So President Donald Trump reckoned on Monday that the United States Intelligence Community (IC) just might be wrong in its assessment that Russia had sought to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election but then decided on Tuesday that he misspoke and had the greatest confidence in the IC and now agrees that they were correct in their judgment. But Donald Trump, interestingly, added something about there being “others” that also had been involved in the election in an attempt to subvert it, though he was not specific and the national media has chosen not to pursue the admittedly cryptic comment. He was almost certainly referring to China both due to possible motive and the possession of the necessary resources to carry out such an operation. Indeed, there are reports that China hacked the 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails that are apparently still missing.
Just how one interferes in an election in a large country with diverse sources of information and numerous polling stations located in different states using different systems is, of course, problematical. The United States has interfered in elections everywhere, including in Russia under Boris Yeltsin. It engaged in regime change in Iran, Chile, and Guatemala by supporting conservative elements in the military which obligingly staged coups. In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. forces invaded and overthrew the governments while in Libya the change in regime was largely brought about by encouraging rebels while bombing government forces. The same model has been applied in Syria, though without much success because Damascus actually was bold enough to resist.
So how do the Chinese “others” bring about “change” short of a full-scale invasion by the People’s Liberation Army? I do not know anything about actual Chinese plans to interfere in future American elections and gain influence over the resulting newly elected government but would like to speculate on just how they might go about that onerous task.
First, I would build up an infrastructure in the United States that would have access to the media and be able to lobby and corrupt the political class. That would be kind of tricky as it would require getting around the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), which requires representatives of foreign governments operating in the United States to register and have their finances subject to review by the Department of the Treasury. Most recently, several Russian news agencies that are funded by the Putin government have been required to do so, including RT International and Sputnik radio and television.
The way to avoid the FARA registration requirement is to have all funding come through Chinese-American sources that are not directly connected with the government in Beijing. Further, the foundations and other organizations should be set up as having an educational purpose rather than a political agenda. You might want to call your principal lobbying group something like the American Chinese Political Action Committee or ACPAC as an acronym when one is referring to it shorthand.
Once established, ACPAC will hire and send hundreds of Chinese-American lobbyists to Capitol Hill when Congress is in session. They will be carefully selected to come from as many states and congressional districts as possible to maximize access to legislative offices. They will have with them position papers prepared by the ACPAC central office that explain why a close and uncritical relationship with Beijing is not only the right thing to do, it is also a good thing for the United States.
As part of the process, new Congressmen will benefit from free trips to China paid for by an educational foundation set up for that purpose. They will be able to walk on the Great Wall and speak to genuine representative Chinese who will tell them how wonderful everything is in the People’s Republic.
Congressmen who nevertheless appear to be resistant to the lobbying and the emoluments will be confronted with a whole battery of alternative reasons why they should be filo-Chinese, including the thinly veiled threat that to behave otherwise could be construed as politically damaging anti-Orientalist racism. For those who persist in their obduracy, the ultimate weapon will be citation of the horrors of the Second World War Rape of Nanking. No one wants to be accused of being a Rape of Nanking denier.
The second phase of converting Congress is to set up a bunch of Political Action Committees (PACs). They will have innocuous names like Rocky Mountain Sheep Herders Association, but they will all really be about China. When the money begins to flow into the campaign coffers of legislators any concerns about what China is doing in the world will cease. The same PACs can be use to fund billboards and voter outreach in some districts, allowing China to have a say in the elections without actually having to surface or be explicit about whom it supports. Other PACs can work hard at inserting material into social websites, similar to what the Russians have been accused of doing.
And then there is the mass media. Using the same Chinese-American conduit, you would simply buy up controlling interests in newspapers and other media outlets. And you would begin staffing those outlets with earnest young Chinese-Americans who will be highly protective of Chinese interests and never write a story critical of the government in Beijing or the Chinese people. That way the American public will eventually become so heavily propagandized by the prevailing narrative that they will never question anything that China does, ideally beginning to refer to it as the “only democracy in Asia” and “America’s best friend in the whole wide world.” Once the indoctrination process is completed, the Chinese leadership might even crush demonstrators with tanks in Tiananmen Square or line up snipers to pick off protest leaders and no congressman or newspaper would dare say nay.
