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Apr 15, 2016

Obama's Gift To Our Next President: War With China and Russia?

tags: Obama;China;Russia;Bourne;Polner

This post is by Murray Polner,  a blogger, writer and HNN’s senior Book Department editor.

May I break into our vacuous presidential nomination/election campaigns where candidates hardly ever  talk seriously about our history of lying the country into war, as for example the Spanish-American and Philippine wars, WWI, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Lies, mythology and then silence is of course the best way to persuade far too many patriotic if uninformed Americans to regularly send their kids to war.

With Barack Obama allegedly at the helm of foreign policy, the lies are now growing  but this time against China and Russia, our latest semi-official enemies. Neither of them are angelic but neither are we. But Obama, as President, is responsible for trying to erect a wall around them, even at the risk of inciting a real war. As his term crawls to its end,  the US and China, as the  NY Times notes, "are jockeying for dominance in the South Pacific," which could amount to a time bomb if diplomacy or mutual economic interests fail to intercede. Both are  playing Russian Roulette ostensibly but not really over essentially barren islets in the South China Sea, the Chinese building an airfield and claiming sovereignty over a few and the US dispatching warships and planes close to Chinese vessels and planes, both sides risking a catastrophic struggle.

From the time US marines were sent to Australia a few years ago (for what, exactly, has never been explained let alone publicly questioned or debated) to 0bama's wooing of a  hard-line and unrepentant Japanese government eager to discard its American-installed post-WWII pacifist constitution and rearm against China and with new US attachments to India and Vietnam, the 0bama containment policy is clearly aimed at China. In the latest US move the US Navy will participate in joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea and, according to the Associated Press, "eventually will conduct air patrols." Then, too, the US will donate some $40 million to the Philippines for military use, for which the US will receive "access to five Philippine military bases to house American forces,"  the better, I assume, to fight a war on the Asian mainland at the same time it copes militarily and unsuccessfully with the Greater Middle East.

Word also arrives that a Russian plane flew " 'dangerously close' to an American ship" as the NY Times inadequately reported. Turns out, as their rival the Washington Post properly reported, that an innocent "American ship" --engaged in the US effort to contain Putin's Russia-- was no cruise ship filled with fun-loving tourists but instead was a destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, which "carries an arsenal that includes rocket launchers, antisubmarine missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles." Many US ships and planes have  previously and regularly been sent to the Black Sea, all "international waters," or so the US  claimed. Still, Obama has never been asked -- probably because unlike all his 20th Century predecessors he rarely, in fact, very rarely, holds a press conference --  how the US would react if Russian ships suddenly showed up in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea claiming they too were in "international waters."

There are fewer antiwar skeptics and dissenters left in the mainstream press and TV like the heroic Randolph Bourne. Of course you remember his memorable "War is the health of the state?" He was unique. A rarity.  Much easier for leaders to lie, reach for guns and bombs, and send sons and daughters not their own to fight their needless wars.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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