Baghdad via Beijing


How does the war look in China? Jianying Zha cites evidence that many Chinese old enough to remember Tiananmen Square, never mind Mao's unending horrors, have been watching wistfully. "Much like Eastern Europeans," Zha writes, these Chinese "see in Saddam Hussein the kind of despot they know too well." Jianying Zha, by the way, is the author of the great China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Best Sellers Are Transforming a Culture.

NEXT: Disarmament vs. Liberation

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  1. 11 and 1 (possibly 11-0-1 depending on the refs 🙂 W00t! The US can probably string along an undefeated season with the team we’re fielding now (another 9 games by my count 🙂 before the playoff finals with China. Woohoo!

  2. And the other 9 are ?

  3. uh, the rest of the world’s authoritarian regimes that pose a threat to US national security, i guess? i dunno! when’s anonymous posting going to be turned off anyway 😀

  4. oh that’s right, when the reason comments board becomes popular enough to rival plastic’s! mwuhahahaha 😀

  5. the rest of the world’s authoritarian regimes that pose a threat to US national security

    of course that means it’s an incentive for those under the thumb of authoritarian regimes who *aren’t* currently threats to US national security to make it so…

    it’s a fine line to walk; the bush doctrine may have (unwittingly?) catalyzed permanent war and lawlessness. like it’s welfare subsidies for the rest of the world (and those who would maintain the apparatus of permanent war, e.g. the drug war on a much grander scale, i.e. a racket, or iraqet as the case may be 🙂

    ironically, having largely achieved a libertarian domestic policy, it’s too much of a stretch to apply it to foreign policy — the US gov’t knows best afterall. of course democrats wish it were reversed; some of us, however, merely just wish it were applied always and everywhere. i know it’d be the simple, principled, *reasonable* thing to do! welcome to the great great game.

  6. How easy would an invasion of China actually be? I know a lot of Chinese aren’t exactly pleased with their government and all, but they may not a repeat of British gunboat diplomacy either.

  7. China would be impossible to invade effectively.

    Less than 100 years ago, China was broken into many small territories ruled by warlords. This was a replay of a pattern that was established immediately upon the first unification of China (way back in 221 BC). Given that the Chinese government has its hands full keeping the place together, we can assume that any invader would have insurmountable difficulties.

    It is important to note that the colonial era invaders of China never got extended their influence far inland–i.e., they never took over the whole place. Probably the Japanese were most effective, but they did it with a tremendous amount of bloodshed, for limited and specific purposes (unlike the “liberation” of Iraq).

    Any theoretical US invasion would be doomed to failure, defeated by topography as much as guerilla warfare.

  8. regardless of whether the US “rewards” those who would act as agent provocateurs against their own authoritarian states (think rational advisors around kim jong il who would want to hasten his fall by provoking a confrontation with the US — perhaps with covert US intelligence approval?), the pain and suffering one can inflict on US citizens has gained new currency in the marketplace of international realpolitik.

    maybe it was always the case, and the bush doctrine has only made it explicit. one just hopes we actually *are* holding all the cards, because we’re certainly betting the house and playing as if others will up and fold.

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