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The upcoming war against China

The United States is calling for a picture of itself as the heroic country that can save the world from an "increasingly aggressive China". At the same time, 400 US military bases surround China with rockets, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons.


When I first visited Hiroshima in 1967, her shadow was still above the stairs. It was a near-perfect picture of a man relaxing: his knees apart, his back bent, a hand beside him as she sat waiting for the bank to open. Quarter past eight in the morning on 6. August 1945 she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for probably over an hour, it was impossible to forget the sight. When I returned many years later, it was gone: removed, "disappeared"; a political embarrassment.

I've spent two years making a documentary, The Coming War on China, where, through facts and testimony, I warn that nuclear war is no longer just a shadow, but a real possibility. The largest armament of US-led military forces since World War II is well underway. The forces are in the northern hemisphere, at Russia's western borders, in Asia and in the Pacific, face to face with China.

The great danger this entails is largely undermined or distorted. A drumstick of fake news in the regular news scene goes like an echo of the anxiety that has driven public consciousness through much of the 20. century.

Noose. Just like the renewal of Russia after the Soviet era, the emergence of China as an economic superpower has been declared to be an "existential threat" to America's divine right to govern and dominate social conditions. In counterbalance to these "threats", President Obama announced a "turn against Asia". This meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces were to be transferred to Asia and the Pacific within 2020. Today, over 400 US military bases surround China with rockets, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia and north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, these bases form, according to a US strategist, "the perfect gutter".

A study conducted by RAND Corporation – which since Vietnam has been planning the US war – is entitled "War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable". With the United States Army as the client, the report writers bring the cold war to life as the slogan of RAND chief strategist Herman Kahn – "thinking the unthinkable" – became famous. Kahn's book On Thermonuclear War presented a plan for a nuclear war against the Soviet Union that could be "won." Today, his apocalyptic views are shared by those in power in the United States: the militarists and the neoconservatives of the government, the Pentagon, the intelligence services and the national security establishment, as well as the Congress.

Current Secretary of Defense Ashley Carter, a talkative provocateur, says that US policy is to confront those "who see US domination and want to take it away from us".

The largest armament of US-led military forces since World War II is well underway.

Alarm Preparedness. All indications are that this will also be Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy. His scolding of China during the presidential race included, among other things, China "raping" the US economy. The 2. December, the incoming president spoke to Taiwan's president. It was a direct provocation against China, which views Taiwan as a Chinese province. Armed with American rockets, Taiwan is still a sore wound in Washington-Beijing relations.

"The United States is preparing for a war against China," wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international politics at George Washington University, "- a fateful decision that has so far not been thoroughly considered by the elected authorities, ie the White House and Congress." intended to start with a "devastating attack on Chinese defense forces such as land and sea-based rocket batteries ... satellites and anti-satellite weapons".

In the 2015, the Pentagon published its "Law of War Manual". It states that "the United States has not accepted any agreement that prevents us from using nuclear weapons in and of itself – therefore nuclear weapons are legal weapons for the United States."

In China, I was told by a strategist that "we are not your enemy, but if you [in the West] decide that we are, we must prepare without hesitation." China's forces and weapons arsenal are small compared to those of the United States. Nevertheless, writes Gregory Kulacki, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "China is talking for the first time about putting its nuclear weapons on alert, so they can be fired quickly when an attack is notified. This will be a clear and dangerous change to Chinese policy. "

Philippines. In the 2015, the United States, under strict secrecy, launched its largest military exercise since the Cold War. It was the so-called "Talisman Saber" exercise – an armada of ships and long-range bombers that trained on an "air-sea combat concept designed for China" where they blocked sailing routes in the Malacca Strait and cut off China's access to oil, gas and other raw materials from Middle East and Africa.

There are provocations like this, as well as the fear of a blockade carried out by the United States Navy, which has led China almost feverishly to build strategic runways on disputed reefs and small islands (Spratly Islands) in the South China Sea. In July this year, China's demand for sovereignty over these islands was rejected by the United Nations Permanent Arbitration Court. Although the case was filed by the Philippines, it was filed by leading US and British lawyers and could be traced back to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that the former US colony reopen the US military bases that were closed in the 1990 century following a popular movement against the violence they brought, especially against Filipino women. She stated that China's claims on the Spratly Islands – which are over 12 000 kilometers from the US – were a threat to US "national security" and "free shipping".

