Picking a War with China

As Official Washington obsesses about Russia, the Obama administration is mounting a similar strategy against China, surrounding it and then accusing it of “aggression,” as John Pilger explains.

By John Pilger

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the Twentieth Century.

Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an “existential threat” to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.

To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, which meant that almost two-thirds of U.S. naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one U.S. strategist, “the perfect noose.”

More Unthinkable Thinking

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled, War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the U.S. Army, the authors evoke the Cold War when RAND made notorious the catch cry of its chief strategist, Herman Kahn — “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

Islands at the center of the territorial dispute between China and Japan. (Image credit: Jackopoid)

Islands at the center of the territorial dispute between China and Japan. (Image credit: Jackopoid)

Today, his apocalyptic view is shared by those holding real power in the United States: the militarists and neoconservatives in the Executive Branch, the Pentagon, the intelligence and “national security” establishment and Congress.

The current Secretary of Defense, Ashley Carter, a verbose provocateur, says U.S. policy is to confront those “who see America’s dominance and want to take that away from us”.

For all the attempts to detect a departure in foreign policy, this is almost certainly the view of Donald Trump, whose abuse of China during the election campaign included that of “rapist” of the American economy. On Dec. 2, in a direct provocation of China, President-elect Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province of the mainland. Armed with American missiles, Taiwan is an enduring flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States,” wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international Affairs at George Washington University, “is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress.” This war would begin with a “blinding attack against Chinese anti-access facilities, including land and sea-based missile launchers … satellite and anti-satellite weapons”.

The incalculable risk is that “deep inland strikes could be mistakenly perceived by the Chinese as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into ‘a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma’ [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2015, the Pentagon released its Law of War Manual. “The United States,” it says, “has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons per se, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”

In Search of an Enemy

In China, a strategist told me, “We are not your enemy, but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping greets President Barack Obama upon arrival for the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Chinese President Xi Jinping greets President Barack Obama upon arrival for the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

China’s military and arsenal are small compared to America’s. However, “for the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack. … This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy. … Indeed, the nuclear weapon policies of the United States are the most prominent external factor influencing Chinese advocates for raising the alert level of China’s nuclear forces.”

Professor Ted Postol was scientific adviser to the head of U.S. naval operations. An authority on nuclear weapons, he told me, “Everybody here wants to look like they’re tough. See I got to be tough … I’m not afraid of doing anything military, I’m not afraid of threatening; I’m a hairy-chested gorilla. And we have gotten into a state, the United States has gotten into a situation, where there’s a lot of saber-rattling, and it’s really being orchestrated from the top.”

I said, “This seems incredibly dangerous.”

“That’s an understatement,” Postol replied.

In 2015, in considerable secrecy, the U.S. staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War. This was Talisman Sabre; an armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB – blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is such a provocation, and the fear of a U.S. Navy blockade, that has seen China feverishly building strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Last July, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claim of sovereignty over these islands. Although the action was brought by the Philippines, it was presented by leading American and British lawyers and could be traced to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that America’s former colony reopen the U.S. military bases closed down in the 1990s following a popular campaign against the violence they generated, especially against Filipino women. She declared China’s claim on the Spratly Islands – which lie more than 7,500 miles from the United States – a threat to U.S. “national security” and to “freedom of navigation.”

Handed millions of dollars in arms and military equipment, the then government of President Benigno Aquino broke off bilateral talks with China and signed a secretive Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement with the U.S. This established five rotating U.S. bases and restored a hated colonial provision that American forces and contractors were immune from Philippine law.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte in April has unnerved Washington.

Calling himself a socialist, Duterte declared, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy” and noted that the United States had not apologized for its colonial atrocities. “I will break up with America,” he said, and promised to expel U.S. troops. But the U.S. remains in the Philippines; and joint military exercises continue.

‘Information Dominance’

In 2014, under the rubric of “information dominance” – the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion – the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world’s greatest trading nation, as a threat to “freedom of navigation.”

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)

CNN led the way, its “national security reporter” reporting excitedly from on board a U.S. Navy surveillance flight over the Spratlys. The BBC persuaded frightened Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands “to see how the Chinese would react.” None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese were building airstrips off their own coastline, or why American military forces were massing on China’s doorstep.

The designated chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. military commander in Asia and the Pacific. “My responsibilities,” he told the New York Times, “cover Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins.” Never was imperial domination described as pithily.

Harris is one of a brace of Pentagon admirals and generals briefing selected, malleable journalists and broadcasters, with the aim of justifying a threat as specious as that with which George W. Bush and Tony Blair justified the destruction of Iraq and much of the Middle East.

