March 17, 2006

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Just back from a quick visit to Singapore, the land where all the politicians are bankrupt, albeit all in different senses of the word. Had a fascinating conversation with an American who prided himself on being far superior to his insular stay-at-home fellow citizens because he lived in Singapore. With remarkable rapidity things slid when the subject of Iraq (inevitably) came up - apparently George W. is a war criminal, the US should have invaded India, Pakistan and Israel instead, AIPAC is an overly powerful cabal in cohoots with the usual corporate titans running "real" policy and Israel is the cause of the world's troubles. It was such an inane display of ignorance I had to laugh and leave. I didn't tell him I was Jewish.

For some weekend reading, there's two good pieces in the latest China Brief from the Jamestown Foundation:

1. Willy Lam looks at Beijing's all out assault on Chen Shui-Bian.

2. Martin Andrew discusses China's doctrine of "active defense".

With that I'm off to pull the levers of world power for the weekend.

posted by Simon on 03.17.06 at 01:49 PM in the China brief category.


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Given that you guys control the media can you get me a raise in the day job? Or at the very least a blogads reference?

posted by: myrick on 03.17.06 at 11:06 PM [permalink]

"apparently George W. is a war criminal"

Actually, if we were to apply the same standards to the US today as the US applied to Nazi Germany and Tojo's Japan, after WWII, then both George Bush and Tony Blair, ARE war criminals and would have been sentenced to death had they appeared at Neuremberg.

Technically they invented a false pretext (non existent WMD, and Iraq's failure to prove that it didn't have a weapons program etc), and then invaded Iraq.

After WWI Germany claimed that there was a threat of invasion and agression form Poland and czecoslovakia (sudetenland etc), and invaded them as a "Preemptive measure" to stop them from being a threat.

Tojo did the same, he had a section of the Manchurian railway blown up, and he then claimed that there was about to be an uprising in North China that threatened Japan's investments and national security, so he invaded as well.

Even under modern law, and without past precident, he's in pretty deep.

For exmaple, GW is permitting the torture of POWs (forgeting so-called enemy combatants, Iraq's regular army are being tortured too). The there is the humiliation of prisoners and the removal of their dignity. Both of which are breaches of the Geneaver convention and ARE war crime.

Add to this that the redcross has been denied any access to some prisioners and has been denied private access (access without gaurds etc) to others (geneaver convention again).

Plus the use of cluster bombs (banned by many countries who consider their use a war crime) on civilians in Iraq and Afganistan, the use of white phosphrus on civilians (alledged, but not really proven), and the use of thermobaric and DU weapons, which are sailing close to the wind.

posted by: ACB on 03.17.06 at 11:15 PM [permalink]

Heh. I was going to mention something to the effect that his rant sounded similar to ACB's anti-American rants, but she's already made that point for me. ;-P

posted by: THM on 03.17.06 at 11:54 PM [permalink]

"active defense" sounds like GW's "preemptive strike" to me. And I hope China won't take GW's lead and manufacture immoral reationale like "preceived threat" to justify it.

There's a huge difference between preceived threat and plausable threat.

BTW, as an American living in America I know GW Bush is a war criminal.

posted by: bobby fletcher on 03.18.06 at 03:36 AM [permalink]

Bobby said: BTW, as an American living in America I know GW Bush is a war criminal.

Hmmm...I thought Dubya was too dumb to be a 'war criminal' and Cheney was pulling all of his puppet strings!? As an American living in China, I know you have a narrow, ill-concieved perception of the world. Dubya may be over-spending and wishy-washy...but he is far from a war criminal.

If anyone can tell me the race of people/civilian population Dubya has ordered the mass slaughter/extermination of...please let me know.

posted by: GZ Expat on 03.19.06 at 06:18 PM [permalink]

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