Why China Tiptoed onto the Far Side of the Moon

Xi Jinping’s state media was strangely quiet about its historic lunar landing, writes Patrick Lawrence in this look at the U.S. effort to maintain primacy over advanced technologies.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

When China landed a space probe on the far side of the moon last week, it was a first for humanity. The Chang’e 4 spacecraft touched down on Thursday and then sent a rover to explore and photograph lunar terrain we Earthlings had never before seen. This feat is up there with the U.S. moon landing in 1969. But while the scientists who designed the Chang’e 4 probe were properly proud, China’s state-controlled media buried the story beneath the day’s more mundane news. As one space analyst put it, the silence was deafening.

The New York Times reported: “Compared with previous missions, however, the reaction to Thursday’s milestones seemed strikingly restrained, both in the country’s state-run news outlets and on social media. On China’s most-watched TV news program early Thursday evening, the landing — declared a success by officials at mission control — was not even one of the four top stories.”  (CGTN, China’s state-owned English language TV broadcast geared towards the West, however, ran more than 15 stories about the moon landing between Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Friday, Jan. 4.)

Why would this be? Why would Xi Jinping’s hyper-ambitious China go relatively quiet after demonstrating that its swiftly developing technological capabilities are making the nation the global leader its president thinks it is destined to be?

Colored topo image of the far side of the moon from a 2010 image provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA’s lunar far side topo  map from 2010, highest elevations above 20,000 feet in red and the lowest areas down below -20,000 feet in blue. (NASA/Goddard)

Mike Pompeo suggested an answer the same day the Chang’e 4 touched down on lunar soil. President Donald Trump’s secretary of state chose last Thursday to warn the Iranians to drop their plans to launch three satellites into space over the next several months. Pompeo dismissed these projects as nothing more than a cover to test intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of bearing warheads.

These events are not unrelated.

Yes, the Trump administration has started a trade war with China. But Washington’s quarrels with Beijing are about far more than trade. The U.S. proposes to sanction Iran to kingdom come so as to limit its leverage as an emerging power in the Middle East. But the U.S. administration’s dangerously aggressive policies toward Tehran are about more than the Islamic Republic’s regional influence.

Larger Theme

There is a larger theme here that is not to be missed: Maintaining America’s lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy. And China and Iran are among those middle-income nations whose scientific and technological advances will at some point challenge this lead.

In effect, Washington appears intent on imposing a development ceiling on any nation that resists its global hegemony. And of all the unpromising foreign policies the U.S. now pursues, this has to count among the least thought-out. Attempting to limit any nation’s aspirations to climb the development ladder is a straight-out loser. No one who understands world history since the decolonization era began in the 1950s can possibly conclude otherwise. 

Tensions between the U.S. and China have increased steadily since Beijing announced its Made in China 2025 Initiative several years ago, and it is hard to imagine this is mere coincidence. As one of Xi’s core strategies, Made in China 2025 designates 10 high-technology industries—robotics, pharmaceuticals, cutting-edge telecom networks, advanced machine tools, and the like—in which China proposes to make itself a global leader. All 10 of these industries are currently dominated by the U.S. and other Western nations.

Since Xi’s program began, Washington has made persistent efforts to limit its progress. Last year the State Department began a program intended to restrict the number of Chinese students permitted to study at U.S. universities.

In two much-noted cases, the Commerce Department has gone after leading Chinese high-tech companies, ZTE and, most recently, Huawei, charging both with violations of U.S. restrictions on exports to Iran and North Korea. Legislation now prohibits the federal government from purchasing products from either company.

Justice Department on a Tear

The Justice Department is also on a tear. In quick succession last autumn it indicted four Chinese companies—one of them state-controlled—on charges they stole trade secrets from U.S. manufacturers in a variety of industries. “Chinese economic espionage on the U.S. has been increasing, and it has been increasing rapidly,” Jeff Sessions, then serving as attorney general, asserted. “Enough is enough. We’re not going to take it anymore.” None of the four cases has yet been adjudicated. 

It is not difficult to detect a 21st Century version of the old “yellow peril” in all this. Last year the Council on Foreign Relations referred to Made in China 2025 as “a real existential threat to U.S. technological leadership.” In the long run this may prove to be so. The Chinese strategy has a lot in common with Japan’s designation of “strategic industries”—autos, shipbuilding, and electronics among them—in the postwar decades, and we know how those battles turned out. 

High speed electric train arrives at a Shanghai rail station. (Wikimedia)

The U.S. has no more chance of restraining China’s development now than it did Japan’s in the 1970s and 1980s. The proper response to China’s emergence as a technological competitor is to seek opportunities in the advances of another nation. The alternative is to fight a technology war there is little chance of winning.

