By Chris Faure for The Saker Blog
If you thought that the demonization of Russia and incessant Russophobia over the past years from the West, with hardly a highly likely shred of evidence, was unconscionable and the absolute pinnacle of all demonization campaigns ever, get ready for the demonization of China. In true Hollywood Blockbuster style, the China Fear campaign promises to be bigger and better theater than the complete demonization of Russia. The campaign is focused, has a highly skilled leader, is sophisticated and has a clear set of objectives and operating objectives and plans. It even has its own very special movie, called “Claws of the Red Dragon”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvIKUIbKc6w
And like all such campaigns, it seamlessly rolls Russia in and now, Russia/China just rolls off the tongues of the imperial Hegemon.
We have grown accustomed to the Russia Bad campaign and understand and recognize how and when it is waged. This article will focus on what I call ‘the China Fear’ campaign through the eyes of Steve Bannon.
Bannon himself is credited with Trump’s 2016 win specifically on social media in combination with Peter Thiel. He is further credited with Bolsonaro’s Presidential win in October 2018. He is an extremely intelligent man and I would not want him for an enemy. Skilled in mining raw data, drawing raw emotion from social media and expressing and crafting that bounty to adjust and spread believable narrative messages and tell the story as he wants the story to be told, he has all the skills to ‘sell, hammer and freeze hard into the social fabric the China Fear narrative’. Just like Elliot Abrams is the main man and still trying for Venezuela regime change, Bannon looks to be the main man for regime change in China, via Hong Kong or any other area where the social fabric is not cohesive or where it can be deliberately frayed with social control techniques, attempting to socially terraform whole nations.
After helping Trump win, and then Bolsonaro win, and then spending some quiet time in Europe setting up The Movement, trying to start a populist revolt which nobody wanted to start with him, (“All I’m trying to be is the infrastructure, globally, for the global populist movement,”) it looks like Bannon was called back to ‘deal with China’. About 4 to 5 months ago, we started seeing a series of interviews with Bannon on China, using the Hong Kong riots to re-freeze himself into this sphere and calling the rioters ‘the kids’ with a smile, to make them seem ‘oh so innocent’. They’re only kids, they are only trying their best to fight for their freedom and democracy, is the message.
So what is it really that Bannon is rolling out? Only a garden variety revolution with creative peaks to topple the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and therefore China, or a scorched earth or total dominance policy. From the movie, we can see that Huawei is the proverbial Pokemon of the policy and in his own words: “Huawei is the greatest national security threat that America has ever faced … even greater than the threat of nuclear war.
Look at that statement for a moment – a technology company is a greater threat than nuclear war? Is this a reasonable statement to make? It is however par for the course for Bannon given his penchant for data and information technology type asymmetric warfare.
I’ve been surprised that alternative journalists, even good and experienced ones, are frequently confused by the Hong Kong riots. We see questions like: Is this a true revolution with young Hong Kong people fighting for their freedom? How can we distinguish between a color revolution or a true freedom movement? James Corbett asked: “What is America’s role in the current Hong Kong protest movement? Does Washington’s involvement in the protests delegitimize the movement itself? And where does that leave us, looking from the outside in at a situation like this?”
To answer the bolded question, is to take a look at the Gift from Bannon. Why do I call this a gift from Bannon? ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’. Because such a demonization campaign that jumped into high gear +- 4 or 5 months ago, is a double edged sword. Not only does it do its demonizing, it also without a doubt signals the plans of the imperial hegemon and this is the gift that we have from Bannon. He not only signals, he literally spells out the philosophy, objectives and operating plan for the China Fear campaign. We then can answer the question from Corbett: “Does Washington’s involvement in the protests delegitimize the movement itself? “ with a clear “Yes James, Washington’s involvement delegitimatizes the Hong Kong movement itself, because it is not a grassroots movement, but an orchestrated and paid for destabilization campaign that fits into a larger philosophy, policy and plan of creating fear toward China and uses US State Department officials, NGO’s and other influence peddlers to carry out the campaign.
‘The Kids’ are being orchestrated and their leaders in the so-called leaderless movement are trained actors and paid for their actions. And what is headlined as a leaderless movement, clearly has leaders. The leader of Hong Kong’s leaderless protest movement is a philosophy student behind bars.
