PATRICK LAWRENCE: Our Latest Sinophobia Fest

Watch, read, and listen as Washington and its media clerks manufacture our consent for a full-dress Cold War with China.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

One hundred nine years ago, one G. G. Rupert published an extraordinary book called “The Yellow Peril, or The Orient vs. The Occident as Viewed by Modern Statesmen and Ancient Prophets.” The book was a racist diatribe all dressed up as learned historical scholarship. It quickly proved a best-seller and brought Rupert, a Seventh-Day Adventist preacher in Oklahoma, a lot of money and passing fame.

With the Covid–19 virus still spreading, you have to ask how far we’ve come as a similarly befouled wave of Sinophobia now rolls in upon us. First editions of Rupert’s book fetch $900 on the used-book sites. If you have ever wondered whether our religious belief in “progress” might be nothing more than a collective self-deception enduring since the mid­–19thcentury, Rupert’s 526–page p.o.s. (as the expression goes in newsrooms) will help you along.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Spells of scapegoating paranoia such as Rupert’s have come and never quite gone since William Randolph Hearst introduced the “yellow peril” genre in his newspapers at the turn of the 20thcentury. Rupert now goes down as a foolish rube and Hearst a cynical conniver in pursuit of circulation.

But let us not miss that it is their direct descendants — on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, and in the American press — who are up to nothing more nor less than the same shameful chicanery as we look for someone to blame for our pitifully inept response to the Covid–19 crisis.

China cultivated the Covid–19 virus in a Wuhan biological warfare laboratory. China has purposely infected the West as an act of aggression. “The Chinese Communist Party will pay a price for what they did,” says Mike Pompeo, the most dangerously dumb secretary of state to serve in my lifetime. Grandstanding dreamers in Congress intend to make China pay trillions of dollars in retribution. (Wait for it.) Missouri is suing China for “lying to the world.” (Wait for this, too.)

From San Francisco — of all cities, San Francisco — we now read reports of white pedestrians spitting on Chinese–Americans at stoplights. Let us consider such events carefully as we purport to be repelled. The Biden-for-president campaign spit on the Chinese last week in a much-remarked ad G. G. Rupert or Hearst could have written. Settle in: Who out-xenophobes who is now set as the defining issue in the 2020 election contests.

It is the corona virus’s vicious spread that prompts all this irresponsible noise. But the vehemence of this surge of Sinophobia has something to tell us. A new round of anti­–Chinese hysteria has been increasingly manifest among Americans since China’s emergence as a regional and global power became evident in the early years of this century—roughly coincident with the centennial of Rupert’s book. The Covid–19 virus has merely let Jack out of his box.

Sound of Empire in Eclipse

Properly understood, what we hear now is the long-building sound of an empire whose preeminence is in eclipse. This is why, as polluted as we find the vox populi on social media, it is the leadership in Washington and its clerks in the press whose expressions of fright and dread are the shrillest when America looks across the Pacific, and who speak with the gravest intent.

The list of the American leadership’s anxieties is long and continues to grow. A decade back it went like this: A manipulated yuan was making Americans buy too many Chinese products, China was gaining unfair footholds in developing nations, China was competing too aggressively in global commodity markets — this so it could make all those products Americans were buying.

On the security side, China was gaining too much influence in diplomatic affairs, there were too many Chinese naval vessels sailing the waters off its shores, and China was doing well in the “information war,” Washington’s euphemism for who has better PR.

All of that remains on the table. The information war has begun to draw blood with the expulsion of Chinese correspondents from the U.S. and Americans from China. China is still manipulating its currency, let facts not speak otherwise. China’s presence in the South China Sea remains a standby source of fear and trembling. And damn those Chinese, they are still forcing us to buy products we want at prices that allow American corporations to stiff American workers and keep their quarterly results rising.

Image from Biden 2020 campaign ad. (Screenshot)

The facts of the Covid–19 phenom need to be sorted, and it would be reassuring to think cool heads will get this done after the world has drawn together to defeat it. This remains a “maybe.” It is not clear there are any cool heads among us, and the world is hardly drawing together in response to a crisis common to us all. 

In the meantime, it is well to recognize what is proceeding under the cover of our collective folieas to China’s alleged responsibility after the fact. We watch, read, and listen as Washington and its media clerks manufacture our consent for a full-dress Cold War with China, the Russian attempt having failed to deliver the goods. However long it takes to overcome the Covid–19 virus, the new Cold War with the mainland will plague us longer.

The Pentagon, eager to quash any suggestion that its preposterous budget be reconsidered, is full-tilt in consolidating its forward position at the western end of the Pacific. A month ago the Defense Department sent Congress a request for $20 billion in additional funds to reinforce what we’re now calling the “Indo–Pacific Command.”

