“There’s something unseemly about the way U.S. politicians and businessmen will go to any length to curry favor with fascist China.

I use the term “fascist” advisedly. It is a much more accurate term than “Communist,” in this case. I make no moral distinction between fascism and communism, only a semantic one.

In the latest example the West’s shameless pandering, official representatives of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach traveled to China wooing the business of the China Overseas Shipping Co. Apparently, the Long Beach commissioners persuaded COSCO not to give up on plans to take over the Naval Station, while L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan tried to sell the company on leasing a 300-acre landfill facility.

U.S. officials are literally falling all over themselves to accommodate a company — owned lock, stock and barrel by the Stalinist regime in Beijing and the People’s Liberation Army — that has been caught red-handed smuggling automatic weapons into the country.

But COSCO is just the tip of the iceberg (and, oh, couldn’t we use some well-paced icebergs at a time like this). Senior politicians from both major political parties serve as unregistered lobbyists for the Chinese government. They include Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, Mickey Cantor and Robert Strauss. When you see these men on those television talking-head shows, remember who they represent.

Then, of course, there’s the little matter of all that mysterious campaign cash that flowed into the American political system in 1996. The FBI has traced $3 million in illegal election cash dating back over the last 10 years. There has already been one conviction involving this funny money, with at least three other cases pending. But it’s not just money direct from the Bank of China that should concern Americans. What about the contributions from more than 200 U.S. corporations doing business in China?

What did this money — perhaps as much as $100 million — buy? Well, certainly the biggest issue between Washington and Beijing recently was the issue settled last year of “Most Favored Nation” status. Then there was the decision by the Department of Commerce to reclassify formerly restricted military technology for supercomputers, radiation resistant computer chips, satellite geo-positioners, submarine and stealth technology, high-tech missile engine tools and more. U.S. companies have been selling all of these items to the Chinese ever since.

Meanwhile, foreign investment in China totals over $150 billion. Global financial services such as SBC Warburg, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. and Citibank are among the biggest investors. We’re told that China’s economy will surpass that of the U.S. in 15 years. Yet, we treat this potential superpower enemy like a struggling Third World ally. For instance, COSCO’s new supertankers are being built in Mobile, Alabama, with taxpayer loan guarantees. Friend-of-Bill-Clinton James Riady got a billion-dollar loan guarantee from the U.S. Import-Export Bank for his Entergy Corp. to build a dam in China.

There’s plenty more evidence, too, that the U.S. is selling not only real estate and hangman’s rope to the Chinese, but our very national soul. At best, these policies are gravely shortsighted. At worst, they are treasonous.

Both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense have run limited war scenarios with post-millennial China. Both times, the U.S. lost. Meanwhile, Beijing is modernizing the PLA and increasing its budget by about 15 percent each year. The U.S. is dramatically downsizing its military budgets, closing bases — such as Long Beach — and further straining its limited defense resources by stepping up efforts to be the policeman of the world.

There is no more oppressive, tyrannical police state on the face of the earth today than fascist China. Let there be no mistake about U.S. policy toward this brutal regime. It’s not constructive engagement we’re involved in — it’s constructive appeasement.

Yet, the people sleep. Congress issues some reports. The press is more interested in which intern, government employee or volunteer Bill Clinton is sleeping with now, than the fact that he and the rest of the Washington establishment are in bed with the butchers of Beijing.

Ten years from now, Americans will wonder how it happened that we allowed China to emerge from the shadows to threaten our very existence. The stage for the new Cold War is being built today. Our vital, long-term national security interests are being dictated by greedy, short-term private corporate interests. This is a recipe for only one thing — national surrender.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.