In Los Angeles in September, Admiral Harris declared he was “ready to confront a revanchist Russia and an assertive China … If we have to fight tonight, I don’t want it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery … and all our partners with their artillery.”

These “partners” include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, ostensibly aimed at North Korea. As Professor Postol points out, it targets China.

In Sydney, Australia, Admiral Harris called on China to “tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea.” The imagery was front-page news. Australia is America’s most obsequious “partner”; its political elite, military, intelligence agencies and the media are integrated into what is known as the “alliance.” Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the motorcade of a visiting American government “dignitary” is not uncommon. The war criminal Dick Cheney was afforded this honor.

Although China is Australia’s biggest trader, on which much of the national economy relies, “confronting China” is the diktat from Washington. The few political dissenters in Canberra risk McCarthyite smears in the Murdoch press.

“You in Australia are with us come what may,” said one of the architects of the Vietnam War, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important U.S. bases is Pine Gap near Alice Springs. Founded by the CIA, it spies on China and all of Asia, and is a vital contributor to Washington’s murderous war by drone in the Middle East.

In October, Richard Marles, the defense spokesman of the main Australian opposition party, the Labor Party, demanded that “operational decisions” in provocative acts against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that could mean war with a nuclear power should not be taken by an elected leader or a parliament but by an admiral or a general.

Pentagon Ascendance

This is the Pentagon line, a historic departure for any state calling itself a democracy. The ascendancy of the Pentagon in Washington – which Daniel Ellsberg has called a silent coup – is reflected in the record $5 trillion America has spent on aggressive wars since 9/11, according to a study by Brown University. The million dead in Iraq and the flight of 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequence.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations, from which Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq have been attacked by the United States. Today, the principal target is China, with whom Okinawans have close cultural and trade ties.

There are military aircraft constantly in the sky over Okinawa; they sometimes crash into homes and schools. People cannot sleep, teachers cannot teach. Wherever they go in their own country, they are fenced in and told to keep out.

A popular Okinawan anti-base movement has been growing since a 12-year-old girl was gang-raped by U.S. troops in 1995. It was one of hundreds of such crimes, many of them never prosecuted. Barely acknowledged in the wider world, the resistance has seen the election of Japan’s first anti-base governor, Takeshi Onaga, and presented an unfamiliar hurdle to the Tokyo government and the ultra-nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to repeal Japan’s “peace constitution.”

The resistance includes Fumiko Shimabukuro, aged 87, a survivor of the Second World War when a quarter of Okinawans died in the American invasion. Fumiko and hundreds of others took refuge in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The U.S. wants to destroy the bay in order to extend runways for its bombers.

“We have a choice,” she said, “silence or life.” As we gathered peacefully outside the U.S. base, Camp Schwab, giant Sea Stallion helicopters hovered over us for no reason other than to intimidate.

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary and World Heritage Site declared “an island of world peace.” On this island of world peace has been built one of the most provocative military bases in the world, less than 400 miles from Shanghai. The fishing village of Gangjeong is dominated by a South Korean naval base purpose-built for U.S. aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile system, aimed at China.

A people’s resistance to these war preparations has been a presence on Jeju for almost a decade. Every day, often twice a day, villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world stage a religious mass that blocks the gates of the base. In a country where political demonstrations are often banned, unlike powerful religions, the tactic has produced an inspiring spectacle.

One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, told me, “I sing four songs every day at the base, regardless of the weather. I sing in typhoons — no exception. To build this base, they destroyed the environment, and the life of the villagers, and we should be a witness to that. They want to rule the Pacific. They want to make China isolated in the world. They want to be emperor of the world.”

Very Modern China

I flew from Jeju to Shanghai for the first time in more than a generation. When I was last in China, the loudest noise I remember was the tinkling of bicycle bells; Mao Zedong had recently died, and the cities seemed dark places, in which foreboding and expectation competed. Within a few years, Deng Xiopeng, the “man who changed China,” was the “paramount leader.” Nothing prepared me for the astonishing changes today.

China has invested heavily in modern transportation technology, including high-speed rail.

China has invested heavily in modern transportation technology, including high-speed rail.

China presents exquisite ironies, not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades secretly founded the Communist Party of China in 1921. Today, it stands in the heart of a very capitalist shipping district; you walk out of this communist shrine with your Little Red Book and your plastic bust of Mao into the embrace of Starbucks, Apple, Cartier, Prada.

Would Mao be shocked? I doubt it. Five years before his great revolution in 1949, he sent this secret message to Washington. “China must industrialize.” he wrote, “This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict.”

