Saturday, January 22, 2011

Its not a Sputnik.

I just don't get it. I mean, I totally get it but it doesn't make it any better.

Its not Sputnik. I am talking about how everything involved with China that seems somewhat threatening to American dominance is suddenly of Sputnik caliber. I understand the metaphor. Sputnik served as a call to action that solidified American will to stand up and compete with the Soviet Union. The massive existential threat to the free world for many decades.

China is not the Soviet Union. Chinese development is not a satellite. Chinese students are also not satellites. You can make the logical leap with the metaphor, but why would you want to make that metaphor? Its like, remember the Cold War? Remember all the fear? Let's do that again. Let's have that be our rallying cry!

Live in fear of the eastern menace! Yar!

Give me a break, first it started (ok, it actually started a long time ago if you read my other Sputnik entry, but with a different country) with the PISA results, carried on to some articles and opinion columns in the NYT and now it happens again in an article talking about similarities between China-US economic issues now and US-Japan economic issues of over 20 years ago.

What is just as tasteless in the recent NYT article is entitled "Maybe Japan Was Just a Warm-Up to the Rivalry with China" . That is all Japan was, a warm-up to some other threat in the East. At the end of the article it brings the ridiculous Sputnik analogy up again. It just oozes of nationalist, confrontational rhetoric. We are in a battle or match and we needed to warm-up. But now we are ready to hit the field and crack some skulls. Booya.

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