Opinion | No more stupid wars, hot or cold
By Philip Yeung, a university teacher
Every fifteen years or so, the world is treated to a new war, courtesy of major powers. The Vietnam War saw mighty America defeated by "farmers in pyjamas", the Iraqi War was waged over non-existent weapons of mass destruction, then the 20-year Afghan War, and now in Ukraine, a proxy war between Russia and the West.
If it's not over ideology, it's about regime change, or a leader's manhood.
Each time, civilians pay with their lives and more. The real winners are the merchants of death.
This time, Trump, too, tried to take a cut. He shamelessly boasted to his adoring crowd of morons that "he is the only US president during whose term Russia didn't invade another country." Russia didn't need to, its leader has already "invaded Trump's brain", having taken possession of his frontal cortex. Putin has no greater pride than having a sitting US president as his puppet. With "pee-gate" tapes in Russian hands, Trump has to dance to Putin's tunes. He is the only American president who has the privilege of living in Putin's pocket, and will remain there as long as Putin owns one.
History has an iron law: From the Romans, to Napoleonic France, Hitler's Germany, the brutal Japanese, Soviet Union, imperial Britain, to neo-imperialist America, all superpowers are war-mongers. America wields a lever of authority never exercised by any other imperial powers: a stranglehold on the world's financial systems. Sanctions bite more than bullets.
So, why should the Chinese superpower be any different? A peaceful superpower sounds like a contradiction in terms. None has existed in history---until now.
Bertrand Russell described the Chinese as having a "pacific temper", molded by 25 centuries of Confucian moral teachings, of which respecting your neighbor is one.
Respect defines China's foreign relations. It fights only if provoked, as in Korea, and border skirmishes with the Soviets, Vietnam and India. But each time, not an inch of territory was taken.
The US is a different beast. Over 75 years, it has invaded 50 countries and is bristling with 800 military bases worldwide, combat-ready.
The right to wage wars goes to those with might. America's absolute power has corrupted it absolutely. Last year, when Trump was unhinged after his electoral defeat, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made a secret call to his Chinese counterpart to assure him America wouldn't attack China and would warn him if it did. This man is a hero to humanity. And yet, Republicans want him sacked.
China doesn't need containing. America does. In 1991, it induced the dissolution of the vast Soviet Empire. It is now licking its lips for an encore, believing it can do the same to China.
If Russian soldiers leave with the tails between their legs, the US may turn to its next target. The conflict will widen.
To the west, China is morally tainted by its association with Russia. Geography separates China and Europe, but Russia-phobia has tilted minnows like Lithuania and the Czechs towards Taiwan, their memory of Soviet occupation still raw. This insult to China is entirely unprovoked. Psychologists call their behavior towards an otherwise friendly China "transference", i.e. turning Russia-phobia into Sino-phobia. Ukraine has just made it worse.
Europe has no quarrel with China. What it has is moral or ideological prejudice.
Truth is, China is the only superpower whose default mode is peace, rooted in its history and philosophy. Invasion is not in the Chinese dictionary.
Besides, peace has paid China fantastic dividends. Super-success has made China ultra-rational. Ideology has taken a back seat. It exports neither soldiers nor its ideology to foreign countries. China is a model UN member, contributing disaster aid and peace-keeping troops to troubled areas.
Economically, Chinese manufactured goods have kept inflation low for America and the world for the last 30 years. If China falters because of America, all will feel the economic pain.
Ask yourself: what has China done to irk you? China is a problem only because America says it is.
China's alleged "catalogue of crimes" include quelling the Hong Kong riots, and restoring order after 10 months of violent chaos. The US did that forcefully over the Capitol riots. Now the National Republican Committee decides to call this violent insurrection "legitimate political discourse". With six dead, why not call it deadly legitimate political discourse?
It's madness to take moral direction from a country where black is white, and white is black. America needs de-Nazification of Trump's white supremacists. It has forfeited its right to lecture the world.
Hong Kong's mess boils down to one fatal error. A scholar predicts, "To destroy a country, first destroy its history." That's what happens to this city. Those good-for-nothing, living-in-a-bubble officials forgot to teach students any history. They are rootless and ripe for manipulation by America's 1000 consulate-based operatives.
In Xinjiang, China suffered horrific street massacres. But instead of locking attackers up indefinitely, as in Guantanamo, it puts them through re-education and job retraining programs, before releasing them back into the community.
I have these questions for China's Xinjiang accusers:
(1) How come no Muslim country has accused China of "genocide"?
(2) Muslims enjoy preferential treatment in education and exemption from China's draconian birth control laws. I have never seen reproductive freedom and special privileges go with "genocide"?
(3) Estimates of detainees range from several hundred thousand to two million. Which is it? The truth is, you don't know. Tainted testimony from paid accusers is not credible evidence.
(4) China is basking in its economic success. Why would it "oppress" a pampered minority?
In Hong Kong and Xinjiang, China is reactive to unrest, not oppressive to its people.
Taiwan's separatist leader, at 12% popular support, was on her way to certain electoral defeat until the Hong Kong riots erupted, politically resurrecting her. America cleverly killed three birds with one Hong Kong stone: blaming Beijing for the city's mess, linking it with alleged Xinjiang "repression" and destroying Taiwan's faith in one-country-two-systems reunion. These pieces fit perfectly into a geopolitical jigsaw puzzle. Now Taiwan teeters as the next flash-point. War looms.
Take away trumped-up charges of domestic abuses, and China stands as the world's over-achieving and well-governed nation. American disinformation is turning China's internal affairs into excuses for external interference, including goading China into war.
Whatever the outcome of the Ukraine war, don't let American madness drive China into armed conflict and sell humanity down the river.
We don't need wars, hot or cold.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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