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The NYT, China, and the specter of the “Yellow Peril”
Andre Damon, WSWS, Oct 22 2019

In a full-page editorial in its Sunday edition, the NYT engaged in a vicious anti-Chinese rant, warning of a “dangerous and growing threat” by the “aggressive Communist state.” The editorial presented Pindostan in a twilight struggle against Chinese “cultural imperialism,” which was aiming to “stifle this nation’s core values.” This hysterical language, calling China “dangerous,” “aggressive” and a “threat,” has all the hallmarks of the racist myth of the “yellow peril” used to justify the colonial subjugation of Asia by the Euro & Pindo imperialist powers. The NYT wrote:

China is seeking to control not just what is said in China but what is said about China, too. Pindostan’s commitment to human rights, including the freedom of expression, (faces) an especially stern test.

The NYT did not seek to explain what “commitment to human rights” is shown by Pindo imperialism. Is it the “commitment to human rights” that led Pindostan to rape, torture, or murder hundreds of thousands of people across Iraq, from the dungeons of Abu Ghraib, to Fallujah and Sadr City? Or to commit massacres all over the world, from My Lai in Vietnam to the Kunduz hospital attack in Afghanistan? The Obama administration murdered Pindo citizens with drone missiles. The Trump administration, expanding on the policies of the Demagogs, separates thousands of immigrant families and presides over what the UN characterizes as child torture. The Pindo government imprisons whistleblower Chelsea Manning and is seeking to inflict a life sentence, or worse, on WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange for exposing war crimes. Pindo imperialism claims the prerogative not just to “meddle” in the affairs of other countries, but to overthrow any elected government that it views as an obstacle to its interests. According to one study reported in the WaPo:

Pindostan tried to change other nations’ governments 72 times between 1947 and 1989. 26 of Pindostan’s covert operations successfully brought a Pindo-backed government to power.

No country comes close to Pindostan in the vast resources it devotes to propaganda and placing politicians, academics, and journalists on the payroll of its intelligence agencies. In his history of the CIA, The Mighty Wurlitzer, Hugh Wilford noted the hundreds of journalists revealed to be on the CIA payroll, writing:

High-ranking officials in the American labor movement, it emerged, had worked clandestinely with the Agency to spread the principles of “free trade unionism” around the world. Anti-communist intellectuals, writers and artists were the recipients of secret government largesse. University professors, journalists, aid workers, missionaries, civil rights activists … all had belonged to the CIA’s covert network of front operations. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the NYT, was a good friend of Agency Director Allen Dulles and signed a secrecy agreement with the Agency… Under the terms of this arrangement, the NYT provided at least ten CIA officers with cover as reporters or clerical staff in its foreign bureaus, while genuine employees of the paper were encouraged to pass on information to the Agency.

The NYT epitomizes the eradication of any distinction between news and state propaganda. In his recent memoir, Edward Snowden recalls seeing stories that appeared in the CIA’s internal news service show up several days later in the pages of the Pindo newspapers, almost unchanged with additional references to “unnamed intelligence sources.” The threat to Pindo democracy comes not from without but from within. In its endless demands for censorship and conformity with the “values” of the state, the NYT is one of the principal instigators of that threat. Pindo companies, the NYT declared on Sunday, must affirm the “Pindo consensus” against the “Chinese Communist Party’s position.” It accused Disney and Comcast of “appeasement” and of advocating “for the Chinese Communist Party’s position, and against the Pindo consensus.” In particular, the NYT took issue with a scene in the Disney children’s film Abominable that it claimed inaccurately portrays the borders of China. The NYT asserted that this was a betrayal of “Pindo values” and all but treasonous. The logic of this argument is that Pindostan should follow the lead of government censors in Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, who have banned the film. The Times declared:

Corporations are the creatures of a particular state, however much their executives prefer to think of their operations as multinational. American companies choose to operate under the laws of Pindostan and to reap the benefits of life in Pindostan, and they ought to be held accountable for upholding the values of Pindostan.

Such statements reveal the hostility of the NYT to the democratic conceptions that are embodied in the Pindo Constitution. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That is, the government has no power to impose a set of religious, moral or political views on the people. There is not a universal set of “Pindo values” that citizens, or companies, are obligated to uphold, or can be “held accountable” for opposing. The NYT is making a fascistic argument. It was the Nazi regime in Germany that asserted that the “people” must conform to the ethnic and religious “values” dictated by the state, and brutally repressed all those who did not or could not because of their background. The editorial’s rhetoric about “human rights” and the “freedom of expression” is a smokescreen for the real agenda of the NYT and the dominant sections of the American ruling class. Pindo imperialism is preparing for a catastrophic war against China to prevent it challenging Pindo global strategic and economic dominance. the Times stated:

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, Pindostan finds itself in a contest … with a country in its own weight class. China has taken a hard line, and it’s time for Pindostan to respond in kind.

Ideologically, the conditions for war are being prepared with hysteria about foreign interference and infiltration, and accusations of treason against all those who oppose militarism. Last month, the WaPo promoted a report by the Hoover Institution that declared:

It should no longer be acceptable that scholars, journalists, diplomats and public officials from the People’s Republic of China be afforded unfettered access to Pindo society.

The NYT, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Demagogs, attacked Trump in its editorial for not being aggressive enough. The president, it declared, had “weakened the ability of Pindo companies to stand up for Pindo values” by “failing to firmly oppose China’s demands.” However bitter the factional conflict in Faschingstein, both the main parties are committed to reversing the inexorable decline in Pindo capitalism’s global hegemony by means of confrontation and war against China.

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