Taiwan and the Ukraine are the most absurdly debated global casus belli.
China does not need to invade its own province to protect the territorial integrity of internationally recognized One-China borders. Beijing has other means of doing that. And people irresponsibly and disingenuously egging on Taipei hotheads will not initiate a nuclear Armageddon in the Taiwan Strait.
Remember, when General Douglas MacArthur asked for 30 to 50 nuclear bombs to finish off the Korean war (1950-1953) by bombing Soviet-armed Chinese troops and their bases in Manchuria he got fired. When they asked President Harry S. Truman why he summarily dismissed the war hero who was called an “American Caesar” the answer was swift and sharp: “He disobeyed the orders of the commander-in-chief.”
These days, the Pentagon says that a nuclear war is unthinkable. That policy line was also made clear during last week’s U.S.-China online summit. The two countries wanted to keep their critical communication channels open to make sure that their vigorous “strategic competition” and military maneuvers don’t lead to “dangerous errors and miscalculations.”
Ukraine is another geostrategic and political mess. The country, historically destined, since the Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, to serve as Europe’s buffer against Russia, has been plunged into an unending civil war. And following Bismarck’s alleged advice, Ukraine’s hatred of Russia was supposed to reach the heights of chronic paroxysm in order to make the two countries’ peace impossible.
It, unfortunately, looks like Bismarck’s modern-day followers have succeeded – for now. The Minsk peace process to end the Ukrainian tragedy is dead. Ukraine apparently wants no part of the agreement it signed on to with France, Germany and Russia. Paris and Berlin, allegedly prodded by Kiev’s other advisers, are now also washing their hands off their signatures by blaming Russia, because Moscow insists on a strict implementation of the agreement. Apart from that, Moscow will not allow the slaughter of Ukraine’s Russophone provinces.
And just like in the case of China’s presumably bellicose intentions toward Taiwan, Russia is accused of preparing an attack on Ukraine. That is taking Kremlin for rookies who can’t see that such a move would be utterly stupid. Unfortunately, Ukraine – a country richly endowed in natural resources – is crumbling and sinking into a seemingly irretrievable poverty.
So, here again, Washington wants to talk to Moscow to avoid “dangerous errors and miscalculations” while Russia’s western borders remain closely surrounded by the most powerful military alliance in history.
One has to wonder, who benefits from those vacuous geopolitical and military games that are wasting huge resources Washington, Moscow and Beijing should use to improve the world’s social, economic and cultural welfare. That’s the world where, according to the UN, one billion people are starving in extreme poverty.
Some of you may spring for Eisenhower’s proverbial “military industrial complex.”
Don’t fall for that. The U.S., the leader of the current world order, is a democracy, where the military is constitutionally under control of democratically elected public servants who apparently agree that a nuclear war with Russia and China would spell the end of humanity.
Build a G3 World Order
That’s why Truman fired MacArthur, because he knew that Russia -- guaranteeing arms supplies and air cover to China during the Korean War -- had its nuclear bombs, with a much more powerful hydrogen weapon well on the way.
It all sounds like the Nietzschean world of “eternal recurrence:” nothing new but just a return of things we forgot or didn’t know about.
And the irony is that American, Russian and Chinese leaders are now amid huge economic programs because they are under pressure of their public opinion – or their own conclusions -- that the key to winning the “strategic competition” lies in economic prosperity and scientific progress to enhance social welfare.
President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill is part of America’s effort to modernize the country, and to build a society of equity and justice. Let’s hope that he succeeds and shuts down the ominous “full spectrum dominance” neocon voices in his political family.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin discusses his country’s problems with great pathos. Last September, he identified Russia’s main “enemies:” poverty, inadequate healthcare, lack of a comprehensive educational system and bad public infrastructure. That does not sound like a man ready to attack the U.S. or anybody else.
By contrast, China’s President Xi Jinping is in a celebratory mood over the country’s impressive economic and social development since the late 1970s. Xiaokang society (a moderately prosperous society), modern infrastructure, urbanization, connectivity and IT-driven manufacturing industries are all there. But Xi still wants to chase the Chinese dream, rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The U.S. is the key to ushering in a new world order where the G3 will find a peaceful and cooperative modus vivendi. That will be the world where quests for hegemony have been rendered impossible by the balance of military power. That will also be the world where social, economic and cultural achievements will be the yardsticks of success and systemic superiority.