“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Monroe Doctrine. Is it a dead letter as Chavez adjusts the balance in America?

The US Navy enters all international waters to assert and reassert the US right of free passage. It is necessary. It should also be so when it comes to policies, doctrine and laws. Laws and doctrines ignored, soon pass from the scene. They cease to be meaningful or relevant.

The Monroe Doctrine states three major ideas. It conveys that European countries cannot colonize in any of the Americas. It enforces Washington's rule of foreign policy, in which the U.S. will only be involved in European affairs if America's rights are disturbed. It also states the U.S. will consider any attempt at colonization a threat to its national security.

This week ITT was fined $100 million for transferring night vision technology to China. That follows a lengthy list of illegal security transfers to China. China is rapidly expanding her military infrastructure using much stolen US technology.

China has recently established a one trillion dollar fund to recycle excess dollars which she holds as a result of US trade surpluses. That money will be used to purchase hard assets such as oil, timber and ore reserves.

China has expanding interests in Latin America, especially Venezuela, which coincidentally has the regime in Latin America most hostile to US interests.

The US can always make a political decision to disengage from the Middle East. The US cannot disengage Venezuela from the Americas, nor can the US disengage from the social problems created in this hemisphere.

Is it the intention and policy of The United States of America to abandon the Monroe Doctrine? It seems to be.

CARACAS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China and Venezuela have expressed their wish to deepen their strategic association and cooperation during the three-day visit of a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

During his visit, Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, fulfilled a tight working schedule, speaking to senior Venezuelan officials to exchange ideas on the development of bilateral relations.

On Monday night, Li met Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, in the Miraflores presidential palace. There he said that since the establishment of the China-Venezuela strategic association, and especially in recent years, relations had entered a new phase characterized by frequent high-level visits, growing political trust and collaboration.

He added that China is certain that cooperation to the benefit of both nations is in the fundamental interest of both nations, and that China seeks to increase strategic consensus with Venezuela.

He also said that the CPC regards exchanges with the Fifth Republic Movement party, founded by Chavez, as very important and called for every closer cooperation between the two.

Chavez said that bilateral relations held many opportunities and good prospects. He emphasized the Venezuelan government's hopes to explore more collaboration with China in other fields.

Li and Chavez attended a Monday night event, where economic and technological cooperation agreements were signed.

Li also met senior members of Venezuela's economic cabinet to review economic cooperation agreements.

He also placed a floral wreath at the grave of South American liberation hero Simon Bolivar at the National Cemetery, and visited the Caracas house where Bolivar was born.

On Tuesday, Li met Cilia Flores, the president of Venezuela's legislature, the National Assembly. He also visited the Caracas offices of CNPC America Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp.

This is the first high-level official visit by a Chinese official since Zeng Qinghong, China's vice-president, visited Venezuela in January 2005.

China-Venezuela trade was 4.338 billion U.S. dollars in 2006, a record level and up 102.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Chinese official statistics. China and Venezuela established diplomatic relations in June 1974.


  1. They are now migrants:

    "Body washes ashore as 100 migrants reach Florida
    POSTED: 2:29 p.m. EDT, March 28, 2007

    • About 100 migrants from Haiti reach Florida after three weeks in boat
    • At least one person died in the crossing, U.S. Coast Guard official says
    • Haitians who illegally make it to U.S. are generally returned home
    Adjust font size:

    HALLANDALE BEACH, Florida (AP) -- More than 100 Haitian migrants reached South Florida shores Wednesday after at least three weeks in a dilapidated sailboat, officials said. "

  2. $4 Billion? Do you realize how small that number is?

    And, none of this has a thing to do with the Monroe Doctrine.

  3. This Chart shows that the Chinese hold about 4% of our debt. An amount about a half a trillion dollars.

  4. If you consider China peacefully expanding her economic interests in the Americas as classic colonization, which is forbidden by the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine if not the letter, then it is hard to reconcile Ronald Reagan looking the other way during the 1982 Falklands War, when the UK sent a fleet into the Western Hemisphere to defend a colony they had occupied continually since January 1833, nine years after the Monroe Doctrine was proclaimed. But then Britain is, like Cedarford likes to say, our "special friend".

  5. I don't get the connection between Haitians and Font Size.

  6. Jr. still has that old "shout out"
    "Kill the Hadji!"
    but has mellowed the past two days, now that he's aware that his Marine brothers are being prosecuted for murder, for doing in Haditha just what they did in Fallujah, a year eariler.
    Border agents are jailed for doing what they used to do and are sworn to do and paid to do.
    What's the problem?
    Get with the Postmodern Program!
    What a Bitch!

  7. Rufus:
    You might enjoy this.

    (and then you might like to simplify it so some of us Rubes will remember the lesson more than 30 minutes)

  8. That $4 billion investment will give one hell of a return. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union defied the Monroe Doctrine and suported Fidel Castro. That led to the Cuban missile crisis. Later, it supported insurgencies in Central America.

    For awhile Latin America turned to a model of liberalized trade and democracy. They have since back-tracked and are leaning towards a socialized command market.

    The Chinese have what apppears to be a successful authoritarian economic model. They are also developing their militarty at such a rapid pace the the US Sec DOD took special notice. Chinese increases in securing trade lines of strategic assets such as oil will require them to defend them, just as we do in the Middle East.

    If you think that is a good thing, we disagree. I see problems ahead and needlessly so. Why is everything so vital in the Middle East and hardly worth noting in the Americas?

  9. re: What a Bitch!

    Right. The Marine Corps is made up of mercenary bitches, with nothing better to do than try innocent grunts for shits and grins.

  10. I was calling 'Rat a Bitch, as many are wont to do.
    ...and I do believe the ROE's have been applied in a manner lacking connection to reality.
    Leading to unnecessary misery.

