2013/03/06

They are almost running out of bad guys

.
The United States (or rather its media, pundits, politicians) had some favourite bad guy bogeymen during the post-Cold War era. The list is becoming suspiciously short, though:

Iraq - gone

Iran - Ahmadinedjad cannot be re-elected next time, so the loudmouth and face of this bogeyman will go.

North Korea - the fat boy and his attention-seeker regime are more entertaining than fearsome, and NK is no good subject for bullying because it finally made it to some nukes.

Russia - so Cold War. On top of that, totally incapable of taking on NATO, has few actual political conflicts with the U.S.. Even the replacement of the worn-out military hardware from the 1970's and 1980's doesn't impress much.

Syria - imploding in slo-mo. Nobody Hardly anybody is going to take their military seriously after the demonstrated incompetence of defeating poorly armed rebels.

Venezuela - Chavez is finally dead. He didn't learn enough from Castro, apparently!


So who is left? Basically only the continental Chinese for now.
The "pivot to the Pacific" (or " to Asia") has already been announced. 

The bogeyman-building is quite impressive,  but the hypocrisy in it is astonishing.
A while ago I saw a video of some navy guy describing the Chinese as really troublesome lately. Oh, those dangerous, dangerous and aggressive, aggressive Chinese even dare to send their ships on cruises! In fact, those ships even cruise near disputed islands!

Now if that's worthy of concern, please explain to me how to describe that the U.S. Navy cruises close to China's shores - thousands of miles away from any islands claimed by the U.S.
The anti-carrier missiles with a few thousand kilometres range are interesting - but clearly defensive in a PRC-USA context. 
Alert me when the PLAN cruises regularly off the coast of California.

I'm willing to cut the Chinese some slack; they have good reason to strive for being able to keep the USN away in wartime. Keep in mind Chinese gunboats never patrolled the Mississippi.

- - - - -

The Chinese aren't the only modern bogeymen / targets of hate, though. I was quite astonished by some (so far unimportant) Americans' reaction to a story about obsolete Oliver Hazard perry frigates.* There were reports that some of these worn-out 1970's technology frigates wouldn't be exported to Turkey**. Some reports also mentioned that Turkey hadn't even asked for them.
Strangely, comments erupted with clear aversion against Turkey, obviously based on the recent political dissonance between Turkey and Israel. Comments claimed that Turkey should not get such modern warships that would be a threat to the U.S. ally Israel.
Kudos to them for knowing Turkey and Israel are geographically close and having diplomatic dissonances, no kudos for misunderstanding that scrap metal for modern warships.
Most importantly, how stupid is this? Turkey is a North Atlantic Treaty member, a NATO ally of the United States. It has ratified and signed a promise of collective defence. It's ready to help defend the United States against attack, a reciprocally promise. I can't recall Israel having promised anything like this.

Bogeymen construction is always an ugly and ridiculous business, but it appears as if the groundwork was already laid for depicting the Turks (MUSLIMS! Terrorists! Brown people! Run for your life!) as bogeymen. That's quite an achievement of the bogeymen-builders, considering that Turkey is actually a real ally.


In other words; nobody is safe. Bogeymen are still a required ingredient in some countries' political culture*** and thus they will be created. Any country can be turned into a bogeyman, into evil's lair.
Freedom fries anyone?

S Ortmann

*: The comments were dispersed on several sites, and I really don't feel like linking to them. If you don't believe me feel free to look them up yourself or well, just don't believe me.
**: FFG-40 and FFG-43,both were in service for almost 30 years and have been reduced to the military utility of a offshore patrol vessel or training ship about a decade ago (removal of the main weapon system).
***: Iran is among them, I have no doubt about that.

P.S.: If interested, feel free to look up the utterly nonsensical statements of Congressmen Engel and Bilirakis here. According to them, Turkey is bad for doing naval exercises right in front of its coast and is behaving irresponsible. Turkey is behaving irresponsible, say Congressmen from the nation that invaded Iraq because of fantasy issues and in violation of Article 1 of the North Atlantic Treaty. If hypocrisy and stupidity were painful...

Also P.S.: The embedded video is no accident at all. It actually fits almost perfectly in many regards; the lyrics help to understand.

5 comments:

  1. As a US resident, my (selfish) thinking about this constant search of bogeyman is this:

    it is better that they spend their energy
    on a foreign bogeyman than a domestic one !

    Let's them demonize Chinese/Korean/Turks or
    whoever for a while! Considering that Germany is growing stronger and stronger fast, we can expect a german bogeyman as soon as there is a Chancellor who will not go along with their bullying.

    Charles_in_Houston_Texas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're omitting the growing Kirghiz peril?

      And yeah, I was thinking it must be Germany or France's turn again soon.

      Delete
  2. i wldnt call turkey a loyal ally. will assist u if the gains worth it. dnt forget that during round 2 with sadam ddnt allowed u to use its soil for creating a 2nd front neither to maximize the use of incirlik (a base). the perrys was cancelled due to jewish lobby veto (assisted by the greek and armenian lobbies) cause they are engaged in a power struggle regarding exclusive economic zones (that hold gas and petrol)

    my 2 cents regarding my lovely mongols neighbours

    p.s. u r right that no boogy man in the scene but when the chinese appears will be for real

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About that "2nd front" in Iraq thing:
      Turkey was the good ally there, loyal to the North Atlantic Treaty. The United States, United Kingdom and Poland were violating the North Atlantic Treaty Article 1 grossly with that invasion.

      Turkey's government was no loyal poodle to GWB like Blair, but it was a loyal ally.

      Delete
    2. "...Bogeymen construction is always an ugly and ridiculous business..."

      in addition to being ugly it is also inexplicable. For example, how did the Japaneses escape this wonderful esteem of being a disloyal/disobedient ally, bestowed upon the Turks. They are known to have spend too little on defense (although when they do spend, they faithfully buy from US defense contractors.) For their less-than-5 USD billions annual 'burden-sharing', they have been rewarded with the freedom to dump their products in the US markets. Turkey, in constrast, has been reliable/valuable for past US activities against the Soviets and equally so during the many middle-eastern wars/standoffs. What were the most outstanding 'goodies' ever rewarded to the Turks ?

      Charles_in_Houston_Texas

      Delete

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