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Ear to the Ground

The Next Cold War?

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Posted on May 25, 2007

The Pentagon, possibly suffering from a superpower complex, has accused China of spending substantially more on its military buildup than publicly stated. In a report to Congress, the U.S. military also warns of advanced nuclear capability and a possible conflict over Taiwan. Still, even if China spends two or three times the $46 billion on defense it claims, it couldn’t hope to keep pace with the hundreds of billions the U.S. throws at the military every year.


BBC:

The US has expressed concern over China’s growing military might.

A Pentagon report given to Congress says Beijing is spending far more on its military budget than admitted and calls for greater transparency.

The report highlights China’s greater ability to mount pre-emptive strikes, citing new submarines, unmanned combat aircraft and sophisticated missiles.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 31, 2007 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Quote #73480 by felicity on 5/28 at 1:48 pm: “...Ernest ...I have read that the use of an antimissile intercepter against a nuclear tipped target could lead to the loss of 90% of all low-earth-orbit satellites within a month. Is it true and if so could it result by way of the Star Wars Missile Defense System…?”

Depends which altitude when it actually hits but there are also anti-satellite missiles. In any shooting war with both sides having missiles, we can say goodbye to the world’s telecommunications systems both domestic and military.

That would take years to replace with enormous expense. For a start, it could be months or years before the debris fell out of orbit and the stuff in higher orbits could stay there and prevent any satellite replacements totally.

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By Peter RV, May 31, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, China is spending substantially more on its Armament than anounced. The U.S. is simply saying that Chinese lie. Absolutely shocking, isn’t it? we would never stoop so low, would we?

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By PatrickHenry, May 29, 2007 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Obviously China has stricter penalties for overcharging the government on defense contracts.

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Felicity, I’m not familiar with that specific component of Star Wars. 

In “The New Nuclear Danger,” Dr. Helen Caldicott advises that the unworkable missile defense shield would include direct expenditures of $7.4 billion for 1,200 Army Patriot PAC-3 interceptors at a cost of $5 million/missle, a naval version, the Block 4A at $8.98 billion, 55% US funding for a $40 billion mobile theater missle defense system called Medium Extended Air Defense system, $60 million in AWACS upgrades, $11 billion for a new surveillance plane called J-STARS which will “detect, track, classify and support the attack on moving and stationary targets from a distance of 120 miles,” $23 billion for THAAD (Theatre High Altitude Defense), a ground based launch system designed to intercept missiles in the upper atmosphere, $1.9 billion for Naval Theater Wide Missile Defense (an upper atmosphere interceptor system that deploys missiles on Aegis ships, $11 billion for ABL (Air Force Airborn Laser)—lasers mounted aboard Boeing 747s, with two planes constantly airborn, a multi-billion dollar Space Based Laser, a joint US-Israeli THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) designed to protect Israel’s borders from missile attacks, the BM/C3 (Battle Management/Command Control & Communications), which is a computerized nerve center for all missile defense which includes a Ground Based Interceptor involving a “booster stack” missile at $3 million per missle, and an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, a system so sophisticated that it will cost $2.6 million just to test it.  Star Wars also entails massive expenditures for multiple radar and infrared tracking systems which involves the use of satellites, and, of course, Star Wars includes the offensive component delineated in my previous posting.

Star Wars is but one component of “full spectrum dominance” in which the U.S. has already amassed the most sophisticated and powerful land-based, naval and aerial arsenal in history. 

Take, for example, Dr. Caldicott’s description of the 15,000 lb. fuel air explosive (FAE) that goes by the cute little name, “Daisy Cutter.”  “Dropped by parachute…, they detonate just above the ground creating a wide area of devastation.  The first explosion bursts the container at a predetermined height, dispursing the fuel mixes with the atmospheric oxygen.  The second charge then detonates this fuel-air cloud, creating a massive blast that kills people and destroys un-reinforced concrete.  Near the ignition point people are obliterated, crushed to death with overpressures of 427 lbs./sq. inch, and incinerated at temperatures of 2500 to 3000 degrees centigrade.  Another wave of low pressure—a vacuum effect—ensues.  People in the second zone…are severely burned and suffer massive internal injuries before they die.  In the third zone, eyes are extruded from their orbits, lungs and eardrums rupture….Up to 200 civilians died 20 miles away from the cave complex…in Tora Bora when U.S. planes attacked.  They suffered blast trauma—ruptured lungs, blindness, arms and hands blown off, almost certainly from FAEs.”

