Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
It's 2026. China has been an economic powerhouse for the past 20 years. Personal incomes have grown (everybody in the world wants to buy the things they make, including not just small items but cars, computers, etc). Maybe even democracy, or some other forward-thinking governmental system, has taken hold in the former communist state - the population has rallied around good economic leaders who have so far generally stayed out of worldwide conflicts.
China also has the world's largest military - 5 million soldiers, with the most advanced missile technology and satellite weaponry.
Imagine also that the Chinese government gradually becomes unsettled with what's going on in the U.S. - the Americans continue to build dangerous weapons technologies, including biological warfare agents and nuclear weapons, and after all it was the U.S. that started the space weapons race. And though the U.S. has refrained from using the worst of these new weapons, they have nevertheless shown their willingness to proactively and pre-emptively use military force around the world when it's in their interest (Iraq, maybe a few bombings in Iran, North Korea, Africa, etc.).
Maybe we also have an election that looks questionable - charges of vote rigging, electronic machine manipulation, etc. - that puts a tough-talking, swaggering, volatile figure in power... someone like, oh let's say, George W. Bush. The international community pressures the U.S. to disclose the details of its activities, but the U.S. claims it cannot, for security reasons. China warns the U.S. and wants to get rid of specific weapons programs, but the U.N. refuses to act swiftly.
So the Chinese government decides that the world cannot afford the terror that is the American government, overthrows Washington and installs its brand of government on the U.S. It believes it will be greeted by the American people as enlightened liberators. In the process, thousands and thousands of American civilians are killed indiscriminately by Chinese bombing raids on weapons facilities. The two main political factions, which have split pretty evenly between the minorities and caucasians, fight brutally over who will take over the country when the Chinese leave, killing thousands more in race-tinged riots all over the country.
Would the Chinese action be right?
3,400 Iraqi civilians were killed in July 2006 alone. Are there really people who argue that Iraqis prefer this life to life under Saddam? I know the parallel is crude, and that the U.S. government is no Saddam. But sometimes we seem to forget that there's no rule that America has to be the world's superpower. We should be careful what precedents we set. World history has a long memory.