(LifeSiteNews) – Few people remember the last time that America was attacked by balloon. It happened during World War II, when Imperial Japan released paper balloons carrying explosives to be carried over the Pacific by the prevailing westerly winds. The idea was that they would land in the Western United States and set America’s forests ablaze, thus striking a devastating blow against Japan’s enemy.
This attack by what may be considered the very first intercontinental weapons system did not start many fires, although several people in California were injured and one killed when they happened to be near an exploding balloon. That it worked at all was because Japanese researchers had learned that a strong air current – call a jet stream – blew West to East at about 30,000 feet. Balloons that reached these Westerlies would be effortlessly carried across the Pacific to our shores.
China, which considers itself to be in a Cold War with the U.S., has also taken note of this fact. How do we know? Because the Chinese military has now used this same convenient stream to launched another “balloon attack” on the United States. The huge airship now hovering over the Plains States – which is the size of three school buses – is not loaded with explosives as far as we know, but with electronic eavesdropping equipment.
On Friday morning, a Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that “The airship is from China,” but then went on to assert that it was “a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course. The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure.”
This is all a pastiche of lies. In actual fact, what the Pentagon is monitoring is a Chinese spy balloon that has been deliberately sent over to electronically surveil America’s sensitive military installations, including the Malmstron Air Force Base, where much of America’s nuclear arsenal is housed.
I say this because the Chinese have the ability to control the airship’s altitude, meaning that they deliberately sent it up to 30,000 feet knowing that the prevailing Westerlies would carry it over the U.S. This also means that the Chinese could have landed the airship at any point along its path, by simply deflating the thing. That they didn’t choose to is further proof that this was a deliberate incursion.
The claim that this is a “civilian airship” is equally laughable. Communist China operates on the principle of what is called Military-Civil Fusion. There is no such thing as pure science in China, or a purely civilian sector of the economy. Under the Fusion principle, every possible technology – including meteorology – is relentlessly exploited for potential military uses.
This is a military airship, and it is surveilling our sensitive military installations.
This is another example – the most flagrant yet – of what is called “grey zone” warfare, where China deliberately violates the rules of international order to see how much it can get away with before it provokes a response. In this case, for the first time, it has actually violated the sovereignty of the United States.
Beijing is clearly testing the boundaries of what it can get away under the Biden administration.
The only response to date is that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has announced that he is cancelling his upcoming trip to Beijing. In light of the seriousness of the ongoing provocation, this seems an extraordinarily weak response, and one that will only encourage further incursions.
Once again, Joe Biden has been tested and found wanting. I expect that this will lead to even more brazen attacks from China in the future.
President Donald Trump on the other hand, cut right to the heart of the matter, tweeting on Truth Social, “Shoot down the balloon!”
And then post pictures of the smoldering wreckage of China’s military surveillance airship for all the world to see. That would send a message of strength that Beijing would not be able to ignore.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics.