Sunday, June 3, 2007

Matthew Yglesias: Busying Giddy Minds with Foreign Quarrels

Matthew Yglesias writes:

Matthew Yglesias: Via Scott Horton, Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein notes that the geniuses in the Defense Department seem to have been deliberately courting US-China conflict:

While Bush publicly continued the one-China policy of his five White House predecessors, Wilkerson said, the Pentagon “neocons” took a different tack, quietly encouraging Taiwan’s pro-independence president, Chen Shui-bian. “The Defense Department, with Feith, Cambone, Wolfowitz [and] Rumsfeld, was dispatching a person to Taiwan every week, essentially to tell the Taiwanese that the alliance was back on,” Wilkerson said, referring to pre-1970s military and diplomatic relations, “essentially to tell Chen Shui-bian, whose entire power in Taiwan rested on the independence movement, that independence was a good thing.”

This is, of course, no surprise. Francis Fukuyama has recounted that during the 1990s doldrums Bill Kristol and Bob Kagan discussed the fact that their "Neo-Reaganite" foreign policy required a new enemy, and that people in their circle debated whether to make the enemy China or Islamism. They reached the conclusion that China was the best option, only to reverse course after 9/11 and put the emphasis on Islamism. In either case, they regard US-China conflict -- and, indeed, conflict between the United States and other countries generally -- as something to be encouraged.

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