March 05, 2006

A Spirited Discussion Today

With Zeke regarding the old Cuba vs. China issue. It's interesting that Zeke and I approach the issue completely differently: he suspects that the reason we're engaging China is because it's such a ridiculously big market, and because it provides us cheap goods that sell like hotcakes.

I say that we might be attempting constructive engagement with Cuba if the noose were just a bit looser around its people's necks, and if the Cuban population in Florida didn't feel quite so strongly about punishing Castro's regime.

I also point out that the State Department's policies toward China have to reflect a friendliness no one quite feels, since we need China's help to keep North Korea in line. Not to mention making nice-nice with the Chinese directly, lest our vaguely competitive relationship turn into something chillier.

As we talk it emerges that Zeke feels commercial interests control the State Department, and it strikes me as an odd idea: State is run by career bureaucrats, for the most part. Some policy is made in the executive branch, but even that doesn't change with the winds to the degree people seem to imagine. Things like blockades are determined by politicians, rather than companies.

"Prove that I lie."

Posted by Attila Girl at March 5, 2006 01:04 AM | TrackBack

since we need China's help to keep North Korea in line

Which is precisely why China allows N Korea a long leash, to distract us from Taiwan

Posted by: beautifulatrocities at March 5, 2006 07:00 AM

There are several reasons why we treat China differently than Cuba.

1) China has an army of over two million. Not to mention lots of nukes. A war with China would be devastating. If Cuba ever invaded the United States the Miami Police department could crush their invasion.
2) The only reason we pay much attention to Cuba is the vocal Cuban population down in Florida. At one time Castro could be considered a legitimate threat to us because he was backed by the big bad Soviet Union. But now he is as much a threat to us as a squirrel is to an elephant. The economic blockade we have set up against Cuba is counterproductive. A sign of intelligence is to change tactics when the tactics that you have tried for years fail to produce the desired change. When you bang your head against the wall a thousand times without making a dent in the wall then if you are smart you will stop hitting your head against the wall and try to find some other way around it.
3) Your friend Zeke is correct when stating that one reason we are gently engaging China is because it is such a huge business market. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the State Department is controlled by business interests. One does not need to be in the hip pocket of the business lobby to realize that, all other things being equal, two nations with mutually beneficial trade relations are less likely to go to war than two nations without interdependent markets.
4) China holds hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. Treasuries. There is no way they would dump them all at once under normal circumstances. But suppose Taiwan gets too uppity for them and China decides to crush them militarily. Now, suppose the U.S. sends its aircraft carriers steaming toward China in an effort to help Taiwan. What happens to the U.S. economy if China dumps their dollars all at once? Bond prices will plummet. Interest rates will skyrocket. The housing market bubble will burst. A recession seems guaranteed.

And speaking of Taiwan, is their President nuts? President Chen scrapped Taiwan’s National Unification Council—a move that is guaranteed to piss off Beijing.

Now, I can understand their desire to separate from the mainland, but doesn’t Chen read a newspaper? Maybe he hasn’t heard that the U.S. is engaged in a war on terror and that we are stretched pretty thin with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope that President Bush is on the phone telling Chen that if he is counting on the U.S. to pull his fat out of the fire after this provocative act then he has a big surprise coming. We just don’t have the horses to come to his aid, even if we wanted to.

Posted by: Robin Messing at March 5, 2006 08:57 AM

First: Dump the Mac and get a real computer. That takes care of the problem from your last post.

Second: Make a list of the "career beaurocrats" at State who haven't gotten where they are without kissing the ass of "commercial interests". That will solve your quandry in this post.

Third: Rice for President!?!? Keep the Prozac, it sounds like you need it more than the Mac.

Posted by: Jeff I at March 5, 2006 10:31 AM

oops...."bureauocrats", not the way I spelled it before. But then again, most of them were somebody's "beau" to get where they are.

Posted by: Jeff I at March 5, 2006 10:36 AM

Robin: I think you're on the right track. And I agree that it's time to end the blockade and subvert Cuba in the usual way--by giving the Marxists enough rope . . .

Jeff: Very innovative. Not everyone thinks of folding in material from a joke post to respond to a serious post. You sound like a creative guy.

Needless to say, i don't share your views of State. And I'm wondering why, if civil servants are kissing up to commercial interests, most of them don't have, you know, some money to show for it. But thank you for playing.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 5, 2006 11:56 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: is currently inaccessible

My Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!