The Weapon Called Nerve Gas

The Weapon Called Nerve Gas
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence specialist Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with nerve gas while in the midst of normal activity in the English city of Salisbury. Both were rushed to a hospital where they were found to be gravely ill. The incident led to widespread condemnations of Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Both victims of the attack eventually recovered after weeks of care in a British hospital.

US Navy gas mask exercise. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Two weeks after the attack, England’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson concluded that Putin himself had ordered the attempted murder. He relied on knowledge of past acts of retribution delivered to former Russian officials who had become critics of Russian policies and leaders. In rather blunt terms, Johnson stated: “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of nerve gas on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately countered Johnson’s condemnation of Russia and its president as “a shocking, unforgivable breach of diplomatic proprieties.”

At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley joined in the condemnations of Russia with a statement delivered to the Security Council: “If we don’t take concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. They could be used here in New York, or in cities of any country that sits on this Council. This is a defining moment.”

Britain expelled numerous Russian diplomats and so did the United States. Russia responded by expelling American and British officials. The incident clearly interrupted a recent trend marked by peaceful, even friendly, exchanges between Russia and the West. But it also brought back memories of the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in Britain. A former Russian intelligence expert, he had defected to the West and was living in Great Britain when he became ill and died soon after ingesting tea laden with radioactive polonium. Other defectors from Russia have suffered and died as a result of similarly suspicious events.

Skripal had served Russia for years as a military intelligence colonel. Convicted in 2006 of selling secret information to British authorities, he spent several years in a Russian prison but was then sent to Britain in 2010 as part of an exchange of spies. He chose to live in Salisbury where he seemed to have steered clear of any further government intrigue.

In Russia, commentator Kirill Kleimenov issued a blunt warning over government-controlled Channel One television. He calmly stated: “Being a traitor is one of the dangerous professions in the world. Alcoholism, drugs, stress, nervous breakdowns, and depression are inevitable illnesses of a traitor. As a consequence, heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents, or suicide ultimately follow.” Statements such as his issued by Russia’s prominent media figures have the undeniable aura of government policy.

While no hard proof of Russia’s attack on the Skripals has emerged, the likelihood that President Putin or his close underlings are responsible is widely believed. Putin, it should be recalled, was the head of the dreaded KGB before succeeding in becoming his nation’s leader. He would know how to respond to critics who are deemed traitors.

Western leaders, certainly including U.S. President Donald Trump, should keep the Russian leader’s past, as well as his present, in mind when dealing with him. Leopards don’t change their spots and expecting former KGB bosses to become honorable is likely expecting what can’t be reality.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Judicial Appointments

Judicial Appointments
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

There are approximately 150 federal district and appeals court vacancies in the nation. Although President Trump has appointed and gained Senate approval for more than two dozen justices, the number of vacancies has risen. A few weeks ago, Mr. Trump made note of the many holes in the judicial branch while promising speedy action to deal with the problem.

US Supreme Court, Image from Wikimedia Commons by UpstateNYer (Matt H. Wade), CC BY-SA 3.0.

In mid-March, Mr. Trump discussed his opportunity to reshape U.S. courts when he told a gathering of Ohio supporters of his intention to make good appointments. “We’re going all out,” he said. He described his opportunity to fill many vacant federal judicial posts as a “gift from heaven [that is] world-changing, country-changing, USA-changing.”

Especially needing attention are vacancies that have arisen in the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Notorious for its damaging leftist rulings, the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over nine states: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Numerous Ninth Circuit rulings have bedeviled not only the nine states where this court holds sway but the entire nation has been affected. One of this court’s leading leftists, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, passed away on March 29. His vacant seat and seven more vacancies in the 29-member Ninth Circuit, present Mr. Trump with a golden opportunity to move the nation’s most activist and leftist court toward a more conservative and constitutional stance.

Nominating federal judges is, of course, only the first of two steps to have a new judge seated. The Senate must approve a nominee. In the past, senators could block a nomination via a filibuster that would take 60 votes to overcome – a difficult hurdle. But, during the Obama administration, the Senate weakened and effectively killed the filibuster process. Now only a majority will be needed to gain approval.

The Senate has also cancelled a process known as “blue slip” blockage of a judicial nominee. It allowed a senator to block approval of an appointee who resides in his or her state. A simple placing of a nominee’s name on a “blue slip” and presenting it to the Judiciary Committee Chairman was sufficient to kill nomination. But current Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has announced that he will not honor the use of this practice by any senator who might wish to block approval of a particular nominee. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had already stated her intention to issue a blue slip for any Trump nominee she finds objectionable. But the Grassley move will likely terminate permanently the issuance of the infamous blue slips.

