Who's Behind Asia-Pacific's Growing Tensions? June 18, 2015(Tony Cartlaucci - NEO) - Increasing tension in the Asia-Pacific between China and nations surrounding its territory, appears to be an unstoppable and inevitable lead-up to regional conflict and perhaps even global war. In reality, for those who have studied history, this is a familiar rerun. Change the characters and place current events in the context of the early 1900's and we see the lead up to World War II and more specifically, the events that set the stage for the fighting in the Pacific. Some may believe this is a rerun of when Japan was the sole aggressor in the region, expanding beyond its means before finally meeting its match. Predicated on this misconception, these same people would believe that China has now traded places with Imperial Japan, and is expanding recklessly at the expense of regional and global peace and stability. However, this is indeed a misconception. World War II: Setting the Record Straight To make this clear, we must consider the words of a contemporary of the period before World War II and the words of warning he offered regarding the true nature of tensions at that time. He was United State Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor, and a man who fought America's wars on multiple continents throughout his entire adult life and part of his childhood - he lied about his age to enlist in the Marine Corps early. In his seminal writing "War is a Racket," he speaks specifically of tensions in the Asia-Pacific at the time and offered advice on how to avoid what would be a catastrophic war (emphasis added): At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline.Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.General Butler alludes to the fact that America's posture in Asia-Pacific would inevitably provoke war. To answer why precisely the United States was conducting naval maneuvers off Japan's shores before the outbreak of World War II, one must consider America's openly imperialist "Manifest Destiny" which saw the seizure and occupation of islands across the Pacific, up to and including the Philippines which still to this day suffers the effects of constant US military, political, and economic meddling - but at the time the island nation was literally occupied as a conquered territory by the US.