Archive for March, 2020


March 30, 2020

Chattanooga News, Tennessee, on March 27, 2020, reported on U.S. Senators calling for the Chinese government to take responsibility for its failure to be forthright about the severity of the Wuhan virus at its enception. Excerpts below:

Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican, Tennessee, was joined by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) who led bipartisan companion resolution in the House of Representatives.

“Chinese officials destroyed early COVID-19 test kits, suppressed information and refused international assistance,” Senator Blackburn said. “The Communist Party is so petrified of the truth that they kicked out journalists and fabricated a story of where the virus originated.”

“The Chinese Communist Party wasted precious weeks on a cynical coverup instead of containing the China virus at its epicenter,” said Senator Cotton.

“As the Chinese Communist Party pushes propaganda and lies to try and blame the United States for coronavirus, we need to make the case to the world that China is ultimately responsible for this outbreak,” said Rep. Banks.

The resolution calls on the Chinese Government to:

Publicly state there is no evidence that COVID-19 originated anywhere else but China;

Denounce the baseless conspiracy that the US Army place COVID-19 in Wuhan;
Revoke its expulsion of American journalists;

End its detainment of Uyghur Muslims and other persecuted ethnic minorities; and

End all forced labor programs.

The resolution also condemns:

The Chinese Government censorship of doctors and journalists during the early days of the outbreak and its treatment of the deceased Dr. Li Wenliang;

The Chinese Government’s refusal to allow scientists from the Centers of Disease Control to assist in response to COVID-19 for over a month after cooperation was offered;

China’s duplicitous denial of the person-to-person transmissibility of COVID-19.

The House resolution is also cosponsored by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), Jim Hagerdorn (R-Minn.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Will Hurd (R-Texas), Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Lance Gooden (R-Texas), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and John Joyce (R-Pa.).


March 27, 2020

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), in a press release on March 23, 2020 reported that he joined Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in sending a letter to President Trump requesting the creation of a taskforce under the National Security Council (NSC) to counter propaganda emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) surrounding COVID-19. Excerpts below:

“The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.”

Full text of the letter

Dear Mr. President,

We write to you requesting the formation of an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the National Security Council (NSC) with the purpose of countering the sinister propaganda campaign emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) (P.L. No: 115-409), which you signed into law in December 2018, authorizes funding “for United States Government efforts to counter the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China,” developing the foundation for such an initiative.

In early December 2019, citizens of the city of Wuhan, China began experiencing symptoms of what would become known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This new virus has continuously proved highly infectious and in the four short months since its discovery, it has become a global pandemic and a crisis here at home. Despite early indications that this was a new virus comparable to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from 2002, the CCP made concerted efforts to obfuscate and downplay information that would have been critical for the health of their citizens and later the world.

Now that COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the globe, the CCP and its officials have the audacity to spread disingenuous claims that the United States is responsible for this pandemic. This is not simply dishonest, it is dangerous. This tactic, in addition to being a despicable exploitation of a global emergency, threatens to undermine the worldwide coordination necessary to combat this coronavirus. It is for this reason that we request an interagency taskforce within the NSC to counter the malicious propaganda coming from CCP apparatchiks.

This interagency taskforce should include representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and from agencies within the Intelligence Community. These representatives should work together to disseminate accurate and appropriate information to U.S. Government (USG) employees and the global public at-large concerning the origins of COVID-19 and efforts at national and international levels to halt its spread.

To that end, this taskforce should focus on 1) producing a white paper on the origins of COVID-19 and subsequent CCP efforts to conceal its seriousness, 2) provide guidance to USG employees and U.S. Embassies on messaging surrounding COVID-19 and methods to counter false CCP narratives around its origins and containment, and 3) regularly coordinate with and brief the appropriate Congressional Committees on these efforts.

The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.


March 26, 2020

On March 24, 2020, Republican Senator Josh Hawley, Misssouri, introduced a resolution calling for international investigation into the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) cover-up of the early spread of the coronavirus pandemic. See below from the senator’s pressrelease:

Senator Hawley’s resolution calls on China to pay back all nations impacted because China lied about the spread of the virus.

U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is introducing companion legislation in the House.

“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent. It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic. The CCP must be held to account for what the world is now suffering.”

Senator Josh Hawley

“The Communist government of China knowingly withheld critical information needed to combat the spread of the Chinese-born COVID-19 and to this day continues to spread lies and disinformation on the origin of the deadly virus,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “There is no doubt that China’s unconscionable decision to orchestrate an elaborate coverup of the wide-ranging and deadly implications of coronavirus led to the death of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans and climbing. This Resolution calls for China to provide compensation for the harm, loss, and destruction their arrogance brought upon the rest of the world. Simply put – China must, and will, be held accountable.”

