Tuesday August 9, 2022
A good friend of mine, learning of the impending visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, recalled Homer’s description of Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the towers of Ilium.” Well, Nancy ain’t no Helen of Troy, but she might nevertheless be in the business of launching warships and burning cities due to her bizarre interpretation of her foreign policy prerogatives as Speaker.
It is like watching a train wreck developing in slow motion. Witnessing the highly dangerous behavior of the Biden Administration and its acolytes in power like Pelosi, one feels compelled to ask whether the White House and Congress are now setting the stage for the elevation of China to the status of foreign enemy number one? Indeed, if one has been hanging around Washington for the past twenty-five years or so, it was hard to miss the often-surfaced bipartisan contention that China is America’s major over-the-horizon adversary, or even enemy, with its growing economy, its successful geopolitics, and its huge industrious population. I can still recall my shock at hearing Democratic Senator Jim Webb, an honorable and highly intelligent Iraq War critic, telling a conservative gathering in 2015 that the real future threat to the United States would be coming from China.
Fear of China, sometimes dubbed in racist language as the “Yellow Peril,” has a long tradition in the United States and in Europe. In the current context, the US government is certainly apprehensive about where the increasing rapprochement between China and Russia is going, summed up by Secretary of State Tony Blinken as “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” Ironically enough, that development stems from the inept US diplomacy exemplified by Blinken’s tunnel vision that most recently allowed a negotiable crisis to develop into a full-fledged war over Ukraine.