Why Spy: Round II

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"Rediscover
with joy and wonder that the world is no longer a slave to the inevitable.
This world of ours can change: peace is possible even where for
too long there has been fighting and death."

~
Pope John Paul II in his 2001 Easter Sermon

With
our US servicemen and women home safely from China, now is the time
to reflect on what spying on China portends for Americans in general,
and not just the Chinese or our military captives. The stats
on the EP-3 are well known. It's a four prop, specially modified
electronic surveillance plane designed to pick up radio, cell-phone
calls, telephone calls, emails, and the like. Folks, I'm sure the
Chinese had better physicists than I pretend to be, and since they
knew these flights were taking place (along with who knows how many
CIA double-agents), any hush-hush military strategy session would
be taking place in electronically shielded military facilities.
Can you imagine two Chinese generals discussing nuclear strike plans
on cell phones? Well, if their military keeps secrets like
ours
, maybe that's a bad example.

So what is the purpose of our surveillance flights? In a word: Intimidation.
We aren't there to figure out if the Chinese are about to launch
a 6,300-mile amphibious invasion of the United States. With sateliliites
capable of
this
, 10 years ago no less, we aren't even there to glean information
about an imminent invasion of Taiwan. We're there to show the Chinese
who's boss. We're there to “send a message” as the politicians love
to say. We're there because we have the “defense” budget to do it;
we have the equipment to do it; we have the personnel to do it;
and we have a fun house
full of generals and defense industry lobbyists (or do I repeat
myself) with a Cold War mentality who have always done it, and are
itching for Cold War II in order to keep doing it.

With
the flimsy justification of "We have to know what China's doing!"
as the official war party line, allow me to point out several reasons
why support for continued military harassment of China is a very
bad idea.

  1. Escalation
    from Cold War II to World War III
    – The USS Kitty Hawk
    is sailing to the South China Sea, stocked with 70 fighters
    to escort our next EP-3. What better way to get into a shooting
    war with China than to start spying again within seconds of
    having our personnel returned? The "double sorry apology
    that wasn't" is still echoing in their ears, as the din
    of another EP-3 reverberates through Beijing. Only this time
    we have some escort fighters to shoot down any Chinese that
    dare to "aggressively intercept" our new spy plane.
    The best case scenario right now is that after a few weeks
    of showing China who's boss, the media in the United States
    of Amnesia will lose interest and the Kitty Hawk will be quietly
    re-deployed elsewhere. The worst case is another incident
    that leads to shooting, and then more shooting. Putting an
    aircraft carrier stocked full of fighters just off the coast
    of China is a provocation no matter how you look at it. When
    I visit relatives in Florida, we routinely go fishing more
    than twelve miles offshore. I can't imagine trolling along,
    and suddenly spotting a hulking gray mass coming ever closer
    and clearer only to make out a single red start amidst all
    the gray paint. But that's what Chinese fishermen will see
    when venturing out to make their catch, with the exception
    being the color of the star.

  2. Loss
    of Liberty at Home
    — The relatively small invasion of
    privacy meted out to the handful of Chinese civilians who
    had phone calls tapped and emails read as part of the larger
    surveillance net designed to pick up Chinese military and
    government communications could be considered electronic collateral
    damage. The fact that our military see no problem with picking
    up a phone call or two of foreign civilians begs the question:
    Shouldn't our military and government recognize that the only
    difference between the natural civil rights of foreign civilians
    and American citizens is which government is supposed to protect
    them? After all, we don't just let our military go around
    doing things to other civilians they wouldn't do to us, right?
    Then again, maybe not. Viewed in this light, it's obvious
    why the CIA, FBI, NSA, and military have fewer and fewer reservations
    about trampling our liberties. They invade our privacy (Carnivore
    and Echelon) and watch us without our consent or knowledge
    (Superbowl face-cams, bank wire transfer tracking, highway
    traffic cameras, cameras in downtown areas, etc.). These people
    think the only reason we have civil rights at all is due to
    some artificial distinction called United States Citizenship,
    instead of natural rights or moral mandate. It's easy to ignore
    an artificial designation for convenience sake, compared to
    an educated government that realizes it's in place to protect
    our liberties. The Declaration of Independence and our heritage
    of rule of law does not limit natural rights to just Americans.
    Dusty old notions like universal humanity, innocence until
    proven guilty and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
    should apply to the way the United States treats the Chinese
    and other citizens of the world. It is the height of hypocrisy
    for our politicians to lecture the Chinese about human rights
    after taking the life, violating the property, and invading
    the privacy of the Chinese people.

  3. Economic
    Downturn becomes Economic Meltdown (China Syndrome)

    The last thing you want during a recession is a sudden decrease
    in supply and an increase in prices for consumer goods. Refer
    to the Hawley-Smoot tariffs for a lesson in strangling trade
    known as the Great Depression. Naturally, the unions are on
    the side of the war-hawks for the imposition of economic sanctions,
    revocation of most-favored-nation trading status, and the
    resulting increase in demand for domestic union goods. The
    jingoistic tune in Washington D.C. is music to the ears of
    the defense industry and the labor unions that build the bombs,
    planes, and other "military hardware".

  4. Increased
    Defense Spending
    – With national wealth destruction
    day, April 16th, so recently past, consider that about $1
    of every $3 you paid over the last year, and are paying even
    now, went to funding the “secret
    empire”
    of United States military personnel, bases and
    equipment stationed oversees. So, as the pundits
    foam and froth for war
    with a country an ocean away, remember
    who pays now in treasure, and who might pay later in blood.
    As usual, it won't be the laptop
    bombardiers.

China
is not the new Soviet Union. Jiang Zemin is not the new Adolph Hitler.
Stop the spying.

April
20, 2001

John Keller
[send
him mail]
owns a Technology
Consulting
and a Real
Estate
business in Atlanta, GA.

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