the South China Sea. American taxpayers’
money, or newly printed money, will flow into the “new alliance
China’s rise is a great boon to the US military/security
complex, which governs america in which there is a pretense of
“freedom and democracy.” China is the profitable replacement for
the “Soviet threat.” As the days go by, the presstitute media
will create in the feeble minds of Americans “The CHINA Threat.”
Soon whatever little remains of the US living standard will be
sacrificed to Washington’s confrontation with China, along with
the seizure of our pensions and personal savings in order to
deter “the China threat.”
If only Americans were an intelligent people. Then they might
have some prospect of holding on to their incomes, remaining
wealth, and liberty. Unfortunately, Americans are so thoroughly
plugged into the Matrix that they present as a doomed people,
incapable of thought, reason, or ability to comprehend the facts
that the rest of the world sees clearly.
Can reality be brought to the American people? Perhaps a miracle
will occur. Stay tuned.
Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for
Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.
He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service,
and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments.
His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.