Donald Trump has lashed out at John McCain and Lindsey Graham
“The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong - they are sadly weak on immigration,” Trump said. “The two ... Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.”
Normally, I would concede that there is some truth to this, in the sense that nobody ever accused John McCain of being a flower-power peacenik. But Donald Trump is the person bringing us closer to war.
Just ask the Chinese
China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the US as the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, state media and military observers said.
Beijing is bracing itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.
The People’s Liberation Army said in a commentary on its official website last Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, that the chances of war have become “more real” amid a more complex security situation in Asia Pacific.
“‘A war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” it said.
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also advocated a US naval blockade of artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea – which Beijing could interpret as an act of war.
Further suggestions China is preparing for conflict emerged this week, with unconfirmed reports the military has moved long range missiles closer to the north east border in Heilongjiang province -- within firing range of the US.
Chinese social media has carried pictures claiming to show the Dongfeng-41 advanced intercontinental ballistic missile system near the Russian border.
Provocative state-run tabloid The Global Times suggested the People’s Liberation Army could have leaked the photos on social media as a warning to Mr Trump.
I've had my beefs with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, but neither of those gentlemen would be so idiotic as to provoke war with China over a couple of unimportant islands. This spat over the islands of Spratly and Paracel is an even more absurd replay of the Quemoy and Matsu brouhaha, isn't it?
But there's a big difference: Nixon (the guy who wanted war over those inconsequential islands) didn't win in 1960. Trump's in charge now. And look at how close to the brink
he has brought us in a very short time...
Sometimes it’s hard to sift the real from the magical in the Trump administration, and bombast appears to be the default strategy of the day. But people should be clear about what would happen if the U.S. actually tries to blockade China from supplying its forces constructing airfields and radar facilities on the Spratly and Paracel islands.
It would be an act of war.
While Beijing’s Foreign Ministry initially reacted cautiously to the comment, Chinese newspapers have been far less diplomatic. The nationalist Global Times warned of a “large-scale war” if the U.S. followed through on its threat, and the China Daily cautioned that a blockade could lead to a “devastating confrontation between China and the U.S.”
Independent observers agree. “It is very difficult to imagine the means by which the United States could prevent China from accessing these artificial islands without provoking some kind of confrontation,” says Rory Medcalf, head of Australia’s National Security College. And such a confrontation, says Carlyle Thayer of the University of New South Wales, “could quickly develop into an armed conflict.”
Last summer, China’s commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Wu Shengli, told U.S. Admiral John Richardson that “we will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands halfway.” Nansha is China’s name for the Spratlys. Two weeks later, Chang Wanquan, China’s Defense Minister, said Beijing is preparing for a “people’s war at sea.”
When will the Republicans in Congress realize that we have ceded control to a madman?