Consider this opening paragraph from a New York Times article regarding the U.S. government’s arms sales to Taiwan:
“For the past year, China has adopted an increasingly muscular position toward the United States, berating American officials for the global economic crisis, stage-managing President Obama’s visit to China in November, refusing to back a tougher climate change agreement in Copenhagen and standing fast against American demands for tough new Security Council sanctions against Iran.”
The Times’ reporter obviously forgot to also mention China’s refusal to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to help the U.S. Empire with its occupations of those two countries.
You see, in the eyes of the U.S. Empire and mainstream reporters, it is considered “muscular” — as in flexing one’s muscles — as in getting too uppity or big for one’s britches — to fail to go along with official U.S. imperial policy.
Never mind that Chinese officials might think that imposing sanctions on Iran might be immoral, especially when sanctions are causing plane crashes that are killing crews and passengers. Never mind that they might find sanctions to be counter-productive. They’re not supposed to express such independent thoughts. When the world’s sole remaining empire wishes to implement a policy against another country, China and everyone else is expected to fall into line. Refusal to do so is muscular.
What if China doesn’t favor a tougher climate-change agreement? That’s irrelevant. All that matters is what the Empire wants. China is expected to go along. Failure to do so indicates that China is getting too independent, too aggressive, too muscular.
Don’t U.S. officials stage-manage visits by foreign rulers to the United States, especially those who refuse to bow to the U.S. Empire? Why is it considered normal when U.S. officials to do that but “muscular” when China does it?
And what’s wrong with berating U.S. officials for causing the global economic crisis? They did cause it, especially with their Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy and Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s reckless mortgage policies. What’s wrong with speaking the truth? Oh, that’s a super no-no in the mind of imperial officials and mainstream reporters. It may be true but China is not supposed to openly say it. China is expected to simply comment on how beautiful the U.S. president’s birthday suit is.
It’s no different with other independent-minded rulers, such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, or Kim Jong Il. Imperial officials and mainstream journalists will declare with much indignation that the reason they oppose such rulers is that they’re communists, terrorists, evil people, or whatever. But that’s not really what’s going on here. The reason that such rulers are resented by imperial officials and mainstream journalists is that they’re too “muscular” — that is, too independent of the Empire.
After all, don’t forget that the Empire has absolutely no reservations about partnering with brutal dictators, especially unelected ones. When that happens, mainstream reporters don’t even think twice about it. It’s just considered normal. It doesn’t even matter how badly the foreign ruler mistreats his own citizenry. All that matters is that the foreign ruler do the Empire’s bidding in international affairs.
Consider: the Shah of Iran. Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf, and the rulers of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, to mention just a few. They’re all brutal, authoritarian dictators or regimes that the U.S. government has partnered with or supported. Why? Because the rulers cooperate with the Empire, oftentimes in return for U.S. taxpayer money being funneled into their coffers.
This is what distinguishes the U.S. Empire from, say, the Roman Empire. The U.S. Empire doesn’t send U.S. officials to rule over its overseas domains. Instead it finds a local official to assume the reins of power, but only one who is pledged to fully cooperate with the Empire in international affairs. No getting too “muscular.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is selling some new weaponry to Taiwan. Of course, that’s not considered “muscular” or aggressive. According to the New York Times article, that’s considered to be “pushing back” against China’s “muscular” attitude of refusing to bow to U.S. imperial wishes.
We shouldn’t forget that it was China that loaned the Empire the money to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. Wait until China gets perturbed and decides to suddenly dump its massive amount of U.S. debt securities onto the market. No doubt U.S. imperialists and mainstream reporters will consider that to be “muscular” as well.