Since the inauguration of President Bush, US military “accidents” have occurred at almost a weekly pace. From the submarine that overturned a Japanese fishing boat to the F-15 bombers that crashed over Scotland to the friendly fire deaths in Kuwait, the US military’s gaffes have formed a loose, but obvious pattern of events.
Now, a much more intense blunder, which according to American sources, is not America’s fault, has transpired near China. A US spy plane crashed into a Chinese fighter jet that was following it. China, in turn, took a stand on this issue and was reluctant to allow America to retrieve the plane or contact its crew.
A huge story bubbles under the surface of this series of events that many in the media have dismissed as an example of Chinese aggression and bureaucracy. That is, that the American military is far too big, not to mention that it is ubiquitous. American nuclear subs patrol the whole of the ocean, spy planes intercept loads of data from “potential enemies” such as China and scores of troops are stationed in Germany and Yugoslavia.
And, yet, the American public is led to believe, by President Bush and others, that the military needs beefing up, that the military is not where it should be. Maybe better training is in order, but a larger military certainly is not necessary when America already spends something like five times more money on its military than its nearest competitor.
A missile defense system, with missiles potentially pointing at every target from Hamilton, Ontario to Kinshasa, Zaire, would only worsen the problem. Since American military accidents have already been happening rather frequently with much simpler military apparatus engaging in elementary procedures, imagine the potential for accidents with such a chaotic conglomerate of missiles pointed every which way. Though America’s allies back the idea of being able to effectively neutralize the biological and nuclear arsenals of nations such as Russia, Iraq, and China, they are not taking into account the already unwieldy size of the US military machine.
Truly, those who say that America should be or is an isolationist nation, have no idea at all how global and gargantuan America’s military is today. It can indeed be said that America is the one and only police force in the world, whether other nations like it or not.
Which gets us back to China. I applaud the stand that China took on America spying on them.
It is obvious that America’s overarching international policy is to bully other nations militarily and economically. The United States does not like for there to be dissenting views in its capitalist democratic teachings, or in the international realm. China’s retention of a US spy plane last week was only an attempt at challenging the American imperialist monster. And instead of accepting the media views that China is a backwards, Commie nation, maybe we should try to accept other nations, or at least make educated decisions about them.
Already it appears that all too soon the natives will speak English in Paris, pray to Jesus in Cairo, and buy Big Macs with dollar bills in Lagos. But do we want a world where one military juggernaut controls everything? I don’t think we have a choice.