Prospects for Mr. Trump to dramatically alter the stance of the notoriously leftist Ninth Circuit and other federal courts have raised concerns among California liberals. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky who leads the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law considered deceased Justice Reinhardt his ideological equal. He now sees future setbacks for liberal judicial dominance, especially in the Ninth Circuit. Chemerinsky has stated, “With a Republican Senate and no possibility of a filibuster, [Donald Trump] can have whoever he wants on the circuit court.” He expects a “dramatic change in the Ninth Circuit.”

President Trump has an opportunity to markedly improve adherence to the rule of law throughout the nation. He should be encouraged by many Americans to do so.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Martin Luther King Doesn’t Deserve Adulation

Martin Luther King Doesn’t Deserve Adulation
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Earlier this month, a flood of reminders about the death of Martin Luther King (shown on right) 50 years ago arrived, as all elements of the mass media told Americans about the anniversary of a gunman killing this paragon of virtue and bravery on April 4, 1968. The reports insisted that King was the nation’s most eminent apostle of nonviolence, a heroic advocate of peace in our nation’s racially turbulent era, and an exponent of all virtues. The truth is that King was a highly flawed individual whose actual strategy for change wasn’t peace. The strategy he relied on consisted mainly of a process he had learned from known communists, whose indisputable goal was the destruction of our nation.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Mrs. Julia Brown, who went undercover for the FBI for more than nine years as a member of the Communist Party in Cleveland, Ohio, gives a testament to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s connection to the Communist Party:

I learned many surprising things while I served in the Communist Party for the FBI. Communist leaders told us about the demonstrations that would be started, the protest marches, the demands that would be made for massive federal intervention.

… Wherever we went and whatever we did, we were to promote race consciousness and resentment, because the Communists know that the technique of divide and conquer really works.

We were also told to promote Martin Luther King, to unite Negroes and whites behind him, and to turn him into some sort of national hero.

Because there were individuals who didn’t want their community disturbed by parades, demonstrations, and confrontations, they were easy to provoke, and King’s people did provoke them. As history has shown, King’s on-the-scene allies — often nonresidents of the targeted area — would frequently gather local individuals and provoke fistfights, head cracking, and other forms of violent behavior. In numerous instances, the King-led team supplied trained agitators to stir up the mayhem. (This, of course, does not excuse any violent behavior — whether provoked by MLK’s recruits or caused by genuine racists.) The goal of the manufactured turmoil was federal legislation imposing increasing amounts of government control over the entire nation.

With the help of dishonest media reporters who failed to report King’s strategy, new laws enhancing federal power were indeed enacted. King’s effectiveness in building socialistic government won him plaudits from left-wing politicians and lazy or complicit media stalwarts.

Soon, however, to stave off trouble, courageous black Americans began to arrive in targeted cities prior to the marches and demonstrations planned by King. They would explain King’s strategy to blacks and whites so well that the sought-after violence never materialized. Several communities in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia benefited greatly after the King strategy had been explained and the planned confrontations were called off. Julia Brown, Leonard Patterson, Lolabelle Holmes, and other patriotic black Americans told worried residents of the King-targeted regions — both black and white — what to expect and how to avoid violent protests that would ruin their communities and harm their residents. Their extremely effective warnings led to the cancellation of King’s plans in many areas.

King was no pacifist, rather he had received training from communist leaders at the subversive Highlander Folk School in Tennessee to sow discord. He accepted funding from several communist leaders and organizations, and no less a government official than Attorney General Robert Kennedy directed the FBI to create wiretaps and other forms of surveillance over King and his fellow agitators. Therefore, the federal government knew that King was being used by known and secret communists. But a 1977 court order sealed all that evidence of treachery in the National Archives.

When King’s plan to create civil rights riots was no longer working, he turned his attention to the Vietnam War, accusing our nation’s forces of wantonly killing “a million South Vietnamese civilians, mostly children.” He likened the efforts of America’s men in arms to what Hitler’s forces had done to innocent people before and during World War II. One made-up charge after another, no matter how ghastly, came out of the mouth of this supposed man of peace and honor.

He seemed dishonest to the core: Researchers of the early King years showed that he had earned his degree from Boston University via widespread plagiarism, and some who have examined his career have indicated that, far from being a man of God, he was a consistent philanderer who should have been scorned, not awarded an angelic reputation.