When the political classes and media are sufficiently under control, it would then be time to move to the final objective: the dismantling of the United States Constitution. In particularly, there is that pesky Bill of Rights and the First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech. That would definitely have to go, so you round up your tame Congress critters and you elect a president who is also in your pocket, putting everything in place for the “slam-dunk.” You pass a battery of laws making any criticism of China both racist and felonious, with punitive fines and prison sentences attached. After that success, you can begin to dismantle the rest of the Bill of Rights and no one will be able to say a word against what you are doing because the First Amendment will by then be a dead duck. When the Constitution is in shreds and Chinese lobbyists are firmly in control of corrupted legislators, Beijing will have won a bloodless victory against the United States and it all began with just a little interference in America’s politics alluded to by Donald Trump.
Of course, dear reader, all of the above might be true but for the fact that I am not talking about China at all and am only using that country as a metaphor. Beijing may have spied on the U.S. elections but it otherwise has evidenced little interest in manipulating elections or controlling any aspect of the U.S. government. And even though I am sure that Donald Trump was not referring to Israel when he made his offhand comment about “others,” the shoe perfectly fits that country’s subjugation of many of the foreign and national security policy mechanisms in the United States over the past fifty years. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently boasted about how he controls Trump and convinced him to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.
The real mystery, if there is one, is why no American politician has either the guts or the integrity or perhaps the necessary intelligence to substitute Tel Aviv for Moscow and to call Israel out like we are currently calling out Russia for actions that pale in comparison to what Netanyahu has been up to.
To be specific, there is no evidence that Russia ever asked for favors from Trump’s campaign staff and transition team but Israel did so over a vote on its illegal settlements at the United Nations. Is Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Congress interested? No. Is the media interested? No.
Israel, relying on Jewish power and money to do the heavy lifting, has completely corrupted many aspects of American government and, in particular, its foreign policy by aggressive lobbying and buying politicians. All new members of Congress and spouses are taken to Israel on generously funded “fact finding” tours after being elected to make sure they get their bearings straight right from the git-go. Israel’s nearly total control over the message on the Middle East coming out of the U.S. mainstream is aided and abetted by the numerous Jewish editors and journalists who are prepared to pump the party line. The money to do all this comes from Jewish billionaires like Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson, who have their hooks deep into both political parties. Meanwhile, the ability of America’s most powerful foreign policy lobby AIPAC to avoid registration as a foreign agent is completely due to the exercise of Jewish power in the United States which means in practice that Israel and its advocates will never be sanctioned in any way.
Israel is eager to have the United States fight Iran on its behalf, even though Washington has no real interest in doing so, and all indications are that it will be successful. Though it is a rich country, it receives a multi-billion-dollar handout from the U.S. Treasury every year. When its war criminal prime minister comes to town he receives 26 standing ovations from a completely sycophantic congress and now the United States has even stationed soldiers in Israel who are “prepared to die” for Israel even though there is no treaty of any kind between the two countries and the potential victims have likely never been consulted regarding dying for a foreign country. All of this takes place without the public ever voting on or even discussing the relationship, a tribute to the fact that both major parties and the media have been completely co-opted.
And now there is the assault on the First Amendment, with legislation currently in Congress making it a crime either to criticize Israel or support a boycott of it in support of Palestinian rights. When those bills become law, which they will, we are finished as a country where fundamental rights are respected.
And what has Russia done in comparison to all this? Hardly anything even if all the claims about its alleged interference are true. So when will Mueller and all the Republican and Democratic baying dogs say a single word about Israel’s interference in our elections and political processes? If past behavior is anything to go by, it will never happen.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected]