Plane forced down in China (political) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Most of you are by now aware that one of our Navy spy planes made an emergency forced landing in China this weekend. The Chinese are holding our people, although the plane was over international waters when the Chinese fighters began the conflict. What do you think the US stance should be? Should we negotiate and hope they let our people come home? Should we demand them and the plane back and offer specific consequences if China does not comply? How serious do you see this? How do you think it will or should affect Sino-American relations? Just curious and nosey. Thanks.

-- Green (, April 03, 2001


Wanted to get this on the main board. With just one clarification. China deems its international waters 200 miles from its boarders. Just because we deem it to be less doesn't make it so. We were, under their guidelines, in their air space. Hope Bush gets some intelligent help when speaking to them. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, April 03, 2001.

With our spys circling the planet that can read our newspapers over our shoulders why are we sending out planes? .....Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (, April 03, 2001.

We can demand all we want.We have a snowballs chance in a warm place of getting our plane back.Think we would return one of their's?The part about this that bugs me is the plane was 80 miles out to sea when it was rammed.Why did the pilot turn around and land on enemy soil?This type of plane is fitted with destruct devices.There is a rumor that the destructs have no time delay.That is one reason that Gary Powers did not use his on the U2.Even if that was the case,the pilot in command could have ejected his crew and then did the honorable thing.If this crew comes home I think a court marshal is in order.We now have more technology in the hands of an enemy state.As far as Chinese Us relations go we are the biggest sales partner they have for hard currency.The over all plan is for them to develop emerging nations as markets by then the Us is expected to have sufficiently weakened itself that we can be desposed of.Even with the missle technology that Clinton supplied to China their missles can only reach the US west coast.Is the left coast such a big loss? They won't go to war over this.They still need us in the near term.Besides they already have what they want.The window to call in an announced air strike on the plane has long passed.Now they get to keep the tech. AND watch us be babies about it.

-- greg (, April 03, 2001.

Greg, don't forget that China now controls both ends of the Panama Canal. I beleive they also are in the former Long Beach Naval Base. they are alot closer to us US then we realize.

-- Martha Matthews (, April 03, 2001.

This could spiral into a very bad situation and it will certainly be a good test of our new President's leadership. China's claim of extended airspace sovereignty out to 200 nautical miles is not recognized by any other country, 12 miles is the accepted standard for free passage of ships at sea and aircraft aloft, some countries do claim fishing and or mineral rights beyond 12 miles but China's territorial claims are unreasonable in comparsion to the rest of the world. I don't think we owe an apology to China for the less than competent pilots in Chinese fighters who are unable to keep an assured safe distance from a very large and slow 4 engine aircraft flying in what the rest of the world recognizes as international airspace. By failing to return our crew, and the plane in a timely manner the Chinese are helping to ensure the U.S. will sell weapons to Taiwan, and we will probably be sailing ships and flying planes up and down China's coasts. What bothers me is why the aircraft commander didn't ditch the plane out to sea, I can't imagine why he would fly inland. I think we should inform the Chinese we are now going to reciprocate and claim a two hundred mile territory limit, this limit applying only to Chinese vessels and aircraft, and any Chinese surveilance craft will be so closely followed that mid air collisions and ship to ship collisions will likey occur, so sorry, our deepest regrets. Actually, I hope cooler heads than mine prevail but the Chinese need to understand they stand more to lose than gain by prolonging this.

My two cents worth,


-- Robert (, April 03, 2001.

I believe the pilot should have ditched the plane rather than letting it get into China'a hands. Pretty much I concur with Greg and Bob (I think), this is a hostage situation in my book since they were over international waters at the time of the altercation. Which just makes the pilot going to the mainland more suspicious.

I think we should stop trade until they release and state their 12 mile territory the same as every other country. But Disney et al would just die if the trade with China was stopped. We have a hairy situation here.

Does anyone know if the Chinese troops in Alaska are still there? Maybe we can play chess? Also I am wondering if they finished their one mile deep "lab"??? I don't know when they started on that, but there is only one use for it, in my opinion.

-- Doreen (, April 03, 2001.