We now await concrete results of the trade truce Trump and Xi announced after they met at the Group of 20 session in Buenos Aires last November. Before talks began this week, there were already indications that Beijing may dilute its Made in China 2025 Initiative by allowing foreign companies to participate.

Chinese Modesty Aside

In this context, Beijing’s modesty after last week’s moon landing appears to be another effort to make as little as possible of China’s technological challenge to U.S. competitors. But it would be a mistake to interpret such developments as signs that China is willing to abandon its aspirations. There is zero chance that this is so.

The Iran case is a flimsy variant of the full-court press Washington has mounted against China. Pompeo, who formed an Iran Action Group after the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord last year, is skating on very thin ice in charging Tehran with pretending satellite launches are anything more than covers for a ballistic missile tests. Three are reasons: 

No. 1: Iran has been sending satellites into space since 2005. There is nothing singular about those it now plans.

No. 2: Even if the Iranians were testing ballistic missiles—and there is no self-evident reason to assume this is so—it would not be in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution governing such tests. Tehran has been as scrupulous in observing Resolution 2231, unanimously approved five days after the nuclear accord was made final, as it has been with the agreement itself. 

Finally, there is the matter of deterrence. Given that Washington now acknowledges—at last—that Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal, Iran has an open-and-shut case for maintaining adequate defenses in the event of a hostile neighbor’s attack. Remember what all the old Cold Warriors used to tell us: Deterrence was the very key to averting a Soviet attack on the U.S. Is this reasoning no longer valid when it applies to a nation on Washington’s enemies list?

China, Iran, and let us not forget Russia: None of these three nations wants a war with the U.S., all three resolutely oppose Washington’s quest for global hegemony and they are all climbing quickly up the technological development ladder. America’s challenge is to learn to live with these three realities. No nation has ever succeeded in stopping history’s wheel from turning. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist.

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62 comments for “Why China Tiptoed onto the Far Side of the Moon

  1. EMPD
    January 14, 2019 at 09:50

    China is hiring (for big bucks) and relocating many of our top scientists to China.

  2. elmerfudzie
    January 13, 2019 at 08:13

    China is fully aware of the projected intent by Western Occident bankers are; whoever holds the Moon militarily will control the “earth-Moon gravity well” and thus will essentially control the front gate to the entire solar system. The United Nations took steps to counter bankster desires for control over the moons mineral wealth by ratifying The Moon Treaty in 1979. A gradual development of an internationally-accepted “space law” has evolved thus, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 states in Article 11 of that treaty, and I quote: “The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind.” The treaty also prohibits national appropriation, so that no military bases or claims to ownership are allowed. The U.S. never signed the Moon Treaty however if the USA, AKA (bankster provocateurs) attempt to use our military to seize the “gravity well” or prohibit extractive mining by BRICS/SCO nations, world war three will commence in earnest. The banksters, who swim in evil, live in perpetual fear of everything and worry about issues, unimaginable to the every day prole. For example; a giant find of gold ore on the Moon or staggering discoveries of blue white flawless diamonds in the rough. These are just two of the many possibilities that could hurl the entire economy of the world into a hyper inflationary state (so they assume) In short, anything that directly threatens Western bankster control over natural resources, anywhere, must be nipped at the bud and at all costs.

  3. Zhu
    January 13, 2019 at 02:18

    Yes, the arrest of CFO Meng was clearly a legal kidnapping and will have all kinds of bad consequences.

  4. boom
    January 12, 2019 at 18:53

    What should those in the viewing area of the Jan. 20-21 total lunar eclipse expect to see?

    “Viewers will see a normal full moon at first starting at around 10:35 p.m. Eastern time. At that time, the Earth’s shadow will begin to pass in front of the moon, blocking almost all of the sun’s light from reaching it. Observers will see the moon appear to be progressively ‘swallowed up’ starting from the lower left. This process will end at 11:40 p.m., when the Earth’s shadow covers the whole of the moon’s surface; this is the beginning of ‘totality.’ This will last until around 12:40 a.m., when the motion of the Earth’s shadow will carry it past the moon, and the moon will gradually again be lit by the sun. At 1:45 a.m., the moon will be fully visible again.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-january-total-lunar-eclipse.html#jCp

    https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/103484/last-time-iraq-time-iran-time-purim-opinion/
    Last Time Iraq, This Time Iran, Time For Purim
    By Ariel Nathan Pasko March 1, 2018 , 11:00 am

    Purim 2019 will begin in the evening of
    Wednesday, 20 March
    and ends in the evening of
    Thursday, 21 March

  5. Brian James
    January 12, 2019 at 16:40

    Jan 3, 2019 ‘Dark side’ of the moon: China’s Chang’e 4 probe makes historic landing

    A Chinese spacecraft has made the first landing on the far side of the moon, touching down in the South Pole-Aitken basin.

    https://youtu.be/2jtOYQ-Wm8M

  6. Bernisky
    January 12, 2019 at 13:36

    We have trained thousands of Chinese scientists at our universities, paid for by the Chinese government. Yet are own youth struggle to pay for an education. No wonder the Chinese are successful. They invest in their youth.

