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Technology can be a beautiful thing. But in the matter of who wields it, it can be vital to distinguish friend from foe. The late historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in his classic 15-volume naval history of World War II, bequeathed us a “grimly humorous” anecdote from the aftermath of the 1942 Doolittle Raid on Japan—in which, in order to surprise Japan with a retaliatory bombing less than five months after Pearl Harbor, two U.S. aircraft carriers, the Hornet and the Enterprise, sailed much closer to Japanese waters than Tokyo was expecting. After U.S. bombers took off from the deck of the Hornet, the carriers turned for home. They were sighted by a crew member of a Japanese patrol ship, who—mistaking them for Japanese aircraft carriers—went below deck to rouse his sleeping skipper, telling him to come look at “our beautiful carriers.”
Morison recounts: “The skipper came on deck, studied Enterprise and Hornet through his binoculars, and remarked, ‘They’re beautiful all right, but they’re not ours.’ He went below and shot himself.”
Story - Lookout - Patrol - Ship - Americans
That story, told by the captured Japanese lookout after his patrol ship surrendered to the Americans, comes to mind in the current context of an op-ed by George Gilder, published in the May 21 Wall Street Journal under the headline: “Huawei Is an Asset, Not a Threat.”
Yes indeed, China’s telecom-equipment giant Huawei is an asset. But it’s not ours. Whatever the details of Huawei’s officially private ownership, or the marvels of its innovations and industry, Huawei is for strategic purposes an asset of the globally ambitious despotism that is the government of China. Which makes it dangerous.
Admirer - George - Gilder - Passion - Markets
Let me stipulate that I am a longtime admirer of George Gilder and his passion for free markets. My respect for Gilder goes way back to 1981, when he published his best-selling book on the...
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