The Politics of Fear – Part 3/5

September 16, 2011

As long as there is no law to insure balance and honesty in the media, Americans are ripe to fear almost anything and China is a tempting target to induce fear and loathing by manipulating public opinion.

Since the history of Sinophobia in the United States starts with the California Gold Rush (1848 – 1855) leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), which formalized this prejudice into a law that would not be removed from the books until 1965 (eighty-three years later) during the Civil Rights era, China is a perfect target since the demonizing was started in the 19th century.

Due to this early demonizing, during the later 19th and early 20th century, many Chinese were relentlessly beaten just because of their race, and in 1884, the Chinese Exclusion Act was amended in Washington D.C., so it would apply to all ethnic Chinese regardless of their country of origin.

As the years went by, other amendments were added to the Chinese Exclusion Act making the law more restrictive for the Chinese.

Political Scientist Corey Robin wrote Fear: the History of a Political Idea in 2004, published by Oxford University Press, which may also help explain why there is so much antagonism toward China in the United States.

On August 17, 2011, KPFA’s Against the Grain, a radio program about politics, society and ideas talked with Robin about how “fear dominates our society. Fear of crime, fear of the poor, fear of foreign terrorists, to which we might add fear of our government and fear of our bosses.”


Watch the Young Turks reveal Glenn Beck‘s lies.

Newsday said, “Robin argues that whereas Hobbes and Arendt appreciated the political dimensions of fear, Montesquieu and Tocqueville relegated the idea to the realm of the psychological—a view of fear that has endured, blinding us to the self-serving ways elites deploy fear for political ends.”

Steven Lukes, Professor of Sociology at New York University, said, “Corey Robin provides an acute and sustained analysis of the very idea of fear, of the role of fear as an instrument of political rule and of its unacknowledged prevalence within our liberal democratic institutions.”

The National Post said, “Brilliant…. What he does in Fear is show us, by carefully plotting the progress of modern fear politics from the Enlightenment to present day, that we are as dependent on fear as a political vehicle, if not more so, as we are the charades of left/right/middle factionalism.”

Robin mentions that fear is a method used by political groups and individuals to advance themselves and/or their political and religious agendas.

One example is Glenn Beck, who often incites violence and fear with lies and fear mongering (for more about Glenn Beck, watch the embedded video with this post).

In addition, according to former Fox News producer Charlie Reina… Fox News’s editorial policy is set from the top down in the form of a daily memo: “frequently, Reina says, it also contains hints, suggestions and directives on how to slant the day’s news – invariably, he says, in a way that’s consistent with the politics and desires of the Bush administration.”

Moreover, the December 17, 2010 issue of The Atlantic said, “One alleged news network fed its audience a diet of lies, while contributing financially to the party that benefited from those lies. Those who work for Fox News are not working for a journalistic enterprise. They are working for the communications department of a political party.”

Without an honest, trustworthy media reporting honest and balanced news, how can a democracy that depends on a literate and informed public survive?

In fact, how will China rid itself of being seen as a demon by many in America?

Continued September 17, 2011 in  The Politics of Fear – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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The Politics of Fear – Part 1/5

September 14, 2011

The modern politics of fear has a history and in the U.S. that history may be traced to President Harry Truman in the 1940s.

In fact, there are many elements to the politics of fear that involve the CIA, Operation Mockingbird (and its clones, which continue today—see first embedded video), Nazis/neoconservatives, the Fairness Doctrine (1949 – 1987), U.S. President Ronald Reagan and conservative talk radio, etc.

For example, ABC World News started their recent piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?” It’s not what they say but what they “don’t say” that reveals an element of the politics of fear, which means leaving out important facts.


“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — William Colby, former CIA Director (Sept. 1973 to Jan. 1976), quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy.