This seems to be part of a National Defense Strategy called “Regain the Advantage.” As Defense News explained when it reported this, “The wish list was specifically requested by members of Congress who are eyeing it as the basis for a new Pacific-focused pot of money to deter Chinese military action in the region.”

Is this a joke? What Chinese military action? There is nothing to deter, and zero prospect of a war with China — given it is the last thing Beijing wants. Where would it be fought? How would it start?

The Pentagon has been getting away with this kind of blurry language so long nobody any longer questions it. It is time to understand very clearly that the Pentagon’s techno-rubbish about “flexible deterrent options to include full OPLAN [operation plan] execution,” as Defense News attractively puts it, is all and only about the self-perpetuation of an immense and unproductive bureaucracy and the immense profits it secures for defense contractors.

Last week, to make sure tensions in the South China Sea are as high as possible, the U.S. Navy sent two warships into the waters off Malaysia, knowing a Chinese naval vessel was operating in the region. “It’s a quite deliberate Chinese strategy to try to maximize what they perceive as being a moment of distraction and the reduced capability of the United States to pressure neighbors,” a former Australian defense official explained.

Oh? The Chinese ship was a survey vessel. While it is too plain that the U.S. likes to “pressure neighbors,” the man from Down Under has the rest of this one upside down. It was the U.S. that was taking cover in the Covid-19 crisis. The ships looking for trouble where there was none were American (and Australian, which joined in as they reliably do when America is chest-out in the region.) 

To be clear, China’s presence in the South China Sea is no different from the American Navy’s in the Caribbean or the Atlantic off Norfolk, Virginia. Yes, there are disputed maritime claims, but these are far from the sea lanes the U.S. claims China threatens. As the nations involved recognize, such disputes are to be settled bi– or multilaterally among themselves. Kuala Lumpur made this clear when it called for a peaceful settlement of this latest fracas of America’s making. Shame on the government-supervised New York Times for its bent reporting of these events.

Sinophobia Fest

In “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe” in 1940, Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton, actor) is the Yellow Peril of the future. (Wikimedia Commons)

It is interesting to note the other line of attack in this new Sinophobia fest. Once again, it is time to deplore China’s economic model because it is not like ours —although the difference is not so great as we pretend — and because it leaves a considerable role for the state in what is indisputably among the world’s most dynamic economies.

It was always a sophomoric fantasy that China would transform itself into a (neo)liberal copy of the U.S. once foreign investment poured in and Chinese exports poured out. But it is time to rehearse the matter once again to blur the reality that America’s “free-market,” privatize-everything system has failed so miserably in the face of the Covid–19 onslaught. 

“China has become a threat because its leaders are promoting a closed, authoritarian model as an alternative to democratic governance and free-market economics,” none other than H. R. McMaster, a retired lieutenant general, a former Trump adviser, and a man of no demonstrated intellect, writes in the new edition of The Atlantic.  

Publishing a former Army officer with no experience in China under the headline, “How China Sees the World”? shows how far the once-literate Atlantic has fallen since its better days.

McMaster continues: “The integrated nature of the Chinese Communist Party’s military and economic strategies is what makes it particularly dangerous to the United States and other free and open societies.” Did a man of the military-industrial-national-security-media complex actually refer critically to the integrated nature of China’s defense and economic systems? Hmmm.

The cover of The Economist a few editions back asked, “Is China Winning?” The question alone is regrettable evidence that the Anglo–American world already traffics in gains and losses as Covid­–19 makes its lethal way among us. As European leaders launch a multilateral, multi-billion-dollar effort to promote vaccines, testing, and anti-viral medicines, the U.S. withdraws from the World Health Organization and declines to join. There you have it.

Given the talk in Washington of reducing dependence on China for medical equipment and a wide variety of other manufactured goods, export-dependent China stands to take a hit if supply chains are cut as drastically as Capitol Hill greats such as Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican, propose. This is an “if.” The supply-chain theme is unlikely to prove anything like as practical as it seems on paper.

At the same time, China’s severe but effective effort to combat Covid–19 will continue to reflect well on a system that gives the state a large role in the political economy. McMaster is right to get out there swinging, precisely because his “democratic governance and free-market economics” fail so openly.

We can push China into a corner with all our scattershot Sinophobia if we choose to carry on with it. But we should be mindful: After its “century of humiliation,” China is nothing if not proud of its emergence as an equal of the West. China is a peaceable nation, self-involved and with a lot on its plate. It has no imperial designs: These are the West’s specialty. There is nothing to suggest otherwise. But abuse the Chinese excessively, and we risk doing what Versailles did to Germany when it settled the peace in 1919.