  7. January 11, 2019 at 06:17

    Actually

    to
    n

    i

    g

    h

    t

    Actually tonight jan 10 2019 CGTN top news was the moon shot about 6 months ago china russia and Eu was trying to set up a new financial mechanism to avoid the Iran sanctions GUESS WHAAT THE FUCK HAPPENED THE U S IMPERIALIST
    ARRESTED ONE OF THE CHINESE MEMBERS OF THE RULLING CLASS IN CANADA .
    that was a shot across the bow The us is the strongesst military power snd intends to use that power against any country that thinks about breaking the sanctions peace and power to the working class and it/s allies orion edmonson…..readers should also check out howUS capitalist Imperialist and their running dogs are trying to Prevent China from setting up 5G intel in countrie around the world

    actually

  8. Kim Looi
    January 10, 2019 at 20:52

    Interesting story with some useful comments.

  9. January 10, 2019 at 17:53

    Thank you for an interesting article. This provides further evidence that if the big boys don’t go home, sit down and shut up then our civilisation will end with a Big Bang sooner than later.

    • evelync
      January 11, 2019 at 09:23

      yes
      my thoughts also went there – and to Robert Frost’s poem:
      Fire and Ice
      Some say the world will end in fire,
      Some say in ice.
      From what I’ve tasted of desire
      I hold with those who favor fire.
      But if it had to perish twice,
      I think I know enough of hate
      To say that for destruction ice
      Is also great
      And would suffice.

  10. January 10, 2019 at 11:00

    China was the 1st, and far as I know (Maybe Russia) is the ONLY country that has built and is using REAL QUANTUM COMPUTERS. Not only on the ground, but from ground to satellite to another satellite behind the Moon back to China Space Hdqtrs.

    US has issues with keeping its Pentagon aging computers on track about which soldier is where, doing what, how much are they getting paid, where all the equipment is…and NASA- No Adult Supervision Available took an image of Cydonia with the CRISM Camera in Jan 2008 and just released the finding that Cydonia is FULL of H2O i.e. Water !!! Why isn’t the #2020CydoniaRover going to Cydonia? Joker Poker Liars

  11. January 10, 2019 at 07:38

    Didn’t we take pictures when we went to the other side of the moon? If so then we have seen the other side of the moon for a long time. For the Chinese to land is quite an accomplishment but has to be seen as a twist in order to attention for the accomplishment considering they were able to set up a way to communicate with their lander which we didn’t as we lost contact with our astronauts as they went to the other side.

  12. John Puma
    January 10, 2019 at 04:40

    RE: The US policy of “Attempting to limit any nation’s aspirations to climb the development ladder is a straight-out loser.” Indeed.

    Not only is it a loser but it is incontrovertible proof of the utter fraudulence of the US brand of increasingly predatory capitalism … that very “exceptional” system, the promulgation of which is hypocritically used to justify US meddling across the globe, spreading the complete falsehood that a particular economic system, much less capitalism, is the equivalent of “democracy.”

    China is ample demonstration that capitalism, of any stripe, does not require, nor protect, much less guarantee, self-governance of the majority. The incontrovertible proof, of course, is the essentially complete corporate control over any and all “representative democracies” of the world … starting here at home in the United States in Masochistic Adoration of Corporate Dominance.

    The USA spent some 5+ decades, many $$$trillions and 10/100’s millions of lives to compel China, and USSR/Russia, to “be just like capitalist us/US.” Then, when are finally successfully with this mass-murderous project, we piss our collective capitalist pants … belying the utter hypocrisy of the ubiquitous “capitalism promotes competition” meme.

    • Gary
      January 10, 2019 at 11:34

      China is a hybrid socialist economy & has no intent of actually being capitalist in long run. Russia still has a significant CP that Putin preserves.

  13. January 9, 2019 at 16:45

    From the article:

    “Since Xi’s program began, Washington has made persistent efforts to limit its progress. Last year the State Department began a program intended to restrict the number of Chinese students permitted to study at U.S. universities.”

    We should be wise enough to recognize that our opening up our universities to the brightest benefits us as well as the students country of origin. It is a source of revenue and many of the brightest stay and are lost to the country where they were born. Very possible with the growth in China, it is more attractive for students to return, but even then we gain from their presence.

    We seem to make no pretense anymore that we open the universities to students to make the world better, which it has, and now we have a watchdog government that sees too much as a zero sum game..

    If such restrictions prevail, and given the political clout of universities that is problematical, it is just another step in the wrong direction.

