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Chapter 7 of Mr. Tucker novel 2065, now in its fifth week of serialization, on America and China after the latter’s seizure of Pearl Harbor.
(Page 2 of 6)
“Well, at least we’re even with them in that respect,” said Federer. “You know that ‘kowtow’ is a Chinese word. It means ‘head-floor.’ It’s what you do in the presence of the Emperor. The Chinese still do that reflexively sometimes when you talk them. They bow slightly.”
The General gave him a suspicious glance. “You’re not saying we should start practicing, are you, Mr. Ambassador?”
Federer felt his heart turning somersaults.
HE FUMBLED WITH HIS MEDICINE as he entered the general’s office. Spartan in the usual fashion, it was still elaborate in ornament. An antique American flag covered one entire wall while on the other hung photographs of the General shaking hands with every senior official who had ever entered the Pacific theater, including four Presidents. Behind his desk was mounted a huge, hand-carved eagle that looked as if it had once decorated the prow of a ship.
Federer counted the stars on the faded flag. “Forty-five, right?” he said, trying to relieve the tension.
“That flag flew over Admiral Dewey’s headquarters in Manila,” said the General, hardly concealing his exasperation. “People respected us back then.”
“Well, let’s see if they can respect us again,” said Federer. “Now, what can you tell me?”
“We’re not entirely sure what’s going on,” said the General, motioning Federer into a bamboo chair. “You know with the Chinese, everything is positioning. Sun Tzu and The Art of War and all that. ‘Know your enemy. Avoid direct confrontation. Use the element of surprise.’ They seem certain we won’t retaliate with nuclear. Our air wing could blow them out of the water in a moment but we’re not sure they wouldn’t go nuclear themselves. So we wait. It seems like a two-pronged attack, both military and economic. They’re making demands on the debt. That’s where they’ve got us by the balls. If they stop lending us money, the whole country will collapse within a month.”
“Every American has been wondering whether this would happen for the last twenty years,” said Federer glumly.
“And now it has” said the General. “It’s like Commodore Perry sailing into Tokyo Harbor and demanding the Japanese trade with us. Not an invasion so much as an armed request.”
“Well, they’ve certainly gotten our attention.”
“That supercarrier is a giant rook pointed straight at our queen in Washington,” said Schoonmaker, with a bit of a smirk.
“We’re in the middle of the chess board,” said Federer. “And we’re in check.”
The General rose from his chair. “It’s time to get to our meeting.”
“What about this business of the Chinese women?” asked Federer as they headed down the hall.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online