Greatness Agenda

Let America Work Again

It shouldn’t take planes falling out of the sky or a pandemic to convince American policymakers of the need not only to make great things in America but also to afford Americans the opportunity to make them.

It was Monday morning on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lurched away from the gate, rolled to a sprint, and peeled its wheels off the runway for the last time. Aboard, 157 souls including eight Americans and one veteran on vacation doing missionary work, were flying.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 plunged back to earth, trailing white smoke across the sky until reaching its terminus near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All aboard perished when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft screamed into the ground at nearly 700 miles per hour, leaving a massive crater with wreckage driven up to 30 feet deep into the soil.

That tragedy put visa worker programs in the spotlight after a report in Bloomberg revealed Boeing had cut costs by outsourcing 737 Max production to low-paid foreign subcontractors, coders, and software engineers.

Mark Rabin, a former Boeing software engineer, said the company’s decision to outsource “was controversial because it was far less efficient than Boeing engineers just writing the code.” It often was the case, he said, that “it took many rounds going back and forth because the code was not done correctly.” 

Boeing denies outsourcing played any role in the faulty flight-control software that forced the plane into a fatal nosedive. 

Though the flames that consumed Flight 302 have long since flickered out, the economic crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has reignited the debate about outsourcing and visa worker programs. 

Over the weekend, 30 college student organizations sent a letter to President Donald Trump: “Mr. President, in addition to ending the Bush-Obama [Optional Practical Training] program, we strongly urge you to suspend the H-1B program.” 

These college students are correct to be concerned and they have an interest in paying attention to what the administration does next. These programs now pose an acute threat to their job prospects and the wages of our best and brightest, especially those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As things stand, not only will the class of 2020 enter the worst job market since the Great Depression, it will compete with a government-subsidized labor force of H-1B and OPT workers as well.

Optional Practical Training is a component of the F-1 visa program, which enables foreign nationals to study as full-time students in the United States. As a condition for entry, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asks F-1 students to maintain a residence abroad that they “have no intention of giving up.” In other words, applicants must show their intention to return to their country of origin at the end of their study. But OPT offers a loophole out of this requirement.

F-1 visa holders can apply for 12 months of “temporary” employment through OPT, including those who have graduated and should be on their way home. At the end of that period, foreign nationals in STEM may apply for a 24-month extension

A tax break of as much as $12,000 incentivizes American businesses in hiring OPT workers over equally, or even more qualified young Americans. Unlike the H-1B, which requires employers to pay workers a wage that corresponds to the occupation and the region where they will be employed, there are no wage requirements for OPT hires. 

Many F-1 visa holders who work the full 36 months with OPT will overstay their visas and slip into illegal status. Not to worry, though, because they can pursue a green card by transferring to a dual intent visa, such as the H-1B.

With a few twists and turns, then, foreign nationals who entered the United States as temporary students join the ranks of H-1B visa workers displacing Americans in STEM occupations. 

As with OPT, there are underhanded incentives not to hire American, such as loopholes in the program’s wage rules that make it easy for employers to underpay H-1B workers compared to Americans. 

The Economic Policy Institute earlier this month found 60 percent of H-1B positions certified by the U.S. Department of Labor are assigned wage levels well below the local median wage for the occupation. This sad fact is an open secret among H-1B employers.

“I know from my experience as a tech CEO that H-1Bs are cheaper than domestic hires,” said Vivek Wadhwa, an advocate for expanding visa worker programs. “Technically, these workers are supposed to be paid a ‘prevailing wage’ but this mechanism is riddled with loopholes.” 

It’s common that employers who share Wadhwa’s fondness for outsourcing force Americans to train their lower-paid H-1B replacements as a condition of severance pay. As a result, there are millions of STEM degree holders in the United States who have given up seeking employment in their fields because firms have incentives either not to hire them or not to retain their services in favor of hiring cheaper visa workers. This contributes to the narrative that America has a severe STEM worker shortage, exaggerated to benefit those who exploit outsourcing.

Critical worker shortages would be reflected in substantially higher pay, but wages in many STEM occupations—such as computer science and information technology—remain stagnant. The Wall Street Journal acknowledged a direct connection between the H-1B program and “lower wages and employment for American tech workers” in 2017. 

Even if there are fewer workers than jobs, the result is a healthy, tight labor market that encourages employers either to make themselves more attractive by offering better wages or invest in labor-saving technologies. The alternative is the perpetuation of programs that provide companies with cheap labor at the cost of American jobs.

In the aftermath of Flight 302, it came to light that Boeing primarily used the H-1B program to outsource. But OPT hires also may have played a role. Rabin, who was involved in software testing for the 737 Max, remarked about offices across from Seattle’s Boeing Field, where “recent college graduates employed by the Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. occupied several rows of desks” working on code for Boeing. These “temporary workers” made as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, compared to the $41$46 hourly wages of a regular hire on a 40-hour workweek.

It shouldn’t take planes falling out of the sky or a pandemic to convince American policymakers of the need not only to make great things in America but also to afford Americans the opportunity to make them. President Trump, as students wrote last week, “can make this right by ending the OPT program and suspending the H-1B program.”

Greatness Agenda

China Should Not Provoke the United States

America is a much richer country than China, with a more motivated ethos, comparatively well-functioning institutions, and the advantages of a free society, an enterprise economy, and serious allies.

In the immense and multifaceted controversy over the coronavirus pandemic, and in the midst of tumultuous pre-electoral events in the United States, the role of the Chinese government in inflicting this economic and public health disaster on the world has been the subject of comparative restraint.

Were it not for these other preoccupations in this American election year, and expert research confirmed official Chinese complicity, by negligence or malice, in the generation of the pandemic, with the complicity of the World Health Organization, there would be some danger of an intemperate response.

I have no standing to make scientific judgments but my canvass of those more knowledgeable on the subject indicates that it is extremely unlikely that this was a naturally occurring virus; it seems to have emerged, presumably accidentally, from the viral research center in Wuhan.

It is difficult to put an acceptable face on the conduct of the Chinese government in recognizing the gravity of the problem by isolating Wuhan within China while not curtailing extensive direct air contact between Wuhan and many foreign countries, or even disclosing candidly and promptly the gravity of the problems that occurred. Published Chinese figures about the pandemic in China are obviously fictitious.

Being as positive as reasonably possible, it seems that the Chinese were experimenting with a range of dangerous viruses, and that this one escaped unintentionally, and the highest levels of the Chinese government determined to deny what was happening, thereby assuring the infection of much of the world. If this was deliberate Chinese government policy from the start, it was an act of war; though it could not be responded to with outright hostilities.

China’s Fatal Overconfidence

It seems a reasonable surmise that the Chinese had succumbed to the frequent habit of those with aggressive ambitions of believing what they wished to believe. Moreover, they appear to have assumed the United States and the West generally would continue to tolerate immense trade deficits, the endless theft of intellectual property, systematic Chinese violations of international law in international waters, the creeping takeover of underdeveloped countries through a corrupt program of loans, and generally the “Belt and Road” program of expanding Chinese hegemony throughout East and South Asia and Africa.

The traditional Chinese posture, even in the periods of Chinese decline and exploitation by foreign powers, was disparagement of foreigners and a comprehensive lack of interest in them, serene national self-confidence, and the Chinese leadership seems to have assumed that the West would not respond effectively to any provocation.

There has never in the history of the nation-state been anything like the almost simultaneous bifurcation in radically different directions of two leading world powers about 40 years ago. As the Soviet Union relaxed its dictatorship while maintaining its collectivist economy, China maintained its totalitarian dictatorship but transformed its economy to one of state capitalism, albeit with considerable retention of a command economy. In these last 40 years, all the world has seen the Soviet Union quickly disintegrate and the international Communism that had threatened the West in the Cold War die with it, as China has risen to be the most formidable economic rival the United States has had since before World War I. The leaders of China are over-confident.

Whether the coronavirus pandemic was premeditated or of accidental origin but magnified by malice and negligence, it was a very serious strategic error by China. While there has been considerable Democratic congressional support for President Trump’s policy of identifying the Chinese threat—as well as requiring the end of practically unlimited trade deficits, theft of industrial and technological intelligence, misuse of the extensive Chinese presence in American universities, bribing and bullying of American industries with threats of ending access to the Chinese market, and a steadily more assertive foreign policy in the Far East and Africa—before coronavirus there was still a broad consensus including almost all of the Democratic Party that the best policy toward China was President Obama’s appeasement of Beijing. This was based on the assumption that China eventually would succumb to the temptations of consumerist democracy and grow into a state of rules-based coexistence with the West. Lately, even Joe Biden, who opened his campaign with bland assurances that China was no danger to the United States, seems (with the help of the polls) to be outgrowing that delusion.

China shows no signs whatever of seeking vast military conquest as Nazi Germany did, nor of using an ideological basis for attempting to undermine the West in the world and build an alliance on ostensibly Marxist principles as the Soviet Union did. China’s advance is traditional Han Chinese nationalism enabled and lubricated by what leaders in Beijing imagine to be an original method of using state capitalism to suborn and dominate resource-rich underdeveloped countries and, by focus and discipline, to out-distance and overawe what they have effortlessly convinced themselves is a flabby and irresolute West led by an erratic and hedonistic America. But underestimating America’s determination to maintain its position would be a grave mistake (as Japan, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union learned to their regret).

America Has Many Strong Cards to Play

In cooperation with all of the other aggrieved countries (approximately 120 have demanded to know how the pandemic began), the United States must seek and reach a consensus on the level of China’s duplicity in propagating this pandemic. Then it must lead the insertion of a military presence in the international waters around China to ensure that Chinese sovereignty is not imposed upon the freedom of the seas in the Far East.

If the existing tariff replacement agreement is ratified and observed by China, the United States must still rigorously enforce the end of the systematic Chinese technological theft. The United States must end Chinese espionage and propagandistic activities around American universities and encourage its allies to do the same and, if appropriate, roll back the number of student visas issued to the Chinese. It must strictly enforce the policy that already officially exists against the acquisition of American commercial interests that could be harmful to the U.S. national interest and must repatriate the manufacture of everything that is strategic either by its essential nature or because of the extent of its commercial significance.

China must be deterred from abusing the international organizations that it has been allowed to join but whose rules it has not observed, and China’s neighbors which resent the People’s Republic’s overbearing influence must be leagued together in defensive arrangements to resist commercial and political aggression. The example of Myanmar (Burma), is indicative of China’s propensity to overplay its hand: the Chinese so over-asserted themselves that the country dispensed with the military regime that had indulged Beijing and effectively threw the Chinese out, bag and baggage.

There is no shortage of Americans, especially in Hollywood and the American media, who are eager to salute China as a super-state exposing the corruption and venality of Trumpian America and urging what amounts to a policy of submission to Chinese leadership. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Americans, given a clear policy choice, will reject any such cowardly and shameful course.

The United States is a much richer country than China, with a more motivated ethos, comparatively well-functioning institutions, and the advantages of a free society, an enterprise economy, and serious allies.

The president is right to try to preserve the existing trade arrangements and build on them, and he is right to be thorough in determining how this pandemic was unleashed. He is right to make it clear that Chinese conduct is unacceptable and that America and its allies have the ability to discourage and punish it.

As soon as the political fireworks end and the U.S. president for the next four years is identified, a national and international consensus should be built quickly behind all of these objectives. Everyone accepts that China is a great nation and a great development story, but the West and the United States, in particular, should be submissive to no one.

Greatness Agenda

How to Hold China Accountable: Build Our Own Stuff

Saying “we need to collaborate with China” sounds a lot like, “let’s keep on kissing Xi’s ass.”

It’s starting to happen.”

That’s what Brad Parscale said around 8 p.m. to the family and inner circle on the 14th floor of Trump Tower on November 8, 2016, as we were watching election returns trickle in from North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Parscale’s words came back to me with the news this week the Trump Administration awarded a $354 million contract to a private company to manufacture generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients in Richmond, Virginia.

It’s starting to happen—global supply chains are coming back to America.

The company, Phlow Corporation, will be making drugs used to treat COVID-19. They will be stored in a strategic stockpile of pharmaceutical ingredients to be used in the event of drug shortages or an emergency.

Those drugs, like so many others, are now made overseas, mostly in China and India. China is the world’s main supplier of the active ingredients used in many common drugs from vitamin C to aspirin.

China produces 90 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for essential medicines used in serious coronavirus infections, according to Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx. Sedatives, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and medicines to raise blood pressure are among the medications.

The administration killed two birds with one stone by awarding the contract to this upstart company.

The first is ending America’s dangerous dependency on Communist China for essential medicines. The second is breaking up the pharmaceutical oligarchy whose single-minded pursuit of profits led us to our foreign drug dependency in the first place.

The trade association of generic drugmakers attacked White House trade and manufacturing czar Peter Navarro when he first advanced a plan for bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.

They clutched their precious global supply chains like pearls, falsely claiming that rearranging those chains would spike drug prices, forcing Americans to eat cat food in order to afford their meds.

In fact, “global supply chains” are the end-product of a global monopoly.

Chinese pharmaceutical companies formed a cartel that sold essential products below-market prices on the global market and drove all U.S., European, and Indian producers out of business. Once the Chinese gained the dominant global market share, prices increased. American generic drug makers are happy to import active ingredients from abroad rather than make them.

“There are not a lot of people wanting to bring back generic medicine manufacturing to the United States that has been lost to India and China over decades,” Dr. Eric Edwards, the chief executive of Phlow Corporation, told the New York Times.

