America's enthusiasm for protecting the South China Sea against Chinese aggression would be more impressive if we made it clear we knew what was in the SCS and what was going on there.
Judging by the hysterics surrounding the Woody Island story, many of us don't.
We might not hear much more about the horrors of missiles on Woody Island once people a) figure out where Woody Island is b) what the PRC has done there over the last twenty years c) how it does and does not relate to the burbling confrontation over the Spratlys.
But you never know. The largely uninhabited South China Sea is apparently an almost perfect tabula rasa upon which any pretext for anger and anxiety can be projected. And the US government doesn't seem at all unhappy when the media keeps the strategic threat pot boiling down there.
I unpack the latest iteration of the Woody Island saga in an exclusive at Asia Times: South China Sea Missiles: The Woody Island Media Circus Explained.
Trigger Warning: Snark.