Material progress, of which there has been much in the last 150 years, is not to be taken for human progress, of which we have seen little to none. This will stand as one of the enduring lessons Covid–19 will force us to bear — or deny with all our might. 

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 on Twitter @thefloutistHis web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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36 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: Our Latest Sinophobia Fest

  1. robert e williamson jr
    May 2, 2020 at 14:31

    Jeff Harrison:<—– But the Fed got what they wanted, "smoke and mirrors".

    All one needs to do is looks at real numbers. This reveals the economic history of the last 70 years.

    I read a recent post at Who What and Why., writer commented on a piece there that asked the question could Corona Virus spur the resurgence of labor Unions, in which the writer lamented to condition small businesses find themselves in currently.

    I stated my reply in one word,. No! Labor as an organization is broke. In addition I stated that anyone who is currently counting on retiring on their 401 k needs to organized similar to a labor union. These folks have no protection from major financial collapse and they need protection. How do I know? Look at the bail out in 2008 and now.

    It is no secret that those with the money always get their share first. See corona-virus bail out.

    I will also point out the Mr. Berman states, "That itself is based on solid science." In one sentence an then claims, "Fed mastered the art of "increasing the money supply" without starting an inflation spiral. I say this is only the case when one uses Reaganomics. A model that changed economic metrics used during the early 1980's. I have never agreed with Reaganomics and never will.

    Anytime necessities are not figured into inflation numbers the poor suffer the most. Reagan got what he wanted because then, as now the poor have no lobby in congress.

    Inflation is and always will be the "Grim Reaper" Americans can be victimized by in an instant. Reagan and his gang decided they have enough money to ignore inflation, very few of the rest of us have that luxury.

    Few things considered solid science require the mastery of art of any type. Doctors practice medicine, lawyers "practice" law and economists "practice" economics. Key word practice.

    After all is said my observation is that the Fed could be much worse off as well as the rest of us when you consider they work for the deep state in spite of themselves. Sorry Piotr, we obviously have a fundamental disagreement about what may BEST for all in this country, at present the rich are becoming richer than ever before and the poor are dying by the thousands.

    So if I'm a super wealthy elitists (SWETS) , or worship the SWETS I would likely be in love with the Fed myself.

    NO one is more blinded than the sighted man who refuses to see.


  2. robert e williamson jr
    April 30, 2020 at 19:38

    Precisely Mr. Piotr, Precisely. The people at the Fed achieve what THEY want.

    “That itself is based on solid science.” Prove this statement true. I’m not sure the Fed has mastered anything of the sort. Seems a little early in the game to predict the outcome.

    Let me remind you that the Fed has not printed money at the current rate at anytime in the past, additionally the national debt has never been greater.

  3. elmerfudzie
    April 30, 2020 at 12:05

    The largest U.S. Corporations, approximately seventy in number, have relocated their R & D facilities and brain trust to China, add to this many manufacturing companies as well.

    From the age-old symbol of the Chinese Wall, to a single maritime port for foreign commerce, then onto the silk road and finally to the creation of whole Chinese communities beneath the footsteps of white America along boardwalks of Pendleton and other Oregon cities… Chinese culture continues to embrace and enjoy their uniqueness and strong inclination to favor each-other in religious beliefs such Confucianism, Taoism, shared business ventures, this prejudice continues to exist over other races and peoples. A behavior that is natural, not sinister and is still acceptable within ethnic circles that hold fast to tribalism.

    Ah, the Flash Gordon TV series. As a kid, the “yellow menace” suggestion never once popped into my mind, I was in love with Dale Arden (Jean Rogers), one of the few lucky actresses of Hollywood fame who married just once and managed to live happily ever after. RIP Jean.

    • E Wright
      May 2, 2020 at 13:28

      An eloquent retort. I have been behind the bamboo curtain. You quickly learn that there are only two kinds of people in this world from a Chinese point of view. Chinese and foreigners. Why, if you only understood Mandarin, you would realize you are called a foreigner in your own country.

      It is true that we in the West had many racist tropes about the Chinese going back over the past century. Chinese media outlets today repeatedly play those insults back to their readers as if they were still happening. The truth is, we are a lot more sensitive now. But China is a nation which easily takes offense. And the xenophobia is building.

  4. Jeff Harrison
    April 29, 2020 at 20:07

    Well said, Patrick. A couple of side observations. One. Using McMasters to complain about authoritarian systems is amusing since he’s the product of one of the most authoritarian systems yet, the US military. Two. The Chinese allegedly chased a US Navy destroyer out of the area in the Parcels. Three. I read somewhere that the US made a run at organizing another coalition of the vassals to perpetrate lawfare on China in an attempt to make it financially liable for the losses from the Cerveza mas fina virus. And the vassals said no! Four. It seems to me that if the US wants to play the lawfare game, China could sue the US in US court for losses they incurred in the US initiated and enabled Great Recession of 2008/9 which, unlike the Covid 19 fiasco, were the direct result of US action and inaction.

