The Taiwan Conundrum

While a lot of conservative commentators are focusing on domestic issues, there’s a foreign policy matter that deserves much more attention than it’s been getting. And would you believe we have Nancy Pelosi to thank for it?

I’m referring to the situation with Taiwan, mainly because Paul Pelosi’s drinking and driving isn’t an international incident…yet. When the Speaker of the House visited Taiwan recently (for reasons that escape me, unless she was setting up some primo deals that would earn her more money…I think I just figured it out!), it added Everclear to an already tense situation between Taiwan and China. See, China believes Taiwan is still a part of China and Taiwan disagrees, preferring to be independent from China. And given how China is a repressive totalitarian state whose leader looks like Winnie the Pooh, I can see why.

Where America comes into the picture is we are stuck between the two opposing sides of this conflict by our own actions stemming from a long time ago, or ancient history in TikTok terms.

We set the Wayback Machine to 1949, when Chinese communists defeated Chinese nationalists and took over mainland China. Since the nationalists weren’t too keen on reading Mao’s Little Red Book, they fled the country and set up shop in what is now Taiwan. Back in the days of the Cold War, America would vocally support Taiwan’s right to independence and try to get China to lay off, wouldya?

Then two Bushes and the Commander in Briefs happened.

The first Bush in question is George H. W. Bush, who was President during a time when Chinese students were protesting for government reform and freedom, culminating in a stand-off in Tienanmen Square. And by “stand-off,” I mean one student literally stood in front of a tank line, creating one of the most iconic moments of the 20th Century, if not of all time. Bush, to his credit, called for China to address its human rights violations (good thing China didn’t respond by saying “You first, dickweeds.”) and promised harsh sanctions if the Chinese government didn’t change its ways.

Annnnnnnd then Bush promptly backed down faster than an Internet tough guy whose bluff gets called. No human rights violations address, no sanctions, not even the ultimate of geopolitical smackdowns, a tersely-worded memo from the UN giving China 1248 more chances to shape up before another memo gets sent. The horror!

And if that assfucking wasn’t bad enough, Bill Clinton not only overlooked China’s human rights violations, but gave them Most Favored Nation status without China having to fix anything! For those of you playing along at home, Most Favored Nation status is basically the US saying they want to do a lot of business with a country because we think it would be in both countries’ best interests. Good thing that turned out so well or we’d be totally fucked right now…oh, wait.

And to complete this shit sandwich, George W. Bush decided it would be a good idea to sell a significant portion of our national debt to China in exchange for…well, nothing really. Now, I’m no Paul Krugman (which is actually a boon in this case since it means I know a thing or two about economics), but I believe that would give China significant leverage over us. Whether they would use it to fuck us over is a matter of some debate, but the fact we have this Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads in the first place isn’t a good thing. Even if China is buying our stuff.

Yeah, about that. Turns out China is on the good end of a trade deficit with us. The figures from just this year show we are importing far more goods from China than they are importing from us. And it’s a trend that’s been going on for quite a while. In fact, we have to go all the way back to 1985 to find an annual trade deficit where the two sides are even remotely close. And the last time we posted a positive trade deficit with China? April 1986.

In the interest of fairness, we haven’t exactly been wowing Taiwan with our goods, either. Even so, when you compare the deficits with China to the deficits with Taiwan, it’s clear we’ve been more willing to work with the dictators than the people we allege to support.

Then, there’s the whole One China policy. To put it simply, China believes it is the only legitimate government for China and Taiwan, and the rest of the world…agrees. In spite of our chest-thumping about supporting freedom worldwide (see the established squawking points re: Ukraine), America fucking sucks when it comes to walking the walk. We can’t even have political figures say whether Taiwan is a country without there being controversy.

Hey, Taiwan. Ask Israel for advice on how to deal with America’s fickle foreign policy. They might be able to give you some pointers and a discount on industrial drum-sized containers of KY Jelly.

It’s this kind of duplicitous dumbfuckery that makes it hard for anyone else around the world to take us seriously. Granted, Joe Biden already gave us the fast track on that long before he was President, but this is well beyond even Biden’s ability to fuck things up. This was a team effort.

Although it’s easy for me to sit behind a keyboard and bitch about the matters at hand, I understand the predicament America put itself in through bad economic planning, worse political gamesmanship, and an apathetic public wanting more faster and cheaper than we’re willing to wait to be produced ourselves. With China having both an impressive potential economic market and a pretty sizable bargaining chip, we have a built-in incentive not to piss them off under any circumstances. This puts Taiwan in a rough spot. Not only is one of the world’s largest military machines breathing down its neck like Joe Biden at an elementary school photo op, but the largest and most technically advanced military on the planet can’t be bothered to show up because we need cheap electronics.

With friends like us, who needs enemas? Or enemies, for that matter.

While Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan made for interesting news, it exposed a fundamental weakness in our foreign policy with Taiwan and China and reiterated an oft-repeated doubt among other countries when it pertains to the way we claim to support freedom, but only when it suits our interests. If there is a silver lining to Pelosi’s visit, it’s the fact even she couldn’t fuck up our foreign policy any worse than it already is.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

To say America is polarized right now is like saying “The View” is a moronic TV show: technically accurate, but severely understated. Everything is a point of contention. Whether we should teach children about sexual identity. Who is to blame for gas prices so high Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg look Mormon by comparison. The ongoing struggle between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin.

And now, we have a war to contend with between Russia and Ukraine.

If you thought the Exotic/Baskin conflict was bad, hoo boy, don’t try to express even a nuanced, factual opinion like former Congresswoman and current sane Democrat Tulsi Gabbard did regarding biolabs in Ukraine that might cause a global threat if Russia wins the war. In response, current Senator and former kinda sane Republican Mitt Romney called Gabbard out, stating she was “parroting false Russian propaganda” and “Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.”

Ah, there’s the million dollar word: treason. It’s a word being thrown around like a football in Tom Brady’s hands, especially by Leftists looking to drum up support for Ukraine and shut down even the smallest debates about the war. And, as we’re about to find out, it’s a heavy term that shouldn’t be used lightly.

treason

What the Left thinks it means – actions that undermine American ideals

What it really means – actions that undermine Leftist ideals

In the interest of transparency, I am undecided on whether to support Russia (extremely unlikely) or Ukraine (more likely, but not without further introspection) in their geopolitical Wrestlemania with heavy artillery. Both sides have a vested interest in putting a positive spin on what they’re doing, so for someone like me, it’s hard to take what is being presented/reported at face value.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is treason according to the Left, and to Senator Romney. After all, there’s a war going on, right?

Welllll…yes and no. Yes, there is a war going on, but we’re not one of the particulars. Given our history over the past couple of decades, this is a nice change of pace, but the fact we’re not directly involved as a combatant undermines the accusations of treason and simultaneously shows how the Left’s use of the word in such a manner is idiotic at best.

To quote Hannibal Smith, I love it when a plan comes together.

The primary definition of treason according to Dictionary.com is “the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.” (More on that later.) Furthermore, Article III, Section 3, Clause 1 of our lovely and talented US Constitution addresses treason thus:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

And this is why we need to read the Constitution, kids. For as much as the Left love to try to muddy the waters, the Constitution is pretty clear most of the time, especially here. Maybe it’s just my wacky way of weeding out the bullshit and getting to the heart of the matter, but it seems to me nobody asking legitimate questions (or even illegitimate ones for that matter) is trying to help the enemy, whomever that is in the Russia-Ukraine battle because, well…how can I put this delicately…there is no fucking enemy!

Granted, a pretty good case can be made that Russia is the enemy here since they’re trying to get the former Soviet Union back together again and Vladimir Putin hates us like the Yankees hate the Red Sox. But right now no one here is waging war against us by asking questions about the motivations behind the war and our role in it.

Spoiler Alert: turns out we have a vested interest in seeing Ukraine win if only to hide some of the shady shit we’ve been doing there.

Like…oh I don’t know…funding biolabs in Ukraine.

Now, before you Leftists start trying to quibble over the facts, let me point out something you’ve missed in all of this treason talk. I mean, aside from the whole we’re not at war with Russia and/or Ukraine thing. As much as you want/need to discredit Mrs. Gabbard, she brought this little thing the kids call receipts. After her television appearance that got Romney’s magic underwear in a bunch, she dropped a lot of newspaper articles that not only backed up her claims, but made his “treasonous lies” claim seem pretty stupid (which they were).

Unless, of course, you want to start accusing the Washington Post of being in Putin’s back pocket, Mittens…

Now, for the big picture part the Left always seems to miss in these situations as they madly try to defend their incompetence. These biolabs may or may not house biological weapons. That, in and of itself, should be enough justification to ask the questions Gabbard did, but there’s another element. If we are to believe the federal government’s view of what these labs do, they are a storehouse of infectious diseases and cures. In the wrong hands, these can be weaponized, figuratively and literally.

Now, let’s take this little thought experiment a step further. You know what country known for a certain infection disease that caused a global lockdown is chummy with Russia right now? Can you say “China”? I knew you could.

Even if you are hesitant to assign blame to China for COVID-19, the fact they also have biolabs that work on infectious diseases (and, oddly enough, have security measures so weak it makes Barney Fife look like Walker Texas Ranger) should be enough to throw up some major red flags.

Especially for those “follow the science” folks. Hmmm…wonder what happened to them and what they feel about the current situation in Ukraine. I’m sure they couldn’t be completely oblivious to the possible danger and simply be throwing around a term like treason willy-noooooooh, wait.