An Italian documentary, “Star Wars in Iraq” provides significant evidence that the U.S. has deployed experimental microwave and laser-directed energy weapons in Iraq.

This is the military component of the U.S. imperial hegemony embodied in the Project for a New American Century.  In “The New Pearl Harbor,” David Ray Griffin quotes Richard Falk:  “The empire-building quest for such awesome power is an unprecedented exhibition of geopolitical greed at its worst, and needs to be exposed and abandoned before it is too late.”

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By felicity, May 28, 2007 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

#73083 Ernest

I have read that the use of an antimissile intercepter against a nuclear tipped target could lead to the loss of 90% of all low-earth-orbit satellites within a month. Is it true and if so could it result by way of the Star Wars Missile Defense System?

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By Commie, May 28, 2007 at 2:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How much does the Pentagon Publicly admit they spend and how much do they really spend.  All this “concern” is to scare and “Terrorize” congress into getting the American Economy even deeper, symbiotically, with the arms industry.  The Generals and the politicians are in on a Trillion Dollar Industry.

I have a definition for a “Super Power Complex”:
A Coward with a big Gun.

sincerely
Commie Besturd

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By Jim Houghton, May 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excuse me, the Pentagon ACCUSED the Chinese of spending money on military?  So I, like, ACCUSE my neighbor of buying a Lexus when I know he only makes 60 grand a year?  I mean, where do we get off accusing anyone of anything?  It’s their country.  The United States has shown that it is willing to use its massive military to further whatever ends the current madman in the White House, be it Bush or some future incompetent boob, sees fit to pursue.  Hey, if I were China or India or anyone with five cents, I’d spend at least some of it planning some way to defend myself against the U.S.A.

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By Scott, May 27, 2007 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Just how much money has the US borrowed from China to fund its military anyway?

Isn’t aiding and abbetting global terrorism illegal?

We really need to get a better handle on our planet’s super-rogues.

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By cann4ing, May 27, 2007 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

To vet240:  The question is not whether Orwell saw “the dynamics and realized that some day our society would have to accept that War is good for the economy.”  The dynamics were in play in 1946 when the War Department became the Department of Defense.  The first printing of Orwell’s “1984” appeared in 1949. As Eric Fromm observed, “Books like Orwell’s are powerful warnings, and it would be most unfortunate if the reader smugly interpreted ‘1984’ as another description of Stalinist barbarism, and if he does not see that it means us, too.”

Also, wars and military spending are not “good” for the economy.  Oh, they may provide employment within the military-industrial complex, but as Seymour Melman astutely noted, it merely creates a form of parasitic growth that depletes the nation’s capital resources and diverts our most talented minds to the development of ever more devastating weaponry.  As Carl Boggs would later observe, “since World War II upwards of 70% of all resources devoted to research and development, combining efforts of the armed forces, corporations, and higher education, has come under the auspices of the Pentagon.”

My own personal thesis is that there are three dimensions of U.S. imperialism, economic, military and covert.  The economic side is essentially a beast which devours the resources, both natural and human, as well as the treasuries of the victim nations which are the objects of imperial design.  It is destructive of liberty abroad.  The military component, irrespective of its design as a means to enforce economic imperialism, is a beast which devours the resources and treasury of the home country even as it attempts to annihilate those foreign nationals who would dare to obstruct the path of America’s economic empire.  The military’s authoritarian structure, obsessive need for secrecy and increasing integration into America’s civilian, economic, cultural , scientific and educational systems poses, as Presidents Washington and Eisenhower predicted it would, a threat to liberty and democracy within these United States.

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By Verne Arnold, May 27, 2007 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

#72944 by RAE on 5/26 at 9:09 am

Oh, so you already know.

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By James Yell, May 27, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the little recognized dynamics of Bush/Cheney mis-administration of their nasty little war on Iraq is that refusing to make the rich pay for it has lead the USA to borrow huge amounts of money from China. We are apt to find we have little wiggle room in regards to China in the future thanks to Bush and his Merry thugs. A debtor signs away his rights to free will.

Never in our history has an Administration, until this one, tried to fight a war without a war tax. Bush is completely irresponsible and if the American people increasingly don’t accept the Bush Doctrine of attacking weak countries it might have something to do with Bush unwillingness to do the right thing.

The worse enemy this country has ever had has been put in the White House by Corporations and investment, apparently believing that huge profits are better than national defense.

