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FROM MY CORNER: The Tiny Giant Elephant

Howell Hurst Defense Spending, Defense vs Diplomacy, Economy & Finance, Humans, Military Defense, War and Organized Mayhem

FROM MY CORNER: The Tiny Giant Elephant

Dateline: Nice, France . . .

October 2, 2021

Taiwan is a tiny self-proclaimed nation that is a giant thorn in China’s self-image. In a past civil war, Taiwan broke off from China and began calling itself a sovereign country. China disputes that and claims Taiwan is a disobedient part of China.

Most of the world’s nations don’t actually acknowledge Taiwan as a sovereign nation, but rather as officially still remaining part of China. The United States has stood largely aloof, acknowledging Taiwan as a sovereign country and fortifying that position with U.S./Taiwan military defense agreements.

It is, to greatly understate the difficulty posed by such a situation, a sore spot between America and China. Likely more accurately, it is a rapidly festering feud between the two countries. And each of late has been brandishing its military might in the face of the other.

America sends its navy to the area and China flies in its air force. Nuclear weapons are implied by both of these forays into the China Sea and the waters around Taiwan. It is the classic foreplay to a major potential military engagement.

I see it more as the continued childish, infantile behavior of little boys playing at being leaders of immensely dangerous countries. It is from such past little boy actions that world wars have emerged and local baby wars killing millions continue.

Neither China nor America, nor any other country, discusses holding meetings to defuse such a situation. The concept of discussing the utter insanity of both parties’ behavior is ignored. The rational idea of discussing the totally irrational concept of war as a deciding option to calm the waters is never mentioned.

The planet and its national leaders remain mute about the existential threat of nuclear wars. The presidents and prime ministers hunker down in their bunkers and make verbose pronouncements via media about one another’s pious positions in the world.

And we 7 billion humans, entrapped in the leaders’ childishness, are so busy buying and selling all the things we so prize, that we don’t have the time to even think deeply about the increasing political pressures emerging.

Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. in their most recent alliance around new nuclear submarines have just switched the balance of power in Asia from China with this newly established western alliance.

In one way that is good. It steals a great deal of thunder from China’s leader. His huffing and puffing over the South China Sea and his continuing military buildup on the disputed islands of that piece of ocean vital to world trade have been met with tangible military resistance.

But, knowing China’s leader’s near fanatic personality, he now becomes a very big, very irritated mouse backed into a corner. It all has the makings of a planetary feud where all nations will have to pick sides and prepare for what may well become a really sticky, and possibly bloody, mess.

Taiwan is tiny. It is democratic. Toss in Hong Kong, valiantly striving for democracy, consider stubborn China, the U.S., the U.K., and Australia – and factor in the scramble that will now occur as all nations decide how to align themselves in the scuffle, and one must pause to consider this insistent problem.

The solution would be some intelligent talks among all nations about how to finesse the mess. However, the planet’s history does not suggest that such a reasonable outcome is likely. Our past national behaviors do not indicate such an optimistic result.

Shall we all hold our breaths and anticipate such intelligent talks actually happening in a world where all the bets being placed on the outcome are impaired by the fact that all nations are making so much money bankrolling their militaries?

Any proposals out there about how to handle this very serious little boys’ game? Indeed, what do we do about this tiny giant elephant?


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