Sunday's GOP Presidential Debate and China

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During the 26-minute penalty box phase in Sunday morning's New Hampshire debate where far-left NBC host David Gregory banned Newt Gingrich from taking part in some of the most crucial parts - parts where 1%-ers like Huntsman and Perry and all the other candidates all far less qualified were heartily invited to opine - Willard "Mitt" Romney and Jon Huntsman fell into a dustup over China. Huntsman, the official spokesperson for the most genocidal regime in human history in a stunning are-you-serious display of ignorance for a supposed Sinophile stated that we should not seek to protect our interests in responding to China's trade war against us because it would cause a trade war. Come again?  Meanwhile, Romney - now brought up to speed only in sound bites by one of his advisors who seems to be a closet fan of Donald Trump - doesn't know about this trade war stuff, but he sure would like to raise taxes on China because that's what he's had so much experience doing to people in his own state and it's safe - he knows how to do it. Play your strengths.

Mr. Huntsman certainly is not inexpert on the topic of China. He has spent many years in China first as a businessman and then as Obama's China ambassador - and his company has over $9 billion tied up in China (surely no conflict of interest there).  Huntsman is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic, which again makes his blunders on the topic so stunning. Where he may be faulted is in the area of his affections, or at best, his understanding of what motivates the regime and what its implications are for the world - particularly in light of similar regimes throughout history, which is our only guide. Huntsman falters in part because he's no historian, no philosopher, and certainly no political scientist, but no amount of education can make up for a gut that is seemingly off its axis (or in the case of the Axis of Evil, riding high atop it).  Fairly recently, a husband and wife team of highly acclaimed researchers Jung Chang and Jon Halliday embarked on a project which became a New York Times best-seller. The book, Mao: The Unknown Story - now banned in Communist China - was an unofficial biography like no other in terms of scope and attention to detail. Along the way, the book mentioned that in the 1960s RINO Richard Nixon made numerous trips to China on business. During his trips he fell in with a beautiful young honey trap who used her influence to affect a friendlier outlook on the regime and may have brought about Nixon's shortsighted and na├»ve misadventure of "ping pong diplomacy". That policy in turn opened the US up to the most genocidal regime in human history that despite all rainbow and unicorn talk by the administration continued to find ways to destroy us, and most likely played an important role in our defeat in Vietnam along with the genocide of millions in Southeast Asia. To put a nice spin on things, it seems high-school dropout Jon Huntsman is the very best imitation yet of Nixon, albeit with a better tan and a smidgen more personality. But I'm sure he will tell you he's not a crook.

On the other hand, Mr. Romney is in many ways the opposite of Huntsman and in other respects, quite similar. Breathtakingly inexperienced in foreign policy and up until very recently, almost as inarticulate as Rick Perry on the topic until a few of his advisors came to the rescue. Up until this year for Romney, "China" was only something stamped on the bottom of most of the products sold in his Staples office supply stores, covered in the fingerprints of the five-year-olds who were forced to assemble them. So one of the few areas that Huntsman and Romney shared in common with respect to China was that both men had a big money stake in preserving the status quo at all costs - even against the long term national security interests of the United States (though they might both be men of denial rather than malice). Another thing the two share in common is that both men as president would likely continue the failed China policies of the last four presidents, albeit for somewhat different reasons - one because he thinks he's clever, the other because he doesn't know a thing and therefore thinks it must not be important. One thing in Romney's (and almost everyone else's) favor, however, is that he never announced to the world that China's telecommunications company Huawei - linked by the Pentagon and other key figures in national security as an espionage front group of Beijing's Ministry of State Security (MSS) - was a great company or that it had a terrific "worldwide reputation", as Perry once had. But at this point we are only nuancing shades of fail here.

UPDATE: Actually, Romney was totally in bed with Huawei. We mosted more information about it here. And as far as not being a crook as Huntsman may be able to claim and Nixon wasn't, well...

By contrast, Newt Gingrich understands the China threat, its historical context, the nature of communism - and China's flavor of Marxi-fascism deliberately patterned after Nazi Germany - and the finer points of geostrategy, the need to be proactive, the value of covert operations, the importance of morale, and the importance of recognizing proxy wars for what they are along with all manner of asymmetrical warfare. Newt's playing for the right team and understands why and how to do it. The biggest travesty of Sunday morning's debate was not the predictably shallow aping of advisors by Romney or Huntsman's faithful wearing of the red (China) team's colors, it was the exclusion of the only practical, competent, trustworthy, and much-needed Newt Gingrich from this discussion. Nevertheless, Gingrich is the only one to have endorsements by the greatest minds and strategic thinkers of the Reagan era or today, including former Reagan National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and Dr. Thomas Sowell. Speaker Gingrich's exclusion from the discussion in the last debate is a sad example of biased networks putting politics over national interest. It is important for all Americans that he be allowed to partake in the discussion of national security - an area in which we must have our best leaders step forward.


Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. He currently serves with the Newt Gingrich campaign as Texas Chair for Students with Newt (posts at Blogbat are personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the campaign). Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009 and misses the irradiated sushi at his favorite sushi haunt Itsu. He hates the Turabian style format.

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This page contains a single entry by Martin published on January 10, 2012 3:25 AM.

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