By Vladimir Danilov for NEO
In order to further such aims, more and more money out of the state budget are allocated not only towards the US military industrial complex but also towards domestic propaganda campaigns. It is easy to understand why this is so.
After all, any war incited by those in power invariably starts with hysteria induced by propaganda campaigns aimed at deceiving their target audience at home and abroad, and manipulating them into saying “Yes!” to an upcoming war. This is how these elite circles gain public support for their militant policies.
Even in pre-historic times such tactics were used, and more recently, they were employed in Nazi Germany. And nowadays, the current US leadership has again decided to resort to this approach.
By employing various tools of influence, at present, Washington is actively spreading its pre-war propaganda among its allies, particularly within the European Union (currently, many of the EU member states are also part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), led by the United States).
In fact, it has become increasingly difficult to mask the hatred and animosity felt by the US elite circles nowadays towards Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela (and previously, towards the entire Socialist Bloc). The feelings run so deep that these politicians are willing to resolve their issues on the domestic front by militant means and by inciting anti-Russia and anti-China sentiments.
According to USA Today, a new survey, published by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in 2020, “found a sharp uptick in the number of Americans who see China unfavorably”. “In 2018, just 47% of Americans held unfavorable views of China, but that figure” jumped 26% since then – to 73%. A Pew research associate has said that “China’s standing among the US public began to dip significantly in 2018 when trade rhetoric and the trade war was kind of taking off between the two countries and the downward spiral has continued with the Coronavirus pandemic”.
Interestingly, the poll also showed that “64% of Americans said China had done a bad job handling the pandemic, compared with 31% who said Beijing” had done a good job. It is hard to believe that such viewpoints are objective. After all, they are not based on official data.
The PRC managed to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the end, unlike the United States. In addition, China is currently carrying out phase III trials of its locally developed vaccines, which could be ready for use as early as November. The United Sates is falling behind in the vaccine race in comparison.
The anti-China propaganda campaign, initiated by the White House, is preventing the US populace from accessing objective and reliable information. In fact, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (and not the anti-PRC smear campaign), the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 on a daily basis is on the rise in several US states. And the nation is nearing 200,000 virus-related deaths at present.
Nowadays, anti-China rhetoric is being actively used by US politicians in various spheres. Exaggerating the military threat posed by the PRC is meant to encourage increased military spending by the US. China has also been blamed for unfair trade practices that have had an impact on livelihoods of ordinary Americans.
The US leadership has not taken into account the fact that on the international political arena, recently, support for China and its foreign policy projects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative (which encompasses the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) is growing unlike in the United States.
Not long ago, in the face of a growing race-related domestic crisis stemming in part from a failed response by the US leadership, the White House, in order to shift blame onto an external enemy, initiated, with support from the Department of State, the National Security Council and the US Department of Defense, yet another anti-China campaign accusing the PRC government of cultural genocide of Uyghurs.
The current developments are similar to the plot of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”,according to Tony Kevin, an Australian career diplomat. In his article, he says that “Western propaganda that seems aimed at Moscow and Beijing is really intended for the citizens of the so-called Free World”. He also quotes journalist Caitlin Johnstone in his opinion piece:
“There is a slow-motion Third World War underway between the US-centralized power alliance and the nations like China which have resisted being absorbed into it, and that war is being largely facilitated by propaganda. If one doesn’t wish to become a propagandist themselves, one ought to withhold belief from the stories they are told about the terrible, awful things the unabsorbed nations are doing which require extensive sanctions, subversion and interventionism in response.”
Nowadays, such wars are often initially waged with the aid of bellicose rhetoric, sanctions and subversion. And US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his obedient “minions”: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper; British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab; leader of Britain’s Lab-our Party Keir Starmer, and numerous editors of Western media outlets toing his line are all actively involved in the aforementioned wars.
The fertile ground laid by the White House is actively used nowadays to start preparations for a conflict with Russia and China. General Gustave F. Perna, who served as the head of the United States Army Materiel Command from September 2016 to July 2020, has told reporters that to deter Russia and China, the Army was “building new prepositioned equipment sets for Europe and studying new stockpiles for the Pacific” region.
In March 2020, USA’s leading newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported about a 10-year plan to revamp the US Marine Corps (USMC, one of the eight uniformed services of the United States) to meet the threat posed by China. USNI News, the US Naval Institute’s online news and analysis portal, also wrote about USMC’s new focus on the PRC.
According to Charles Brown Jr., who became the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force on August 6, 2020, the United States has to be “prepared to fight through combat attrition rates and risks to the Nation that are more akin to the World War II era.”
Washington has been using its pre-war propaganda campaigns to focus on USA’s “external enemies”.
Unfortunately, at present (unlike the days of the Caribbean Crisis), there are few highly respected politicians in the United States capable of taking on the burden of responsibility and stopping the ongoing preparations for war by freeing the minds of ordinary Americans (and other people) of unnecessary worries about possible misfortunes, which could befall them as a result of efforts made by a number of political players to portray themselves in a certain light and to earn additional income from waging wars in the process.
Vladimir Danilov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.