The whole planet has every reason to be terminally puzzled at how all those lofty Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson embedded in the 1776 Declaration of Independence ended up with… Trump vs. Biden.
Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke, Rousseau, Hume to come up with an eminently quotable Greatest Hits, featuring “self-evident” truths such as “all men are created equal”, “unalienable rights”, and that searing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Well, Baudrillard would have dubbed the exercise a mere simulacrum, because in real life none of this uplifting rhetoric applied to Native Americans and enslaved Africans.
Still, there’s something endlessly fascinating about these “self-evident truths”. They actually radiated like Spinoza axioms, spawning abstract truths that can be extrapolated at will. Jefferson’s “self-evident truths” ended up creating the whole, massive structure of what we define as “Western liberal democracy”.
So it’s no wonder that America – perennially self-described as “leader of the free world” – consider these “self-evident truths” as the basis of an ideal society.
And it’s this messianic river of fervent truth flowing out of a Himalaya of Morality that leads Americans to dismiss as “malign actors” every nation or society that is judged to be “deviating” from such obvious evidence.
Those damned furreners. They’re always up to no good.
Cut to a mini-remix of the last Trump-Biden presidential debate. In foreign policy terms, it went something like this.
The moderator is desperate to move on as she’s very much aware of time constraints and looming, incandescent clashes: “Now I want to move on to Defense. It’s established Russia and China are interfering in our election process…”
Here’s classic “self-evident truth” material, delivered according to strict Council on Foreign Relations guidelines.
Cut to Biden: any country that interferes with the American elections “will pay a price”. Russia’s “been involved, China has been involved to some degree, and Iran’s been involved.” They are interfering with “American sovereignty”. Rudy Giuliani was used “as a Russian pawn”. Trump is “unwilling” to confront Putin. Russia has “destabilized NATO” and is “paying bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan.” And China “has to play by the rules” – or else.
Cut to Trump: “You mean the laptop from hell is another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?”
For the record: Joe Biden did blame the contents of son Hunter’s laptop from hell on Russia.
And discussing North Korea, when Trump said he got along fine with Kim Jong-Un, Biden stated, “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe.”Incidentally, Germany is and remains in Europe. And it’s quite something to see Biden acknowledging in public proven US industrial and political support to Nazism.
Those damn furreners
So, inevitably, the laptop from hell had to show up.
The FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop since December 2019 – as it had issued a subpoena for it in the first place. And yet the FBI sat on the laptop for 11 months doing nothing.
That must have given plenty of time for those pesky Russians to steal the laptop and plant incriminating evidence.
Well, not really. The FBI was busy mulling how to conduct an investigation on “money laundering”. And not on child porn – which, according to Giuliani, is the piece de resistance in the laptop. No one knows if these alleged “investigations” are ongoing.
Now, the FBI and the Department of Justice have finally “concurred”: Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign – directly contradicting what Joe Biden said in the debate.
But then, right before the debate, a bombshell presser – including the FBI and Homeland Security – had announced those pesky Russians and Iranians were in fact “trying to influence opinion” on the US elections.
“Self-evident truths” were back with a bang.
One can’t make this stuff up.
And it gets even murkier when the actual “election interference” may be coming from inside the US, not from those damn furreners.
This past summer, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) war-gamed possible scenarios post-November 3. All the scenarios lead to a huge constitutional crisis – forced, as part of the premise, by Trump’s refusal to concede his defeat at the polls.
TIP, predictably, is a proverbial Beltway bubble, composed of assorted Democratic Party higher-ups, Clintonistas, Obamistas and neo-con Never Trumpers.
Their message is now widely accepted as another avatar of “self-evident truths” because of this group’s powerful grip over Anglo-American mainstream media. Reverberations may be seen, for instance, here, here and here.
So the preferred doomsday scenario ahead spells out an engineered unresolved election, wide socio-political chaos, “continuity of government” protocols, even martial law.
What’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” got to do with it?
Supposedly Retired, F-117 Nighthawks Spotted In San DiegoTyler DurdenSat, 10/24/2020 — 23:00
On Tuesday, two Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft (supposedly retired) were spotted at the Miramar Naval Base in San Diego, reported Airway1.
After 25 years in service, the Air Force retired the F-117 fleet in April 2008, but in September 2017, the service received special permission to keep 51 in Type 1000 storage, meaning the planes could swiftly return to active service.
Four decommissioned F-117s were secretly deployed to the Middle East in 2017 to launch surgical strikes. The reason for the deployment was simple; Russia and Syria had shut down Syrian airspace by mid-2016. The U.S.-led coalition was unwilling to lose a fifth-generation aircraft to Russia’s S-400 missile systems in Syria.
As for the latest sighting of the retired first-generation stealth jets over the skies of San Diego, there’s no official government statement explaining their flights.
Video: F-117 Nighthawks Spotted Near Miramar Naval Base In San Diego
With souring relations between China and the US, along with the Pentagon flushed with cash, there could be an effort to return some of these stealth jets to active service to address an urgent gap in the Pentagon’s ability to strike targets in disputed airspace.
Excerpted from the book: ‘Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping the World’
In 2018 the well-connected Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin pointed out that China had been building networks of influence in the United States over many years, and that the U.S. government “is preparing for the possibility that the Chinese government will decide to weaponize” them to get what it wants.(Although Beijing is not known to use Russian-style “active measures” in the West, deploying them is only a matter of political calculation.)
One of the CCP’s most audacious penetration operations, Chinagate in 1996, saw a top intelligence operative meeting a naive President Clinton in the White House, along with donations to the Clinton campaign made through people with ties to the Chinese military.
Beijing has been working to gain influence in the U.S. Congress since the 1970s.Through the activities of the CCP’s International Liaison Department, and Party-linked bodies like the China Association for International Friendly Contact, China has made some influential friends. Nevertheless, Congress has for the most part remained skeptical of China, although its voice has been muted at times by the influence of “pro-China” members. The president, the White House, the bureaucracy, think tanks, and business lobby groups have all been targeted by Beijing, to good effect.
Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Until recently, almost all players in Washington D.C. and beyond were convinced by the “peaceful rise of China” trope, and the value of “constructive engagement.”The common belief was that as China developed economically, it would naturally morph into a liberal state. This view was not without foundation, because the more liberal factions within the CCP did struggle with the hardliners, but in the U.S. it reinforced a kind of institutional naivety that was exploited by Beijing. Many of those who stuck to this view even after the evidence pointed firmly to the contrary had a strong personal investment in defending Beijing.
The billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was a late entrant in the contest to become the 2020 Democratic Party candidate for U.S. president. He is the most Beijing-friendly of all aspirants. With extensive investments in China, he opposes the tariff war and often speaks up for the CCP regime.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg addresses his staff and the media after announcing that he will be ending his campaign, in New York City, on March 4, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
His media company has suppressed stories critical of CCP leaders, and Bloomberg himself claimed in 2019 that “Xi Jinping is not a dictator” because he has to satisfy his constituency.
The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin argued that “his [Bloomberg’s] misreading of the Chinese government’s character and ambitions could be devastating for U.S. national security and foreign policy. He would be advocating for a naive policy of engagement and wishful thinking that has already been tried and failed.”
In May 2019 Joe Biden distinguished himself from all of the other candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination by ridiculing the idea that China is a strategic threat to the United States.“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” he told a campaign crowd in Iowa City. Biden had for years adopted a soft approach to China. When President Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was taking a tougher position towards China’s adventurism in Asia, Vice President Biden was urging caution. Biden had formed a warm personal relationship with Xi Jinping when Xi was vice president and president-in-waiting.
Hunter Biden ® with then President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden during a college basketball game at the Verizon Center in Washington on Jan. 30, 2010. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
In his second term, Obama replaced Clinton as secretary of state with the more accommodating John Kerry. The dynamics help to explain why Obama’s 2012 “pivot to Asia” was a damp squib. The United States stood back while China annexed islands and features in the South China Sea and built military bases on them, something Xi had promised Obama he would not do. Breaking the promise has given China an enormous strategic advantage.
Joe Biden cleaves to the belief, now abandoned by many China scholars and most Washington politicians, that engagement with China will entice it into being a responsible stakeholder. The University of Pennsylvania’s D.C. think tank — named, for him, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement — aims to address threats to the liberal international order, yet China is absent from the threats identified on its website: Russia, climate change and terrorism. Biden has spoken about China’s violation of human rights but still clings to the idea of China’s “peaceful rise.”
So does it matter if Joe Biden has a different view of China? It does, because there is evidence that the CCP has been currying his favor by awarding business deals that have enriched his son, Hunter Biden. One account of this is given by Peter Schweizer in his 2019 book “Secret Empires.” Some of his key claims were subsequently challenged and Schweizer refined them in an op-ed in the New York Times (famous for fact-checking). In short, when Vice President Biden travelled to China in December 2013 on an official trip, his son flew with him on Airforce Two. While Biden senior was engaging in soft diplomacy with China’s leaders, Hunter was having other kinds of meetings. Then, “less than two weeks after the trip, Hunter’s firm … which he founded with two other businessmen [including John Kerry’s stepson] in June 2013, finalized a deal to open a fund, BHR Partners, whose largest shareholder is the government-run Bank of China, even though he had scant background in private equity.”
The Bank of China is owned by the state and controlled by the CCP. Hunter Biden’s exact role in the company is disputed, but one expert has said that his share in it would be worth around $20 million.
However, the point here is not the ethics of the Bidens (as the news media have framed it) but the way in which the CCP can influence senior politicians. This “corruption by proxy,” in which top leaders keep their hands clean while their family members exploit their association to make fortunes, has been perfected by the “red aristocracy” in Beijing.
Cover of the book “Hidden Hand” by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg.
In the crucial years 2014 and 2015, Beijing was aggressively expanding into the South China Sea while Obama, Kerry, and Biden were sitting on their hands…