In standing up a competitor to the existing generic drug companies, the White House is following the strategy the federal government used to turn America into the arsenal of democracy that won World War II.

In that earlier global conflict, aluminum was essential to the war effort. But it was controlled by an international cartel led by Alcoa, itself a monopoly. When Alcoa refused to increase production to the level needed to build 50,000 airplanes, the federal government lent millions to an upstart in the aluminum foil business named Richard Reynolds. That gave Reynolds’ company the boost it needed to make more than tin foil and it gave America the planes it needed to win the war.

President Trump was wise to ignore the pharma oligarchs clinging to their global supply chains. He followed his instincts and the wishes of the American people.

The same day Navarro was announcing the historic contract to rebuild a truly American pharmaceutical industry, Bloomberg News released a poll showing, yet again, how hungry Americans are to bring manufacturing back to the United States, whatever the cost.

An overwhelming 86 percent of respondents said the United States relies too heavily on foreign supply chains. In addition, the poll found:

  • 40 percent said they won’t buy products from China.
  • 55 percent don’t think China can be trusted to follow through on its trade-deal commitments signed in January to buy more U.S. products.
  • 66 percent favor raising import restrictions over the pursuit of free-trade deals as a better way to boost the U.S. economy.
  • 78 percent would be willing to pay more for products if the company that made them moved manufacturing out of China.

These findings confirm other surveys. A Harris poll found 86 percent of Americans approve or strongly approve of companies that promise to move their manufacturing out of China and back to the United States. Pew Research Center found more than 7-in-10 Americans don’t trust Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, a record disapproval for the Red dictator.

The globalists over at Bloomberg are shocked to find a supermajority of Americans supports protecting domestic industries. Chad Bown from the free-trade-über-alles Peterson Institute for International Economics tried to explain the polls away by essentially accusing Americans of being racists, xenophobes, xylophones, or something.

“Foreigners are an all too easy political target in normal times,” Bown told Bloomberg. “But once they become unpopular, politics can turn dangerous.”

In reality, Americans know they were sold a bill of goods by smarty-pants “moderates” like Bown. It’s really not that difficult to understand: China took our jobs and all we got was a virus that canceled Easter and killed grandma. Saying “we need to collaborate with China” sounds a lot like, “let’s keep on kissing Xi’s ass.”

Supermajorities of Americans are saying no thanks, here’s what we’re going to do instead: We’ll build our own stuff, keep our jobs, and keep our money. That’s how we’ll hold China accountable.

And it’s starting to happen.

Greatness Agenda

How President Trump Can Retake the Initiative and Rebuild a More Resilient Economy

Republicans take note: voters across the political spectrum have woken up to the dangers of relying on foreign supply chains for critical products.

There’s trouble brewing for President Trump in Florida. Earlier this year the state seemed out of reach for Democrats. But the must-win state which he carried in 2016, is home to Mar-A-Lago, and which elected Republican Ron DeSantis governor in 2018 may now be vulnerable.

According to publicly available data, registered Republicans in Florida have requested at least 320,000 fewer absentee ballots than in 2016. President Trump doesn’t have that much margin for error in a state he won by only 103,000 votes—especially in a year when older voters may be reluctant to go to the polls for fear of contracting COVID-19.

There are also warning signs coming out of bellwether Arizona, another must-win state. A poll commissioned by September Group and conducted between May 9-11 shows President Trump trailing Joe Biden by 7 points (50-43 percent). Trump won Arizona by 3.5 percent in 2016.

So how can President Trump—or any Republican—win? The same poll offers an answer. It asked likely voters if they would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who had a plan “to make the United States more self-sufficient and to make sure more of the food, energy, and medicine” is produced in America. The results were remarkable. Seventy-five percent said yes, including 88 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Democrats. And the issue polls slightly better with women than men (77 percent vs. 73 percent) making it an opportunity for Republicans to close the gender gap.

Republicans take note: voters across the political spectrum have woken up to the dangers of relying on foreign supply chains for critical products. There is a growing realization that national security includes not just military technology but also self-sufficiency in the basic necessities of life.

Over the past few decades, China has taken over critical elements of the supply chain supporting our healthcare and they’re using that power against us when we’re most vulnerable. By taking American jobs and stealing American technology, China has stolen the future of our middle class. That’s unacceptable and the pandemic has laid all of this bare. And it raises the vital question: how rich, really, is a country that can’t supply its most basic needs in a crisis?

No American wants the country beholden to China especially as dependence, if not reversed, leads to subservience. Take just one sobering statistic: 90 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are made in China. In the same vein, the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Upjohn moved the global headquarters of its generic drugs business to Shanghai just last year. And who, by now, doesn’t know that China dominates the trade in personal protective equipment (“PPE”) that healthcare workers cannot do without?

What the polling shows is that a large majority of people want to vote for candidates who are ready to take it all back and rebuild a more resilient economy. President Trump would find much support, even from voters who may have been hostile to him, if he lays out a plan to make America secure in those three critical areas identified in the polling. And with over 36 million Americans out of work, the high-paying jobs such moves would create would be very welcome.

A good way to start what surely will be a years-long process of rebuilding manufacturing capacity and supply chains would be to demonstrate conviction and secure near-term positive effects on employment and the broader economy with an executive order; one that clearly defines the goal and contains “Buy American” mandates for products in each of the three areas defined as vital to our national security and prosperity. It would provide financial support for companies to move their supply chains back to the United States much like Japan is now doing. And in announcing the order, President Trump would make clear that Americans will not be vassals of Xi Jinping and the Chinese dictatorship.

The EO would be accompanied by a legislative agenda much like the 1994 Contract With America, which might be called the Secure America For Everyone Act (“SAFE Act”). It would be at the heart of the president’s re-election campaign and would codify into law the things mandated by the EO so that they could not easily be overturned by a future president more aligned with Chinese interests.

And with that, President Trump owns the issue. By seizing the initiative on this particular issue he will be doing the right thing for the country and will be forcing his enemies to fight on his terms.

Republicans running for Senate and Congress could follow his lead. In fact, it is so important and so powerful, they should take up this issue regardless. Polling shows that jobs and the economy have quickly become leading issues for voters. For candidates realizing that the pandemic has scrambled the campaign plans they had in January and wondering how to respond, what to run on, how to message, how to draw contrasts with their opponents, and, most all, how to do right by the country, this is it.

It’s simple: Americans want security and prosperity. Pursuing self-sufficiency in food, energy, and medicine gives them both.

Greatness Agenda

COVID-19 Proves America Needs Economic Nationalism

The only way for America to be truly prepared for the unknown is for it to be economically independent—to produce enough of everything to survive a global shortage of anything.

Reports of a deadly new virus began trickling out of China in December. The infection spread rapidly. By March 12, the World Health Organization deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic. The next day President Trump declared COVID-19 a “national emergency” that would require the “full power of the federal government” to handle.

Many assumed this meant building temporary hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients. Others thought the government would provide local authorities with emergency medical supplies. Some imagined we would develop a vaccine.

Instead, the government shut down the economy and forced Americans to “social distance”—destroying more than 36 million jobs and at least $2 trillion in economic output—while it scrambled to buy basic medical equipment from China, of all places.

At the behest of academics, bankers, and “conservative” pundits like Ben Shapiro and Bill Kristol, America has offshored the bulk of its manufacturing industry to countries like China, Japan, and Mexico—countries that do not put America first. This has made America vulnerable to the biological, political, and economic contagions emanating from less developed parts of the world.

The American people will not be safe until we embrace the wisdom of tariffs—as did our Founding Fathers—and bring our factories back home.

If Ymir Were Hollow

In World War II, America produced the gauze, iodine, and syringes that allowed allied troops to soldier on in the face of bloodshed and broken bones. Times have changed. Today, America cannot produce the basic medical supplies it needs to fight COVID-19.

Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary, told the House Appropriations Committee that America needs 25 times more masks than it currently has stockpiled.

Worse still, it turns out that America cannot even manufacture the masks it needs because most of the factories are in China. Evidently, it will take years for domestic mask-makers to fulfill the order placed by America’s Strategic National Stockpile. Until then we are at China’s mercy.

This problem is not limited to masks. America imports other basic supplies like syringes and latex gloves. Even more embarrassing is the fact that we are relying on hand-me-down ventilators, many of which were donated by China, to keep the sick alive. American lives are in Chinese hands.

Offshoring poses a massive health and security risk to the American people. Consider what would happen if China were to suffer another outbreak of COVID-19, and refused to export medical equipment. American physicians will be without masks. Patients without ventilators. People would die—all in the name of economic “efficiency.”

Suppose that China continued exporting masks in this scenario. Do you think they would sell them for cheap? Or will they price-gouge us like the despicable hucksters selling their toilet paper hoards in New York City? My money is on the latter.

Medical supplies are just the tip of this iceberg. 

While it is no secret that America imports a large portion of its material wealth from foreign nations—particularly China—most shrug it off. After all, they say we import little more than “cheap plastic junk.” This could not be further from the truth.

In fact, America is a net importer of advanced technology products—computers, medical supplies, sophisticated machinery—upon which our civilization depends. Without imports, America quickly (if temporarily) would become a Third World nation populated by farmers and unemployed designers. A quick look at America’s trade profile with China makes this clear:

In 1986, more than 53 percent of our imports from China were articles of clothing or fabric. Additionally, about 20 percent of our imports were raw materials such as seafood, oil, and exotic fruits. Conversely, America exported technologically sophisticated products: 31 percent of our exports to China were machinery, 13 percent were electronic goods, and 11 percent were aircraft.

Given the above data, one reasonably could assume that the United States was the more advanced and prosperous economy. They would have been right.

Today, this situation is reversed. In 2016, garments and textiles constituted less than 15 percent of our imports from China. Raw materials, under 2 percent. Instead, electronics constituted 42 percent of our imports while machinery made up another 15 percent. Meanwhile, more than 25 percent of our exports to China were raw or lightly-refined materials like cereals, vegetable oils, and minerals.

Based on this more recent data, one could be forgiven for believing that China was a developed nation while America was an agrarian basket-case. If these trends continue then this indeed could be America’s future.

After all, how can we sustain our way of life when it is literally made in China? How can we build a future when we are busy buying it?

Denying China Leverage

On a more practical note, America’s dependence on China is a problem because it gives China tremendous political leverage over America. For example, if China wants to influence an American election, or nudge policy in a particular direction, it simply needs to disrupt the flow of trendy consumer goods, and the mainstream media will knuckle under.

For proof, skeptics need only recall the enormous influence that Saudi Arabia has wielded in American foreign policy over the last 50 years. All of this was due to the simple fact that the Saudis produced oil and America needed oil. 

Today, China produces everything and America needs everything. China’s level of influence—if not control—will be proportional to its leverage. 

This should chill the heart of every red-blooded American patriot.

Finally, imagine what would happen if America were to enter into a cold or—God forbid—hot war with China. What happens? Presumably, we will need to scale-up our industrial production to build more uniforms, missiles, ships, etc. There’s just one problem: scaling-up is not possible. Why?

In order to manufacture more weapons, America would first need to build more factories. America, however, imports almost all of its industrial components and machine tools. That is, we don’t even manufacture the things we need in order to manufacture more things

America’s economy is unable to replicate its own complexity. It is sterile. It is dead.

Today, America is in danger because it cannot produce enough medical masks. Tomorrow, it may be in danger because it cannot produce enough computers, steel rebar, or aircraft engines. No one knows.

The only thing we know for certain is that the future is uncertain. The only way for America to be truly prepared for the unknown is for it to be economically independent—to produce enough of everything to survive a global shortage of anything. This can only be done by imposing tariffs and bringing the factories back home. If not, COVID-19 will be the least of our worries.

Greatness Agenda

Kill All the Economics Departments

If economists continue to substitute extraordinary equations for extraordinary evidence, we have a duty to state the obvious: that science disproves scientific determinism.

When the pandemic ends, future generations will say of us now living: Why did the United States chain itself to a slave state, so as to strengthen the bonds of the supply chain? Why did our political parties finalize trade agreements with the Chinese Communist Party? Why did so many do so little for so long, while the sick died and the living could not bury the dead?

These questions should cause us to question our beliefs about economics and our opinion of most economists, because no rational actor would risk his life by outsourcing the manufacture of life-saving drugs to a country with no respect for the dignity of human life. No person, except a lifeless corporation with the legal status of personhood, would call inefficiency evil but ignore calls to condemn the evildoers who run China with murderous efficiency.

No reasonable person would argue that the road to freedom runs through Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

But no reasonable person would believe such things without first suspending disbelief, because for good people to accept the good intentions of Communists—that takes economics. It takes economists to ignore reality; it takes economics departments to teach history without studying geography, reducing the nature of the nation-state and life in a state of nature to a series of math problems; it takes a village of idiot savants to write like Lenin and sound like Lennon.

It takes gall to say economics is a science.

It takes a little mind to believe the assertions of a social scientist.

And yet we continue to allow economists to intimidate us. We continue to allow them to devalue the currency of language. We continue to allow them to make words mean so many different things.

Thus a recession is when 12 million people lose their jobs. A depression is when 41 million are jobless. And a recovery—full employment—is when only 8 million Americans have no work.

If economists continue to substitute extraordinary equations for extraordinary evidence, if they continue to make extraordinary claims with no evidence, we have a duty to state the obvious: that science disproves scientific determinism; that history discredits historical materialism; that truth destroys the lie that China is our friend.

By holding these truths to be self-evident, we may—finally—loosen China’s hold on the lives of free men throughout the world. We have nothing to lose but our shame.

Greatness Agenda

It’s Time to Exit Relics of Globalism Like the WTO

“What’s good for the global economy” replaced “what’s good for America” as the guiding principle for Washington’s trade negotiators, diplomats, and strategists.

The CCP virus pandemic has added urgency to a long-overdue reassessment of the assumptions underlying the post-World War II “international rules-based order.”

To be clear, “international rules-based order” is a euphemism for globalism, and globalism has taken a beating these past few months.

We’ve seen how the true cost of doing business with China is a very high price indeed. We’ve seen how an economy reliant on global supply chains and just-in-time inventory management is a fragile one, and we’ve seen how the Chinese Communist Party is not the benign force we expected it to be when we welcomed it into “the family of trading nations.”

The pandemic has exposed the flaws in the globalization project the elites have been pursuing for the past 70 years.

The World Trade Organization is a cornerstone of that project and, like the World Heath Organization, its sister in the globalist pantheon, the WTO is now under fire in Washington.

“The global economic system as we know it is a relic; it requires reform, top to bottom. We should begin with one of its leading institutions, the World Trade Organization. We should abolish it,” Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) writes in the New York Times. Tell us how you really feel, senator!

Our membership in the WTO must be renewed every five years, and the junior senator from the Show-Me state wants to let it lapse.

Not a moment too soon. This is one product that has outlived its sell-by date.

The World Trade Organization was born after the Berlin Wall fell. Gone were the days of a trade and military alliance of Western industrial democracies—the free world standing against a Communist bloc. In the new post-Cold War world order, goods and capital would flow freely in a global economy of universal prosperity and democracy.

Though the WTO was born in 1995, it’s conception dates to 1947. That’s when the State Department sought to create an international trade organization “to bring about world peace . . . and prevent World War III.”

A California congressman at the time described Washington’s negotiators as “boatloads of smug diplomats, all wise economists, experts, theorists, specialists and whatnots eager to barter away the little factory in Wichita, the little shop in Keokuk.”

While they failed in ’47, they kept the dream alive over the decades. “What’s good for the global economy” replaced “what’s good for America” as the guiding principle for Washington’s trade negotiators, diplomats, and strategists.

The “experts” pursued their plan without debate or congressional vote. No one came right out and told the American people their nation and system of government were being replaced.

As Richard Gardner, the man who served as Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Spain explained, “The ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up. . . . An end-run about national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than a frontal assault.”

Strobe Talbott served in Bill Clinton’s State Department when the WTO was founded. He described “The Birth of the Global Nation” in Time magazine in 1992: “Countries are . . . artificial and temporary. . . . Within the next hundred years . . . nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century—“citizen of the world”—will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st.”

Long before the pandemic exposed the follies and fallacies of the globalist project, before it showed us how, when push comes to shove, national governments will always put their own interests first, administrations on both sides of the aisle had problems with the WTO.

One of those problems involves its appellate body—judges who interpret WTO rules and settle disputes among members. Yet the WTO doesn’t follow its own rules.

Article 17.5 of the WTO rules says cases that come before the organization—disputes between nations over unfair trade practices—must be settled within 90 days. In reality, cases drag on for years, during which time the victims go bankrupt while awaiting justice.

The rules also say judges cannot be affiliated with any government. Yet in a recent case involving paper imports, none of the judges met the WTO’s criteria, and one was actually an official of the Chinese government. The judges, not surprisingly, ruled against the United States.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer blasted the ruling as “the latest example of judicial activism” by the WTO aimed at undermining U.S. trade laws.

And when the WTO isn’t flouting its own rules, it’s making up new ones.

We thought we signed a contract when we joined the WTO, but it’s a contract with terms that keep changing. We put our country at the mercy of an entity with rules and authority that are constantly growing.

Past administrations both Democratic and Republican objected to WTO judges creating obligations to which the United States never agreed.

The Trump Administration, fed up with U.S. complaints falling on deaf ears, stopped approving new judges and froze the appeals “courts” process. In response, WTO bureaucrats went ahead and created a new judicial body outside the agreed-upon rules—and it is using American taxpayer dollars to fund its operation.

The WTO’s various power grabs threaten American sovereignty.

The Article XXI rule, the national security exception, reads: “Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed . . . to prevent any contracting party from taking any action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests.”

That’s what the United States signed and we take its meaning to be absolutely clear: We can take actions based on what we consider to be in our national security interest and the WTO can’t stop us.

President Trump determined the national security interests of the United States require us to be self-sufficient in producing steel and aluminum. To that end, he imposed tariffs to stop China and other countries from dumping their metals and driving American producers out of business.

But the Eurocrats in Geneva believe it’s up to their unelected “judges,” not the elected government of the United States, to decide what’s in America’s national security interest, no matter what Article XXI says.

Steven Vaughn served as counsel to the office of the United States Trade Representative. He says there’s a fundamental problem with the WTO when we can read the same text and come to opposite conclusions.

“Somebody misunderstood what we all agreed to. We were told we had not given up any of our sovereignty,” Vaughn says. “If we’re this far apart just in terms of the basic concept, what is the point of trying to paper over them.”

How can you even talk about reform with an organization that doesn’t agree on the meaning of “cases will be settled within 90 days”? What good is rewriting rules for an outfit that doesn’t follow rules?

Why bother to remain in the WTO?

It has done nothing to stop the greatest threat to world trade today: Communist China’s beggar-thy-neighbor predatory trade practices.

China supports its export industries with subsidies, tax breaks, export rebates, low-cost loans, and cheap inputs including a militarized workforce. The WTO has allowed Beijing to maintain its trade barriers even as we lowered ours. It requires the United States to treat repressive regimes that use forced labor the same as our democratic allies.

President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott saw the WTO, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank as “protoministries of trade, finance, and development for a united world.”

The WTO was part of a bold experiment to build a borderless, post-national world.

We can now say with certainty the experiment failed.

It’s time to take back control of our destiny, leave the WTO, and rebuild America.

Greatness Agenda

Smart Spending of the $6 Trillion of Magically Materialized Money

America today needs the courage that was displayed in the 1930s as we prepared to fight fascism, and in the postwar era as we contained and then defeated Soviet communism. America is now in a new existential conflict, this time with the fascist, racist, expansionist regime that controls the Chinese mainland.

If you’re going to spend money you don’t have, you’d better spend it to create things with genuine value. This is the choice facing Americans today. Estimates of how much the federal deficit will grow in response to the pandemic shutdown range as high as $6 trillion. So how should we spend such a stupendous sum of money?

The last time a huge sum of stimulus money was pumped into the U.S. economy, back in 2009, skeptics were told the money was going to fund “shovel ready” infrastructure projects. President Trump repeatedly has criticized the 2009 stimulus because it wasn’t, in fact, used for infrastructure.

A “Fact Check” written in 2017 by NPR reporter Danielle Kurtzleben made a feeble attempt to debunk Trump’s claim, saying Trump is “mostly wrong” about this. Funny though, the facts cited in Kurtzleben’s own article demonstrate that Trump was “mostly right.” Of the $800 billion in 2009 stimulus spending, only $81 billion, barely 10 percent, was used for infrastructure.

One may argue that any money going into the economy, for anything, has at least a short-term value, and is necessary in a crisis. That’s obviously true, and this time around, a lot of stimulus money is going to go to be used to provide short term but very necessary relief to households and businesses that would otherwise go under. But what about long-term value?

Usually lost in the debate over just how long the United States can continue to materialize dollars out of thin air is that the answer is affected by what is done with all that money. Specifically, how much of the money is invested in projects that will pay long-term dividends?

How to Misspend $6 Trillion

If you ask the Democratic Socialist schemers, abetted by the NeverTrump idiots, traitors and mercenaries (e.g. the Lincoln Project), 2020 is a chance to fundamentally transform America. The Democratic Party’s socialist agenda is well known, even if the consequences of that agenda are deliberately obscured. And their agenda grabs hold of and runs with every crisis, including the current really big one.

Imagine a national “contact tracing” army, backed by ubiquitous drones and an AI-enabled data gathering panopticon. Expect to be micromanaged not only in matters of health—whether or not you’ve gotten your vaccines and been chipped – but also just exactly how well you’re minimizing your carbon footprint. Private property and free speech slowly will become a memory. The middle class will go extinct. American citizenship will be meaningless.

And all that money? It will pay for a bigger public sector nomenklatura than ever, along with a comprehensive and very costly assortment of handouts to a population convinced that hard work is for suckers. Some money will be to subsidize “clean” energy, so that renewables combined with severe rationing will enable the dismantling of the fossil fuel industry. Eventually, American insolvency will trigger an economic depression from which there will be no recovery.

This path is more than fiscal malpractice. It is national suicide. There is an alternative.

Obstacles to Spending $6 Trillion Wisely

The biggest hindrance to wise spending is understanding that tangible projects have to be funded, not just expansion of government and expansion of welfare type programs. The other major hindrance to wise spending is the propensity over the past few decades to spend most of the money meant for infrastructure on planning, mitigation, side projects to appease special interests, litigation, and consultants, while absorbing the cost of endless delays.

When examining successful infrastructure projects in America’s past, it’s too easy to attack them from a libertarian perspective, while ignoring their biggest virtue: They got done. They got done with most of the money actually being used for labor and materials. Sure, the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s was a government-funded endeavor. But the Grand Coulee Dam and Hoover Dam, along with countless other water reclamation projects, are the reason the American west was turned into a breadbasket for the world, and the reason Americans produced enough electricity to smelt aluminum and build the bombers that won World War II. Results matter more than ideology.

Similarly, in the 1950s, the interstate highway system was a government-funded endeavor. But those roads enabled modern cities and transportation to evolve, catalyzing America’s economic growth at the time, and like those dams, yielding benefits to this day. Even in the 1960s and into the 1970s, big infrastructure got funded and big infrastructure got built. In California, it took only six years for the gigantic San Luis Reservoir, with a capacity of 2 million acre feet, to go from concept to being fully operational.

Today, using California as a typical modern example, the proposed Sites Reservoir, of nearly identical design to San Luis, is expected to take 30 years to complete. That’s if they build it at all. We have paralyzed our nation, and the reasons for it aren’t hard to figure out. Everyone has their finger in the pie. Everyone has to get paid off. Special interests have taken over the process of building anything in America, and they will destroy us.

A wonderful, scathing essay recently published on American Greatness by the pseudonymous L0m3z titled “Bound and Gagged by the Bugmen,” goes a step further. The author identifies “Bug” as the language and jargon adopted by bureaucrats and “experts,” language that offers little in the way of clear meaning and much in the way of obfuscation and obstruction. Towards the end of the essay, the author writes:

None of this can be done—not the flying cars, or the space travel; there will be no fourth Industrial Revolution—until and unless there is a common language with the capacity to inspire it… Bug language will not allow it. It cannot support its vision. It can only pervert, and inevitably thwart all that dare to be heroic. Bug language cannot be allowed to persist. And we must stomp it out with the heel of our boot.

The New American Renaissance

The American Left, in its uncritical embrace of the pandemic emergency regardless of the extremes to which it may take us, and in its advocacy for declaring a “climate emergency,” are on to something even if their priorities are terrifying. They want to stomp out opposition to their agenda.

For the American Right to overcome the Left and inspire voters requires more than just exposing the corruption and anti-American essence of the Left. It requires stomping out the parasitic bug culture and bug language that sucks the life out of any endeavor that so much as scratches the earth, whether using public or private funds. And to do those things, a bold agenda must be set that proposes spending money on things we can see; things that will last. Here are examples:

  • Invest more in strategic military technology and decouple all essential supply chains from China.
  • Approve expansion of mining throughout the United States, whether it’s lithium in California’s Mojave Desert or uranium on the Colorado Plateau.
  • Accelerate spending on research and development of fusion energy.
  • Accelerate approval of nuclear power plants throughout the United States, utilizing the latest and safest large scale and smaller modular designs.
  • Fund NASA and private contractors to establish a permanent base on the water rich South Pole of the Moon before China claims it, and subsidize robotic prospecting and mining of the asteroid belt.
  • Reform federal laws such as NEPA and override state laws that prevent new housing and manufacturing on open land.
  • Federally fund new highways and connector roads to enable suburban expansion and upgrade and widen existing highways.
  • Accelerate FAA establishment of air lanes for passenger and freight drones.

America today needs the courage that was displayed in the 1930s as we prepared to fight fascism, and in the postwar era as we contained and then defeated Soviet Communism. America is now in a new existential conflict, this time with the fascist, racist, expansionist regime that controls the Chinese mainland.

These programs, and others like them, must be done with a sense of urgency. Showering money on these types of tangible programs, assuming the bug people don’t siphon off all the money, will guarantee American economic and technological preeminence for another century.

Transmuting America’s so-called fiat money into modern, robust infrastructure, breakthrough technology, space industrialization, and military supremacy is feasible alchemy. Let’s get started.

Greatness Agenda

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is a Many-Headed Hydra—And Immigration Is One of Them

Of the nine real estate firms included on the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, at least four have a background of funding development projects with foreign investor cash: Vornado Realty Trust, Related Companies, Starwood Capital Group, and Witkoff Group.

Like the Lernaean Hydra of Greek mythology, the coronavirus pandemic is a monster with many heads. From a viral outbreak sprang an economic crisis, which, in turn, has brought forth food shortages. Containment measures in the United States inadvertently resulted in other public health problems, such as delays for breast tumor treatment and a rise in mental health issues. Now the White House might have made a toothy addition to the corpus in the form of a national security concern.

