Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Know What You're Doin

It's amusing to watch the Bushies deal with China and at the same time try to keep various parts of their own political base happy.

Among the (insane, depraved, fucktardious) rightwing exists various factions whose opinions on China are roughly encapsuled as:

1. The corporate wing, which loves China as it now exists. These are the globalists who delight in outsourcing American jobs to the de facto slave laborers in China. Since their dream world has always been a totalitarian society of docile consumers, they quite like the direction China's going. But there's drawback: China doesn't always pay attention to copyright law.

2. The "gratitude" wing, which counts its lucky stars that China's practice of buying T-bills funds our military spending.

3. The Jesus Freak wing, which loathes an officially athiestic country on grounds of principle. That this country is not made up so much of "practicing" athiests so much as "pagans" is another demerit: in other words, the Jesus Freaks know that even if the country wasn't officially atheist, the population would be (and currently is) composed of people who follow those heathen religions like they show in them there Kung Fu movies. But all that is slightly made-up for in the fact that China cracks down on its Muslims, something that always brings a sectarian smile to Christian nutjobs.

4. The paranoids, who believe that when any country, anywhere, spends on its military, it is a direct threat to the United States.

5. The opportunist wing, which would very much like a Cold War with China if it wouldn't harm precious multinational corporations that make money from China's countrywide sweatshop. But this concern may be trumped by the classic Cold War desire to enrich our own military-industrial complex, which an arms race with the Chinese would fulfill.

6. The Penis Envy wing, the real law and order fascist types that admire authoritarian regimes and wish weenie libruhls would STFU about the Bill of Rights so good folks here in America could go back to the good old days of lynch mobs, instant executions, tar-and-feathering, etc. (This strain of wingnuttia is an old one, going back to the German American Bund, through James Burnham, and on to the early neo-conservatives; the fact that China is communist in name only means that it's now "okay" to openly admire its government's ruthlessness.)

Notice that none of these, in my opinion, have a concern with Human Rights in the HRW/AI (i.e. the genuine) sense of the term, in China. But like that's new: wingnuts care about human rights almost as much as I am interested in the art of quilting. Indeed the Henry Kissinger wing of the Republican Party was quick to denounce any criticism of the Tiananmen Square crackdown; Kissinger's company runs a lucrative business in China and with the Chinese government.

I think #5 had the most sway with the Bushies (remember the first Bush "act", on the foriegn policy front, was to huff and puff to China), but with 9-11, the need to manufacture an arms race (and blame Clinton for previous weapons-technology sales to China) with China was rendered moot, and of course the Bushies got their military build-up for "free", anyway. China was ignored to number 1's delight, though many still viewed it warily, especially as it secured various oil-producing regions under its sphere of influence.

Now Donald Rumsfeld feels the need to complain about China's military spending, and the question is, really, which group of nutjobs is he pandering to in doing so. Well, it's number 5, of course, though he has to be careful not to alarm number 1. Being Rummy, he's got to be a comedian to make his point:

"Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases?" Rumsfeld said at the conference organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a private, London-based think tank.

Good question, Rummy. Some people asked the same thing in 1950 when Order 66 N.S.C.-68 was signed, despite the fact that our putative enemy had just suffered 20 million casualties and was an economic and physical wreck.

But anyway, to answer Rummy: because they can, because they are nationalist and xenophobic in a way that a Republican can surely appreciate, because they are beefing up for the resource war whose first battle, Iraq, has already been fought.