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Mike Pompeo's War Warning to China
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As President Trump flew home from his Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un, Mike Pompeo peeled off and flew to Manila. And there the Secretary of State made a startling declaration.

Any armed attack by China on a Philippine ship or plane in the South China Sea, he told the Philippine government, will be treated as an attack on an American ship or plane, bringing a U.S. military response.

“China’s island building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security and, therefore, economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States,” said Pompeo. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under article 4 of our mutual defense treaty.”

Article 4 requires the U.S. and the Philippines to come to the defense of the other if one is attacked. The treaty dates back to August 1951. There are Americans on Social Security who were not born when this Cold War treaty was signed.
Pompeo’s declaration amounts to a U.S. war guarantee.

Why would we make such a commitment? Why take such a risk?

Is Trump aware of what Pompeo’s promise could entail?

For years, Beijing has claimed as national territory virtually the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines all reject China’s claims to the Paracel and Spratly Islands within that sea. But Beijing has occupied and expanded half a dozen islets; landed planes and troops; and fortified them as military and naval bases.

Beijing is not going to give them up, and Manila is too weak to take them back. A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says a Philippine attempt to build on a disputed islet in the Spratly chain brought a flotilla of nearly 100 Chinese ships to halt Philippine construction.

Why did Pompeo issue this war guarantee?

Because Duterte and members of his Cabinet are unsure the U.S. would come to the defense of the Philippines in such a clash, and they believe their best course may be to appease Beijing, the rising power in Asia and the western Pacific.

Since the end of the Cold War, when Manila ordered us to vacate the Subic Bay Naval Base — only to invite us back when Manila grew nervous about her neighbors — and we were forced to abandon the Clark Air Base, the U.S. has not faced the fundamental question here.

Do we have a vital interest, justifying a war with China, in defending Manila’s claim to the Spratly Islands that China also claims, holds and defends as sovereign territory?

ORDER IT NOW

If so, how do we plan to get the Chinese off these islands, short of a naval and air war that could escalate? Is the Philippines capable of holding these islands if we help to retake them? Or would Manila rely on U.S. naval and air power in perpetuity to keep them?

Could America sustain such a commitment? More important, why should we? Has the White House thought through the implications of what the Pompeo threat may bring?

If the Chinese politely inform President Duterte that any attempt to take a Chinese-claimed island by force will be met by superior force, what do we do? Tell Duterte it is still his call, even if it means our war?

Is it wise for a great power to cede to a weak ally the ability to drag it into a great war? Ask the late Kaiser Wilhelm II.

When a Chinese fighter crashed into a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea in 2001, then-President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell apologized for the death of the Chinese pilot — to retrieve the crew China had interned on Hainan Island.

We were unprepared to confront China over an act of aggression over international waters. Yet we are now prepared to fight China over who owns and occupies Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal?

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal article “The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China,” writer Mark Helprin says America must “alter the correlation of military forces in the Western Pacific … so that it no longer moves rapidly and inevitably in China’s favor.”

He urges a massive buildup of U.S. ships, planes, missiles, troops and Marines all across the Asia-Pacific theater. And if we do not?

“Frankly, if we do not, the Pacific Coast of the United States will eventually look out upon a Chinese lake,” says Helprin.

Today, the U.S., $22 trillion in debt, has treaty commitments dating to the early Cold War to defend Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia, all thousands of miles of ocean away from the USA.

If Trump cannot cut back these war guarantees, who will?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
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  1. Anonymous[131] • Disclaimer says:

    A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says a Philippine attempt to build on a disputed islet in the Spratly chain brought a flotilla of nearly 100 Chinese ships to halt Philippine construction.

    The dispute islet you speak of is claimed by Taiwan, an ally of the United States. Taiwan used to have troop stationed on the islet and filed a protest over the Philippines’ takeover but is too weak to doing anything about it. If China wants to take over, it could have easily done it. The 100 Chinese ships surrounding the islet are fish boats.

  2. Old Prude says:

    Its a bitter pill. To be the top dog, bullying every body about, then realize a smarter kid is outsmarting you. Taiwan, Philippines, the South China Sea are not worth a war. What are the Chinese going to do with it, anywise? Embargo basketball shoes to the US? Pat, an American patriot, has always been smart enough to know that our best interests are served by avoiding all the meddling, which has in any case caused far more harm than good. Let the Chinese be boss of their neighborhood. Sounds like a problem for India, Japan, and Vietnam to me. We should be worried about Mexico, not the Philippines.

