The Two Major Causes for the Increased Intensity of Fires in our Nation’s Forests Explained.


By: Anthony J (Tony) Sacco, Sr., JD

11/16/18. Cheyenne, WY – On Tuesday, 11/12/18, my local newspaper published an article on its Opinion Page. The publisher loves to do that. The article quoted the L. A. Times. The Publisher loves to do that, too. Our local paper is wildly liberal, you see. So is the L.A. Times.

But that L.A. Times article was a misleading account of the causes of the California fires that were, at the time, burning hundreds of acres of prime forest land. It sought to deflect the blame for the sad state of affairs in that state away from radical environmentalist and erroneous liberal federal forest management policies.

Forest Fire

In fact, there are two important reasons for the increased destruction being wreaked by recent forest fires:

  •  Failure to thin standing trees by cutting and removing dead or dying timber, especially diseased trees killed by the Pine Bark Beetle.
  • Failure to remove downed timber felled by disease, wind, lightning strikes, and age.

This is gross mismanagement of our forests. Not recognizing the harm done by failing to correct these two policies results in the presence of huge amounts of fuel for fires. The cost to our nation is enormous, especially in terms of lost lumber, which causes the cost of materials used for the construction of homes to skyrocket, and in terms of wildlife. Elk, deer, antelope, raccoons, rabbits, grouse and pheasants must seek to avoid death by attempting to outrun the flames.

But the article contains the liberal’s ignorant, mandatory criticism of President Trump. His excellent tweet points to one of the main causes, as I have: “gross mismanagement” of forests generally and California’s forests specifically.

Image result for photos of donald trump

          The L.A. Times article headline reflects an amazing example of a do-nothing approach to their problem. It states , “California fires will happen again. Let’s Be Ready.” But it says nothing about just how the state should “be ready.” It does not address the two main causes for the increasingly destructive forest fires in their state and in the country. Instead, it seeks to obfuscate, confuse, and gain sympathy with this: “The scope of human suffering is beyond ready comprehension.” Well, maybe it is – at least to the editors of the L.A. Times – who don’t seem to be seeking knowledge and understanding of this problem, as President Trump’s tweets suggest.

        Photo of California Fire    Just the results of these two failed policies provide fuel for fires caused by everything from lightning strikes to unattended campfires. In pointing to these, I am NOT referring to clearcutting. AND both the President and I are NOT addressing fires on grasslands, which can be spread quickly by proximity to forest fires, by drought, and other causes.

         These forestry problems have been addressed and changed in several states. One example is South Dakota, which has few if any annual forest fires because it sends crews into the forests to cut and remove dead and downed timber, thus eliminating much of the fuel a fire needs. Until these forestry problems  are addressed, forest fires will continue to intensify, not just in California but in other states as well.


2020 is Half Over. Republicans Must Up Their Game for the November Election, to Keep Democrats From Winning Even One of the Sources of Power.

