The Undeclared War

Growing Chinese threat downplayed by warmongers hell-bent on Iran

James Corbett
Corbett Report

September 5, 2007

China unveils its latest warfare tactics
A Financial Times report from last Monday details the Pentagon's assertion that a successful hack-in of the Secretary of Defense's computer system came from the People's Liberation Army. The report was immediately dismissed by Chinese officials as "totally groundless" accusations that "reflect a cold war mentality."

Whatever one one makes of this latest incident, it is part of a growing threat of cyber warfare in an increasingly network-dependent world. Indeed, a U.S. airforce general recently warned of just such attacks in a Reuters story from June that has since been taken off the CNN website. There have also been a recent spate of such incidents, including an attack on the Pentagon's email system and a Russian cyber-attack on Estonia which took down websites and networks related to the president's office, various ministries, the parliament, the police, newspapers and two of the country's largest banks. The utility of cyber warfare as a way to paralyze a country during times of actual warfare has, it seems, already been demonstrated.

This latest round of public fighting between Beijing and Washington comes amid a greater backdrop of military tension between the two countries. Behind the scenes, diplomats have been floored by recent bombshell revelations that the Taliban are being armed with Chinese weapons. As the BBC report announcing the revelations points out, it is unlikely that Beijing is arming the Taliban directly, but instead the arms are likely making their way to Afghanistan by way of Iran. In perhaps the most stunning passage, the BBC article asserts:

The Afghan government has long acknowledged privately that Iranian intelligence agencies have been active in southern Afghanistan post-9/11. Iran has been pursuing a policy of building up proxy networks to be able to attack American forces in response to any US attacks against Teheran's nuclear infrastructure.

It remains to be seen whether the assertions are, in fact, true, or merely further evidence being cooked up to demonize Iran in the run-up to war just as it was cooked up in the run-up to the Iraq war. If Iran really is arming the Taliban with Chinese weapons, however, it's easy to see why the Pentagon hacking story isn't being pushed in the controlled corporate media: China is a real enemy, unlike Iran, and has more than enough firepower to do serious damage to the US if its interests are threatened. And there's little doubt that access to Iranian oil is a key Chinese interest.

The very existence of the Iran-China-Taliban nexus puts the lie to the Neocons' dream of a short, winnable "shock and awe" strike to decapitate the Iranian military. The existence of proxy armies in neighbouring countries coupled with the threat of Chinese intervention in the event of an American strike in the region should be enough reason for any sane administration to begin looking for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. But then again, the Neocons behind the Bush administration are clearly not sane.

China, for its part, does not even have to strike the US militarily in order to inflict severe damage. Apart from cyber warfare, the Chinese have the "nuclear option" of liquidating US treasuries and they're not afraid to use it.