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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/21/20

Fear, Coronavirus, and America's cold war with China

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As Covid-19 increasingly disrupts daily life, and as the factors are in place for the virus to grow even bigger in near-future America, eerie similarities are appearing between now and the aftermath of 9/11. In that instance, a new normal of fear was created, one that impacted everything from how people viewed going out in public to who was viewed as a potential threat to society. And for Americans, this alarm and confusion was particularly related to the question of who exactly was responsible for the crisis-as well as the question of what our own country's role should be in the new world that the crisis had created.

Americans were at one point told, and mostly believed, that Saddam Hussein was to blame for the attacks. While this ruse became obvious fairly quickly, right from the start there was a very effective effort to manage the narrative in order to gain popular consent for whatever the empire wanted to do. The investigation into 9/11 was botched, with the FBI helping cover up Saudi Arabia's apparent connections to the attacks. In the coming years, these and other inconsistencies in the official story, such as the incident of the dancing Israelis and apparent Mossad foreknowledge of the attacks, would be pushed to the side. As foggy and uncomfortable as the details behind 9/11 were, Americans had entered into a new era of mass surveillance, perpetual war, and eroded civil liberties.

Underneath it all was the issue of empire. The United States had always believed itself to be exceptional, and it had become the most powerful imperialist force in the history of the world. Many Americans didn't want to lose this power. When the neoconservative class reacted to 9/11 by launching two invasions, and ultimately expanding the War on Terror into an eight-countrywide droning and bombing campaign, fear was the core of their argument. Fear that the American people were under such a dire threat from omnipresent enemies that ever-escalating militarism was the only option.

Unbeknownst to the ideologues, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had set off a process of decline for America's global power, one where the country's international reputation was lost because of its illegal and destructive actions. This gave the country less support amid the rise of Asia, which the U.S. responded to with more military buildup, economic warfare, and reckless aggressions. In 2011, the U.S. used its allies within terrorist groups to start a regime change war in Syria, followed by the installation of an aggressive U.S.-backed fascist regime in Ukraine in 2014. Tensions rose with Russia and China, which have both been targets of a hybrid war of economic sabotage, nuclear threats, and U.S.-backed religious extremist violence.

By 2019, China had edged out American primacy in the Indo-Pacific. More countries were embracing the benefits from Chinese economic partnership, especially with the case of China's rising New Silk Road initiative. This resulted in Washington's waning influence in the Middle East, the growing anti-U.S. rebellions in Latin America, and the rising global proletarian opposition to neoliberalism, Eurasia was well on its way towards slipping from America's control. The American military/intelligence complex and its corporate partners grew desperate to subdue China and its allies, and to squash the rising wave of populism. So right on time, we got a new 9/11.

While the official narrative seems to be that the virus indisputably originated within China, with some imperialist pundits and politicians going a step further to accuse China's government of engineering it, the evidence is in favor of it originating from the U.S. Only the U.S. has been known to have the variety of coronaviruses that could have branched out into Wuhan, and examinations of the virus have found that it's not plausible for the disease to have originated in a Wuhan seafood market as Western media outlets have asserted.

A Russian expert has raised the possibility that it's a U.S. bio-weapon, and the crisis has been exploited by the U.S. empire and the Western corporatocracy as if it had indeed been engineered in this way. The U.S. has been increasing its economic war on Iran amid the pandemic, the IMF has been blocking emergency aid loans to Venezuela, and the Western propaganda machine has been using the virus to blame and demonize China. Furthermore, Wall Street deregulations have been proposed to "fight coronavirus," just as Naomi Klein has assessed:

"This crisis like earlier ones, could well be the catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to most workers, wiping out small family savings and shuttering small businesses."

As Americans experience quarantines, and as the sensationalist U.S. media does all it can to encourage panic over this new super-flu, the empire prefers for people to believe that the crisis is the result of negligence or even malicious warfare on the part of the Communist Party of China. Once again, this impulse to blame the enemy of the day while ignoring any uncomfortable details comes from a place of fear that Americans are in danger of losing their dominance over the world. Far more than was the case during the aftermath of 9/11, this fear is well-founded, so America is in a full-on reactive phase.

The virus is leading to a new world order where U.S. influence is greatly diminished. Germany has withdrawn from the anti-Russian war games Defender Europe 2020 due to virus risks, making NATO less functional for the moment. In contrast to the U.S., which has been sabotaging the public safety of other countries, China has been sending great amounts of healthcare resources to much of the rest of the world, causing the Serbian president to say:

"European solidarity does not exist. That was a fairy tale. The only country that can help us in this hard situation is the People's Republic of China. For the rest of them, thanks for nothing."