    • Agree: tamo
  3. Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime. It certainly appears that, one way or the other, they will get their war against someone, anyone. They may be concerned that time is running out, since their boss has less than a 50% chance of re-election. Let’s see, will it be Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia – or all of them at once?

    • Agree: SeekerofthePresence
    • Replies: @follyofwar
    , @Realist
  4. @follyofwar

    I take that back. I forgot about Queen Hillary and her delight over Colonel Gadhafi’s gruesome death by bayonet up the anus.

  5. 4000 Years civilization for China,
    Versus 242 for ‘Murica:
    Who wins contest of minds and wills for renminbi
    With gaseous protection genius pompous Pompei?

  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    There are more than a dozen uses of “we/us/our” in this column. None is in reference to the American people.

    Don’t fall for Mr. Buchanan’s pronoun propaganda. His dissent is condoned by the Establishment because he helps to keep Americans brainwashed into identifying with Uncle Sam, proud to see their kids’ names going up on green signs next to potholed bridges.

  7. Finally, Pompeo cites an actual legal treaty!

    Tell us Pat Buchanan, did he mention by any chance whether there exists a similar treaty with the foreign (and separate?) state of Israel?

    After all, he and bonkers bolton and the president act like there is one – making it seem more important than the Constitution.

    • Replies: @Christo
  8. RVBlake says:

    More 4-D chess, no doubt, allowing Pompeo and Bolton to swan about spewing whatever the Hell they want and in the meantime holding meetings in the White House with CEOs to discuss plans for increasing legal immigration.

  9. The Scalpel says: • Website

    If Trump cannot cut back these war guarantees, who will?

    Ans #1 He cannot
    Ans#2 nobody

    What will happen if the US guarantee is “called”?

    The US will, if necessary, use greasy lawyer language and domination of the legacy media to justify and manufacture consent for doing whatever the hell it wants, be that honoring the commitment or something less – just like always.

    Given the above, why should anyone take seriously any guarantee made by Pompeo?

    They should not.

  10. Realist says:
    @follyofwar

    Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime.

    These two dickheads were hand picked by Trump….but his base is too stupid to see Trump is a part of the Deep State.

  11. SM Chen says:

    Buchanan wrote : “For years, Beijing has claimed as national territory virtually the entire South

    China Sea. ” This is patently false. China only claim the Paracels and Spratley islands which Japan

    surrendered to China under the 1953 Treaty of Taipei. In the 1960/70’s, Pham Van Dong , the then

    premier of North Vietnam, in a letter to China recognised China’s sovereignty over the Paracels and

    the Spratleys.

  12. Christo says:
    @firstamongfirsts

    Well , there is the (still active)

    Memorandum of Agreement on Security Cooperation
    (October 31, 1998)

    “The United States Government would view with particular gravity direct threats to Israel’s security arising from the regional deployment of ballistic missiles of intermediate range or greater.
    In the event of such a threat, the United States Government would consult promptly with the Government of Israel,

    with respect to what support, diplomatic or otherwise, or assistance, , it can lend to Israel.”

    Realize as an indirect result of the USA withdrawing from the INF and accusing Russia of having IRBM’s(600 mile range , and the Crimiea being only 800 miles from Israel , this immediately gave Israel carte’ blanche for any and all defense “requests” the foreseeable future. This goes beyond even the previous status of Iran for all concerns presenting an IRBM threat as well.

    There is also the default alliance created by the USA recently building an Airbase inside the bounds of Israel’s Mashabim Air Base, near Dimona, that any air or actual missile attack on Israel will be considered an attack that threatened or was toward a US military installation.

    They got the US permanently allied/tied covering their butts . No need for further acknowledgment in writing required IMO.

  13. cuibono says:

    Wow, so that’s what trump, bonkers bolton and pompeo are doing in Venezuela – protecting Israel from Iranian “precision ballistic missiles Who knew?

    Glad they still have time to protect the interests of U.S. citizens.

    Still, “no need for further acknowledgement” of that ” in writing required IMO”. As the U.S. oath of allegiance implies, Israel First – every one else take a number……

  14. “Why would we make such a commitment? Why take such a risk?”

    Why, when Belgium invoked the 1839 Treaty of London, did Great Britain declare and wage war on Germany in 1914 ? Because they were cocksure that they plus France would have it under control.

    Maybe the Brits will be there with the HMS Queen Elizabeth to help us whip the Chinese back into their place. Who’s smoking the opium, I don’t know.

  15. Talking about “the worst deal in history”, has the president ever taken a gander at the US/Israel trade “deal” from the 1980’s?