By: Anthony J. Sacco.
Catawba, NC. 7/5/20
          The good news? that 2020 is half over. The bad news? that 2020 is half over.
          And the liberal media has, for certain, ganged up on President Trump and Republicans, nationally. And, up to this point in 2020, neither Mr. Trump nor his present team of Republican leaders seem to know what to do to stop them, nor even to counter them.
          At stake is the House of Representatives, which, if it remains in Democrat hands, will continue its coup against the President, the Republican-led Senate and its four member majority, which if it flips to Democrats, will mean the end for Mr. Trump, and the Presidency of the United States, which if Mr. Trump loses, means that all sources of power would then reside in the Democrat Party, and THAT means the end for this nation as we know it.
          David Horowitz, in his new book, Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win, offers these two insights: First, Democrats have overreached by making spurious charges of racism (against just about everybody), thereby sapping the potency of their chief weapon against the right.
          “Progressives have accused so many decent, innocent Americans of racism that outside the left this charge has largely lost its sting,” he argues, and as a result progressives “fail to realize how their deceptions actually serve to undermine their efforts to demonize Trump.”
          Second, Mr. Trump has brilliantly outwitted Democrats by defying their silencing tactics. “By standing up to the attacks from the left, President Trump was able to thrive despite their slanderous labels of ‘racist’ and ‘hate monger.’ It’s inconceivable that, say, Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan would have stood their ground against the ‘racist’ smears,” he posits. Even many pro-Trump conservatives wring their hands at his addiction to social media, but Horowitz praises the tweets as “a calculated strategy to blow back the bullies of political correctness and political doublespeak, who had effectively cowed Republicans through the previous two administrations.”
          To which I offer my own suggestion for countering the onslaught of the radical leftist media.  Refusing to purchase their drivel has been a tactic Conservatives do not seem to be trying. So, here’s another suggestion:
          The President and the Republican National Committee should appoint a team of 50 reasonably well-known writers with knowledge of politics, economics, religion, and employment issues, and ask them to write articles, daily, in opposition to every hit piece the liberal media such as MSNBC, CBS, CNN, and others publish about the President and other Republicans. These should then be sent out to Conservative newspapers and magazines, and to every conceivable outlet of that type, including blogs of individuals. I offer my own blog for that purpose.
          This MUST be done soon, because the liberal media seems to be winning the battle for public opinion despite the extremely good things Mr. Trump has accomplished for the nation during his first term.

No, Our Country is NOT in Terrible Shape, Despite the Democrat-run coup of the Last almost four years Against The President.

6/29/20 – Several people are saying they believe our country, as a whole, is in terrible shape. I’m not one of them.

I believe only certain parts of it, certain issues, are in terrible shape, and THAT’S because of the Democrat coup being carried out against our duly elected president. Yes, I said “coup” because THAT’S what it is and has been for the entire time he has been president.

But what he has done despite the opposition is magnificent. The areas Mr. Trump has worked are in great shape now.

He has cleaned out the Obama Justice Department, he has cleaned out the Obama Attorney General’s office.

He has cleaned up the federal court system by nominating 200 federal court judges and seeing to their appointment by the Senate.

He has initiated opportunity zones in black communities across the nation and followed it up with huge dollars, so that investment is being made in zip codes formerly being neglected.

He has cleaned up the Veteran’s Administration by making it possible to fire Civil Service incompetents there, and replacing them with more competent doctors and support staff.

He has lowered the unemployment numbers by bringing back into the United States hundreds of businesses.

He has improved our balance of trade problems with China and several other countries by taking us out of deadly trade agreements the Democrats had put us into.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few more of the things he has done to “make America great, again.”

So we need to be clear when we say the country is in terrible shape – because THAT’S what the liberal Democrats are saying, and they’re blaming Mr. Trump, when it is really their fault – fifty years of Democrat control of many of our major cities while doing nothing but collecting their paychecks and sitting on their . . . hands.


President Trump and the Republicans Have Been Good For American Blacks!

6/28/20 – If you were told that during the eight years of the Obama Administration, black unemployment doubled under former President Obama and a democrat-controlled  congress, would you believe it? Well, THAT’S what I’m telling you.

Myturntosoundoff  has learned that black unemployment during that time period doubled. It went from 8% to 16%. But, during the same period, black unemployment plummeted. The media didn’t tell anyone about that. It doesn’t like to print facts of that sort because they don’t fit the image it seeks to create in aid of Democrats; that THEY, not Republicans, are the supporters of the black race in this nation.

But their bubble may be bursting. Last week, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics posted the lowest overall black unemployment figure ever recorded – 5.4 percent. According to a Project 21 analysis, reported in a press release last week after the jobs report was released, this was the sixth record-low black unemployment rate achieved during the Trump presidency. So don’t tell me Mr. Trump has done nothing for blacks. His introduction of “opportunity zones” has done wonders in black communities, as many blacks have applied successfully for funding to start small businesses. How did this happen?

Because President Trump signed an executive order on December 12, 2018, creating a White House Council for promoting those opportunity zones in over 8,700 distressed communities across the United States, aiming to expand prosperity to neglected zip codes. “Our goal is to ensure that America’s great new prosperity is broadly shared by all our citizens,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re drawing investment into neglected and underserved communities, so that all Americans, regardless of zip codes, have access to the American Dream.”

