Every once in a while, one of the jokes rings piercingly true. James Mann's latest is one of them. His mordant observation that China won the Iraq war (not Tehran) is undeniable. He is the Mann of “Rise of Vulcans” fame and turned out a very timely book earlier this year that the Stiftung is just turning to now. Benjamen Shobert writes a concise review for Asia Times here.
In a nutshell, his point is it is not the economic model that challenges Washington's failures, but the viability of a dictatorial political regime deliverying the goods and keeping the populace largely quiescenet (or afraid, in alliance with Google, Yahoo, etc.) Elites can be subborned as the Nomenklatura showed with cars and apartments. Much of what drives Putin's policies we believe can be gleaned from making this choice.
You can read Shobert's review for the details, about how Mann goes on to explain how Dubya helped the rise of the China model. A failed militarized foreign policy of freedom by force. Ding. And the government has managed to survive and control the Internets and communications. So it may not apply to Mush sitting there raging at the Indians, dumb Americans and his unreliable tribal chiefs. But it may well work elsewhere.
Mann calls for an end to the American religious devotional that trade and wealth equal democracy will go no where. (Something the Japan Lobby successfully obscure easily and cheaply for over half a century). Statecraft of that sort is beyond our reach at the moment. Perhaps after 2008. Even then we have doubts. Our Republic is likely entering new waters under new stars.
Remember the toss off line about jokes above? Even Al Gore can be right too, in his latest book title. A nation preocuppied by men petting Tyrannosaurs in museums, installing bibles in science classes, turning national politics into celebration of fetus power. All the while watching male Catholics becoming unhinged on TV raging that their long denied admission to the power club is allegedly finally threatened by surging brown people after the WASP club fell apart.
Tags: China, James Mann, Benjamn Shobert