There’s an old story from Roman history about Cato the Elder trolling the peaceniks in the Roman Senate by dropping figs on the floor.
The hook was that the figs were from Carthage, Rome’s rival for supremacy in the Mediterranean.
And the figs were fresh, because Carthage was only three days’ sail from Rome. And they were magnificent, because Carthage had survived its century of confrontation with Rome to become both bigger and wealthier than Rome.
This displeased Cato the Elder, who wanted Carthage to remain in an eternally submissive status to Rome.
So, he ended every speech in the Roman Senate with the statement, “Carthaginem esse delendam” : “Carthage must be destroyed”. And guess what: because of Cato’s determination, and the fig stunt and, the fact that Carthage was the main center of agricultural and economic wealth in the Mediterranean not yet controlled by Rome, Carthage was destroyed in 146 B.C.
The Roman armies razed Carthage to the ground, sold the surviving population into slavery, annihilated its written culture…and Rome got a few more centuries at the top of the heap!
Well, today it’s Sinisem esse delendam: China must be destroyed. Instead of Cato the Elder, we got Marco Rubio. Instead of figs, we got Huawei smart phones. And we’ve got Indo Pacific Command thirsting for another couple decades as top dog in the western pacific.