  5. peter mcloughlin
    April 29, 2020 at 06:07

    Covid-19 is being exploited for political purposes, to find scapegoats and demonize opponents. The White House sees US interests threatened by “China’s emergence as a regional and global power”. Historically, it is unlikely world war three can be avoided. If these two titans are too avoid catastrophic confrontation they need to make the necessary accommodation.

  6. Digby
    April 29, 2020 at 01:59

    But abuse the Chinese excessively, and we risk doing what Versailles did to Germany when it settled the peace in 1919.

    If this comparison is as good as any, the USian propaganda against China is almost like the British propaganda against Germany during WWI. Until the first half of the 20th century Britain ruled the waters and the British pound was the world reserve currency. Germany attempted to challenge Britain’s monopoly through, for instance, innovations in the manufacturing process, yielding cheaper and higher-quality products. Instead of effectively competing with Germany, Britain instead tried to obliterate the country so Britain could remain top-dog, and when WWI ended, Britain raped Germany. If I’m not mistaken, the situation today is similar, albeit with China and the USA in place of Germany and Britain, respectively.

  7. rosemerry
    April 28, 2020 at 16:40

    Thank you for the article and the comments. The dangerous but completely childish behavior of the US “leaders” and the hordes of generals in and out of the Pentagon have to be sen and heard to be believed. The assumption that might is right, that violence and threats are the only way of dealing with other nations, that international law is just a joke and that human lives do not matter as much as corporations underlies all the relationships of the USA with their “allies” or their alleged adversaries.
    I read a daily e-newsletter called Global Times, filled with Chinese (government!) points of view, with op-eds from numerous commentators and stories of heroes in China (eg medical staff in Wuhan). It is obvious that they are upset and hurt by the portrayal of China by many in the USA now, as well as Australia and France, while being very proud of their achievements and their help to other countries now hit by COVID-19. Today the schools in China are re-opening, with strict hygiene measures, just for the graduating students this year-TEN MILLION OF THEM!!!

    To pretend that the USA has the slightest hope of ruining the advance of China, with its many partners eg BRI, except by destruction of the world by nuclear war (which they have planned ,as we see) for decades, and would of course destroy them and us all, as well, is fantasy.

  8. John Neal Spangler
    April 28, 2020 at 16:33

    Don’t forget the great Fu Manchu movies from Hammer Films in the 60s with Cristopher Lee as Fu Manchu Wired watching the Fox News people go as silly on China as Maddow did on Russia, quoting the same Intel “sources” again. Iraq WMD, Saddam pals with Al-Qaeda. The fiendish Syria President just at the moment of victory stops using devastating barrel bombs and gases his own people. Those “Intel soutces”.

  9. Bob Herrschaft
    April 28, 2020 at 13:35

    Well said, Patrick Lawrence. Apart from the blatant yellow peril sinophobia there was also a period of extreme political correctness that followed regarding Chinese culture. I can remember watching a wonderful cartoon series with my kids back in the sixties that centered around a the character SoHi who always had an amusing moral at the end of the story. One such story involved a wicked witch and a good witch who looked identical. The wicked witch would go through the market place and “zap”upset vendors apple carts and the like, followed by the good witch who would always “zap” make them upright again. This continued until finally there was a showdown between the two witches, with SoHi as the ref. As they paced off in a zapping duel One of the witches turned abruptly and zapped the other in the back much to SoHi’s outrage. “oh, you bad, wicked, witch!” he cried. “No,no, I good witch” was the response. “moral of story, even good witch have to cheat sometimes”.

  10. Daniel
    April 28, 2020 at 12:45

    This strikes me as one part deflection for a job well done ruining our old economy, one part the new propaganda needed to focus us on the new economy, in which we will be competing with China for dominance in the A.I./tech/surveillance sector, as Whitney Webb has reported out on her site. Whatever is going on, these moves by our dear leaders have a familiar ring, and reek of manufacturing consent. I don’t trust a lick of it.

  11. Mark Stanley
    April 28, 2020 at 11:32

    Defense News is worth a visit..once–to check out how the military folks think. What is considered normal in that mindset is alarming and repulsive, kind of little-boyish-military-fantasy like. Flags and apple pies. These are big boys though. They have created a language to buffer the reality of it all.
    A human being is a “target”.

  12. Mike
    April 28, 2020 at 10:02

    The US replaced Britain as the world’s main store of capital and holder of the global trading currency, the dollar, after 1945. Today, China is poised to become the leading manufacturing nation and strains against a dollar dominated global economy which depends on financial profits in place of industrial profits.

