Alleged experts, alleged hawks and the alleged China threat

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By Lev Navrozov

Lev Navrozov emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972 He settled in New York City where he quickly learned that there was no market for his eloquent and powerful English language attacks on the Soviet Union. To this day, he writes without fear or favor or the conventions of polite society. He chaired the "Alternative to the New York Times Committee" in 1980, challenged the editors of the New York Times to a debate (which they declined) and became a columnist for the New York City Tribune. His columns are today read in both English and Russian.
Lev Navrozov

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Washington Monthly" has published (July/August 2006) its assistant editor's 10-page attack on Michael Pillsbury, who has been studying China's geostrategy for many years. The author of the vicious lampoon, Soyoung Ho, is the daughter of a retired diplomat of a far-eastern country, and this is perhaps why she treats herself as the world's greatest expert on China and Pillsbury as an impudent imposter, "the China hawk with Rumsfeld's ear," as the subtitle of Ho's lampoon calls its target.

On p. 1 of Ms. Ho's lampoon we learn:

Thanks in part to Pillsbury's influence, the Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, or QDR-the blueprint for future defense strategy and spending-identifies China as the nation with "the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States."

If Pillsbury and the Pentagon had said that the dictatorship of China is developing post-nuclear superweapons, or "assassin's mace" weapons (as they are called by the dictators of China), we should have expected China's secret police to assassinate or kidnap Pillsbury. As it is, Ms. Ho notes, in the same paragraph, that "China" (read the secret police of China's dictatorship) "has been 'keeping tabs on Mr. Pillsbury.' For good reasons. . . ."

For good reasons?

But what did Pillsbury and the Pentagon's QDR say to deserve the "tabs" of China's secret police? China has the "greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States." It is the same as saying that having a population exceeding that of the United States more than 4 times and graduating, already today, 9 times as many engineers, certainly China (and not Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, or North Korea) will have the "greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States"-a phrase that does not mean that China will actually compete militarily with the United States. China just have the greatest potential to do so. But China's secret police is "keeping tabs on Mr. Pillsbury." To assassinate or kidnap Pillsbury for such malicious accusations of China?

As Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld was not prejudiced publicly for the dictatorship of China only once: when he wrote his memo for the first meeting of the National Security Council after President Bush's inauguration. But his memo was discarded by the National Security Council, and it became clear that the administration wants him to be pro-Chinese, and this is what he has been ever since. To Ms. Ho (p. 2), Rumsfeld and the White House are hawkish, and so they need Pillsbury, a "combative," "conspiratorial," and "ruthless" hawk with respect to China.

"Out-hawking the hawks," is the title of the section that begins on p. 2 of Ms. Ho's lampoon.

We learn that "nearly all" China experts are NOT hawks! They "have arrived at the same conclusion: that China's military is nowhere close to being a credible threat to the United States. . . ." P. 3 is devoted to similar self-congratulations of U.S. civilian and military officials. And while (p. 4) "nearly everyone agrees that China is far behind the United States in military capacity," that horrible Pillsbury-that hawk outhawking all hawks-speaks of China's development of "secret 'assassin's mace' weapons," able to destroy the West at one blow.

Ms. Ho is right in the sense that "nearly all" members of the U.S. political establishment and of the mainstream media are as ignorant about China's "assassin's mace" weapons as the Chinese were once ignorant of British machine-guns. It is true that "nearly all" these Americans are smug parochial savages as far as war is concerned, living geostrategically in 1945 and regarding the "atom bomb" as the most mass-destructive weapon" science and technology will ever conceive.

On p. 6, Ms. Ho discovers that a close examination of his [Pillsbury's] writings reveal a troubling approach to evidence and primary sources. A case in point is Pillsbury's paper "China's Military Strategy Toward the U.S.: A View from Open Sources" from November 2001.

In 2001, I copied this 27-page article and deposited it into my files for reference. Let me explain why.

The best evidence for scholars studying the geostrategy of China would be Hu Jintao's affidavit stating (under oath!) whether or not the dictatorship of China intends to annihilate the West (unless it surrenders unconditionally) with post-nuclear superweapons (called in China assassin's mace weapons). The affidavit could be sent out on demand, and thus the geostrategic situation would be clear after all major Western periodicals had printed the affidavit. Of course, it would be understood that never ever would Hu Jintao lie-under oath-for if he did, he would be voted out of his office, like a British prime minister in Parliament, or impeached, like a U.S. president.

In the West today Hu has never been addressed as Dictator Hu, and China's form of government is hardly ever called "dictatorship." But so it is. Hence the only way for a scholar to study China's geostrategy is to study the "open sources" of China's media. Which Pillsbury did in 2001, and his 27-page survey of them was the only important Western study of China's geostrategy as of 2001 or possibly ever since.

Of course, "the open sources" have never declared that China's dictatorship intends to annihilate the West by assassin's mace weapons (unless the West surrenders unconditionally), but they have been presenting today's geostrategy of China (see, for example, "Unrestricted War," published in Beijing in 1999) for the population to understand it without its key target, the West, mentioned.

Since Ms. Ho seems to know nothing about this geostrategy despite Pillsbury's 27-page study in 2001, I will explain its essence. If Hitler had concentrated resources on his development of nuclear weapons (which began more auspiciously in Germany in 1939 than in the United States until 1942) instead of launching conventional war in 1939, he would have assassin-maced the United States, Britain, and Russia with nuclear weapons and achieved world domination. As it was, he lost the conventional war and committed suicide. That's it! Except that the assassin's mace weapons developed today in China, in cooperation with Putin's Russia, differ from nuclear weapons as today's computers from the telegraph and radio of the 1940s.

What is Ms. Ho's criticism of Pillsbury's study of 2001? I will not go into her alleged discovery of alleged discrepancies in different translations of Chinese texts and other such alleged defects of the study that suggest, in Ms. Ho's opinion (p. 10), that "what those of us on the outside must decide once again, is whether the experts [like Pillsbury] that White House hawks [!] are choosing for their particular insight are really experts at all. . . ."

Ms. Ho's more substantial criticism we find on p. 8. She explains that the Chinese phrase "assassin's mace weapons" is "no more than a figure of speech." In European languages, they are called "post-nuclear superweapons." Is this also "no more than a figure of speech," coined by all those hawks in the White House and elsewhere? Were nuclear weapons also "no more than a figure of speech," and Hitler was right when he switched the resources off them into conventional war?

Some 19th-century Chinese believed that firearms are "no more than a figure of speech," since bullets can be dodged just like stones from a slingshot. Ms. Ho seems to be advising Westerners to dodge torrents of billions of nano molecules, able to destroy nuclear weapons, hidden for retaliation and thus to circumvent Mutual Assured Destruction. For post-nuclear superweaponry is "no more than a figure of speech," and all those who are concerned with defense against them are hawks, as well as scoundrels, cheats, imposters, and criminals, like Pillsbury, the worst of them all. We are lucky to have in our midst an omniscient noble lady, leading us . . . where? Into the death of the virtually defenseless West? Or is death also "no more than a figure of speech"?

Lev Navrozov's (] new book is available on-line at To request an outline of the book, send an e-mail to

Monday, July 24, 2006

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