After President Donald Trump announced he would suspend immigration to the United States to protect the jobs and wages of myriad workers affected by the pandemic, a deluge of business backlash poured on.

When Trump finally signed his proclamation on immigration, it applied primarily to individuals seeking a permanent residency while exempting several categories of foreign workers and employers. In other words, the ban hurts those who are not coming to the United States for solely economic reasons, while benefiting those who are and those who employ them. It also undid the Department of State’s pause on all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, issued on March 20.

Read the rest in The National Interest.

Greatness Agenda

Export Bans and the Reemergence of the Nation-State

America’s trade policy must be tempered with a political and policy realism that acknowledges that the virtue of a national government is to protect and provide for its citizens in a crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served to upend many long-held policy assumptions, but none so clearly as the theory that international trade rests purely on economic incentives, and that those economic incentives will always override a country’s more base instincts to act in its own interest because of the cost to global profits.

Responses from countries around the world to COVID-19 have significantly fractured this argument. It can no longer be said with unshakable confidence that nations will sidestep their own economic objectives, interests, and policies for the sake of a more profitable international economic integration.

In other words, reports that “the Westphalian notion of the self-interested state is dead” are greatly exaggerated.

Glimmers of this truth began making themselves plain when President Trump started pushing back against Chinese dominance of the U.S.-China trade relationship. China, which has cheated, stolen, and otherwise criminally vaulted itself into global manufacturing dominance, threatened to retaliate by cutting off exports of critical supplies to the United States—supplies that now only China manufactures.

Nearly a year ago, it was the rare earth minerals crucial to the production of everything from iPhones to precision-guided weapons. In April, it was the pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment relied upon by millions of Americans, of which China controls a shockingly large market share.

The terms of our supposedly “free” trade with the Chinese are now made plain: should the United States seek for itself and its citizens better trade terms, China will hold us hostage to our own critical needs. With China, the “free” in free trade only extends as far as our government’s willingness to keep the Chinese Communists happy.

But it’s not just our adversaries. The international economic response to the onset of COVID-19 has also shaken the theory that economic interests will always trump national ones, and it has done so with remarkable speed.

In early April, India announced it would be suspend the export of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that is a potential remedy to the virus. India manufactures most of the world’s supply of the drug, in addition to its component parts. After a call with President Trump, India agreed to export on a case by case basis—presumably for political, not economic, reasons.

By the end of April, 80 countries had adopted export bans of personal protective equipment. Seventy-two of these bans were in countries that are members of the World Trade Organization. Yet only 13 countries notified the WTO, in violation of that organization’s regulations. (Deference to international organizations also suffers in a crisis, apparently.)

Even reliable free traders such as Germany initially banned the export of protective medical equipment. Dutch multinational Phillips came under pressure from both the American and Dutch governments to keep the production of ventilators within their borders. Major food exporters restricted shipments as countries stockpiled food at home.

The European Commission, notably liberalized on trade, announced new European Union guidelines on screening foreign investments, and encouraged member states to adopt tools that “protect critical assets and technology” in “critical European companies,” specific to “health, medical research, or strategic infrastructure.”

“Openness,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, must be balanced with “the need to preserve our economic sovereignty.”

It may not be an economically rational decision to close up shop during a crisis, but it is an entirely human one.

Over the last 30 years, Western governments have built economies around the zero-stock, just-in-time supply-chain economic model. And it generally works—that is, until it doesn’t.

“The sight of many Western governments raiding literal cupboards, begging for supply, and only now improvising manufacturing,” Australian strategist Gray Connolly wrote recently, “is a sight that must never be seen again.”

Trade is a powerful economic tool that has lifted, and continues to lift, millions out of poverty. But, as the crisis has so ably demonstrated, trade is, at its root, also a political arrangement.

Our trade policy, going forward, must be tempered with a political and policy realism that acknowledges, as many of our allies and trading partners already do, that the virtue and legitimacy of a national government are to protect and provide for its citizens in a crisis. This will require rethinking, at certain times, our commitment to the multilateral agreements and bodies that have largely reflected the interests of multinational corporations, the financial sector, and other ascendant political coalitions at the expense of long-term strategic preparation.

The world’s complex supply chains will re-emerge when COVID-19 has passed. But they will and should look different. The nation-state, far from being dead, is back with a vengeance. The United States can either acknowledge that fact and craft our policies and politics accordingly, or keep persisting in the obviously blinkered belief that the self-interest of diverse national economies will never emerge.

Greatness Agenda

China’s Electrifying Rags-to-Riches Ascent . . . at America’s Expense

The stunning rise could never have occurred without assistance from four U.S. presidents who stood by and clapped as the communist nation ate America’s lunch.

A friend of mine who traveled China from the 1970s until recently described what the country was like 30 years ago:

Its cities were sprawling, impoverished places with dirt roads and low-rise structures. With few automobiles in the country back then, the Chinese people got around mostly by rickshaws and bicycles. The country had only a few tall buildings and just two sizable airports, in Beijing, its capital, and Shanghai, its financial center. China had no modern highways, bridges or high-speed rails, and the only trains that traversed the country were pulled by antiquated steam engines.

To get an idea of how much things have changed, please watch this 40-second clip of the Chinese city where COVID-19 originated. As the video shows, Wuhan bears no resemblance to the backward, desperately poor place it was just three decades ago. The same is true of cities throughout China.

Over the past 30 years, China has undergone a stupendous, caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation that has created some of the world’s most eye-popping roadways, bridges and architecture. Now within sight of overtaking the United States as the world’s dominant economy, China has also built a massively lethal military that poses a serious threat to America’s long-standing combat superiority—as reported by the Washington Times, China’s military is forcing the Pentagon to confront the end of U.S. battlefield dominance.

How Did This Happen?

From where did the money come that funded China’s dramatic makeover from a Third World backwater to an economic and military superpower? Trillions of dollars used to finance its spectacular ascendancy was handed willingly over by its greatest patron: the United States of America.

Since the late 1980s, China has been allowed—allowed—to extract trillions of dollars from the U.S. economy in the form of massive trade surpluses. As a result, the communist nation now has glistening cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan, while America is saddled with fading cities like Baltimore, Detroit, and Atlanta, once-thriving metropolises now marred by urban blight, rampant crime, sorry schools, generational poverty and other canaries in the coal mine of a nation in decline.

And to rub salt in America’s self-inflicted wounds, Chinese nationals who were allowed—allowed—to attend our top research universities and work at our most sensitive high-tech companies robbed America blind, surreptitiously sending many of our nation’s most vital technological and national defense secrets to our communist adversary hell-bent on chopping America off at the knees.

During the presidencies of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, China was allowed—allowed—to rip America a new one in what will go down as the most lopsided trade and stolen technology bludgeoning in history.

But don’t blame China for the trade imbalances. Its leaders were just doing what a nation’s leaders are expected to do: negotiate the best deal they could get. If the country on the other side of the table is willing to absorb an epic thrashing in the process, so much the better. And the voluntary thrashing America took lasted 28 consecutive years, from 1989 to 2017, a period when much of America’s manufacturing base was allowed—allowed—to sell-out its workers by offshoring production to China.

With America’s worn-out infrastructure badly in need of replacement, our political class instead ran up crushing debt and deficits, squandering trillions of dollars stolen from future generations on endless foreign wars and failed social programs. Meanwhile, China was using its trade-surplus windfall and stolen technology to build some of the world’s most impressive cities and a fearsome military.

In 2017, the United States began a strategic shift in its approach to China. Unless its relationship with the communist superpower is redefined, America’s days in the sun will be over, and the 21st century will be known as the “Chinese Century.”

Videos You Do Not Want to Miss

Below are nine related videos, each a visual reminder that China’s stunning rise at America’s expense could never have occurred without assistance from the four U.S. presidents who stood by and clapped as the Communist nation ate America’s lunch.

Viewing the videos will take a while, but doing so will help you see with your own eyes that while America was inching along on its hands and knees, a house of cards propped up by ruinous debt, China was making a great leap forward for the ages.

  • Click here to see China’s stunning road network. In 1988, China had zero modern highways; today, its world-class road network extends an astounding 84,000 miles, the longest road system in the world.
  • Click here to see China’s magnificent Beipanjiang Bridge, the highest bridge in the world. Of the world’s ten tallest bridges, eight are in China, zero in America.
  • Click here to see China’s incomparable Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the longest ocean crossing in the world. Designed to last 120 years, the $15 billion bridge-tunnel structure is a testament to China’s engineering might.
  • Click here to see China’s jaw-dropping 9-tower “horizontal skyscraper” in Chongqing. Known as “The Crystal,” the complex’s horizontal sky bridge straddles four 60-story skyscrapers, 820 feet in the air. Built at a cost of $3.6 billion, the mixed-use megastructure has a shopping mall with 450 stores. Is there anything like this in America? Of the world’s 25 tallest skyscrapers, 14 are in China, only two in the United States.
  • Click here to see a dynamic chart of China’s meteoric ascendancy to the world’s No. 2 economy.
  • Click here to see China’s stupendous Beijing Daxing International Airport. The world’s largest airport, Daxing can handle up to 250 takeoffs and landings per hour. By comparison, America’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, accommodates just 100 total movements per hour. Business Insider’s 2018 list of the 14 most beautiful airports in the world includes three in China, zero in the United States.
  • Click here to see how the U.S. auto industry was allowed—allowed—to sell-out its workers by offshoring jobs to China and other countries with dirt-cheap labor, a betrayal that determined the 2016 presidential election.
  • Click here to see China’s most powerful weapons, including nuclear-armed ICBMs that could reach the United States in 30 minutes. Three decades ago, China’s military was primarily land-based; today, it boasts a 2-million-man army, a blue-water navy, the world’s third-largest air force, and advanced cyber and anti-satellite weaponry that could be the deciding factor in a war against America.
  • Click here to see Chinese female soldiers on dress parade, as impressive a display of military precision you’ll likely ever see.

Finally, my friend believes America’s best days are behind it. Having done business throughout China, he observed that Chinese workers are intensely proud of their country, eagerly working as tirelessly as a colony of ants toward a common goal of national ascendancy.

America once was blessed with widespread patriotism, but over the last half-century, it has been polarized into two camps with diametrically opposite objectives. One side believes America should continue as a two-party constitutional democracy, the other wants that system scrapped in favor of single-party socialist rule.

No matter which of those hardened positions gains ground in November, half of America will continue working at cross purposes with the other half. A country at irreconcilable odds with itself is not a recipe for national ascendancy; it’s a recipe for national decline. The winner? China.

Greatness Agenda

Common Sense on Communist China

Those who say the United States can’t be independent of Beijing are wrong.

President Trump repeatedly has called on companies to move their factories out of Communist China.

He imposed tariffs after determining the Chinese government was illegally subsidizing the production of those goods.

Companies responded by asking the president to lift the tariffs, parroting the Chinese Communist party line.

Then the coronavirus came along and exposed the folly of relying on a corrupt totalitarian regime as a sole source supplier.

Now, the Trump Administration is “turbocharging” efforts to remove global supply chains from China, Reuters reports, as the president considers new tariffs to make Beijing pay for the pandemic it caused through incompetence if not outright malice.

But some in this country still oppose a divorce from Beijing. They say we must collaborate and cooperate with the Communist regime going forward. What they call collaboration and cooperation used to be called appeasement.

These collaborators, if you will, fall roughly into four categories:

The Vested: These cannot be trusted. They have a vested interest in continuing the status quo. Their power, prestige and fortunes derive from commerce with China.

In this category you will find the owners of our major media companies: Disney, the parent of ABC News, owns a theme park and distributes films in the People’s Republic. Ditto NBC (Universal Studios and theme park), CBS (Paramount Studios), and CNN (Warner Brothers theme park and studios). Like the NBA, they dare not offend Xi Jingping who holds the purse strings. Fellow travelers include Wall Street bankers who earn billions from Chinese investments, consultants such as McKinsey & Co, and the import lobby, which includes everyone from Walmart to the Footwear and Apparel Association. They have all grown fat in Red China. Commerce has weakened their spirit of patriotism.

The Weak: These cannot see the danger. They are comfortable in their ivory towers and are slaves to fear. The more they have to lose the less willing they are to venture on a new path.

The Prejudiced: They will not see the danger. Their minds are made up—their hatred of Donald Trump blinds them to reality. When the president calls out the Chinese Communist Party, they reflexively take Beijing’s side. They may not believe in the gender binary, but in all things Trump their thinking is binary: if Trump is for it, they’re against it and vice versa. In this camp count journalists such as those who claim the president’s criticism of the CCP is an effort to deflect criticism of his own actions.

The “Moderates”: These are the so-called “reasonable” men and women who think better of China’s government than it deserves.

This last group is the most dangerous. They have done and will do more damage to our country and the cause of national economic independence than all of the other three.

From their sinecures in academia, media, think tanks, and government, they counsel collaboration with China’s dictators and pray that we may be friends again. They dispense their moderate prescriptions on the pages of foreign policy journals and smooth their moderate balms on policymakers and pundits.

They live far from the scenes of sorrow scarring our land. They do not see the vast tracts of our country laid to waste by the economic warfare China has been waging. They are strangers to the once-prosperous cities and towns reduced to ruin and bereft of hope.

Being of a passive nature, they believe China’s ruling party is not that different from our own, that it plays by the same rules and has the same goals. They could not be more wrong.