What I see here,But take into account I'm a slow learner and not to swift.When Bush was running for president he said he was going to increase defence spending.I thought that would be a waste of money considering we had no enemys that were a major power country.Now we have this plane that has the lastest spy technology and the Chinese have it.Maybe we can now justify spending a few billion dollars because this latest technology is revealed to our ENEMY?Also a coincidence is the other major power, Russia has had a spy for the last 15 years in this country and he sold the Russians all our lastest spy and ease dropping technology.If we are realy on unfriendly terms with China why don't we threaten them by telling them if they don't comply with our demand for the airplane ,we're gonna give Americans back all the jobs that were lost here and sent to China.That should scare them.Eveything I buy wether it's parts for my Ford,work shoes, tools,it seems to be made in China. And I go out of my way to get american made goods which are getting harder and harder to find.George bush senior paved the way for buisnesses to leave the U.S. for China by a trade agreement he help put together in the early 90's.His brother was doing buisness with China after the agreement.Surely the Chinese must have some respect for the Bush's after all the wealth they gave to that country at the expense of people losing their jobs here in the U.S.. I find it hard to believe George jr.has had cold relations with China(as the media put it) since he's been president.He hasn't been there 3 months how can he already have bad relations with them.And to fair things up to any bush supporters who might get offended,Bill pulled the same stunt with the Mexican trade agrement. If anyone out there has a video tape of George Bush senior when he said on TV read my lips no new taxes,if you watch the tape in slow motion and read his lips he's really saying "suckers believe anything they're told"

-- Steve (, April 03, 2001.

Does anyone realize that when the flight commander landed on that Chinese island he would have followed standard proceedure and indicated this was a US navy aircraft with an emergency - that designates the aircraft is sovereign US property. The Chinese boarded an aircraft that held the same designation as a US embassy.

-- Eric(Tx) (, April 03, 2001.

Erick, I sure do understand where you are coming from.Given our historic record of defending our "embassies" abroad,do you think a pilot would have ANY reason not to expect that his aircraft would be captured?Sometimes there is a need to make a command decision beyond what the check list says to do.In my book the pilot in command is culpable.As long as you have an option you resist being captured! Sometimes that option involves dying.Sooo solley GI.Now we have a diplomatic and security nightmare that could have been avoided by ditching at sea.In his favor the pilot in command may have been thinking he would get in trouble for breaking the aircraft if he ditched or destroyed it.Sometimes you are screwed both ways.Me I would have taken the hit and prevented capture.I'm somewhat confused by the whole affair because most of the new pilots I have run into will punch out at the first bird turd on the canopy.The town orphanage can be damned he's gonna save his own ass.The whole thing is fishy to me.

-- greg (, April 04, 2001.

I once had a man tell me something that scared me some... he was something of a psychic or some thing... he said that, beyond a doubt, the red ants will come to invade. Later, he told me that he was certain that the red ants and the chinese were one in the same, he was able to give quite a few details, some of which I have forgotten. Let us hope he was wrong on this one, because he was right about everything else he told me.

-- kevin (vantravlrs!, April 04, 2001.

First the pilot is not to blame for his actions. All servicemen depart safety with Rules of Engagement (ROE) fully explained to them. The commander of the Pacific Command is responsible, his orders didn’t say “destroy the whole aircraft –ditch it—rather than be captured” or they would have. The ROE did say to destroy all the sensitive equipment, communications encryption programs, the computers and software, and shred the documents (they have special equipment on spy planes for this reason) which the aircrew did accomplish in the 30 minutes they had. Second: Its awfully darned calloused of certain people to suggest the aircrew should have bailed out to certain death in the frigid waters where little hope of rescue exists when their ROE did not call for it and we are not at war. These people that its suggested should have given their lives are your son’s and DAUGHTER’s America. They are all professionals who fully understand their duty. There is no job in the civilian world where the leader may order the subordinate to risk or give his/her life for the mission, none. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines fully understand their duty and will perform that duty when the time comes. Who the heck do you think you are to sit on your couch and dare to pontificate life and death? As an Officer on active duty who has risked his life from Central America to the Balkans I can assure you we will do our duty whether you deserve it or not. The gap between the profession of arms and the civilians we risk our lives to defend really is growing wider each day. Statistically now less than 2% of the population has served in the Armed Forces and some of the comments on this BB show just how ignorant the public is becoming. As far as options go. Cut off trade in increasing steps tightening the screws. Generate anti china propaganda to encourage Americans to boycott chinese products. Once the crew is released if the aircraft is held hit it with a cruise missile strike from the attack subs that are undoubtedly in the area at an hour when the casualties will be minimized.

-- Rich Sylvester (, April 04, 2001.

