By Lee Smith
On Saturday, Peoples’ Republic of China planes flew into Taiwan’s airspace. Incursions are a normal occurrence but the most recent one represented an escalation. Typically one or two planes will probe Taiwan’s air defenses but in this case it was reportedly eight bombers and four fighter jets. It appears Beijing is eager to test Joe Biden early. It’s likely China won’t be the only one. The more than 20,000 National Guard troops in Washington to last week protect the new president’s nearly unattended inauguration is evidence that the United States is broken.
Observers widely misunderstood the National Guard deployment as a show of force asserting the Biden team’s legitimacy as the elected government of the United States. But the most salient fact of the troop presence is that some who were found to have supported Donald Trump were sent home. And thus the reason for the deployment, which may now continue into March, is that the Biden White House is keen to use the sporadically violent but mostly peaceful Jan. 6 march on the Capitol building as a political pretext to further target Trump supporters.
From the perspective of the administration and its media surrogates, Trump supporters were already deplorable, but now that they have attempted an insurrection, the gloves will come off. The nearly 75 million people who voted for Biden’s opponent deserve whatever is coming to them next—further impoverishment, further collective punishment in the guise of public health (i.e., coronavirus) measures, designation as domestic terrorists, imprisonment, and even death.
Let’s try to imagine how foreigners see our circumstances: Neither traditional U.S. allies nor adversaries can share the new administration’s assessment that the United States government faced an insurrection Jan. 6. In comparison to their own domestic challenges, those protests were plainly mild.
In France, for instance, the Yellow Vests movement has been engaged in protests for more than two years that have frequently devolved into street violence, leaving 11 dead and more than 4000 wounded. From the perspective of the nation that produced the French Revolution, Jan. 6 was nothing like an insurrection. Same for Israel, which has been fighting terrorist attacks plotted by some of the state’s Arab citizens since the country’s founding.
Consider how authoritarian states must see it. Does the Islamic Republic of Iran, periodically engaged in low-level violent conflict with its growing opposition movement, believe that Jan. 6 was an attack on America’s domestic peace? What about Russia, where over the weekend authorities arrested more than 2000 who marched nationwide to demand the release of Vladimir Putin critic Alexander Navalny? Does the Chinese Communist Party, which uses mass detentions and forced sterilizations to eradicate the Muslim minority Uyghur population, believe that American families and seniors marching in the winter cold amounted to an existential threat to the American regime? No, they all see through it—the American political, corporate, cultural, and media elite is waging war on the Americans it despises.
What can foreign powers be thinking when journalists, think-tank experts, and current and former law enforcement officials recommend that the Biden administration deploy the same counterterrorism tactics against Americans that U.S. forces have used to kill Islamic extremists around the globe since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Or how can they interpret the heavily guarded inauguration attended by faded pop-stars celebrating a man in a black mask who prophesied a “dark winter,” who for months had been hidden underground by his handlers, and who is unlikely to finish his four-year term under his own power except as a drum circle of celebrity necromancers? If our allies and adversaries see us at all clearly, they are thinking America’s leaders have lost their minds.
It can hardly surprise anyone to see the country gone mad since Biden’s inauguration represented the culmination of the U.S. elite’s four-year-long insurrection against reality.
It began in December 2016 when Barack Obama instructed his director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan to delegitimize his successor by assessing he was helped to the presidency by a foreign power, Russia. Subsequently, with the robust support of prestige media organizations and the rest of the elite’s ideological apparatus—the academy, think tanks, Hollywood, and so on—half the country invested its political convictions and mental health in a conspiracy theory.
It does not require much imagination to see America the way outsiders have for the last several years. The U.S. agency singly responsible for discovering and stopping the efforts of foreign agents to sabotage the American political system, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was focused instead on sabotaging the American president. Because top officials were not held accountable for their illegal political operation, others were emboldened to join the effort. An official from the Pentagon and another from the CIA led a government-wide campaign that included senior American diplomats to impeach Trump.
With the arrival of COVID-19, the U.S. elite’s increasing use of the phrase “the new normal” to rationalize unconstitutional edicts targeting the businesses, homes, and liberties of Trump supporters was evidence that the country was split not between political parties but between those who saw the light slipping away and those who had willfully migrated to a dark dreamworld.
We will be fortunate if adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party choose to simply stand aside and watch while America’s leadership class consumes itself in madness. But we shouldn’t count on it.