April 24, 2005

Asia Times

Been awhile since I checked in at the Asia Times, and they have some particularly good articles on offer. Like this one on the Bolton nomination. This bit was a kneeslapper, emphasis mine:

... If Bolton's bid is defeated or if, more likely, he is forced to withdraw, chief beneficiaries will likely be the administration's realist forces led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Robert Zoellick. Despite their public support for the nominee, according to reports over the weekend by the Washington Post, the two had excluded Bolton from internal discussions on key issues that would normally fall within his domain. ...

An excerpt from The New American Militarism talks about the normalization of war, and America's relatively newfound love affair with military power.

A guest writer suggests that China's growth is founded on solid productivity increases. Indeed, their growing clout has at last teased quite the apology from Japanese PM Koizumi; hardly surprising considering that China is their fastest expanding export market.

This article explores in some depth the relations between India, Iran, and Pakistan with each other and the wider world. It details the US' motives in selling arms in the region, and the tangle of ties all three countries are trying to build with China:

... Washington, meanwhile, is utilizing a carrots-and-sticks policy as it tries to disrupt the rapprochement between Iran and its neighbors that would end Tehran's international isolation. The Bush administration's carrot is an offer to sell India and Pakistan advanced F-16 fighter jets capable of dispatching nuclear payloads. India has yet to accept the offer and is making noises that it might approach Russia and the European Union as alternative arms suppliers. As for Pakistan, given Iran's close cooperation with arch-foe India, it has steered a more ambivalent course, welcoming a permanent US presence in Afghanistan even as it offers to act as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran on the nuclear dispute.

... Iran has also been improving relations with China. Beijing secures 13.6% of its annual energy needs from Tehran and looks set to receive more after a huge deal signed recently. Buttressing their alliance, Beijing and Tehran signed a preliminary accord worth $70 billion to $100 billion by which China will buy Iranian oil and gas, while helping develop the Yadavaran oilfield close to the Iraqi border. Earlier this year, China pledged to buy $20 billion in liquefied natural gas from Iran over the next 25 years. In return, it sends manufactured goods to Iran, including computer systems, household appliances and cars. China is a particularly valuable ally for Iran because it holds veto power at the UN Security Council and could shield Tehran from hostile diplomatic action by Washington and London. ...

If the Bush administration had given any serious thought to wanting to influence the course of these events, it might have occurred to them that with quagmires proceeding apace in two countries their plates would be too full to deal with the rise of competing powers in Asia. They're too hopelessly off track to set about the business of putting this country on a good strategic footing for the long term.

Posted by natasha at April 24, 2005 12:47 AM | International | Technorati links |

Scary thing is, relative to guys like Bolton, she actually is a realist.

Posted by: modus potus at April 24, 2005 09:14 PM

Actually, that was exactly my point. And yes, I too find that scary, bordering on terrifying.

Posted by: natasha at April 25, 2005 12:44 AM

China's growing population and demand for energy pretty much guarantee that they will try to get oil from wherever they need it, whatever we do. And as the world passes Peak Oil, this will only become more pronounced. With world oil production dropping, everybody is likely to get a little nervous about their supplies, and it is not too difficult at all to see China intervening militarily to protect Iran (and its oil supplies) from any aggressive moves on the part of the U.S. By the same token, it is not too difficult to see the U.S. attempting something foolish, like attacking Iran to attempt to stabilize Mid-east oil supply for U.S./European consumption.

Posted by: Roy Smith at April 28, 2005 04:23 PM