Japan and China: A US Strategic Outlook for the Next Two Minutes

By Jamey Hecht

© Copyright 2005, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

April 7, 2005 1200 PST (FTW) - In "Japan and China Tensions and Washington's Asia Geopolitics," William Engdahl has written of China's recent law forbidden Taiwanese independence:

"This is the background in which China passed its new Anti-Secession law on March 14. It was a clumsy Chinese response to an escalation of pin-prick provocations, carried out by Tokyo but quietly backed by Washington. That Beijing move played well into Washington hands as it made the position of France and Germany suddenly untenable vis-^-vis embargo lifting, and escalated regional tensions significantly, polarizing the relations between South Korea and China on the one and Japan on the other side. This is a major blow to quiet systematic efforts of those countries to build regional trade and economic cooperation."

But French President Jacques Chirac has just announced that he has no intention of renewing the arms ban against China -- and he announced this in Tokyo right after a meeting with Koizumi. I believe that no "Beijing move" has "played into Washington hands" since Nixon.

In my view, the Japanese are more screwed than anyone in the region. Indonesia has its right wing CIA proxies, Islamic monoculture, and anti-Timorese genocide. But Japan is one vast city; Peak Oil is going to destroy it. Japan has no natural resources left. It's got more dollar exposure than anyone else in the world, and the American military is living all over it. It seems Japan is controlled by three intertwined forces: the Pentagon, the right-wing Yakuza organized crime gangs, and international capital. None of those three gives a damn about the Japanese population. If the United States can use up Japanese wealth and Japanese geostrategic position -- rather than preserving those things so Japan can continue to consume energy -- they will. Surely the Joint Chiefs would be pleased to have China exhaust itself in a struggle with the Japanese. The Pentagon and Langley and the White House used Iraq as a war proxy against Iran for ten years and then threw it in the garbage. How great it would be to repeat this on a truly grand scale, and use Japan as an enormous sacrificial shock-absorber in an anti-China war.

The little hitlers of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo are here to teach China about human rights: "we want to push, prod, and persuade China on a positive course." Robert Marquand of the Christian Science Monitor writes:

"The internal evolution of China is still undefined," Rice told an audience at Sophia University in Tokyo. "Issues of freedom of religion, human rights... Taiwan... are matters of concern that could take a wrong turn... and... we want to push, prod, and persuade China on a positive course."

Analysts were quick to note that geographically, alliances with South Korea, Japan, and India appear to "encircle China," as one source noted. Rice herself stated that "these alliances are not against China, but are 'values-based relationships' " among states that have already chosen to be democratic and open.

Japan will be the umbrella for the US Asian presence since the US and Japan have "already chosen" a common set of values and understandings, Rice said. 1

Not a word of this is true. The Koreans want the Americans to get the hell out: Korea Is One. America's Pacific alliances are indeed intended to "encircle China" until that becomes too energy-expensive. While America does enjoy a limited alliance with India because of a shared heritage of British influence, that relationship has been largely ruined by decades of grimly cynical US-Pakistani ties (which also, ironically, helped to drive India into the arms of the BJP, a rightist Hindu Nationalist party). Japan is on our side because our grandparents defeated it in a war fifty years ago.

Everything about these remarks (even the childish alliteration) suggests that Rice is a substitute, that State has no role left to play in foreign policy, and that whatever the US actually does will depend on three things: how the dollar-exposed Asian countries play their monetary hand, how far and how fast oil prices increase, and the unpredictable course of intra-Asian regional hostilities.

1 One does not "choose" one's "values and understandings," nor do those terms mean anything on their own. You may well choose the actions which accord with your values, but you don't choose your values themselves: there is no value-free spot on which to stand and choose among competing values. If I seem to choose compassion, I do so because I am already compassionate. The voluntary part of values is the part where you do something about it.