Thanks Rich. According to the latest news reports all sensitive equip. and ducuments were destroyed prior to the chinese taking control of the aircraft. As a former airforce brat (if one can be a former) with lots of friends still in active service, I'd rather see the chinese get the spy gear than sacrifice 24 lives needlessly. This will blow over as soon as the chinese have satisfied themselves that they've gotten all they can from the plane and both sides make enough face saving statements. Look closely at the wording from both sides. All are talking about detainees, not hostages or prisoners. Give it a couple of more days and we can welcome our heroes home.

-- ray s (, April 04, 2001.

The pilot is not to blame for his actions? Who is? Theater command? In the plane, at the throttle? Hmmmm. Rules of engagement.Hmmmm.Hear that a lot these days. Bailing out to certain death? No other support on this mission? Used to be a thing called above and beyond the call of duty.Oddly I hadn't heard much comment about this until today.Being a lowly cricket cruncher NCO perhaps I should not have spoken ill of my "betters".Strange though I've heard interviews today from people that sat in that same seat on that same aircraft on that same type of mission that have ALL said they would have ditched rather than land on enemy soil.Hmmm. Yep, guess I'm just a callous turd.I can't say I particularly blame the kid for choosing a hard runway over sea water.There have been a lot of men that died that no one is going to debate over because their mission was never compromised.I guess my dinosaur thinking has me at a loss.Save the rightious indignation.That dog won't hunt with me.

-- greg (, April 04, 2001.


Rich and Ray beat me to most of what I was going to say. You might want to make a bit more effort in the current events/foreign relations area though. Go to http// and sign up for their free "intellegence updates", you wont regret it.

-- William in Wi (, April 04, 2001.

Okay ,whatever. Just please don't piss China off. Whatever would we put under the christmas trees.

-- jz (, April 04, 2001.

Greg~ Yes I am an Officer but I came up from the ranks having served 8 years as an enlisted man crunching my share of crickets and my righteaous indignation comes from the concern a leader has for his men (and women). As far as many other folks saying they would have ditched the plane: outside the stress of the situation and in the dangerous confines of their living room there are millions of heros. You say there should have been support? Those missions fly from mainland Japan on ROUTINE flights they don't send ships to escort them. They would have perished had they ditched. And they do fly with rules of engagement dictated from higher command, they don't just nose dive their craft on their own judgement, thats millions of taxpayer dollars they are flying. Its amazing how people can be so horrified that a woman aborts an unborn child yet can say so flippantly that just because an adult has on a uniform they should be so expendable. I assure you that the 170 soldiers I command here at Ft. Hood are never expendable. They are the sons and daughters of regular folks who trust me to keep them safe in accordance with the rules of engagement. I concur that Stratfor is doing a good job. I would also suggest those in uniform go to the Pentagon's EarlyBird news source for highly accurate up to date information the public may not otherwise access.

-- Rich (, April 04, 2001.

Very well said, Rich. I applaud you! Sissy

-- Sissy Sylvester-Barth (, April 04, 2001.

Thank you Rich. As a mother who had two sons at war in the gulf at the same time, I would be grateful to know they had a commanding officer like you.

-- diane (, April 05, 2001.

Rich, you wonder why there is a gulf between "civilians" and military...You said it right there. We are citizens, we are to be citizen soldiers if you study your Constitution. This government of ours has decided to use the military against us and those in the military wonder why there is a gulf...You have allowed the same things that the general populace has allowed. Being commanded by foreign officers, taking orders from foreign commanders. This makes the military rather suspect in many people's minds. I can't understand how someone with a true love for this country and it's foundational principles could even stay in, but there are lots of things I don't understand.

I do not see protecting the "intelligence" that has been gathered against a communist nation as being a flippant act. Do you all actually think the Chinese will treat these aviators well? They intend to put them on trial. Personally, I think that is scarier than the cold ocean and taking my chances there. Are you saying it's heroic to land in enemy territory? The communists and the US have been having some difficulties with eachother lately, if you remember the Russian spy thing. We are diametrically opposed in a philosophical and governmental sense. At least we should be.

Rich, I am glad to hear you care about your personell. Maybe you should encourage them all to get out as soon as they can. They'll be needed by the citizenry to help protect their families and communities from hostile enemies here in the good ole' USofA.

-- Doreen (, April 05, 2001.

Can someone tell me when we declared formal war on China. At the same time explain to me why an aircraft in trouble cannot declare a mayday situation and request clearance to land at the nearest available runway without fear of reprisal. What the chinese are doing in holding the aircrew is reprehensable, but so far no harm has come to them and give the diplomats a chance to hash out a face saving solution for all parties. Personally, my apolog to the chinese is this: We're extremely sorry that your pilot had to die because he wasn't trained well enough to get his nimble, supersonic fighter out of the way of a lumbering, 4 engined propeller driven whale of a palne.