    • Seamus Padraig
      January 10, 2019 at 13:50

      “We should be wise enough to recognize that our opening up our universities to the brightest benefits us as well …”

      Speak for yourself. I fail too see how American taxpayer-subsidies for educating middle & upper-class kids from the rest of the world benefits our OWN students, who now, as a consequence, must pay/borrow even more to get an education–assuming there are enough slots for them at all. And when they graduate with all the extra debt? Well, thanks to the fact that they’re now competing with all those foreign grads, finding a job in the ever-tighter labor market to pay off those college loans just got harder. But it probably IS a boon to all those huge multinational corporations headquartered in the US.

      No, I’m going to play the heretic here: US universities should be PRIMARILY for US citizens, with maybe 10% of the slots reserved for foreigner–no more than that.

      • Frederike
        January 10, 2019 at 17:37

        ‘Well, thanks to the fact that they’re now competing with all those foreign grads, finding a job in the ever-tighter labor market to pay off those college loans just got harder. ‘
        US grads would be wise to learn from Chinese and other foreign students that education is not for the purpose of getting a job to make money, but to advance knowledge. No one needs millions or billions to live.

      • Jeff Harrison
        January 13, 2019 at 21:33

        It would be really good if you had even the slightest clue what you were talking about. Have you seen the difference in tuition for foreign students vis-a-vis in state students. Even the likes of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have two tiered tuition and American governments only provide support to state colleges, not private ones.

  14. KiwiAntz
    January 9, 2019 at 16:38

    America seems to have really lost the plot these days? Lashing about like a drowning swimmer, it’s incapable of facing the facts that other Nations, such as China, are making advancements in every field that the US Empire previously reigned supreme? The article states America’s only answer to try & counter China’s rise is by the ridiculous strategy of containment to try & stop this rise? Other Nations are advancing so rapidly in Technology & other fields at the expense of the failing, flailing US Empire that they have no answers to stop this? Nothing is more striking than China in comparison to the disfunctional display at present in America over a stupid Wall? China is clear eyed in what it wants & nothing, not the US Empire or anyone else will stop it? China is unified in purpose in its one road, one belt grand objective & it’s China 2025 Vision! Contrast that with the shambolic display of the American Govt & POTUS, America is the laughingstock of the World, when they can’t even get a fence, Wall or barrier built & the Govt is shut down like squabblin children throwing toys out of a cot! While China quietly & without fanfare, lands a probe on the dark side of the Moon at the same time? Instead of trying to fight & restrain China why doesn’t the US just accept the challenge like they did with the Russians in the Space Race & accept this as a challenge worthy of setting a National goal, just as JFK set which provided the motivation to make US advancement based on true competition rather than adopting this losing strategy, as the author stated, of containment of China & others? And America if you want a Wall built I suggest you go to the makers whose monumental Wall building efforts can be seen from Space at that is the Great Wall of China, built & made in China!

    • Zhu
      January 13, 2019 at 02:29

      The Long Wall of China kept no one out. Neither did Hadrian’s Wall, etc., etc.

  15. bardamu
    January 9, 2019 at 15:50

    Much misunderstanding in US policy is wedded into the language and assumptions by which we discuss this sort of event. We write and read about “US primacy,” about being ahead and behind and all that almost as though there were a particular direction we were all headed or a particular goal that we all held in common.

    I am reminded of a song by Gil-Scott Heron, decades ago, wherein he bemoans the things that happen to him and his family “with Whitey on the Moon.” He concludes that he will ship off the family’s medical bills, “To Whitey: On the Moon.”

    Americans do not need the government, still less the deep state, telling members of other nations where or how to trade. We do not need military expenditures provoking foreign powers to centralize or to further repress their citizens, with whom we have every reason to find solidarity.

    We do not need to be “first militarily”–to be the leader in creating that particular assemblage of social tragedies. We do not need to be “first commercially”–to be the leader in creating that assemblage of social miseries, inefficacies, and malfeasance.

    We need a military. It must provide a clear deterrent. We can overspend to be certain of retaining this, yet cut back on current expenditures enormously.

    We need the commerce that is necessary to provide. Past that, we just burn fuel and waste water and land, mostly for mutual destruction and tokens of status.

    Enough primacy.

  16. January 9, 2019 at 15:47

    Never forget, the most advanced Red Commie tech comes not from China or Russia. It comes from Cuba. That’s right, Cuba now leads the world in sonic attack cricket development. And they live next door to Florida!!!

    https://opensociet.org/2019/01/09/crickets-and-sonic-attacks-mass-hysterias-will-never-go-away/

    • January 9, 2019 at 22:38

      lol…and thank you!

    • Kiwiantz
      January 9, 2019 at 23:34

      Yeah those pesky, dastardly Cubans with their advanced Technolgy of Sonic interference which turned out to be caused by insects! Namely CRICKETS, not Cubans! But I guess they will blame the Russians for that as well as damn near everything else? How ridiculous?