Regardless of what you think about Gabbard’s political positions and connections to Russia, she has been staunchly anti-war and unafraid to call out people on all sides when they’re being dumbasses. And that isn’t treason, kids.

But that won’t stop the Left from throwing around the term like parade candy. Take the 1/6 “insurrection” for example (Told you we’d get to it!) Leftists are quick to point out the “traitors” who stormed the Capitol were trying to overthrow the duly elected government and threatened to kill Congresscritters and Vice President Mike Pence. Although there were some asshats who went that far and should be considered traitors for doing so, most of the 1/6 participants didn’t. If we’re going to throw the treason charge at them via guilt by association, let me be clear in saying that is going to backfire in a big way when Leftists who backed Antifa and Black Lives Matter get a one way ticket to Fort Fuck-Around-And-Find-Out for the crimes some of the “mostly peaceful” protesters did. And let me just say I think prison orange would look horrible on Maxine Waters, not because it’s an ugly color, but because Auntie Maxine looks horrible in just about anything.

For me, accusing someone of treason is a serious charge that needs to be backed up with more than hurt feefees. To date, Senator Romney hasn’t backed up what he tweeted with any evidence, let alone evidence to the extent Gabbard provided. And any Leftist who is praising him needs to back up the accusation or get called out. Gabbard accepted Russian money. You know who else was willing to take it?

Matt Romney, as in Mitt’s son.

Wow. That’s going to be an awkward conversation at Thanksgiving dinner. Provided, of course, Senator Romney is consistent. Spoiler Alert: the only thing he’s consistent at is being inconsistent. Just like Leftists! Then again, using “Leftist” and “Mitt Romney” in the same sentence is repeating one’s self, but that’s neither here nor there.

The larger point here is we shouldn’t be calling anyone or any idea treasonous unless it actually is treasonous. A bold position, I know, but one that has to be made in today’s contentious ideological environment. Tulsi Gabbard’s concerns over biolabs in Ukraine simply doesn’t rise to the level of trying to overthrow the government or kill its leader. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar, an idiot, or both.

Or Mitt Romney, but I repeat myself.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week (and given the housing situation in California, it might not be a bad housing choice), the big news of the past week was Russia attacking Ukraine. Come to think of it, maybe living under a rock wouldn’t be a bad alternative to what we’re seeing now. As reports come in from the area, the world is shocked at Vladimir “I Am Former KGB and All I Got Was This Lousy Country” Putin’s actions and are urging Russia to stop its aggressive actions against Ukraine.

You know, seeing all these Leftist embrace freedom from tyranny is great, but that’s a post for another time. Instead, let’s turn our attentions to our on-again, off-again frienemy, Russia.

Russia

What the Left thinks it means – a foreign power with whom we have a complicated relationship

What it really means – a foreign power whose leadership wants to restart the Cold War and win it this time

It seems weird that within many of our lifetimes we were on the brink of nuclear war. At any moment, Russia or the US could launch missiles at each other and blow us all to hell. (On the plus side, it would have increased property values in New Jersey.) Those fears were dashed when Ronald Reagan, Patron Saint of Preventing America from Becoming USSR West, ended the Cold War by…and this is a radical strategy…treating the Soviets as the bad guys instead of treating them like an annoying brother-in-law who is staying with us until he can find a job even though it’s been 4 years and he’s been fired 43 times from the International House of Food Poisoning and he’s dumber than a bag of shi….

Sorry. Got a little too close to home there.

Anyway, as you might expect, there were some Russians who weren’t too keen on America winning the Cold War, one of them being Putin. And as a former member of the KGB, he had a vested interest in bringing back the Soviet Union. Then, he became President of Russia twice with a Putin puppet in office in between so he could keep tabs on the country (oh, and to exert his power to get what he wanted). And he didn’t even have to become a lobbyist to do it!

It’s safe to say he hasn’t gotten over his desire to bring about Soviet Union II: Electric Boogaloo, and his latest excursion into Ukraine is the latest move in that direction. Of course, the Left, who has been treating Russia in a manner that would make Sybil look stable, has been utterly mystified by Putin’s actions to date. Good thing we have President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on the case or we’d be really fucked! Remember when the President used his foreign policy expertise to make the country better and safer?

Neither can I.

Considering President Biden was at the helm when the Afghanistan withdrawal shitshow happened, let’s just say I have more faith Joy Behar says something sensible than I have in Biden’s diplomatic prowess. This was only strengthened after listening to the speech he gave last week announcing what NATO (i.e. our military) would be doing or not doing and the approval of economic sanctions, including freezing Russian assets in America. In other words, CNN and MSNBC might be in financial trouble soon.