  11. 2164th: "The Chinese have what apppears to be a successful authoritarian economic model."

    Not so. What they have is pure robber-baron capitalism with sweat shops, pollution, and the whole nine yards, ala America in the 1890s, with a ruling class called the Communist Party which no longer even pretends to believe their own rhetoric.

    The best case scenario is that China executes its promised "peaceful rise", and Taiwan voluntarily reunifies with the mainland out of pride and a desire to be part of Greater China.

    The worst case scenario has China in the role of Imperial Japan in the Pacific War, with an aggressive blue-water navy, forcibly annexing Taiwan and challenging the United States for control of dwindling middle east oil supplies. I lean toward the latter, for it came as a shock the other day when it was revealed that the second largest oil field in the world has peaked in production, and Saudi Arabia is next.

    On the other side of world peak oil, America may choose to preserve her economic hegemony by directly administrating the oil fields throughout the Gulf, adding Iranian fields to the Iraqi, Kuwaiti, and Qatari fields currently under her thumb, and intimidating the Saudis into yielding control of Aramco back to Chevron. This will require an abandonment of the current President's "Democracy in the Middle East" project and the brute projection of power, coupled with a willingness to ignore the objections of Old Europe and an eagerness to go toe-to-toe against China on the high seas. The alternative is an economic depression that will make the 1930s look like a pothole.

  12. Also, T, that big Mexican field has dropped by 500,000 barrels/day in just the last year. That has shocked the shit out of some folks.

    We're okay, though; we can produce all the fuels we need through biofuels.

  13. Doug, the one take-away from the China deal is, "Never, ever pay any attention, whatsoever, to trade numbers."

    They are of absolutely no importance, whatsoever. Trade is a "self-correcting" system.

  14. doug,

    My complaints about RoE are legion. That does not mean, in the instance, that these Marines are being railroaded, as DR clearly implies.

    As written earlier, all policy makers are fair game. The troops are not.

    My use of "bitch" was simply to provide a frame of reference. I took nothing personal from it.

  15. "Glowing and Glowering: Two Views on Dubai" »
    Starling answers Dick Morris.
    ...and further reports from Dubai.

  16. Allen,
    I'm interested in your opinion of Starling's Read.

  17. Starling said, "Personally I think the UAE is wrong to participate in the boycott of Israel, but I allow that it is their right to do so."

    Not only is it "wrong", it is contrary to their WTO membership, as I recall. Of course, the Saudis are doing the same thing, with impunity. Somehow, the same cast of characters keeps getting a free pass. Would money have anything to do with that, I wonder?

  18. Starling wrote, "(2) stop viewing everything in the Middle East through the prism of Israel/Jew vs. Arab/Muslim." (With reference to Dick Morris)

    That will be so much easier, when the Arab/Muslims stop viewing the world through this prism. The policies of the Arab League and Hamas differ only in the time frame of Jewish extermination and the level of duplicity appropriate to that end. Hamas is up front, Dubai is backdoor. (I exaggerate, but not outside the bounds of reason.)

  19. " Would money have anything to do with that, I wonder? "
    Certainly not for Bubba, Herber Walker, ...or Hillary!

    Giuliani is the only Pol that comes readily to mind turning down Arab bucks.

  20. Saudi King Condemns Iraq Occupation
    At an Arab summit, King Abdullah called the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq an “illegitimate foreign occupation.”

  21. allen, allen, allen.
    What I imply is that the enlisted Marines in Haditha were ill trained and mis-tasked.

    I speak not of the Staff Sergeant, all of 25 years of age, who shot the four men in the back, but the two LanceCpl. those that were tasked to clear the house, by the SSG and an Lt.

    I am implying that tactics which were used by those two Marines in Fallujah, they duplicated in Haditha. Quite likely in violation of the RoE at the time, in Haditha. But for those two, perhaps not, depending upon the orders the SSG and Lt gave them. Expecting an E3 Marine to tell his SSG or LT, in the heat of combat, that they are being given illegal orders of, "Shoot first, ask questions later" and were refusing to obey them, is not realistic.

    At least they were reportedly ordered to "Shoot first, ask questions later".
    That is one of the statements attributed to that SSG, by the Corps.

    How were those two EMs retrained, while rotated back to the States? Was their Stateside training adapted to the new Standard. Did they spend week upon week running mockup house clearing, those two combat veterans, to the new Standard? Was the SSG their trainer, or did he train with them, to meet the new, changed, RoE Standard
    To reprogram their SOPs from their previous deployment. I'd bet not.

    The Marines did not change their cultural MINDSET, from that of Combat Warriors to that of Civil Policemen. Jr is proof enough of that, to me at least.

    The Military is imperfect. The Marines Corps failed, "abandoned" was the word used by one mother, those two young enlisted men.

    The Marines, brothers forever, unless political expediency demands a Show Trial sacrifice of a couple of them.

    Perhaps they'll get a fair shake, perhaps not.
    Regardless they've been screwed.

  22. Hewitt refers (semi-approvingly, I think) to

    "Olmert's over the top to the kidnapping of two Israelis"
    Weren't missiles already flying also?


  24. DR,

    re: Perhaps they'll get a fair shake, perhaps not.
    Regardless they've been screwed.

    Brilliant analysis! Can't lose when you cover all the bases or not, maybe, hey.

  25. At least you admit the part about them getting screwed, allen, without argument.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. If everything else passd the allen muster of fairness and brillance, I'm home free.

  28. DR,

    I admitted no such thing. But I can see where you would think so.

    When the courts martial end, the facts will be established. While less fun for some than making stuff up and smearing the Marine Corps, truth will out.