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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Trump Has The Wrong Obsession About Red China

by JASmius

The latest rationalization for Trump general election support from the Director is that "at least he's a capitalist, and that makes him better than the Marxist-Alinskyist Hillary Clinton."  To which I replied on this past Saturday's edition of Constitution Radio that he is not a capitalist, but a crony capitalist, a businessman who is mercenary, utterly unprincipled, and entirely willing to buy politicians and turn the power of government in his pecuniary favor as much as he possibly can (like most businesspeople, actually; the management of the NFL, Disney, and Target Stores comes to mind, which gives the lie to the Left's stereotypical hostility to "Big Business" and "Corporate America" as being definitionally "conservative").  Trump has made a career and well-earned reputation of this sort of corruption.  So have other leftwingnut billionaires like Michael "No Big Gulps" Bloomberg, Tom Steyer (aka "King Coal"), and George "Dr. Evil" Soros.  These are all liberal left socialist commie bastards who have used capitalism to enrich themselves while still remaining staunchly opposed to capitalism.  Donald Trump, the enthusiastic supporter of Planned Parenthood, transgendered public bathrrooms, higher taxes, higher spending, bigger government, socialized medicine, touchback amnesty, and staunch enemy of entitlements reform (without which the federal government and U.S. economy will inevitably and catastrophically collapse), is little, if any, different.

The irony being - to those who think Trump is a pure-strain capitalist, at any rate - that Hillary Clinton isn't all that different, either.  While Trump has dealt primarily in real estate, over the past ten years or so having pushed more and more the "product" of himself, so the Empress and her hubby have used the political system and "personal branding" to enrich themselves beyond the dreams of avarice.  Consequently, the two potential and ostensible general election foes are in reality, vastly closer together in the common creed of corrupt greed than Mr. Constitution is giving them credit for.

A veritable "two sides of the same coin"....threesome.

If all of that wasn't enough to skepticize you on the dubiousness of Donald Trump's "capitalist" bona fides, his virulently anti-capitalist protectionism, particularly vis-a-vie Red China, really ought to be the clincher.  He was flogging that old nag yet again in Indiana yesterday:

"Republican" front-runner Donald Trump has ratcheted up his already harsh criticism of [Red] China, telling a campaign event in Indiana on Sunday, "We can’t continue to allow [Red] China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing," the Hill reports.

It's more like they're "raping" themselves, actually.  Which is to say, the communist government is "raping" the oppressed Chinese people, as they have been for sixty-seven years.  If Trump would ever question free trade with the PRC in a national security or anti-communist context, I might be willing to put forth the effort to attempt to take him seriously on the issue.

Still waiting....

The U.S. trade deficit with [Red] China has been a constant theme in Trump's campaign.

And, of course, another term for "trade deficit" is "investment surplus".  All a trade deficit really is is an indication that the supplier country is producing quality products at a competitive price that citizens of the consumer country want to buy, and that the process isn't flowing as voluminously in the opposite direction because either (1) the consumer country is producing crap, (2) the consumer country is producing products that do not interest the citizens of the supplier country, (3) the consumer country is producing products that are not competitively priced, (4) the citizens of the supplier country are impoverished slaves who are a few rungs above having to subsist on tree bark, or, (5) some combination of the above.  Given that Red China is a communist wasteland and the United States is rigor mortically but nevertheless coasting along on the fading momentum of its former two-plus centuries of capitalist dynamism, I can't imagine a trade relationship between the two countries that wouldn't lopsidedly favor the ChiComms.

A true capitalist would be a champion of free trade for everybody on the planet, and would seek not to punish trading partners (and American consumers) by vindictively cracking down on their greater economic competitiveness with draconian border taxes that can only trigger retaliation against his own country's exports that he presumably wants to boost, but would pursue policies, like lower taxes and deregulation, designed and intended to reduce the cost of his own country's products in order to make them more competitive.

Remember last week's Pogo reference?

And what does the purportedly "capitalist" Donald Trump want to do?  Slap on the punitive border taxes on "Them" and not put our own economic house in order first.  Futile economic xenophobia.

Not something a true capitalist would do, it seems to me.

He has often accused the country of manipulating its currency to help its exports, but has not used the word "rape" before.

Because apparently his previous "populist" bombast level wasn't having the desired visceral effect of bulldozing true capitalists into big-government protectionist statists.

"We're going to turn it around, and we have the cards, don't forget it," Trump said. "We have a lot of power with [Red] China."

No, we don't, actually.  What leverage do we have over the ChiComms?  Even if you rule out counter-tariff retaliation from the equation, remember, the Xi regime is already in the process of "raping" its own captive population as we speak.  And they're a dictatorship invulnerable to domestic public pressure.

It's much like what the Architect once said....

...."There are levels of survival that [they] are prepared to accept."  Which means, almost by definition, that we have no "cards" to play against them.

But they "have a lot of power" over us.

First, Beijing holds about a quarter of all U.S. government debt held by foreign governments - approximately $1.2 trillion.  Picture them dumping those debt instruments on the market all at once.  What might that do to the value of the dollar?  The current global reserve currency that the ChiComms are trying to replace in that role with the yuan, which helps explain the strategic purpose for their currency manipulations.  A 45% tariff on ChiComm goods would have zero effect on that aside from further pissing off Beijing to retaliate against us economically - and militarily.

Which brings us to the second vulnerability.  Let's review that tale of the tape again, shall we....?

