This morning MisterMix posted “If the media starts pointing out that the reason we can’t have a sequester deal is that Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on rich folks, then Boehner will feel some heat. Woodward stopped that conversation this week. I wonder what shiny thing will will come up tomorrow.”
I may have spotted a sparkly trial balloon towards that goal, now that cyberspying by the PRC People’s Liberation Army is officially a thing. Foreign Policy finds a professor at the National University of Singapore to explain that when the red phone rang at 3am, You (Ben) Know (-ghaz- ) Who ( – ayeeeeee!) failed to answer, “While America Slept“:
…[T]he United States allowed China to rise because it was so supremely self-confident that it would always remain on top. China’s benign rise was a result of American neglect, not a result of any long-term strategy. China acted strategically; America did not…
America has been sensitive to criticisms about its lack of a long-term strategy. I can speak about this from personal experience. In February 2009, Hillary Clinton visited China on her first overseas visit as U.S. secretary of state. I wrote at the time:[T]here’s little evidence Clinton has engaged in any serious strategic thinking about U.S.-China relations. If she had, she would have asked some big questions. Traditionally, relations between dominant powers and emerging powers have been tense. This should have been the norm with China and the United States. Yet China has emerged without alarming Americans. That’s close to a geopolitical miracle. Who deserves credit for it? Beijing or Washington? China seems to have a clear, comprehensive strategy. The United States has none.
Officials in Washington reacted angrily to this column. A senior official at the National Security Council called up the Singaporean Embassy in Washington to complain about a Singaporean criticizing U.S. foreign policy — even though, in theory, America welcomes debate and a free marketplace of ideas.
I also tell this story to illustrate how sensitive the establishment in Washington has become to any discussion on the nature of Sino-American relations. The real truth about this relationship is that, while there is a lot of calm on the surface, tension is brewing below. I am convinced that there is great simmering anger in Beijing about being pushed around callously by Washington. The Chinese resent, for instance, allegations of Chinese cyberspying that make no mention of America’s own activities in this area. The Chinese do not believe that they are the only ones playing this game…
The Cavuto-marked “Who lost China?” demand has been a reliable boogeyman/fundraiser for the John Birch Society and its rightwing fellow travellers since before I was born. (Wikipedia: “The question of “Matsu and Quemoy” became an issue in the 1960 American Presidential election when Richard Nixon accused John F. Kennedy of being unwilling to commit to using nuclear weapons if the People’s Republic of China invaded the Nationalist outposts.” And you younger readers wonder why us Olds are so twitchy about nuclear weapons.)