Destabilization of Hong Kong is also not new and has been tried before. Refer to the Umbrella Movement and what was described as the Fishball Revolution of 2016 . Those failed, but now there is a whole new impetus and organization behind it.
There are three aspects to this new China Fear policy that stand out:
1. Bannon has learned from the Russia demonization program that it can be used to effectively divide a people as we have seen in the United States with the Russia Collusion efforts.
Bannon now wants to unite the US political classes and he says so clearly, talking about the Hong Kong riots:
“The one topic that unites everyone in the US, is the Hong Kong Protests …. Everybody in this country has come together, …… Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio – they are all united in telling the CCP and putting them on notice that this is not acceptable, particularly police brutality”
“Containing the CCP is beginning to be a bigger and bigger issue in the US – we’re managing to unite Democrats as well as Republicans around containment of the CCP.”
2. Then, he wants to unite the West and he says so clearly:
“Boris Johnson initially wanted to cut a deal with the CCP but now he is saying that the 1984 agreement must be completely in place. There has been a shifting of opinions (from the videos linked you will see that he is talking about creating a western coalition) and that has been because of the brutality of the police forces and the arrogance of the CCP – putting soldiers on the border, and this put it up to the height that the world came together, the CCP is backing off .. they don’t have a thought through plan they would clearly like to go in ans do a brutal putdown because they don’t want this contagion to spread – There are different factions, just like in Tianenmen … I think Xi is torn and leans more to the crackdown phase …”
(OK, since Bannon said this, Boris Johnson has had his seating area smartly kicked but that makes no nevermind to the focus of this China Fear campaign, to unite the west and again create a western coalition, this time against China).
3. Then, he wants to have Trump win in 2020 with a ‘Trump is tough on China’ message. To do this, to get Trump’s base to understand the message, Bannon has to scare the American population that has grown tired of Russia, Russia, Russia, with a new message: Fear China, Fear China, Fear China. This is how he is preparing his ground to present the 2020 message that Trump is Tough on China. With a simple sleigh of hand, China Fear has become the order of the day, China is the new main adversary and Trump is Tough on the main adversary. Bannon can now prepare the western population for action against China but of course, China itself must be set up as the perpetrator.
The rest is garden variety demonization and garden variety attempts at regime change with a garden variety ideology hidden behind virtue-signaling statements such as: It is only the Chinese that can change their system. It is never mentioned that the Chinese might not want to change their system, but the message is presented as a fait accompli. (It reminds me of the excuse given to the US self-defined Patriots. This message is: No, we most certainly do not want to regime-change Iran. We only want to help them to get rid of their bad Mullahs). True doublespeak.
What is a garden variety attempt at regime change? Or, How do you get your own people to cooperate and believe you?
- Identify what you need as the ‘public mood’ to get the public to support your initiative – eg. fear, or nationalistic pride or financial issues .. there may be a few of these that are usable, even collective memory, or previous conditioning and in the case of the US, the people have been conditioned to distrust anything ‘other’ than their own way of life.
- Create a demon as an opponent – eg. he wants to destroy our way of life or Huawei is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb and they are abusing their own people or Putin is a dictator : There are many messages that can be used here.
- Select and/or fabricate ‘evidence’ to demonstrate that the demon exists – eg. he’s rigging our elections, they have ‘bad behavior’ and we must counter their ‘bad behavior’ or We cannot stand idly by while authoritarian nations attempt to reshape the global security environment to their favor at the expense of others (See the complete Mark Esper quote in the next section).
- Present the narrative or story to the public and make it appear real, reasonable, scientific is a good word to use, or logical – For this part, Pompeo, Esper and Bannon with a side dish of Pence are rolling the theater screens, one after the other, Message, Rinse, Repeat, Message Rinse Repeat until the population believes it. “What was reported out of the media was that Secretary Pompeo took a very hard line – hey, this is about freedom and democracy.” Bannon says.
You will find point one through four depicted in the following list of Bannon quotes. Bannon, skilled as he is in social change methods, brings his own creativity to the China Fear campaign. Just as Trump during his campaign for president used many phrases beloved by the people (e.g., I like Wikileaks or Lock her up), Bannon uses this technique as well. To remain on the right side of Trump’s base, he pushes a button that is near and dear to the hearts of the ‘deplorables’. This is the hatred existent in the population for the Corporate Elites or Wall Street or the New World Order or the 1%’ers who, according to Bannon, close their eyes to all of the human rights abuses in China: (USA; USA; chants the base supporters!).