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By Verne Arnold, May 27, 2007 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

Nah,
China already owns the U.S.  This is just a bought person protesting too much!

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By A Few Good Men, May 27, 2007 at 4:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will this upgrade in Neocon/Pentagon spending get tacit approval by the American People at large through Pork Barrel Defense Projects? 

If this is the case then it may not be just the military/industrails and the politicians playing up this “Terror” merry-go-round. 
If civil manufaturing jobs have been “Let Go” oversees then the only game in town is Defence contracts.
War then becomes a matter of livelyhood for the average citizen?

I’m still not sure if this situation describes a regression from MARX’S 4th stage Capitalism towards a 3rd stage (Militarized) Feudal American Society.  A wealthy Overclass, minority, owning everything, with some people working for them; and a docile, semi-literate, majority underclass preoccupied with being “Saved” by religion, and the threat of Terror.

Could we be witnessing a Five Hundred year backward leap in American Society?

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By dave, May 27, 2007 at 12:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Forget China, the next cold war is “the war on terror.”  We’re too cozy with China economically to ever have a US-USSR type relationship with them.  On the other hand, we’re already fighting a proxy war with Iran in Iraq and (to a lesser degree) in Israel. Besides, unlike the USSR, the “war on terror” will go on forever. 

http://www.newsromp.com

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By vet240, May 26, 2007 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The military is always looking for a few good enemies.

They need them to keep the military beauracracy going so they can get another promotion before they retire. After-all, Generals need armies to command.

America had better get used to all social services taking a back seat when it comes to funds dispersal.

The dynamics of the military/industrial complex tied with political advantage to those politicians who can convince us we should be afraid, is almost too strong to stop.

George Orwell must have seen the dynamics and realized that someday our society would have to accept that War is good for the economy.

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By Leefeller, May 26, 2007 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Cold wars fill the pockets of some, keep the masses in trembling fear and the rich so gloated. 

Otherwise they are good for business!

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

The end of WW II brought about the potential for every war profiteer’s nightmare—peace.  This was overcome with a simple, Orwellian manipulation.  There would be no more War Department.  Instead, we created the Department of Defense.  No matter how many countries we invaded over the next sixty years, no matter what the offensive nature of the weaponry, an ever expanding percentage of the federal budget would be devoted to “military preparedness” in order to “maintain peace.”

Threat perception drives defense spending.  For years, the U.S. could count on a credible opponent—albeit one whose actual capabilities were often grossly overstated—a threat that was lost when the Soviet Union crumbled, not because Reagan said “tear down this wall” but because the USSR simply lacked the financial capability to continue to play the empire game.

However, our own nation’s financial collapse may not be all that far off.  As far back as 1970 in “Pentagon Capitalism” Seymour Melman observed that the Pentagon system was creating “parasitic growth” in that it produces products that do not enter the marketplace and cannot be used for future production.  Sixteen years later, Gore Vidal observed, “The Pentagon is like a black hole; what goes in is forever lost to us, and no new wealth is created.”  The enormous size of today’s “black hole” is reflected by a 2006 study by the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute revealing that global military spending topped $1.1 trillion and that the “United States accounts for nearly half of the world’s spending.”  The U.S. spends $1,600 for every American; China, just $31/person, yet here they come complaining about China.  Why?  Because the need a more credible threat than terrorists with suitcase sized bombs to justify continued development of our nuclear arsenal and the real prize, the so-called Star Wars Missile Defense System.

Never mind that experts agree this trillion dollar boondoggle won’t work, Star Wars is not limited to “defense.”  It includes both sophisticated space-based surveillance that would permit world-wide, pinpoint tracking and targeting along with a array of weaponry that, per a 1996 air force report entails “new technologies [that] will allow the fielding of spaced-based weapons of devasting effectiveness…These advances will enable lasers…to effect many kills…rapidly, continuously and with surgical precision…Force application by kinetic kill weapons will enable pinpoint strikes anywhere in the world.”

Far too few Americans realize that we came closer to a nuclear confrontation on 9/11 than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis when we went to DEFCON 3.  Fortunately, while the idiot was reading “My Pet Goat” the very able Richard Clarke was in charge.  As Clarke reveals in “Against all enemies,” he phoned Dep. Sec. of State Richard Armitage:  “Rich, DOD has gone to DEFCOM 3 and you know what that means?”  Armitage, “It means I better go tell the Ruskies before they shit a brick.”  After Armitage contacted the Russion Ministry of Defense, he informed Clarke:  “Damn good thing I did that.  Guess who was about to start an exercise of all their strategic forces?”