-- ray s (, April 05, 2001.

This is simply where women would have handled this better! Instead of letting this drag on and on, I would have simply called China as President the MOMENT we heard this happened. Apologize for the loss of life, for the loss of their plane, and for this unfortunate ACCIDENT. We of course will come get our men and women, and would you like us to fix that plane and take it with us, or could we perhaps sell it to you for scrap? All this testosterone and posturing is only prolonging the point. The chinese believe we clipped their plane and that we were in their airspace, we of course believe exactly the opposite, and each country believes exactly only what their government wants them to believe! Also, who really believes that there is some sort of equipment or technology on this plane that doesn't have Made in China stamped on the back of it already? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, April 05, 2001.

Doreen "animalwaitress" I never said I wonder why there is a gulf, I know why there is a gulf, not enough civilians serve in the armed forces. As a result fewer folks understand the military and the "military mind" of the professionals.

I do study the Constitution, its pretty much a given if you pledge your life to a body of ideas you should know what those ideas are.

Doreen says: "This government of ours has decided to use the military against us and those in the military wonder why there is a gulf"

Rich: What are you talking about?? When and where is the military being used against you?

Doreen says: "Being commanded by foreign officers, taking orders from foreign commanders."

Rich: Where are you being fed this bunk? The chain of command for all soldiers is an American chain with the President at the head. I have never seen a foreign officer hold operational control or command of US Forces. Please give me your reference and show me what you are talking about.

Doreen says: "I can't understand how someone with a true love for this country and it's foundational principles could even stay in (the Military)"

Rich: It's precisely because of the love of the United States we stay in. Its also the desire to one day sit on our porch with our grand kids and know we contributed more to the country than making a few wigits or earning a few extra bucks shuffling papers, we stood for something. We represented our Constitution and its core ideas to the world. We risked our lives to carry these ideas to foreign lands we didn't just spend our life selling another trinket to the public at the local mall.

You say you wonder if I think it's "heroic" to land in "enemy" territory. Service in the military isn't about heroism, its about duty, honor, country and trying to fulfill those ideals while staying alive and keeping your soldiers alive. Heroism is for TV. The Airmen on the aircraft did protect the intel by following their orders and destroying it. Their orders didn't tell them to crash or they would have done so. If you disagree with the orders they operate under write to your Congressmen we work for them and by extension YOU THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Doreen says: "The communists and the US have been having some difficulties...lately, We are diametrically opposed in a philosophical and governmental sense. At least we should be."

You bet we are Doreen here is a little news item: By Jon Dougherty © 2001 Senior Chinese leaders in the Central Military Command -- second in power only to President Jiang Zemin -- have predicted war with Taiwan within the next five years. According to Taiwan Defense Review, which quoted Chinese press sources, People's Liberation Army Gen. Zhang Wannian, vice chairman of China's Central Military Command said, "during the period of [China's] 10th five-year plan, it is certain that war will break out in the Taiwan Strait." Specifically, Zhang said China would strike Taiwan first, as is typical for the Chinese military, and destroy Taipei's ability to launch combat aircraft that are currently stored in protective shelters. The Central Military Command vice chairman also urged Beijing to step up its military modernization plans and said the Guangzhou military district could be used to "spearhead" China's attack.

We are by politics bound to defend Taiwan which is why we fly the missions that brought on the downing of the aircraft.

I do talk to my soldiers all the time about their future plans and encourage most to stay Army for the reasons I cite above.

Doreen says: "Maybe you should encourage them (your soldiers) all to get out as soon as they can. They'll be needed by the citizenry to help protect their families and communities from hostile enemies here in the good ole' USofA."

Rich says: What nefarious enemies are you suggesting are lurking in the shadows to pounce on you and your family? The only enemy we are practicing our war skills against in every exercise I have been in in the last 12+ years on active duty have been Russian, Iraqi, Korean and once a country called Krasnovia. Never once the Freedom Militia Group of Kansas City. The soldiers you fear are the children of your friends and neighbors, they are fellow citizens who gave up many rights you take for granted so you can take them for granted. Accordingly I don't think arm-chair generals should be so willing to spout any should have done the heroic thing and died so you could have a hero.

-- Rich (, April 05, 2001.

Rich- Thank you for your thoughts and for your service to our country.

-- ray s (, April 05, 2001.

