In the latest development stemming from the communist Chinese fighter pilot’s maneuvering his supersonic craft into a lumbering EP-3 prop-driven American surveillance plane, the Chinese have tried to trumpet our willingness to pay the costs of recovering the craft from where it force-landed on Hainan Island as a “payment” and, thus, mischaracterize it as an admission of fault.
This falsehood was immediately shot down by Vice President Cheney on the Sunday talk shows, who pointed out that we were merely willing to put up the costs for extracting the plane from its present location and returning it to the U.S.
It may seem like a small thing that the Bush administration has been truthful with the American people about this and the other details of this incident, and that it is visibly the Chinese communists who are continually fabricating and misrepresenting, but it is not. Previously, we have pointed out that the Vietnam War was lost, not at the front where we were fighting, but through the logistics supplied not only by the communist patrons of North Vietnam, China and the USSR, but by our own ostensible allies, and we have certainly pointed out the crucial nature of our own logistical support, yet there is another arena that overarches even logistics and is crucial to avoiding loss and securing American victory in confrontational situations: public perception and public relations.
President Bush and his team have not only established a basis for adherence to the Constitution and avoidance of the schism caused in our nation by the failure of President Johnson to adhere to it in Vietnam, they have also established a basis for winning what Peoples Liberation Army officers Qiao Lang and Wang Xiangaui have described in their book, “Unrestricted Warfare,” as three of the kinds of war communist China is presently waging against us:
- “media warfare (manipulating what people see and hear in order to lead public opinion along),”
- “cultural warfare (leading cultural trends along in order to assimilate those with different views),”
- “international law warfare (seizing the earliest opportunity to set up regulations).”
Let us hope that President Bush and his team can now move beyond management to leadership and win these aspects of the war that communist China has already been waging against for years from its position of what President Bush correctly characterized early in his presidential campaign as a “strategic competitor.”
The ability of the communists and other totalitarians to “manipulate what people see in order to lead public opinion along,” as stated by these PLA authors in this latest update of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” preceded the Vietnam War, of course. But certainly, in the Vietnam War, as already stated, it combined with the failure on President Johnson’s part to operate under our Constitution to our ultimate harm, and to a great loss of American leadership in the world.
The media structure has changed dramatically today and the opportunity lies before President Bush to prevent the success of that characteristic communist manipulation today and see truth placed in its stead. That is what his winning “Red Zone” was about in many respects. It was an ability to stop those in the large urban media centers — where historically totalitarian regimes have found support — from manipulating what people see and hear in a sufficient portion of the rest of the country. Bush saw that the communist worldview, which is one of total centralized command, does not “lead public opinion along” outside of those urban cores, with their captive populations.
Another significance of the “Red Zone” is that it may signify an end also to “leading cultural trends … to assimilate those with different views” into the worldview of the urban Blue Zone under the leadership of mindless media elite and the sophomoric Marxism of Hollywood. Thus these two forms of “asymmetric” or “unlimited” warfare which the Chinese have been pursuing against us for years (inheriting, in this respect, the mantle of the former USSR as the strategic leader of “disinformation”), may not be what they have been much longer for the advancement of communist Chinese goals, and the Bush team has an opportunity for leadership in reversing the tide of battle with regard to both of them. Certainly it is clear that if a new media structure, one of truth, were not forming which resonates in the Red Zone, George W. Bush would not be president. The opportunity for leadership will expand this zone of truth rather than that of misrepresentation and cover-up.
But equally as important as the ability to end “media manipulation” by conveying truth and the ability to end the “leading along” by centralized-command media elites, may be the opportunity to lead in defeating the third type of “unlimited” warfare mentioned above in which the communist Chinese are attempting to engage, what they call “international law warfare.”
Instead of simply turning aside the Chinese attempts to obtain admissions to that which is not so and avoid apologies for that which did not happen, the Bush people — after “laying low” rhetorically until our troops were returned — also came forward with positive proof, non-inflammatory and powerfully-stated facts, showing not only management skill but the beginnings of real leadership, which is a step far beyond management and what the country so badly needs after the lack of it these past eight years.
If we look at the history of international organizations, forums and tribunals since World War I, we see that they are generally policy driven, and the policy that predominates, while not avowedly communist, is generally at least vaguely socialist. The IMF, largely driven by the socialism of the London School of Economics, would be a prime example. It has filled continents such as Africa with rusting machinery and failed projects, but has refused to change its ways to seek to enable the kind of underlying rule of law growing out of local tradition which can enable a society to prosper so as to support such mega-projects.
The U.N. itself was largely designed by a man, Alger Hiss, whom we now know unequivocally was a Soviet agent, devoted to the spread of communism. Though the U.N. has certain checks and balances built into its structure, it has not once, in its history, advocated or advanced for any nation the kind of democracy within a republican structure which American constitutionalism represents. Nor has it generally advanced the underlying concepts of individual freedom and liberty within the same sort of rule of law, springing from local institutions, that has enabled America’s success and leadership in the world.
The U.N., through its administrative structure and ancillary and subsidiary organization has promoted concepts of socialism at every turn. It is always for “human rights” but usually at the expense of the kind of structure which would enable individuals to enforce and protect them. “Human rights” are thus promoted in abstract concept but individual liberties and freedom, including the ability to personally enforce basic rights on the part of ordinary citizens of nations, are reduced. So there is no mechanism for the determination of truth above policy, and the policy is generally aimed in the wrong direction.
Not one of these bodies has ever accepted or sought to implement the kind of rule of law embodied in the history of the common law as we shaped and adopted it under our Declaration and Constitution, and yet — without the kind of adversarial development of facts on an individual case basis which is at the heart of our rule of law — there is no truth, only policy. And policy is always too important in the eyes of these organizations and their adherents for individual justice to be of concern. Even as the incident of the EP-3 surveillance plane accident has played out, a U.S. sponsored motion in the U.N. to hold communist China accountable for its torture, enslavement and other violations of the liberty and freedom of its citizens was defeated by procedural maneuvers so that the truth about the utter absence of individual liberty and freedom in communist China would be completely avoided.
It may seem fairly mundane to treat the present matter like an automobile personal injury case and start coming up with actual proof before the meeting and then to stick to your guns and to continue to present that truth in the meeting and stand by it as further events unfold, but it is a powerful antidote to the kind of subjugation of the truth to the tenets of “progressivism” which we have seen in the past century.
The mainstream media has for far too long viewed things as true only if they advance us further toward socialism and the dominance of the state. It is as if history consisted of pendulum swings in which movements toward the left were true and movements toward the right were, instead, reactionary and opposed to the truth. In this the media have had an ally in the international bodies. The Bush team, however, has opened up the possibility of taking the opposite tack and pursuing truth itself in a manner which could, under astute leadership, point toward an actual establishment of the rule of law on an international basis and a counter to the “international law warfare” which the Chinese communists and their allies and fellow travelers have been waging.
In an Internet age, it is truth that will set people free, not policy. Policy without truth as its core is a recipe for failure under American founding principles, and rule of law not based in truth cannot, in the end, be just. Keeping this in mind is extremely important in our strategic competition with communist China and those with whom she allies herself.
Retired Adm. Tom Moorer is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, chief of naval operations, commander-in-chief of the Pacific, supreme allied commander Atlantic and commander-in-chief Atlantic Fleet. He is the honorary chairman of U.S. Defense — American Victory in Washington, D.C. and may be reached through the USD-AV website.