Possibly Part one of II. For now, two from wsws (with permission):
‘US imperialism puts China in its sights’, Andre Damon, 16 March 2021, wsws.org
“Behind the backs of the American and world population, the Biden administration and the US military are preparing an escalation of military tensions against China with incalculable consequences.
Earlier this month, the Japanese Nikkei news service published excerpts from the Pentagon’s Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which calls for stationing offensive missiles, previously banned by the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, along a string of densely populated islands that includes Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
To fund this initiative, the Pentagon requested an annual Pacific budget, in the words of Nikkei, of “$4.7 billion, which is more than double the $2.2 billion earmarked for the region in fiscal 2021.”
Against the backdrop of these plans, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Japan this week, threatening to “push back” against “aggression” by China. While Blinken and other US officials habitually speak of Chinese aggression, it has been the US under Obama, Trump and now Biden that has aggressively confronted China in the Indo-Pacific to prevent any challenge to American global hegemony.
In a brief and tightly choreographed press conference, the two US officials and their Japanese counterparts, together with the vetted press, ignored the burning question: 75 years after American bombers obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were their policies exposing the people of Japan and China to a similar fate?
While the question was not directly addressed, the answer was clear. “We reconfirmed the strong commitment of the United States regarding defense of Japan, using all types of US forces, including nuclear,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
Even as more than 1,000 people die from COVID-19 every single day in the United States, and the disease surges around the world, the US is preparing for a conflict that risks incalculable human suffering. Joining this offensive is the United Kingdom, with the highest COVID-19 death rate of the major European countries, which announced Tuesday a massive expansion of its nuclear weapons program, calling China a “major threat.”
It is not COVID-19, but China that the US has planted firmly in its sights. As Blinken made clear, “Several countries present us with serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea… but the challenge posed by China is different. China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power” to “challenge” the United States.
On March 10, Adm. Philip Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing he believes that China is likely to invade Taiwan within the next six years. “I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years,” Davidson said.
Given that the United States has, in the words of Defense Secretary Austin, “commitments to support Taiwan’s ability to defend itself,” to predict that China will invade Taiwan within the next six years is to predict a major Sino-American war within that same time period.
To this end, Davidson stressed, “We absolutely must be prepared to fight and win should competition turn to conflict.”
What would the world look like if “competition turned to conflict?” A preview of this reality is provided by Adm. James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO, who published a book titled 2034: A Novel of the Next World War just one day before Davidson’s comments. The novel depicts a nuclear conflict between the United States and China, involving the total annihilation of major cities on both sides.” [snip]
How many people in the US know that the United States is preparing to deploy offensive missiles in highly populated areas off the Chinese coast? And how many people in Japan? The evening news and major newspapers are silent on these war preparations, even as they relentlessly and falsely demonize China.
Leading the charge has been the Washington Post, owned by Amazon oligarch Jeff Bezos. In an editorial on March 14, the Post accused China of “genocide” against its Muslim population, echoing the declarations of the Trump and Biden administrations. The Post demanded that the United States withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, declaring that to attend “when the Xi regime is actively seeking to destroy a group of more than 12 million people would be unconscionable.”
At the same time, the Post has continued its campaign to falsely assert that COVID-19 could have been created in a Chinese laboratory. It condemns the findings of the World Health Organization, which declared that, in the words of the Post, the “laboratory hypothesis was ‘extremely unlikely’ and would not be further studied.”
In response, the Post declares that the “WHO needs to start over” and consider “both the zoonotic and laboratory hypotheses.”
These efforts to demonize China are sheer propaganda. A major aim is to divert mounting social tensions outward toward an “external” enemy.” The 20th century’s horrific wars were prepared with such propaganda, designed to obscure the real war aims of capitalist governments.
In the 21st century, the costs of a major war are greater than ever. In the 20 years of this century, despite perpetual wars and proxy conflicts, there has never been a full-scale clash between nuclear-armed states. But exactly such a war is threatened by the massive US military buildup against China.
The workers of the United States and China have nothing to gain from such a horrific conflict. It is they, not the generals and politicians, who would bear the cost.
