How Attacking Iran Benefits China

It’s widely recognized that the greatest beneficiary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been Iran. Just as clearly, the biggest beneficiary of a U. S. attack on Iran will be China.This is why the administration’s recent exhortation to China’s leader, Hue, to intervene in getting Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions is likely to be futile. Hue of course will want to create the appearance of trying to bring the Iranian leadership around, but it is not in China’s strategic interest for that to actually happen. Secretly, in fact, Hue must be hoping that the Bush administration will be foolish enough to attack Iran—preferably with tactical nukes—just as they were fooling enough to invade Iraq.

The consequences of a U. S. attack would be as positive for China as they would be negative for the United States. Hue diplomatic task is to nod and pretend to assist while making sure not to actually do anything that might be perceived in the Muslim world as abetting the U. S. attack.

China has already benefited indirectly from the invasion of Iraq, but what they stand to gain from a repeat with Iran is far greater. Some might object that a U. S. strike against Iran will lead to oil disruptions – both in the flow of Iranian oil and in retaliatory sabotage elsewhere. But whereas China depends on oil in order to fuel its extraordinary growth rate, the U. S.depends on oil to avoid economic collapse. To put it another way: for China oil is an enabler; for the U.S. oil is an addiction. China is in a vastly stronger position to weather oil disruptions than is the United States or Europe.

Which is why any oil disruptions which result from striking Iran can only lead to further engagement of the U. S.military in the middle east. We may be forced to commit troops to defend oil facilities and shipping lanes and engage in military strikes against suspected terrorist cells throughout the region. Thus we are likely to become embroiled in a wider middle-east/Islamic terrorist war which will look to the world very much like oil-hungry Christians against oil-possessing Muslims. At which point bin Laden will have achieved his wildest dream.

And note that U. S. defense of middle eastern oil supplies will surely include defending China’s oil supplies as well. This is because the U. S. economy has become dependent not just on oil but also on cheap Chinese manufacturing. Having outsourced our industrial capacity, our economy is susceptible not just to an oil shock but also – perhaps even more so – to a “China shock” thanks to our incredible dependence on Chinese imports. And let’s be clear: having dismantled manufacturing within the U. S. mainland over the past 3 decades, it would take years to rebuild that capacity.

With the United States terminally embroiled in a fight for economic survival against Islamic terrorism in order to safeguard our oil supply, China would soon catapult into the leading economic superpower in the world. Furthermore, the likehood of another major terrorist attack on U. S. soil within the decade, already increased 3-fold by the invasion of Iraq, would increase 3-fold again with the bombing of Iran, especially so if we used tactical nukes.

Internally, the next major attack on U. S. soil (we are talking 9-11 size or greater) would inflict a possibly fatal blow on American freedom, particularly if we continue to have political cowards holding office. Politically the United States would start to look a lot more like China, perhaps with more economic freedom but indistinguishable in terms of civil liberties.

That is the path we are embarked upon.

And make no mistake, striking Iran is the Administration’s preferred option. Most likely they will try to use the election cycle to get Congressional authorization for military action “upon determination by the Administration that diplomatic efforts have failed” (similar to the authorization for the Iraq invasion) before November, though the actual attack would not come until after the election.

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2 Responses to How Attacking Iran Benefits China

  1. Sally Rubis says:

    I’m a Christian, but ditto to the above point of view. China will be smelling like a rose. The U.S. will be toast.

  2. Rastaban says:

    I appreciate the comment. As a Christian you are right to be concerned, in my opinion, because unfortunately if we attack Iran or if there is a wider middle eastern war, Christianity will also come out on the losing end. This is because religions live and die based on their moral and spiritual credibility. From the beginning President Bush has been loudly “Christian”, and it is widely perceived that Christians more than any other group put him in office in 2000 and that Christian support got him reelected in 2004.

    Although there are many Christians who oppose Bush and have fought for peace during this administration, they get little media attention. Instead, Christianity is represented by neo-conservatives whose main goal seems to be to “kick Muslim butt”. Today the public face of Christianity consists of ministers like Rev. Charles Stanley of Atlanta’s First Baptist Church, who preaches in church that God loves war. (I think it goes without saying that Jesus would be appalled.)

    If the middle east blows up into a religious war between Judeo-Christianity and Islam, as seems more and more likely, the resulting damage to the U. S. will be blamed not just on Bush but on Christianity — “Christinsanity” you might call it. One of the consequences is that American society will become far more disdainful of religion, and far more secular.

    It is unfortunate, because religion is capable of being a strong, positive moral force within society. During the Vietnamese war, Christians and “Jesus freaks” led the anti-war movement. Today, most of the peace movement’s leaders seem to be secular. Somewhere or other Christiantiy in America has lost its moral compass. It’s become focused on personal salvation rather than on peace, justice, or fairness. (Over that same period liberal denominations have shriveled up and conservative ones have quadrupled in membership.)

    A good example of religion losing out as a consequence of warfare can be found in the American Revolution. Before it began, Puritanism and the Church of England dominated the American religious landscape. But they supported England and the Tories. After the war, church membership dwindled to less than 20% of the American population, and the churches that did survive, like the Baptists and Unitarians, were those that had supported the Revolutionaries. Christianity recovered eventually, but it was the liberal Christianity of the Baptists. The Revolutionary war killed off Puritanism.

    Although it may seem paradoxical, since I’m an atheist, I want Christianity to become a positive moral force again. This is because I don’t have a lot of confidence in the moral compass of people who become atheists out of reaction or for the wrong reasons. I wish Christians would rise up in opposition to Bush’s mid-east policies, but unfortunately I don’t see it happening. The moral compass just isn’t there anymore.

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