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08/14/2005

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David

I agree with Posner that Iran should not be allowed to purchase Boeing. However, I do not agree with this:

"I do not think that Iran poses anywhere near as great a long-term threat to the United States as China does. China may within a few decades become as powerful as the United States, and both China and the U.S. are Pacific powers. Iran is not a potential superpower and Iran and the United States do not share an ocean."

Posner's analysis displays an outdated, cold-war worldview. The greatest threat to the U.S. these days does not come from another "superpower," and especially China - it seems unlikely to me that China is bent on world domination. China's territorial ambitions seem limited to Taiwan - a problem, to be sure, but not really a threat to the U.S. China seeks to be an economic superpower, which we should welcome, not fear, so long as it plays by the rules of the global market.

Iran, on the other hand, is run by religious extremists bent on regional domination, if not world domination. Iran supports a variety of terrorist groups and is likely seeking to develop nuclear weapons. If Iran shares nukes with its terrorist clients, that is definitely something to fear. Unfortunately, the Bush administration cried "wolf" on this point regarding Iraq, and now no one will believe the U.S. if we make the same argument about Iran, even though it is far more valid.

Martin

Not long ago the UK saw advanced negotiations on MGRover. Markets speculate on discussions between Italian Fiat and Chineese potential buyers.

I just wonder what the effect on US consumer confidence would be if China seriously made a bid on Ford or, worse even, GM - ex defence relevant bits.

After all, those companies are, while emblematic for the pride of nations (imagine what "Mercedes" or "BMW" means for Germans), those two companies are not valued at inaccessible levels nowadays.

Seth Ayarza

I did a bit of a check up on Aristedes Rare-earth metals comment. Essentially he brought up the concern that Unocal had access to sites that had unique and rare military resources (Uranium...plutonium etc.), stuff that is used in tank shells, missiles, nukes etc.

I now see it can be dismissed after a bit of research. Although the United States is one of the major areas in which these rare-earth metals can be found, China is also one of the top producers as well. So, if Unocal got bought it probably wasn't for more rare-earth elements.

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