As has been noted and reported repeatedly over the past year, America is not just on a war footing now. We have never not been on a war footing, or actively fighting on at least one front since I was born, since the first Boomer was born, and for most of the 20th Century before then, not to mention much of the 19th Century, and a fair chunk of the one before that, even a hundred years prior to our Independence (all those Indian wars, remember? Or maybe we'd rather not).
Meanwhile, the Military Industrial Complex and the right-wing pundits who currently dominate the media landscape in the U.S.A. just now are agitating, slavering, and creaming in their dress uniforms over the incredibly profitable prospects of the biggest war ever yet to come: the war with China. Yes, Hu Jintao is a typical conservative political hack, the perfect Chinese equivalent to John Boehmer except in a bigger House. His and his party's policies on human rights, among other issues, still suck. But the current branding of him as a dictator, and of China as a dictatorship a la the kind we've always supported in the past like, say, Baby and Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, is sheer nonsense.
Having spent three years inside China, per my latest book, and experienced their educational, economic and political system first hand, the closest thing to a dictatorship China can be compared to is the United States House of Representatives. The Communist Party does dominate politics in Beijing. And in the major political hubs, and the provincial state houses. But in China, dominating politics is a long way from dominating people's behavior or beliefs, the way the Christian Confederates have done, say, in the Southern U.S. for the past 400 years.
What's really wrong with China is exactly what's really wrong with the USA, which is why they have been studiously copying us for the past 30 years: it's called Capitalism, which is, at least in practice, synonymous with corruption. China is utterly corrupt. But then, so is the American Congress. As well as the Chamber of Commerce, and most religious establishments going back to the first Pope. Or maybe at least, the second one.
But what China wants is not war, or world domination, unlike us (and our Imperial predecessors going back to Rome, which we now closely resemble). What China wants, just like any tough gangbanger in Bedford Stuyvesant, is respect. The kind Aretha wanted. The kind any modern woman wants (including, incidentally, in China). We have given them absolutely none during our entire history, and this is about to change. The fact they have been smarter, more resourceful, and less wasteful and corrupt than us is why we are in our respective positions now: them rising and us sinking.
But here's where our entire media empire falls on its face in it's predictions as to the future. China is not going to rule the world any time soon, and nor are we. Here's why: pollution, global warming, and astronomically rising health care costs. Our health care system is on the brink of disaster, and no one wants to make the sacrifices necessary to save it. Ditto the environment, and hence the economy. In China, which has 1.5 billion people, the overall health of the people, the land, and agricultural resources, indeed the air, forests and the water, are on the verge of total collapse. All of that booming industry, all of that GM agriculture, and the overall lack of sanitation and recycling there are such that another pandemic is inevitable, and the next one might just take all of us down. Just in terms of an oncoming epidemic of cancer alone will overwhelm China's medical system, just as the rising epidemic of obesity is going to overwhelm our own. And add the impact of diseases migrating north, taking out whole ecosystems and species, spells out disaster not just for China, but for we who are behaving no better than they, and subsequently the rest of the developed and developing world as well.
Unless, of course, somebody changes their tune, and their behavior, and fast. But then, that's not human nature. It's like waiting for Republicans to decide that maybe a little gun control might not be such a bad idea after all.