Thursday, February 17, 2005

House Of Cards

If you think the Middle East is a powderkeg, wait until Japan and China start to fight it out over - oil.

Or that is a possible scenario drawn up by William S. Lind, based on a little-noted recent Japanese provocation towards China: another Southeast Asian disputed-sovereignity dwarf island with reserves in the surrounding seabed got its patrol boats.

(The title refers to the international power balance. While I feel the above author's pre-WWI analogy for today is overstrained, it is very spot on with regards to the Japanese political mainstream's obsession with the concept of power balances. I have encountered Japanese who argued that Japan should bail out the USA in Iraq because they are failing - to prevent the collapse of the power balance... Only what is expended to maintain their power balances, that thus only collapse later while bringing greater havoc, is already more than what would have been lost had they allowed the change - a change that implies there was no power balance at all.)


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