cj#562> re: U.S. Hegemony


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996
Sender: Frank Chartrand <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#558> On U.S. Hegemony (thread, fwd)

If the US could reduce China to rubble - they will if not already have the
capability to do much the same to us.  This grand advance in the last 3 years.

Or perhaps Korea - who stands on the threshold of nuclear agency ... a
development the US has opposed but nonetheless ....

or the ME - and iran with the desire for nuclear devices ...

or Russia - a nation moving back toward the old Soviet system ... a nation
that is gobbling up by hook or crook those separated states, slowly but

IMHO, while theoretically what you say seems plausible ...the US is - aside
from monetary/economics ... a paper toger.


Dear Frank,

        Yes, once nukes become an "acceptable" weapon, there are many
global situations where that option, under certains circumstances, might be
seriously considered.  I don't see any relevance to "the last 3 years",
unless you're one of those trying to pin on Clinton the crimes of the past
several decades.

        As for the U.S. being a paper tiger, I can understand why you might
say that, but must protest that it is not the case.  It is true the media
is always portraying the U.S. as "under attack" from diverse sources:
terrorists, drug gangs, ungrateful nations, etc. -- so there's always a
feeling generated that Uncle Sam lets himself get pushed around.  (Of
course, if Uncle Sam didn't see the world as his imperial domain, he
wouldn't feel personally insulted by events in every far corner.)

        It is also true that during the long period between Vietnam and
Grenada, U.S. overt militarism was mostly on hold.  But the sequence of
episodes: Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia demonstrate a systematic escalation
of the level of U.S. operations, and of U.S. sophisitication in
manipulating global public opinion re/ those operations.

        The U.S. has field-tested its
cruise/stealth/satellite/laser/fuel-air weapons systems, and is managing to
get increasing blank-check authorization to use them in global "trouble
spots".  Militarily decisive, semi-permanent U.S. forces are stationed in
both Bosnia and Iraq, with no clear limits on what actions those forces
might take.

        The world has all but officially designated the U.S. as the
official global police force, with NATO or the UN pulled in when
convenient.  The 100,000 plus Iraqis who died under U.S. bombardment would
not consider this tiger to be paper.  Nor do the Chinese, who considered
the U.S. cruise-by's to be substantially provocative, not just empty


Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996
Sender: •••@••.••• (John Lowry)
Subject: Re: cj#558> On U.S. Hegemony (thread, fwd)

On China:  As I understand it, 90% of US population is concentrated on 5% of
the landmass, while in China, only 10% of the population is concentrated on
5% of the land.  This means that our sophisticated and extensive nuclear
arsenal could not obliterate Chinese civilization, under any circumstances,
while China's (relatively) primitave nuclear weapons could devastate ours.
In the aftermath of the Tienenman Square uprising, when the Western world
united in harsh criticism of the regime, they (the Chinese old men) said
'stop this criticism or you will start a war.'  And, presto, the criticism
stopped.  In the recent "spat" between US and China, I saw no US reference
to nuclear escalation of the episode, while I did hear of such a Chinese
reference.  But I agree with the thrust of what you are saying, and I think
the Chinese learned an important lesson about modern Capitalism when
Clinton's boys educated them on the importance of "intellectual property"
-- they learned that we are madmen who base our business on absurd theories.



Dear John,

        When the U.S. sent a naval force near China recently, they "pinged"
the Chinese navy over-the-horizon in such a way as to demonstrate to them
that the two nations technologies are not even close to the same league.
It's not just that the nuclear weapons are primitive, but all the guidance
systems etc. are generations behind.  They don't even know the full extent
our electronic counter systems, and they're aware of that.

        The U.S. knows where every Chinese submarine is on a daily basis,
and has air-launchable nuclear torpedo capability that could destroy them
all at once.  The U.S. would choose a first-strike strategy and could
probably destroy nearly all Chinese nuclear capability before it could be

        I don't see that "obliterating Chinese civilization" would be
anyone's goal.  Certainly the military, governmental, communications,
transportation, and irrigation infrastructures could be destroyed readily.
The problem would become one of keeping China from starving, rather than
dealing with a counter-attack.

        I think it is incorrect to see the West as having "backed down"
from Tienenman Square.  No one in government in the West seriously thought
the Chinese regime was going to permit a student Free-Speech-Movement
(shades of Mario Savio) to carry on forever.  They were glad to have China
demonize herself in the media, which may come in handy later.

        The decision had already been made to accelerate Western trade with
China, and the Tienenman incident was mainly a delaying embarrasment to the
West -- they had to go through the charade of condemning the events,
knowing they would be dropping it from the agenda as soon as they could get
by with it.

        There may well have been no reference to "nuclear escalation" in
the recent "spat", but when a U.S. battle group sails in, its own nuclear
capability is well known, and the standard U.S. practice of "backing up"
its forces "as necessary" is well-known to everyone.