Nothing “racist” there. Yet, some of those businesses are the very ones that BLM is robbing, burglarizing, pillaging, burning to the ground, as they riot in the streets, attempting to tear down our culture. They give no thought to the many blacks they are damaging and destroying as they go about the business of destroying the culture, attempting to turn this country into a socialist/communist nation, something it was never intended to be by the Founding Fathers.

But the fact that the Democrat Party is NOT the savior of the black communities in the United States is nothing new. It was founded in 1829, and here’s the reality. Since then it has fought against every major civil rights initiative that has been introduced in Congress, and it has a long history of discrimination, too.

That’s right. The Democrat Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.

And all the while it was busily blaming the Republican Party and various Republican presidents for the plight of blacks in black cities across the country.

None of that is true. The Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party. Its mission was to stop the spread of slavery into the new western territories with the aim of abolishing it entirely. This effort was dealt a major blow, however, by the Supreme Court, with its ruling in 1857 in the Dred Scott case; Dred Scott v. Sanford. There, the court ruled that slaves are not citizens; they’re property. The seven justices who voted in favor of slavery? All Democrats.

That horrendous case postponed a decision about the issue of slavery until the civil war, to be decided by blood on many battle fields, and the loss of almost 500,000 men killed. The commander-in-chief during that war was the very first Republican Party President, Abraham Lincoln.

But for many years, and especially for the last fifty, blacks have supported the Democrat Party, erroneously believing it to be something it has never been and still isn’t; a political party worthy of the black man’s vote. The result can be seen in every major city in our country, most of which have been under the control of black leaders for all of that time; i.e. Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, to name just three.

Will that change in 2020? Yes, it will, provided President Trump marshals his troops and focuses on what he has done. With help from people like Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, the President will help focus the American blacks on what the Democrats have been doing to take advantage of them, and how h – Mr. Trump – will turn that around.




IS Now Is The Time of Saint Joseph?

By: Anthony Joseph Sacco, JD. Catawba, North Carolina.

5/7/20 – Back in 1620, Saint John of the Cross, one of the greatest mystics of the Christian Churches, humbly acknowledged that he lacked a proper understanding of Saint Joseph. Inspired by the tremendous love his friend, Saint Teresa of Avila had for Saint Joseph, John of the Cross made a firm resolution that he’d get to know and love Saint Joseph better.

Influenced by his knowledge of this, and by his understanding of the 200-year old split in Christianity caused largely by Martin Luther, a German theologian and former Augustinian priest, Bishop Peter Joseph Jugis of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, began studying everything he could find in the Bible and the Apocrypha, about the mystical choice of the man that God had apparently selected to be responsible for His earthly Son, and that Son’s earthly mother. In January 2020, Bishop Jugis, convinced that something spiritual was afoot, announced that the Diocese of Charlotte would celebrate 2020 as the “Year of Saint Joseph” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Saint Joseph being solemnly declared Patron of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX.

Bishop Jugis had unearthed much about Saint Joseph from his studies, and soon learned that many prominent Bishops of other Christian churches had been led in the same direction. He learned that in the 19th Century, Saint Andre Bessette had initiated construction of what has become the world’s largest church dedicated to Saint Joseph – Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada. He and Saint Jose Manyanet, a priest in 19th Century Spain had fervently promoted a devotion to Saint Joseph and the Holy Family. And that they had prophesied that “a time of Saint Joseph would soon arrive in the life of the Christian Churches.” Both of these men believed that only after two thousand years have we begun to glimpse something of the mystery in which the earthly father of Jesus has been immersed.


Wrecking the Economy with Discredited Computer Models

Uranium One: Hillary Clinton’s Achilles Heel?

By: Anthony J. Sacco, Sr., JD
Cheyenne, WY. 4/2/19: The topic is uranium -yellowcake, to be precise. Interested because of the possible connection between Russian acquisition and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, I made an inquiry to Wyoming Senator John Barrasso. Here’s what I received in return.

