For US elites, Asian civilian casualties are acceptable collateral damage

Global Times
Wang Xinjuan
2021-08-08 21:58:12

By Franz Gayl

Vessels in the Taiwan Straits, July 20, 2017. /CGTN Photo

The US has publicly expressed concern that the People's Republic of China (PRC) is modernizing its defensive strategic weapons capabilities. All the while, it is known in the public domain that Washington is always ready with an immeasurably more powerful arsenal of nuclear weapons. Since our allegedly moral and humane Washington decision-makers are supposedly rational players, there must be an explanation for this continued preparedness to maintain at the ready a vastly overmatching weapons of mass destruction arsenal.

In this regard, a recent article in the mainstream is timely. Author Daniel R. Mahanty states in part:

"Combined with recent research on the correlation between racist attitudes and white Americans' support for US military interventions in other countries, this survey result could serve as a warning that Americans might tolerate more devastating effects of war on Asians - even those living in an allied country - than on Europeans, just as they did during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War."

This research-based conclusion should have a sobering impact on Asian nations which Washington is pressuring to join forces in containing China, beginning with a defense of Taiwan island.

For example, so-called China hawks in Washington have strong-armed Tokyo to challenge the 0ne-China principle, thereby inflaming pre-existing bilateral grievances and making Japan a target of PRC wrath. That suits Washington's political class elites well.

The exclusive class of Washington elites who would profit from war with China, and their motivations, are well known. They include the retired military generals and admirals managing or sitting on the boards of the major US defense contractors; powerful members of Congress who are highly dependent on defense sector favors; and pay-to-play China-averse intellectuals and media. The class also includes the unelected, independent, and unaccountable members of the Council of Inspectors General (IGs) on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), each with a lifetime civil service appointment. The CIGIE functions as a federal government star chamber that shields senior Executive Branch officials from criticism, while silencing lower-level dissent. The outsized influence this deeply networked cabal of beneficiaries exerts on US policy continues to grow.

It is noteworthy that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the emergence of such a falsely incentivized oligarchy.

Washington elites appear to think the densely populated Asian proxies, including their people, industries, and infrastructures could be sacrificed. The island of Taiwan is sure to suffer the worst of the devastation if a military clash concerning the island breaks out, and many US forward-deployed conventional forces will conceivably be sacrificed as a further tripwire to rally US public outrage. But in Machiavellian practice, the Taiwan citizenry and rank-and-file US military have only marginal value. The war's outcome will surely be determined by the deterrence of the US' intimidating nuclear capabilities advantage; or so the elites think.

If the American public fully comprehended the details of the macabre designs in advance they would certainly push back. Because it is their sons and daughters who will pay the price. Unfortunately, the truly clever talkers of the responsible decision-making class are experts at employing concealment. It is likewise a pity that Washington's regional Asian allies will fall into the same trap as the Vietnamese once did.

The US public will inevitably discover that the PRC's current determination to defend its territorial sovereignty mirrors America's past determination to preserve the Union. Unfortunately, by the time that they realize this psychological truth was concealed from them, it will be too late.

In contrast, opportunistic beneficiaries will readily desert their Asian allies and lick their political wounds by projecting failures onto others. But they will survive, and their amoral consciences will be clean because it was only Asians and rank-and-file US military that bore the brunt of what can then be written off as another global transaction gone awry.

The PRC is well acquainted with US elite priorities and decision making. The looming war promises to be a destructive tragedy for the region and the world, and even its US architects cannot assume they won't be impacted.

But despite the horrific prospects, neither the 19th century US nor 21st century China today will be deterred from defending their respective territorial sovereignty, and by any necessary means. Knowing these facts in advance, what compels good and reasonable Americans at large to continue to tolerate and sleepwalk down an absolutely insane path?

The author is a retired Marine Corps infantry officer who now serves as a US civil servant. Opinions are of the author and do not represent the US government.


Related News