The Daily Beast has reported that the Trump administration has decided to escalate the rhetoric with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow at a rapid pace in the U.S., the White House is launching a communications plan across multiple federal agencies that focuses on accusing Beijing of orchestrating a “cover-up” and creating a global pandemic, according to two U.S. officials and a government cable obtained by The Daily Beast.
The cable, sent to State Department officials Friday, lays out in detail the circumstances on the ground in China, including data on coronavirus cases and deaths, the local business environment and transportation restrictions. But it also issues guidelines for how U.S. officials should answer questions on, or speak about, the coronavirus and the White House’s response in relation to China.
The talking points appear to have originated in the National Security Council. One section of the cable reads “NSC Top Lines: [People’s Republic of China] Propaganda and Disinformation on the Wuhan Virus Pandemic.”
“Chinese Communist Party officials in Wuhan and Beijing had a special responsibility to inform the Chinese people and the world of the threat, since they were the first to learn of it,” the cable reads. “Instead, the… government hid news of the virus from its own people for weeks, while suppressing information and punishing doctors and journalists who raised the alarm. The Party cared more about its reputation than its own people’s suffering.”
I cannot tell you how GALACTICALLY FUCKING STUPID THIS IS!!!! Even if you set aside the whole “is this something we really need to be focusing on right now as we are confronting a pandemic” that has been mismanaged by the Federal government since January 2020*, just from a Psychological Operations (PSYOP) or Information Operations (IO) perspective this is just absolutely, mindnumbingly dumb! Despite the PRC’s internal and external mistakes at the beginning of the outbreak, mistakes that were made because the PRC is an authoritarian state and society and it is led by authoritarians who fear the free flow of information, especially bad information on their ability to maintain power and control, it is too late for the US to shape the information domain by establishing information dominance before moving on to diplomatic and humanitarian efforts.
As with every other aspect of the President’s and his administration’s response to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19, it failed to do anything to set the information space to establish the conditions for informational control pertaining to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19. As a result, and despite the PRC’s early communication and information stumbles, derived from authoritarian paranoia about maintaining control, the PRC quickly got its information operations back in order, set the information space, and used that to facilitate its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in regard to the pandemic response. This is why we had stories last week that as the President and his administration dithered and careened wildly and fell farther and farther behind, the PRC now had a handle on the outbreak within China and was sending doctors, nurses, and medical supplies and material as humanitarian aid to Italy and other states. And that the PRC’s utlra-wealthy, with the backing of Xi’s government, were going to do the same thing to help America dig itself out the hole that the President and his administration keep digging us deeper into, as well as to Asian-Pacific states that needed assistance that the US would normally be, but is not providing.
The announcement of these efforts by the PRC directly, or indirectly through China’s ultra-wealthy, were intended to set the information space as if it was a theater of operations in order to establish information dominance and establish information control of the operating environment. Just as the President and his administration have wasted over two months since being alerted by the US Intelligence Community that the PRC wasn’t being forthcoming, that things were worse than were being reported by the PRC in its official communications with the World Health Organizations (WHO) and other states like the US, it failed to quickly move to establish information control. Again, just from a PSYOP or IO perspective, this would have meant immediately going public that things were worse than being reported, that the US was on it, that the Defense Production Act was being invoked and orders issued tasking US domestic manufacturers to immediately switch to producing personal protective equipment (PPE: gowns, masks, gloves, face shields), ventilators, increase pharmaceutical production to get ahead of possible shortages, and tasking domestic laboratories and university health science research centers to make tests using the data provided by the PRC through the WHO. And that the US would be available to provide some of these to states in need because the US is the only state that can do global strategic lift and logistics because we have an expeditionary military designed to be proactive to meet all challenges and threats. None of this was done. And once Xi felt that he had his domestic situation under control he immediately moved to fill the vacuum left by focusing on America first and keeping America great. Neither of which are actually working so well for actual Americans. As a result, Xi moved to occupy this information space by offering humanitarian assistance, which furthers his diplomatic efforts through the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi and the PRC now hold the information equivalent of the ridge of Little Round Top and the administration’s attempt to take control of the information space regarding SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 is the Information Operations equivalent of Pickett’s Charge.
But it is even worse than just wasting time and resources trying to reclaim information control over SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 when other more important efforts are needed to respond to the pandemic. What these geniuses on the National Security Staff on the National Security Council and others within the administration, including the President, who think this is a good fight to pick seem to have forgotten is THAT ALL OF THE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT – GLOVES, MASKS, FACE SHIELDS, GOWNS – AND THE PRECURSORS FOR ALMOST ALL OF OUR PHARMACEUTICALS COME FROM THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA!!!!! And that If you piss Xi off right now, he can destroy us just by shutting off the supply chain!
Not one bit of this futile, stupid effort will do A DAMN THING TO HELP A SINGLE AMERICAN OR ANYONE ELSE ANYWHERE ELSE SURVIVE THE SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 PANDEMIC OR THE ECONOMIC DAMAGE THAT IS A RESULT!!!!!
* I’m going to try to get to this monumental clusterfuck of an intelligence failure by the President tomorrow.