As for the gaffe, in an interview on PBS with Judy Woodruff on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate was asked whether he considered China a potential military threat. Though his affirmative answer to the question was correct in my opinion, he lost whatever little credibility that judgment might have gotten by claiming that China has “indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability.” While it is possible that a great many other Americans don’t know that the Chinese exploded their first nuclear weapon 47 years ago, it’s also true that surveys of historical knowledge also show that many think the battle of Gettysburg was fought during World War Two. But would you really want to elect any of those people president even if they knew how to sell pizza? It also makes you wonder what other events in world history that have occurred since 1964 that Cain missed (note to Herman: the Berlin Wall fell and Francisco Franco is still dead).
Cain is not merely unembarrassed by his ignorance or his inability to articulate the difference between “pro-life” and “choice” on abortion. He’s taken to treating these gaps in what ordinary Americans consider to be a normal body of knowledge for an educated adult as a point of pride about which we are invited to share a laugh with the candidate about the silliness of pointy-headed intellectuals who expect him to know this stuff. The sort of low-end populism that treats a grasp of policy as if it were a junior high pop quiz on algebra always has a certain appeal and it’s not surprising that a lot of people are prepared to laugh along with him.
Whether the harassment charges are true or not — and if we ever hear from those who made the accusations even some of those assuming there’s nothing to it but racism or political bias may change their minds — the arrogance with which he has refused to deal with them seems vaguely familiar to those who have watched him airily dismiss complaints about his lack of understanding of foreign policy or his inability to logically defend his tax plans.
Cain had to know that sooner or later these charges were out there waiting to be revealed but the candidate never made an effort to adequately explain them or even to keep his story straight about what happened. But rather than admit mistakes or to get ahead of the story and get it all out for the public to digest, Cain has prevaricated and now attempted to shift the story with a fanciful charge that it’s all the fault of Rick Perry and his staff.
Building Capacity for Conventional Precision Strike
Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs) (< 1000 km). According to DIA estimates, as of October 2006 the PLA had roughly 900 SRBMs and is increasing its inventory at a rate of more than 100 missiles per year. The PLA's first-generation SRBMs do not possess true "precision strike" capability, but later generations have greater ranges and improved accuracy.
Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) (1000-3000 km). The PLA is acquiring conventional MRBMs, apparently to increase the range to which it can conduct precision strikes, to include their possible use in targeting naval ships operating far from China's shores
Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACMs). China is developing LACMs for stand-off, precision strike capability against hard-targets. First- and second-generation LACMs may be deployed in the near future.
Air-to-Surface Missiles (ASMs). China is believed to have a small number of tactical ASMs and precision-guided munitions, including all-weather, satellite-guided and laser-guided bombs, and is pursuing foreign and domestic acquisitions to improve airborne anti-ship capabilities.
Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs). PLA Navy has or is acquiring nearly a dozen varieties of ASCMs, from the 1950s-era CSS-N-2/STYX to the modern Russian-made SS-N-22/SUNBURN and SS-N- 27B/SIZZLER. The pace of indigenous ASCM research, development and production - and of foreign procurement - has accelerated over the past decade.
Anti-Radiation Weapons. The PLA has imported Israeli-made HARPY UCAVs and Russian-made antiradiation missiles, and is developing an anti-radiation missile based on the Russian Kh-31P (AS-17) known domestically as the YJ-91.
On Fox News Sunday today, Bill Kristol threw cold water on Herman Cain?s presidential candidacy, arguing that regardless of his popularity among conservative voters and whether or not his sexual harassment scandal will end up helping or hurting him, there was very little chance in the first place he was ever going to be the Republican nominee.
Chris Wallace brought up Cain?s contentious exchange with a reporter last night over the allegations over his sexual harassment controversy, and asked the panel if there was a connection between what Cain is currently going through and what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced twenty years ago during his nomination process for the bench.
Kristol argued the cases were not the same at all, suggesting there may be more to go on in Cain?s case than there was with Thomas during the Anita Hill controversy. However, he then took the opportunity to completely dismiss the notion that Herman Cain ever had a chance of winning the Republican nomination.
?He?s not going to be the nominee, if I can just be honest here for a minute. He was never going to be the nominee. The support for him, I think, was a symbol of conservative and Republican distrust of some of the frontrunners, willingness to reward someone for being bold, for having comprehensive reform plans, for being an outsider, but I think the air is slowly going to go out of the Herman Cain bubble regardless of the sexual harassment charges.?
Juan Williams defended Cain and claimed he was being used as a ?pi?ata? by the black liberal establishment and argued Kristol?s point that many people, himself included, did not expect Cain to come as far as he already has in the race.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Whatever happened to Quemoy and Matsu? Fifty years ago ? in October, 1960 ? the destiny of these Chinese islands was hotly discussed during the Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates.
Quemoy, now known as Kinmen, is within a few miles of the China coast at the entrance to the important port of Xiamen. Matsu is also located just a few miles off another major port of China. Both islands are over a hundred miles from Taiwan. When Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist army was defeated on the mainland by the Communists in 1949, he and about 600,000 of his troops fled to Taiwan, to where the government of the Republic of China was transferred. During that retreat, the Nationalists fortified Quemoy and Matsu. In October 1949, the Nationalists repelled a serious invasion attempt by the Communists to seize Quemoy.
