It seems our Chinese Overlords are displeased with the way we are handling the economy these days. Recently, the Chinese Premier made statements about how "worried" he is about our current economic crisis, and made suggestions to the effect of that we should "be careful" about how much money we spend and what we do financially, et cetera (source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090313/ap_on_bi_ge/as_china_us_economy).
This, of course, was meant as a thinly-veiled threat. If you are not already aware, China is our largest foreign creditor as they already own in the neighborhood of $1 trillion in U.S. debt. If our recent actions were to weaken the dollar, its devaluation would erode the worth of those assets to the same effect that a stock can crash and end up being worth less than when it was purchased. Bottom line: they want their assets protected.
Now, throw into the mix the recent maritime confrontations between U.S. and Chinese ships and I can start to see a tense situation beginning to take shape. Never forget, economic crises have been the catalyst that has pushed many nations toward war. Japan's fateful attack at Pearl Harbor was a direct result of an economic embargo that cut them off from, among other commodities, oil.
And, let us not forget also that a great many historians now credit us getting into WWII and the jumpstart it provided to our downtrodden industrial sector as the event truely responsible for pulling us out of the Great Depression.
Is it really that big of a stretch to imagine someone somewhere arguing that a war with China might have a similar effect on today's downtrodden economy?