Thursday, July 19, 2007

The real blowback

The Counterterrorism Blog looks at the new Ugly American. The man from China.

It is rightly observed that Pakistan is on the brink of precipice. In Pakistan, Chinese nationals, security forces and Musharraf regime, all are in an Islamist terror mess, especially after the fall of Red Mosque early this month. Wave of revenge attacks on Chinese nationals and security personnel have been increasing. Fears for a Pro-Taliban militant backed civil unrest is gaining ground, with the recent spate of violence across the country that has already taken hundreds of lives in the last seven days. Avowed militants continued suicide attacks and intensified their deadly assaults on security forces and Chinese populations. As many as Six suicide attacks have taken place since July 12 Miranshah and Swat incidents including three in one single day.

Holy chihuahua. Meanwhile, the Iranians are discovering one of the downsides to supporting armed groups, one which Americans dealing with groups in Anbar and Diyala are alive to. The prospect of terror groups running wild. The Strategy Page says ...

July 18, 2007: The Iranian government is losing control of its security forces and secret police. Islamic radicals increasingly refuse to obey orders from the top, claiming God has commanded them to do otherwise. The Islamic conservatives have remained in power by cultivating Islamic radicals in the security forces, men who were willing to fight to the death to keep an un-elected Islamic conservative government in power. But now the Islamic radicals are out of control, and bringing them to heel will threaten the ability of the Islamic conservatives to rule the country.

It's no coincidence that all the state sponsors of terror groups are authoritarian regimes themselves. They have the secret police, torture chambers, and surveillance needed to keep their Frankenstein monsters in line. Or do they?


Blogger Whiskey said...

They don't. Anti-Chinese violence in Pakistan is lunacy.

China is Pakistan's traditional military ally against India. China is a protective shield against American attack. China has gone out of it's way to avoid entanglement in the WoT. China is interested only in stuff that makes it money. China has helped Pakistan's nuclear program.

But there are men out of power who wish to be IN power. That is their only objective. They don't care about anything more than getting to the seat of the Palace. Provoking China? A mere bagatelle. Particularly since they are both ignorant and stupid, figuring that since they don't see Chinese forces around them directly they don't exist.

At some point China will have to step in and do something or lose the deterrence value that so far has kept airliners from crashing into Shanghai or Hong Kong skyscrapers. They are just as vulnerable as we are to that sort of thing.

The one trump card the US could play would be an open alliance with China to simply occupy the Arabian Peninsula and Iran jointly, pump the places dry (China needs cheap oil) and a mutual defense strategy of nuking out of existence the populations of selected Muslim countries if either were attacked. Russia could be expected to interfere because it needs high oil prices, but it's opportunities for mischief against both the US and China are limited.

China has a lot of young men. Who don't have wives or any prospect thereof. Who would like them. The traditional solution has been to invade some place else, kill all the men, take their wives. That was Mohammed's solution. It would be sort of ironic if it fell back on them.

Unlike the distributed jihad, China has a central government which you CAN make deals with and reasonably expect the core agreement to hold up over time (if it's beneficial to the central government).

7/19/2007 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Somebody made the suggestion that the abduction of the British naval hostages in March was the result of Iranian radicals being off the leash. I thought it might have been on BC, but I couldn't find it.

7/19/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

Very interesting. I was wondering where China would come into this mess. They seem to have been sitting it out hoping for the Americans to bleed dry.

I would love to read the MSM describe China's invasion of Pakistan. I tend to think they wouldn't know how to spell anything since their worldview would be totally upended.

I honestly think that history will see Bush as the only sane one around in our time.


7/19/2007 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger psychegram said...

whiskey_199: The one trump card the US could play would be an open alliance with China to simply occupy the Arabian Peninsula and Iran jointly, pump the places dry (China needs cheap oil) and a mutual defense strategy of nuking out of existence the populations of selected Muslim countries if either were attacked..

The logic of that is both chilling and charming in its simplicity. For such a course to be undertaken, though, would require that the US suffer a fascist revolution, a military coup, or both. As it is there are large parts of the population that would never stand for the Middle East to be so frankly raped. They would have to be silenced generally and utterly separated from power politically, and that would require such a change in the American political character that the country could no longer with a straight face be called a Republic.