Mao offered to meet Franklin Roosevelt in the White House, and his successor Harry Truman, and his successor Dwight Eisenhower. He was rebuffed, or willfully ignored. The opportunity that might have changed contemporary history, prevented wars in Asia and saved countless lives was lost because the truth of these overtures was denied in 1950s Washington “when the catatonic Cold War trance,” wrote the critic James Naremore, “held our country in its rigid grip.”

The fake mainstream news that once again presents China as a threat is of the same mentality.

‘New Silk Road’

The world is inexorably shifting east; but the astonishing vision of Eurasia from China is barely understood in the West. The “New Silk Road” is a ribbon of trade, ports, pipelines and high-speed trains all the way to Europe. The world’s leader in rail technology, China is negotiating with 28 countries for routes on which trains will reach up to 400 kms an hour. This opening to the world has the approval of much of humanity and, along the way, is uniting China and Russia.

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” said Barack Obama, evoking the fetishism of the 1930s. This modern cult of superiority is Americanism, the world’s dominant predator. Under the liberal Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, nuclear warhead spending has risen higher than under any president since the end of the Cold War. A mini-nuclear weapon is planned. Known as the B61 Model 12, it will mean, says General James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

In September, the Atlantic Council, a mainstream U.S. geopolitical think tank, published a report that predicted a Hobbesian world “marked by the breakdown of order, violent extremism [and] an era of perpetual war.” The new enemies were a “resurgent” Russia and an “increasingly aggressive” China. Only heroic America can save us.

There is a demented quality about this war mongering. It is as if the “American Century” — proclaimed in 1941 by the American imperialist Henry Luce, owner of Time magazine — has ended without notice and no one has had the courage to tell the emperor to take his guns and go home.

John Pilger’s film, “The Coming War on China,” is released in UK cinemas and will be broadcast on the ITV Network on Dec. 6 at 10.40 pm. RT Documentaries will broadcast “The Coming War on China” worldwide on Dec. 9,10 & 11. www.johnpilger.com


18 comments for “Picking a War with China

  1. E wright
    December 5, 2016 at 12:41

    I suspect that even though China is still a very xenophobic place, it has been infected by the American winter worm. This is a parasite that infects the host and grows out of its head. It is a delegacy in China after all.

  2. Jos
    December 5, 2016 at 12:14

    Thank you so much for this enlightening piece of information!

  3. Olu
    December 5, 2016 at 08:02

    I had similar thoughs as your in mind earlier when I read this same John Pilgers piece on CP. I believe all the warmongering and talking tough is what it is. I do not think any one of these elites believe they can someones succeed in boxing China in and restricting its growth, and if it comes to a full scale war, the homeland will not be spared this time, they know it even in their full hubris.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 5, 2016 at 14:21

      Unfortunately, talking war often leads to war no matter that was not what was intended.

  4. Realist
    December 5, 2016 at 06:42

    The really sad thing is that the American public has not a clue about any of this. If told, or even shown the truth with solid evidence, they would not believe it. They are convinced all that hardware and all those personnel kept at all those bases on a hair trigger are strictly for defense of their “homeland,” not to intimidate the hell out of the rest of the world, including our supposed allies who were bullied into that role. They believe the crock that Russia and China have been methodically building up their militaries, waiting for the day when they are strong enough to subjugate the poor lil’ ol USA. Americans have been scared with stories of foreign bogeymen so often that it is no trouble at all to convince them that “the Russians are coming” or the “Yellow Peril” will be here to meet them in the alley next week. Never mind that, on the economic playing field, their oligarch overlords have sold them down the river to the Chinese over the course of three decades by shipping their jobs over there in the name of increased corporate profits. Our Wall Street princelings have allowed the Hong Kong hucksters to roll them repeatedly under the rules of the game called capitalism that we established, and now we want to threaten them with total war to steal back our power and influence that goes with the money. How perennially American.

  5. David F., N.A.
    December 5, 2016 at 03:27

    Here are a couple excerpts from a 2014 U.S.News article:

    Between 2001 and 2013, the expanded trade deficit with China cost the U.S. 3.2 million jobs, and three quarters of those jobs were in manufacturing, according to a report released Thursday from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning Washington think tank. Those manufacturing jobs lost accounted for about two-thirds of all jobs lost within the industry over the 2001 to 2013 period.

    Between 2001 and 2013, the U.S. goods trade deficit with China increased by $240.1 billion, or by $21.8 billion on average per year over that time period. And over the 2001-2011 period, U.S. workers who were directly displaced by trade with China lost a collective $37 billion in wages as a result of accepting other lower paying jobs.

