Sunday, May 30, 2021

Debunking the Pending Anti-China Propaganda Push

The US Senate is advancing a bill to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to try and stop the amazing progress of China, which is developing rapidly under socialism independently of US domination.  We should expect a major propaganda push.  I want to post some links here that can be used to evaluate the assertions that will be coming.

First it is important to understand that a common tactic of US regime change agents is to lie about human rights abuses for targets of regime change.  Let's recall that:

  • Vietnam was falsely accused of attacking US troops in the Gulf of Tonkin, justifying escalation of the Vietnam war that killed millions of people
  • Iraqi soldiers were falsely accused of killing babies in incubators in Iraq.  This testimony literally staged by a PR firm was key in getting support for war against Iraq passed in the Senate.
  • Saddam Hussein was falsely accused of throwing critics into wood shredders to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • Iraq was falsely accused of having a WMD program to justify the same war.
  • Qaddafi was accused of systematically raping women to justify the NATO bombing of Libya, which is now a failed state.
  • Assad was falsely accused of perpetrating a chemical weapons attack in Syria in 2013 to justify arming terrifying Islamic extremists.
  • The same scenario has played out for an alleged attack in 2018.  This time it is revealed that the Office on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons altered their report under pressure from US officials on the investigative findings so as to implicate Assad.  The initial report was not coming to this conclusion.
  • The Venezuelan government is falsely accused of setting fire to an aid truck when in fact it was the US backed right wing opposition that set the fire.  This is to justify the removal of the elected president, Nicholas Maduro, and install a right wing puppet, Juan Guaido.

The tactic of using human rights abuse allegations against China was laid out in 2017 within Trump's State Department.  We also know from internal US planning documents that our government will make use of psychological operations.  "Psychological operations were primarily media-related activities, including unattributed publications, forgeries, and subsidization of publications; political action involved exploitation of dispossessed persons and defectors, and support to political parties; paramilitary activities included support to guerrillas and sabotage; economic activities consisted of monetary operations." Accusations of abuse within China must be understood within this context.

With that established let's consider what is happening in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. As this CGTN documentary covers there was massive terrorist violence in Xinjiang starting in 1990 stemming from separatists, particularly from the Uyghur Muslim minority living there. Uyghurs are a Turkic minority ethnic group in China. In 2002 the UN designated the major separatist party, the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as an Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group. This was a move supported by the US, and the US State Department would go on to likewise designate them as terrorists. Chinese Uyghur Muslims are currently fighting along side ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria and have in the past been picked up in Afghanistan and sent by the US to Guantanamo Bay.

In 2011 Obama began pushing what came to be known as the pivot to Asia.  I think this move is best understood within the context of Lenin's understanding of the relationship between capitalism and imperialism.  Capitalism is a competitive ideology.  One way to succeed is to make superior products more efficiently.  The other is to suppress rivals so as to stave off competition.  Keeping target countries poor and underdeveloped protects favored local industries and has the added bonus of weakening the bargaining position of rivals, which means the price of resources and labor can be reduced.  This means higher profits for favored corporations.

There was some expectation with the opening up of China's economy that it would ultimately fall within this overall US hegemonic framework, as the Soviet Union did following some of their moves to open up in the 80s.  By 2010 it was becoming apparent that this was not happening.  Profits can be made in China, but profits are not in command, as they are in capitalist countries.  Not only is China developing independently, but they are supporting the independent economic development of neighboring poor countries, particularly with the Belt and Road Initiative, which happens to have a major through fare in Xinjiang.  This is a threat to imperial capitalism.  In this amazing clip from 2015 John Mearsheimer explains that China must be disrupted economically, even if they do everything we asked of them, such as completely adopt a US style governmental system.  Even if this means driving them right back into the extreme poverty that they came out of.  Even if they are 100% capitalist.  Because the US cannot tolerate independent economic development.  This is an explicit agreement with Lenin's theory that imperialism is just capitalism in it's highest stage.