  17. January 9, 2019 at 15:18

    As the United States prepares for war with China and Russia though the usual economic sanctions foreplay as a prelude to violence, the technological superiority of the Chinese and Russian military is clear.

    Hypersonic gliders. A decade advanced beyond US missle and aircraft technology capable.

    This gap is not a secret. Here are two recent DoD publications to illustrate:

    https://opensociet.org/2019/01/04/us-is-planning-for-war-with-russia-and-china/

    • rosemerry
      January 10, 2019 at 13:21

      Correct. The USA pretending it has technological superiority and military might beyond all others because it spends so much has been shown recently to be false by Russia’s advances described in March 2018 and December 2018. Anyone studying US university and even High School education can see the poverty of the system, and Andrei Martyanov’s book “Losing Military Supremacy” describes the reasons. China of course is not only far in advance of the USA eg Huawei but has been pushed into closer alliance with Russia and Iran by the stupidity of US political decisions,and not just now under POTUSTRUMP.

      • Gregory Herr
        January 11, 2019 at 14:37

        I think you address several important points and are right on rosemerry.

  18. Mike Perry
    January 9, 2019 at 13:37

    It was about 20 years ago, (.. around the Glass Steagall period, but, massive deregulation’s were happening long before that), that I came to view Wall St. as a monstrous beast. .. That is gluttonous beast, and by it’s own unsustainable design, it has to consume more calories each and every second, than it did the last second. It may be a little graphic, but I sometimes definitely see it as ‘Soylent Green’, with it’s a war on anything and everyone, to sustain feeding their beast.

    With Dred Scott, we were told that “people are property.” .. And since the Civil War we have been sold that “property is people” (.. and that property, it even has a right to speech). So, who has the property? .. Rich old white dudes.

    Maybe, a rich old white dude, he may want to educate his kid, but does he want to educate your kid?
    In 2015 (..from Forbes Statista):
    Russian Population……… 144 Million, Russian Engineering Graduates……… 455,000.
    United States Population 327 Million, United States Engineering Graduates 238,000.
    Iran Population……………. 83 Million, Iranian Engineering Graduates……….. 234,000.
    * (.. China and India do not report their specific graduate numbers..)
    ** (.. and, how much of that United States number is inflated by Foreign Students?)

    In 2015 for Math and Science (..from Forbes Statista):
    China is rated Numeber 1 in Math,,,, the United States is rated as number 27.
    China is rated Numeber 1 in Science, the United States is rated as number 20.

    According to the IMF and the World Bank, (PPP) or Purchasing Power Parity is the exchange-rate-adjusted GDP, that accounts for the value of money in different countries. This measurement is performed every 5 years.
    In 1995, the GDP of the United States was 7.66 Trillion.
    In 1995, the GDP of China………………. was 2.25 Trillion.
    ..
    In 2015, the GDP of the United States was 18.0 Trillion.
    In 2015, the GDP of China……………… was 19.70 Trillion.
    *(.. and what will those numbers be in 2020?)

    Rich old white dudes like to spend the lion’s share of our money on the protectionism, and fortification of the future diet of their beast. (..remember, that clock is ticking) But, in the bigger picture, is not privatizing the defense industry the same compromising moral standard as privatizing the prisons?

    .. And when you emphasize and make the security apparatus the lion’s share, then what do you do with these people if the music stops? (.. I ‘am thinking of the out of work Vietnam – leading us into the security apparatus gone rogue, Iran Contra..)

    .. So much potential and talent directed towards violence, it’s a fool’s game.

  19. ?
    January 9, 2019 at 13:03

    I think that the Communist Party in China (CPC) is doing an amazing thing. Not only their goal of achieving a comfortable life for all people in China but for all people in the world. Of course the latter part needs cooperation from the rest of the world. The CPC is fulfilling their initial goal, which is to lift human kind out of misery, wars, poverty, and ignorance. Indian can catch up by having a long term goal, political will, and stick to it. Democracy works best in more developed countries, which have all systems setting up, and poverty reduced. But to have people to think of not only themselves but also others, this requires education, moral education, patience and also a can-do spirit with lots of creativity. This is what CPC encourages their Chinese people doing and the party itself doing. The Chinese 5000 years’ civilization has lots of wisdom and knowledge for them to learn, the rest of the world has a well of rich knowledge for them to learn. Learn form others, create something new, and to build a society, which is prosperous, learn from each other, help each other, so that the system will sustain and perpetual to eternity.

    • bfearn
      January 9, 2019 at 22:24

      I lived in China, Tanggu, for a few years and was frequently told by Chinese workers that they worked so hard to make their country a better place. I have never heard this in the US or Canada???

  20. January 9, 2019 at 12:44

    As usual, I enjoy the perceptive comments as much as the articles. Real treat to have your brain stimulated.

  21. January 9, 2019 at 12:31

    It is extraordinary that our existing commercial power is so great that we can tell other countries who they can do business with. Sanctions are a powerful weapon, greatly misused by the US, but as the author points out, this abuse of power has not gone unnoticed and there will come a time perhaps soon, when such weapons as sanctions are simply ignored when one country is doing the sanctioning.

  22. Walter
    January 9, 2019 at 12:24

    The suggestion implied at the conclusion, that ” America’s challenge is to learn to live with these three realities. ” – the implication is that America has the capacity, the ability, to adapt. This ability seems not to exist, ie the State is non-adaptable, rigid. And the implication of what follows? “No nation has ever succeeded in stopping history’s wheel from turning.”? This implication is that the American Nation will not survive.

    Generally, these days, terms such as “State” and “Nation” are interchangeable. Not here.

    I propose that the American Nation is suppressed and occupied by the American State, which is itself animated by trans-national interests, essentially a junta.

    I propose that it is the State that cannot survive. Accordingly the Nation will survive.

    This is an old process…it’s the political dynamic of MacBeth. see “The End of the Cold War and Shakespeare’s Macbeth”. https://off-guardian.org/2017/10/09/the-end-of-the-cold-war-and-shakespeares-macbeth/

    MacBeth ends with “the time is free”, ie the wheel of history resumed (or never stopped!) turning. All Mac did was fruitless murder…

    Sound familiar?

  23. Jeff Harrison
    January 9, 2019 at 11:49

    I hadn’t thought about it that way but, yeah, they could try that. Your better analogy would be England just after the Revolutionary war. England had the power loom and was outproducing everybody. But you couldn’t get a power loom. So an American hacked the English company’s computers… er, sent somebody to England who toured the manufacturing facilities taking good notes and having a great memory. He came back to the US and downloaded it… er, sat down with a mechanic who turned his memory into hardware. And the rest, as they say, is history.

  24. jo6pac
    January 9, 2019 at 11:26

    Well one thing is for sure they didn’t steal any info for hi-speed trains from Amerika. They didn’t steal building a brand new country from Amerika also.

  25. Seamus Padraig
    January 9, 2019 at 11:24

    At a New Year’s Eve party, a friend of mine–a physicist–pointed out that this year will be the 50th anniversary of our first lunar landing … and also the 44th anniversary of our last.

    Meanwhile, good ole China just keeps on keepin’ on …

    • Smedley Butler
      January 10, 2019 at 01:45

      And just as soon as they explain how they air conditioned the lunar lander on a 252 degree fahrenheit lunar surface for THREE DAYS.
      I’ll believe we went to the moon.
      Until then.
      pfffft.

      • Sheng
        January 10, 2019 at 04:28

        Yes, I have been wondering about that since 1969. After watching interviews with some astronauts, and reaching much about it; including a documentary by NASA regarding the Van Allen belt (they would not send astronauts until they have figured out how to deal with the radiation issue), I stopped wondering. Stanley Kubrick said a lot about this in his film art. So I am rather surprised with this article.

      • Realist
        January 10, 2019 at 14:17

        Maintaining a livable environment inside of space vehicles irradiated by the intense heat of the Sun was essential from the very first primitive space capsules launched into orbit. The problem was solved long before men went to the Moon, before the space shuttle was deployed and before the ISS was permanently occupied by humans. In fact, the Russians solved the problem back in 1957 when they launched the dog Laika into space on Sputnik II. They lacked a way to bring her back alive, but both they and we Americans solved the problem of buffering against the intense heat of re-entry long before astronauts were sent to the Moon. You deniers are grasping at straws to discredit space exploration as one big hoax.

        • Harpo kondriak
          January 11, 2019 at 23:40

          Thank you.

        • Jeff Harrison
          January 13, 2019 at 23:35

          Gentle clearing of throat. The heat of the sun goes nowhere. Heat is the kinetic energy of motion of atoms and molecules. It is an attribute of matter. It cannot be trapped and doesn’t exist without matter. The sun sends electromagnetic radiation out which, if it is in the absorption band of whatever material you’re talking about, it will be absorbed and converted into heat. You’ll notice that all spacecraft are painted white. It would be better if they had a mirror finish but, whatever. The heat of reentry is real heat – friction between the atmosphere and the space craft. The solution was ablative material that absorbed the heat of reentry and then shedded off, carrying the heat with it. You may know it as corning ware.

          The only heat of the sun that goes anywhere is the solar wind (and coronal mass ejections) but heatwise that’s spit in the ocean. Also, from electrodynamics, a charged particle moving in a magnetic field experiences a force orthogonal to its direction of motion and the direction of its electric field. That means it goes in a circle. You might check out the causes of the Van Allen Belts.

