‘A Disastrous Projection of Weakness’
Joe Biden’s failure to defend our skies against this Red Chinese encroachment will only invite more provocations.
The Chinese spy balloon, having traversed the continental United States and thereby completed its mission, was shot down at 2:39 p.m. ET Saturday by a single Sidewinder missile launched from a U.S. F-22 fighter flying at 58,000 feet just six miles off the coast of the Carolinas.
At least our fighter pilots can still do their jobs.
U.S. officials said the debris field “stretched at least 7 miles and was in water 47 feet deep … making it easier to retrieve pieces of the sensor package and other parts that may be salvageable.”
Furthermore, as Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder reassured us, “Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.” So despite the balloon’s massive and highly sophisticated surveillance payload, and despite it having flown all the way across the North American continent, the ChiComs didn’t gain so much as a scintilla of useful intelligence from it.
Oh, and COVID-19 came from a pangolin.
Weakness is provocative, and Joe Biden’s weakness has clearly provoked the lying, thieving, murdering communist Chinese.
“My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” warned U.S. Air Force General Mike Minihan recently. But given the events of the past week, he might want to move up his timeline.
Biden’s Red Zeppelin was first detected by our military over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands last Saturday, but we can be certain that they were aware of its presence even before that. Still, there was no official acknowledgment of the balloon by the Biden DOD until four days later, on Wednesday, when it was seen by civilians over Billings, Montana. That would be the same Montana, incidentally, that is the home of Malmstrom Air Force Base and that houses 150 or so of our nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile silos.
The spy balloon was also sighted over Kansas and Missouri on Friday, and by then, Team Brandon figured it had to do something. So, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a planned bent-knee trip to China and issued a sternly worded memo. “The presence of this surveillance balloon over the United States, in our skies,” he said, “is a clear violation of our sovereignty, a clear violation of international law, and clearly unacceptable. … I can only imagine what the reaction would be in China if they were on the other end.”
That last comment is precisely the point — and precisely the standard that should govern our approach to Communist China: reciprocity. Here’s how former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it:
If China doesn’t allow Americans to purchase farmland next to their military installations, we shouldn’t either. If China doesn’t allow our diplomats to move freely across China, then Chinese diplomats shouldn’t be able to either. If Americans can’t get research jobs at top installations in Beijing, then Chinese researchers shouldn’t be able to get jobs here either.
Here we’d add that China doesn’t allow us to put propaganda and sexually explicit material on its children’s cellphones. China shouldn’t be allowed to put such trash on our children’s phones, either.
“This appears to be an intentional act of espionage,” Pompeo writes, “and it signals that the CCP is feeling ever more emboldened with Biden in charge. If the Biden administration does not act to change this paradigm quickly, the threat of conflict will only continue to grow. Weakness breeds aggression.”
After the shoot-down, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs harrumphed and announced its “strong discontent and protest,” saying it retains “the right to respond further” and calling the American shoot-down “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.” As if floating a spy balloon over another nation’s air space isn’t “a serious violation of international practice.”
Spy balloon? What spy balloon? sneered the indignant commies. The mostly peaceful balloon, the Associated Press reports that they insist, “was merely a weather research ‘airship’ that had been blown off course” and “that it was not being used for surveillance and had only limited navigational ability.” Uh-huh.
It’s hard to imagine a regime less credible and more mendacious than the Biden administration, but here we have it. Clearly, the ChiComs have no respect for what the globalist Left likes to call “a rules-based international order.”
Should Congress take a harder line on China? That’s the no-brainer that NBC News asked in a recent poll. The answer it got was overwhelming: 75% of the American people said yes, while only 18% said no.
But one wonders: Had the spy balloon not been spotted by everyday Montanans on Wednesday, just what would the Biden administration’s response have been? On the tarmac Saturday, just after the shoot-down, Biden said he’d given orders to the military to shoot the balloon down on, coincidentally, Wednesday. But why then? Why only after the administration had lost control of the story? If the incursion was — to use Antony Blinken’s words — “a clear violation of our sovereignty” and “a clear violation of international law”?
If it was “clearly unacceptable” on Friday, why wasn’t it “clearly unacceptable” six days earlier, when it entered U.S. air space over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands?
Furthermore, if Joe Biden really did order the spy balloon to be shot down on Wednesday “as soon as possible,” why on earth wasn’t it shot down over rural, expansive, mountainous Montana — which is our nation’s fourth-largest state by land mass but only its 43rd most populous?
Indeed, as Ohio Republican Congressman Mike Turner, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” “This should never have been allowed to enter the United States, and it should never have been allowed to complete its mission.”
Turner continued: “If you’d asked somebody to draw an X at every place where our sensitive missile defense sites or nuclear weapons infrastructure or nuclear weapons sites are, you would put them all along this path. Clearly, this was an attempt by China to gather information to defeat our command and control of our sensitive missile defense and nuclear weapons sites, and that, certainly, is an urgency that this administration does not recognize.”
Mississippi’s Roger Wicker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, added, “Allowing a spy balloon from the Communist Party of China to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of weakness by the White House.”
“First Biden refused to defend our borders,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “Now he won’t defend our skies.”
And as Montana’s own Senator Steve Daines put it, “They could’ve shot that balloon down, and the biggest risk might’ve been hitting a cow, a prairie dog, or an antelope.”
For the naïve and weak-kneed opposition, New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, believes that “this strong diplomacy [sic] can work to counter Chinese aggression.” Senator Useful Idiot continued: “And this is where I give a lot of confidence and strength to the Biden administration. … Uh, this is an administration from its very beginning, uh, has been reaching out across the aisle and finding good ways to counter and check, uh, China’s uh, uh, uh, aggressions, China’s espionage, but also to look way, look at ways to strengthen ties with China, uh, that enable us to better keep them at the table.”
Memo to Spartacus: The Red Chinese will keep coming to the table so long as they can keep eating our lunch — which is precisely what they’ll continue to do while this corrupt, compromised, and kowtowing president remains in office.
Elections have consequences, and the unchecked rise of the Red Chinese is one of the things that, ahem, 81 million Americans voted for when they chose the demented Democrat over the volatile Republican who always put America First and occasionally sent out a mean tweet.
POSTSCRIPT: As for why they floated this literal trial balloon, and what we can expect next from the ChiComs, our Mark Alexander offers this strategic assessment: “The essential question about this provocation from the moment we began tracking the balloon at its launch has been this: What is the ChiComs’ strategy? Given they assumed Biden would shoot this balloon down, their next provocative test of Biden’s ineptitude may be to use this incident as justification for shooting down a U.S. satellite over China to demonstrate its ant-satellite capabilities, or perhaps a much greater provocation, shooting down a U.S. aircraft over what it claims as sovereign air space above the Straits of Taiwan. At the moment, China is laughably issuing complaints about the shoot down and issuing retaliatory threats.”