As of Friday night, we have now “enjoyed” two episodes of “oh, ooh, China boogeyman is here” drama.
First, of course, the balloon drifting across the full width of North America, starting in Alaska, passing over Montana, Missouri, and then South Carolina before someone used an air-to-air missile to splash it.
Both Democrats and Republicans in DC found common ground – at least somewhat (they are still divided on blaming Uncle Joe or The Donald for this happening).
The entire episode is almost certainly vastly overblown: supposedly the balloon could gather more intel at 50-70,000 feet(5-10 miles) than surveillance satellites at 150 miles. Depending on the type, of course.
One of the original comments has stuck in my mind: it wasn’t the data that the gondola collected (and almost certainly transmitted real time to the PLA). It wasn’t the threat, which just encourages the politicians and brass hats in DC to respond more harshly and spend more money. Or it wasn’t just those things: it was perhaps mostly just to see how the hated, evil Americans would react. The politicos, the bureaucrats, the brass hats, but also business and the majority of Americans.
No doubt, there are many reasons that the CCP would choose to send such a mission. Indeed, it might even have included weather data collection, for camouflage, if nothing else. One person, on hearing that the gondola was the size of a bus, quipped that maybe it was carrying border jumpers! Another wag suggested (a more ominous idea) that it was a delivery drone, dropping little packages of something as it went along. Fentanyl, perhaps? Or more intel-gathering gadgets?
All the news stories and the chest-beating and hair-pulling as a result indicate that the puppet-masters in Peking might consider their investment worth it.
Especially since the latest “unknown airborne object” (notice, not an unknown flying object or UFO) was shot down before it crossed above any American (or Canadian) land. How much intel about American interceptors and air defenses of Alaska was revealed today?
But whatever the Chinese may have gained, it is clear that the big winner of this series of events is the Warfare-Welfare State: the Congress will find it very easy to push “defense spending” even more that has been done the last five-six years. And the brass hats and their blood-sucking partners in the defense industry (and more) will get more and more attention and money. Riding on the coattails of Americans’ fears.
It lets them whip up the anti-China rhetoric even more, and translate into spending and – get this – even more police-state powers: Maybe the Chinese balloon was secretly communicating with the growing number of domestic, homegrown “American extremists and terrorists” using those people’s secret decoder rings? People like the evil Latin Rite Catholics, other Catholics who don’t like their Pope embracing woke politics and who refuse to use “proper gender pronouns” in Catholic schools, or who wear “Jesus saves” tee-shirts into shopping malls. (After all, if American so-called progressives can find common ground with fundamentalist Islamists who share no beliefs at all with them, cannot Chinese Communists ally themselves with “radical” christians?)
So expect more and more FBI and DEA and even USFS and BLM (the FedGov BLM, not the honored advocates of anti-racism and reparations) surveillance and covert action against all Americans. After all, isn’t it patriotic to do that, with that Chinese threat literally hanging over our heads?
Testing our resolve?
Confucius say-there is no there, there.