Attack of the Sofa Samurais

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President Donald Trump and the neocon sofa samurais who surround him seem determined to pick a fight with China or Russia, or both at the same time.

Later this month, the US and China are due to try to end their long-running trade war which has damaged the economies of both nations.  At the heart of the trade dispute are soya beans and pork, the two principal American exports to China, as well as China’s efforts to grab US technology.

I find it amazing that, in 2019 high-tech America, the most important exports to China, aside from aircraft, are the humble soya bean and pigs.  Of course, they come from farm country, the heartland of Trump’s political support.

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Not a thought has been given to the hellish mistreatment of the pigs themselves, intelligent animals who are turned into inanimate objects known as ‘pork’, or the foul conditions their industrial breeding creates.

China will likely be the first to blink in this test of national wills.  It imports less from the US than it exports and is thus vulnerable to trade pressure.

But history amply shows that it’s a bad idea to push China into a corner and make it lose face.

Suave diplomacy is the way to deal with the proud, prickly Chinese.  They have refused to play by world trade rules, it is true, and need some serious arm-twisting.  But not at a time when the Pentagon is ostentatiously planning a war against China in the western Pacific.  The fuse has already been lit.

Meanwhile, the far right neocons, led by the unbalanced John Bolton, have convinced Trump to break the 1987 US-Soviet short and intermediate missile treaty signed by…

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