The truth about this man and his career will eventually be known. Even without unsealing the documents, enough is known about King to conclude that those who established a national holiday to honor him should themselves be scorned. Martin Luther King, an enemy of freedom and a seriously flawed individual, should never be lauded by anyone who understands the importance of truth.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Swamp Critter Chosen by Trump

Swamp Critter Chosen by Trump
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Donald Trump loves catchy phrases. Most Americans have heard him insist on the need to “Make America Great Again.” How to attain such a worthy goal doesn’t require a painstaking search. A return to what made our country great in the first place is all that’s necessary. That means strict adherence to the still standing U.S. Constitution.

John Bolton. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The document governing the nation’s affairs since 1789 created strong brakes on government power and meddling. Decades of drifting away from the Constitution has led to an array of both domestic and foreign problems. Still, the Constitution is the blueprint that made our country the envy of the world. Sad to say, however, reliance on the venerable document hasn’t been the primary focus on the current president’s agenda, or that of his numerous predecessors.

More recently, Mr. Trump has decided that “Drain the Swamp” is a better crowd pleaser. To most Americans, the “swamp” consists of those who don’t have America’s best interest at heart. The president has taken a few steps toward lessening the effect of the swamp denizens, but they’re still around and more needs to be done to lessen their influence.

One who most would consider part of the “swamp” is John Bolton. But this man has just been tapped by Mr. Trump to be our nation’s newest national security adviser. It’s troubling as Bolton is the direct opposite of Mr. Trump’s early claim to be a non-interventionist.

Described by many as an experienced diplomat who served our nation as Ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton should be known as a neoconservative war monger anxious to force the rest of the world to bend to America’s will. His bellicose urgings kept him from gaining senate approval for the UN post given him by President George W. Bush. When the Senate turned thumbs down on that appointment, Bush waited until that body was no longer in session to award Bolton what is termed a “recess” appointment, a tainted award if ever there was one. Numerous senators from both political parties were wary of the man and he couldn’t win Senate confirmation so Bush gave it to him in a legal but underhanded way.

John Bolton has long been a member of the sovereignty-despising Council on Foreign Relations. It would be difficult to find anyone more committed to unnecessary war. He partnered in wanting a second war against Iraq after the lightning quick removal of Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait in 2001. As a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) dreamed up by neocons Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Perle, and Armitage, he joined with his PNAC internationalists to have Iraq invaded again. After the first President Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, these bellicose internationalists tried to get President Clinton to attack Iraq. But Bill had other concerns to deal with and other ideas about how to create the New World Order.

After Clinton’s eight years in office, Bolton called on President George W. Bush to wage preemptive war against Iran. He has lately insisted that our nation should conduct cyber warfare against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and any other nation accused of this new form of warfare.

The Constitution isn’t being relied upon by the Trump administration. If it were guiding the President and his policymakers, America’s troops would be brought home from endless wars such as those in Afghanistan and Syria. There would be widespread closing down of U.S. military presence in the 130 nations where American troop contingents are currently posted.

But expecting John Bolton as the president’s national security adviser to change Washington’s reigning militarism is unrealistic. John Bolton should be scorned, not elevated to a very sensitive post.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Planned Parenthood Should Be Targeted, Not Funded

Planned Parenthood Should Be Targeted, Not Funded
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in our nation. Launched from the Birth Control Federation in 1916 by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the organization has taken the lives of well over 60 million unborn infants since the Supreme Court opened floodgates for the procedure in 1973. (There are no reliable figures for the number of abortions prior to the Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade but there were far fewer because the procedure was outlawed in almost all of the states.)

Planned Parenthood supporters. Image from Wikimedia Commons by The All-Nite Images CC BY-SA 2.0.

During Planned Parenthood’s sordid lifetime, its leaders expanded their “services” from killing the unborn to marketing the tiny body parts of their victims. If ever there was a blot of our nation’s reputation, Planned Parenthood (PP), the high court, and the political establishment that refuses to terminate the legality of the process have supplied one. What this organization does and is allowed to do amounts to the taking of innocent life – which happens to be the definition of murder.

For several decades, PP has been the recipient of as much as $500 million per year from the U.S. government. This means that every federal taxpayer is forced to contribute to a process that millions consider an abomination. Attempts to stop such payments continue to fail because too many Americans and a majority of their elected leaders have lost their moral compass.

If asked if they support Nazi Germany’s killing of unwanted citizens deemed unworthy of living, most abortion supporters would respond with emphatic negativity. But PP founder Margaret Sanger supported the Nazi plan as a way to purify the race. If you pressed an elected official to explain how he or she could oppose what Hitler’s government did while supporting what the U.S. government does by legalizing murder and supplying funds to kill millions, you’ll see a bit of squirming. But you might also become the recipient of downright venomous snarling or an explosion of scurrilous invective.

