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Peeling the Onion…

by Editors

Peeling the Onion…

Is Nuclear War at the Core?

The New Sino-Russo “Alliance”

U.S. as  Unifying “Common Enemy”


This article contains first: alarming excerpts from Aljazerra and LA Times News artlcles (with web citations) on the subject of Russia’s and China’s recent jointly-operated war games, along with China’s threats of launching nuclear war if the U.S. actively opposes its Taiwan takeover (if any takes place).  Following those media excerpts are letters of shared alarm and comment exchanged by B.E.A. writer/founder, Dusty Schoch (author of the here-posted “Peeling the Onion of War…”) and B.E.A. correspondent, Professor  Leonard Carrier, Ph.D (Stanford, ’67) , Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Miami.*

Algazeera News:

“First Sino-Russo war games begin”
Wednesday 17 August 2005, 4:55 Makka Time, 1:55 GMT


“Russian navy ships and long-range bombers are heading to a Chinese peninsula jutting into the Yellow Sea for the first-ever joint military exercise between the two countries.


While the exercise involves a mock intervention to stabilise an imaginary country riven by ethnic strife, Moscow and Beijing say the exercise starting on Thursday – set to include some 10,000 troops from land, sea and air forces – are not aimed at any third country.”



China, Russia Flaunt Forces in Joint Military Maneuvers

11:35 AM PDT, August 16, 2005 <> : World News <>

By Mark Magnier and Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writers

“BEIJING — As they prepare to join forces for their largest military exercise in modern history, China and Russia have billed this week’s maneuvers as a cooperative fight against terrorism. But they’re also sending a message to Washington, analysts say: Don’t push the two former Cold War adversaries too far.


The eight-day exercise, which is set to begin Thursday, will be the most extensive since Beijing and Moscow fought together against U.S.-led forces during the Korean War half a century ago. Originally billed as a modest exercise when proposed last year, it has grown in scope to include nearly 10,000 troops using a range of sophisticated weapons systems….”


From the WWW:  …..


“Chinese general warns US over attack”: By Alexandra Harney in Beijing and Demetri Sevastopulo and Edward Alden in Washington
Published: July 14 2005 21:59 | Last updated: July 15 2005 00:03



China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said on Thursday.


‘If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,” said General Zhu Chenghu’ “….






 I’m afraid it’s not joke. China and Russia are reported today to have combined over 7000 troops in a joint military operation. It got all  of ¾ inch  coverage in my newspaper. I pulled this (the above) from the net. LA Times 17 hours ago.  700 missles are aimed at Taiwan;  Direct threats of nuclear war if we defend Taiwan. Russia and Chinese troops in joint tactical maneuvers; Bush again asleep at the switch.  We’ve finally managed to re-wed Russia and China through their common enmity…of us.  The only war that can take place between us and them is nuclear, and the only nuclear war possible is preemptive.  Russia and China together could survive a U.S. retaliation…with an efficaciously thinned population.


You’re the philosopher, Len. What are you thinking and feeling as the world is going mad, and madly toward nuclear armegeddon?


I’ll attach the tact  I’m going to take on my Reverse Jihad proposal-i.e. “Peeling the Onion to the Core and Declaring Peace”.  I don’t know anything to do but write.  I’ve contacted the Interfaith Alliance (interfaithalliance.cor) and the World Conference of Religions for Peace. (  and find that they work together. My friend (High Point Attorney Ray Bretzman) suggested the Alliance, and I am in the process of sharing with them… “The Onion…” proposal for peace, and calling on them for assistance in its initiation.  Politicians are not going to do a damned thing to avert war in the Middle or far East.


Maybe the clerics can.  In any case, that’s where I’m going to throw my energies at this point.


Best, Dusty


PS Let me know what you think of my onion peeling.  Don’t be nice. If you have a better idea, share it. 





    Thanks for sending your thoughts on the historical peeling of the onion. You’re right, of course, that the persecutors and the persecuted exchange places in the dance of history.  Those in power, whoever they are, always seem to abuse that power.  Social Darwinists would just shrug and say that it’s just “nature, red in tooth and claw” being applied to human relationships, and that we can’t escape our genetic heritage–even if it means the destruction of civilization.


    Still, as David Hume noted, human nature not only contains elements of the serpent, but also of the dove.  If you took a poll and asked ordinary people whether they preferred peace or war, I’d bet that 95% would opt for peace.  Except for fighting in self defense, most of us don’t want to hurt other people.  So why do we do it?  I put the blame squarely on governments that say and do anything to remain in power.  There’s no difference on that score among the U.S., Russia, China, Israel, or any other country.  Everything they do, they do in the name of self-interest.  And, in doing so, they usually get things horribly wrong because they are short-sighted about their respective interests.  So you’re right that you can’t depend on the politicians to keep those interests from clashing.  They can’t see the forest for the trees.


    Your alternative is to form an alliance of religious leaders.  There are difficulties I see with this approach, although it’s certainly better than that of depending on our political leaders.  First, there’s the problem that religions are usually called on to support the existing political structure.  With a few notable exceptions, Hitler’s Germany had the support of organized religion in that country.  Today in the United States, religion is being used by the Bush administration to support his so-called “war on terror.”  Second, I have doubts about the power of a religious alliance to get things done.  Pope John Paul spoke out strenuously against our invasion of Iraq–to no avail.  In other words, the moneyed, corporate interests got their way.  It doesn’t help when the main-stream media falls into lock-step with the administration and cherry-picks the news.  In the case of Iraq, it was a systematic job of brain-washing the American public so that those in power could do what they wanted.  Third, there is also the difficulty of getting leaders of different religious movements to agree to work for peace together.  It doesn’t help for Franklin Graham to call Islam “an evil religion,” and it’s just crazy for Pat Robertson to call for Hugo Chavez’s assassination–even though I’m sure that many members of his 700 club would secretly agree with him.


    I hate to sound pessimistic, but I don’t see much to be happy about in the present world situation. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up trying to add my voice to others, such as yours and Dan’s, in trying to inject some rationality into the national and international debate.  It doesn’t help that our government is one in which corporate interests call the shots. And when big business and the government work together to rule the country, that’s the definition of ‘fascism’.  What I’m counting on is that ordinary people will finally speak with a common voice and tell the politicians–both Republicans and Democrats–that they’re tired of the lies, tired of the killing, tired of the fat-cats running things, tired of the posturing and threats, tired of preventive wars, tired of the ballooning deficits, and tired of the pandering journalists and TV talking heads.  When that day comes we might elect leaders whose forte is diplomacy and not threats–that’s if we haven’t killed one another off by then.


    By the way, I think that those war maneuvers involving Russia and
China, and the missiles pointed at Taiwan, are a direct consequence of our own bellicose foreign policy.  If the Chinese think that we are now going to engage in preventive wars, then they want to be ready for it.  I personally think that China is going to settle its differences with Taiwan without a fight; but I also believe that if Taiwan declares its independence, then the Chinese will retaliate in some aggressive fashion.  That’s one fight I don’t think we should get involved in.  The Chinese have long considered Taiwan as part of China (the other leg of the chicken–the first being Hong Kong).


I won’t give up on hoping that your Interfaith Alliance project bears fruit.     Keep up the good fight. -




*(Leonard Carrier received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Miami in ’56 and ’58, respectively, and his Ph.D from Stanford in 1967.  He taught at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and the University of South Florida (Tampa) before spending the rest of his teaching and research career (29 years until 2000) at the University of Miami. This is Dr. Carrier’s first contribution to Democrats.write and we collectively and sincerely hope he will grace us with many more. )


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