  13. Realist
    April 28, 2020 at 04:54

    I recently bought a pack of 50 paper surgical masks for about a buck apiece from a Chinese mail order company. It’s my understanding from what I read that the cost of production for these masks is about 7 cents each. So that’s a nice 14-fold mark up tolerated by the American public on a product which, you would think, that American paper product or medical supply companies would be eager get a share of, but they don’t… or they can’t, for some unclear reason. Guess it’s simpler and easier for American manufacturers to piss and moan about China’s unfair business practices than to compete with them even on such a low tech product.

    I also recently purchased a simple pulse oximeter (the gizmo you clamp on your finger to monitor your blood oxygen levels) and a hand-held short wavelength UV lamp to sanitize my incoming mail against the infamous “Chinese virus” which obstinately refuses to apply for an American visa. None of these things can be readily or easily purchased from American manufacturers. (American suppliers, maybe; manufacturers, no.) The lamp will be a replacement for what was a first rate American product which I purchased decades ago but can no longer be acquired here, assuming it is still manufactured here. Assuming the manufacturers are still in business, the American suppliers don’t even bother answering inquiries about products in their catalogue. But maybe I am being unfair and their workers are all in lockdown, champing at the bit to get back to work and earn some money to cover their delinquent mortgages or rents! Everything has suddenly become scarce in the American marketplace. Maybe I should feel more compassion for my fellow citizens, go with the flow and place all the blame on those insidious Chicoms and their new Hitler named Xi.

    • Dave P.
      April 29, 2020 at 16:35

      But why only vilifying China? For buying these dollar a piece face masks or the cheap oxygen monitoring Gizmo you mentioned. Or for supporting our life style of consumer extravaganza for two or three decades with their hard work, working long hours at cheap wages. I am no fan of China. But let us be fair. There is no example in history where a Nation or people have achieved so much in such a short time and lifted seven hundred million people out of poverty – all with their hard work, energy,organization, and discipline.

      Real well paying professional jobs in manufacturing started disappearing here during late 1970’s, and early 80’s – first to Germany, then to Japan followed by S. Korea and Taiwan. When I arrived in Ann Arbor during mid 1960’s America was a manufacturing power house. U.S. born students graduating with M.S. or Ph.D. from School of Engineering had multiple offers from big companies to choose and select from. There were scores and scores of big companies – power houses in research and development – like IBM, G.M., Ford, U.S. Steel, G.E., Bell Labs, U.S. Rubber, Xerox, Kodak . . . And there were hundreds of medium size companies. Most of these jobs in research, development , and manufacturing are in Germany, Japan, S.Korea, and Taiwan now. But these are Vassal states with U.S. bases and troops stationed there. And it is o.k. if the jobs move to these countries and other vassal states. No body in Media or Ruling Establishment is talking about that.

      China is only catching up now in manufacturing high end products. And only China is not to be blamed for loss of jobs here. The real culprits are Wall Street Finance, Hollywood, and Media gangsters, and of course bosses of corporations as well. There was this very interesting – and hilarious – article titled “Quantitative Easing” in The Saker last December by Jimmy Moglia. It shows the process how this country was deindustrialized.

      Only way we can bring jobs back is to put tariffs on imports like in nineteenth century and investing money here in rebuilding the manufacturing base again. It needs change of course in the Nation. And it is not going to happen. What is the poll showing now? Some figure like 80% are affected by this China Syndrome now. I can see that it is beginning to affect our home too. My wife watches CNN and MSNBC. First it was Fox network. But now these other outlets are beginning to catch up too.

      Stephen Karganovic in his recent article in Strategic Culture quotes British Journalist Peter Hitchens talking about the Western Societies recently:

      “We demonstrated, in fact, that we don’t really have a civil society any longer. What shocked me having spent such a long time in the Soviet Union is that under the Soviet Union’s rule most people regarded it with a certain amount of contempt, made jokes about it, realized they were being mocked and fooled. In this case the population accept what they’re being told without any question. It’s extraordinary. The old USSR would have loved to have a population like the current western world which actually genuinely believe the propaganda and does what it’s told.”

      There was this interesting interview last week with Kishore Mahbubani, the retired Singapore diplomat and academician on CGTN.

      www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v=F3f_cI2KhUg

    • Realist
      April 30, 2020 at 23:55

      You nailed the reality of the situation, Dave P. But that reality does not allow the American power elite who systematically degraded American manufacturing, research and development to build their stock portfolios and net worth at the expense of the American work force to cover their collective asses when those unemployed workers and everyone dependent upon them start asking why is our infrastructure in a shambles, why are our educational institutions so inept or so damned expensive, and why must we file for bankruptcy if anyone in the family requires some serious medical attention?

