The Shenzhou-13 crew returned from China's space station in 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)
An errant balloon from China sent the U.S. into a frenzy of fear and hatred. The president, congress, and corporate media all made sure that a harmless incident was viewed in the worst light possible.
The People's Republic of China has a space program. They have a space station where they deploy their taikonauts. China has satellites orbiting the earth. Yet despite these advances, we are told that this same country would send a balloon, visible to the naked eye, to spy on the United States. The more logical explanation is just what the Chinese said: a balloon conducting meteorological research was blown off course. There have been several previous instances of such equipment flying in or near U.S. territory.
The mixture of hysteria whipped up by the Biden administration and their mouthpieces in corporate media were fodder for jokes and internet memes. However, U.S. actions which created this incident are part of a pattern of provocations and dangerously amateurish diplomacy.
Joe Biden began his term in office by attempting to bully Beijing. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with their Chinese counterparts in early 2021 and proceeded to insult them very publicly. The interaction was so bad that Yang Jiechie, Director of the Central Commission on Foreign Affairs, felt compelled to say, “Well, I think we thought too well of the United States. We thought that the U.S. side will follow the necessary diplomatic protocols.” Relations between the two nations have gone steadily downhill ever since.
The Biden administration is now using the same failed playbook it used against Russia and hoping to somehow snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with China. They hope to find or create a provocation that will result in congressional and public support for sanctions or even military action. But their Ukraine policy should be jettisoned instead of copied elsewhere. In instigating Russia to act in Ukraine, Biden succeeded in severing relations between Russia and EU nations, and ended their natural gas sales, to the detriment of Europe. But Russia prepared for sanctions while the Biden team engaged in wishful thinking. Remember when he said the sanctions would, “turn the ruble to rubble?” Ukraine suffers from this miscalculation more than any other country and the U.S. is left to commit desperate acts, such as its probable involvement in the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines. Their fantasy foreign policy consists of escalating tensions for the sake of doing so.
The same people who fanatically believe that the U.S. can subjugate the whole world look for every opportunity to worsen an already bad relationship with China. Even a weather balloon can become a pretext for war with another nuclear armed nation. Turning Taiwan into the new Ukraine, a weapon to be used against a country which has been declared an adversary, is still part of their plans. That is why former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was given support for a Taiwan trip, despite the fact that the U.S. claims to continue following the one China policy.
There is no logical explanation for such a frenzy of speculation about a balloon with scientific equipment attached. Well, there is a twisted logic in the decision to shoot down a balloon that was on its way out to sea. China must be seen as the enemy, and the administration wouldn’t let a small thing like a balloon straying off course go to waste.
Enter the corporate media, the handmaiden of the U.S. state. It isn’t surprising that Fox News would call the balloon a “communist eye in the sky.” But Fox was joined by outlets which are supposedly of a higher quality. The New York Times refers to the balloon as a spy balloon, relying only on the word of the administration. The gray lady, the paper of record, seems unable to find anyone who can do impartial research on balloons that gather scientific information, preferring to instead be a cheerleader for reckless policies. Calling it a balloon without qualifiers must be forbidden by the Times style guide.
So far, no members of congress have expressed skepticism or warned against the overreaction to the balloon being shot down. Instead, the manufactured hysteria is bipartisan. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell opined, “We should not have let the People’s Republic of China make a mockery of our airspace.” Democratic Senator and Majority Leader Charles Schumer was no better as he said, “I strongly condemn President Xi’s brazen incursion into American airspace, and I commend President Biden’s leadership in taking down the Chinese balloon over water to ensure safety for all Americans. Now we can collect the equipment and analyze the technology used by the CCP.” Never mind that there is no CCP. The supposed acronym is nonexistent. If they are referring to the Communist Party of China they ought to say CPC. But who cares about accuracy when there is hysteria in need of fomenting.
We can’t be surprised about “Asian hate” or a warmongering public. These sentiments start at the top with presidents, congress, and supposedly reputable media. Despite any alleged differences they join together at the opportune moment to spread fear or use nonsense for already ridiculous and dangerous purposes.
The U.S. is amateurish and bumbling, even when trying to start a fight. When Blinken announced he had canceled a visit to China, the Chinese foreign ministry pointed out that nothing had been confirmed. They apologized for the unintentional event and for good measure said of Blinken’s dramatic cancellation, “In fact, neither side has ever announced that there would be a visit. It is a matter for the US to make its latest announcement.”
Biden may want to turn a balloon into a new Ukraine. He should remember that the U.S. may be powerful enough to shoot one out of the sky, but it isn’t smart enough to deal with a nation acting with intelligence and maturity.
Margaret Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents. You can support her work on Patreon and also find it on the Twitter and Telegram platforms. She can be reached via email at margaret.kimberley(at)blackagendareport.com.