    “Mutually beneficial” – I’m sure…

  16. This would be a perfect opportunity for the Democrats to separate themselves in a positive way. They could start impeachment hearings on Pompeo for usurping Congress’s power to declare war. Fortunately for Trump, they aren’t that smart. On the other hand, maybe it is 4D chess. Trump hasn’t actually started anything on his own, yet. NK, Syria, and Venezuela and of course the “pivot to Asia” were all started before he took office. So, impeach Pompeo to stop the warmongering or have it laid out that the Dumbocrats are responsible for all of the conflicts in which the US is mow engaged? Go on, I dare ya.

  17. tyrone says:

    Wow ,it’s a good thing Duterte is such a reasonable and level headed fellow ………OH! wait a minute I was thinking of someone else ……..never mind.

  18. Fight em now or learn mandarin…..choose

    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
  19. What ability do these presently united States have to project power into the South China Sea?
    Carrier groups? With what logistic support? Protected by what fleet? MEUs? Same questions….

    Philippine based aircraft? Where? With what logistics support? Protected by what anti-submarine force?

    Submarine launched conventional cruise missiles?

    This is not 1968, and Communist China in 2019 is NOT North Vietnam in 1968. Very far from it. And the US *is* also very far from the South China Sea.

    Regardless of the desire of the present Administration to project power into the South China Sea, and regardless of the wisdom or lack thereof in so desiring, the cold facts are that these presently united States CAN NOT sustain a prolonged conventional military effort in support of Philippine control of the Spratly Islands. We’d get whupped.

    • Agree: tamo
  20. @Vic Diamond

    You don’t have to fight anybody. If you fight China you will lose. You forget they have Russia as an ally thanks to US missteps. Fight nobody and learn Mandarin if you intend to do business in a large part of the world. Or don’t. This idea of forcing your way on everyone else is not a universal constant. It is just the American way.

  21. KenH says:

    Is Trump aware of what Pompeo’s promise could entail?

    Sometimes it hard to tell who’s in charge in the Trump administration. He hires people that don’t support his agenda and sometimes openly defy him. That’s not 4D chess it’s sheer stupidity.

    Obama only hired people who thought exactly like he did. I don’t know why this is so difficult for Trump to grasp as its just common sense.

    • Agree: TheBoom
  22. This is all an attempt to close the barn door after the horse left long ago.

    Where was the US government when global corporations were moving all their production facilities to China, and thus handing advanced technology over to the Chinese military?
    Where were the watchdogs when Clinton was selling rocket technology to China to line his personal pockets?
    Where were the pundits when Obama completely ignored China as it started to build on these islands?

    It’s a long perfidious list. And it’s laughably tragic when those such as the WSJ who are responsible for this mess now try to whip up support for a last stand.

    Meanwhile, 90% of this country’s resources are wasted on diversity, multiculturalism, civic nationalism, and affirmative action. Those efforts have compromised every segment of society including the defense industry and the military. Do you really think defense companies are still going to produce the advanced weapons, the force multipliers this country needs? Do you still think military effectiveness and readiness will not suffer with trannies, homos and women in the front lines?

    I give this country no more than 20 years before it all implodes. It was a grand experiment, but there were too many mistakes made along the way, and there are too many internal enemies taking advantage of them.

  23. Technomad says:

    Any time we really want to get China to stand down, whether over North Korea or these islands, we have the power to do so. All we have to do is to embargo Chinese goods from the American market and renounce all our debts to them. Without us, their wirtschaftswunder will be kaput, and the Mandate of Heaven will soon be passing to new hands.

  24. Erebus says:

    All we have to do is to embargo Chinese goods from the American market and renounce all our debts to them.

    Embargo?
    Do that, and virtually every American factory still running closes within 60-90 days. Spare parts for vehicles and countless other machines run out a few weeks later. Mid-West agri-businesses crash at the next harvest. Walmart shelves empty in 30 days. Great Depression II ain’t the half of it.

    Debt repudiation?
    Do that and all American companies operating in China get nationalized. They exceed the value of China’s UST holdings, so more than make up the difference.
    As a bonus, politicizing the UST causes CBs everywhere to start divesting in earnest. The flood of $$$ coming home in search of hard assets hyper-inflates the currency, or currency controls are instituted making the $$$ useless internationally. The US’ ability to replace Chinese supply internationally is crippled. The USM’s 100s of foreign bases, Embassies, Consulates, Trade Missions, etc etc can’t pay their rent, or their personnel.

    With what you’re suggesting, China loses an manageable portion of its GDP, but the US goes to the brink of implosion. Feeling lucky, punk?

  25. anon1 says:

    Such insanity. The USA foreign and military establishment is insane.

