Richard Nixon did two things: he opened up China and he started the war on drugs. We are now seeing the end of the war on drugs with the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis in many parts of the United States, as well as more interest in a clinical as opposed to a police approach to drug problems. The battle is far from over for many victims of the war on drugs, but for the first time in decades, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The end of the Nixon tunnel also seems to coincide with the end of the Chinese-American buddy road trip. The Obama administration has so far remained largely mum about Chinese cyberattacks, but it would be foolish to presume that the US has not initiated any cyberattacks against China. All the evidence seems to indicate that the two nations are already in a Cyber Cold War.
Like two supernations already in tension, there must be a threat of physical confrontation in a proxy state. And indeed, Japan and China are in an increasingly escalating game of brinkmanship over the Senkaku islands. Uninhabited rocks have the two historical Asian rivals at each other's throats, with the US supplying a knife and an arm.
The Chinese have recently moved missiles, and the Japanese have started quoting Thatcher on the Falklands. Meanwhile, American generals are calling for further vengeance over China's unit 61398's intrusions into America's institutions. All three countries, with bloated economies and dissatisfied populations, somehow know that the people need a great external foe to rally them together and distract them from the harsh economic reality.
Face it! America is full of debt and its infrastructure is crumbling under the weight of a corpulent, decadent middle-class. The only thing that can prevent an implosion is a great awakening. Bush tried to give it to us with 9/11 and Al-Qaeda, but he failed for reasons too numerous to detail. Sure, an economic extrication will be devastating at first, but it is best when the people can blame an outside agent for economic tribulations. There is no fixing the current economy: you can't reglue shattered glass.
Don't think that our leaders have not foreseen this or prepared; to do so would be extremely foolish. All indications make it clear that the Chinese have been stockpiling resources and that the Americans have been stockpiling bullets, seemingly preparing for total economic collapse and mass dissent. Only a great new foe will be enough to distract the masses and quash dissent. America needs a new evil empire to justify its own existence, but we shouldn't underestimate a 5,000-year-old culture that produced the Art of War.