If a relapse to the bloodshed of the 20th century is to be avoided, it is the working class that must prevent it. The fight against imperialism and the danger of a new world war must be developed as a revolutionary movement of workers throughout the world, in opposition to the homicidal policies of the ruling elites and the entire capitalist system.”
‘Quad summit consolidates US-led military bloc to prepare for war against China’, Peter Symonds, 15 March 2021, wsws.org
Scott Morrison (left) participates in the inaugural Quad leaders meeting with the Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting in Sydney, March 13, 2021 (Credit: Dean Lewins/Pool via AP)
“The first leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, which took place online last Friday, has dramatically raised the stakes in the accelerating US-led war drive against China. While the Quad is not yet a formal military alliance, the Biden administration clearly views the consolidation of the partnership as a central element in its efforts to undermine, encircle and prepare for military conflict against China.
The summit not only issued a formal statement. Unusually also, Biden and the prime ministers of India, Australia and Japan—Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga respectively—put their names to an opinion piece published prominently in the Washington Post on Sunday. The comment is replete with cynical motherhood statements about their advocacy of democracy, action on climate change and COVID-19 vaccines, and commitment to “an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, secure and prosperous.”
However, while China is not mentioned, it dominated the discussion at the summit. The pledges by the four leaders to pursue regional co-operation, partnership and engagement do not, of course, extend to Beijing. Buried in the various public statements were thinly-veiled references to Chinese coercion—from the US that has routinely waged war and ousted governments to advance its imperialist interests—and the need to uphold “freedom of navigation”—that is, for the US Navy to provocatively intrude into waters around Chinese-controlled islets in the South China Sea.
The Washington Post comment includes a fanciful history of the Quad—supposedly borne out of the cooperation of the four countries in response to the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in Asia. “Our cooperation, known as the Quad, was born in crisis. It became a diplomatic dialogue in 2007 and was reborn in 2017,” the leaders write. How and why it mysteriously disappeared, and reappeared a decade later, is left unexplained.
Yet the genesis of the Quad is very revealing. It did not begin with the tsunami but with the election of the right-wing Japanese politician Shinzo Abe as prime minister in 2006. He called for enhancing the US-Japan military alliance by forging close partnerships with India and Australia. The plan was driven by growing concerns in the Japanese ruling class about China, which was about to overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy. The Bush administration, under fire from the Democrats for inaction over China, seized on the proposal and the first official meeting took place in May 2007. Its military purpose was underscored in September 2007 by the expansion of the annual US-India Malabar naval war games to include the navies of Australia and Japan.
Beijing protested against the formation of what was emerging as a military alliance in the Indo-Pacific targeting China. The Quad ignominiously collapsed months later in February 2008 when the newly-elected Labor government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, concerned about relations with Australia’s largest trading partner and the danger of war, abruptly withdrew from the dialogue. Foreign Minister Steven Smith underscored the Canberra’s determination not to join a grouping that could be construed as anti-Chinese by making the announcement while standing alongside Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
” Rudd’s withdrawal from the Quad was just one of the “crimes” for which he was ousted in a US-orchestrated regime-change operation in June 2010. While he was fully committed to the US-Australian alliance, Rudd’s advocacy of the US making compromises with China to avert war came into conflict with the thrust of the Obama administration’s policy to confront China. Rudd was summarily removed as prime minister by four key Labor powerbrokers, later revealed by WikiLeaks to be “protected sources” of the US embassy in Canberra, in an operation that kept, not only the public, but Labor ministers and party members in the dark.”
(The other half is here.)
(For related reading, you might check out the following, although I admit I’m still agnostic on the subject, and hold no entrenched position.)
‘Is China Committing Genocide? Behind the US Government’s Propaganda Campaign?; The U.S. and its allies have declared China is guilty of genocide against Uighur Muslims. Behind The Headlines’ Dan Cohen examines the claim and the extremist figures behind the propaganda blitz, Dan Cohen, mintpressnews.org, March 12, 2021 (with 18-minute video)
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)
Part I of II.