Soon after Obama's pivot China felt compelled to initiate a more aggressive push to address terrorism in Xinjiang.  The approach is rooted in Marxism as distinct from imperial capitalism.  The idea is that terrorism is rooted in poor material conditions.  China had developed the western coastal regions economically, somewhat to the neglect of the interior.  When people are poor and feel disconnected from economic development they turn to terrorism for dignity and meaning.  China began pouring resources into the region.  And they also targeted suspected terrorists and compelled them to enter training camps.  There they would learn Mandarin, which is recognized to be important vocationally.  The effort was a smashing success if the goal is the actual eradication of terrorism.  It brought terrorism to a complete halt and allowed the people to prosper.  At this point there hasn't been a terrorist incident since 2017.

But what we're seeing from the US side is an effort to undermine this success.  The National Endowment for Democracy is an organization that was formerly part of the CIA.  They have openly funded Uyghur separatist groups.  Former deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Wilkerson explains that the CIA is exploiting the situation in Xinjiang to disrupt China and it's Belt and Road Initiative.  Former FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has claimed that Uyghur separatists are being trained in Afghanistan, which shares a border with China, and returned to China to engage in terrorism.

At the same time a new allegation has gained traction in the last few years that rather than addressing terrorism in Xinjiang, China's vocational training centers amount to genocide.  This view is heavily reliant on claims from Adrian Zenz, a NED funded evangelical extremist who believes he is on a mission from God to destroy China.  This is a person that does not speak Mandarin or Uyghur and has never been to China, let alone Xinjiang.  Flagrant abuse of data has been exposed on his part. We also see many assertions based on reports from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a right wing think tank funded by a variety of defense companies.

Below are a few sources that suggest these accusations are false:

Finally I want to include a link to a twitter thread that covers a few additional reasons for doubting the claims of the US and its proxies on this issue.

The abuse we see of Muslims in Palestine right now (also Christians in Palestine), the abuse of Muslims going on in India, in Yemen, this is stuff we can all see on video.  If the west had real concerns for Muslims they'd address the proven abuses.  Instead the focus is on China where we have no videos, no pictures, no refugees, minority population growth and income growth.  Claims about human rights is simply a tool in the tool kit to advance US imperialism, whether the claims are true or not, and in this case in my judgment it is obvious that the claims are not true.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Chomsky Is a Dead End

I'll have to always be grateful to Chomsky and his deconstruction of capitalism.  But when it comes to the natural question "OK, what should we do about it?" Chomsky offers the wrong answer.  It's something about forming unions, organizing the work place, from there workers councils and worker federations.  No hierarchies.  It sounds great to not have bossses, but it was hard to wrap my head around how this was really going to stop this freight train of capitalism, with all the weaponry of the US government.  I just can't imagine a capitalist system would feel threatened by this.

There was an alternate model in places like the Soviet Union and China and these were perceived as a threat by the CIA and the US military.  But those, according to Chomsky, are not REAL socialism.  Those were horrible dungeons.  Let's wait around for a more PURE socialism to emerge, with no coercion, no force, no hierarchies.  Anarchism baby!!  And if you look at our communities, we punch Nazis, we break windows, we have drugs, heavy metal, green hair, torn pants, ACAB, etc.

Is this message going to sound compelling to the bulk of the US population that we need to persuade?  Are they going to be impressed with this model?  Are they going to think it's reasonable that the Soviet Union really wasn't socialist and that real socialism is this idea that exists in Chomsky's head?

And what does this model have to show for it's accomplishments?  That's the question I would be asked.  Well there was free Spain for a few months, even though that was made up of a lot of different organizations, not just anarchists.  There was some island in the North Atlantic that was anarchist.  The Amish are kind of anarchist.  This is seriously how I would respond.