The resolution condemns the CCP’s decision to hide the details of the outbreak during its initial weeks and calls for an investigation into how the CPP’s handling of the coronavirus before March 11, 2020 contributed to the emergence of a global pandemic.


March 25, 2020

American Greatness on March 17, 2020, published an article on a report from Horizon Advisory consultants on China’s CCP-regime’s post-virus strategy to seize global share in key industries and reverse efforts in the United States to decouple from Chinese economy. Excerpts below:

The virus that originated in Wuhan, China poses a double threat to America.

The first is to our health as the virus spreads through the U.S. population. The second is to our economy as more businesses, schools, and events shut down to slow the spread of the contagion.

We must not underestimate the economic threat because the Chinese Communist Party is using the pandemic to achieve its goal of supplanting the United States as the world’s leading economic, diplomatic, and military power.

A new report from Horizon Advisory consultants details Beijing’s post-virus strategy—already operational—to leverage the pandemic to seize global market share in key industries, further global dependence on Chinese manufacturing, and reverse efforts in the United States and elsewhere to decouple from the People’s Republic.

“Beijing intends to use the global dislocation and downturn to attract foreign investment, to seize strategic market share and resources—especially those that force dependence, and to proliferate global information systems; to as Chinese sources put it, ‘leap-frog’ industrially, ‘overtake around the corner’ strategically, capture the ‘commanding heights’ globally.

Beijing intends to reverse recent U.S. efforts to counteract China’s subversive international presence; at the same time to chip away at U.S.-Europe relations. In other words, Beijing will use COVID-19 to accelerate its long-standing, strategic offensive,” the Horizon report states.

After covering up the novel infection and unleashing it on the world, Beijing’s rulers bought up the world’s supply of protective gear and respirators.

Then they sell these critical goods to Italy while portraying themselves as the heroic humanitarian savior of the world, not unlike a pyromaniac who takes credit for calling the fire department.

The Horizon Advisory report draws on the writings and statements of communist functionaries..

On March 12, Song Zhiping, representative to the 15th Party Congress, former party committee secretary, and chairman of the state-owned China National Building Materials Group Corporation declared:

China will “turn crisis into opportunity: It will transform and upgrade and strengthen its position in the international industry chain.”

The CCP Central Committee identifies industries to “seize in the adjustment of the international industrial chain while fighting the epidemic and resuming production.” These include 5G construction, urban high-speed rails, urban rail transit, new energy vehicles, big data in infrastructure, artificial intelligence, automobiles, electronics, ships, aviation, power equipment, and machine tools.

Han Jian of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ China Industrial Economics Association put it more succinctly on March 4: “It is possible to turn the crisis into an opportunity—to increase the trust and the dependence of all countries around the world of ‘Made in China.’”

Beijing’s post-pandemic plan and the industries mentioned above are in line with its longstanding “Made in China 2025” strategy for global dominance of crucial industries.

Moreover, Beijing sees an opportunity in the pandemic to reverse President Trump’s call to move manufacturing out of China.

In a report on the economic effects of the Wuhan virus, China’s State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), stated: “China will get more opportunities, including in the reduction of pressure for the international industrial chain to transfer away from China . . . The global epidemic has provided opportunities for improving China’s international position and countering anti-globalization.”

China plans to target the very industries hit hardest by the pandemic and use the same predatory practices it has used in the past to subjugate the world’s industries.

The State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense lays out the strategy: “Accurately support industries affected by the global spread of the new epidemic, proliferate information technology and other industries overseas to help fight the epidemic, and pave the way for international market expansion after the epidemic is over.”

Beijing has a plan to gain ground after the setback it experienced from the Wuhan virus. It is deploying all its resources—industrial, economic, and information—to achieve its goal.

Comment: No doubt the Chinese plans for the period after the Wuhan virus are in place. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is known for detailed planning on how to reach world hegemony. It is of course a question if the plans can succeed. The Chinese pandemic has damaged the trademark of communist China. There are calls in the West for investigations to hold China to account for spread of the virus that originated in Wuhan. More than ever America is now on the path to decouple from China. American policy might not be to decouple in one swift move but start with the manufacturing sectors that are most vulnerable to national security.