      The facile hand waving characteristic of all our political elections fails to satisfy even the dumbest people in the American streets anymore when they see that, no matter the bull shit dispensed in the campaigns, nothing ever changes for the better in this country. Obviously, the power elites are now falling back on a last ditch effort to blame all our troubles on “meddling,” “cheating” and “deception” by foreign countries, most notably countries such as you described, characterised by “all with their hard work, energy,organization, and discipline,” countries such as Russia, China, Iran and now the ascendant India (Evidence of this? What Western country besides the US has sent spacecraft to the Moon, Mars and beyond?). They are all of them to be demonized and systematically sabotaged however possible using the powers of media, government and the military.

      Doing that seems more plausible to American CEO’s rather than simply investing more of their money, or that of their shareholders, in quality production within the confines of America’s borders using American workers who are paid American dollars which continue to circulate within the American marketplace. It’s crazy that the few remaining American car manufacturers mostly assemble their vehicles outside this country in Mexico or Canada, whilst German and Japanese carmakers prefer building their products in America–in nonunion plants offering no benefits, natch, pointedly not how they operate back home.

      American manufacturers provide no quality, therefore American buyers show no brand loyalty. I am told, the only thing keeping General Motors in business is the huge vehicle sales they enjoy in China! Supposedly, the Chinese love to buy Buicks. Over there, it’s a mark of status–at least it was. Not so sure now, after the massive Sinophobia campaign led by Trump. America just has the stink of death on itself, which Americans can surely perceive and so show it no true confidence (putting their money where their mouths are), rather they prefer to blame some other fall guy. Washington keeps a rolodex of such names for all occasions.

    • Dave P.
      May 1, 2020 at 19:35

      You are right about General Motors. They make most of their money in China now; they got in there early. I learnt a few years ago that GM has moved some of their R and D to China as it cheaper there than to do it in U.S.

      GM had this huge Research and Development Complex in Warren, a suburb just north of Detroit. The complex had beautiful manicured lawns and ponds. I used to visit the complex during early 1970’s. I worked for an auto parts manufacturing company a few miles in another suburb northwest from there. What I hear now is that many buildings in the GM complex lie empty and grass has grown in the parking lots. That is the story of those once vibrant manufacturing States from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, from big cities to small towns.

      Here, our beach town in Orange County in Southern California has been in the news for a few days now. Last weekend was warm and people flocked to the beaches. And yesterday Governor issued a ban. We live about a mile from the beach. About eleven this morning my wife heard the helicopters high above hovering over the beach and downtown area and issuing some warnings. I drove to the downtown to check. There was mounted police and police cars all over to block all the parking places and roads around the downtown leading to the beach. People with their flags and posters all along the Pacific Coast Highway and in the streets, families with children, all with flags and posters streaming to the downtown area. People did not bring their AK-47s yet.

      It is going to be warm weather over the weekend and there is going to more of this. Dana Rohrabacher, is from our city. He was a reasonable voice on the Foreign Relations committee. And democrats spent tons of money to defeat him. His crime was that he wanted detente with Russia – i.e. Putin’s man. I think Soros was behind it too funneling his money.

  14. Tom Welsh
    April 28, 2020 at 04:42

    ‘…the Pentagon’s techno-rubbish about “flexible deterrent options to include full OPLAN [operation plan] execution,”…’

    Actually the term “operational plan” sounds extremely ominous – terrifying, even – to anyone who has read Daniel Ellsberg’s book “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”.

    The Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) was the Pentagon’s top-secret blueprint for firing off all the thermonuclear missiles in the US arsenal in one devastating sneak attack that would smash and depopulate the USSR and China (and probably many nearby regions such as Western Europe).

    Ellsberg and other sane observers who became aware of SIOP were horrified to learn that there were no means of launching an attack on either the USSR or China, or any parts of those countries. It was all or nothing.

    Not good to hear the words “operational plan” used by the Pentagon with regard to China.

  15. Sam F
    April 27, 2020 at 22:12

    (corrected version, 241 words):
    China is the only option now: despite every tribal propaganda blast since 2016, people realized that Russia was not doing anything bad: yesterday’s fake foreign monster was played out. Aristotle’s Politics requires our tyrants to invent a new monster for the election season, to distract from their failure in the epidemic and create desire or fear of changing duopoly tyrants. Iran just sits there with zero effect on the electorate.

    But China is a peaceable nation with “no imperial designs… the West’s specialty.” Bullying an empire is the specialty of the liars, cheaters, and thieves who float to the surface of an unregulated market economy to control the gangs of the rich (MIC, monopolies, and political duopoly) that corrupted the US since WWII, and destroyed our former democracy.