Seriously, these steps make sense, but only if you apply a Cold War mentality to the modern world. Sanctions only work if they cause actual economic pain for the ones being sanctioned. Freezing Russian assets and going after their banks only goes so far, thanks to the advent of cryptocurrency. For any of the Congresscritters reading this, let me break it down for you. Cryptocurrency can circumvent the sanctions because a) the transfer of currency doesn’t go through banks, thus rendering the sanctions against the Russian banks meaningless, b) the Russians have a decided technological advantage over America, which translates to real power in the real world, and c) I’m pretty sure I’ve lost you by this point and I don’t have the patience, crayons, or hand puppets to explain it. Let’s just say it doesn’t end well.

Then, there’s the oil. Russia is sitting on a sizeable oil reserve, possibly enough to impact global oil prices. And if I remember correctly, oil is pretty useful in America. OPEC tolerates us, as long as we keep buying their oil at whatever price they set. On the other side of the equation, we have oil reserves and the ability to drill for it, but we lack the will, or more precisely the current Administration lacks the will. It’s not all Joe Biden’s fault, but the Left has some ‘splainin’ to do on the oil front.

There’s a third element not many people I’ve heard talk on the subject so far has broached: China. Over the past decade or so, Russia and China have started getting chummy again. For those familiar with history and, thus, doomed to watch it be repeated, that’s a bad thing. With the current situation, China stands to make some serious geopolitical bank the longer the situation in Ukraine goes. China needs oil to keep building its global stature while still being allowed to pollute the world because of their status as a developing country in the eyes of the global climate change cult. And who might just have a surplus of oil they might be willing to sell to China? That’s right, kids. It’s Russia. Sanctions or no sanctions, Russia and China will figure out a way to keep the oil flowing in a favorable direction.

On top of that, China holds a significant chunk of our national debt. Although “experts” tell us China wouldn’t use this as a weapon in this situation, the fact is we can’t completely rule it out. (Then again, these same “experts” were caught by surprise by Putin invading Ukraine in spite of the obvious red flags, so we might be able to take their expertise with a Mount Everest sized grain of salt.) It’s not that far-fetched to think China would sell or even trade some of our national debt to Russia for oil or cryptocurrency because they share the same basic opinion of America.

They hate us.

Outside of the economic sanctions, which appear to be as meaningful as Bill Clinton’s wedding vows, there’s the kinda-sorta-maybe-but-not-really threat of military action if Putin doesn’t straighten up and fly right. Of course, we as in America won’t be going to war. Oh, no! It’s going to be NATO…which means America will be going to war, but under the NATO flag. So…what are we hoping to accomplish here?

To hear the Left talk about it, it’s to deter Russia militarily. After all, who would want to go to war with America and its allies? Well…Russia and China might. And with the rest of NATO aside from us being more cheerleaders than military leaders, it’s pretty much us as in the US against them, and I’m not liking our chances. Sure, we have the tools and the talent, but we still need oil and our political leaders were stupid enough to sell national debt to China, creating a perfect storm of dumbfuckery second only to Twitter.

This idea is strengthened by how our NATO allies have stepped up to the plate. And by stepped up, I mean ran the other way by and large. And, yes, I’m looking at you, Germany. Seriously, finally coming through with helmets for Ukrainians, but expecting them to go get them? I long for the days of the quiet competence of Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage crisis after seeing the parade of idiocy at work here.

And all because the EU wants Russia’s oil.

Maybe it’s my Gen X cynicism talking here, but I don’t exactly trust Russia and Putin here. Years of living under threat of a nuclear winter that would make Ice Station Zebra look like Rio will do that to you. And with Putin wanting to get the band back together again to do a Cold War reunion tour, I think we need a lot more of my cynicism when looking at the Ukraine situation here and abroad.

Look at the number of Leftists coming out in support of Ukraine. To listen to them (and, really, I wouldn’t recommend it for long), Ukraine has a right to exist and their citizens need to be armed to protect themselves and fight for their freedom against the evil big bully Russia. President Biden himself even said America stands up to bullies! Yet, these same Leftists don’t apply the same sentiments to, oh I don’t know…gun owners, the Freedom Convoy, conservative speakers on college campuses, Israel, and so on. These Leftists are the very definition of sunshine patriots, who will stand up for our principles and freedoms at times like this, only to abandon them when they get in the way of their goals. And when you consider these same Leftists accused Russia of interfering in our elections for 4+ years with evidence so flimsy Scooby and the gang would figure out the mystery before the opening credits finished, I’m not willing to let them wrap themselves in the Ukrainian flag and lead the freedom parade.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, I have maintained the idea that Russia is a fair weather ally that needs to be scrutinized at regular intervals before taking them at their word. As Saint Ronald said, “Trust, but verify.” He was right then, and he’s right now.

Look, I know I’ve thrown a lot of information at you with this one, but it’s important to understand the various moving parts in this ever-changing situation. We can only hope our political and military leaders take the time to see the whole field and extrapolate viable strategies to mitigate loss.

So, we’re fucked.

Time to queue up “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.