Zhu of the Chinese Air Force is from Canton, but today he is sitting
in tiny little Xinjin city, just south of Chengdu, hosting a small
banquet of friends and family. Two majors are concentrating hard
on providing the General with choice morsels and keeping his cup
full. The General waves them all off, for he is holding forth:
Americans have never been successful militarily in an Asian war."
grunts as I mention Japan – this was as much a Chinese victory.
He is more interested in discussing Vietnam, and, of course, the
Korean War, in which China came to the aid of her neighbor and drove
the Americans back. Regardless of the lopsided
casualties and the fact that South Korea remained "free,"
the Korean War was a victory for the Chinese and their North Korean
brothers over the Western powers.
of the majors murmurs admiringly that the Americans have defeated
both the Taliban and Saddam's armies with extremely few casualties.
The General scoffs into his tiny shot glass.
American shouldn't hope for the same success here, they would die
in great numbers."
the past 50 years, the sacrifice of Chairman Mao's son during the
Korean War has been a symbol of what the Chinese are prepared to
do to resist foreign invasion and domination. Out of the ashes of
WWII and the turn of the century has risen a dragon intent on stamping
out any whimsical Western dreams of the paper tiger Ever Victorious
Armies China was so infamous for during the colonial periods.
the Bush Administration isn't facing the dragon. China is in fact
using its considerable influence over North Korea to help the Bushies
avoid "death in great numbers" and all the other beauties
that accompany war. And even if General Zhu is basking in the glory
of a new Chinese army, much more capable than the armies of the
past, he isn't planning on using that army to confront the US. In
fact, the General enjoys telling stories about all the US Air Force
Generals he has entertained and reduced to witless staggerers-about
with his baijiu drinking prowess.
the Chinese remember the Korean War as a victory, what do the North
Koreans think? Chinese are at least connected to the outside world
and are prepared to hash out different perspectives, whereas the
North Korean Army is confident enough to state that any belligerent
move on the part of the Americans (sanctions, bombings, troop movements,
rampant displays of the middle finger along the DMZ) would result
in war. They almost seem eager for it to happen.
the first round of talks between the representatives of the Rogue
and the Emperor, analysts and bureaucrats and spooks were running
around trying to make sense of the North Koreans' latest taunt:
"We got more nukes."
it a bluff? Is it true? Would they use them?
US has already admitted that they didn't know about Yongbyon reopening
for business until after the North Koreans told them. They also
rushed into a cave that was supposed to be filled with goodies,
only to find it empty, among other I
all the eyes in the sky that the US has, North Korea has still managed
to carry on with all sorts of nefarious activities. Most likely
including brainwashing North Korean soldiers into believing that they
can emulate the success of their forefathers and drive the barbarians
into the sea, should they dare to cross the DMZ.
Prime Minister Goh Chuk Tong seems
pretty optimistic, which makes me feel better.
not many people really know what is happening in North Korea, what
the people and the soldiers think or even know about the whole crisis
on the peninsula. Aidan Foster-Carter does describe
North Korea's Stalinism in the Asia Times – does North Korean Stalinism
bode well for a diplomatic solution?
contends that the North Korean leadership is isolated enough to believe
they are "fighting the good fight." Could it be that the
Dear Leader is not truly the leader after all and a cabal of hard-core
Stalinists (i.e. the Army upon which Old Kim so dearly depends)
is running the show and forcing confrontation with the US?
the scenes leadership is nothing new – in the East or the West.
Stalinistic Army with a "history of defeating the US,"
a couple of nukes and a starving, broke population may just be crazy
enough to want a war – or get close enough to scare the US, Japan
and their squabbling
brothers to the South into caving in to their demands.
being isolated and all, perhaps the North Korean Army hasn't heard
of Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney, the power behind the throne across
the sea. How ironic – two opposing leaders maneuvered into less
than advantageous positions by hard-line cabals armed with ideology
was it that wrote that "axis of evil" speech anyway?
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is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column (usually) appears
Behind the Thrones
When to Lie, Know When to Shoot Straight
Like War, Huh?'
Beautiful Morning for a War
Power Moves Abroad
Safest Place in the World
off the Fence
and Nods and Handouts
Straddling the Fence Just Right
Count on China
Christmas from China
Believe the Hype
Incoming Hu Era
Theory Is a Smokescreen
Make You Play Bad Card'
Future of East-West Rapprochement
Legacy: The Forgotten Rebellion
the Chinese Smile
China Can Disregard US Anger
the World: What the US Fears
Billion Problems For China
New Post-9/11 Status
Room for Growth
Back in the USA
Missing the Boat?
Sweep 'Em Off the Streets
Chinese Embrace Progress
War May Reveal New Superpower, Part II
War May Reveal New Superpower
Chance for a New Friendship?
as a Way of Life
Markets or Supermarkets
Towards World Significance
on the Road to Capitalism
American in China
the Street in China: A Report