Time for a Propaganda Pivot? US Republicans Refocus Sights on Chinese Meddling for 2020 Election
Agitation and Propaganda Finalists have emerged in the competition for the title of the world's worst villain. As expected, Russia and China will compete for a right to scare the kids of the civilized world.
«There! There's a monster there! I saw it myself».
The closer the US Congressional elections are, the stronger the competition gets. It would seem, there's no country scarier than Russia, sending out its poisoners and hackers, interfering with elections, and seducing senators. But no.
MIKE PENCE, US VICE PRESIDENT: «China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential election. To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working and China wants a different American president. China is meddling in America’s democracy».
Well, we're truly sorry to hear that. What about Russia? Isn't it Russia that's sowing the seeds of enmity and anger between US citizens? Isn't it Russia that encourages them to protest, pitting the poor and the rich, white people and people of color against each other? Not only Russia, apparently.
MIKE PENCE: «As a senior career member of our intelligence community told me just this week, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country».
“Where is your evidence?”
Vice President Pence presented this as proof of Chinese interference: a four-page inset from the Iowa-based newspaper The Des Moines Register. It was commissioned by the Chinese government. The inset writes about the sanctions harming American farmers. It appears that cornfield-rich Iowa is the Achilles heel of American democracy because it's the birthplace of the Ambassador to China and a key state at the next elections.
The second piece of «evidence» of Chinese interference was the failed attempt to edit the movie Red Dawn to show China invading Washington. In order for the movie to be approved in China, the Chinese censors tried to change the affiliation of the villains from China to North Korea.
RED DAWN, USA, 2012: «Everything went offline and never came back. They wiped us out, including US Central Command».
But the main threat is, of course, Chinese intelligence services. They don't poison anybody, but simply plant bugs into American iPhones. The enemies aren't just close, they might be under your own pillow.
«In this case, the microchips were implanted into the motherboards that were built in China by subcontractors. Then, they were then sent into American companies' products and went on to high-level government and corporate offices around the country. The idea is that because the Chinese control so much of the global electronic components market, the Chinese military was able to turn those microchips into Trojan horses».
And that's not all. Taking short breaks for espionage and propaganda, Chinese communists are mainly occupied with burning bibles and oppressing Christians. Those deeds won't remain unanswered. Evil will be punished. It's not a coincidence Mike Pence was holding his speech at the Hudson Institute, which was founded by physicist and doomsday prophet Herman Kahn. He became known for his concept of a victorious nuclear war and became the prototype of Dr. Strangelove, the main character of Kubrick's dark comedy.
«Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy… the FEAR to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. It's simple to understand… and completely credible and convincing».
The doomsday machine is already synchronized with the voting machine. This week, after another dangerous incident in the South China Sea, where a US Navy destroyer had almost rammed a Chinese Navy vessel, muscle-flexing returned to the region.
«New unprecedented exercises have been announced. The US Navy proposed to organize a global show of force in the South China Sea. China must understand that Washington won't leave its military actions unanswered. As the US continues to provoke, it will face stronger reactions from the People's Liberation Army of China and the warships of the two sides will be drawn closer toward a confrontation. If that happens, China-US strategic relations will be in the hands of pilots, ship commanders, and even military engineers. Peace and stability could be on the edge of collapse at some point. If Washington wants to play this way, China will have to respond accordingly. The US should realize that provoking China does it no good. China hasn't used its ability to fully deploy its strategic deterrence potential. If it does, this action can easily make Washington feel vulnerable».
When Americans vote, the rest of the world starts coughing. However, for the first time, two threat-parties are competing in the elections. The Russian-threat party, the Democrats, won't be sitting idle.
“I'm Amy McGrath and I love our country. I spent 20 years as a US marine. I flew 89 combat missions bombing Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. I was the first woman marine to fly an F-18 in combat. Now, I'm running for Congress in my home state of Kentucky.”
“Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow. Additionally, we know that Russia tried to undermine one of our greatest treasures, that of our democratic process itself.”
«The greatest treasure,» which is often envied by those who dislike our own «treasure,» may be joined by 30 new Democrat candidates whose extensive experience and views are similar to McGrath's. Six CIA, FBI, and military intelligence agents, six State Department officials, eleven Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, and seven former soldiers of various branches are running for Congress.
«Before the Navy let me fly one of these, I had to pass a lot of tests».
«As a Russian policy officer in the US Navy, I worked to implement our nuclear treaty obligations and joint naval exercises with Russia. I have sat across the table from the Russians and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously».
«Before 9/11, we took our security for granted. Two weeks later, I decided to serve in the FBI. Under Robert Mueller, I worked counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence and defended our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic».
«Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the USSR in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime».
The Russian-threat party doesn't seem to be any weaker than the Chinese-threat party. It's not doves against hawks, it's more like kites against vultures. Each is trying to appeal to patriotism, encouraging the people to tighten their belts and rally against foreign and domestic threats. It's natural; the more your eyes fear the more your nimble hands will be able to do.
This has been Agitation and Propaganda.