To summarize (using "official" numbers and estimates for our enemies, which means our numbers are doubtless inflated and theirs are low-balled):

TOTAL PERSONNEL: Russia/China 7,955,000, USA 2,540,000 (3.13 to 1)

TANKS: Russia/China 24,564, USA 8,854 (2.77 to 1)

AFVs: USA 41,065, Russia/China 36,096 (0.88 to 1)

ARTILLERY (GUNS): Russia/China 18,571, USA 3,235 (5.74 to 1)

ARTILLERY (MLRs): Russia/China 5,570, USA 1,331 (4.18 to 1)

FIGHTERS/BOMBERS: USA 5,006, Russia/China 4,458 (0.89 to 1)

HELICOPTERS: USA 7,119, Russia/China 2,696 (0.38 to 1)

AIR TRANSPORTS: USA 5,367, Russia/China 1,962 (0.37 to 1)

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS: USA 20, Russia/China 2 (0.10 to 1)

TOTAL WARSHIPS: Russia/China 423, USA 190 (2.23 to 1)

Bottom line is, we are heavily outnumbered on the ground (We probably still hold a qualitative edge in training and equipment, but that's been steadily eroding over the past nearly seven years, just as have our numbers), heavily outnumbered at sea (with the notable exception of aircraft carriers, which is more an air power factor than at sea - and which the Russians and ChiComms especially are developing surface- and submarine-launched missiles to counter; and, of course, we now lack the sea transport capability to deploy our meager ground forces anywhere), and while we still have (nominal) numerical superiority in the air, only a low-to-mid single-digits percentage of our combat aircraft are fifth-generation (i.e. stealth - F-117 Nighthawk, B-2 Spirit, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning), and the vast majority of them are anywhere from thirty (e.g. F/A-18 Hornet) to forty (e.g. B-1b Lancer, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon) to even sixty (i.e. B-52 Stratofortress) years old. Which is to say, decrepit, obsolete, and doomed (i.e. 50% or greater losses) against the enemy's fifth-generation air defenses.

....and the recent alarming congressional testimony of U.S. military officials on our military unpreparedness visa-a-vie Red China and our other enemies....

Despite having the largest military budget in the world, the United States probably wouldn't be ready if it were forced into a "great power war" with [Red] China, Russia, Iran or North Korea, says the nation's top general.

Military leaders voiced concern on Wednesday about their ability to fight a war with global powers like Russia, telling a congressional hearing that a lack of resources and training was weighing on America's combat readiness, reported Reuters.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley told a House Armed Services Committee hearing that if the Army were to fight a "great power war" with any one of four major potential foes, he had "grave concerns" about the readiness of his forces.

"(The Army) is not at the levels that can execute satisfactorily ... in terms of time, cost in terms of casualties or cost in terms of military objectives," Milley said.

Also speaking at the hearing, about the Fiscal 2017 budget request for the military, Air Force [Commissar] Deborah James said half of her combat forces were not "sufficiently ready" for fighting against a country like Russia.

"Money is helpful for readiness but freeing up the time of our people to go and do this training is equally important," James said.

Earlier this month Air Force officials said they were facing a shortage of more than five hundred fighter pilots, a gap expected to widen to more than eight hundred by 2022. [emphasis added]

....and the real-world interaction of both unfolding in "Beijing's Lake":

The confrontation has been building for the past three years, as [Red] China has constructed artificial islands off its southern coast and installed missiles and radar in disputed waters, despite U.S. warnings. It could come to a head this spring, when an arbitration panel in The Hague is expected to rule that [Red] China is making “excessive” claims about its maritime sovereignty.

What makes this dispute so explosive is that it pits an American president who needs to affirm his credibility as a strong leader against a risk-taking Chi[Comm] president who has shown [justifiable] disregard for U.S. military power and who faces potent political enemies at home.

“This isn’t Pearl Harbor, but if people on all sides aren’t careful, it could be ‘The Guns of August,’" says Kurt Campbell, former assistant [commissar] of state for Asia, referring to the chain of miscalculations that led to World War I. The administration, he says, is facing “another red line moment where it has to figure out how to carry through on past warnings.” [emphases added]

Substitute the name "Trump" for "Obama" and that scenario becomes even more terrifying than it is already.  "An American president who needs to affirm his credibility as a strong leader" with a Neanderthal's knowledge of foreign policy and the emotional temperament of a toddler.  That's a recipe for all kinds of horrific outcomes, none of which any Republican voter should want to have to contemplate, and few general election voters will.

THIS is what Trump needs to be addressing with regard to the ChiComms - their rise to the superpower level from which Barack Obama has removed America, their aggressive expansion in the Western Pacific, and, by their annexation of the South China Sea, their sitting astride a $5 trillion annual shipping lane choke point to our Taiwanese, Japanese, and South Korean allies that stands to vassalize them into the twenty-first century successor to the old Imperial Japanese "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".  Not screwing American consumers and Smoot-Hawley-ing us into an even deeper economic depression, the very epitome of crony-capitalist statism.

And what is the extent of Trump's ruminations about the Pacific Rim?  U.S. withdrawal and promoting nuclear proliferation.  Splendid.

If U.S. Far East foreign policy was being made in Beijing, it would bear a striking resemblance to the coarse blitherings coming out of the mouth of the millionaire slumlord, as they would accelerate Red China's move toward their strategic endgame.  They don't need to make a pawn of him, because he is unwittingly volunteering for the role - like any ignorant crony capitalist would.

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