By extension, he was talking about the solidarity between the U.S. and many of its supposed allies.

The U.S. has been engaging in micro-militarism (which is what historians call it when a country uses warfare to try to regain its waning influence) by bombing Iraq during the pandemic. This bombing campaign, which is directed at an Iranian-backed militia, has moved the U.S. closer to a war with Iran. ICE raids are also continuing, now extending to militarized roundups of the undocumented within the formerly protected sanctuary cities. As the military and the intelligence community quietly head the U.S. government's official response to the crisis, parallels to the 9/11 aftermath abound. Except now the state's crackdown will be accompanied by a campaign against migrants, censorship by tech companies, and a push towards World War III that centers around a great-power conflict with China.

Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times has written about the potential for psy-ops and social control that the virus holds:

Sandro Mezzadra, co-author with Brett Neilson of the seminal The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism is already trying to conceptualize where we stand now in terms of fighting COVID-19. We are facing a choice between a Malthusian strand-- inspired by social Darwinism-- led by the Johnson-Trump-Bolsonaro axis-- and, on the other side, a strand pointing to the "requalification of public health as a fundamental tool," exemplified by China, South Korea and Italy.

This is what capitalism looks like when its contradictions become most pronounced: sacrifices to protect the interests of the bourgeoisie, all while the state takes measures to maintain control. This is a structural response from a system that's ravaged the world's natural habitats and warmed the planet, and has made the world more susceptible to viruses like this one as a result. The rise of inequality and the hollowing out of social services are also part of what's made this crisis so severe. And like was the case during 9/11, it's clear that the crisis-- up to and including the events behind its origin-- has served the purpose of internal social control amid imperial decline.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution.

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5 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments  Post Comment

David William Pear

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As with 9/11 we never found out who did it, why they did it, and how they did it. Look to motive, method and opportunity, and who benefited and it is always the same usual suspects. They never waste a crisis and disaster, at the expense of the people.

Capitalists are always telling the 'proles' to take responsibility for themselves. It is good advice, but not in the way that they mean it. Capitalism and fascism need to be destroyed and the proles have the ability, if not the will.

Very well written, Rainer. I hope your calls to wake up get some traction.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 12:24:03 PM

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Stan Crawford

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Does pro-Communist Reiner Shea realize the CCP he so fondly admires has over 100 billionaires? That "Communist" China has most millionaires/billionaires than any country in the world? Rather foolish to be bloviating about the greatness of Marx when your examples don't fit the propaganda you pontificate.

China is far more Capitalist than Socialist, but if you had actually been in China you would have already known this.


Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 1:24:24 PM

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David William Pear

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I got it. But what was China's trajectory under dictator Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang, Japanese colonialism, US domination and the British. Don't you think one has to have a sense of history, and the CCP relative to what-- US domination and exploitation?

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 2:49:45 PM

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What was China under Mao? More than 70 million estimated died from his version of Marx. Lenin, Stalin had similar numbers also.Go live in a "Communist" country as a minority, it is not grand living by any means. Han Chinese like White American's are favored and given priority. My Han relatives don't like how Huang Di Xi dictates to them, while his friends/associates rob the country blind, and accuse those who oppose them of corruption.

The USA has many problems too, but at least you are not as censored yet as done in the PRC/CCP. China would be not what it is today without accepting Capitalist systems and they have taken it to the hilt. The off-shoring/out-sourcing of American/world production is what made China rich for a few, while the rest wallow in the toxic waste created by these profit driven plants with no OSHA, environmental and other safety measures in place. Slaving 12-16 hours a day, 6 days a week for a pittance in pay.

The surveillance system western companies are so eager to assist the PRC in layering over the country will be coming soon enough to a western country, which I'm sure will please Reiner Shea, Jeff Brown and the other pro-Communist here at opednews. let's see just how enthused they are when the oppression hits them directly, instead of enjoying the western comforts provided them now.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 3:55:05 PM

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Stan Crawford

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I neglected to respond about the CCP and its rewriting of its history that ignores its brutal aggression against Chinese citizen's during its formation, alleged "Long March" and other aspects it extortion of the country. Now they want to be seen as a benevolent, unending servant to the "people"...NOT!

Yes, the west was equally despotic with China, as its former Emperors were to its citizens. Yes, the PRC has lifted untold millions out of poverty, but only after Deng accepted Capitalism. It's not the greatest system, but at least it does more than what "Communism" under Lenin, Stalin and Mao have done.

Remember, human ego is what brought down these tyrannical systems, because Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Castro thought they deserved more than those they lorded over.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 4:03:18 PM

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David William Pear

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Is it China's fault that they sold the capitalists rope to hang themselves? --- as Lenin predicted.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 5:44:25 PM

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Jerry Kelley

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I know who made 9/11 happen, it was the Bush family!