After receiving millions of dollars in weapons and military equipment, then-President Benigno Aquino broke bilateral negotiations with China, and silently signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. This resulted in five rotating US bases, and restored a pre-colonial rule that US forces and contractors should have legal immunity in the Philippines.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte as the President of the Philippines in April has stunned Washington. Duterte describes himself as a socialist, and has declared that "in our relations to the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy". He also pointed out that the United States has not regretted the atrocities they committed as a colonial power. "I want to break with the United States," he said, promising to throw out the US forces. But the United States is still in the Philippines, and joint military exercises continue.

Information War. In the 2014, the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that labeled China, the world's largest trading nation, as a threat to "free shipping." This happened under the heading "information dominance" – the media manipulation or fake news jargon, which the Pentagon spends over $ 4 billion annually.

CNN led with its "national security reporter" who reportedly escaped from a military plane over the Spratly Islands. The BBC persuaded rescue Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands "to see how the Chinese reacted". None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese built landing strips off their own coast, or why US military forces clashed on China's doorstep.

The appointed chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, US commander in Asia and the Pacific. "My responsibility," he told the New York Times, "extends from Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins." Never has imperialist domination been described any faster.

Harris is one of many Pentagon admirals and generals who deliver concise, frequent orienteringis for selected, docile journalists and broadcasters. The goal is to prove an apparent threat of the same caliber that George W. Bush and Tony Blair used when they justified the destruction of Iraq and large parts of the Middle East.

In Los Angeles in September, Harry Harris declared that he was "ready to confront a vicious Russia and a self-assertive China. If we have to fight tonight, I won't have a fair fight. If it is a knife fight, I bring a gun. If there is a gun battle, I put in the artillery, and all our partners with their artillery. ”

These "partners" include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon's Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, allegedly targeting North Korea. As Professor Theodore Postol has pointed out, it is in fact aimed at China.

Australia. During a visit to the Australian city of Sydney, Harry Harris urged China to "tear down the Great Wall of the South China Sea". Image use became a front page news. Australia is America's most submissive "partner". The country's political elite, the military, intelligence services and the media are integrated into what is known as the "alliance".

Although China is Australia's largest trading partner, on which much of the national economy depends, "confronting China" is a dictation from Washington. "You guys in Australia are with us, whatever happens," said one of the organizers of the Vietnam War, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important US bases there is Pine Gap near Alice Springs. It was established by the CIA, spies on China and the rest of Asia, and is a key contributor to Washington's murderous drone war in the Middle East.

Richard Marles is a spokesman for defense cases for the largest opposition party in Australia, the Labor Party. In October, he asked that "operational decisions" on provocative action against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that may involve war with an atomic power should not be taken by an elected leader or parliament, but by an admiral or general.

This is the Pentagon line – a historic departure from any state that calls itself a democracy. The Pentagon's increased influence in Washington – which Daniel Ellsberg has called "a silent bargain" – is reflected in the record-breaking $ 5000 billion dollars the US has spent on attack wars since 11. September 2001. This is evident in a study conducted by Brown University. Millions of dead in Iraq and 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequences.

Japan. The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations used by the United States for attacks on Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, the primary target is China, with which Okinawa has close cultural ties and trade links.

In the sky above Okinawa you can see military aircraft at any time. From time to time, they crash into homes and schools. People can't sleep, teachers can't teach. Wherever they go in their own country, they are fenced in with a message to stay away.

A popular anti-base movement has emerged on Okinawa after an 12 year-old girl was raped by US soldiers in 1995. This was just one of hundreds of such crimes, most of which are never prosecuted. This resistance movement is hardly known in the world at large, but it has led to Japan's first antibase leader Takeshi Onaga being elected. The move has also created a somewhat unexpected obstacle to the Tokyo government and ultranationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to repeal Japan's "peace constitution".