    What really bothers me is that while the multinationals have been busy using our government in the dismantling of our economy, they have also been busy building up the Chinese economy. So what if the multinationals cause us to have another recession or worse. Would they be leading us into a fight that we can’t or, considering our bought-and-paid-for government, won’t finish?

  6. dogpaddle
    December 5, 2016 at 01:11

    Two great problems: overpopulation and global warming. One easy solution: nuclear war followed by nuclear winter. These idiots are actually contemplating this.

  7. Zachary Smith
    December 4, 2016 at 23:24

    When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.

    I’d wager the reason the shadow got “disappeared” was to make it easier for Japan to acquire nuclear weapons. Reminding citizens of what those weapons are designed to do wouldn’t be a good idea if that is indeed the case.

    The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way.

    I’m afraid I’d need more evidence for this than a mere statement. I’ve no information that very many of our client states in Europe or elsewhere are building up their armies, and that of the US is certainly not increasing.


    I see headlines saying “About 150 M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles will be deployed eastern Europe” and that says to me these are teddy-bear comforts to the thumb-sucking natives. Yesterday I read a story telling how an A-10 pilot has logged 6,000 hours in that airplane. The description of his exploits included how him and another pilot destroyed 23 Iraqi tanks in a single day. Without being part of a substantial combined arms operation, 150 Abrams and Bradleys would have just about as much luck and life as did those Iraqi tanks.

    The US is wasting money hand over fist. Back to that A-10: Congress is talking about having a fly-off with the F-35 wonder jet. If it happens it’ll be laughable. In the unlikely event the F-35 goes into full service, it’ll be an extremely expensive airplane and a just-average fighter bomber.

    Along with the F-35 are the LCS ships – the ones you keep hearing about breaking in some out-of-the-way place. The Ford Class carrier is another “weapon” designed to enrich weapons makers and not to fight wars. One author recently wrote that the F-22 is the only military edge the US retains vs Russia and China.


    It’s my opinion the author’s case is more impressive if it is used to demonstrate how the US Planners are moving into a fantasy world regarding nuclear war. First, they’re nuts if they really want one, and they’re even crazier if they believe we could even survive the experience, let alone “win” it.

    EDIT for a political comment. Trump is such a loose cannon that there is no telling how he’ll fit in with the DC nuts. But if it had been Hillary, there is no doubt at all. That psychopath would have meshed very well with the rest of the crazies.

  8. Jerry
    December 4, 2016 at 19:27

    Please don’t call Obama a liberal. He is a neoliberal in his economic policies and a neocon in his foreign and domestic police state policies.

  9. elmerfudzie
    December 4, 2016 at 18:33

    I shutter to think what is in store for a USA that fails to recognize all Asian peoples with equality. Equality in terms of, acknowledged technological prowess, of each individual’s value to humanity, and above all, their own unique pursuit(s) of happiness. The Western Occident has any number of neo-conservative, so-called, “think tanks” almost unanimously hell bent on finding an enemy and fighting them to the last, and here I emphasize the word-Last, as in, nihilistic dreams and outcomes. Warmongers, who set their sights on China, conveniently and intentionally omit the word- Consequences. Those pesky, consequences to a declared war with China. Here are just a few musings for our CONSORTIUMNEWS readers to mull over…how could any government Homeland Security agency truly prepare for multiple attacks against infrastructure (fragile as it is from aging) For example; flying single engine airplanes armed with small atomic devises into several of our largest dams? electrical power outs and valley flooding below it, on a scale that would bankrupt the strongest of economies? Speaking here as a biologist, again, I shutter to think what Chinese Microbiologists have cultivated, possibly even altered during bird influenza outbreaks and or during the course of their vaccination research? Does anyone really believe that Xi did not station deep cover agents in the USA to guaranty that, if his country returns to the eighteenth century, then the aggressor, the USA, will soon meet the same fate? Okay, let’s assume, for the sake of argument only, that the Neo-Con war plans were both fully implemented and successful- in strictly military terms. The CONSEQUENCES, would begin to surface; all Walmart(s) would close on the day of confrontation. Thus the largest employer next to Uncle Sam himself, informs one and a half million U.S. employees to go home! I must insert here that President Clinton saw to it that Welfare funding and it’s entire apparatus for distribution these funds have been completely dismantled. That said, there would be an added complication of radioactivity blanketing both friend and foe throughout the Asia pacific. Have we forgotten the Paris Peace Conference of 1919? and War Reparations for damages done, in outer space, contiguous countries and their ocean fishery zones? How could we even partially compensate effected nations from the health effects of nuclear fallout? With our valleys flooded from collapsing dams and half the population sick or dead from bird flu “bombs”, only the Nihilistic madmen in Washington would be jumping for joy, not to mention Satan himself! Last but not least, the element of raw suffering. China’s long history of suffering through the fifty million deaths, at the hands of Mao and then the “great leap forward” eventually resulting in four hundred million Chinese men (now) without female partners due to bio-social engineering programs, the daily riots we never hear about because of corporate pressitiute media biases; rural peasantry who fail to adjust to horrifying working conditions in the big cities, literally jumping out of factory windows, committing suicide and then, American military might launched against a landlord-slave nation? In heaven’s name, why the Chinese? Why the Russian’s? Can’t these, crazed warmonger’s find an incoming meteor that threatens the entire world, to focus their attentions on? to bomb?…let’s all find one for them to target and LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE!

