Kevin Drum passes on a clue as to a meme, supposedly being pushed by the Chinese government, to frame the story about the US shooting down one of its own satellites, just thirteen months after the Chinese demonstrated a similar capacity.

“The drunken old man’s mind was not on the wine.”

Reader Kevin Smith at Political Animal explains:

“Tale of Old Tippler’s Pavilion

Chuzhou is embraced by mountains; to its south-west there are ridges upon ridges, of which the forests and valleys are extraordinarily beautiful and charming. The Mount Langya looks not only deep and serene, but also absolutely gorgeous. Walking along the mountain path for a few miles, one can hear the gurgling sound of water — it is nothing but a spring known mythologically as the rock-brewed spring pouring down between two peaks. The path winds through the ridges, and there appears a cozy gazebo perching on the spring — it is none other than the Old Tippler�s Pavilion, of which wonder who was the builder? It was a wise monk who lived in the mountain, of which wonder who entitled the name? It was no one but the prefect himself who offered his own nickname.

Once the prefect drank wine with his guests here and very soon he got a bit tipsy after only several sips. As he was the oldest among them, he was therefore teasing himself “an old tippler�.

A tippler’s delight lay not in wine but in mountains and waters. The delight to enjoy mountains and waters came from the bottom of his heart, and relied on wine as well.”

It boils down to a simple story, really. This is the spoor of the Chinese government telling people that the US wasn’t just protecting someone from hydrazine, it’s a test of a new weapon system. Yes, the US shot down a satellite 23 years ago, but that was from a manned platform, now obsolete. The US was testing an anti-sat system fired from the ground.

Yeah, we knew that.