Shared from Caitlin Johnstone’s Substack
Octogenarian House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to spend her final years on this mortal coil trying to start World War Three, pushing the Biden administration to designate Russia an official “state sponsor of terrorism” and planning a freakishly incendiary trip to Taiwan just in the last few days.
Beijing has made it clear that the first visit to Taiwan by a major US official in decades would be seen as an aggressive escalation and an egregious transgression of Washington’s official one-China policy.
“The U.S. side is wrong to believe that it can continue to flagrantly disregard the feelings of the Chinese side on Taiwan without more serious consequences,” a Chinese official told the Washington Post in response to the news of Pelosi’s planned trip in August, adding that “actors like Nancy Pelosi are committed to destabilizing China under the guise of morality” and that Pelosi has “openly threatened China’s development.”
Chinese state media put it even more bluntly, stating, “Pelosi’s Taiwan visit is a blatant provocation which will surely be met with a forceful response from China, including unprecedented military pressure. She is creating a dangerous moment, placing us on the brink of war. Nobody can guarantee there will be no mishaps.”
Pelosi’s insane escalation is finding support from some of the worst people on this planet, many of them from the other side of America’s illusory political divide.
“Nancy, I’ll go with you,” tweeted the Trump administration’s warmongering secretary of state and CIA director Mike Pompeo. “I’m banned in China, but not freedom-loving Taiwan. See you there!”
“Let Pelosi go to Taiwan,” tweeted Trump’s bloodthirsty National Security Advisor John Bolton. “It will tell us a great deal about who actually controls American foreign policy: Washington or Beijing. Doing anything more than blustering is far riskier to them than to us.”
“It is my personal view that the one-China policy has outlived its usefulness, that it is time to move away from strategic ambiguity,” the Trump administration’s secretary of defense Mark Esper said in the wake of the news of Pelosi’s visit during a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
“I think it’s important that we begin that national discussion [on strategic ambiguity] back in the United States. It would help us educate the American people if we can also point to bold decisions being made in Taipei,” Esper added, an apparent call for open domestic propaganda about the issue.
“I think China should not have any say over where American officials travel. I think if the Speaker wants to go she should go,” Esper said on CNN’s New Day.
“Speaker Pelosi absolutely should take a bipartisan congressional delegation to Taiwan,” tweeted former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich. “I am the highest ranking US official to visit Taiwan. John Dingell and other Democrats joined GOP members. Communist China cannot dictate a Speakers travel!”
“Would it surprise you to learn that Nancy Pelosi got a round of applause at a meeting of the Trump-backed America First Policy Institute?” journalist Michael Tracey tweeted from the meeting on Monday. “Because that’s exactly what just happened, when Newt Gingrich declared support for her upcoming trip to Taiwan.”
“Speaker Pelosi should go to Taiwan and President Biden should make it abundantly clear to Chairman Xi that there’s not a damn thing the Chinese Communist Party can do about it,” Republican Senator Ben Sasse said on Monday. “No more feebleness and self-deterrence. This is very simple: Taiwan is an ally and the speaker of the House of Representatives should meet with the Taiwanese men and women who stare down the threat of Communist China.”
Taiwan is in fact not a formal ally under current US policy, but that’s exactly what all these calls to abandon the one-China policy and strategic ambiguity are geared toward changing.
Sasse’s comments are particularly annerving because they suggest that if the Biden administration does anything to deter Pelosi’s Taiwan brinkmanship it will be weaponized by the GOP to attack Biden as a puppet of Xi Jinping. This would be an exact inversion of the way the Democratic Party spent four years using accusations of Kremlin loyalty to put political pressure on the Trump administration to ramp up cold war escalations against Russia, which helped pave the way to the dangerous aggressions between those two nuclear powers we now see today.
We’re already seeing these frenzied accusations of Beijing loyalty from Republican spinmeisters like Tucker Carlson, which is something I warned would happen under a Biden presidency before the 2020 election.
When it comes to China, the so-called “populist right” is in lockstep with both Nancy Pelosi and with murderous neoconservatives like Bill Kristol, Max Boot and John Bolton. Steve Bannon’s support for regime change in Beijing is indistinguishable from Bill Kristol’s support for regime change in Beijing. You will never, ever see a Trump supporter address this perfect harmony between their faction and neocons and liberal hawks with any degree of intellectual honesty.
