Thursday, July 21, 2005

Baker's Dozen, or Lagniappe

El Jefe is back in his capital after vacation with the family. All kinds of stuff going on requiring comment by El Jefe, but he has been busy catching up at work, and flogging his capos and peons for their laziness in his absence.
Presently working on a piece on the death of General Westmoreland (US commander in Vietnam), the elections in Iran, and the war in Iraq. Plenty of other things happening too. The Chinese have, this morning, severed the link between the value of the yuan and the dollar, and have raised the official value of the yuan. This will make Chinese imports more expensive, and in theory help exports.
Wonder when the other shoe is going to drop ? Are the Chinese going to keep buying our debt ? We'd better hope so, at least for awhile. Speaking of shoes, the Chinese military is getting lots of new shoes and other things, the Pentagon's annual public report on Chinese military power came out yesterday. It's worth a look: the Chicoms are arming to the teeth, and the new report describes what that means. Still reading mine (it's 45 pp.), and hopefully will have some comments in time.
On the subject of China's military, have a look at Max Boot's article in the Los Angeles Times yesterday, particularly his discussion of the book Unrestricted Warfare, a sort of "how to beat the US" by two Chinese colonels. Unfortunately for us, the colonels seem to be pretty bright, and I've sent for a copy of the book. Basically, the colonels contend that going toe-to-toe with the US is a loser, so before this can happen, the Colossus has to be worn down with "financial warfare," "drug warfare," "psychological and media warfare," "ecological warfare," and my favorite: "international law warfare." This last involves using multinational organizations to block US action. Once the lawyers, reporters and crooks have us tied in knots, only then do the Chinese need to whip out the missiles, ships and paratroops to cause the "enemy" (us) to be "forced to sign a dishonorable peace treaty." Clever SOB's eh ? Wish they were our SOB's.
Al Qaeda and terrorism seem like big worries now, but just imagine Al Qaeda, drug lords, and international criminals who possess the covert backing of a big, rich world power. We won't be imagining it long: it's coming to a world near us. Here's another little prediction. Within ten years, the Chinese will have missiles and troops all over Latin America (keep an eye on Chavez and Venezuela, and our Sandinista friends in Nicaragua).
Makes one positively nostalgic for the Cold War doesn't it ? This Cold War is much more dangerous because the Chinese aren't stupid enough to hobble themselves with a joke economic system like Soviet communism. (Yes, the Chinese call themselves communist, but they really practice a cross between state capitalism and fascism). We're not going to be the richest player in this game either.
I wish I were young ! I'd learn Chinese, Russian or Hindi. We need alliances with the last two powers, and the Chinese are going to be the enemy.
Sorry if all this war and rumor of war talk is uninteresting to some, but it's interesting to El Jefe, who is doing the typing. Given that the Heir is age 9, it's much more interesting, in fact, than El Jefe would like it to be. Unfortunately, as that old commie bastard Leon Trotsky once said: "you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

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