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 3:06:47 PM

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lila york

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Mr Crawford, you have been railing against china for months now. in comments to all of Rainer's articles. It is getting tiresome. The point you do not want to accept is that our own deep state, fearing China's increasing world dominance, attacked China first with a bird flu, then with a pig flu and finally with a human pathogen to put a halt to its global trade plans. And the US did all of that in the space of 12 months. It looks to me to be the same as Republicans stealing elections digitally and taking voting rights away from citizens because they can't win an election in any legitimate way. The US is waging war on China because it cannot win the trade war. The US has no viable plan for global trade only bombing and sanctions. not much of a plan and will not be successful. obvious to a five year old.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 5:17:05 PM

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Mr. Pear: No, I don't blame China for "selling the rope to hang themselves," I blame the west for thinking they could entice China with development and it would change to a democratic system.

Ms. York: I have 4 generations of educational and medical contributions China by my family and I worked in China for 10 years, to see first hand how the Communist rule their land and it is NOT anything to what Reiner Shea, Jeff Brown and the other pro-Communist here at opednews think it is. This is my website:https://www.chinamissions.com/

I have said many times that I have no admiration of the way the Capitalist system has been exploited, but to think the PRC/CCP is a "Communist" NOT utopia is unrealistic. Apparently you have ignored how former "Communist" countries citizen's have expressed they have no desire to how things were done under the tyrannical rule of "Communist" ran their countries in the past.

Heaping praise on a system that has killed over 70 million during its existence is not a system worth praising, but I now know you too have fallen for the tripe Reiner Shea and his band of pro-Communist here at opednews peddle. Yes, the USA has done much to harm other countries, but at least you don't have billionaire (sic) Marxist telling you how to live your lives; while they enjoy the excess of there cadres efforts.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 7:41:45 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Parable of the Cippled Oarsman:

Pretend you're in a rowboat rowing for shore at two knots. There's someone swimming towards you from behind at 3 knots. Always paranoid, you believe his intentions are not good" but you just can't row any faster. He catches up and grabs on to the gunwale. Before he says a word, you remove your shoe and rap his knuckles"he slips back 20 yards in the wake. You bought some time. But then it hits you even if you reach shore, you're a cripple and he's probably not.

The US straining at the oar is bound to lose whether or not it reaches shore. The shoe is COVID-19 a US designer device to "buy time" in maintaining imperialist global hegemony for however much longer that's possible, because it's obvious that China is on the cusp of overtaking it. Pushing China back "20 yards" can be regraded as a multi-trillion dollar bridge loan.

China's Silk Road Initiative (SRI) is a brilliant realization of the Circular Economy model that was actually conceived in a primitive form by FDR as WWII come to a close. It would have created an entirely different, prosperous and peaceful world for us and everyone else had it not been that, upon his death, it was torpedoed by pirates a cabal of Army generals, the MIC investor clique and Deep State masterminds whose Plan B was essentially a hybridized 19th Century model of military enforced neoliberalism.

In March 2019, the Italian Premier, Giuseppe Conti seeing the row boat's fate written on the wall secretly entered Italy into an agreement with China to become a partner in the SRI, defying the EU and scoffing at SoS Pompeo's attempts to place any such deal with China by any nation, friend or foe interdict. Also, two days before this past Christmas, Italy became the first EU nation to buy into China's 5G network, Huawei.

And of course we know about Pompeo's position on Iran's departure from the petrodollar.

Then there's the nose in front of your face: that ominous, omnipresent world map with its bold circles indicating nations where COVID-19 is most densely present. It's clear, even from a brief sideway glance that the original epicenters of the virus are China, Italy and Iran.

So, how f*cking dull-witted do you have to be, not to be able to connect these dots? Yet there are those who remain Charge of the Light Brigade crazy-loyal to a nation that just isn't that into them. Like resigned victims of domestic abuse, they will never accept reality or confront their abuser. Instead they will blame a political party or political identity group or racial hygiene.

After accusations of conspiracy theory" the dog whistle that has them barking at anything that threatens the delusion, the issue of blowback always get's introduced. Ordinarily that's a fair check on intentionality. But here it fails, because ironically this time, the neoliberal head of the two-headed dog stands to amass more accumulated assets from this episode of "blowback" than it did in its previous Economic Reset that occurred after it initiated the Black Swan event of 2008.

The collateral damage from COVID blowback has become for the first time, a benefit competing for consideration as the primary benefit. If any resistance to genuine blowback should actually arise, that's when the Orthrus's other head the Military wakes up.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 7:35:40 PM

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lila york

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thank you.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 8:09:39 PM

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