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COMING SHIFTS IN PACIFIC POWER BALANCE

f the outcome of the Cold War has shown one thing, it's that economic power begets military power -- and not vice versa.
     Today American power is unrivaled, the product of three centuries of unbroken industrial and territorial expansion. A half century ago its sole Pacific rival was Japan, a nation that had begun building an industrial base a mere seven decades earlier. Today Japan is wealthy but stagnant and adrift, its spiritual and political back never having mended after having been shattered by World War II and subsequent occupation.
     While not entirely writing off Japan's potential to pose new challenges, the U.S. has begun eyeing China as the next strategic rival.
     Barely three decades after China began ditching its centralized command economy for the glories of capitalist wealth, most of its 1.25 billion citizens remain mired in an agrarian subsistence economy. But the 125 million Chinese participating in the industrial economy of the coastal regions have fueled China's drive for superpower status. By 2015 it will match the U.S. in GDP -- then double it by 2025. Militarily China has been a formidable land power since the Corean War. Now the Red Army is acquiring state-of-the-art warplanes, missiles and submarines. It has announced plans to send a man into space by 2005. China's overriding aim is to keep the Pacific from becoming an American pond.
     Any shift in the Pacific power balance must also take into account the two Coreas, Taiwan and Russia. At any given time each of these nations are triangulating a course of maximum advantage with reference to the U.S., China and Japan. The precise posture these nations ultimately adopt may well tip the balance.
     How will the Pacific power balance shift in the coming decades? What developments will pose the greatest threats to American power?

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WHAT YOU SAY

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(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:10:16 PM)

To Ahankara,

It seems that most of your friends are rational people for can tell facts from fiction. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t share your friends’ views of evolution. In polls, nearly half of American adults say they believe in a biblical interpretation of creation, and only one in 10 believes in a purely scientific explanation of evolution. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/ DailyNews/evolutionviews990816.html In the end, it is not what your friends think that is important, but what the majority and especially what those in power believe in that matters.

The Abrahamic faiths have been placed under a microscope these days. The so-called “anti-Semitic” words confided by Billy Graham thirty years ago to President Nixon are curious to me not so much because of the outrage it has generated recently but rather the insight it has provided us concerning U.S. foreign policy. Billy Graham is a religious heavyweight. Billy Graham’s impact on Christianity is unrivaled in American history. When he speaks, the President listens because he knows millions of Christian votes and dollars are on the balance. Israeli politicians have acknowledged that no one has influenced American support of Israel as much as Billy Graham. Presidents come and go, but Billy Graham has been a fixture in American-Israeli relations.

Billy Graham is a major supporter of Israel. Not that Billy particularly cared for the Jews, but because he espouses an American variant of Christianity that believes the rebirth of the nation of Israel is a sign that the Rapture is at hand, whereby Christians are miraculously lifted up into the air to heaven. Likewise, the Jews didn’t exactly believe in Billy’s message, but they supported him anyway because he was a staunch supporter of Israel. A strange sort of symbiotic relationship developed between Billy and his Jews. The Jews made Billy Graham, a relatively unknown Southern Baptist minister, the greatest televangelist by giving him airtime, knowing full well Billy Graham was preaching something that was not fit for their own kids. Thus, Billy and his Jews were responsible for perpetrating the greatest spiritual alteration on the American psyche.

Huntington, in his book “Clash of Civilizations,” sees the post-Cold War world divided into civilizations along ethnic/religious lines. His work has generated more debate worldwide than any other political science work since the 1940’s. What Huntington did not do (and how could he, being the esteemed Harvard professor and considering the reputation he worked so hard to achieve) was to question the morality and sanity of the Christian West civilization in the coming world conflict. That responsibility falls upon us Asians and anyone who cares about humanity.

Billy and the Jews..... Amen!
   Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 00:47:58 (PST)

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