Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Chinese Are Not Our Friends

Casting new light on the "cooperation" between the United States and China on the North Korea problem: China is helping Iran get the materials they need to construct nuclear missiles:
Officials plan to unseal a 118-count indictment Tuesday accusing a Chinese national of setting up a handful of fake companies to hide that he was selling millions of dollars in potential nuclear materials to Tehran.
It's a good thing we caught them. But how many networks like this are we privy to? How much of this kind of thing is going on behind our back?

Every time something like this-- Chinese hacker networks stealing defense information from government computers, Russian journalists murdered in the street by the FSB, secret lines of communication between Russia and Syria, say-- it belies the "partnerships" and "cooperation" we supposedly have with these countries. They are not our friends, no matter how much we want to believe it. They work toward our destruction.
The indictment will outline the financial conspiracy behind 58 different transactions, including shipments of various banned materials from China to Iran between 2006 and late 2008.

Among them:

* 33,000 pounds of a specialized aluminum alloy used almost exclusively in long-range missile production.
* 66,000 pounds of tungsten copper plate, which is used in missile guidance systems.
* 53,900 pounds of maraging steel rods, a superhard metal used in uranium enrichment and to make the casings for nuclear bombs.
And yet we act as if China is key to "pressuring" North Korea not to go ahead with their own missile plans.

Another article on this story has more information on the implication of British bank Lloyds TSB Bank plc, "which allowed Iran and other sanctioned countries illegal access to the U.S. financial system":
Prosecutors in January said they found evidence of Iranian interests trying to buy tungsten and other materials used in the guidance systems of long-range missiles. Lloyds wasn’t the bank involved in those attempts, prosecutors said.

At the time, Morgenthau said nine major foreign banks besides Lloyds were under investigation for using the same technique to disguise illegal money transfers. Credit Suisse Group AG and Barclays Plc have said they’re cooperating in the probe.

U.S. banks have software filters that look for entities barred from doing business in the country, prosecutors said. Lloyds stripped out identifying features on the wires so the filters wouldn’t catch them. Credit Suisse and Barclays say they are among the banks that have been probed for their handling of money subject to sanctions.
I am no anti-capitalist, but on questions of national security and national interest, the desire for profit must be curbed. Banks and other firms must not be allowed to bring about the conditions of destruction of free society just to obtain some filthy lucre.

But this is not just a question of desire for profit jeopardizing our national security. It is a revelation about the fundamental goals and positions of the Chinese government.

This should be a huge, huge story, a scandal splashed across the front page of every newspaper in the country. Here is our main "ally," the second biggest economy in the world after ourselves, who just a moment ago was "helping" us "put pressure" on another dangerous nuclear threat, caught red-handed pursuing a policy of helping another dangerous nuclear threat become more nuclear-enabled and more dangerous.

But it will not be a big story, because it contradicts our wishful thinking about China. China's just a country that wants to make money like any other, the story goes. They wouldn't do anything to sacrifice their economic stability. They are only involved in this for the money, they'll say. Those Chinese, they are unpredictable and strange.

No one wants to hear such a story because China provides massive exports to the United States; foolishly we have tied up our economy with theirs. (For this reason some make the mistaken argument-- see, for instance, the article "Eastern Exposure" by Gordon G. Chang in the April 6 issue of National Review-- that China therefore has more to lose from this economic downturn than the United States, because we at least do not rely on foreign customers.) The import-export balance is only part of the picture. The Chinese own large quantity of our debt, and aren't in debt themselves.

So this is not some sort of conspiracy-theory-mongering. It is a basic reality of the world, made evident periodically. But with our short-term, hopeful outlook, we always forget.

Charles Krauthammer, though, gets it:
Well, the administration is pretending, as we heard from Susan Rice, that China is on our side on this. It's not. It has no interest in weakening its ally and puppet in Pyongyang. It's working against us.

We are not going to get a resolution of any sort. Even if we did, it would have no influence.

As for the presidential statement, which is a weak alternative, as Bill indicated, we couldn't even get a presidential statement from the council because China objected to any expression and use of the word "concern," let alone "condemn" or "denounce."

So it's entirely a fantasy. But what makes it worse is that Obama, in Prague, spoke about getting the whole world behind us. He spoke about the international community, which is, in and of itself, is a fiction. He spoke about the U.N. and these resolutions having force, which is also a fiction.

He spoke about a world without nuclear weapons, which is beyond a fiction. It's a childish fantasy.

And what does he talk about? America signing the test ban treaty and working on START talks with the Russians. They are both useless.

Our only defense, our only incremental increase in our defense against these weapons is missile defense. And what the Obama administration announced a day after the launching of this missile from North Korea? A drastic cut in missile defense, which is our only hope of having something which would be effective.
And onward we march to the tune of Obama's childish fantasies...