The anti-Chinese Alliance: Japan, IndiaDyer is clear about where the blame lies for the origination of the specious "Arc of Democracies" idea: the crazy-a** thinktankers of Washington, DC (yes, we're talking about you, Second Lady Lynne Cheney) and their enablers in the press (yes, I am talking about you, Bill Gertz. By the way, Bill- how's the Reverend?).
Monday, August 27th 2007 - When you are creating a military alliance aimed at a third party, it's always best to swear that you are doing no such thing, and that you simply share common values with your prospective allies. So Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, addressing the Indian parliament on Wednesday, said: "This partnership is an association in which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy and respect for basic human rights as well as strategic interests."
You notice how "strategic interests" was just tacked on at the end there. Sort of "Oh, yeah, and that too, if anybody cares." That's how the game is played, and Abe didn't mention China at all. But by defining this new partnership as an association of democracies, he neatly excluded China from the list of possible members: "By Japan and India coming together in this way, this 'broader Asia' will evolve into an immense network spanning the entirety of the Pacific Ocean, incorporating the United States of America and Australia."
But not China. And it is not at all a coincidence that all the major members of this evolving alliance see China as a potential military threat...
Dyer shows he has also not lost his flair for mild snark, as in this assessment of the unfolding U.S.-India strategic relationship.
It may not technically be an alliance, but it's definitely not just a sewing circle.
While the Japan Observer has been making many of the same points over this last week, it is reassuring to find that a North American-based former military man sees the democracies initiative with a similarly jaundiced eye.
Gwynne Dyer's homepage (a little bit too snazzy, if you ask me) can be found here.