March 24, 2020

National Interest on March 16, 2020 published an article by China specialist Wilson VornDick. He argued using the term ”envelopment” comparable to the Cold War strategy ”containment”. Excerpts below:

It is a strategically dynamic time in American grand strategy. As of yet, there is no twenty-first-century description…to describe our evolving relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that fits the equivalence…of Containment.

Now is the moment for an alternate grand strategy proposal. It starts with an ‘e’ for Envelopment.

Envelopment is a reassertion of America’s place in the global order and rests on three tenets: it is value-based, it requires a whole-of-society response that leverages the entire spectrum of national power and influence, and it can be replicated by America’s partners, allies, and like-minded nations.

Besides, “envelopment” stands in stark contrast to other strategy proposals…

…a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a New York Times op-ed that he concurs with a new Sino-U.S. “Competitive Coexistence.”

…eight American presidencies rode various…models of engagement with the PRC aiming towards two goals: that the PRC would become more liberal and would share long-term, American and global interests. All the while, the PRC executed a Deng Xiaoping style strategy of “hide and bide” in order to steadily accumulate more economic, diplomatic, and military influence and power.

The mere fact that American strategists are debating and considering a new grand strategy leads one to believe that those past American policies now have failed to assuage concerns vis-à-vis a rising PRC.

There is no doubt China is the priority per the Trump administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and the 2018 National Defense Strategy. From the deep seabed to the stars, PRC capabilities and capacities are challenging American interests with repercussions across the global community. However, any new American grand strategy could and should include Russia, North Korea, Iran, and violent extremists. Indeed, these are already woven into the Trump administration’s strategies.

CCP doesn’t shy away from naming its national roll-out and concepts for dominion like “Made in China 2025” or “China Dream.” American strategists would be advised to do the same.

At this point, it is just as vital to present a clear and concise plan for implementing any future grand strategy.

…America’s most formative and bold strategies, concepts, and policies have been robust, assertive, and creative from the Monroe Doctrine to the Truman Doctrine.

At this point, it is just as vital to present a clear and concise plan for implementing any future grand strategy. It has to be communicated not only to the members of the United Nations but to the citizens of the American nation.

First, the primacy of values. Envelopment encompasses these values: a degree of freedom of expression and liberty; enhanced property rights; the rule of law; a market-based economic approach; and more accountable, transparent, and egalitarian governance based on democratic principles.

For those steeped in diplomacy and security, the reprise of values builds upon Paul Nitze’s 1950 National Security Council Paper NSC 68 that “our determination to maintain the essential elements of individual freedom . . . our determination to create conditions under which our free and democratic system can live and prosper; and our determination to fight if necessary to defend our way of life.”

Envelopment is a whole-of-society approach and pulls all levers of national power and influence. It is not solely a whole-of-government or whole-of-Department of Defense approach. When FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in 2018 on the topic of campus espionage perpetrated by PRC nationals, he described China’s concerted effort as a “whole of society threat.”

…Envelopment can be replicated and incorporated by America’s allies, partners, and other like-minded nations. In this way, Envelopment is a force multiplier.

An authoritarian form of Envelopment appears to have already been rolled out by China. Ground truth purports a strategy that supports authoritarian values, applies a whole-of-society approach and leverages all facets of national influence, and can be incorporated by others. Programs like the Belt and Road Initiative and “Made in China 2025” provide guidance, know-how, services, and goods at the strategic level. Concepts such as dual-use and civil-military fusion propel span PRC entities from state-owned enterprises to scientific research. Meanwhile, Chinese commercial entities with deep ties to the PRC leadership apparatus like Huawei prop-up autocratic regimes with spyware and large surveillance systems as seen in Uganda and Zimbabwe. But these efforts should not be construed as Envelopment. Envelopment prioritizes its values first.

[It has been noted that] a Chinese-led future is not inevitable. . . The challenge that China presents is not simply political, or economic, or military—it is, at the extreme, civilizational. China is advancing a new model of rule, a new model of how human beings can and ought to live together. That model is not only different from ours; it could be fatal to it.”… America does not have a coherent PRC strategy. Moreover, America needs a grand strategy for more than just the PRC. Now there is one: Envelopment.

Comment:The call for an American and Western grand strategy in regard to China presented in this article is essential. Many of the recommendations are important. Perhaps one should add the question of ”decoupling” from the Chinese communist economy. This could be a long process starting by withdrawing of production of technological and pharmaceutical products from China to America. A possible outcome could also be a concentration of production to the Western Hemisphere in cooperation perhaps with the United Kingdom.

Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott has in the beginning of March 2020 described the Communist China’s strategy as systematic and global.