But the pandemic has made it clear to a large and growing majority of Americans that Communist China does not have our best interest at heart.

Despite what the moderate men say, these hard Americans know it’s time to cut our dependence on that foreign tyranny.

There are a few who are hesitant to call for a course correction because no plan has been laid out. They don’t see a way out of our present condition.

Let us offer a few hints as to how we can affect the change we need in a way that will cause the least pain. Others may add their own suggestions and the wisest and most capable may gather these scraps together and craft a definite plan of action:

First, we need to identify sectors where we face potential shortfalls in supply. Experts in health care, defense, telecommunications, and other industries can catalog the goods we currently produce ourselves, what can be sourced from allies, and what is only available from China.

Second, we need to give entrepreneurs and businesses incentives to move their supply chains away from China.

China gave businesses incentives to move there, we must give them incentives to move back.

Making the current tariffs permanent would give businesses the signal that there is no going back to the status quo ante—build plants outside the People’s Republic. Similarly, additional tariffs would have the effect of making China a less attractive place to do business.

Japan is offering its companies cash to relocate from China. That’s one idea. Another is offering a 100 percent immediate tax write-off for capital expenditures in the United States.

An executive order currently under review leverages the purchasing power of the federal government. The order would require all drugs purchased by the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services to be made in America, providing a guaranteed market for domestic manufacturers.

“Buy American” was the rule for the federal government going back to the 1930s. It provided the start-up funding that nurtured aerospace and other industries. But decades of waivers and free trade agreements gave foreign suppliers equal access to federal procurement dollars and starved American businesses.

Streamlining the regulatory process to fast track approvals would provide another incentive for bringing advanced manufacturing to the United States.

In addition to tax breaks and a market, the federal government can provide financing for companies to locate in the United States. Right now, finance is controlled by a few money center banks. If they hold to their past practice of favoring investment in China or other low-cost countries rather than the United States, the government can step in and provide financing to upstart competitors to invest here. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

Finally, and most important, we must unify.

We must bring Left and Right together so we stand as one country as the Chinese Communist Party and its agents try to sow political division. Let us put our differences and suspicions aside and unite as citizens and neighbors in this land.

This means helping those who are going to be hurt the most so no one bears too heavy a burden in what will be a long fight. Hire American, as well as Buy American, should be the watchwords as we build a new independent American economy.

Those who say we can’t be independent of Communist China are wrong.

Just as we declared independence from the British Empire 244 years ago we can restore our independence today.

We must act now, when the cost of the status quo is clearer than ever, and ignore the calls for collaboration and cooperation, the familiar refrain of the globalists habitually opposed to national sovereignty.

Our wish is health and prosperity for our people and the people of China. We seek to dissolve a bond that has impoverished our people and empowered a tyranny over hers.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

Greatness Agenda

Where the Art of the Deal Must Trump the Art of War

A sustained U.S. covert campaign is already underway in Venezuela. But this crisis needs a diplomatic resolution.

The U.S. military is quietly building up its forces around the failing state of Venezuela. Torn asunder by decades of socialist rule, the Chavismo regime led by the kleptocratic and autocratic Nicolás Maduro is collapsing. As it collapses, the Venezuelan regime starves and terrorizes its own people, supports narcoterrorism, and becomes increasingly aggressive with their American rivals to the north. 

Recently, the Venezuelan Navy engaged in a cartoonish attempt to commandeer a private cruise ship in international waters. Despite the aggressive act, the ineptitude of Venezuela’s military was on display as the Venezuelan warship that attempted to ram the German civilian ship ended up sinking itself in the Caribbean Sea. 

Despite Venezuela’s military incompetence, the attack represented a grave escalation at a time when a distracted United States appears weak. Justifiably, the Trump Administration surged U.S. Navy forces into the region in a display of force not seen in decades. 

In neighboring Colombia, which is home to nine U.S. military bases, U.S. forces are amassing along the border

At the same time, in exchange for removing two blocks of onerous sanctions that the Trump Administration had imposed upon the Russian energy conglomerate, Rosneft, the Russians have abandoned their support for the Venezuelan state-owned energy conglomerate, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). This effectively cuts Venezuela’s energy sector off from its last lifeline. Energy is the basis of the Venezuelan economy, and without Russia, it will be completely strangled by U.S. sanctions. 

Tell Me How This Ends

The Trump Administration has been tightening the proverbial noose around Maduro’s neck. In January, during the State of the Union Address, President Trump introduced Americans to the man Washington wants to replace Maduro: democratic resistance leader Juan Guaidó. 

As head of the National Assembly, Guaidó controls the only institution that is not part of the Maduro machine (although, as I told readers last year, Guaidó may be democratic but he is not necessarily pro-capitalism). The Trump Administration wants very badly to remove Maduro from power. Yet, despite the military buildup in the region, President Trump rightly understands how foolish it would be to use force to remove Maduro the way that Trump’s predecessors used force to remove Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.

That is why President Trump has a standing offer to allow  Maduro to leave Venezuela safely. Until Maduro takes his offer, Trump will ratchet up pressure on the Chavismo regime. 

In the words of retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Starvridis, the Trump team wants to “create a transitional government under a new five-person ‘council of state,’ four of whom would be appointed by the National Assembly and the fifth, a nominal head of state, then chosen by the first four appointees.” In this formulation, Guaidó would be excluded from the five-person transitional council. Although, once new elections could be held within the year after the five-person council took power, Guaidó could run for office (and he undoubtedly would win in a popular election). 

At that point, Maduro could be moved out of Venezuela and set up in the authoritarian nation of his choice (with the stores of gold he has spent the last year shipping to friendly countries) to live out the rest of his days in comfort. Multilateral regional organizations, as Starvridis suggests, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) could be used to ease Maduro’s transition out of Venezuela bloodlessly. 

Taking Sides in the Drug War

But, here’s the rub: there is no guarantee that either Russia or the Venezuelan military, which is dedicated to Maduro remaining in power (because they are corrupt and are part of the international drug trade flowing from Venezuela which Guaidó threatens), necessarily want Maduro out of power. So, even if Maduro did want to go, there is no guarantee that his military would let him leave. 

If, however, Guaidó and his American backers could undermine Venezuela’s drug trade by replacing the Venezuelan military’s drug cartels with those of a rival, then the power of the generals will have been deprived. Weakening the generals’ drug trade will be key to displacing their power, and giving Maduro an easy exit. 

In the last few weeks, vicious border attacks between the right-wing paramilitary drug cartel in Colombia, known as “Los Rastrojos,” and the left-wing Colombian paramilitary group, ELN, have occurred at the same time Los Rastrojos have waged a vicious war upon Venezuelan military forces just across from the Colombian border.

A strange incident occurred last year which proved that Guaidó has at least some connection with drug cartels in Colombia. The Venezuelan military leaders are part of the Cartel of the Suns, which runs cocaine from Colombia to Venezuela’s coast on the Caribbean. Now, the group that Gauidó has a nominal connection to in the drug world is the aforementioned Los Rastrojos. So, just beneath the Venezuelan civil war, is the regional drug war. And for Washington to displace Maduro and his generals, Trump will have to make an alliance with some unsavory figures, even potentially those in drug cartels rivaling the Cartel of the Suns.

Trump: The Lion and the Fox

President Trump has proven time and again that he is able to outfox the nastiest of foes without resorting to war. Trump wants Maduro gone. But he doesn’t want war to achieve this end. Trump is not George W. Bush, no matter how many Bush retreads fill his administration. 

For Trump, then, there is a third way. 

The Trump team already quietly offered Maduro a sweetheart deal to leave last year. According to reports, Maduro almost took it. But it is believed he was prevented from doing so by the Russians and his own generals. So Trump has been squeezing Maduro more. 

The key, though, will be to weaken Venezuela’s drug-dealing generals. Trump might be able to do this if Guaidó holds some sway with groups like Los Rastrojos. But without leverage, Guaidó won’t be able to overcome Maduro’s grip on power.

In recent weeks, the Maduro regime has been shipping Venezuela’s remaining gold to Iran (while leaving some for Maduro’s allies in China and Russia). So, perhaps Maduro is slowly making plans for a quiet departure with a golden parachute somewhere. Then again, he just might be buying the time he needs to stay in power by sending that gold to Iran.

Clearly, the United States cannot leave the festering wound that is Venezuela in its own backyard—not when American rivals are attempting to weaken America’s position globally. But a war for Venezuela would be devastating. Thus, a sustained covert campaign is already underway. Let us hope Trump can combine this covert effort with sincere diplomacy to resolve the matter and restore American credibility abroad.

Greatness Agenda

When Straw Men Sell False Choices

Have we reached the point at which calling for an end to illegal trade practices is considered warlike activity when the speaker is a Republican from Queens?

Barry Brownstein’s essays usually bring more light than heat to issues of the day. He’s a professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore, and often he sounds like an uncle to whom you’d turn for advice.

But in a March 24 essay at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Brownstein tries to make a case for “Why We Should Love China, Not Fear It”—and therein lies the problem: A straw man in a headline never travels alone. Brownstein’s plea for Sinophilia is thick with straw men.

Having mounted his anti-Trump horse, Brownstein goes to the whip hand right out of the gate, planting the idea that tariffs imposed on Chinese imports are monstrously ill-advised. “FEE readers,” he writes, “understand well the destructive effects of Trump’s tariffs.”

It’s an interesting way to start an essay that is not about tariffs, and it only makes sense if you are already persuaded to see those economic tools as symptoms of a pathology from which the president and his supporters suffer.

One hopes FEE readers also understand that tariffs have time limits. Consider the new trade agreement between the United States and China announced in January: Observers have concluded it is “delivering despite coronavirus.” That was the gist of a Fox Business story published the same week that Brownstein decried President Trump’s allegedly “narcissistic” vision for America.

Straw men love adjectives in the same way snipers love high ground.

The current U.S.-China deal was made possible partly by tariffs, and—according to MarketWatch—it could “move the world closer to free trade and ultimately save the World Trade Organization.” Increased exports and stronger protection for intellectual property would be good things for America, right?

The big picture would have been easier for Brownstein to see if he hadn’t been enchanted by the identification of 16 different cases “in which an ascending power (like China) challenged an established power (like the United States).” In 12 of those 16 cases, the challenger and the champion made war on each other.

Clutching the memory of conflict between Athens and Sparta to his chest like a model of COVID-19 (an influence that’s too scarily impressive to revise in light of actual experience), Brownstein turns from the straw men he’s already used (tariffs as horrible weapons, America-first trade policy as narcissistic) to introduce yet another straw man, Mr. Specious Analogy: Suppose Mississippi became a wealthy state, he wonders—Would that gladden your heart, or would you “worry that Mississippians gained their wealth by ripping you off?” (Subtext: Are you a righteous person or a xenophobe?)

China is not Mississippi, Brownstein admits, but he is at pains to remind us that “the tide of war will stay offshore when we add love to thick economic interdependence.” We do that for people with whom we share a national identity, but we ought also to do it for people from other nations, he says.

As one reader noted in the comments of his essay, Brownstein’s notion of love between countries seems flexible enough to include capitulation.

Moreover, he doesn’t allow for the possibility that you can love China while simultaneously working to check the pernicious influence of its Communist leadership at every turn (or, indeed, love China precisely by doing that—as witness the Wuhan residents saying that coronavirus figures released by their government don’t add up).

Brownstein echoes National Public Radio in suggesting that Donald Trump has a zero-sum view of the world where America cannot win unless China loses. He wants the rest of us to believe that Trump is a hateful narcissist treating trade policy like a zero-sum game.

Have we reached the point at which calling for an end to illegal trade practices is considered warlike activity when the speaker a Republican from Queens? Brownstein seems to think so. But based on what we’ve seen throughout Trump’s presidency so far, it’s more accurate to think of him as a shrewd patriot using every peaceful means at his disposal to broker win-win agreements internationally.

To the extent it exists, zero-sum thinking comes from Chinese Communist leaders who used the COVID-19 crisis they abetted to bulldoze temples and churches. When they appeal to national memory or world opinion, it’s with a view toward retaining their own grip on power, rather than out of nostalgia for China as the fabled “Middle Kingdom.”

Another straw man deserving of a brotherly backhand is the idea that a worrisome number of Americans up to and including the president operate from an assumption of “national supremacy.”

Look: Ray Charles’ version of “America the Beautiful” still brings tears to my eyes, but supremacy and self-sufficiency are two different things. If you can’t be patriotic without flirting with national socialism or prudent without being dismissed as hopelessly parochial, then Brownstein must also be disappointed with Brazilians (Headline on an April 8 story about developments in that country: “Brazil Turns to Local Industry to Build Ventilators as China Orders Fall Through”).

Faulty premises undergirding a misguided plea for tolerance would not warrant rebuttal if they were uncommon, but Brownstein’s willingness to speculate about motive, cherry-pick examples, and give Beijing more latitude than President Donald Trump ever would, are in line with the prevailing bias in the mass media. It’s not a good look.

Greatness Agenda

China and the Crisis We Can’t Waste

The CCP’s preferred future is one no American will enjoy.

As more than 70,000 Wuhan virus victims are laid to rest across America, the time will soon come to place the blame squarely where it belongs—on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The media has already chronicled the malign acts of Xi Jinping’s regime, which hid and then minimized the danger of the virus. 

Some authors are already discussing the possibility for legal recourse against the People’s Republic of China (PRC). President Trump, however, should consider implementing a much more robust strategy that punishes the CCP and slows or stops its rise to global preeminence and efforts to remake the world order.