Gosh Rich, how can a lowly little homesteading screenprinting peon be so upsetting? Seriously though, I looked at your response earlier and I wanted to show you exactly why I feel the way that I do regarding the military COMBINED with the Federal Government. I do not dislike servicemen nor do I think you are all bad people. I think you are being sorely used.

It really isn't my desire to upset you. Also I am not afraid of our soldiers, I am not afraid of our government. They can't do anything permanent to me, so there isn't fear there. I'm irritated with the lies and subterfuge destruction of our primary rights and privacies. Since most of it doesn't particularly pertain to the China incident here I will post a barrage of information in specific headings. I don't want to argue with you, I don't know that I'll even come back and look at it, but at least I can try to answer your questions. God bless, Rich.

-- Doreen (, April 06, 2001.

If it's possible that war might break out in the next 5 years between China and Taiwan ,why is the U.S. helping China to grow economically stronger through the current trade agreements?

-- Steve (, April 06, 2001.


You'll have to ask President Clinton and his administration, oh thats the same group that got all the funding from China....

Doreen: You didn't upset me. I am a passionate person by nature and it comes out in my writing. Rich

-- Rich (, April 06, 2001.

Vicki McGaugh,

You say you would have called China and Apologized right away. Here is why that would have been ill advised: **Extract Pentagon Early Bird Intel Brief*** Issuing Apology Now Could Put U.S. In Difficult Position Later By Steven Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writer The collision of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane and a Chinese fighter jet has landed the Bush administration in the middle of one of Asia's touchiest subjects -- the diplomacy of apology. For the Chinese government, extracting an apology from the United States represents an important diplomatic goal and a matter of "face" or respect. For the Bush administration, making an apology would be admitting guilt, humbling the White House in the eyes of Asian countries and among conservative Republicans who want the United States to stand up to China. An apology would also carry legal weight, administration officials fear, with possible implications if China wanted to try the U.S. plane's pilot, or press for compensation, or wrangle an agreement that the United States would cease flying surveillance planes close to China's shores. "I think there's a big difference," an administration official said. Regret for the loss of the Chinese pilot -- which Secretary of State Colin L. Powell expressed Wednesday and President Bush repeated yesterday -- "is fine. And apologizing is different." Bush was ready to apologize for the accidental sinking of a Japanese fishing vessel by a U.S. submarine, but not for the accidental downing of a Chinese fighter jet by a U.S. surveillance plane. "Face is an important element here," said David Shambaugh, professor of Chinese studies at George Washington University. "That is driving the Chinese position." "We're playing with words, but that's what diplomacy is all about," said Stapleton Roy, a former U.S. ambassador to China. "To apologize would acknowledge wrongdoing, and there's no basis for that. On the other hand, the Chinese are unhappy about the loss of their plane and military person." The diplomacy of apologies is a big issue in Asia. Another analyst, Richard Fisher of the Jamestown Foundation, saw Beijing's demand differently. He said China wanted Bush to "kowtow," which comes from the Chinese phrase for kneeling and touching one's head to the floor in submission. But the United States also has strong legal reasons to avoid issuing the "full apology" China has demanded, international lawyers said yesterday. Depending on the scope and wording of the apology, it might not only amount to an admission of wrongdoing but also create a legal norm that China could invoke to try to stop the United States from conducting coastal reconnaissance flights. Asia policy analysts say it would represent one small step for China toward pushing back the U.S. presence in Asia. "An apology's not costless. It's not just a political gesture," said Peter Spiro, a professor of law at Hofstra University. "It's like pleading guilty. . . . It becomes a precedent." A broad apology would break a chain of legal argumentation the United States has used for years to defend surveillance of China's forces arrayed against Taiwan. As long as the flights are in international airspace, Washington contends, they are legal and show no hostile intent.

Vicki~I hope this help clear up the reasoning and show there is nothing about the scenario that involves President Bush's testosterone. Rich

-- Rich (, April 06, 2001.

Rich we would only be losing face now, after the fact. I doubt this article was wrote the day of this action, did however notice it was also written by a man :) Now that we have let this drag on, yes, this article is timely and correct. And what really is the difference between regret and apology? The difference between it was sex or it wasn't? ;) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, April 06, 2001.


I posted this on another thread and then decided to bring it over here for your commentary. BTW, thanks for your service.