In reality, though Democrats tend to lean more toward supporting aggressions against Russia while Republicans lean more toward favoring aggressions against China, they’re both just manufacturing consent for the same unipolarist agenda of total global domination. They pretend to be on opposing sides, but if you ignore the narratives and just look at the actions what you see is a steadily escalating “great power competition” designed to facilitate the US empire’s longstanding agenda of securing unipolar planetary hegemony at all cost.
The drums of war are growing louder and louder, and the psychopaths who feed off it are growing more and more aroused. Let’s hope this evil empire ends as soon as possible in as peaceful a manner as possible, before these freaks get us all killed.
China Is Issuing The Same “Red Line” Warnings About Taiwan That Russia Issued About Ukraine
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to pour gasoline on the foreign policy dumpster fire that is her planned visit to Taiwan next month, now reportedly encouraging other members of congress to come along for the ride.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has invited a small group of lawmakers on her official trip to Taiwan, including the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” NBC News reports.
This trip, which Beijing perceives as an egregious transgression of Washington’s longstanding one-China policy, is already so incendiary that the Pentagon is now planning to send in fighter jets and other war machinery to protect Pelosi’s plane in case of attacks by the Chinese military.
While U.S. officials say they have little fear that Beijing would attack the U.S. House speaker’s plane, they are aware that a mishap, misstep or misunderstanding could endanger her safety. So the Pentagon is developing plans for any contingency.
Officials told The Associated Press that if Pelosi goes to Taiwan — still an uncertainty — the military would increase its movement of forces and assets in the Indo-Pacific region. They declined to provide details, but said that fighter jets, ships, surveillance assets and other military systems would likely be used to provide overlapping rings of protection for her flight to Taiwan and any time on the ground there.
This risk alone would be reason enough to cancel the trip, but adding to the concern is the fact that the Chinese government has begun warning against it using the same “red line” language that Russia was using in the lead-up to its invasion of Ukraine.
“We have repeatedly made clear our our firm opposition to Speaker Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan. If the US side insists on making the visit and challenges China’s red line, it will be met with resolute countermeasures,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang said Wednesday. “The U.S. must assume full responsibility for any serious consequence arising thereof.”
China has been using this same language since news first broke about Pelosi’s planned trip, with Chinese state media Global Times saying last week that “visiting Taiwan is definitely a red line that Pelosi must never cross.”
During the lead-up to the invasion of Ukraine, Russia was issuing similar warnings using the same phrase. Putin warned over and over again that the west was taking Moscow’s “red lines” on Ukrainian neutrality too lightly, and Washington brazenly dismissed those warnings while continuing to float the possibility of future NATO membership for Ukraine.
“I don’t accept anybody’s red lines,” President Biden told the press in December of last year when asked about the warnings.
Weeks later Putin made good on his threat, launching a horrific war that has killed thousands and which could easily have been prevented with a few low-cost concessions.
“This is that red line that I talked about multiple times,” Putin said. “They have crossed it.”
Was it worth it?
Of course not.
Failing to learn from history is one thing; failing to learn even from the last five months is quite another. Pelosi and whoever’s orchestrating her trip should abort those plans immediately, because the dangers that are being toyed with here are not worth the moral victory of being able to say that China didn’t make you swerve in the stupidest game of “chicken” that has ever been played.
And that’s exactly what’s happening here. China’s “red line” warnings make it clear that Pelosi landing in Taiwan will at best kick up brinkmanship between the two nations another notch, while Republicans are aggressively pushing the narrative that if the trip doesn’t happen it will mean that “Communist China is winning.” The political pressure is on the side of escalation, with even progressive Democrats supporting Pelosi’s move and calls for de-escalation and detente becoming increasingly relegated to the sidelines.
We shouldn’t have to deal with this. We shouldn’t be watching a whole new country added to the potential flashpoints for nuclear armageddon just because some octogenarian in congress is too old to care if her plane gets shot down. We shouldn’t be risking another deadly conflict which stands to benefit no ordinary person over what amounts to nothing more than petty egoic chest-pounding.
We shouldn’t have to hope that the world’s most powerful people don’t take some idiotic risks for no good reason which could hurt us all or even end up getting us all killed. We should not have systems in place which can allow the worst things imaginable to happen if the tyrants who rule over us don’t happen to make the wisest decision on any given day.
Our futures shouldn’t depend upon the better angels of the worst monsters. Those with power have far too much of it, and the ordinary people of this world have not nearly enough.