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 26, 2007 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t this a kind of psychosis? Well, let’s look at a few, then:-


*“Anxiety disorder” is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fears, phobias and nervous conditions that may come on suddenly and/or gradually over a period of several years, and may impair or prevent the pursuing of normal daily routines.

*“Cognitive dissonance” is a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs. More precisely, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where “cognition” is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.

*“Delusional disorder” is a psychiatric diagnosis denoting a psychotic mental illness that involves holding one or more non-bizarre delusions in the absence of any other significant psychopathology (signs or symptoms of mental illness).

*“Paranoia” is an excessive anxiety or fear which is considered irrational and excessive, perhaps to the point of being a psychosis. This typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a likely threat. In the original Greek…...means simply madness .......which was traditionally used in psychiatry to describe any delusional state.

*“Megalomania”  is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence - often generally termed as delusions of grandeur. It includes an obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. It is sometimes symptomatic of manic or paranoid disorders.

*“The Jerusalem syndrome” is the name given to a group of mental phenomena involving the presence of either religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychosis-like experiences, that are triggered by, or lead to, a visit to the city of Jerusalem. It is not endemic to one single religion or denomination, but has affected Jews and Christians of many different backgrounds .......the best known, although not the most prevalent manifestation of the Jerusalem syndrome, is the phenomenon whereby a person who seems previously balanced and devoid of any signs of psychopathology, becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterised by an intense religious theme and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks, or after being removed from the area.

*“Psychosis” is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as “a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning .......people experiencing a psychotic episode may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living…...!!!

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By moni, May 26, 2007 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Pentagon is suffering from “Superpower Complex” huh?  Yes, it’s true that a Superiority Complex has the same root as an Inferiority Complex.  The Neo-cons feel so I n f e r i o r   that they are actually convincing themselves that they are SUPERIOR.  Such a self destructive manner in which to relate to others !  In the meantime China will surpass us on all fronts through sheer numbers alone.

Wow ! I’ll bet Dick Cheyney is thrilled to be a grandpa to his daughter’s son . .  no matter the circumstances. Hurrah!  One more neo-natal neo-con.
The exports of food ingredients from China should be cause for immediate concern since the U.S. agricultural inspectors are not dilligent in their inspections. Large segments of the U.S. population could be wiped out through insidious biological warfare.

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By felicity, May 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

#72832 Paul Anderson

Thanks for laying it out so well.  I do wonder if the DOD, the Pentagon, Intelligence…is paying any attention to China’s army, all 230,000,000 of them.  Talk about a guerilla force!

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By A Few Good Men, May 26, 2007 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this American Narcissism?

It’s okay for the Pentagon (Good Guys) to have Full Spectrum Dominance over the Globe, but it’s worrying if the Chinese (Evil Rotters) build up their military?
Is there an implicit racism in this assumption?

So what is going to be the excuse for hostility with the Red Dragon? Becasue the Chinese have a bad human rights record and no freedom of speech?  They don’t believe in Jesus?  Maybe the Neocons and Likud party could throw in the Antisemitc charge too.  That one usually works.

Or maybe they infringe on Corporate America’s profiteering?

Either way, the American Military Industrial Complex will have a good war.  Dollar signs must already be appearing in their eyes at the thought of conflict with China.

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By Forkboy, May 26, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

I’m actually surprised that China hasn’t seen the light and opted to spend less.  After all, the U.S. looks damn near impotent in Iraq so what does China, or anyone else for that matter, have to fear?

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By Karen, May 26, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On May 17th the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Defense Authorization bill for FY 2008.  The price tag to the American taxpayer?  $646 Billion!

Oh, and by the way, it includes funding for the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. So, it would seem, the U.S. intends to stay in those countries at least through 2008.

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By Elisabeth Luntz, May 26, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But, we should still be so proud.

http://www.alternet.org/story/52169/

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By Lee, May 26, 2007 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is great news for our beloved military-industrial complex. If we had to build a bunch of new aircraft carriers to defend ourselves against a handful of camel riders, just think what we can build to defend ourselves against those dirty rotten chinks.

