Thursday, May 30, 2024

China a victim of propaganda war

Early June, US president Barrack Obama warned China over its actions in the South China Sea. He accused China of “throwing elbows and pushing people out of their way.”

It came close on heels of US Defence Scretary Ash Carter’s rather trenchant words in a conference of diplomats and international experts in Singapore.

“One country has gone much further and much faster than any other, and that’s China. China has reclaimed over 2,000 acres, more than all other claimants combined…And China did so in only the last 18 months.”

US has been relentless over the last one year in portraying China as an aggressive bully in Asia-Pacific region. It accuses China of expansionism in the South China Sea. There is no mention though that Vietnam has so far occupied 29 reefs in Nansha Islands; the Philippines nine while the Chinese mainland has only taken control of eight. At no stage, China has tried to recapture the reefs or islets from Hanoi or Manila. It’s been 16 years since the Philippines wrecked a warship on the Ren’ai reef in the Nasha Islands on May 9, 1999. Beijing hasn’t made one single move in retaliation. Yet its’ targeted by US as a bully throwing its weight around in the region.

Come to think of it, its US which has encircled China militarily from all corners. US has stationed its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands. David Vine, in his recent book, Base Nation: How US Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, puts the cost of such gigantic military presence to $170 billion annually.

In the Persian Gulf alone, US has major bases in every country barring Iran. There are bases in Pakistan on one end and in the Balkans on the other. Djibouti, Diego Garcia and Seychelles are not spared either. In Afghanistan and Iraq, there are 800 and 505 bases respectively.

US has sought out friendly “authoritarian regimes” such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen for its military positioning. They have all been brought to use when US waged three wars in Iraq (1991-2003, 2003-2011, 2014–); the war on Afghanistan and Pakistan (2001-); intervention in Lebanon (1982-84); attacks on Libya (1981, 1986,1989, 2011);  Sudan (1998); and the “tanker war” with Iran (1987-88). The drone wars in Yemen (2002-) and war-by-stealth in Somalia (1992-94, 2001-).

By an estimate, Pentagon occupies more than 28 million acres of land. Military buildings alone cover 2.2 billion square feet of space—almost three times that of Wal-Mart. McDonald is no match either for it has only 35,000 stores compared to Pentagon’s 291,000 buildings.

Take another view of the mammoth holdings: US has 278 embassies and consulates worldwide but that’s one-third of the total military bases the superpower has around the globe. Pentagon indeed is one of world’s biggest landowners.

Since World War II, Chalmers Johnson, an expert on US basing strategy thus explained: “The United States has been inexorably acquiring permanent military enclaves whose sole purpose appears to be the domination of one of the most strategically important areas (Eurasia) of the world.”

In 1945, after World War II, the base in Dharan, Saudi Arabia was completed. By 1949, Pentagon had based a naval force in Bahrain. 1n early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy’s administration pushed for militarization of Indian Ocean. Thus was born the first major US base in the region on the British-held island of Diego Garcia. Jimmy Carter and his successor Ronald Reagan presided over expansion of bases in Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Since 2000, US has built new bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (since closed) and used several Central Asian countries as supply bases for troops in Afghanistan while misleading the world with its periodic announcement of partial withdrawal from it.

And where is the threat?

The Global War on Terrorism is a sham. It’s a ploy to keep interfering in internal affairs of various countries in the guise of “liberating and spreading democracy” even as it props and funds the terrorist groups, largely with the assistance of Saudi Arabia.

The main goal of US is:

(a)    To bring in “free trade” and control economy after hoisting puppet regimes;

(b)   Take over all natural resources, particularly non-renewable sources of energy;

(c)    Build military bases for global hegemony

US has control over 191 governments through an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire planet and outer space.  Such bases also work for logistical, communication and spying activities. US military personnel, spread over 156 countries, are over 325,000 in numbers.

Demonstrations against US military presence has erupted in Spain, Ecuador, Italy, Paraguay, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria among others. South Korea, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, Europe and even Japan has seen older resistance movements. Now there is “International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases”. The “No Bases Network” educates public on the issue.

Now returning to propaganda on China’s posturing, let’s look at an additional fact: Early this year, US Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Robert Thomas welcomed Japan’s air patrol sorties over the South China Sea. If one may ask, what Japan is doing in South China Sea while its issues with mainland China revolves around East China Sea islands? And whether instead of China, its’ Japan and US who should be accused of aggression and destabilizing the global security?

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