Among the opponents is Fumiko Shimabukuro, a World War II survivor of 87. A quarter of Okinawa's population died during the US invasion. Fumiko and hundreds of others were hiding in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The US will destroy the bay to expand the runways of its bombers. "We have a choice," she says. "We can choose silence, or we can choose to live." As I attended their peaceful gathering outside the American Camp Schwab base, a giant Sea Stallion helicopter orbited our heads – only to frighten.

Trump's crackdown on China during the presidential race included, among other things, China "raping" the US economy.

South Korea. Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a subtropical national park and a world heritage site, declared "a world peace island". On this world peace island is one of the world's most provocative military bases built, less than 650 kilometers from Shanghai. The fishing village of Gangjeong is dominated by a South Korean naval base designed for US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and fighters equipped with Aegi's missile system aimed at China.

For almost a decade, there has been popular opposition to these war preparations in Jeju. Every day – often twice a day – villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world come to a religious mass that locks the gates to the base. In a country where political demonstrations – as opposed to strong religions – are often banned, the tactics have been inspiring. One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, said to me: “I sing four songs every day at the base. I sing about it then a typhoon rages – no exception. They built this base, they destroyed the environment and the life of the villagers, and we should testify to that. They will rule the Pacific. They want to isolate China in the world. They want to be rulers of the world. "

The Cold War doze. From Jeju, I flew to Shanghai for the first time in a lifetime. The last time I was in China, the ringing from bike bells was the loudest sound I heard; Mao Zedong was just dead; the cities appeared as bleak places where frightened minds competed with hope for the future. Within a few years, Deng Xiopeng, "the man who changed China", had become the "supreme leader". I was completely unprepared for the amazing changes the country has undergone.

China offers fierce irony – not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades founded China's Communist Party in 1921. Today it stands in the middle of a very capitalist shipping area. So you walk out of this Communist shrine with Mao's little red book and the plastic bust of Mao, and are embraced by Starbucks, Apple, Cartier and Prada.

Would Mao have been shocked? I doubt it. Five years before his major revolution in 1949, he sent the following secret message to Washington: "China needs to be industrialized," he wrote. “This can only be done with a free business world. China and the United States have similar interests economically and politically. America need not be afraid that we will not cooperate. We cannot risk any conflict. ”

Mao offered to meet Franklin Roosevelt in the White House as well as his successor Harry Truman, and his successor Dwight Eisenhower. He was rejected – either that, or deliberately ignored. The possibility that could have changed our close history, averted wars in Asia and saved countless lives, weathered because the truth of these offensives was denied in Washington's 1950 years "when the catatonic cold war doze kept our country in an iron grip", as critic James Naremore wrote. The fake news that once again presents China as a threat in mainstream media is a manifestation of the same mentality.

Small and handy. The world turns inexorably to the east, but China's vision of Eurasia is hardly understood in the West. The new Silk Road is a trade route, ports, pipelines and high-speed rail all the way to Europe. The world leader in railway technology, China, negotiates with 28 countries on railway lines where trains will be traveling for up to 400 kilometers per hour. This opening to the world is welcomed by a large part of the world's population, uniting China and Russia.

"I think with every fiber of the body that the United States is something truly unique," Barack Obama said, sparking the live fetishism of the 1930 century. This modern cult of superiority is Americanism, the world's worst predator. During the Liberal Peace Prize winner Obama, more money has been spent on nuclear warheads than under any other president since the end of the Cold War. A miniature weapon is being planned. It goes by the name of the B61 Model 12, and will, says former Deputy Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright, that "when it's smaller, it's easier to imagine its use."

Frantic. Atlantic Council, a conventional American geopolitical think tank, published in September a report that predicted a Hobbesian world "characterized by order breaking, violent extremism and an era of enduring war". The new enemies were a "renewed" Russia and an "increasingly aggressive" China. Only heroic America can save us.

There is something crazy about this war-scary business. It's as if the "American Century" – proclaimed in the 1941 by American imperialist Henry Luce who owned Time magazine – has ended without anyone noticing, and no one has had the courage to ask the Emperor to bring his guns and go home.

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Pilger is an award-winning journalist and author with a number of honorary doctorates from universities around the world.

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