Don’t Lift That Embargo!

The Apocalypse is officially nigh: I, Raywat Deonandan, actually agree with a neocon position, to wit their missive on the PNAC website titled, Europe, China and the Arms Embargo: The Implications of European-Chinese Partnership for American Interests. Specifically, I think it’s irresponsible for Europe to be moving toward lifting the West’s embargo of arms sales to China, though perhaps my motivations are different from those of PNAC.

First off, Europe’s position is, in my opinion, driven mostly by the French agenda, which has always been to sell as many arms as possible to n’importe qui, regardless of the buyer’s intentions or abuse record. I defend the French at every turn, since they are culturally attacked at every front on this continent; but in this matter they are clearly the transgressors. It is interesting that the question of lifting the embargo comes just as China rattles its sabre anew at offshore Taiwan, inching the world ever so closer to a Sino-American showdown.

Secondly, since the embargo was put in place, China’s human rights record has not improved appreciably. Thus the only motivation for lifting the embargo is that China now represents the juiciest market in the world for such things; there is a great deal of money to be made right now, and to hell with the consequences.

This position in no way contradicts my position on the lifting of other embargos, such as that against long suffering Cuba. Commerce has been shown on many occasions to be a liberating force in oppressed communities; trade should not be denied the people of Cuba, North Korea or anywhere else labelled as a dictatorial rogue nation. But the arms embargo against China is just that: an arms embargo. Western nations are free to trade pretty much any other product with the Asian giant, as well they should.

On the other hand, there’s a twisted argument that by increasing China’s supply of conventional weaponry, the chances of a nuclear exchange are minimized. Interesting, but it’s a bit of a long shot.

Meanwhile, “Anonymous” sent me the story about the US misleading its allies about North Korea’s commercial nuclear ambitions. What more can be said? This administration has learned that it can distort the truth to any extent that it likes with no consequences. I expect increasingly more dubious claims in the future.