During the recent presidential election, candidate Hillary Clinton repeated her endorsement of PP. “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood,” she boasted. Tens of millions of Americans voted for her. They too have lost their moral compass.

Besides being an admirer of Hitler, PP’s founder was an adulteress, a racist, a bigot, and a champion of selective breeding. She believed in measures that would lead to exterminating the “unfit,” those she and her cohorts deemed to be a blot on mankind. Yet she is still looked upon as a praiseworthy trailblazer by Mrs. Clinton, a host of political figures, and countless numbers who share totalitarian views.

There are, however, some decent Americans who can’t be persuaded to reject what their consciences tells them is terribly wrong. In June 2017, after Hillary’s bid for the White House had failed, the state of Georgia held an election for an open seat in Congress. Abortion wasn’t the main issue separating the two candidates even though it should have been because PP delivered an astounding $734,760 to the Democratic Party’s eventual loser. The nation’s leading abortion provider obviously saw a chance to add to the number of federal politicians who support its ghastly programs. PP’s failure in that contest was good news.

And there is other good news amidst PP’s continuing carnage and the American public’s deteriorating moral fiber. President Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and in the U.S. Senate’s confirming him may lead to a reversal of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision and the beginning of an end to legal killing of babes in the womb. If it happens, it would be an event well worth celebrating.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


“Deep State” Exemplar Peter G. Peterson

“Deep State” Exemplar Peter G. Peterson
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In a lifetime of privilege, Peter G. Peterson amassed a fortune through a variety of business transactions, served in a cabinet post during the Nixon administration, and became a Wall Street Banker and chairman of the Federal Reserve. He gained such a high reputation among the top promoters of a “new world order” that he won chairmanship of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1985. Serving in that prestigious “deep state” post until 2007, he continued to rack up millions, wrote some books about how our country and the world should be run, cooperated in several destructive initiatives that have harmed America, and passed away at his home in New York City on March 20.

Logo of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Born to Greek immigrant parents in Kearney, Nebraska, Peterson was found at age 8 working the cash register at the family diner. Excelling in Kearney schools, the bright youngster from very rural Nebraska went off to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, didn’t care for its scientific curriculum, and quickly transferred to Northwestern University where he graduated summa cum laude in 1947. At Northwestern, he and its dean, George P. Shultz, became very friendly. Shultz soon began his work within several administrations as he demonstrated his affinity for internationalism and liberalism. It didn’t take long for Peterson to realize his friendship with Shultz, a CFR member, would open many doors.

Peterson soon became the top executive at Chicago’s Bell & Howell corporation succeeding Charles Percy who moved into the U.S. senate. President Nixon selected Peterson for Secretary of Commerce and even the New York Times described him as “an outspoken liberal.” Out of government, he took over at Wall Street’s Lehman Brothers where he and Stephen Schwarzman got to know each other. The two later formed the Blackstone Group and earned piles of money buying and selling businesses.

Always anxious to gain influence in the political world, Peterson along with Washington Post chairman Katharine Graham, accepted membership in the Brandt Commission, a project of the Socialist International (SI). Former West German Chancellor Brandt, an ardent socialist, led SI during 1977-1980. Only 18 members worldwide were awarded places on this panel formed by one of the world’s leading socialists. No patriotic American would have anything to do with Brandt and his work. But Peterson was pleased to be a part of it.

SI’s interesting history is worthy of a brief recounting. Begun in 1864 under Karl Marx, it suffered through a contentious reorganization in Paris in 1889, endured a similar makeover in Moscow in 1919 (where it became known as the Communist International, the Comintern), and undertook another reorganization in Hamburg in 1923. Since 1951, SI has functioned as the Fifth Socialist International. Brandt would never have chosen Peterson if he were not a partisan for socialism and world government. Unsurprisingly, the former Nebraska whiz kid won his recommendation for a place on SI’s Brandt Commission from World Bank President Robert McNamara, another world socialist.

Under Peterson’s two decades of leading the Council on Foreign Relations, that bastion of liberalism and internationalism continued its efforts to have our nation – and all nations – cede their independence to the United Nations. CFR bigwigs who never repudiate one of their own never backed away when CFR member Richard N. Gardner publicly called for “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece.” That clearly subversive sentiment, published under the title “The Hard Road to World Order,” appeared in the CFR’s flagship publication Foreign Affairs in 1974. Gardner would later repeat his blatantly subversive message while Peterson was the CFR’s leader. His “Practical Internationalism,” full of suggestions about how to lead mankind into the new world order, appeared in the CFR’s journal in 1988. Never repudiated by Chairman Peterson, it and several predecessors can be considered Peterson’s policy.