He said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is building up the military. It is subsidizing strategic industries. They’re working to control natural resources. They’re infiltrating weak economies and using their presence to exert political influence. They’re applying more pressure in East Asia, particularly Hong Kong and Taiwan while also expanding the region all across the globe. They’re building a surveillance state, both inside and outside of communist China to dominate and control the flow of information.

Scott has taken every opportunity to reveal communist China’s true intentions, and their fundamentally anti-democratic worldview.

The Florida senator has introduced legislation that would prevent the federal government from purchasing drones made in communist China and other adversaries due to the national security threat. He introduced legislation that would prohibit intelligence sharing with countries that give Huawei access to their 5G networks. Scott introduced legislation that will prevent US companies from selling component parts to Huawei and other Chinese-owned tech companies. He supported a national defense strategy that reflects a commitment to combating the threat of Chinese military expansion. Scott contributed to expose Chinese propaganda outlets like China Daily that collaborate with US media companies to publish inserts appearing to be real news. He has urged US research institutions and hospitals to take steps to safeguard sensitive technology and research. This has already resulted in high profile institutions terminating employees who had undisclosed relationships with communist China.

Senator Scott has joined proposed legislation to prevent federal retirement savings funds from being invested in communist China, visited Hong Kong after the protest began and supported the Hong Kong human rights and democracy act. One of the few bipartisan accomplishments of this Congress.

Furthermore he introduced legislation that would prevent US companies from selling crowd control equipment to the Hong Kong police and legislation to urge Taiwan’s admittance into the WHO, and strongly supported continued arms sales to Taiwan.

Scott also described the human cost to the kind of anti-democratic, anti-religion and anti-human rights regime that General Secretary Xi is leading in communist China.

More than one million Muslim minorities are being held in internment camps simply because of their religion. Faced with reeducation programs, isolation, and forced owner organ harvesting.

Scott added that the United States knows what communist China is. Communist China is a totalitarian regime, bent on world domination. One that quashes decent people, often violently, and destroys anyone or anything that stands in its way.

America stands with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as with the historically persecuted people of Tibet, the peaceful community of Uighur Muslims, Falun Gong, and the journalists and political dissidents in communist China. United States stands for human rights. It also stands against political neutrality in the face of evil. The challenge posed by communist China is great. America must face this challenge head on.

It will, in Scotts words, be a conflict that determines whether the world community will embrace the values of democracy and human rights or cower to the whims of dictators.


March 23, 2020

American Greatness on March 11, 2020, reported that there is evidence of organ procurement by extrajudicial execution in China. Excerpts below:

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) on March 10, 2020 released “Organ Procurement and Extrajudicial Execution in China: A Review of the Evidence,” a report by China Studies Research Fellow Matthew P. Robertson that examines the evidence underlying allegations of extrajudicial killing for the harvesting of organs by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The report, together with the final judgment of the China Tribunal charged with investigating the question of the criminal liability of the Chinese state with respect to forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, challenges international complacency on the topic.

Given the evidence of ongoing organ trafficking, the falsification of official datasets, and the signs that Uyghur Muslims may be the latest victims of this form of state predation, the necessity of coordinated, international action is clear.

Robertson found that starting in 2000, China rapidly constructed a world-class organ transplantation system that began performing tens of thousands of transplants annually.

At first, Chinese officials claimed that all organs were from voluntary civilian donors. When this claim became untenable, they stated that organs, in fact, were harvested from death-row prisoners.

A close examination of Chinese transplant activity indicates that hospitals have been performing at least several times more transplants than even the largest estimates of death-row prisoners. Given this, Robertson provisionally concludes that the Chinese had some other organ source apart from death-row inmates.

If death row prisoners were not the source of the majority of transplants, Robertson contends the only remaining plausible explanation for a substantial portion of the organ sourcing since 2000 is prisoners of conscience.

China’s anti-Falun Gong campaign in July 1999 coincided with the rapid growth of China’s transplant industry six months later.

Since 2015 and due to international pressure, China’s organ transplantation system has claimed to source organs from voluntary donors only. Forensic analysis of the relevant data shows that it has been falsified. This appears to have been a deliberate attempt to deceive the international medical community as to the current source of organs in China. Given that transplants continue both at scale and on-demand, it appears that a secondary concealed organ source is currently also being exploited.

During the same period, the Chinese Communist Party has embarked upon a large-scale campaign against Uyghur Muslims.

The coincidence of the mass internment in Xinjiang, on-going rapid organ availability in Chinese hospitals, and blood and physical tests consistent with assessing organ health, is readily explicable by the exploitation of Uyghurs for their organs.