          • Realist
            January 15, 2019 at 07:03

            Sorry for speaking colloquially. Even we scientists sometimes get trapped using commonplace cliches, like “the heat of the sun.” Of course I should have said, “maintaining a livable environment inside of space vehicles irradiated by the intense [electromagnetic energy from the Sun and subsequently transducible into heating the spacecraft] was essential from the very first primitive space capsules launched into orbit.” And, of course, the mechanism by which heat is generated during re-entry is, as you say, very different, though it must be controlled for the same vital reasons (and was).

            The point obviously being made was that engineers in both the USA and USSR had very early on obviated Smedly Butler’s arguments about improbable “air conditioners” on the LEM, which he views as a deal-breaker to debunk the Apollo program. Of course, the sort of convective/conductive “air conditioners” we use in an atmosphere on Earth are not possible in the vacuum of space. Actually, lack of a Lunar atmosphere insulates the insolated LEM and prevents the significant convective/conductive heating it would experience on Earth. Only a thin skin of highly reflective layered foil is required to deflect most Solar radiation.

            According to the Quora website, ” ‘air conditioning’ on the LEM was … a matter of reflecting most of the sun’s heat* [with layered foil], generating a little more [heat] from internal systems, and regulating the sublimator and coolant flow in order to get rid of the excess [heat].” The “sublimator” referred to directly evaporates frozen water (in a process called sublimation) through a porous plate into space, thus cooling the system in a fashion similar to the evaporative coolers sometimes used in arid climates. The process is reportedly used to thermoregulate all manned space vehicles and space suits.

            *Oh, my! Quora committed the same faux pas I did!

      • kula
        January 13, 2019 at 02:06

        If the US lunar landing was fake with a few photos for evidence, why shouldn’t the Chinese fake their own landing? With a few photos for evidence? The US has to stay shtum and the Chinese appear modest. The Russians are staying out of it.

      • January 16, 2019 at 22:15

        We never “went to the moon”. NASA’s been conning us all along. Not surprised that consortiumnews is still riding that pumpkin on wheels. After all, they wouldn’t recognize the obvious controlled demolition of three Manhattan skyscrapers, even if they were sitting on the smoking rubble pile. Yawn ….

  26. Garrett Connelly
    January 9, 2019 at 10:41

    “There is a larger theme here that is not to be missed: Maintaining America’s lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy.”

    Catch 22 is that an educated population is being discouraged by school privatization and college debt. The US is a military empire of finance totalitarianism; An educated population is too difficult to send into eternal war or for wall street bankers to con people out of their money.

    December 14, 2018 … United States ; International students not so interested by graduate programmes in the United States.

    Racist US immigration policies and stance might be deterring attendance. Read full article via Nature

    zerowastenews.org

    • Seamus Padraig
      January 9, 2019 at 11:26

      “Catch 22 is that an educated population is being discouraged by school privatization and college debt. The US is a military empire of finance totalitarianism; An educated population is too difficult to send into eternal war or for wall street bankers to con people out of their money.”

      Yup. Parasites always kill the host, people.

    • O Society
      January 9, 2019 at 16:39

      Oops! It’s the opposite.

      Parasites don’t kill their hosts as a general rule. A predator kills its prey. There is a weird “greyzone” in between, but typically a parasite dies when its host dies, so this isn’t a great survival strategy to kill your host.

      As with terms such as “evolution” and “theory,” people typically use a colloquial definition which is off the mark.

      v This v helpful graphic shows a definition we use in biology. A parasite is a predator which kills its prey in units less than one.

      https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parasitoid_strategy_compared_with_Parasite_and_Predator.svg

    • Frederike
      January 10, 2019 at 18:06

      ‘An educated population is too difficult to send into eternal war or for wall street bankers to con people out of their money.’

      Yes, unfortunately having an education in the US consists of getting an MBA in order to work on Wall street. It has nothing to do with an education.
      The science and humanities programs in almost all universities in the U.S. are under funded, understaffed, and often barely functioning.
      Students from foreign countries have the fundamental math skills to enter a science program in a college or university here, whereas most US educated high school graduates do not.
      Trump would be wise to invest the billions he intends to build his ridiculous border fence in science education, not to preserve U.S. primacy, but to try and catch up.

    • Zhu
      January 13, 2019 at 04:28

      The US has mostly imported its Teslas & Einsteins. If we are turning them away now, we may end up as backward as China was in thec1840s.

  27. Walter
    January 9, 2019 at 10:05

    The suggestion implied at the conclusion, that ” America’s challenge is to learn to live with these three realities. ” – the implication is that America has the capacity, the ability, to adapt. This ability seems not to exist, ie the State is non-adaptable, rigid. And the implication of what follows? “No nation has ever succeeded in stopping history’s wheel from turning.”? This implication is that the American Nation will not survive.

