Why is Pelosi risking war?
This Taiwan trip is reckless.
As I write this Nancy Pelosi is landing in Taiwan
The most powerful person in Congress will act provocatively and make Taiwan a stop on her trip to Asia.
Make no mistake. She is not doing it on a whim.
While President Biden has distanced himself from Pelosi’s trip, and there are likely debates going on about the value and danger of it in the West Wing, Biden has also found ways to antagonize China.
The United Nations chief warned Monday that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” citing the war in Ukraine, nuclear threats in Asia and the Middle East and many other factors.
Speaking of Ukraine for a minute.
Tom Friedman also wonders why Pelosi is provoking tensions with China when things are not going so well with our war in Europe.
The Ukraine war is not over. And privately, U.S. officials are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on. There is deep mistrust between the White House and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — considerably more than has been reported.
And there is funny business going on in Kyiv. On July 17, Zelensky fired his country’s prosecutor general and the leader of its domestic intelligence agency — the most significant shake-up in his government since the Russian invasion in February. It would be the equivalent of Biden firing Merrick Garland and Bill Burns on the same day. But I have still not seen any reporting that convincingly explains what that was all about. It is as if we don’t want to look too closely under the hood in Kyiv for fear of what corruption or antics we might see, when we have invested so much there. (More on the dangers of that another day.)
Meanwhile, senior U.S. officials still believe that Putin is quite prepared to consider using a small nuclear weapon against Ukraine if he sees his army facing certain defeat.
In short, this Ukraine war is SO not over, SO not stable, SO not without dangerous surprises that can pop out on any given day. Yet in the middle of all of this we are going to risk a conflict with China over Taiwan, provoked by an arbitrary and frivolous visit by the speaker of the House?
Of course, Friedman is concerned that Pelosi’s trip will make pursuing the proxy war in Ukraine more difficult.
Friedman is being Captain Obvious in pointing out the error of provoking a war on two fronts.
Friedman thinks there are more pragmatic ways of dealing with Taiwan and China.
As for me? I’m with the U.N. General Secretary.
I’m for lowering the chances of miscalculation, of misunderstandings and of missiles flying.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaking yesterday to an international meeting on nuclear proliferation said, ““Future generations are counting on your commitment to step back from the abyss,” he implored the ministers and diplomats. “This is our moment to meet this fundamental test and lift the cloud of nuclear annihilation once and for all.”
Nancy Pelosi appears not to be listening.