Tom Friedman scales new heights with metaphors:This
is great: (excerpts, emp add)
[Obama's] visit was intended to let China know that America knows that India knows that Beijing’s recent “aggressiveness,” as one Indian minister put it to me, has China’s neighbors a bit on edge.
All of China’s neighbors want China to know, as the sign says: “Don’t even think about parking here.” Don’t even think about using your growing economic and military clout to just impose your claims in border disputes and over oil-rich islands in the South China Sea.
That’s why each one of China’s neighbors is eager to have a picture of their president standing with Secretary Clinton or President Obama — with the unspoken caption that reads: “... please, stay between the white lines. Don’t even think about parking in my space because, if you do, I have this friend from Washington, and he’s really big. ... And he’s got his own tow truck.”
Give this man a fourth Pulitzer Prize!
On a more serious note, Friedman's parking analogy makes sense. China can do wheelies in the South China Sea after 6 PM on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. Similarly, Japan can park in that region, but only if it has an area-permit on the bumper. Vietnam is only allowed 15 minutes in the loading zone. If you're confused by all of that, then you don't know foreign policy like the New York Times' resident expert.
Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff in the Pentagon and State Department, gave a talk at MIT today in which he said that Cheney and Rumsfeld were in constant communication egging on Taiwan/Formosa to hassle China. He implied the Torture Twins were angling for eventual outright war. Sec State Powell had to patch things up regularly.