    • elmerfudzie
      December 5, 2016 at 13:51

      OOps, another senior moment folks, I meant shudder not shutter, dammit !

  10. Dongi
    December 4, 2016 at 17:14

    China also leads the world in the production of solar energy. With its very strong economy it is not hard to see that it will eventually replace the United States as the leading nation in the world. That is if the US does not use its plethora of ships, planes, bombs and bases to intercept China’s growth and development. As to what effect Trump will have on Sino-American relations, I can only guess. Looks like he has not started out too well.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 4, 2016 at 19:56

      … if the US does not use its plethora of ships, planes, bombs and bases to intercept China’s growth and development.

      If the US DOES use its plethora of ships, planes, bombs and bases to intercept China’s growth and development it will soon discover China is not another Grenada or Panama. If the Taliban with a budget that would be chump change at the Pentagon can hold the US and its NATO vassals in a quagmire, what are the odds for success against China?

  11. jaycee
    December 4, 2016 at 16:26

    The United States has been an overtly bellicose world player since at least 9-11, and it is clear now that the two terms of the Obama administration served to expand and institutionalize the aggressive hegemonic policies of the Bush administration before it. The military option has been the first and often only choice in the diplomatic pouch – i.e. John Kerry’s bitter regrets that he had no “leverage” in negotiations over Syria, meaning that the US was not applying the necessary levels of violence.

    Britain’s ambassador to the US announced this week the UK will join so-called “freedom of navigation” military provocations in the South China Sea (https://www.yahoo.com/news/british-fighters-overfly-south-china-sea-carriers-pacific-001135356.html). It doesn’t matter that there is no, and has not been, any threat to freedom or navigation in that region. Unnamed “Trump advisors” are quoted as saying the new President will continue the military buildup in that region to assert a “peace through strength” policy.

    On the other hand, Indian analyst M K Bhadrakumar (http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/) in an analysis titled “China seems pleased with tidings from Trump” notes that initial contact (through Kissinger no less) appears to promise a more constructive and less bellicose relationship. So will the hegemonic faction of the US deep state prove less than hegemonic in their ultimate influence? Kissinger is quoted as saying: “This ultimate mission has to be preserved” – active engagement globally – although it could be “in a different manner and in a different context and in, perhaps, a less assertive manner than has been the case in previous periods.” So we can hope the new administration proves to be less insane and less criminal in the threat and application of violence – the hope which was bitterly dashed with the Obama crew.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 4, 2016 at 23:24

      The United States has been an overtly bellicose world player since at least 9-11,…

      Presidents Monroe and McKinley were playing that game before Dubya and Darth Vader were born, but the aggression to expand the colonies to empire status began long before the Declaration of Independence.

  12. Brad Owen
    December 4, 2016 at 16:13

    I looked up Henry Luce on Executive Intelligence Review, in their search box; OMG he is really bad news. Yes , Pilger is right. The Euro-Imperial Era is fast drawing to a close, after a 2,000-year run, and the USA, “Press-Ganged” into Imperial service, after a quiet Post-War coup (Wall Street’s final revenge for FDR’s New Dealism), was their last hurrah. It is drawing to a close now, despite “Spokesmen-for-Empire” insisting, like “Baghdad Bob”, that it isn’t over.

  13. Tristan
    December 4, 2016 at 15:39

    Great article John Pilger.

  14. Bill Bodden
    December 4, 2016 at 14:42

    What a combination!! John Pilger and Consortium News. It doesn’t get any better than that. The only problem is that the content is foreboding and great cause for concern, especially with anti-China president-elect Donald Trump starting off with his provocative blunder of a phone call with Taiwan’s president.

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