Although criticized by Republicans, Rahm Emanuel’s 2008 observation about the financial crisis was prescient: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” 

For President Trump, the opportunity exists to arrest the global political and economic shift toward China by using diplomatic, informational, military, and economic tools of state aggressively to turn global opinion and preference back toward the United States and American values. 

First, the president should marshal American diplomacy to convince friends and allies in Asia and around the globe that a passive response to the CCP’s misconduct will only reward the kind of deceit that left several hundred thousand dead and laid waste to national economies around the world. 

There is no better time to turn the suffering and loss of so many into a unified effort against Communist China. A strong diplomatic effort to push back Chinese inroads across the globe will take less effort today that was needed before the pandemic. 

For much of the past 20 years, many in the American foreign policy establishment believed that the United States should support “China’s peaceful rise.” This view was a pipe dream built on hope and butterflies, rather than on a sober understanding of the CCP’s plan for maintaining power. To make China policy, one needs an understanding that the PRC is governed by old school authoritarians who see the United States as a threat that must be dealt with when the time is right.   

Second, the United States should take a whole of government approach to waging information warfare against the Chinese Communist Party in particular. The CCP is taking every opportunity to engage in its own information campaign to undermine the United States and make itself look like both a victim and a savior to other nations struggling with the Wuhan virus. 

Communist China’s widespread effort to use information operations to undermine U.S. interests is not new to the current pandemic. The CCP’s blatant deceit, nevertheless, may finally provide the opportunity President Trump needs to convince his political foes that the CCP is the threat he has long railed against. Perhaps then, the media, government, business, and other players in any information campaign can collaborate long enough to engage in a sustained effort to undermine the positive public opinion the CCP has garnered through its economic outreach over the past decade.  

Third, President Trump aggressively should counter the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) attempt to exploit the pandemic to further exert military power against a democratic Taiwan and in the South China Sea. If the United States allows the CCP to topple forcibly a democratic Taiwanese government, which China intends to do if all else fails, and bring the island nation under the control of an authoritarian communist party, the United States will lose its status as the defender of democracy. 

Finally, the United States must quickly move to open and repair the U.S. economy while using every economic and legal tool possible to prevent the CCP from taking advantage of the economic harm the pandemic has caused in the United States. Moving manufacturing back to the United States, developing new trade agreements with Asian nations, and a willful effort to undermine the CCP’s economic interests should all be considered.

Ronald Reagan used economic tools to undermine the Soviet economy during the Cold War. It is time the United States stop viewing China as a benign government that simply seeks to improve the lives of its people. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

A global order led by an authoritarian PRC undoubtedly will prove hostile to American interests—something China is already working toward. This leaves the United States little choice but to seize the current opportunity to push back the CCP’s efforts to reshape the global balance of power. 

China’s preferred future is one no American will enjoy.    

Greatness Agenda

How a Sensible Great Power Maintains Its Influence

President Trump, contrary to what his opponents think, is following Theodore Roosevelt’s counsel to “speak softly and carry a big stick,” and it is working.

It is not too soon to examine the shifting strategic balance in the world in the light of the unfolding coronavirus crisis and its economic and political consequences.

Though he gets little credit for it—even from his supporters, who tend not to be overly sophisticated foreign policy specialists—President Trump has carefully developed a subtle foreign policy. This policy is based on a definition of America’s interests that is not adventurously overstretched like Lyndon Johnson’s plunge into the ground war in Vietnam or George W. Bush’s energetic support for democracy—even in places like Gaza, Lebanon, and eventually, Egypt, that had little aptitude for it and democratically elected anti-democratic politicians. Nor is Trump’s foreign policy the wavering pacifism and overly earnest pursuit of adversaries as President Obama attempted with Iran.

Trump has revived the concept of nuclear non-proliferation in the case of untrustworthy states (Iran and North Korea) and has left local disputes to be worked out locally, where it wasn’t practical for the United States to maintain force levels adequate to prevail over local balances.

Trump was widely criticized last year when he withdrew a few hundred special forces troops trying to maintain a cordon between the Turkish army and the Kurdish forces. Turkey has a large army and the U.S. presence in Syria had become impractical. The U.S. withdrawal amplified Turkey’s traditional frictions with the Arabs, Russians, and Iranians. The exit also obliged the Kurds, who have been treated badly in Syria and Iraq, to cease their intrusions in Turkey.

The evacuation of the Americans requires the local elements to resolve matters themselves. When they fail to do so, the United States can influence matters with only moderate injections of assistance, which need only very rarely require deployment of ground forces. No one disputes audibly now that it was a good move, although it contributed to James Mattis’s resignation as defense secretary. No one complains about a strong policy toward North Korea or much laments the Iranian nuclear agreement, or the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel, for that matter.

This is how a sensible Great Power maintains its influence, by defending what is important, ignoring what isn’t, avoiding unnecessary confrontations, and sorting out abrasions without humiliating anyone—except where serious provocations require disproportionate responses, as in the execution of Iranian Quds Force  General Qasem Soleimani earlier this year.

Franklin D. Roosevelt concluded that an American presence was required in Western Europe and the Far East to prevent those key regions getting into the hands of enemies of this hemisphere. The resulting policy of “containment” was devised by Roosevelt’s strategic team and executed by President Truman and his successors and imaginatively refined on two occasions. Richard Nixon triangulated Great Power arrangements with his opening of relations with China, and Ronald Reagan pushed to build a comprehensive high-altitude, laser-based, missile defense system which implicitly threatened to undermine the entire Soviet nuclear deterrent capability. The combination of Chinese diplomatic and high-technology military pressure caused the peaceful disintegration of the Soviet Union.

The end of the Cold War left the United States preeminent; but Europe, after some rhetorical posturing, started to make noises of potential rivalry with the United States, though not of hostility. The strength and purposefulness of the leading continental states—France, Germany, and Italy—have deteriorated seriously even since the times of Francois Mitterand, Helmut Kohl, and Silvio Berlusconi just 25 years ago. The Western Alliance, so completely successful while the Soviet Union was a threat, deteriorated into an “alliance of the willing”—that is, countries that would happily accept an American military guarantee but beyond that would decide on a case-by-case basis if they wished to do anything about collective security.

President Trump has had considerable success in extracting larger defense budgets from the slackers in the alliance (meaning almost everyone except the British, Poles, and Estonians) and has advanced in Ukraine the weapons necessary to prevent continued Russian incursions into the former Soviet Union, which President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel had withheld.

Trump quietly blocked Russian expansion west but has not attempted to restrain it from the historically unremitting policy of dabbling in the Middle East. Russia has less than half the population of the old Soviet Union, and a GDP smaller than Canada’s. It is a great nationality and culture that defeated Napoleon and Hitler, and is somewhat sullenly trying to reclaim a status more prestigious than it has earned.

The fraudulent preoccupation of his Democratic enemies with malicious fictions about Trump’s relations with Vladimir Putin have obligated him to move cautiously, but he is careful not to humiliate Russia. The only threat Russia could now pose to the United States would be if the United States faced Russia down so abruptly it was driven into the arms of China. Only in unison would those countries be able to challenge U.S. primacy.

China is becoming technologically and commercially skilled, but it has very few resources. A chronically overaged population is developing after their insane “one-child policy,” and the Chinese are extremely vulnerable to American pressure, both on tariffs and in America’s ability to encourage official Taiwanese separation. Despite its swashbuckling, China is in no position to challenge the United States for mastery in the world’s sea lanes, and China’s neighbors look to America for encouragement. Trump has given it to Japan, India, and others, quietly. Like Japan before World War II, which was importing 85 percent of its oil from the United States while it invaded China and Indochina, China today would be severely compromised if the United States blocked its ability to dump goods in sophisticated markets.

In economic as in other matters, the United States is able to outbid almost any country for the goodwill of a third party, as is demonstrated by the Europeans’ accommodation to American sanctions on Iran, which they opposed. If Russia rented large tracts of Siberia to China to exploit with its surplus manpower (even as its population declines), the northern and eastern vastness of the Eurasian landmass would be in the hands of a power that could mount a serious challenge to U.S. strategic preeminence. President Trump began rebuilding U.S strength with his immense pre-coronavirus economic boom, the elimination of oil imports, renegotiated trade agreements, a reinforced military and shaped-up NATO, swift and strong responses to provocations (as in the Soleimani affair—no disappearing red lines), and orderly withdrawal from areas of imprudent exposure, such as Syria (after the complete destruction of ISIS).

Britain’s withdrawal from Europe, and the European Union’s complete ineffectuality in the coronavirus crisis will have further drained that organization’s political credibility. It is no longer the world’s next superpower-in-waiting and will have great difficulty continuing with the mission of “an ever-closer Europe” with a substantially shriveled mandate to attempt any such thing.

Apart from internal contradictions, the EU’s structure is composed of authoritarian commissioners who are not answerable to the European Parliament of their constituent governments. The departure of Britain, Europe’s most admired nationality, from an integrated Europe to approach tighter arrangements with the United States and Canada is an undoubted shift in the balance of importance of Europe and America in the world. After China, Europe is the big political loser in the coronavirus crisis.

The Chinese misconduct in misleading the world about the coronavirus and negligently facilitating the spread of it to the whole world, will, it appears, be treated subtly by the Trump Administration: it is generating international irritation with China and inflicting, without epithets or grandstanding, precisely the diminution of Chinese prestige to which that ancient nationality is so sensitive.

Trump will not rage or threaten, at least in public. He will maintain correct official relations while new trade arrangements come into effect but will evict China from control of the World Health Organization, and subtly incinerate a good deal of its influence for a time. There is no natural dispute between Russia and the United States, as long as the Russians do not become aggressive in Ukraine or the Balkan states. Trump, contrary to what his opponents think is compulsive behavior for him, is following Theodore Roosevelt’s counsel to “speak softly and carry a big stick,” and it is working.

Greatness Agenda

Chinese Takeout

In 2018, China declared war on the United States. Few Americans are aware of this, and most who are don’t take it seriously. Donald Trump does—and Beijing knows it.

If Donald Trump were not the president, and 2020 not a presidential election year, it would be hard to imagine anything else causing the kind of mass hysteria that surrounds COVID-19.

For Democrats, this is what it’s come to: A last attempt to drive down support for Trump by doing everything they can to heighten public fear of the coronavirus and extend for as long as possible the resulting economic disruption.

As demands to open businesses increase in states around the country, Democrats’ target date for getting Americans back to work is 18 months from now. By which time, they hope, Trump’s plan to restart the economy will have backfired, and they’ll be running what’s left of the country, Green New Deal-style.

China would like nothing better. In October 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 30-year war on the United States. When the war is over in 2049, the 100th anniversary of Communist Party rule, China expects to be victorious economically, politically and, if necessary, militarily. This is something about which few Americans are aware, and most who are don’t take it seriously. Donald Trump does—and Beijing knows it.

China must carefully consider “all complex situations,” Xi said at the time, voicing a cryptic note of caution. In the aftermath of COVID-19, as more of China’s secret ambitions are exposed and anti-communist sentiments not heard since the Cold War go public, there could be a lot of “complex situations” for Chinese leaders to consider.

After failing repeatedly, Democrats and their allies think they finally have the perfect one-two combination—spiked Chinese bat flu along with a sci-fi panic attack—for getting rid of Trump and capitalism once and for all.

The Democratic Party, the media and a newly aggressive China have morphed into a single opposition, and the one person capable of rallying the nation to fight back and win is Donald Trump.

Handed a captive audience, thanks to the lockdown, Trump turned his daily White House briefings into must-see TV, sometimes attracting as many viewers as “Monday Night Football.” No other president could do crisis management every evening before a live audience of fake-news flunkies and make it a hit.

Now it’s time for him to bring back “The Apprentice” and start firing people. Beginning with the two doctors of doom, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. Both should be relieved of their duties in a way that says the focus is shifting from flattened curves to restoring the economy and cheering on America’s comeback.

Useful COVIDiots

COVID-19 is the most politicized illness in American history. The Trump-deranged media has never hidden which side it’s on, making this one election where a foreign government really is interfering. Newspapers, television networks and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are onboard and automatically censor anything that contradicts the PRC/Democratic Party line.

Reporters, spouting their usual Chinese propaganda at a recent White House press conference, tried to make it seem as if Trump’s name for the virus was worse than the virus itself.

But while they asked questions designed to make Trump look stupid, he used them to launch a major theme in his reelection campaign.

“Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus?” one reporter wanted to know. “A lot of people say it’s racist.”

“It’s not racist at all,” said Trump. “It comes from China. Chi-na . . . I want to be accurate.”

Two minutes later another reporter said: “A White House official used the term ‘kung flu,’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China . . . Is that acceptable?”

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

“Kung flu,” the reporter replied. “A person at the White House used the term ‘kung flu’—”

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

“Kung flu?” asked the president, as if he hadn’t heard it the first four times.

“Kung flu,” the reporter repeated. “Do you think that’s wrong? And do you think using the term ‘Chinese virus’ puts Asian-Americans at risk?”

“No. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent,” Trump said. “It comes from China. What’s not to agree on?

Watching the White House press corps in action is a form of home entertainment for a whole population sheltering in place. There’s more going on here, though, than journalists beclowning themselves

How many people cooped up with just their TVs to amuse them, agreed with what Trump said about China? Or thought the back and forth on “kung flu” (a phrase broadcast six times in the space of 20 seconds) was funny?