    The rich deplore China’s economic model because it improved the US model by getting rid of rich liars, cheaters, and thieves while allowing an efficient market economy, which is dangerous to rich liars, cheaters, and thieves in the US.

    The MIC can continuing stealing US funds only by provoking incidents, pretending that China’s navy near China threatens the US although “no different” from US Navy operations near the US, where China does not provoke incidents.

    The fear-mongering of our DemRep duopoly and mass media to fake up foreign monsters is the trash advertising of an “empire in eclipse” whose material progress was not “human progress, of which we have seen little to none.”

    • AnneR
      April 28, 2020 at 10:43

      I agree with this assessment, Sam F, except for one tiny point: that Russia has been dropped as the bugaboo. At least not completely.

      Residues remain here in the US – ready to be reignited should the “opportunity” occur. And over in Europe, it would seem that (according to that stalwart govt, corporate-capitalist-imperialist voice box, the BBC World Service yesterday) the Czechs are in the midst of accusing one (or more) Russians of entering the Czech Republic with Ricin in pocket in order to assassinate someone there who had connections to Nemtsov. (I forget the actual links – certainly a supporter of Nemtsov and an accuser of Russia’s assassinating of the bloke.)

      The Skripal story revisited…..

      I suppose the western powers that be have to have a fall back option to bring forward as the latest country candidate for demonization whenever things in country cause our govt institutions to get a little hot under the collar. A little distraction – repeated over and over – deflecting our attention toward the immediate moment’s bugaboo assists immensely, it would seem. China today; Russia tomorrow; Iran there in the background…

      It would seem that the USofA’s backyard has no apparent end, including it would the S China Sea which I believe is around 7,000 miles distant from our shores. And there I was thinking that a country’s territorial waters did not extend beyond around 350 nautical miles, or approximately 400 land ones. Obviously I was mistaken. China, too, must be under the wrong impression because the USofA clearly believes it has the right to sail wherever it wishes however far from its own territorial water limits (ah but that’s International Law, and we know how the exceptionalists view those laws) while dictating to such as China where it can and cannot sail, even when those waters are on China’s own doorstep.

    • Sam F
      April 29, 2020 at 13:26

      You are right, AnneR, we need a full cast to deploy in various scenarios. It appears that US bullying is designed to build up a military right wing in China and perhaps Russia, to create incidents to reinforce the US right wing.

    April 27, 2020 at 17:49

    I’ll confess to liking very much Charles Middleton’s Ming the Merciless as a young boy when the three Flash Gordon series of 1936, 1938, and 1940 were repeated on kid’s lunchtime television in the 1950s.

    His resonant voice and theatrical face appealed to kids, as did Frank Shannon’s Doctor Zarkov.

    It was a great series of its day, and of course the model for Star Wars.

    • Michael P Goldenberg
      April 28, 2020 at 10:26

      My favorite “Yellow Peril” source growing up was Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu books. I don’t think I got to see any of the visual representations, but my mother did a nice imitation of the insidious doctor tormenting one of his victims who was begging for water by retorting, “You want water? I’ll give you SALT water!” which even without my mother doing any sort of accent sound convincingly menacing to me.

      As a result of this indoctrination, my middle brother married a Japanese-American and I was engaged to a Filipino-American.

      So glad you mentioned Dr. Zarkov. I can barely remember seeing any of the Flash Gordon television shows, but I’ll never forget that name. I wanted my mom to make him our pediatrician. (Kidding).

  17. Drew Hunkins
    April 27, 2020 at 17:01

    “Rupert now goes down as a foolish rube and Hearst a cynical conniver in pursuit of circulation.”

    Maddow, David Corn, Robert Reich and other Democratic Russophobes now fill Rupert and Hearst’s shoes quite well. Thus far they’re far from being deemed foolish rubes.

    Hannity, Limbaugh and other GOP Sinophobes currently fill the same spot as Rupert and Hearst once did pertaining to the Yellow Peril in our midst but none of them have been laughed out of the studios.

    Never underestimate the effect that fearmongering can have on the American populace.

  18. Charles
    April 27, 2020 at 16:35

    “China is a peaceable nation, self-involved and with a lot on its plate. It has no imperial designs.” The writer’s whole interpretation hangs on this claim. Take it conversely though that China is a monopoly capitalist power, which already holds huge foreign investments and is driven to export capital; then the interpretation changes, too. The contradiction between the U.S. and China will intensify.

    • Tom Welsh
      April 28, 2020 at 04:51

      “China is a monopoly capitalist power…”

      What does that mean, exactly? Does it mean anything concrete?

      All capitalists seek monopoly and/or monopsony. That is their version of heaven.

      But in a competitive world, they can never obtain either.

    • Jared
      April 28, 2020 at 16:59

      “All capitalists seek monopoly and/or monopsony… But in a competitive world, they can never obtain either.”