Although shore batteries shelled both islands relentlessly during the 1950?s and ?60?s, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has not mounted another invasion effort against either island. The distinguished British historian, Margaret MacMillan, believes that Mao Tse-tung may have concluded that it was in the best interest of the PRC to leave Quemoy and Matsu in the hands of the Nationalists. If the PRC were to seize the islands or the Nationalists were to abandon them, the distance between the mainland and Taiwan would lengthen from a few miles to over a hundred, and ?perhaps in thought as well.?1 Moreover, the acquisition of these offshore islands by the PRC and their separation from Nationalist control would tend to validate acceptance of the ?two Chinas? policy to which both Mao Tse-tung and Chiang Kai-shek were vehemently opposed.
Early on in the presidential debates, Kennedy was asked if the United States defense line in the Far East should include Quemoy and Matsu. Kennedy responded that these islands ? just a few miles off the coast of China and more than a hundred miles from Taiwan ? were strategically indefensible and were not essential to the defense of Taiwan. The Massachusetts Senator also alluded to the unsuccessful efforts by the Eisenhower Administration to persuade Chiang Kai-shek to abandon the offshore islands in order to avoid the possibility of being dragged into a major confrontation with the PRC over these two islands. Perhaps feeling the need to disagree with Kennedy, Vice President Nixon countered. Since Quemoy and Matsu were in the ?area of freedom,? Nixon contended that they should not be surrendered to the Communists as a matter of ?principle.? Theodore H. White was of the opinion that Kennedy?s initial answer to the question on Quemoy and Matsu was ?probably one of the sharpest and clearest responses of any question of the debates.?2
Although the differences on Quemoy and Matsu between Kennedy and Nixon became somewhat blurred by the eve of the election, their disagreement as initially stated in the debates remained a campaign issue. To millions of Americans watching the debates even the names of the offshore islands ? Quemoy and Matsu ? had a certain phonetic and unforgettable cachet. Quemoy and Matsu dominated the debates like no other single issue with its peace or war ramifications.
Kennedy?s position came across as a more thoughtful and cautious approach to a troublesome matter. In this connection, Arthur Schlesinger commented that Kennedy?s response to the Quemoy-Matsu issue illustrated his ?dislike for rigid interpretations of the cold war.? Kennedy ?therefore favored a policy of reasoned firmness accompanied by a determination to explore all possibilities of reasonable accommodation.?3 Nixon, on the other hand, sounded reckless and bellicose on this issue by even suggesting the possibility of armed conflict between the United States and the PRC over ?two little pieces of [unimportant] real estate? as he had described Quemoy and Matsu. Moreover, Nixon?s position appeared to be out-of-step with the Eisenhower Administration. Ironically, twelve years later, Nixon ushered in normalization of relations between the United States and the PRC.
Everyone agrees that the 1960 presidential debates made a difference in the election. Before the debates, which took place within a month of the election, Kennedy was clearly the underdog. Having emerged as Nixon?s equal as a result of the debates, Kennedy squeaked to victory. While there is room for disagreement, an argument can be made that the issue of Quemoy and Matsu was an important factor in Kennedy?s ultimate election.
The Quemoy-Matsu issue was first raised in the second debate on October 7, 1960. Disagreement between the candidates was instant. Unlike any other single issue, Quemoy and Matsu continued to be a bone of contention well into the third and fourth debates on October 13 and 21, 1960. Throughout the debates Kennedy reminded the American people that Nixon might actually risk military action to defend Quemoy and Matsu even in the absence of an all-out attack on Taiwan. By pointing out that Nixon would commit the United States to defend the offshore islands as a matter of principle, Kennedy was able to paint Nixon as dangerously dogmatic and unyielding in a very uncertain situation; he also emphasized that Nixon?s position was inconsistent with the Eisenhower Administration in which he was then Vice President.
The American people, concerned about the potential for war, understood the divergent positions on Quemoy and Matsu offered by the candidates and this understanding contributed to their acceptance of Kennedy as a calm and thoughtful leader they could trust.
So, what did happen to Quemoy and Matsu? Fifty years after the Kennedy-Nixon debates, Quemoy and Matsu are still in the hands of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Because of the relaxation of tensions between the PRC and Taiwan, the military presence on both Quemoy and Matsu has been reduced substantially. Both islands have become destinations for tourists from both the mainland and Taiwan. And, as a reminder of those turbulent times of the 1960 presidential debates, the extensive fortifications and tunnels constructed to defend the offshore islands are now major tourist attractions. Quemoy and Matsu, flash points during the Kennedy-Nixon debates, never flared up.
1. MacMillan, Margaret, Nixon and Mao, Random House, N.Y., 2007, p. 253
2. White, Theodore H., The Making of the President 1960, Atheneum Publishers, 1961, p. 292
3. Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr., A Thousand Days, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1965, p. 301
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
we have to go over this once again...... instead of debating reality let's instead pounce on an obvious misspeaking where he had one thought and jumped to another, guess if you don't have a valid intelligent point choose an invalid low-blow one.... Come on, I know you are smarter then to actually believe he thought there were 47 states, can't you tell it was obvious he was about to say just "50" but had not been to all 50 so he corrected himself to make it "47" but just didn't do a complete job at it. It's not like he "forgot" all the things republicans do, it was a simple ****-up that could happen to anyone, If what you do was recorded every second of the day how many "mis-speakings" would you make per day?