The unz.com article American Pravda: Our Coronavirus Catastrophe as Biowarfare Blowback?, published by unz.com editor and founder Run Unz, which posits that Covid-19 was a bio weapon by the US against China, has been going viral.
For three generations following the end of World War II, America had stood as the world’s supreme economic and technological power, while the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago left us as the sole remaining superpower, facing no conceivable military rival. A growing sense that we were rapidly losing that unchallenged position had certainly inspired the anti-China rhetoric of many senior figures in the Trump Administration, who launched a major trade war soon after coming into office. The increasing misery and growing impoverishment of large sections of the American population naturally left these voters searching for a convenient scapegoat, and the prosperous, rising Chinese made a perfect target.
Ron Unz, founder of Unz.com, is held up as a ‘genius physicist’ and alternative-media pundit whose vast knowledge and intelligence precedes his reputation, but here he has no idea what he is talking about.
Unz is spreading this narrative that the US and China are competitors locked in war, or that China is surpassing the US economically, but that could not be further from the truth. China and the US, despite tariffs and sabre-rattling from Trump, are partners and cooperative, not enemies or competitors. The ‘major trade war’ was more of a media-generated war hyped by the anti-Trump liberal media who were hoping for a recession, than a war of any economic significance. China’s economy is still heavily dependent on the US. If the US stopped Chinese imports, it would cripple China’s economy, because the US accounts for about 40% of China’s exports.
Culturally, China and the US have a lot more similarities than differences, with both countries seeking to emulate and appropriate each other’s cultures and values, which is not the expected behavior of countries that are supposed to be enemies. For example, as an obvious example of of this cultural and economic exchange, blockbusters produced in Hollywood gross billions of dollars in China. China , for decades, has been trying to copy America’s consumerist culture. Meanwhile, America is trying to copy China’s economic efficiency and central planning.
Under these difficult circumstances, an American biowarfare attack against China might have seemed the only remaining card to play in hopes of maintaining American supremacy. Plausible deniability would minimize the risk of any direct Chinese retaliation, and if successful, the terrible blow inflicted to China’s economy would set it back for many years, perhaps even destabilizing its social and political system. Using alternative media to immediately promote theories that the coronavirus outbreak was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab was a natural means of preempting any later Chinese accusations along similar lines, thereby allowing America to win the international propaganda war before China had even begun to play.
If Covid-19 was an act of bio-warfare by the US against China, how does one explain that the U.S. sent millions of face masks to China early this year.
A decision by elements of our national security establishment to wage biological warfare in hopes of maintaining American world power would certainly have been an extremely reckless act, but extreme recklessness has become a regular aspect of American behavior since 2001, especially under the Trump Administration. Just a year earlier we had kidnapped the daughter of Huawei’s founder and chairman, who also served as CFO and ranked as one of China’s most top executives, while at the beginning of January we suddenly assassinated Iran’s top military leader.
As for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, this sort of stuff happens even with countries that are allies of the US, such as as the arrest of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard under the Espionage Act.
Around the same time, I noted another extremely strange coincidence that failed to attract any interest from our somnolent national media. Although his name had meant nothing to me, in late January my morning newspapers carried major stories on the sudden arrest of Prof. Charles Lieber, one of Harvard University’s top scientists and Chairman of its Chemistry Department, sometimes characterized as a potential future Nobel Laureate.
A web of coincidences does not prove anything. What Unz is demonstrating is confirmation bias. He is combing through huge troves of information to find evidence in support of his theory, but ignoring the opposing evidence.
Unz continues to ramble on about coincidences and fails to present any sort of substantive argument or evidence in support of his theory. But perhaps the most damning and obvious reason why it was not a bioweapon is, if the US somehow intentionally infected China and Iran, why was the US caught so flat-footed when the virus began to spread domestically. Given the high propensity of the virus to spread and the surge of cases in China and around the world such as in Italy, surely, state officials would have not waited so long to stop incoming international flights, and would have closed the borders immediately rather than waiting almost two months. It makes no logical sense how the US would be caught by such surprise by the very virus it created, if that is really what happened. Unz address this objection, but in doing so contradicts himself:
When considering the hypothesis of an American biowarfare attack, certain natural objections come to mind. The major drawback to biological warfare has always been the obvious fact that the self-replicating agents employed will not respect national borders, thus raising the serious risk that the disease might eventually return to the land of its origin and inflict substantial casualties. For this reason, it seems very doubtful that any rational and half-competent American leadership would have unleashed the coronavirus against China.
But as we see absolutely demonstrated in our daily news headlines, America’s current government is grotesquely and manifestly incompetent, more incompetent than one could almost possibly imagine, with tens of thousands of Americans having now already paid with their lives for such extreme incompetence. Rationality and competence are obviously nowhere to be found among the Deep State Neocons that President Donald Trump has appointed to so many crucial positions throughout our national security apparatus.
Unz blames the ‘deep state’ in Trump’s cabinet, but isn’t the deep state supposed to be pro-China? Trump’s 2016 platform was premised on opposing this mythical ‘deep state’ and being ‘tough on China.’ So how can the deep state both be pro- and anti-China, and competent enough to successfully engineer and deploy a self-replicating bio weapon against China but at the same time be too incompetent and oblivious to stop it from returning to the US?