World View: China Locks 'Fire Control Radar' on Japanese Targets

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Bulgaria blames Hizbollah for bus attack killing Israelis
  • Lebanon promises to cooperate with Bulgaria's investigation
  • In escalation, China locks its 'fire control radar' on Japanese targets
  • China accuses Japan of escalating dispute of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
  • Analysis: China/Japan standoff similar to leadup to World War I

Bulgaria blames Hizbollah for bus attack killing Israelis

Burgas Bulgaria bus bombing, July 19, 2012
Burgas Bulgaria bus bombing, July 19, 2012

On July 19 of last year, a young man wearing plaid Bermuda sports, a bright blue T-shirt, baseball cap, sunglasses and long hair boarded a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, along with 44 Israeli tourists on their way to a Black Sea beach-front hotel. A few seconds later, an explosion killed the bus driver and five Israelis, and injured dozens more. Initial indications pointed to involvement by Iran and Hizbollah, but nothing could be proven at the time. But after months of investigation, Bulgaria on Tuesday accused two Hizbollah agents of carrying out the bomb attack:

"There is data showing the financing and connection between Hizbullah and the two suspects.

What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hizbollah."

Iran denied any involvement, but Israel accused Hizbollah and Iran of waging a "global terror campaign," saying the Burgas bomb was among a series of such attacks carried out in Thailand, Kenya, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Georgia. Reuters and Spiegel (July, 2012)

Lebanon promises to cooperate with Bulgaria's investigation

Prime Minister Najib Mikati vowed that Lebanon's government would cooperate with Bulgaria in investigating the involvement of Hizbollah in last July's bus attack:

"[Lebanon's government is] ready to cooperate with Bulgaria to uncover the circumstances [of the attack].

Lebanon also reiterates its commitment to the security of Bulgaria and all members of the EU. Lebanon trusts the Bulgarian authority in its investigation and is ready to cooperate to uncover the circumstances of the issue for the sake of justice."

It remains to be seen just how much Lebanon's government will be able to cooperate, however, since Hizbollah is part of Lebanon's government. Daily Star (Beirut)

In escalation, China locks its 'fire control radar' on Japanese targets

Japan on Tuesday accused China of locking its "fire control radar" on a Japanese destroyer and helicopter in two separate incidents last month. Locking fire control radar on a target is the step that's taken just before a radar-guided "fire and forget" missile is launched on the target. The radar can track a moving target to guarantee that the missile attack will succeed. Since China did not actually push the red button that would launch the missile, the locking was apparently intended as a threat to Japan to back off from its claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. However, this is a major military escalation by the Chinese, because when a vessel detects that it's being targeted by fire control radar, then the captain of that vessel only has a few seconds to decide whether to return fire. Last month, China issued a directive to the People's Liberation Army: Get Ready for War, and China continues to take actions that signal that a preemptive Chinese attack is coming. The Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo) and Sydney Morning Herald

China accuses Japan of escalating dispute of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

China did not comment on the radar locking threat on Tuesday, but instead accused Japan of escalating the dispute of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands "by setting up a new publicity office aimed at ... propaganda issues."

"[China] stressed that the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory and so are the surrounding waters, and Chinese marine surveillance vessels are conducting regular patrols in Chinese territorial waters."

According to Chinese government media,

"China has a much larger population than Japan and there are many more overseas Chinese than overseas Japanese. Japan is not expected to take a rational attitude toward China. The Chinese public and overseas Chinese should take the initiative and carry out legal campaigns against Japan.

The time when Japan gained advantages from moves like this has long gone. China's retaliatory restrictions have shocked Japan. If Japan makes provocations once again, it is Japan that is bound to suffer."

Global Times (Beijing) and China Daily (Beijing)

Analysis: China/Japan standoff similar to leadup to World War I

There is a striking analogy between China today and Germany before World War I. The adept leadership of Otto von Bismarck gave way to much clumsier political and military leadership by younger generations in the years before WW I, who encouraged nationalism as an alternative outlet for anti-government sentiment. According to analyst Graham Allison,

"The mechanism in 1914 is instructive. Who could imagine that Serbian terrorists could kill an archduke no one had heard of and trigger a great war, at the end of which all contestants were devastated. My view is that the Chinese leadership has no intention of challenging the US militarily, yet. But what about the hothead nationalists in China or Japan?"

The "hothead nationalists in China and Japan" today are the generations corresponding to America's nihilistic Generation-X. Gulf News / FT

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