Let's compare to that other style of socialism that Chomsky says is not REAL socialism.  The Soviet Union was the poorest part of Europe in 1917, and then they got invaded by 15 different countries, including the US, which tried to kill socialism in its cradle.  They beat back the invaders and then they industrialized faster than ever before, electrified the whole country, built the world's largest hydro-electric dam, became the leading producer of steel, of tractors, higher caloric consumption than Americans, and the food was more nutritious according to the CIA.  They more than doubled life expectancy.  They did most of the heavy lifting beating the Nazis, and yet after being totally destroyed by that war somehow they managed to end homelessness, end poverty, invent space travel, and all this despite a harsh embargo and needing to spend like crazy on defense to counter hostile outsiders.  They also supported successful revolutionary movements outside of their borders, some of which saw death on a genocidal scale after the SU fell, just like death descended on Russia and other former Soviet states in the 90s.

Today the world's fastest growing economy is in China.  In the last 40 years they have ended extreme poverty within their country.  That's 800M people.  Capitalist apologists like Steven Pinker and Bill Gates like to pretend capitalism is making life better because worldwide poverty is falling.  Excluding China the number of people in poverty in the world is rising (though the rate is falling).  In the midst of all of our technological advancements.  Today it is China that has the world's largest hydro-electric dam.  China managed covid better than any other country when you consider the difficult conditions in which they started.  China does far and away the most to help other countries battling covid.  The US hoards vaccines, China exports them (for which they are condemned in the US for their use of "soft power").  China would attempt to provide equipment for battling covid to other countries, the US would intercept them.  China is leading the world in renewable energy, infrastructure development.

To top it off the Soviet people were happy with their governments.  Chinese people are happy with their government.  If the people were happy, if development was the best and fastest the world has ever seen you can see why this would be perceived as a threat to the US capitalist system.

So why is Chomsky such a prominent leftist if he has this bad take?  The reason is because the CIA has sponsored him.  Not the he knew that, but the CIA had a program called the Congress for Cultural Freedom.  They knew that some people were going to figure out that capitalism sucked and socialism was the answer.  How to sheep herd people like this into ineffective resistance to capitalism?  Promote people that have the right criticisms of capitalism but the wrong solutions.  And so they sponsored Chomsky.  That's why we've heard of books like "Manufacturing Consent" but not "Inventing Reality" by Michael Parenti that apparently covers the same ground, some say does a better job, and he wrote this before Chomsky and Herman's book.  Why have we not heard of Michael Parenti?  Because he didn't pretend the Soviet Union wasn't socialist.  He didn't like an idiot just fall for every lie told about the Soviet Union, lies that our own government tells us they propagate.

We have to be gracious to Chomsky though because in the 50s and 60s it was probably frightening to support the Soviet Union.  But today it's really not so scary.  We need to be better.  And yet it seems Chomsky continues to side with the imperialists when it comes to actually existing socialist societies that are striving and usually succeeding at making the lives of their people better.  In the case of Libya (maybe not socialist, but certainly anti-imperialist) while he did not think the west should intervene militarily he was generally supportive of the rebels and wanted to see Qaddafi out.  This is the same pattern as the effect of the fall of the Soviet Union, which Chomsky called a "small victory for socialism."  Libya boasted the highest life expectancy on the African continent, all kinds of programs that made life better for the people.  People flocked to get in.  Today they drown in the Mediterranean trying to get out, just as people fled the Soviet Union when it fell while also dying en masse, turning to the sex industry, drugs, alcohol, and crime.  In Libya they are sold as slaves in open markets.  I recall Chomsky expressing support for US troops in Syria.  He's constantly attacking anti-imperialist states like Syria, Nicaragua, Russia, China, Venezuela.  He's always been extremely hostile to supporters of BDS.  Here's an interview where he gets very testy with a BDS supporter.  At every turn where there's a real anti-imperialist movement he's crapping on it, it's not pure enough, it's not perfect enough.  Nothing that could actually emerge in the real world that would resist capitalism is ever acceptable.  Despite his deconstruction of capitalism, which is spot on, I'm sad to say I'm realizing Chomsky has been a great ally to capitalism by diverting anti-capitalist energy away from real solutions.  Learn from his analysis, but look elsewhere for strategies to deal with the crisis we are in.