OPINION: Bellicose anti-China and anti-Russian Rhetoric is Meant for Us, Not Them

As in the dystopian novel 1984, Western propaganda that seems aimed at Moscow and Beijing is really intended for the citizens of the so-called Free World, writes retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin.

“There is a slow-motion Third World War underway between the US-centralized power alliance and the nations like China which have resisted being absorbed into it, and that war is being largely facilitated by propaganda. If one doesn’t wish to become a propagandist themselves, one ought to withhold belief from the stories they are told about the terrible, awful things the unabsorbed nations are doing which require extensive sanctions, subversion and interventionism in response.“ (Caitlin Johnstone)

By Tony Kevin
in Canberra, Australia

I have come independently to the same view as the writer Caitlin Johnstone. We are indeed now in the throes of a Third World War against China and its ally Russia. This war has been started by U.S. and the UK, supported by minor Five Eyes allies  Canada and Australia. They have chosen their preferred strategic fighting terrain to be information and sanctions warfare, because they know that on conventional military war-fighting terrain they would be unable even to begin to prevail over Russia and China.

So this is a war confined to hostile rhetoric, sanctions and subversion. It is fought with words by people like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his obedient American and British acolytes such as U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Labour leader Keir Starmer and a myriad of indoctrinated Western news editors.

It features continued recycling of old discredited anti-Russian and anti-Chinese propaganda myths like the Skripals, Syria chemical weapons attacks, alleged Uighur genocide, and repression of human rights in Hong Kong.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds have obediently joined in the anti-China push, and are now in Washington receiving face-to-face briefings and instructions from their imperial masters. And they seemed overjoyed to be on the big stage:

The Real Target

The target audience in this Information War is not the Chinese or Russian people. Our new warriors have long given up trying to influence either nation with their obvious lies.

No, the target is us.

As George Orwell foretold in 1984 : in Oceania’s never-ending, un-winnable wars against Eurasia and Eastasia,  the main theatre is propaganda aimed at we citizens of Oceania. We are the gullible recipients of false narratives. Remember the inflammatory newsreels, the five minute hate sessions as Orwell described them? We are there now, in much of our mainstream media produced by stenographers of the empire.

We are being subjected to constant indoctrination at various levels of subtlety. It is unclear now who are the perpetrators, who are the enablers, and who are the gullible recipients: The white noise of false narratives surrounds us and it becomes harder and harder to disentangle as the volume increases. Dissident voices are efficiently marginalised.

Russia and China are patiently avoiding being goaded by this new kind of world war started by the West into similar retaliatory actions on their part. They know they enjoy superior strategic deterrence, and are quietly sitting tight on their deterrence assets.

Meanwhile, they are also sticking calmly to the facts, and choosing the terrain on which they wish to engage physically with Western provocations. As China humiliated India with stones and clubs in the Himalayas it will in its own time find appropriate ways to humiliate U.S. and allied navies’ provocations in the South China Sea.

Iran humiliated America in its telegraphed non-lethal missile attack on the U.S. base in Iraq, after the U.S. had murdered Iranian General Soleimani in Iraq. Russia safely neutralised Ukraine’s foolish naval provocation at Kerch Bridge in Crimea, thereby sealing President Petro Poroshenko’s political demise a few months later. And so it will continue.

Australia is backing the wrong horse. We should be standing back from this new Third World  War. We need to rediscover the art of diplomacy. Present policies will not end well for the U.S. and its military allies.

Tony Kevin is a former Australian senior diplomat who was ambassador to Poland and Cambodia and was posted to the embassy in Moscow. He is the author of six published books on public policy and international relations.

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

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