7/19/2007 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Spengler, over at AsiaTimes, calls such groups puppies of war.

"Dogs of war incline toward caution, which after all is how they grew up to be dogs. More worrisome are puppies, who do not know what danger is. Gavrilo Princeps, the Serbian gunman who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand dead in June 1914, was a puppy ... Wars start because no one wants to disown his dog. If your dog bites a neighbor, your neighbor well might come after you with a shotgun."

keitousama's right, for whisky_199's trump card to even be possible, there would have to have been enough provocation to already trigger it.

7/20/2007 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger JGreer said...

The prospect of increasingly rising oil, a likely result of increased mideast instability, certainly must be a concern for China. China likely favors stability in the mideast regardless of the regime in power. Dictator, democracy, whatever, so long as the oil flows and allows their economy to continue its rapid ascent. Unlike the US, China has no qualms about buying its oil from whichever regime controls it. Its true that China would like to see the US military less established in their particular corner of the world. Yet, a potentially worse scenario is chaos with warring factions disrupting each others primary funding source – oil. Truly radical events would need to occur to push the US and China into such an open relationship as espoused by whiskey. However, I think the prospect for back-room deals is very high. Sharing intelligence, looking the other way on military actions, etc. Just keep the oil coming! Also, keep in mind the US is one of China’s best client’s. China has likewise made a substantial investment in the US (govt debt). The US and China have many common interests. Thanks to the global economy, while plenty would love to see the US embarrassed, few want to see anything truly destructive happen to the US, especially its economy.

7/20/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

As al-Qaeda gets pushed out of Diyala (Eastern Iraq) where are they to go...


Iran had fun supporting both sides against the Great Satan.

Somehow, I think it will be less enjoyable when the thugs move next door!!!

7/20/2007 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

we're clearing the way for the movement of the thugs into Iran with our elite Squirrel Corps. For every squirrel arrested, ten get through.

7/20/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Sorry wretchard, I was trying for total control, but it slipped through.

7/20/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

keitousama --

I'm not sure that it's impossible.

Dems have rejected Bush's Wilsonian policy of democracy building and human rights. They can't take that back now and say "I don't mean it." Most Reps are thoroughly sick of Iraq and Muslims and have come to various degrees to Derbyshire's "Rubble doesn't cause trouble" or at least highly negative views of Muslims.

News stories show Muslims: blowing each other up along with GIs, raging about the Pope or Danish Cartoons or somesuch, the typical Muslim being "Islamic Rage Boy." This for generations.

I think such an overt, not-backroom but open policy would be highly appealing. It serves both China and the US's needs. Helps both economies grow. Hurts an enemy: Muslims. Makes their ability afterwards (when the oil is gone) to cause trouble doubtful because of no resources. And gives a mighty dose of payback for outrage after outrage dating from 1979.

I think it's quite possible, and the possibility of an "independent" candidate running with it could be quite powerful. Most Americans want the ME mess over. Here's a way to do it; with help from China, to make the problem go away.

7/20/2007 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger OregonGuy said...

Just a brief note.

I was never a fan of the "peak oil" alarmists. Static analysis has never been of great use unless used as a teaching tool for beginners.

Given the dense complexity of our economy one needs only think about substitute technologies. Look at one of the premises of this paper:

"Where is this additional benefit? It comes becaue a substitute technology can lower the oil price before it is actually invented or utilized."(pdf)

The best thing for us (US) would be for OPEC keeping its prices high. And I'm not just talking coal, although I am a coal bug. I'm talking about nuclear and, more especiallly, shale oil.

Once the genie is out of the bag and coal, nuclear and shale come on-line, the power of OPEC will whither away.

BTW-does anybody remember the round of inflation we put our dollar through after the first OPEC shock? Can anybody guess what the net effect on holders of debt were then? Is there any wonder that OPEC is attempting to move to the Euro, but frankly can't seem to get supply commitments from the European central bank?

7/20/2007 03:16:00 PM  

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