During a trip to Taiwan in 2006 (a full year before Peterson stepped away from chairmanship at the CFR), the organization’s long-time president Richard Haass spelled out what the CFR has long desired. His remarks appearing in the Taipei Times included insistence that the idea of “sovereignty of nations” had run its course and the time had come “to rethink this notion.” CFR chairman Peterson, who had awarded Haass his exalted CFR post and tolerated his explicitly stated goal, never lifted a finger to challenge what the CFR president was telling Taiwan’s people and others.

No one ever doubted that Peter G. Peterson was a very bright individual. He could have used his God given talents to support continued independence for the nation that had made life so easy for him. But he chose a totally opposite path. He should be remembered as a significant enemy of virtually all that made America great.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Bowing to China’s Growing Power

Bowing to China’s Growing Power
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When China’s Xi Jinping first gained leadership of the huge Asian nation in 2012, he faced a term-limit provision in the Chinese constitution that would force his retirement in 2022. But that law no longer exists. Senior Communist Party officials quietly agreed in January to abolish the constitution’s term limitation policy. When the National People’s Congress (close to 3,000 members) met early in March, there was no doubt that they would follow the recommendation of their seniors. They erased the term limits clause in a grand show of docility.

Image from Wikimedia Commons, President of the Russian Federation, http://www.kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0.

Xi Jinping is now president for life in the country with the world’s largest population and an increasingly obvious status as an economic giant. Now able to dictate that it be treated with fawning respect by outsiders, China has nevertheless continued to be led by a totalitarian regime. Not only has it become an economic power, its leaders are creating a military capability that, before long, could challenge any other military power on earth.

If there are any opponents within China of Xi’s remarkable power grab, they have chosen – either wisely or reluctantly – to remain silent. Commentary within China on his bold ascendancy is virtually non-existent. The government has made impossible any discussion of the matter, and the people are well aware of this tyrannical prohibition.

Not only is criticism of anything about China discussed openly within the country’s borders, any opposition to any Chinese policy elsewhere is increasingly challenged. Intimidation resulting from China’s growing omnipresence reaches out worldwide. Ethnic Chinese waitresses in Australia can be told by fellow Australians to keep silent about their pro-Taiwan attitude. American firms have required employees to avoid registering even a hint of disapproval of China’s takeover of Tibet several decades ago. Similarly, no one shall be permitted to challenge Beijing’s frightening attitude toward Taiwan. Friends of this prosperous bastion of freedom and its 23 million citizens increasingly receive a scolding if the island is considered a free country.

Further, American firms have been quick to apologize and correct what China claims to be insulting or merely erroneous mention of Taiwan’s claims for itself. Columnist Jeff Jacoby has pointed out that Marriott corporate leaders prostrated themselves before China when a minor American employee in Nebraska posted his agreement with a pro-Tibet article he saw on the internet. He was promptly fired. Apple meekly blocked any possibility that China’s people could access the internet’s information about their country. After receiving a complaint from China, Delta Airlines quickly erased its reference to both Tibet and Taiwan as “countries.” All of this and more led Jacoby to conclude: “Every time a corporation kowtows to China’s outrageous bullying, it ensures that more bullying will follow.”

One truly remarkable instance of China’s growing clout surfaced recently when China obtained the Vatican’s willingness to abandon faithful Catholic clergy in the communist-led nation. Bishops loyal to Rome have operated underground for decades while others have renounced their ties to the seat of Catholicism and become members of the so-called “Patriotic Catholic Church.”

But bullying isn’t the only important concern. What if Mainland China decides to invade and occupy Taiwan as it did when it sent conquering forces into Tibet several decades ago? The U.S. has long been committed to defend Taiwan’s 23 million should China choose to recapture the island it has always considered to its property. Would the U.S. defend its ally, or would our leaders accept a Chinese takeover?

Further, U.S. leaders have never responded to the 25 percent tariff on U.S. autos entering China while our tariff on Chinese cars entering the U.S. is a measly 2.5 percent. American firms in China cannot exceed 50 percent ownership while Chinese firms in America are permitted 100 percent. No aware American has to be told of the presence of “Made in China” labels on an array of goods for sale here. And perhaps the most stunning indication of American decline and foreign ascendance is the fact that 97 percent of the clothing Americans purchase is made overseas, mostly in China.

President Trump wants to make America great again. He first has to assure that America reverses the almost daily slide away from its greatness.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.