Military and press arrogance
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
2010 -- Both the military and the free press suffer from an arrogance
or mindset that the U. S. is a superpower militarily and economically.
It is neither.
In the Korean War, when the Chinese spilled over the Yalu River, we could have used nuclear, but we withdrew to minimize casualties leaving one-half of Korea to the communists. After ten years in Vietnam we withdrew to minimize casualties. We could have prevailed in Iraq and Afghanistan in four years like we did in World War II, but after seven and nine years respectively we are withdrawing to save casualties.
After Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we should know by now that more are willing to die to defend their culture and a government different from democracy. For five years, we tried to take a valley in Afghanistan and withdrew because more Afghans were willing to die to defend it. We can't get it through our heads that you can't change a country's culture militarily. And, more importantly, democracy comes from within. The military can't force feed it - and shouldn't. In the Muslim world, I helped liberate Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia sixty-eight years ago, and they have yet to opt for democracy.
Muslim world, more important than democracy and freedom is tribe and religion.
Nuclear and the Sixth Fleet are good to defend, but in today's globalization,
they are passé. After Tiananmen Square in 1989, the U. S. got the
U. N. General Assembly to adopt a resolution to investigate China on human
rights. China, using its economic influence, went to its friends in Africa
and the Pacific, and there has never been a hearing on the resolution.
In globalization, "It's the economy, stupid." Does anybody really
think we can defend Taiwan from China?
the case, but in 1961 President John F. Kennedy held hearings under the
War Powers Act of 1950, determining that, next to steel, textiles were
the second most important to our national security. Then, President Kennedy
saved the textile industry with his seven-point program. Competing in
the trade war in 1971, President Richard Nixon imposed a 10% surcharge
on imports when our trade deficit was a fraction of what it is today.
President Ronald Reagan protected steel, automobiles, semi-conductors
and machine tool production with restraint agreements and Harley-Davidson
motorcycles with safeguard measures under Section 201 of the Trade Act
calling for tariffs and quotas.
Now China, with its controlled capitalism, sets the pace. China has attracted our best of research, Bill Gates' Microsoft, and Andy Grove has closed Intel's Silicone Valley facility and develops the best of U. S. innovation in China. Germany, with its 19% VAT, makes a beachhead in Charleston, South Carolina, for green jobs with windmill production. Producing the parts in Germany, the 19% VAT is rebated on export to Charleston. Highballing the cost of production in Germany so as not to pay any income tax in Charleston and with shipping costs only 3%, Germany can produce green jobs 15% cheaper than any United States domestic production.
is fierce in the trade war, but people think we still have free trade.
You can't blame them because those in the free press, like Tom Friedman
of The New York Times, ignore the trade war and blame the loss of jobs
on education or innovation. Innovation is good, but the best of innovation
is developed off-shore. South Carolina needs to improve its education,
but we have enough skills to produce the "ultimate driving machine"
for BMW and the "Dreamliner" for Boeing. Now Washington blames
the loss of jobs on the recession instead of fifty years of off-shoring.
You can't blame Corporate America for off-shoring. It has to compete to
make a profit in globalization, and production and services can be produced
more economically off-shore. The task is to make it economically attractive
to produce once again in the United States. As Paul Craig Roberts, former
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Ronald Reagan, states: "The
only way the United States will again have an economy is by bringing back
the off-shored jobs."
subsidizes off-shoring with tax benefits and, fully aware of the trade
war, acts like the U. S. must be careful not to start one. David Gregory
of "Meet the Press" was talking about the severity of the recession
and someone exclaimed, "Americans just don't get it." That's
because the press and media don't give it to them. If the press and media
gave it to them, reported that every nation is building its economy in
globalization while the President and Congress campaign for contributions
and refuse to compete in the trade war, the fraud of Washington would
be exposed, and we could go back to work in America again.
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of the recently published book, Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2010, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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