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Im a vet and I know that all of our servicemen arent like Rich. There are very few who actually understand the Constitution or even know what it really is, so does their oath to defend it/this nation mean anything? I remember a point, in the initial phases of my training, when an instructor went around the room alphabetically and told each person to explain to the rest of the room why they had joined. A sorrow came over me that day as I realized that no one had come for the same reason that I had. As they worked their way through the alphabet, I began to realize that my flight was comprised of standadard issue inner city liberal parasites and listened as one by one they described the responsibilities they had dodged and all the "entitlements" they intended to screw this country out of. When my turn arrived, 48 or so out of 53, I was the first and only to respond with that ridiculous and outdated concept, "patriotism". I was shocked at what I found going on around me when I got out of training and arrived at my first duty station, the number of jeeps and NCO's with an NWO mindset were disturbing. Things never really did get better, clowns who couldnt get a real job in the civilian world clung to niches they found others blindly supporting any statement and position heard from the highest levels. Anyone who took their oath and position any more seriously than any civilian job was considered too gung-ho, maybe a little unstable. One would think that when your job is operating intellegence computers that the senior levels would want a person to take their job seriously... I wanted to believe that what I was seeing was just going on around me, it couldnt be the whole of our armed forces could it? What I read and heard every day regardless of the station I was at didnt grant me any hope... When I got out, I continued to keep an eye on things and things only got worse when the Traitor in Chief took over. Take a look over here- Make note of the AWACS on the agenda, basically an AF version of the Navy plane the Chinese forced down. See that information on the Sunburn? Those are the antishipping missles carried by the new Soviet built Chinese destroyer that I suspect we were checking up on when this all happened. We have some traitors at the highest levels. Even some of our senators and congressmen are involved. Lets look at Diane Feinstein for example, and try to guess how much she made off of a deal to sell american lives by promoting eco-fascism. She cuts off our sole domestic source of strategic irridum by making mining off limits with her "Desert Protection Act" and her husband, Dick Blum, manages to lock up a deal for the only other major source in the world...Red China. I fear our problems as a nation wont be going away any time soon... PEKING v. PRESIDENT BUSH: What it’s really about and the Clinton connection _____________________________________________________ Source: THE NEW AUSTRALIAN -- Published: Friday 6 April 2001 Author: PETER ZHANG The confrontation between the Bush and administration and Beijing is not about a spy plane. Much, much more is at stake here. In previous articles I warned of the rise in influence of China’s new warlords, its nationalistic generals. These people are short on American history and woefully ignorant of the American temperament. In this they have much in common with pre-war Japanese militarists. These generals have helped create the present situation which they consider a win-win for themselves. If Bush backs down this will be proof that America is just a paper tiger and will be used to justify greater military spending and influence. (The ramifications for Asia and the Pacific region of such a back down do not bear thinking about). On the other hand, if the current crop of Chinese leaders fail to humiliate Bush, this will be paraded as proof that China needs to accelerate its military spending even further in order to prevent future humiliations. It’s plain that the Chinese political leadership is in a bind of its own making here, even if it does not realise it. Either way, those who council a more prudent policy towards the US will find themselves isolated and their influence weakened. The longer the crew of the EP- 3 are kept in captivity the more it suits the generals. Right now war is not on the agenda, but a power struggle is. This is the main reason why Jiang Zemin has become so bellicose on the issue of the spy plane. It’s not the crew’s future that is at stake here but his own. I don’t want to convey the impression that it is only the generals who are pushing the nationalistic barrow. There are plenty within the Party that go along with them. Once we understand the nature of what is going on we can see that the crew are also pawns in this Beijing power play. And that is why they will be released fairly soon. (Assuming nothing goes horribly wrong). I cannot say whether the Bush administration is completely aware of the power struggle, but there is nothing that Bush can do other than stand firm. Even our generals admire, fear and respect courage. Nevertheless, China has put much at risk: its desire to join the WTO, the Olympic games, IMF funding projects, foreign investment and American know-how. Why do some of these schemers think the risk is worth it? William Jefferson Clinton is the answer. After all, the current situation is his legacy. Tyrants have only contempt for weakness, and weakness and moral turpitude is all that Clinton ever displayed to Beijing. Its contempt for Clinton was so deep that high ranking members of the regime sneeringly referred to Clinton in private as “nanren men zai hua sheng dun” (our man in Washington). Rumours still abound that Beijing had blackmailed Clinton with a detailed dossier on drug taking, sexual assault, bribery and various acts of corruption. (Any American politicians who take bribes from the PLA will be very foolish indeed if they think their benefactors will not turn their corruption against them). It’s no wonder then that many interpreted Clinton’s willingness to submit to Beijing’s demands as evidence that he was firmly in the regime’s pocket. In Clinton the regime found a corrupt, venal, vain and cowardly man. But Clinton was not alone. Two years ago I wrote: “American corporations directly assisted Beijing to upgrade its weapons systems — for a price. The likes of William Hambrecht [principal in the San Francisco investment firm of Hambrecht & Quist] and Bernard Schwartz [one-time president Of Loral Aerospace], well-known heavy contributors to the Democratic Party, have also benefited handsomely from arrangements with the PLA, as have a great many other big shot executives who seem to prefer the colour green to red, white and blue. What would get you the death penalty in Asia could buy you a New York estate in the US. What the activities of these greedy executives might eventually cost their fellow American citizens is something that only time will tell.” Well, America is now paying part of the price — and there could be more to come if Bush does not stand firm. Instead of standing fast with China’s potential reformers and democrats and offering them unstinting support, making clear there would be no truck with warlords, Clinton chose to abandon them. The result is what might become known as the “Hainan incident”. So much for Clinton’s absurd “strategic partnership” with Beijing. Although Beijing’s powerbrokers can be astute judges of character they tend to be appalling judges of national temperament. This failing has persuaded them that America is in an acute state of terminal moral decay. For this you can thank their inability to make the distinction between Clinton’s depravity and the American temperament. This has led to potentially dangerous consequences made worse by the fact that Clinton weakened America's ability to deal with an aggressive and resurgent Chinese military. Within a matter of years this depraved man virtually destroyed the moral authority of the United States among China’s emerging intelligentsia and helped fuel a very dangerous brand of nationalism . Not only did this man sell his country’s secrets to Beijing, he even destroyed its moral credibility among the Chinese people. No wonder the Chinese military felt free to challenge the US. I have stressed before that Beijing’s long term strategic objective is to drive American bases and influence out of the Pacific region and to exercise hegemony over it. The arrogance that Beijing has shown over the EP-3 incident provides us with a small example of what living under Beijing’s friendly shadow would be like. However, by tipping its hand the regime has given Bush a heaven-sent excuse to raise military spending, build a national missile defence system and strengthen regional ties, especially with Taiwan and Australia. He had better grab it with both hands. Hambrecht provided finance to Salon to help it dig up dirt on Kenneth Starr and Henry Hyde in an effort to sabotage a congressional investigation into Clinton’s criminal behaviour. I think its time that someone investigated Hambrecht’s financial connections with the PLA. I’m sure that he and his fellow progressive Democrats wouldn’t object. _______________________________________________________ And the sheeple think we're wackos...