“My name is Kate Juelis, and I am Senator Barrasso’s Energy Counsel. I am following up on your inquiry about the locations of Uranium One’s Wyoming and Utah production facilities.

“Uranium One’s Willow Creek Mine facility is located in southeast Johnson and southwest Campbell Counties, about 30 miles north of Midwest. The company ceased operations at this site last summer. Uranium One also has Powder River Basin projects, including Ludeman, Allemand Ross, Moore Ranch and Barge, as well Great Divide Basin projects, including Antelope and JAB. At the present time, Uranium One is not exploring for or mining uranium from any of these Wyoming properties. Here is a link to more information about Uranium One’s operations in the state:

“Uranium One no longer has properties in Utah. In 2015, Uranium One sold its Shootaring Canyon uranium mill to Anfield Energy Inc. The Shootaring Canyon Mill is located in Garfield County in southern Utah.

“Here is a link to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent Annual Domestic Uranium Production Report:

“I hope this information is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions.”

Neglecting Your Dogs Dental Health Could Be Life-Threatening. Don’t Give Up Yet… Hate Brushing Your Dogs Teeth? Then you must read this [1 min read] Very few Americans are aware of what’s actually lurking in their dogs mouth – and the scary truth is, it could be life-threatening… Although vets recommend that owners brush their dogs teeth every day, very few actually do. In fact, up to 95% of owners report not brushing their teeth, even though they know they are supposed to – and it’s leading to some harmful side-effects. So, what exactly is plaguing your dogs teeth and gums? Put simply… Bacteria All the bacteria from the food they eat, the water they drink, and the hundreds of dirty items they put in their mouths on a daily basis. Some of that bacteria is good for your dog, but some of it can be extremely bad for them… If that bad bacteria is allowed to accumulate along your dog’s gumline, it can form plaque, which could cause gum irritation and lead to an inflammatory condition called gingivitis, which is considered to be an early stage of gum disease. Gum disease is 1 of the most common infectious diseases in adult dogs and you do not want your dog to get it. It is painful and upsetting for the dog, not to mention extremely expensive when it comes to vet bills to fix it. BUT IT GETS WORSE…. Gum disease could actually be life-threatening for your dog… I know this sounds ridiculous, but the harmful bacteria in your dog’s mouth that causes gum disease, could actually spread throughout their body, affecting their heart, kidney and liver. It’s so bad in fact, that a recent study by Purdue has shown a higher incidence of heart disease in dogs with bad gums2. Now, ask yourself again… When was the last time you took care of your dogs teeth and gums? SO, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS….? If you speak to your vet, they will tell you to brush your dogs teeth daily. But let’s be honest, no one has the time of patience to do that. So if you are not going to brush their teeth, then there is something else you can do that could help. It’s something new that is taking America by storm. In fact, the company that makes this new product, Petlab Co, had such amazing feedback from customers in 2019, it’s now offering the product to customers risk free for 2020. That means you can try the product, and if you don’t like it, or it doesn’t work for you, you can return it within 90 days for a full refund. That’s how confident they are in the product. SO WHAT IS THIS AMAZING PRODUCT? It’s called Petlab Dental Wash and it is changing the lives of thousands of dogs in America. Designed by experts, it’s a super simple way to help protect your dogs teeth and gums. All you have to do is add a few drops to your dogs water everyday – that’s it. The formula then gets to work fighting plaque, tartar and bad breath, supporting healthy teeth and gums. It’s the premium, effective ingredients that are safe to use for all dogs (over 3 months) that make the product so impressive: • Sodium Bicarbonate- Also known as baking soda, this natural ingredient is well-known for its teeth cleaning abilities. Effective as an abrasive scrub to help remove tartar and plaque build-up •Potassium Sorbate – helps improve the bone mineral density in teeth and works to strengthen gums and overall oral health. •Sodium Benzoate – An effective plaque remover, this ingredient helps combat the bacterial and toxic build-up of harmful plaque. Get Dental Wash Today – Save 25%!


By: Anthony Joseph Sacco. 4/20/20 – In yet another example of how the liberal media – a/k/a another arm of the Democrat Party – seeks to slander,  promote controversy and stir up strife and discord for all of us, I found this recent article in the Washington Post.

I’ve tried to thwart them by re-printing the article, changing what was written by showing only Admiral Brad Giroir’s positive background and amazing qualifications for the position he now holds, by virtue of his appointment by President Donald J. Trump.

What I’ve removed are the undocumented, unproven, statements, charges, and opinions included in the originalas the Washington Post attempted to sow confusion and make the President and Republicans look bad.

Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing coronavirus testing efforts, says that his experience working on vaccine development projects at Texas A&M University helped prepare him for this historic moment. He once said that his vaccine effort was so vital that “the fate of 50 million people will rely on us getting this done.”

Robin Robinson, who as the director of the federal Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority, oversaw a major grant for a Texas vaccine project, said: “I always had a good relationship with Brett.” Robinson, like other former associates interviewed for this report, said that he has confidence in Giroir. He praised Mr.  Trump’s decision to pick Giroir for the job informally known as the nation’s virus testing czar. “He gets things done,” Robinson said. “I feel confident that he will do the job where he is right now.”

Giroir serves as the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, making him the top medical and science adviser to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. He oversees the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps, which has 6,200 members and is playing a major role in fighting covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

On March 13th, a  week after President Trump said  “anybody that wants a test can get a test,” Giroir was given the responsibility of coordinating the federal government’s virus testing programs. While he is not a formal member of the White House coronavirus task force, he is a regular presence at its meetings and often confers with President Trump and Vice President Pence. And he has recently been asked by the President to speak, summarizing efforts being made to make testing even more available than it has already been.

Introducing Anthony J. Sacco t/a Mutual Investigative Services

4/18/20 . Yes. That’s me. I’ve been a private investigator for twenty-six years, operating under that name.  I’ve worked in Maryland, Wyoming, and now North Carolina. My specialty is finding missing persons, although I do other types of investigative work, such as background checks, surveillances, asset recovery, and service of process. I offer professional, discrete service to my clients.

Many jobs I get as a private  investigator involve finding missing persons. Some of the missing want to be missing; scammers, runaway teens, deadbeat dads, absconding debtors, spouses seeking to start over somewhere else. Others really don’t want to be missing (college roommates, high school sweet hearts, second or third cousins). The good news for someone in my business is that, either way, these people leave trails, whether they know it or not. Wherever they go, whatever they do, it’s like they drop tiny bread crumbs – photos, signatures, registrations – that lead right to them.

The key to finding those crumbs is: 1) knowing where to look, and 2) knowing how to piece them together.  Because I can do that, I can find most anyone. So if you need a competent, experienced private investigator, call me at 828-241-1146, or e-mail me at


4/8/20. Anthony Joseph Sacco,, JD, Catawba, NC


The Coronavirus Cover-Up.  How the West’s fear of appearing racist obscures the blunders  At the beginning of this outbreak.

The Critic



Kapil Komireddi

24 March, 2020

“The calamity unfolding all around us did not emerge from a void. It originated in China. And its eruption into a global pandemic is inseparable from the nature of the regime that has ruled China since 1949. Had the authorities in that country intervened early to contain the fresh strain of the Chinese corona virus, COVID-19, there would likely have been 95 per cent fewer casualties. Instead, China’s one-party state created the conditions for the spread of the virus. For weeks, it suppressed information and punished those who shared it.

In December, Li Wenliang, a 33-year-old ophthalmologist in Wuhan, the site of the outbreak, told his friends on a private online chat group that patients exhibiting symptoms akin to SARS—severe acute respiratory syndrome—were in quarantine at the emergency department at the city’s central hospital where Li worked. When SARS first flared up China in 2003, Beijing covered up the scale of the horror for four months. The upshot of that concealment was 774 fatalities at home and abroad. Li warned his friends—all of them doctors—to be careful this time. China’s internet police intercepted the exchange. And three days later, Li was berated by his bosses, accused by the police of “making false comments” and coerced into signing a statement expressing contrition for disturbing “social order”.