“They know all of it, and they don’t care.” Involvement with the Chinese regime “means more money. It means higher stock prices. It means lower slave labor [costs],” Bannon said.
“Wall Street’s the cheerleader. And corporate America has been the lobbyist.” (Playing a little too hard on the Occupy movement here don’t you think? This man is mustering all the troops!)
“They have no moral authority. They have totally bought into a system that’s completely corrupt, and they know all about it,” Bannon said. Yet, they “mock Donald Trump and say, oh, he’s the barbarian. He’s the wild man. He’s the disruptor to the system.”
And of course, no comment on China from Bannon is complete without a reference to Tiananmen Square (link at the end if you are not sure what happened here).
“I think that if they use the same force that they used in Tiananmen, it will be the end of the CCP. I think the CCP will ultimately collapse.”
Why do we know that Bannon’s China Fear campaign is real?
We only have to listen to Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper:
“ … the political and economic leverage wielded by the Chinese is already eroding the sovereignty of some nations”, as well as citing “China’s Economic Warfare”.
“This is not because we are naive about other threats or seek to rekindle another Cold War,” Esper said. “Rather, we are aligned in this focus because of the magnitude of the threats Russia and China pose to U.S. national security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.”
“[We] cannot stand idly by while authoritarian nations attempt to reshape the global security environment to their favor at the expense of others,” Esper said. “Doing so would invite continued aggression and diminish our ability to deter future conflicts. As such, America’s National Defense Strategy makes it clear that great power competition is once again the primary concern of U.S. national security.”
This is what Bannon says, taken from a series of videos and interviews and these are listed below in order not to overwhelm the reader with just too large a list of videos and links in the text. How does one even present this flurry of China Fear messages that is becoming such a large body of work, that to choose one or the other does not do justice to either the size of the campaign, or to the depth of demonization and fear mongering. I would suggest looking at the first video presented and noted as most representative and then at the article presented because it will literally take weeks to work through the massive amount of material gathered over a short four months in time.
Bannon hammers in the average western understanding of China and sets his scene
These words are repeated over and over again: Tiananmen Square, Red Communism, CCP, freedom and democracy, China’s police brutality, China is abusing their own people, the Uygers, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Dalai Lama, Chinese Christians, Tibet and totalitarian surveillance state. He works hard to create the very necessary environmental conditions to create the joint enemy as listed in the 4 Points of preparing your own population for Regime Change somewhere else in the world.
I think that if they use the same force that they used in Tiananmen, it will be the end of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). I think the CCP will ultimately collapse.
Containing the CCP is beginning to be a bigger and bigger issue in the US – we’re managing to unite Democrats as well as Republicans around containment of the CCP.
The rhetoric from the West is getting increasingly tougher … The one topic that unites everyone in the US, is the Hong Kong Protests …. Everybody in this country (USA) has come together Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio – they are all united in telling the CCP and putting them on notice that this is not acceptable, particularly police brutality.
China’s strategy is to become a world Hegemon
And of course Bannon supports Trump’s delusionary idea: China is just waiting for Trump to leave office and then they can deal with the democrats.
This point of course is devoid of any reason as China finds itself in a hybrid warlike situation where they are arming and having to fight an existential battle. Once the local western population are convinced that they have to fear China, of course the imperial hegemon can do anything it likes and it can count on the support of its people.
The first video is the most representative where most of the foregoing quotes can be found.
This interview, mainly consisting of Bannon quotes is most representative of a complete demonization campaign directed at China – there is no end to it. I selected just a few and this is no cherry-picking: This is perhaps representative of 20% of the interview and one cannot choose which one is more representative of a full-out China Fear campaign. They are all finely crafted statements to convince a population of the new adversary.
Talking about Huawei:
“Huawei has a methodology, a high-tech methodology to basically have domination over the world”
Pressing the message that the corporate elite is responsible, as Bannon knows the Trump base will respond to this:
Wall Street and the corporate elites are “going to be held accountable by history for what went on in this time and place, what went on in China, and what they knew about and looked the other way.”