Another subtle element of the politics of fear came from the U.S. State Department when a spokesperson said, “The State Department is concerned that the Chinese military is not ‘transparent’ enough about its build-up, which, in addition to the aircraft carrier, also includes the development of a fifth-generation stealth jet fighter believed to be capable of rivaling America’s best (however, there is no mention that it will be years of development before combat ready aircraft are deployed on Chinese airfields).

Again, what isn’t said reveals elements of the politics of fear.

I wrote on this topic March 16, 2011, in China Reaching for Stealth and Aircraft Carriers.

The Chinese aircraft carrier that is generating so much concern from the U.S. government and the Western media is more than twenty years old and is not nuclear powered. It was originally launched in Russia (1988), but was never completed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia has also been negotiating the sale of another aircraft carrier to India, which is supposed to be completed and delivered in 2011, but we hear nothing about that and India also has nuclear weapons and has waged war several times with another nuclear power, Pakistan.

If the U.S. is so concerned about China having an outdated aircraft carrier, what about all the other countries that have aircraft carriers?

Global Security.org lists twenty for America (nine small/medium sized in addition to eleven of the largest in the world), and then Brazil has one in addition to France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and two for the UK (Britain is planning two more large carriers and France wants another one too).

Global Security says that all of America’s aircraft carriers add up to nearly 70 acres of deck space while the rest of the world’s carriers combined have less than 15 acres—one fifth that of America.

With such a massive superiority over the entire world, what is the “real” reason for so much concern in the U.S. of one out-of-date aircraft carrier in China?

One clue may be discovered at Global Security.org, which lists World Wide Military Expenditures and of the more than $2 trillion the nations of the world will spend in 2011, the US will spend more than $741 billion (37% of the global total).


Former US Secretary of State James Baker talks about US-Sino relations starting at 4:13

The top five countries in the world for military expenditures are the United States ($741 billion), China ($380 billion), India ($92 billion), Russia ($92 billion) and Saudi Arabia (about $60 billion).

If America were to cut its defense spending to equal China, that would go a long way to solve the National Debt crises.

However, the truth of why the West and especially America is making such a big deal over China’s one aircraft carrier has more to do with generating fear to achieve political agendas, and those behind the smear campaign don’t fear China.

To discover more, this series will continue September 15, 2011 in The Politics of Fear – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Boogeyman Books and Fear Sells

June 30, 2010

Out of curiosity, I crawled Amazon looking for books bashing China. The first one was Americas Coming War with China, published in 2006.

Martin Sieff, the National Security Correspondent for UPI had this to say, “America’s Coming War with China is a thoughtful, even-toned, deeply disturbing book. Ted Galen Carpenter has long been one of the wisest, most far-seeing foreign policy voices in Washington. His quiet, careful documentation of an on-rushing, potentially catastrophic confrontation between the United States and China over Taiwan, which can still be avoided, but may not be, is far more troubling than the hysterical claims from other sources that brand China as an inevitable, mortal enemy of the United States. This is clearly one of the most important books on U.S. foreign policy in years. It is essential reading for everyone who cares about the peace of the world.”

Now, a dose of reality. China has more troops in uniform but look at the weapons.

America’s military expenditures for 2009 were almost 700 billion (4.3% of GDP) and China spent less than 100 billion (2.0% of GDP).

Not counting Afghanistan and Iraq, there are about 100,000 US troops in Asia, 40,000 in South Korea, and more bases in countries that ring China like Japan. Source: Global Research

The US has 11 aircraft carriers and 1,559 navy ships
China has 1 aircraft carrier with 760 navy ships

China has about 240 nuclear warheads
The US has more than 5,000 active with another 4,500 retired

The US has 18,000 military aircraft
China has 1,900. Source: Global Firepower

Here are a few other titles to help stay awake and afraid in the dark.

  • Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States, 2006
  • The Coming Conflict with China, 1998
  • Red Dragon Rising, 2002
  • Hegemon, China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, 2000

See When the Generals Laughed

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Lloyd Lofthouse,
Award winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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