One of the things that fascinates me about living under a national-security state form of governmental structure is the phenomenal ability of Pentagon, CIA, and NSA officials to use anti-China and anti-Russia propaganda to mould the mindsets of the American people.
I was reminded of this phenomenon this morning when I came across an article in today’s New York Times entitled “China’s Military Is Going Global” by Craig Singleton, who is described as a “China analyst and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.” According to Wikipedia, the “group’s political leanings have been described as hawkish and neoconservative, though it is officially nonpartisan.”
In his article, Singleton expresses concern that China is “nearing completion of what U.S. officials suspect will be its first overseas military outpost in the Indo-Pacific region. This represents a major evolution in Beijing’s regional defense strategy.” Singleton says that the base “shines a light on Beijing’s broader embrace of an innovative strategy to challenge American military strength that has potentially grave implications for Washington and its allies.”
Wow! I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight. I’m going to be pacing the floor over the grave threat that that Red military base obviously poses to the U.S. national-security establishment’s overseas empire of some 700 military bases in around 80 countries around the world.
Of course, that’s not the only piece in the mainstream media that is conjuring up the grave threat that Red China supposedly now poses to the United States. One can easily find any number of articles, op-eds, and editorials describing the Red regime in China as an official enemy, opponent, rival, adversary, or competitor of the United States.
Think back about 20 years ago. Except for dyed-in-the wool socialists, Americans were celebrating the fact that China was abandoning its total-socialist economic system and liberalizing its economy. While the Communist Party maintained its iron grip on political power, much of the Chinese populace was escaping the ravages of poverty that socialism had produced. As people in China were becoming wealthier, that meant that they could purchase more from American producers, which made people over here happy.
In other words, we were celebrating the fact that people in another part of the world were doing well economically. That’s the way it should be. Just because the Chinese were doing well economically didn’t mean poverty for us. It’s the exact opposite. Economic prosperity is not a zero-sum game. It’s possible for people all over the world to increase their standards of living at the same time, especially through the mutual benefits that come with trade.
Not surprisingly, however, the U.S. national-security establishment didn’t see things that way. Increased prosperity in China meant increases in tax revenue for the Chinese communist regime. Increased tax revenues meant more money to build up the Chinese national-security establishment. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, that meant that Red China was becoming a grave threat to U.S. “national security” and, specifically, to the U.S. international military empire.
Remember: During the many years that the Pentagon and the CIA was miring the United States in forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, China’s communist regime was reaching out to the world in non-violent ways. That infuriated the Pentagon and the CIA, given that they were hellbent on making friends with warships, bombs, missiles, and tanks, a strategy that wasn’t working out too well for them. Not only that, but they were also helping to send America into national bankruptcy with their out-of-control military spending — while China was prospering because it wasn’t mired in forever wars.
Thus, U.S. officials decided that China needed to be “degraded.” By engaging in actions designed to restore poverty to China, U.S. officials would be able to deprive the Chinese Communist regime of tax revenues, which would mean a weakened military. Oh, sure, Americans would be “degraded” too, such as with a trade war that would impoverish American farmers, but America could withstand an economic degradation easier than China could.
To accomplish this feat has required an enormous propaganda campaign that has converted the mindset of the American people from one that celebrated the prosperity of the Chinese people to one that now views China as an official enemy, rival, opponent, adversary, or competitor.
Meanwhile, they also decided that they needed to “degrade” Russia and to also remake it into an official enemy, adversary, opponent, rival, or competitor. Thus, after the ostensible end of the Cold War, the Pentagon used NATO to push eastward, absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact in the process. That enabled the Pentagon to install its bases, missiles, troops, and tanks ever closer to Russia’s border, knowing full well that Russia would ultimately react in a negative way.
The Pentagon, of course, knew precisely what it was doing. As with China, its aim was to reinvigorate its own Cold War racket that had proven to be so lucrative. Continuing to push eastward inevitably produced the desired reaction from Russia, which finally came in the form of the deadly and destructive invasion of Ukraine. At that point, not much anti-Russia propaganda was needed to generate the renewed anti-Russia mindset within the American people.
And so here we are today: the Cold War racket redux. “Russia, bad!” “Red China, bad!” The only thing missing from this is “Communist Russia, bad!” They have had to settle for simply “Russia, bad!” But the Red element is provided, of course, by Red China.
Interestingly, as bad as it is, the new anti-Russia, anti-China mindset that the national-security establishment has inculcated in many Americans doesn’t seem as powerful as the old Cold War anti-Russia, anti-China mindset. After all, consider the following samples of the old Cold War mindset. We haven’t yet seen these type of things this time around, which I think is a very positive sign, one indicating that the anti-China, anti-Russia propaganda is not having the same impact as it did during the old Cold War racket.