And how many sent links to their friends, who sent them to their friends? Thousands . . . millions?

Donald Trump called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus” and got an oblivious reporter to say “kung flu” over and over for the same reason he called Jeb Bush “Low-energy Jeb” and Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Four years ago he started typecasting Bush and Clinton as losers before a single primary voter went to the polls. A similar strategy is underway in the 2020 race, with a special coronavirus twist.

Cold War II

The idea, demonstrated in Trump’s first campaign ad, is to tie the Democratic Party and its assumed nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (a.k.a. “Quid pro Joe”), to China—make that Communist China—fixing the trio in the minds of voters as a triple threat to the security and wellbeing of the United States and the entire world.

If that sounds familiar to many voters, it should. This is shaping up to be the first replay of a Cold War presidential campaign in over 30 years, with Trump taking on China the same way Ronald Reagan took on the Soviet Union. For another part of the voting public, not around during the actual Cold War, the next several months promise to be an education in what used to be called “East-West confrontation.”

In the eleven Cold War elections held in the United States (1948-1988) the winner was invariably the candidate voters believed would best protect the country from the dangers posed by the Soviet Union and Red China. The only president defeated running for a second term during the Cold War-era was Jimmy Carter, who was seen as weak on defense. The three Republican presidents, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, all were reelected by wide margins.

Removing any doubts about how the Trump administration sees things, Peter Navarro, White House trade advisor, said in an interview on Fox News, “This is a war . . . a war that China started by spawning this virus.”

Left diplomatically vague is what kind of war Navarro means. Everyone had to see this coming. The Chinese government certainly did. They’ve been preparing for it.

The Great Walmart of China

The first presidential debate of 2016 began with a question from moderator Lester Holt of NBC News, who asked Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump how they planned “to put more money into the pockets of American workers.” Each candidate had two minutes to respond.

Clinton went first, looking supremely confident, as you might expect a former secretary of state to look competing against a one-time New Jersey casino operator.

“Donald, it’s good to be with you,” she said through a forced smile, before reeling off a list of work-related talking points Democrats have been plugging for years: equal pay for women, affordable childcare, paid family leave, employee profit-sharing, debt-free college and raising the minimum wage.

Then it was Trump’s turn.

“Our jobs are fleeing the country,” he said. “Look at what China’s doing . . . and we have nobody in our government to fight them.”

That got Hillary’s attention. What the hell does Donald know about China? He was never secretary of state. She was.

“China’s using us as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing,” Trump went on. “We’re losing our good jobs, so many of them, leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. We have to stop jobs from being stolen. Stop our companies from leaving the United States.”

Long before getting into politics, Trump complained that China was robbing the United States blind. Now he was accusing Clinton and the Washington establishment of stripping American workers of their livelihoods by letting China take their jobs.

Hillary denied everything, and, with a nervous smirk in Trump’s direction, said her opponent “lives in his own reality.”

Tens of millions of voters disagreed. Trump was describing their reality, and they believed him when he promised big changes.

Kung Fu Fighting

As president, Trump grew the American economy in ways few thought possible. He made the United States oil independent, replaced NAFTA with the USMCA trade deal he negotiated with Canada and Mexico, and dramatically cut federal regulations. At the same time, the stock market rose to record highs, and unemployment fell to historic lows.

Trump also imposed stiff tariffs on China for failing to live up to its fair-trade agreement with the United States and for its continued theft of U.S. intellectual property. With globalists in an uproar the president held firm. Eventually, China agreed to spend more money on goods made in America, but U.S.-China relations remained tense.

In June 2019, pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong. Demonstrations drew hundreds and then thousands of people, closing whole sections of the city. Officials in Beijing used organized crime gangs, called triads, to rough up participants, with little effect. What made matters worse, demonstrators were shown in news reports waving American flags and carrying signs that read: “Make Hong Kong Great” and “Donald Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong.”

It’s easy to guess what China’s leadership was thinking. The democracy protesters were not only challenging the authority of the Chinese Communist Party, they were hailing Trump as a hero for standing up to China’s rulers. If demonstrations like these ever reached the Chinese mainland, the party would have a problem on its hands.

In late November, Trump signed into law the Human Rights and Democracy Act, authorizing the State Department to conduct an annual review to make sure China wasn’t interfering with Hong Kong’s guaranteed autonomy.

Trump said he was enacting the law in the hope “China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all.”

That’s not what happened. China’s foreign ministry was outraged, saying “countermeasures” were being considered. “This so-called legislation will only raise awareness of the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S. The U.S. plot is doomed.”

On Thanksgiving in the United States, huge crowds gathered in Hong Kong to thank Trump, as the “Star-Spangled Banner” played over loudspeakers. Some people held pictures showing the president’s head superimposed on the muscular torso of Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky III.” The image was considered a joke by much of the American media. In China, it sent a serious message to the politburo from the city that gave the world Kung Fu movies! Trump was fighting for Hong Kong in the ancient and honored Chinese tradition of youxia, using his power to help people in need.

No matter how much the Democratic Party hates Donald Trump, the Chinese Communist Party hates him more.

Three days later, in Wuhan, according to Chinese sources, the first case COVID-19 was reported. It would be more than a month—as the government stockpiled medical supplies in advance of an expected pandemic—before the rest of the world was warned.

By then, the coronavirus had arrived in Hong Kong. The city shut down and democracy protests ended

Motive, Means, and Opportunity

Whether China released COVID-19 on purpose—reliable accounts say it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology—or it escaped from a lab by accident, the Chinese government hid the truth about the deadly virus until it was too late.

Two years into its stealth war with the United States, it’s hard to believe China didn’t see at least some strategic advantage in keeping quiet.

If so, was putting a stop to Hong Kong’s democracy demonstrations part of a plan, or an added benefit of human error? With a population of 1.8 billion to manage, China’s rulers can always afford to lose some inhabitants to a virus. What they can’t afford to lose is power.

The Chinese Communist Party has always regarded the United States as Enemy No. 1. For decades, successive presidential administrations have overlooked that rather significant fact for the sake of doing business with China. Beijing’s role in the coronavirus pandemic (with an assist from the corrupt World Health Organization) makes it impossible for Washington to ignore China’s not-so-hidden agenda. In March, the Chinese government removed any doubts, by threatening to drown America in “the mighty sea of coronavirus” by halting the export of needed medicines that used to be made in the United States, but now come from China.

Back to the Future

Less than six months before a presidential election COVID-19 has made Donald Trump a “crisis” president.

Instead of coasting to victory in November on the strength of his economic record, he will need to deal effectively with the coronavirus, revive the economy—for a second time—and confront the most formidable foreign policy challenge since Ronald Reagan was president.

In fact, Trump’s run for a second term in 2020 is a virtual playback of Reagan’s 1984 campaign. The similarities between the two men and their races, including the Cold War overtones, are uncanny.

Reagan was 73, so is Trump. Reagan ran against his predecessor’s vice president, just as Trump is doing. Both were Washington outsiders and former Democrats, who previously worked in the entertainment industry.

They also share two qualities—determination and resilience—particularly suited to campaigning in times of crisis. Reagan was an optimist and a fighter with a unique ability to communicate his ideas to voters. Trump has the same traits, using Twitter to connect with his millions of followers. And no politician in America can fill stadiums—and their parking lots—with supporters the way he does.

The major issues in 1984 were the economy, Soviet Communism, and nuclear weapons. The major issues in 2020 are the economy, Chinese Communism, and biological weapons.

Thirty-six years ago, the Soviet Union didn’t produce anything American consumers wanted to buy. Today, almost everything they buy comes from China. In 1984, most Americans rejected communism. Not so today. Until last month, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), an avowed socialist, was in line to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

With the arrival of the coronavirus, however, every American understands the kind of large-scale suffering a communist regime can inflict. The latest Gallup poll shows 67 percent of Americans now view China unfavorably, and only 33 percent favorably. China’s unfavorable numbers are sure to go up in the months ahead.

What Would Reagan Do? 

When Ronald Reagan ran against Walter Mondale in 1984, he made Jimmy Carter’s vice president look inexperienced, out of his depth (like his boss) in foreign affairs, and too liberal to be trusted in a faceoff with the Kremlin.

As for Joe Biden, whenever China comes up in the 2020 campaign, so will his son Hunter’s lucrative arrangement with two Chinese investment firms, both tied to the state-run Bank of China.

Given his mental slippage, Biden would never be able to debate Trump, or anyone else, on the issues. If, for any reason, he’s replaced on the ticket, it will only increase the public’s distrust of the Democratic Party for manipulating the nomination in 2020, as it did 2016.

Trump didn’t come up the hard way, as Reagan did, but he became a multi-billionaire in the hardest place in the world to make money, New York City commercial real estate. What better preparation could there be for dealing with ruthless dictators? Trump has already proven he’s a tougher negotiator with China’s leaders than any previous president.

Reagan survived being shot early in his first term and came back to make history by ending the Cold War. During his first term Trump withstood a three-year attempted coup by Democrats and their co-conspirators in government and the media. And, let’s not forget, Joe Biden may have been in on the plot.

Meanwhile, Trump produced the greatest economy the nation had ever seen. There’s no reason to believe he can’t do it again.

The People’s Republic of China will be a major, maybe the major, campaign issue. Despite an extended period of state-controlled prosperity, due to global outsourcing, a built-in culture of corruption has always made lying, cheating, and stealing merely business as usual in communist China. In the case of COVID-19, China’s duplicity was so blatant and the results so catastrophic, its top officials can expect Trump, joined by other world leaders, to come after them with multi-trillion-dollar damage claims.

By starting the process of economic disengagement from China and spearheading the drive to put maximum international pressure on the Chinese government to pay up, Trump has an opportunity to duplicate what Reagan achieved during the Cold War.

At this point the only thing that can save the Chinese Communist Party from a reckoning long overdue is a Democrat in the White House.

Because of the coronavirus, the 2020 campaign will be a debate about political systems, economics and national security, issues that play to the strengths that helped Trump win in 2016. And, as president, he can use campaign events, as Reagan did, to spell out the options in language every voter understands.

Will the United States be held hostage and eventually dominated by China and its Democratic Party collaborators, or will it “Stay the course,” as Reagan put it?

If the Democrats take over, the answer is obvious. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America (USSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Communist China.

Shortly after Reagan’s second inauguration, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed general secretary of the Soviet Union, the “evil empire’s” eighth and final leader. Later, Reagan was asked if Gorbachev’s reform-minded approach to communism had changed his strategic thinking about the Cold War. “No,” he said. “Here’s my strategy: We win. They lose.”

Elections are about the future, and everything is riding on this one. Until November, here’s something to keep in mind: Ronald Reagan never lost a presidential election . . . and neither has Donald Trump.

Greatness Agenda

Who Invited The World To Infect America?

Hate the Chinese government if you wish, but hold your own government responsible for hollowing America out like a husk.

On March 31, the number of Americans dead from the Chinese coronavirus stood at 3,900! A mere month on, at the time of writing, and 63,801 Americans have perished.

American deaths by COVID-19 account for a quarter of the world’s, including those in the undeveloped world. To ignore this Third-World-like specter is to dismiss the dead and the dying. It’s tantamount to cancel culture.

China sucks. But if the United States must rely on the Chinese government to keep its citizens safe, then what kind of a Mickey Mouse country are we?

If the American people can be convinced by their government to saddle a foreign power with the responsibility for their existential welfare—what kind of people are we?

China didn’t force the traitors of the American economy to shift crucial production lines to its country and strand Americans without surgical and N-95 masks and medication; homegrown turncoats made that decision, all by their lonesome.

Trade Goods, Not Places

Decades ago, the political, corporate and industrial leaders of the West chose to enmesh the fate of their pliable people with that of the vigorous, voracious Chinese.

Like the United States, another hard-hit region—Northern Italy, so progressive and tony—had swung its toll gates open. Italy outsourced whole production lines to China.

Free trade in goods is great. But trade goods, not places. The toll gates were swung open to human trade, or population replacement.

Since the Chinese had begun settling in Northern Italy and buying up assets, I hazard that, much like youngsters of King County, in Washington State—local Italian girls and boys have had a hard time affording life in their homeland. 

And now, their grandparents and parents are dying.

Italy constructed gleaming tarmacs to accommodate the many direct flights to and from Wuhan. More than 100,000 Chinese citizens moved to Italy. As the Chinese accrued wealth over the past two decades, still more took up residence in Northern Italy, and bought up Italian firms.

See if you can spot the trend. New York City, by Wikipedia’s telling, is home to far and away “the highest Chinese-American population of any city proper.”

Courtesy of an Italian strain of COVID-19, the New York metropolitan area has been as badly struck as Italy. In early April, it was said that “coronavirus was killing a person roughly every four minutes in New York state, and about every six minutes in New York City.”

In my state of Washington, the overwhelming majority of Chinese reside in King County and Snohomish County, where the infection was seeded and from where it spread.

The West’s political and corporate leaders, not China’s, had opened their borders to the world’s flotsam and jetsam. Agreements to exchange goods and people reflected the choices of these gilded global elites, not those of their people.

Economic Elephantiasis 

The sphinxly Bill Gates, we are told, foresaw the pandemic. Gates also pioneered the outsourcing of American lives to China (and India). I say “lives,” because, as it has become abundantly clear, in the wake of COVID, the very stuff of life has been outsourced to China. Not mere jobs; but careers, not just some products, but entire production lines; not one or two manufacturing plants, but the entire means of production.  