Chinese officials treat the question of transplant volume as a state secret.

If the allegations of systematic state-sanctioned and supported murder for the purposes of selling organs are vicious slanders, one would expect the CCP to be transparent in demonstrating the legitimate and ethical source of transplanted organs. Instead, they have co-opted international medical elites, responded with propaganda to those making the allegations, and engaged in an elaborate scheme of data falsification, creating a Potemkin voluntary donation system while continuing to offer organs on-demand to paying clients.

VOC published this report to bring attention to and careful consideration of these longstanding allegations, and to prompt not only a shift in the terms of debate on this issue but long-overdue American and international governmental investigation and action.

The price of a Chinese transplant is not paid in dollars and cents, but rather in the lives of the prisoners of conscience whose organs are harvested. The price is too high.


March 22, 2020

Fox News on March 6, 2020 published comments by TV-host Tucker Carlson on how China is extorting the West in relation to the Wuhan virus. Excerpts below:

On a practical level, saving American medicine from collapse must be our leaders’ top priority right now. We need to expand emergency hospital bed capacity. We need to make certain we have enough lifesaving drugs and medical equipment. The basics.

Unfortunately, that’s not as simple as it sounds or as it should be. While the rest of us were arguing about sexism and transgendered bathrooms, China took control of our health care system.

China dominates the world market in pharmaceutical ingredients. Compounds used in virtually every essential medicine for high blood pressure, for cancer, for Alzheimer’s disease, and many more come from China.

So do the key components in vital medical technology, including CT scanners, X-ray machines, ultrasound equipment.

As of now, more than 95 percent of all the antibiotics in America are manufactured in communist China. Yes, 95 percent.

Our chief global rival has a total monopoly on the most important medicine in the world.

Imagine watching one of your children die from an infected cut. China has the power to make that happen. The Chinese government is acutely aware of this power. Last year, a prominent Chinese economist suggested cutting off the supply of antibiotics to the United States as leverage in the trade war.

That should have been the biggest story in America. The news media all but ignored it.

Nine years ago…President Barack Obama did predict a connection between China and the next global pandemic. Unfortunately, Obama got it backward. He claimed China would help us.

Obama said: “I absolutely believe that China’s peaceful rise is good for the world and it’s good for America, to the extent that we have a partner in addressing issues like climate change or pandemic.”

We should have seen this coming in recent weeks. You’ve heard a lot about disruption to our so-called supply chains. Think about what that means. It means that thanks to economic changes that made a small group of business moguls incredibly rich, we no longer make the things we need to survive and prosper as a nation.

People…who seek to displace us make those things. And it’s not just medicines and X-ray machines. It’s computers and phones and robotics and automotive components and machine tools and essential parts for aircraft engines, etc.

In fact, apart from fossil fuels, it’s almost everything.

We’re about to learn how undermined we’ve been at some point. Our leaders should be held to account for this for now. We need to work as if our lives depended on it to fix this problem.

…Extortion from China is a real threat. The Chinese government controls us. There is no greater national security danger than the one it poses and it requires us to respond.

We need a modern Marshall Plan, one designed to rebuild American manufacturing. We should start tomorrow with medicine and technology to fight the coronavirus and then with antibiotics.

No doubt the sages on television will denounce any acknowledgment of China’s threat as racism or intolerance.

The Chinese coronavirus really is Chinese. It arose in that country for the same reason American businesses have sent so many of our jobs there – lack of health and safety standards and endemic corruption.

China did this to the world and we should not pretend otherwise. That’s not xenophobia. It’s true.

The most bitter irony of all of this is that a few years from now, when every last victim of this virus has recovered or been buried, the Chinese government can easily grow stronger because of this disaster. And America can grow weaker.

China unleashes a pandemic and then overtakes the U.S. as a result. That’s too horrible an outcome to contemplate and too dangerous for us. We ought to do everything we can to make certain it does not happen.

…The Chinese coronavirus isn’t some fluke of globalization. It is the inevitable byproduct of it. Exotic diseases and the mass destruction they cause are built-in costs of connectedness and they always will be.

The people who told us there was no downside to living in a borderless world were lying.

In fact – and this is still the hardest thing for official Washington to accept – this pandemic vindicates Donald Trump’s entire political thesis on the big things. Trump was right.
Trade, immigration, manufacturing, globalization. These are the issues a ruling class assiduously ignores and has ignored for decades in favor of silly, calculated distractions like gender warfare and race politics, things that divide us.