    Generally, these days, terms such as “State” and “Nation” are interchangeable. Not here.

    I propose that the American Nation is suppressed and occupied by the American State, which is itself animated by trans-national interests, essentially a junta.

    I propose that it is the State that cannot survive. Accordingly the Nation will survive.

    This is an old process…it’s the political dynamic of MacBeth. see “The End of the Cold War and Shakespeare’s Macbeth”. https://off-guardian.org/2017/10/09/the-end-of-the-cold-war-and-shakespeares-macbeth/

    • Seamus Padraig
      January 9, 2019 at 11:28

      I sure hope you’re right. But there is the worrisome possibility that the American States might succeed in killing off what remains of the American Nation before it goes down the shit-pipe itself.

  28. Skip Scott
    January 9, 2019 at 08:58

    “Maintaining America’s lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy.”

    This statement just jumped right out at me. “Maintaining”? Sorry, but it’s already gone. Especially in the weapons category. Russia is in the lead, and thankfully so, since it is only Mutual Assured Destruction that is keeping our lizard brained warmongers at bay.

    The US primacy is the primacy of wasting vast amounts of money for very little in return when it comes to technological development, at least in recent years. We should have continent- wide high speed rail by now, and a non-petroleum based energy sector if we were in pursuit of primacy.

    • rosemerry
      January 10, 2019 at 13:29

      “Maintaining America’s lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy.”

      Perhaps primacy is for primates! and we may not be the most advanced of them!

  29. Sally Snyder
    January 9, 2019 at 08:17

    Here is a detailed look at Iran’s space program:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/01/irans-space-program-stepping-stone-to.html

    Had Mike Pompeo followed the advice of his own Congressional Research Service, he would have concluded that Iran’s space program has little to do with the development of ICBMs.

    • January 9, 2019 at 12:38

      Sally, it warms my heart to hear talk of the Congressional Research. Worked there for a few years a mere forty years go., Great atmosphere and appears still doing useful work.

  30. January 9, 2019 at 07:04

    An exisential threat to the United States? That would be God in fact. But who wisely fears him? Almost no one, good or bad. Putting that fact aside, Here’s another example of the American State railing at others for doing exactly what it does. As others have pointed out, If you want to know how uncle Sam thinks and behaves, just examine his statements about how others think and behave. Is China doing colonization by stealth (a la economic hit man mode) by having a port in Sri Lanka that it owns and runs? What do you call Guantanamo Bay? And what is it that the US would like to do in Myanmar? As professor Paul Kellog (Canadian) points out, with apologies to Star Trek fans, NASA really is mainly about reasearch and development that will lead to better missiles with which to export its democracy.

  31. Michael
    January 9, 2019 at 06:23

    When Bill Clinton gave PERMANENT favorite trade status to China (no annual arguing of human rights violations), and allowed outsourcing of high tech technology, including military technology to this Communist nation, and then allowed offshoring of jobs, building such technology, even to the point where most innovation will come from China and SE Asia in the near future, the Chinese received the best return on their Chinagate political donations (which were returned AFTER the Election). Supposedly Clinton’s concern and obsession was/is Russia, China’s new best friend. You can only steal so much from a country like Russia, working with global oligarchs and our puppet Yeltsin, before the neighbors wonder how they will respond when the US comes for them.
    China’s historical character is more of a mercantile trading nation (since opened by the Brits peddling their opium) despite occasional squabbles with neighbors (they are distrusted, but not feared like the “weird” Japanese). Their strength is also their weakness, a huge government bureaucracy that owns much of the buildings and controls much of the projects their companies attack. Many of their projects are not remotely about making money but rather fulfilling a perceived need for China. Their entrepreneurs are not greedy weasels as in the West; the corrupt ones get a board in back of their head and a bullet.
    As many Indians have pointed out to me, China and India were equal powers 30 years ago, one the Communist top-down model the second a product of colonialism and capitalism. China is now a great power. Indians best squirrel away whatever money they can, and generally leave the country, returning only for weddings and funerals. Much as most American pundits ignore most successful Scandinavia or even Canada when discussing socialism (preferring to trash Venezuela), the big question is whether there are inherent differences in the populations (as Clapper attributed to the Russian race in spycraft), or if success reflects the system or anti-corruption level of their government?

    • Smedley Butler
      January 10, 2019 at 04:06

      GHWB is as much to blame as Slick Willy for high tech transfers to China. Especially ballistic missile tech.
      Of course nowe know the Bush and Clinton klans are in the same club.

  32. Realist
    January 9, 2019 at 03:20

    I’ll say one thing: these American hegemonists are certainly not striving to make the economic life of the average American any better with their belligerence towards the three target countries mentioned. It’s all for the benefit of the insider elites who are already filthy rich and thrive by taking the necessities of life from others around the globe.

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