On the US spy plane standoff with China

The WSWS has received the following letters in response to articles written by Patrick Martin on developments in the aftermath of the collision of a US spy plane and a Chinese jet in the South China Sea (see links below).

Dear Mr. Martin,

Politically we may not agree, but I felt your article was informative, not slanted, and factual. It offered something I did not know and from a different perspective.

One of the big problems in this country is the average American is not really politically inclined. Moreover, the national media, less the insulting TV commercials, is often slanted or more often incorrect. That is if you can even understand the anchor persons vocal delivery. The local media mostly will focus on local news of no real value. We are for the most part an uninformed society. Those with computers will surf the net looking for a bargain or something free, send a few emails, or play games, but rarely look for news.

As Americans we only get somewhat concerned, albeit without the real facts, when our toes are stepped on, as in the present case with the Navy EP3 and the Chinese jet. Right or wrong we often hop on the bandwagon with the political majority who has the best position we most want to hear even if it is not the right position or fully explained.

Certainly this present matter will soon end, and the troops will come home. Someone will fix the aircraft and bring it home. The troops will be heroes, and Congress will pass a new billion dollar defense bill for better aircraft and surveillance equipment because ours is now compromised. Even if it was not. All this in due time. It will come to pass.

The sad part is the memory of this event will linger in the minds of many of us regarding the future trust we will have in dealing with the Chinese. Many already are concerned now with the many imports we buy that say “Made In China.” In the future, and as a result of this incident, many more will be the same. Those who can remember, “Made In Japan,” will point to China with the same general mistrust, and quietly spread the message to others. Indicating it's only a matter of time before history repeats itself.

Again, I liked your article. Thanks for the perspective.


Lone Grove, Oklahoma

8 April 2001

Dear editor,

I saw an article [about the spy plane incident] on the Online Journal. The man who wrote it seems to know what he is talking about. He is a former US Navy Intelligence officer. A new cold war would be good for the economy and could create stronger nationalistic feelings in the USA. Also, a new “communist threat” would be helpful to the current right-wing government in crushing any opposition from the left. Sort of a new McCarthyism? Just some random thoughts.


7 April 2001

First of all, it is not spying when is not covert, it is reconnaissance. As usual the only way for the left to win is to lie and manipulate the truth. Second, it was in international waters, didn't break any laws. Third, I'm originally from a communist country; you may fool Americans but not me. You guys survive on lies, real intolerance, envy and the ignorance of most people. Mr. Martin's article was typical, but this time I just laughed because like it or not Republicans have the White House, the Senate and the House and you'll have to live with it for at least four years. It may take us longer, but in the end common sense will prevail and people will see the farce that socialism, communism, modern liberalism are. It is shameful how not even in an incident with a not so friendly nation gets you guys against America, the America that gave you freedom and prosperity. But anyway, thanks for the opportunity to express myself, that is not very common from the left and I respect you for that. Let's try in the future to have debates based on facts, let's deal with the truth just for the benefit of humanity, the mankind you say you love so much. Good luck and enjoy the wonderful world of freedom, here in the USA.


8 April 2001

Excellent analysis in my opinion, albeit I am a somewhat rightist Republican. I think the other side of the coin view is quite realistic. Incidentally, even Fox News is, at least by innuendo, speculating about what we would have done had the spy plane been Chinese, and flying close to California...


3 April 2001

It would be easy to assume that George W Bush, with no international diplomatic experience, is simply incompetent in foreign affairs. However, I offer another explanation: He is looking to justify the enormous cost of a defense budget in a world with a diminishing number of enemies. With his recent performance, he may just get his wish.


3 April 2001

There is one major difference between the mid-air collision of the US and the Chinese military aircraft close to the Chinese border and the hypothetical scenario projected by Time magazine. While China claims Taiwan as its territory, USA has not claimed that Cuba is a US territory. I like to visualize that had it not been the powerful China, but some weak and impoverished country like Iraq or Afghanistan in its place, then by now the USA would have started bombing it.


5 April 2001