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Bomb Beijing! Er… Tehran!

[ 35 ] November 1, 2011 |

Hey now, it’s not as if knowing whether China has nuclear weapons is at all relevant to the practice of American foreign policy:

I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States… we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they’re a military threat. They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.

In the interest of balance and of due fairness to Herman Cain, the argument against the Chinese nuclear program is startlingly similar to the case against the Iranian, although I don’t believe that Iran is buidling aircraft carriers…

On a related note, the thought that Avigdor Lieberman was the only remaining obstacle to an Israeli-Iranian war is… alarming.  At times like this, I take some solace in the fact that the world exploding is Good for Rob. If the long nightmare of peace and prosperity that prevailed under Bill Clinton still held, I might not even have job…


Comments (35)

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  1. J.W. Hamner says:

    Well they don’t have nuclear aircraft carriers do they smart guy? Clearly that would make them a huge military threat in ways I can’t articulate, and that’s obviously what he meant to say but was thwarted by the librul media’s insistence on transcription of his actual spoken words.

  2. Ben says:

    Stupid statements are stupid, but this is more messing up an extemporaneous statement than not knowing China has nuclear weapons, right?

    “Developing nukes” means “acquiring nukes” in security parlance, but he’s using it like “improving or getting more” nukes, as he does in the second clause about aircraft carriers.

    However way you look at it, it’s a dumb statement, but this seems more like tripping over yourself while speaking publicly rather than a situation like Palin not knowing what the Bush Doctrine was.

    • Robert Farley says:

      I honestly don’t have the faintest idea whether Cain knows that China has nukes or not. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if someone found some past statement indicating that he is aware of this, but then I wouldn’t be surprised the other way, either. People who don’t pay attention to foreign policy can be staggeringly ignorant about the world; I say this with as little judgment as possible, because of course everyone has to focus his/her attention somewhere. But it really wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Cain had no idea China had nuclear missiles capable of hitting the US.

      • wiley says:

        What’s important is that they are a military threat that is trying to develop nuclear capability. Whether or not they already have a small stockpile of nuclear missiles mounted on long range missiles in a mobile network in order to avoid fixed targeting, what’s central to the point here is “potential” and “trying.” I think it’s self-explanatory if you just try not to make any sense of it.

      • ajay says:

        I would be prepared to bet that he doesn’t know France has nuclear weapons.

  3. witless chum says:

    I would think Herman Cain knows if the Chinese have nukes or not, but people can always surprise you with what they don’t know.

  4. mpowell says:

    Wait, did that onion article really appear in Jan of 2001? That is scary.

    • elm says:

      “Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close,” House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. “Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton’s America.”

      “For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped,” conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. “And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that’s all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up.”

      Dang, but isn’t the Onion prescient? Note to self: pay more attention to what the Onion has to say on politics. And stock tips. And maybe lottery numbers.

      • JMP says:

        “You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

        The Onion was really prescient with this one. It’s almost depressing to read now knowing how accurate it proved to be.

    • Jeremy says:

      I had the same thought, as I read the article with dismay. The Onion must have a time machine somewhere.

    • dave says:

      Your mistake is not realising that it was always obvious.

  5. wengler says:

    I don’t want Herman Cain directing foreign policy. All the Bush people would be back again, throwing tantrums and getting people killed.

    • Malaclypse says:

      All the Bush people would be back again, throwing tantrums and getting people killed.

      Name a Republican for which that won’t be true.

      • chris says:

        Ron Paul? Maybe? Not that he has a chance in hell of getting the nomination, let alone the election, but if he somehow did, it might be true.

      • witless chum says:

        I have some hopes for Romney, who I think would at least try to govern with corporate bottom lines as the highest priority. That would preclude any Bush-style foreign policy.

        But he has to staff his administration with Republicans who probably aren’t as big of phonies as he seems.

        • Malaclypse says:

          I have some hopes for Romney, who I think would at least try to govern with corporate bottom lines as the highest priority. That would preclude any Bush-style foreign policy.

          Do you remember who our last MBA President was?

        • Robert Farley says:

          I have an article coming out soon about this; while Romney’s foreign policy headliners are all neocon types, his East Asia team is helmed by moderate corporate types. Suggests to me that while he’s going to spout a lot of alarmist rhetoric about China, he also has an interest in keeping the commercial relationship in line.

          About Iran, we’re perhaps not so fortunate…

          • H-Bob says:

            If a Republican gets elected President in 2012 or 2016, the U.S. definitely is going to war with Iran. The real questions are whether China will do a “Suez” on the U.S. (i.e., tell us ixnay on the Iran invasion) and whether the U.S. responds by attacking China as well.
            Of course, the warmongers don’t realize that Iran had 3 times as many people as Iraq, plus the Iranian people will be relatively unified in their hostility to an invasion by the U.S. Not to mention that there is a reason why the “Persian Gulf” has that name.

            • Malaclypse says:

              Not to mention that there is a reason why the “Persian Gulf” has that name.

              My uncle learned in the late 1970s to refer to himself as Persian, because that meant that pretty much nobody knew he was Iranian. And the mouthbreathers know even less now than then.

  6. Ginger Yellow says:

    “When they ask me whether Chiney-chiney-stan-stan has nukes, I’ll just say I don’t know.”

  7. c u n d gulag says:

    If it came down to it, what did Cain think China would use to attack us?

    Wave after wave of soldiers firing extra-spicy dumplings, and using the latest stealth chop-stick technology to hold the high ground?

    It seems as if the candidates think surest bet to the Republican presidential nomination is to show your base how little you actually know about the world.

  8. Jay B. says:

    Nukes or not, the premise is fucking stupid. Why the hell would China be a military threat? They want us to be overextended, fat and stupid at home and continue to buy their shitty products. They are perfectly content to outdevelop us and create an infrastructure while assholes like Cain are doing everything they possibly can to prevent us from being competitive with them in nearly any field except wages and military expenditures.

    They’re doing fine without the need to threaten us.

  9. Edward Shaw says:

    There are always those stupid people who always want to say or even declare something about something they themselves even know nothing.
    Some Americans just want to jump upon conclusions based upon their imagination and break news coverd by money making presses.

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