      Among capitalist nation states, “competition” is a blood sport. The last time the world economic system was composed of roughly equal competing capitalist powers we had two world wars, with a good number of social democratic states descending into outright fascism as well.

  19. aquadraht
    April 27, 2020 at 16:25

    Well written. But: “and a man of no demonstrated intellect, writes in the new edition of The Atlantic. ”

    Isn’t that a prerequisite for writing in The Atlantic?

  20. April 27, 2020 at 16:17

    There is a lot of mischief and recklessness behind the attacks mounted by Graham, Cotton et all. It must be coming increasingly clear to China as well. Doing business with America presents opportunities (China current economic power comes in part from its trade with the United States) but also dangers that America will cut back purchases from China or make trade so costly that it is no longer feasible. Like much of the world, China must be considering a drastically revising its economy to protect itself. No doubt in the short term this will do great damage to its economy but it well may decide it will no longer rely on us as a bulwark for its own economy. If that happens, it runs the greater risk of making China a dangerous enemy, no longer having an economic incentive to get along with us.

    President Trump is strange fellow, making careless and out of left field comments, but he also appears to have the good sense not to let matters get out of control, and in listening to his remarks about China, he appears not to buy into the Cotton et al rhetoric. His handshake with Putin must have made the hawks apoplectic. Yes, he is driven by a desire to get reelected and much of his remarks and actions are colored because of it, but I don’t think he will allow America to cut of its nose to spite it face by creating an out of control military confrontation with China or anyone else. The people around him, and his supporters in Congress are another matter and they are dangerous.

    • Tom Welsh
      April 28, 2020 at 04:48

      “I don’t think he will allow America to cut of its nose to spite it face by creating an out of control military confrontation with China or anyone else”.

      If you believe that Mr Trump – or any previous President – has the power to start or prevent thermonuclear war, you are gravely mistaken.

      The Pentagon’s overriding concern is to make sure that the USA is able to respond to any attack with overwhelming force. As Daniel Ellsberg explains in his frightening book “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”, even when Secretary of Defense McNamara ordered that all nuclear missiles could be launched only after two independent officers had entered a secret code, “Decades later, long after McNamara’s retirement… a former Minuteman launch officer informed the former secretary that the Air Force had ensured that the codes in the launch control centers were all set continuously at 000000000”.

  21. April 27, 2020 at 16:08

    to be very much honest this is way golden i wont lie

  22. April 27, 2020 at 15:08

    America’s rich heritage of hatreds and prejudices just may be its most defining characteristic.

    It is certainly possible to hold at one and the same time fantasy beliefs in rights and justice.

    Ambiguity and inconsistency are part of the human condition.

    • Michael P Goldenberg
      April 28, 2020 at 10:29

      Uh, oh, John. Having a grasp of contradictions, nuance, and what Keats called “negative capability” is not going to make you a lot of friends in the professional wrestling world of American political commentary. But between that comment and the one about Flash Gordon, you’ve got a friend in me. :)

    • robert e williamson jr
      April 28, 2020 at 12:39

      Yes John and not much has changed. .

      Your statements find a foundation at the U.S. Treasury. Printing money by the trillions in the fantasy belief that the U.S. has the right to print money that is backed by nothing is a pretty good fantasy. After Bill Barr the term “justice” seems to have taken on a whole new meaning. Especially when one considers that the actions taken by Treasury, printing money, and Bill Barr in the name of “justice” which reveal the raw ambiguity and the consistently inconsistent evidence of the total lack of values by our country’s leadership. And by the way the term, leadership, is a total misnomer

      And that includes pretty much every damned one of them at this point! Garbage in garbage out!

      In reality this Sinophobia Fest is the nations latest ploy by leaders vying to “go out into the world” and make more money for their bosses. Those of members of the notorious 1%!

    • Piotr Berman
      April 29, 2020 at 10:42

      Printing money by the trillions in the fantasy belief that the U.S. has the right to print money that is backed by nothing is a pretty good fantasy. <– robert e williamson jr

      That itself is based on solid science. Fed mastered the art of "increasing money supply" without starting an inflation spiral. You may call it fantasy, but it works. You may disagree with the results, but people of Fed achieve what THEY want.

    • Jeff Harrison
      May 1, 2020 at 22:02

      I can’t say that I agree with you Mr. Berman. I think you’ll find that what happened was when the inflation should have kicked in, we started buying from China with lower prices which damped the inflation here. To put this in perspective in 1968, some of the brothers in the fraternity I was in went to visit one of our brothers who had graduated the previous June with a degree in chemical engineering. Top flight Chem E grad and what was his starting salary? $9K You’d be paying at least 500% of that for a new Chem E today.

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