-- William in Wi (, April 06, 2001.

William, This is the cycle: The first term soldiers are usually mid to lower middle class and of Democratic bent who join to escape their perceived dead-end situations. Few initially join for patriotism. As they matriculate up the ranks the culture of the service breeds patriotism. Some weed out, some do their duty and go home few progress. Those that progress grow stronger and deeper feelings of patriotism and become more conservative, which is a function of survival in the military. Most of the officer corps is now (80%) Republican and in contrast to the General Eisenhower era (he prided himself on never having voted until he retired), most are active voters and fairly political minded. More Democrats can be found in the enlisted ranks. Your experience in basic training was the beginning of the enculturation to patriotism, the intent was to make the soldiers think about why they were going to endure the training. Thank you for your service.

As far as your opinion goes of certain officials I am bound by law and tradition to hold my tongue when speaking in public as an officer. However, pop a beer and pull up a chair at the BBQ out back and we’d have a chat.

It should be noted that the former administration was advised by the department of defense that the Chinese were pursuing greater and greater degrees of aggressiveness when they intercepted our aircraft and that we needed political action to mitigate the threat to our airmen. In one case the same pilot who crashed into our aircraft flew close enough to have his picture taken holding up a paper with his email address written on it so we could send him his photo digitized. The administration did nothing leaving our servicemen executing the Nation’s business in harms way.(I found this out reading he Pentagon brief this morning)

Yes there is a power play at work behind the scenes. It should be noted that the Chinese do not pose a conventional threat to the United States of America. They cannot swim the Pacific. They have only 17 nukes with limited MIRV capability. They have only enough lift to deploy one division of troops and that lift cannot cross the Pacific.

The danger is this: Taiwan. We must evaluate our willingness to fight for the little island Democracy. Do we believe that the invasion of a Democracy anywhere warrants America’s involvement? This is what you as the Citizen Soldiers who we on active duty will call upon to fill our depleted ranks must decide now and GET INVOLVED. WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN VOICE YOUR OPINION. It counts and we in the service must look to you, though most ignore us, for support. Rich

-- Rich (, April 06, 2001.


