A Chinese Trifecta

On the occasion of the State visit by Chinese fascist junta leader President Hu Jintao, PJTV analysts Stephen Greene, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle look at the growth of Chinese economic and military power, and the challenges a rising dragon may pose for the US:

I thought Whittle’s observations on the Chinese military perceptive, particularly regarding the PLA’s focus on the top-line weapons without the support structure and the experience we and other great powers have had. And I agree with their “middle ground” approach to assessing the challenges posed by China: neither making light of them, nor going into a panic-driven depression on the assumption that all is lost. (Besides, preemptive surrender is France’s job.) For my own part, I see China not as our “great good friend” and not as a declared enemy (yet), but a strategic competitor whose assessments of its own interests often work at right angles to our perceptions of our interests. Diplomatic and economic competition and conflict is inevitable, but a shooting war is not. It all depends on how both sides manage their relations.

I do wish they had taken the time to talk more about China’s internal problems, because they’re serious and threaten China’s rise to Great-Power status and even its stability: banking regulations hiding bad loans that could make our situation look like chump change; rampant corruption that’s creating more and more popular resentment; the anger of rural workers who come to the cities to work and then don’t get paid; a ham-handed diplomacy that winds up scaring much of East and Southeast Asia into our arms; and an aging population that, as Mark Steyn has put it, means the nation will grow old before it grows rich.

One eye-popping fact: China has to add 17,000,000 jobs per year to keep up with population growth.

Like the Trifecta crew, I’m confident we’ll do fine in our competition with China… as long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

And you mocked Smart Power?

I'm so happy I get to stay!

**Posted by Phineas

So, Hu Jintao was feted last night at a state dinner, where the world was treated to a big announcement from President Obama of an important agreement between our landlords China and the poor house United States. What do you think it was? A way to euthanize the North Korean regime peacefully? A deal to bring China’s undervalued currency up to realistic levels? An agreement by China to release the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner from house arrest?

Don’t be so pedestrian, folks! I’m talking something really big: we get to keep the pandas!

Let’s also never forget that throughout our history our people have worked together for mutual progress. We’ve traded together for more than 200 years. We stood together in the Second World War. Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans have helped to build America, including many who join us here tonight.

The Chinese and American people work together and create new opportunities together every single day. Mr. President, today we’ve shown that our governments can work together as well, for our mutual benefit. And that includes this bit of news -— under a new agreement, our National Zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas.

There you have it, my friends, straight from the lip of the most powerful man in the world*. These are the fruits of the Smart Power we were promised in 2008.

Via Allahpundit, who collects some of the best snark on this.

*No, not Hu Jintao. The other guy!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Gruesome details emerge in the murder of WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl

We all know Pearl was murdered by 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, even though he’s never officially been charged with the crime.  The Washington Post writes today about a new report that reveals new details about Pearl’s murder. The report also concludes that KSM indeed was indeed his killer. Don’t read if you’ve got a weak stomach:

A recently completed investigation of the killing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan nine years ago makes public new evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative executed the Wall Street Journal reporter.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, who is being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — said at a military hearing in 2007 that he killed Pearl. But there have been lingering doubts about his involvement, and the United States has not charged him with the crime.

According to the new report, which was prepared by faculty members and students at Georgetown University, U.S. officials have concluded that vascular technology, or vein matching, shows that the hand of the unseen man who killed Pearl on video is that of Mohammed. The report also says Mohammed told the FBI that a senior al-Qaeda operative advised him to take control of Pearl from his original kidnappers.

The 31,000-word report, published in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity at www.publicintegrity.org, is among the most complete and graphic accounts of Pearl’s death. The 3 1/2-year investigation, called the Pearl Project, was led by Asra Q. Nomani, a former colleague of Pearl’s at the Journal, and Barbara Feinman Todd, director of the journalism program at Georgetown.

[…]

The report said Mohammed and two others arrived at the compound on the outskirts of Karachi, where Pearl was being held. According to the report, some U.S. and Pakistani officials think the accomplices were Mohammed’s nephews, including Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, who is also being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Mohammed slashed Pearl’s throat, killing him, but one of his accomplices failed to operate the video camera, which they had brought to capture the murder for propaganda purposes. Mohammed restaged the killing, this time decapitating Pearl, according to the report. He then dismembered Pearl’s body, and it was buried on the compound. Guards washed the bloody floor and then prayed, foreheads to the ground, on the same surface where their prisoner had just been killed, the report said.

The report said that 27 men, including guards and drivers, played a part in the kidnapping and murder, and that 14 remain free in Pakistan. Mohammed has not been charged with Pearl’s murder, in part because he first confessed while in CIA custody, where he was waterboarded 183 times. Prosecutors fear that his treatment at the hands of the agency could compromise any case, the report said.

You can read the full Pearl Project report here.

Never forget.

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