By MARC McDONALD
So, what's the most effective strategy we can use to end the disastrous Iraq War? Carry a sign at an anti-war rally? Contact our members of Congress to voice our opposition? Impeach George W. Bush?
All of these strategies are worthy. But if we really want to bring an end to the ongoing bloody fiasco, the most effective method is to boycott China.
Remember, China is America's bank these days. Without hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese capital, the U.S. dollar would crumble in value. Indeed, the functioning of the U.S. government (including the Pentagon) is dependent on China's purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds.
Last year, America's trade deficit with China soared 15.4 percent to $232.5 billion, the biggest imbalance ever recorded with a single trading partner.
When you consider that America is drowning in titanic trade and fiscal deficits, it's clear that China, not the U.S. Treasury Department, is the one that is really financing this war.
In recent weeks, China has already threatened to use its $1.33 trillion of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the U.S. Congress. And if American consumers began boycotting China, this would clearly force Beijing's hand and prompt China to liquidate its vast holding of U.S. Treasuries.
And there's a bonus to boycotting Chinese products these days. The fact is, Chinese products can be deadly for you (as has been evidenced lately by tainted and toxic goods imported from China).
If you'd instead prefer to carry a sign at an anti-war rally, knock yourself out. But keep in mind that George W. Bush has never paid the slightest attention to anti-war rallies. (Recall how the 2003 Iraq invasion was preceded by millions of demonstrators marching in cities across the world in the biggest global protests ever organized).
And if you want to wait around for the Democrats to step up and take action to end this war, I'm afraid you'll be waiting for a long time. The Democrats are simply too timid these days to either end the war or impeach Bush.
If Americans start boycotting China, then Beijing will have fewer assets to prop up the U.S. dollar (and to buy Treasury bonds). Currently, the U.S. economy is dependent on an eye-popping $2.5 billion in foreign capital flowing into our nation daily (much of it from China).
An American boycott of China might give headaches to the likes of Wal-Mart (the single biggest importer of Chinese goods into the U.S.) But as far as I'm concerned, that's yet another bonus. Anyone who shops at Wal-Mart these days needs to be aware of the true price they're paying for Wal-Mart's supposedly "everyday low prices."
The fact is: Bush will never, ever listen to the voices of reason on the Iraq War. At this point, the war is really about nothing more than salvaging his "legacy." If we really want this insane war to end, we've got to force Bush's hand. And there's no better way to do this than to boycott China.