Trump, by contrast, ran on the issues that mattered, and he won precisely because the public was tired of being lied to.

Trump has told us that it’s time to show the world that America is back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.

That’s the governing agenda in the age of the Chinese coronavirus: abandon globalism, rebuild our country, make the things we need. A strong America is an independent America. There’s no other way.


March 21, 2020

Washington Times on March 3, 2020, reported that former rep. Mike Rogers has formed a group to fight China control of the fifth generation of wireless technology via a new advocacy group, 5G Action Now. Excerpts below:

The Michigan Republican, who previously served as House Intelligence Committee chairman, formed the advocacy group this year to sound the alarm about the importance of defeating China in the 5G race and to push for the rapid deployment of 5G technology inside the U.S. 5G Action Now spokesman Ian Prior said the group intends to help establish the U.S. as the world leader in 5G.

Mr. Prior: “5G will spur economic growth in rural America, create an environment for technological expansion, and put the U.S. on strong national security footing for generations to come.”

…the group aims to educate Congress and the American people about the 5G race.

Both the private sector and federal lawmakers have begun labeling the United States’ ongoing feud with China over 5G a new “Cold War.” Microsoft President Brad Smith questioned this year whether the U.S. was on the brink of a “tech cold war” with China,” and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida told the Hudson Institute in March that the U.S. is already fighting a “new Cold War” against China, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.


March 20, 2020

A book on President Trump’s doctrine by a leading American geopolitician, Colin Duck, was published in 2019 (Colin Dueck,” Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism”, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 228 pp., $29.95. It was reviewed in National Interest on February 17, 2020, by Dov S. Zakheim, who has been an Under Secretary of Defense (2001–2004) and a Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (1985–87). Excerpts from the review below:

Dueck’s volume constitutes a valiant attempt to make sense of Trump’s trade, immigration, security, and foreign policies by placing them in the context of a century of Republican and conservative thinking.

Dueck argues that Trump is at bottom a conservative nationalist, and for that reason, the president reflects what he terms “the oldest U.S. foreign policy tradition in existence.”

Dueck postulates that conservative US nationalism is not historically incompatible with American engagement overseas, including the promotion and defense of democracy,” although the latter is not a Trump priority. Instead, what Dueck terms “foreign policy frustrations” since 9/11 have led to a particular form of conservative nationalism that Trump may represent, but that will surely outlast him.

There is considerable merit in Dueck’s observations regarding conservative nationalism. Dueck rightly states that American nationalism harks back to the founding of the republic. It is akin to what he terms European “defensive conservative nationalism,” which prioritizes “adherence to the European state system, political realism, and concepts of nationality against progressive forms of supranational governance.”

According to Dueck, the American version of conservative nationalism comprises three distinct groups: internationalists, non-interventionists, and hardliners. Conservative internationalists support an active American role overseas, including foreign aid, forward military deployments, alliances, and military commitments. Non-interventionists resist military intervention and commitments of all kinds. Conservative hardliners support high levels of defense spending and overpowering military reaction to direct threats to the United States but shy away from foreign engagements and military interventions.

…Dueck offers a…sixty-six-page overview of American foreign policy—beginning with Theodore Roosevelt’s policies through those of Barack Obama…Dueck [also]devotes nearly thirty pages to Donald Trump’s first two years in office. His clear objective is to place Trump within the mainstream of conservative American foreign policy.

Dueck’s review of the Republican interwar administrations does point to some parallels with Trump,… He notes that during the 1920s, Republicans supported high tariffs, as does Donald Trump today.

During the 1920s, Republican administrations called upon private citizens to act as proxy diplomats in the realm of foreign economic policy; Trump has done the same.

After providing an overview of Roosevelt and Truman’s foreign and security policies—which for the most part won the support of conservative Republicans, with the notable exception of Senator Robert Taft, who preferred what is currently termed “offshore balancing” over alliance commitments—Dueck turns to Dwight Eisenhower, the Republican president whose national security policies he appears to most admire.

Eisenhower supported both NATO and stationing American forces in Europe but did not intend for those forces to remain in Europe indefinitely. He signed formal defense treaties with a slew of Asian countries; led America into another multinational organization, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization; and supported the creation of another, the Central Treaty Organization, better known as the Baghdad Pact. Dueck notes that Eisenhower was able to convince most conservative Republican nationalists to support his generally internationalist approach. He also succeeded in leading what Dueck rightly terms “an historic change in GOP priorities on trade and foreign assistance.”