Engineers who can think hate Gates. America’s best and brightest have done time supervising and titivating squalid, sub-par Chinese factories, when they knew full well that, instead of cheap, nasty, and disposable, their colleagues back at home could have delivered classy, attractive, durable and sustainable products and production capability, around which real communities would have coalesced.

Instead, Gates’ vision has given us transient labor that flits between Wuhan and Washington, for, these “global beasts with their vast balance-sheets” aren’t interested in the kind of economic growth around which authentic, organic, enduring communities congregate.

The attitude of American business toward economic growth is rooted not in healthy, community-based practices (stateside and abroad), but in some aberrant economic gigantism; in an economic elephantiasis undergirded by hubris and greed.

Bill Gates, the point man, the pinhead who pontificates about pandemic best practices, was among the powerbrokers who decided, with his benefactors in D.C., that the “new economy” would hum not in America, but in China and India.

And it’s not merely for profit. Tech superstars like Gates are true believers in the borderless multicultural state. These arrogant CEOs and their minions are social-justice warriors, first; giants of industry, second. They are cosmopolitans who believe consumption alone makes the world go round. Community? That’s when you press flesh with George and Amal Clooney at the World Economic Forum in Davos!

No Multiculturalists in China

To the gilded globalists, America is not a country to be bound by strictly controlled borders and to be patrolled and policed against viruses and villains. Rather, Bill Gates’ America is a territory for trade, not a nation.

A “shopping mall with nukes,” as a reader put it. 

Whereas China has positioned its cohesive people for success, the American ruling class, Democrat and Republican, have long since sold their countrymen out. It is American leaders, left and right, who’ve convinced their population that Americans are nothing unless strangers are streaming into their country at a rate of 2 million a year, speaking in tongues and inaugurating wet-markets in New York City. This is who we are, they tell us.

No such thing did the Chinese government perpetrate on its people. It doesn’t welcome immigrants; the Chinese don’t want immigrants. Several [Chinese] “women vow to leap off the Great Wall rather than marry a foreigner,” reports The Economist with consternation. Indeed, the Chinese people have no qualms or fear about expressing Han racial superiority, this, as the West embraces a multicultural mess of pottage that is now killing it and consigning us to years of penury.

Stupidity is not a virtue.

Ironically, and although almost all reinfection in China involves Chinese nationals, “curbs on foreigners are tightening,” and the “border has been shut to most of them.” Conversely, the American travel ban—I hope you know—was nothing more than a rerouting of the Chinese influx to allotted U.S. airports, where thermometers were pointed at foreheads, and tens of thousands of Chinese were sent on their merry way, entrusted to go home and self-quarantine.

The outcome of future pandemics hinges on the American people’s ability to strike fear into the hearts of their leaders, irrespective of party affiliation—a fear that will make it impossible for these shiftless characters to shift blame for their failings.

Where Accountability Goes to Die

The U.S. government and its proxies would like to gull Americans into blaming China alone for the litany of suffering Americans are enduring.

A free people takes responsibility for its own welfare. Federalism dictates that this ostensibly free people delegate certain responsibilities to the state, national, and local levels. This is what the U.S. Constitution compelled. Defined duties have been delegated to our governments. Repelling invaders is one of them.

Thus, the same free people must saddle their own leaders, in D.C. and the Centers for Disease Control, with mass deaths ongoing.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered that China be investigated for concealing “information early on about the novel coronavirus.”

Fine. I’m not here saying there is no merit in the allegation or the investigation. Just so long as Americans understand that government committees are where accountability goes to die.

Governments create committees to conceal their own culpability.

So long as Americans know that the Chinese will continue to settle this country by the thousands, while their relatives back in China supply Americans with essential goods.

So long as Americans know that the federal government and its corporate cronies do not intend to repatriate life-sustaining supply chains.

Hate the Chinese government if you wish, but hold your own government responsible for hollowing America out like a husk by inviting the word to invade it and infect it.

Greatness Agenda

Terrorism and China’s Coronavirus

By restricting domestic travel but allowing international travel from Wuhan to the rest of the World, Beijing satisfied the key elements of any reasonable definition of terrorism.

Before I became a proud American citizen, I always saw one of the key characteristics of the American people as an innate common sense. America is a country, for the most part, made up of pragmatists who see the world for how it truly is. This was only reaffirmed for me once I took the oath of allegiance during my naturalization ceremony, and was further reinforced for me recently by a caller to my radio show who made a fascinating observation about the Chinese Coronavirus.

Context first. I have been interested in national security for a long time. Back in the early 1990s, half as the result of a dare in college, I went on a selection weekend for the British Army Intelligence Corps reserves (what used to be called the Territorial Army). Despite being a long-haired philosophy and theology student—yes a drastic haircut was imminent—I loved the experience, passed the selection, and joined this military subculture of eccentric linguists, interrogators, photographic interpreters, and tactical intelligence professionals.

Later, after the fall of Communism, I would translate that experience into a job working in the first freely-elected Conservative government in Hungary. My father had escaped a political prison during the Revolution of 1956 and three decades later I found myself in Budapest working in the Ministry of Defense on Hungary’s accession to NATO.

Later came a stint at the RAND Corporation’s offices in Washington, D.C., years of writing for the Jane’s Information Group of military publications in the UK, and then 9/11 happened. I had studied and published on terrorism in the past but that day irrevocably changed my life’s path, and eventually would propel me to a position at the White House 15 years later.

As part of the response to al-Qaeda’s devastating attacks in New York and Washington, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict established a program to bring senior counterterrorism operators from around the world, to network and study terrorism together and so “create a network to destroy a network.”

This is how I would end up working for legendary Marine and former CIA paramilitary operations officer, Colonel Nick Pratt, as one of his faculty members on the Program for Terrorism and Security Studies. What ensued was a series of very intense courses, which over the years would see hundreds of national security professionals come together to understand the new type of terrorism the world faced in the form of al-Qaeda, and brainstorm the most effective ways to vanquish it. And I was happy to admit to those operators that I learned as much from our “students” as they did from their professors.

Crucial to our work together was our ability to establish a baseline for our work, to be able to agree on what exactly terrorism is and how it differs from other forms of deliberate and organized violence. As a result, I came to understand what groups like al-Qaeda, and later ISIS, were doing as ‘the organized use of violence by illegitimate sub-state actors against groups unable to adequately defend themselves with the strategic intent to change a legitimate political system or force its representatives to change their policies for political, ideological, or religious objectives.” Only in this way could terrorism be meaningfully differentiated from other forms of functional violence, including freedom fighters, organized crime cartels, war crimes, or conventional warfare using uniformed militaries.

But that was then. We are living in the age of coronavirus now.

Recently, on my radio show “AMERICA First,” deep into the virus-induced national lockdown, one of our listeners called in to say that what China has perpetrated against the world is in fact terrorism.

At first, I wanted to say no, especially because that didn’t match my understanding of terrorism, one that I had arrived at over years and years of study and deliberation with some of the most effective counterterrorism professionals from around the world.

China clearly isn’t al-Qaeda or the Provisional IRA. It’s not the Hezbollah, or the Basque separatists of ETA. But could what they have done be labeled terrorism? Since that call,  increasingly I have come to believe that yes, it can.

And it should be.

We do not know if COVID-19 was man-made in the Wuhan virology lab, the only Level 4 biodefense facility in Communist China. Was it a modified version of the SARS-related coronavirus carried by bats that was being researched at the lab? We likely will never know as Beijing has destroyed much of the evidence related to the genesis of COVID-19. But based upon the best-documented evidence we do have available to date, including a groundbreaking documentary from the Epoch Times, we can state many things as fact.

After the novel Coronavirus escaped—or was released—from the Wuhan lab, the Chinese government:

  • Denied an outbreak had happened.
  • When it was clear one had, denied that the disease was transmissible by human to human contact.
  • Intimidated, arrested and disappeared journalists and scientists who revealed that a new human-transmissible virus was plaguing Wuhan.
  • Ordered multiple genomic labs to destroy early samples of COVID-19.
  • Cleared, disinfected, and closed the Wuhan wet market without taking any blood samples from employees or livestock.
  • Censored the Chinese internet to remove mention of “Wuhan unknown pneumonia,” “SARS variation,” “Wuhan market,” and related keywords and phrases critical of the government’s handling of the infection.
  • Allowed upwards of 5 million Wuhan residents to travel abroad after it was clear that an outbreak had occurred.
  • Instructed government officials, including accredited ambassadors, to participate in an international disinformation and propaganda campaign blaming America for COVID-19 and accusing the U.S. military of bringing the virus to China.

All of these things actually happened and you don’t need a clearance to access the proof that they did. And whether or not the original Wuhan virus was engineered and deliberately released, or spread as the result of accidental contamination of a lab worker is irrelevant. China must be judged according to what it did after the release: by restricting domestic travel but allowing international travel from Wuhan to the rest of the world, Beijing satisfied the key elements of any reasonable definition of terrorism.

No, the Communist government is not a sub-state actor using violence to realize its self-determination, or some organization with a religiously defined apocalyptic end-state it wishes to realize through its attacks on innocents. But by allowing Chinese citizens to seed the world with a deadly virus that has taken more American lives in just four months than all the years of the Vietnam War, Xi Jinping’s government has deliberately targeted civilians for death.

America has to get back to work now. Never before has so much damage been done to our citizens and our national economy in such a short period of time. Now the question is, are we prepared to call what Beijing did by its real name and make our enemy pay the requisite price?

Greatness Agenda

It’s Time to Boycott China

To ensure we recover from this virus, we must do two things: Wash our hands and wash our hands of China.

President Trump says he expects China will pay a “substantial” amount of money for damages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

You can’t help but suspect the Chinese Communist Party deliberately withheld crucial information and hoarded protective supplies needed to prepare for the virus in order to wreak maximum damage both mortal and material on the West.

When asked if he will submit a bill as Germany has done, Trump demurred, saying “We have ways of doing things much easier than that.”

You bet we do.

Consider: Every dollar the CCP would possibly pay us in damages would be a dollar we gave them in the first place.

We can save ourselves the trouble of trying to collect the bill by not sending them the money in the first place.

Let’s say it out loud: Boycott China.

China’s Communist dictators have been waging economic warfare against us for decades, launching missiles from their mines, mills, and factories in an attack that has destroyed our industries as effectively as any precision-guided munitions.

Now the pandemic has wrought further destruction.

They have succeeded in effectively stopping our way of life. We can’t let them do that again.

How?

Just as the CCP has waged economic warfare against the United States, we can do the same.

The Chinese Communist Party lives off the money we send them, and we send them a lot.

We should stop sending them our money. Americans should boycott China.

Our government should boycott the CCP.

The U.S. government contributes to the World Bank, which still gives China billions. Until recently we funded the World Health Organization, Beijing’s puppet. We fund scientific research in China. The NIH even funded bat virus research in Wuhan after it was banned in the United States (What could possibly go wrong with that? Oh wait, we found out.)

Wall Street should boycott the CCP.

Wall Street steers billions to CCP-controlled companies listed on U.S. exchanges. It helps CCP-controlled entities sell securities in the United States. Billions flow through index funds that include shares of Chinese companies. Pension funds from California to Iowa have staked the retirement savings of Americans on these dodgy investments.

The finance guys overseeing the federal Thrift Savings Plan—the 401(k) plan for military personnel and federal workers—want to invest billions in the MSCI Emerging Markets Fund, home to a roster of Chinese companies that manufacture weapons, cyber-espionage tools and surveillance gear for the CCP.

Corporate America should boycott the CCP.

President Trump warned American companies to get out of China years ago. When he slapped a tariff on China imports, supposedly American companies did Beijing’s lobbying and squealed like stuck pigs. Everyone from Bible publishers to shoe salesmen pleaded penury and predicted doom if the tariffs weren’t lifted immediately.

Had they diversified their supply chains as President Trump advised, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in today, depending on a hostile regime for the goods we need to save our lives.

And each one of us has a part to play, too.

When we say boycott China, we are telling the CCP the American people are on to you. We know the dollars we send to Beijing are used to bury us.

When we say boycott China we are telling American-in-name-only companies to get out of China—now. Whenever there is an alternative to “Made in China,” we will take it. We can buy New Balance athletic shoes instead of Nikes. We can buy from our local farmer or Hormel instead of Smithfield. We don’t have to upgrade our iPhone until Tim Cook stops funding the CCP’s techno-totalitarian dystopia. We’re telling GM don’t import Envision SUVs from China. We’re telling Twitter to deplatform CCP propaganda mouthpieces, not Americans.

When we say boycott China, we are telling Washington to stop sending our tax dollars to our mortal enemy—no excuses. We are telling stand-up elected officials like Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and President Trump we have their backs. And we’re telling the others to stop peddling excuses, get a backbone, and stand up for America. Don’t let the Chinese Communists control our food (Smithfield), our media (AMC theaters, Universal, Disney, Hollywood), our energy, and our technology (Huawei, Lenovo).

When we say boycott China, we are telling the CCP’s apologists in big media, big banks, big corporations and the Washington swamp who sold out America and her people—time’s up.

Our first war of independence began with boycotts of British goods following the Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, and the Tea Act.

The American Founders understood that America would not be independent if we relied on other nations for our manufactured goods.

With this boycott let us declare our independence from the tyrants of Beijing and the tyranny of globalism that brought us to the current impasse.

We can, we must, and we will stop giving China’s dictators our money.

To ensure we recover from this virus, we must do two things: Wash our hands and wash our hands of China.