I have not checked this thread for a couple of days but I now feel compelled to respond to your initial posting. First let me say thanks for your service and I wish you the best of luck in your career. The Pilot in Command of the EP-3 may have the made the right decision by flying inland but I still question it. Ditching in those waters would not have meant the certain death of the crew. The aircraft carries basic surival gear and the crew could of surived at length in liferafts until search and rescue found them, I believe all of the Navy's rafts carry emergency locator transmitters (ELT).

Your use of the term "Rules of Engagment" is, at best, a misnomer, in so much as rules of engagment specify when an engagment can take place, i.e. when it is permissible to return fire. The Navy crew, in Army parlance, executed Emergency Action Procedures, probably violent and non-violent destruction of classified and sensitive data and equipment (or at least I hope they did).

I agree with you on the widening gap between the military and our nation's citizens. Locally fewer and fewer communities are holding Memorial Day or Veteran Day Parades/Activities. The same few of us that make up our local AUSA Chapter (and also TROA chapter and ROA chapter)try to stage events (last year we couldn't get any media attention, and very little turnout, for our cake cutting on June 14, the Army's Birthday).

Kipling's poem, I think Tommy Adkins, comes to mind "for its Tommy this and Tommy that, oh Tommy do go away, but's its thank you Mr. Adkins when the band begins to play, and its Tommy this and Tommy that, chuck him out the brute, but he's the hero of the country when the guns begin to shoot"- my apologies to Kipling.

Do not take this as a personal attack but I feel some of us, who have worn our country's uniform and been in harm's way, took your posting as a bit self-righteous. Again, the best of luck to you in your career and in some ways I'm almost jealous of you - I get the impression you have a company level command, one of the best jobs in the Army.



-- Robert (, April 06, 2001.

"Do not take this as a personal attack but I feel some of us, who have worn our country's uniform and been in harm's way, took your posting as a bit self-righteous. Again, the best of luck to you in your career and in some ways I'm almost jealous of you - I get the impression you have a company level command, one of the best jobs in the Army."

I don't take it personally. Yes Company level. I mean no offense to any of my Brothers in Arms. I do sound "self-righteous" but its only because I believe so passionately in the cause, in the soldiers. I get choked up when I think of them and it motivates me. I am in awe of the professionals who surround me and it bothers me when I feel they are not being respected. There is nothing like running in a formation of a hundred soldiers as part of a battalion, brigade or a divisional run. 17,000 men and women running in unison symbolic of the unity of purpose we pursue. A purpose I would find it hard to achieve selling coffee to morons at Starbucks. So if I offend...sorry.

-- Rich (, April 06, 2001.

I myself am a little offended by some of this rhetoric. I have never served in the military, although there are very few things I admire as much as the soldiers of our military. I do not and did not sell trinkets in any mall. I have recently undergone 2 surgeries to my shoulder in which case the doctors believe I will not fully recover due to the onset of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I suffer all day everyday. This arising from many years of abuse as an aerospace machinist. I have worked on everything from missles to jet engine components. I did it, and took pride in it, as I am sure those people selling "trinkets" did and do. If you don't mind, there are trinket sales people out there who are doing their part and paying their taxes as well. I don't think one needs wear a uniform for them to feel, at least partially, responsible for the defense of this country. Don't sell us short. Without us there wouldn't be many of you. After all, we foot the bill, one way or the other. I don't think we should be pumping tons of money into any communist country. Eventually they will be gunning for us with the money they earned from McDonald's. One last thing, if my memory serves me, I heard that the pilot didn't ask for permission or instructions to land, as he probably wasn't going to get it.

-- Glenn (, April 06, 2001.

I have not seen any mention on the international media that the pilot did or did not ask for permission to land. However I expect that if he had declared an emergency, i.e. made a 'mayday' call, he would have been given every assistance available.

-- john hill (, April 07, 2001.

Thankyou Rich..Until they have walked in their shoes and lived the words, people will not understand the pride, the anquish, the terror of serving out is because of them that we can sit at the computer and pound away the inflamatory words and the injustices that our government inflicts on those fanatical, obsessed, anti-government people..nothing is perfect but you can bet your ass they wouldn't live anywhere else! They wouldn't have the constitution backing up their freedom of speech and right to bear arms.. Let them worry about whether their son or daughter will be the next service man or woman sent to a hostile country and if he/she will come back alive and whole..It is easy to sit back and spout off but live it and live with someone who has been there..then cry to me..

-- Lynn(MO) (, April 07, 2001.

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