Turning to what he terms the “global versus national” debate within the Republican Party, Dueck points out that Barry Goldwater’s “hard tug in a conservative nationalist direction,” which incorporated criticism of the United Nations, support for military superiority, and opposition to containment, foreign aid, arms control and superpower summitry “indicated the late twentieth century direction of the Republican party.” Indeed, Goldwater’s orientation foreshadowed that of John Bolton…

Richard M. Nixon was as staunch an anti-Communist as both Goldwater and his former boss, President Eisenhower. Moreover, like Eisenhower, Nixon adopted a less ideological, more realistic approach to foreign and security policy, what might be termed “internationalist realism.” Unlike Goldwater, however, Nixon pressed for arms control, summitry, diplomatic outreach to China and partial abandonment of Taiwan, and a desire to reduce the American military presence in Europe. On the other hand, he voiced strong support for NATO; implemented a fighting retreat from Vietnam that included the secret bombing of Cambodia;…

Gerald Ford’s brief presidency was followed by that of Jimmy Carter, under whom the American public’s morale did not improve. It was only with Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency that American fortunes rebounded both internally and internationally.

Having spent years developing his world view, and with experience as a twice-elected governor of California, Reagan was far more of a realist than many realized. As Dueck puts it, Reagan “began from a sincere set of policy beliefs, but was unwilling to risk disaster in order to maintain ideological purity.” He could demand that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall, pursue economic warfare against the Soviet bloc, coordinate with the Vatican to liberate Eastern Europe from Moscow’s grip, and initiate a major American defense buildup that included an anti-ballistic capability that rattled the Soviets.

Yet at the same time, Reagan negotiated a major arms control treaty that eliminated intermediate-range ballistic missiles, contemplated the complete abandonment of strategic nuclear missiles, and refused to be drawn into an extended Middle East conflict in Lebanon. He supported the expansion of democracies worldwide, but, with the exception of Grenada, avoided regime change. His successor, George H.W. Bush, continued Reagan’s policies, with an even greater dose of realism. As Dueck writes, “in terms of foreign policy … the presidency of George H.W. Bush … was a kind of [sic] successful denouement to the Reagan years, managed with hands-on professionalism…” Rather than stressing grand designs, he applied the Hippocratic Oath to matters of foreign policy: “First do no harm.”

Conservative internationalists [dominated]…throughout the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush…in the 2008 and 2012 election campaigns, in which Republicans nominated the internationalists John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom lost the election to Barack Obama.

Dueck devotes but two pages to Clinton’s eight-year presidency, and quickly turns to that of George W. Bush, who, as Dueck rightly points out, “was initially cautious regarding arguments for multiple military interventions.” Indeed, he was highly ambivalent about military adventures.

9/11 profoundly altered the president’s views regarding military intervention. Moreover, it brought to the fore his sincere desire to promote democracy worldwide in the most active way possible. Dueck notes that in responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and, initially in attacking Iraq as well, “Bush … tapped into the uncompromising nationalism so dear to American conservatives, redirecting it toward a remarkably high-risk, assertive, idealistic and even Wilsonian strategy within the Middle East.”

The Iraq War marked the high point of neoconservative influence, whose muscular, interventionist approach hardly differed from that of Bill Clinton’s Balkan interventions or, for that matter, that of Barack Obama in Libya.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump both capitalized on public disillusion with Middle East wars. There was also growing bipartisan public resistance to America’s long-standing support for lowering barriers to free trade. As Dueck notes, in the years leading up to the 2016 election, “perhaps half of Republican voters—contrary to GOP establishment preferences—had turned sour on the benefits of globalization.

It proved to be a major factor in [Trump’s] successful run for the presidency.

Dueck asserts that, despite criticism that Trump has no worldview, “[his] public statements during a period of roughly thirty years revealed, if not a fully elaborated ideology, then at least a broad perspective with a certain amount of continuity. And that perspective was one of populist American nationalism.” To support his assertion, Dueck cites various Trumpian pronouncements over the years…

Dueck defines non-interventionists as having a “deep resistance to American military intervention, bases, and alliances abroad.” Yet Trump has backed away from his initial impulse to relegate NATO to the dustbin of history. Nor has he closed down a single American overseas base. Moreover, despite his famous reluctance to criticize Russia’s Vladimir Putin, he has not attempted to block the deployment of American forces to the Baltic states. Indeed, he signed an agreement with his Polish counterpart to increase the roughly 4,500 troops stationed there and to provide for a permanent division headquarters on Polish territory—a move that Russia bitterly opposes.