Information that might have averted a global catastrophe was studiously suppressed

After forcing Li to return to work, where the young doctor immediately contracted the virus, the local apparatchiks of the Communist Party of China ordered labs to stop testing and destroy the existing samples and proceeded with a potluck banquet for 40,000 families in a precinct of Wuhan. As patients proliferated, Taiwan notified the World Health Organisation before the end of December that the virus spread from human-to-human. But rather than ring the alarm bells, as late as 14 January, WHO was parroting Beijing’s line that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission”. The genome of the virus, mapped as early as 2 January, was withheld from the world for a week. Information that might have averted a global catastrophe was studiously suppressed. And by the time President Xi Jinping properly acknowledged the crisis, on 20 January, three people had died. That number rose to above 200 by the end of the month. Li died in early February.

Once the virus made its inevitable outward march, claiming lives beyond China’s borders, the CPC mounted a major public relations exercise that exploited common human decencies to evade accountability. Criticism of the Chinese government was equated with racist prejudice against ordinary Chinese people. The result: rather than confront China, precious energies were exerted to avoid the trap set by China. In February, the Mayor of Florence launched a campaign encouraging Italians to “hug a Chinese”, describing it as a “fight of solidarity and unity against virus”. The People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of the CPC, applauded young Italians advertising their virtuousness on the Internet with photos of themselves hugging Chinese tourists without mentioning a word about the mortal perils of human contact.

China didn’t owe an apology or an explanation to the world: the world owed China proof of its anti-racism. There was no time, of course, to ponder the irony of the most xenophobic despotism in the world, which has interned a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, cleansed Tibetan Buddhists from their homeland, and deluged restive regions with Han settlers, setting itself up as the certifying authority on what constituted anti-racist behaviour. There was no time to remember that, just three years ago, the state museum in Wuhan had put on an exhibition likening Africans to wild animals.

China didn’t owe an apology or an explanation to the world: the world owed China proof of its anti-racism

The offensive grew uglier as the morgues started filling up abroad. The fear of being called to account for the deaths made China even more brazen. In mid-March, Zhao Lijan, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, floated the theory that the US army had “brought the epidemic to Wuhan”. “Be transparent!” Zhao thundered on Twitter. To answer Zhao by telling him that the virus was Chinese in origin was to be accused of racism. The novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, was branded an “extremely irresponsible” bigot by the Chinese government for writing in a newspaper column that “none of this would be happening in the world if China were a free and democratic country”. Llosa was told by a Chinese official to “discard his prejudice and look at the issue in an all-round, correct manner”.

There is, alas, no shortage of people looking at this in the manner prescribed by the CPC. The infantile culture wars that have crippled the West—where preening troupes of virtue brandishers who cannot distinguish between the Chinese people and their tormenters parade themselves as enlightened tribunes of the oppressed—have also created a receptive audience for Beijing’s insidious spin. Xinhua, the Communist Party’s news agency that has a history of publishing hideously racist content, now feels comfortable trolling Washington in the language of a woke millennial—“Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence”—because it knows that, rather than being laughed at, its laughable message will be amplified earnestly in the West. We are living through the phenomenon described by Susan Sontag as growing “stupid together”.

The very Western idea that the world should defer to Beijing’s sensibilities and delink this pandemic from its source and its causes is not anti-racist. If anything, subordinating discomfiting facts to the noble feelings of woke Westerners is itself a form of ethnocentricism because it effaces the experience of those who aren’t Western. To describe this malady as “Wuhan virus”, which the Chinese themselves do, is not to insult or to implicate ordinary Chinese people. It is to refuse to kneel before a regime that seeks to harry us into exculpating it.

We are living through the phenomenon described by Susan Sontag as growing “stupid together”.

