U.S.-China Undeclared Cold War and Tougher Times for African Americans
Dennis Boatwright, Prisonersolidarity.org
Sept. 23, 2006
United States and China are engaged in an undeclared Cold War that
promises to have far-reaching consequences. The Bush administration's
preoccupation with the debacle in Iraq, as well as Iran's nuclear
ambitions, are distractions to take our attention away from a more
pressing concern--China. When the U.S. disengages from these diversions
one can expect the icy temperature of U.S.-China relations to dip
of the Cold War, particularly among African Americans, conjure up
notions of an over-reaction to reality, and of a time when spooky,
far-fetched doomsday theories (straight from the Sci-Fi Channel)
were designed to instill fear. One might think of the 1983 epic
network television film, The Day After.
reality, Cold War politics should be of paramount concern to average
Americans - and especially African Americans, who will be more adversely
affected. Officially defined, a Cold War is a state of tension and
military rivalry between nations, which stops just short of a full-scale
war. A common understanding of it is the adversarial relationship
between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union between 1945 and 1990.
That Cold War began with the partitioning of Berlin, the ravaging
of Indochina, and the under-writing of coups d'etats and civil wars
in Africa and Latin America. But the term "Cold War" was
rather misleading, because there was never anything "cold"
about it. Cold Wars are heated and include limited military conflicts
and the partitioning of the globe
between larger ally countries and often unwilling non-aligned "Third
World" countries, which become satellites within self-proclaimed
spheres of control.
observers characterize China as a rising superpower that poses a
formidable threat to America's global hegemonic status. After the
collapse of Communism in the former Soviet Union, Islam replaced
Communism as America's perceived ideological foe. Although Islam
posed a credible challenge to Western-style capitalism, its prestige
and cosmopolitan appeal declined in the 1990s, and again in the
post-911 era, following the humiliating defeats of Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. policy-makers today view radical Islam as a nuisance rather
than a serious threat.
re-structuring of China's state-planned economy to more of an open
market model has catapulted China into a rising superpower. The
irony of this growing conflict is that the hallmark of U.S. criticism
has been China's reluctance to open
its markets to foreign investors. It's protectionist economic policies,
commentators surmise, prevent the spread of democratic values within
the country. There is an adage about being careful what you wish
for. China's careful opening of its colossal economy has brought
about its rival superpower status. It now has the fastest growing
economy (above 10% annually) in the world, a favorable trade balance
with the U.S., and it holds hundreds of billions in U.S. debt. The
United States and China are engaged in quite a different Cold War
than the U.S.-Soviet Cold War.
is aware of its growing clout and aggressively pursues its national
interest, to the chagrin of Washington. Examples of China's assertiveness
include the establishment of friendly relations with Zimbabwe, Sudan
and Venezuela -
all countries that the U.S. State Department has designated as "rouge
nations" or state sponsors of terrorism. China's unwillingness
to support tougher U.S.-sponsored sanctions against Iran viewed
by U.S. government officials as another
example of Beijing flexing its muscles. As China asserts its foreign
policy objectives, this Sino-U.S. Cold War will only magnify. China's
refusal to raise the exchange value of the Yuan to the dollar, U.S.
concerns over North Korean nuclear capabilities, China's posture
towards Taiwan -- are all topics for political sparing.
are costly both in terms of human casualty and environmental destruction.
Military expenditures can absorb 40-60% of a country's GDP. Cold
Wars are more expensive because of their duration and complex dimensions.
Government revenues normally used to fund domestic programs are
to Cold War efforts. For this reason the growing Sino-U.S. Cold
War should concern people of African descent and low-income Americans.
President Reagan's first term domestic funding for programs crucial
to African American and other low-income communities were drastically
reduced or terminated to pay for the second resumption of the U.S.-Soviet
Cold War in
the 1980s. In White Nationalism, Black Interest, Dr. Ronald Walters
notes that food stamps and school lunch programs were cut, social
service block grants were reduced by 33% and training for the disadvantaged
was reduced by 36%.
In late Spring 1984, federal aid for youth summer employment was
slashed by $100 million. These reductions diminished the flow of
economic resources to urban areas. During this same period of time
the Reagan administration increased military expenditures by 41%,
or 86 billion dollars.
the U.S. and China locks into a full-fledged Cold War, African Americans
and the average American will suffer the most - as needed social
programs, such as college grants and health insurance, are all placed
on the chopping block.
If the U.S.-Soviet Cold war is any indication of how long the Sino-U.S.
Cold War might last, then we can expect for important affirmative
action bills to linger in the committee phase for at least another
Dennis Boatwright is a 36-year old, self-taught Detroit native who
has been in prison since 1989. His academic interests include economics
and political science, with a strong focus on International Relations
and Pan-African politics. He is multi-lingual and is an avid learner.
He is being held at a maximum-security prison, where he is held
in his cell for 23 hours per day. He enjoys being
challenged to the best of his abilities and describes himself as
open-minded, yet serious about life and the causes he represents.
may write to Dennis at:
Alger Maximum Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 600
Munising, Michigan 49862
may contact Dennis Boatwright directly by writing to him at the
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