Neither has Trump withdrawn all American troops from the Middle East. Indeed, whereas Obama prematurely withdrew American forces from Iraq, only to redeploy them in the face of the ISIS onslaught, Trump has retained the approximately five thousand troops that were operating in Iraq when Obama left office.

It is arguable that Trump most closely reflects the views of what Dueck calls conservative hardliners, since like they, he opposes nation-building efforts, non-military foreign aid, and humanitarian intervention; disdains international institutions; and supports a strong national defense.

It is probably more accurate to say that Trump has no particular ideological perspective… Indeed, Dueck quotes Trump’s own explanation of his modus operandi “I play it very loose … I prefer to come to work each day and see what develops … I … protect myself by being flexible. I never get too attached to one deal or one approach.” As Trump goes on to describe his negotiating approach: “The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you have.”

On the other hand, a major motivating factor for the president is his determination to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises, especially as from his very first day in office he signaled his intention to run again in the 2020 election. Dueck notes that Trump’s hard line on illegal immigration, “while perhaps not foreign policy strictly speaking—certainly had foreign policy implications, and had to be considered part of an overall effort by the president to fulfill campaign promises relating to the security of U.S. borders.” Actually, Trump explicitly linked immigration to security. When he declared a national emergency in February 2019 in order to fund a border wall with monies that Congress had appropriated for other accounts, he stated: “We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other.” It was a campaign promise he has remained determined to fulfill, come what may.

Trump’s desire to move forces out of the Middle East and Afghanistan likewise was prompted by his campaign promise to bring “endless wars” to a close.

Dueck…could not have anticipated that Trump would tire of Bolton’s aggressiveness and replace him with Robert O’Brien. O’Brien’s career as an arbitrator and negotiator promised a return to long-standing government coordination processes, as well as a more deliberate approach to dealing with both allies and adversaries.

Dueck argues that despite Trump’s preference for better relations with Russia, “the US government could not have mounted a hardline policy against Russia without the president’s own support, or at least his acquiescence.” There is no denying that the Trump administration “continued to bolster its military presence in Poland; increased American sanctions against Russia; reaffirmed its security commitments to NATO members; introduced direct military aid to Ukraine; and made no diplomatic concessions to Russia in Europe.” There is, however, a significant distinction between approval and acquiescence. Trump did not actively promote any of the aforementioned policies. Most notably, he delayed implementing additional sanctions against Russia before finally approving them under bipartisan Congressional pressure.

Like his review of Trump’s European policy, Dueck’s outline of Trump’s policies with respect to other security issues, along with trade and related commercial issues, have in many cases been overtaken by events,…

Dueck concludes that “the actual foreign policy choices, perspectives, and outcomes of the Trump Administration are in practice a hybrid or mixture of the nationalist with the conservative internationalist.”

In practice, that may be the case, but not necessarily because of any particular orientation on Trump’s part.

Having discussed Trump’s policies, Dueck attempts to demonstrate why the president is more a symptom of conservative policy orientation rather than its cause. He cites polling that suggests that in general, Trump’s views regarding not only trade, but immigration, traditional alliances, and military interventions are not all that far removed from those of Americans of all political stripes,… [He]points out that, in other respects, Trump’s policies do not fully reflect conservative views, which have not radically changed.

Dueck concludes with an outline of his own views as to what a conservative foreign policy should look like. In general, he adopts the conservative internationalist line favored by Eisenhower and Nixon. He is wary of military interventions, nation building, and supranational institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the Human Rights Council.

On the other hand, he rejects “offshore balancing” and disengagement from America’s commitments overseas. He sees Russia, like China, as a major challenge to American supremacy, while not discounting the threats posed by Iran, North Korea, and terrorism. He also emphasizes the importance of employing non-military tools, notably diplomacy, to further American objectives.

Dueck certainly recognizes that public opinion continues to shift toward a more inward-looking American security policy.


March 19, 2020

Washington Times on February 12, 2020, reported that Huawei can secretly tap into communications through the networking equipment it sells globally. The statement was made by U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien at an Atlantic Council meeting on February 11. For excerpts see below:

U.S. officials have long argued that Huawei is duty-bound by Chinese law to spy on behalf of the country’s ruling Communist Party.

The Trump administration has been lobbying for more than a year to persuade allies to exclude Huawei equipment from their next-generation cellular networks, known as 5G.

Britain and the European Union have declined to impose an outright ban, however.

Independent cybersecurity experts say the intelligence services of global powers…routinely exploit vulnerabilities in networking equipment…for espionage purposes.