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By DennisD, May 26, 2007 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just what the hell did our governement think China was going to do with all the money we give them buy Fords and Chevys? China is the major reason for our growing trade imbalance(a new all time high on a monthly basis), national debt spending excesses(our taxes aren’t paying for this war, guess who is), job outsourcing(never ending) etc. China just about owns this country, we’re only renting it. Courtesy of China’s friends in D.C. - our totally corruptable politicos.

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By rodney, May 26, 2007 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

China is only preparing for the day which may be sooner than we think when the US economy will collaspe from debt of all of the wars and tax breaks to millionaires that were done by King George the Decider. Soical Security and Medicaid will crumble like a deck of cards. In about 30 years this country will experience depression and poverty to the likes that we havn’t seen since the 1930’s. No other war was fought without raising taxes to pay for it. The least the Democrats can do is make King George pay for his war. Our selfish society won’t allow us to sacrafice for anything. The rich and elite don’t have to fight the wars or pay for them. China is just waiting for the right time to step and take it’s rightful place as the worlds’ next superpower as the collaspe of our economy and the greed of the wealthy few allows the rest of Americans to fend for themselves. The debt that Bush leaves us with will one day make us the United States of China,SaudiArabia,and all of the other countries that finance our debt.

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By TruthSeeker, May 26, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Of course it will be a new Cold War, this time with China.  They are the next superpower, 1.2 billion strong.  They are already making great chess moves in Latin America, Asia and Africa. All the while we are trapped in the sands of Iraq. They are America’s next competition, and its next concocted enemy. Get ready to be made to fear the mean, barbarian horde from Asia. Isn’t being an American just great??

Of course this war on terror was really a preemptive move against the Russians and Chinese for control of Middle East and Central Asian resources.

For a wonderfully written essay on the geopolitical moves being made by America, I highly recommend “Enter the Empire”, found at:

http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com

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By RAE, May 26, 2007 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

“My little wee, wee serves me well.”

Hey Verne… you don’t need a big one when you’re the only one playing with it!

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By Scott, May 26, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

“The Americans are concerned about whether a gradual build-up of nuclear forces implies China will change its nuclear policy of no first use.”

It takes a super-rogue to catch a super-rogue.

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By Verne Arnold, May 26, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

It’s not about spending!

It’s about who has the biggest dick!

The neo-cons are worried their impotent small dicks will be superceded by China. 

Frankly, if I were any other country (given America’s behavior)I would want a bigger penis too.  After all, he who has the biggest penis wins, yes?

The doctors specializing in penis enlargement should expect an increase in business.

For myself…I will not engage this insanity!

My little wee, wee serves me well.

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By stacy, May 26, 2007 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cold war hell!  the current administration won’t go for that.  we aren’t afraid enough of the Iraqis anymore, need somebody bigger and scarier to pick on and generate fear in the populace.  Now if China were to threaten invasion of the N American continent (real or perceived threat), there you’d have that “catastrophic emergency” that would enable the most recent Homeland Security Presidential Directives, and there would be no election and no new warden for this prison in which we find ourselves.

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By joneden, May 25, 2007 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

...A Pentagon report given to Congress says Beijing is spending far more on its military budget than admitted and calls for greater transparency…

If excerpt from the above story is written as intended,  I don’t know whether to fall out of my chair with laughter or to conclude that I am no longer able to understand the English language.

jon
Connecting the dots: from human behaviors to ecosystem decline
http://StudentsForTheEarth.org

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By RAE, May 25, 2007 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Let’s face it… ANY war, cold or hot, is GOOD BUSINESS. The obscene profits made by those “in the loop,” who, of course, are the same ones who financially support the powers who assign the contracts, make war mandatory.

We will have war until the profit is taken out of waging it. Don’t hold your breath.

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By Paul Anderson, May 25, 2007 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A small but significant point lost in any discussion of US war spending is the productivity of that outlay. Yes, the US outspends the rest of the world combined, and dwarfs the war spending of any conceivable adversary.

But to watch the perhaps 20,000 guerillas reduce the war machine to a grinding, lurching, bloody impotence in Iraq, who can doubt that one US dollar of war spending in China would go at least ten times further than the same dollar spent to support the US military industrial complex—with its rigged weapons development contracts, the fabricated missile shield tests, the sweetheart cost-plus battlefield service contracts, the war profiteering rake off, the CEO packages, the $5000-a-day mercenaries, the veterans treated and untreated of all recent wars, the militarization of disaster relief, the 700 overseas bases, the black spending on military and intelligence budgets…

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