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Saturday, June 04, 2005

You've got to be kidding

Rummy is in Singapore complaining about China's arms buildup:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in an unusually blunt public critique of China, said Saturday that Beijing's military spending threatened the delicate security balance in Asia and called for an emphasis instead on political freedom and open markets.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at an Asian security conference dinner Friday night in Singapore with Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's prime minister from 1965 to 1990, who now serves as "minister mentor."

In a keynote address at an Asian security conference here, Mr. Rumsfeld argued that China's investment in missiles and up-to-date military technology posed a risk not only to Taiwan and to American interests, but also to nations across Asia that view themselves as China's trading partners, not rivals.

He said no "candid discussion of China" could neglect to address these military concerns directly, and criticized China for not admitting the full extent of what he described as its worrisome military expansion.

"Since no nation threatens China, one wonders: why this growing investment?" Mr. Rumsfeld asked.
The mind boggles. The lack of self-awareness on the part of the Bushies is already legendary, but this would seem to be scaling new heights. The man who presides over the most gigantic death machine in history, who keeps demanding more, like space-based weapons and robot soldiers, wonders why another country would want to increase its relatively modest military spending.

China is in close proximity to several potential enemies--nuclear powers Russia, India, Pakistan and North Korea, Japan, Taiwan, American-occupied Afghanistan, and Vietnam and other nations bordering the South China Sea which are all interested in the oil that may be lurking under their disputed borders. And of course China no doubt sees Rummy's death machine, with its carrier battle groups which show up off the coasts of China from time to time, as the biggest threat to them--just like everyone else in the world.

It's hard to imagine that even Rummy is this delusional. More likely, this is just typical bullying behavior, daring China to object so that the belligerence can be ratcheted up a few notches.