Yikes: China Is Acting Like Us

China’s new stealth bomber is a big upgrade. AP photo

You’ve read all the grumbling in the newspapers. Washington has been sputtering over China’s development of a stealth aircraft, a long-range shore-to-sea missile that could hit our carriers; building so many fighter planes and maybe soon an aircraft carrier.

Our side thinks that’s bad.

Why? It threatens the ability of our aircraft carriers, airplanes, submarines and surface combat ships to patrol just off China’s eastern shore. Most of them carry nuclear weapons or have quick access to them.

We tell the Chinese “don’t fret, we’re good guys, just patrolling to keep the peace. No intent to attack you.” But we attacked Libya. China did not.

Imagine things being turned around. China is the big naval power. Its carriers, surface vessels, subs and planes patrol off our east and west coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. They tell us “don’t worry, we’re good guys, just patrolling to keep the peace. Won’t attack you.”

Would we tolerate that? Very unlikely. We’d call that threatening our sphere of influence.

We supposedly do our patrolling to discourage China from attacking Taiwan. OK, but realistically how many Americans are ready to go to war to defend a far-off island nation that cannot defend itself?

Plus, we have China fairly hemmed in with Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and our current coziness with Vietnam.

So why all the fuss about China doing a little of what we do?

There’s been some interesting writing this year about what America says and what it does. We’re the peace guys, but we went into Vietnam, Somalia, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. We have all the overseas bases.

We preach democracy but support dictators where it suits our aims. We supported the Sunni king of Bahrain against the country’s 70 percent Shiite population. Why? Because our 5th Fleet is based there and it’s where our Kaneohe Marine Radio Battalion spooks flew in during the ’91 Gulf War.

We preach Middle East democracy, but would we recognize an elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood? Unlikely. We don’t recognize the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza.

I’m not saying all that is bad under the current circumstances, but it’s silly for us to keep criticizing others’ forms of government, for instance Cuba and Myanmar (Burma).

We keep painting ourselves as the White Hats while we do some of the same stuff as the Black Hats. It’s “do as we say, not as we do.”

So people outside laugh and point fingers at us and call us bullies and hypocrites. Often they are right.

Maybe we need some dictator friends. Let’s just say so up front and quit judging others by standards we’re unable to meet.