China’s power to browbeat the world flows from the world’s dependency on China. The workhouses there don’t just manufacture the cheap goods that inundate the world’s markets. China has also been allowed to dominate almost every vital global supply chain and practically monopolise the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Ninety-seven percent of all antibiotics consumed by Americans, for instance, are manufactured in China. In early March, Xinhua, speaking for the Chinese government, painted a lurid portrait of the apocalypse that would befall America if Beijing decided to impose a “strategic control over medical products and ban exports”. China, it warned, possessed the power to plunge America at the time of its choosing into an “ocean of the new corona viruses”. On Tuesday, Beijing decided to expel American journalists working for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. The West is fractured. Italy now expresses gratitude to China for selling equipment its neighbours do not have. Serbia’s president pays tribute to “my brother and friend Xi Jinping”. Others will follow.

This disaster is a great clarifier. From London to Washington, it has exposed the malign incompetence of major Western governments. It has also shattered every supposition on which the ascent of China was premised. The liberal assumption that the West was more likely to influence China by making concessions to its rulers has proved to be a self-wounding fantasy. The West, it was claimed, was more likely to influence China by partnering with it—by creating a prominent position for it inside, rather than keeping it outside, global institutions. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the US locked itself into a self-wounding trade relationship with China. Advanced economies, underwriting Beijing’s rise by incinerating the jobs that supported their own working classes, scattered the seeds of explosive discontent at home to export material prosperity to a regime that converted it into crude power to wield against its own benefactors.

In the decades thereafter, far from shaping the Chinese state’s behaviour, it is the West that incrementally relinquished its own avowed values to appease Beijing. The CPC under President Xi is more repressive today than it was just a decade ago. It is Western authors who self-edit for the tawdry privilege of being published in China. It is Hollywood that modifies its films to placate the Chinese censors. Governments that never tire of puffing their chests at the Middle East’s tin pot tyrannies in the name of human rights now spurn the Dalai Lama for fear of offending China. And international agencies that happily hector others lose their voice when dealing with Beijing (notice the long weeks it took for WHO to declare a pandemic).

From Taiwan to Hong Kong and Tibet to the South China Sea, China expects the world to accept its paramountcy—but refuses to accord any deference to the interests of other nations. It sends thugs to beat up protesters in London, punishes Norway for awarding a Nobel Prize to a Chinese dissident, wages a relentless cyber war against the US, blocks water to downstream neighbours by aggressively damming rivers that flow from territories it has colonised, and endlessly bullies its neighbours. For those exposed to its rough edges, China is not a “peaceful” power. It is an expansionist imperium.

For those exposed to its rough edges, China is not a “peaceful” power. It is an expansionist imperium

The pressing priority should be, as it is, the deployment of every resource in service of bringing this nightmare to a swift end. Before we arrive there, we will have to dig mass graves, and those mass graves will multiply. Many of us will personally be ravaged by this virus; some of us will lose someone we cherish. But it will eventually be defeated. And when it is, we can either continue with the self-wounding delusions that rendered us so helpless in this moment—or we can commit ourselves to self-renewal. Self-renewal will require us to cultivate self-dependence—and, given the indisputable reconfiguration of power that is occurring before us, affirming independence from China will be the condition of achieving self-dependence.

In Britain, this will mean banning, as an initial measure, Huawei from the 5G infrastructure. Rebellion is brewing in the Tory party. A small band of MPs is coordinating to push the prime minister to abandon the self-wounding deal. Their ranks should swell. Elsewhere, this will have to take the form of doing exactly the things China forbade us to do. Individuals can conscientiously boycott to the extent possible goods made in China. They can lean on their governments to end their dependency on Beijing—and demand reparations from the CPC. In democracies, citizenly acts can make an enormous difference. Nothing irks China more than spotlighting its occupation of Tibet, the world’s largest colony, and there is no more effective way of demonstrating freedom from fear of Beijing than standing in solidarity with the Tibetans. It has been customary since the early 1990s for American presidents to invite the Dalai Lama to Washington. In 2009, Barack Obama did away with this token gesture of support for the Tibetans for fear of offending Beijing. Even the brief private audience Obama reluctantly granted the beleaguered Tibetan leader was accompanied by humiliation: the Dalai Lama was made to exit the White House through the back doors, surrounded by bags of garbage. Here’s one idea: when the last vaccine for the Wuhan virus has been administered, the president of the United States—whoever he might be—should host a state dinner for the Dalai Lama.”

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