Here is the message that Trump is Tough on China:
“Donald Trump, the central reason he’s president is this: He said, we have to return America to her former greatness. We have to make America great again. And the way we’re going to do that [is] we’re going to confront the [CCP]. Wall Street has shipped those jobs over there, and I am going to bring them back,” Bannon said.
Aligning the ‘corporate elites’ with the Chinese Communist Party:
“The Chinese Communist Party is the Frankenstein monster created by the elites in the West—the capital provided by the elites in the West, the technology that’s provided by the elites in the West,” Bannon said.
Hammering in the China Fear message:
“When you see the tear gas, you see the beatings, you see the rubber bullets, you see exactly what they are. This is a gangster organization that doesn’t believe in any individual rights”
“What they’ve done to the Uyghurs, what they’ve done to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhists, what they’ve done to the Evangelical Christians, what they’ve done to Falun Gong, what they’ve done to the underground Catholic Church is unacceptable,” Bannon said. “These are criminals that don’t abide by any rule of law.”
I said this man is intelligent. Here he focuses on what is near and dear to the US Patriots, telling them that the Hong Kong protests are akin to the American Revolutionary War.
“Those young men and women are exactly what the patriots of 1776 were in the United States. They have the grit, they have the determination, they have the indefatigability. They are not going to back down. They’ve been tear-gassed, they’ve been beaten, they’ve had rubber bullets shot at them, and time and time again, they show up.
“I think they’re heroes of the modern world. I think they deserve to be nominated for and win the Nobel Prize for peace.
Now Bannon promises the people that his China Fear campaign is just and honest and good, because of course, the Chinese people will themselves revolt, if given a little help from the west.
Eventually, Bannon believes, the Chinese people will stand up and say, “‘We’ve had enough of 100,000 people or 50,000 people ruling a country of 1.4 billion and stealing all our money, stealing all our wealth, taking it for themselves, making us live in a totalitarian surveillance state.”
“Only the Chinese people can free the Chinese people”
“The pursuit of truth and pursuit of your higher moral self comes at a great cost. It’s just like in Hong Kong. There is a huge cost they are paying. They’re being jailed. They’re being beaten. They are being [told] your careers are ruined, your careers are finished. This is a high cost in the modern society, and yet they refuse to back down,” he said
And then, he must end up on an emotional note and build up The Kids, who are in reality beating up old people in Hong Kong. Sounding like a proverbial preacher man, Bannon announces:
“They will rise up to their higher, highest self.”
Do you see why I say Bannon has given us a gift? There is no confusion or question now about what the next steps of the imperial hegemon is going to be, so, we can identify them and we can follow them, as they happen, or not. So, some tasks on their to-do list will be successful and others not. It is good to note that the base of Russia demonization is seamlessly rolled over to the China demonization. And for the skilled observer it is clear to see that what China is being accused of, is exactly what the imperial hegemon is doing itself.
Does this look to you as if the current imperial hegemon understands that it is losing power? Or does this look to you as if we have a new attempt at a full spectrum dominance battle on our hands?. Looking at the size of Bannon’s strategy, I cannot for one moment believe that these are only ‘winning the trade war’ strategies. It clearly is bigger than this.
Over near term history, we have seen the west operating without clear strategy or objectives. We’ve seen them flail and fail in most of their regime change operations. Is the west fixing this with Bannon setting the strategy for the new adversary? Is the imperial hegemon setting its sights on China; First decouple the economy and then aim the guns? Has the imperial hegemon decided all these other little countries (Iran, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, even Afghanistan) are just too little to bother with and in their hubristic folly, they select the spectacular Hollywood finish and go directly for the Red Dragon using all modes of war, from hybrid methods to eventually guns blazing? I believe this and similar scenarios may be highly prioritized in the Pentagon’s war and scenario planning department. Looking at Bannon’s preparation of the US citizens for China Fear, we may be looking at a still outlying, but distinct scenario from the imperial hegemon to attempt to grab the Red Dragon by its throat, before the PetroDollar disappears completely as a reserve currency, and before China has completed a hard weapons defensive perimeter position, supported by fully trained defense forces.
Additional information and reading;
View from Russia:
Further Bannon interviews are here:
The Chinese are not talking
The Chinese communist party – Godfree Roberts – http://www.unz.com/article/the-chinese-communist-party/