A Pictures Tells A Thousand Words

In today’s newspaper, there is a picture of Japanese and Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels circling and spraying water on each other.  These were grown men dispatched by grown men’s governments playing like children.  It must have been pretty important to assemble all those ships.

The good news, of course, is they were shooting water at each other, not bullets.  This is actually a giant step up compared to the Syrian Government or the Libyan dissidents.  But why shoot water anyways?

How about control of uninhabited rocks lying in the Sea that separates China and Japan?  Sovereignty is pretty important each country says.  What they don’t say is that the minerals lying under the sea are pretty important too.  Which do you think is the greater motivating influence?

The hoot of this picture is that the Chinese vessel is from Taiwan, not mainland China who has previously claimed sovereignty over the entire sea area down to and including Vietnam and the Philippines.  I wonder what the Taiwanese are going to do if the real Chinese shows up?

So here’s a question.  Which area of the world seems more important to US interests, the Arab world or the Southeast Pacific?

In the olden days, the US would dispatch a warship or two to the regions.  Local countries that were acting out would suddenly get the message and simmer down.  Those days are gone.

But living today does not mean that international incidents up to and including hot shooting are impossible.  What needs to be different, however, is the role the US chooses to take.  In the Middle East, we are looking at third world mentality countries, desperately poor and largely uneducated.  And worst of all, dominated by a middle ages religion.

In Southeast Asia the conditions are quite different.  Southeast Pacific countries are engaged in international trade and have economies that are strong, populations that are educated, and no dominating theology.  So where should the US place its chips?

It would seem that geographically, the waters and their minerals, should be split among those neighboring countries.

Inviting representatives from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan to a US water park for negotiations might be an out of the box process starter.



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