  26. Negotiate. I would happily use the presence of China in Central and South America and, for that matter, Africa, as bargaining chips to cede our interest in the South China Sea. Use the whole negotiation process to deal with Taiwan and the Korean peninsula. I would maintain close ties with Japan and Australia, on their perimeter. We have our neighborhood, they have theirs. Makes no sense at all the fight over the Spratleys when we gave away the Panama Canal. I am under no illusion that the Chinese will stand down if we did this. They are patient termites. We have been at war with them since 1949, but we cannot afford or win the SCS conflict. Better to shore up our own neighborhood, lick our financial wounds and prepare for the next round with our really diverse military (sarcasm).

  27. more4less says:

    Yes, let’s “shore up our own neighbourhood” – let’s do regime change in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

    That’s how we can “beat” China (and Russia and Iran and Syria and and and and and and and and……………..)

    No wonder folks like bonkers bolton and his fellow likudniks lost Iraq II hands down and stuck Americans with the bill (although they keep telling us that they were victorious, t’was every one else that failed and was dead wrong).

  28. well…looks like the Philippines is worried about the treaty and being pulled by America into war… Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has called for his side to conduct a review of the matter.

  29. For years, Beijing has claimed as national territory virtually the entire South China Sea.

    Correction! China has claimed that for centuries.

  30. Where was the US government when global corporations were moving all their production facilities to China, and thus handing advanced technology over to the Chinese military?
    Where were the watchdogs when Clinton was selling rocket technology to China to line his personal pockets?
    Where were the pundits when Obama completely ignored China as it started to build on these islands?

    The US government are, I would guess, almost all shareholders and they were rubbing their hands at the thought of all the lovely profits they were going to make by exploiting Chinese workers with a bonus of destroying the US industrial Trade Unions at the same time. Capitalists, at least the current crop, are short-termists with a perspective that stretches no more than about 18-36 months (if that) into the future. At the time you are talking about, all the present problems were “problems for someone else”, if they were even considered. As to handing over secrets to the Chinese military, the Chinese were going to fight the Russians, remember?

  31. “China’s island building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security and, therefore, economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States,” said Pompeo. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under article 4 of our mutual defense treaty.”

    Yerrss! Well, Harrumph! Cough. Ask the Iranians, the Russians, the Native Americans how much faith they would put in a US pledge of support on account of treaty committments, before you seriously upset the Chinese..

  32. lawless says:

    Pat, is this threat also covered by any law or treaty?:

    “Israeli Navy ready to block Iranian oil exports in transit” – Netanyahu – RT dot com – March 7th 2018.”

    Wow, the unilateral threat of Israeli naval attack on ships of other nations in international waters in support of unilateral United States sanctions. There’s clearly got to be some sort law justifying this rogue behaviour somewhere – right?

    Aside from Israeli courts that is…….

  33. A good summary of a ridiculous situation, bt then so much of what America does today is ridiculous.

    The American power establishment seems to believe there are unlimited resources for doing whatever it wants to do anywhere.

    Hell, what $21 trillion in debt?

    And why would you even choose to do this? China has some good historical basis for its claims on the South China Sea.

    And China is not telling everyone to avoid the Sea. It is saying that it is the administrator and regulator for many activities involving the sea’s resources, a reasonable thing to do.

    And how much more fitting in every way that China oversees and regulates than a country from 10,000 miles away running gunboats around.

    Of course, the real basis for this kind of activity is America’s new aggressive surge in the world towards full-spectrum dominance. My, what a creative goal for a great nation.

  34. Anon[147] • Disclaimer says:

    The “Three Stooges” of the Trump Admin, or maybe I should say Pence Admin, is hellbent on starting WWIII. Pence-Pompeo-Bolton is the new Axis of Evil. I don’t recall ever seeing a Vice President who is more involved in foreign policy than Mike Pence. He’s running the show and calling all the shots on foreign policy like he’s the president, emboldened by the financial backing of his Ziocon masters, stirring up shite all over the world from Syria to Iran, Yemen, China, NKorea, Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela. Trump has completely lost control of his foreign policy. What a loser.

  35. Ruprecht says:

    This will soon be a non-issue.

    Federal US court has ruled it’s unconstitutional to exclude women from mandatory draft registration.

    Now that princess will soon be eligible for the draft, the US will not be politically unable to fight any wars larger than Iraq 2003.

    The Booby explains it nicely here:

    https://theredfootedbooby.com/2019/02/26/in-the-news-u-s-federal-court-rules-women-are-not-exempt-from-registering-for-the-draft/

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