Listen to a reading of this article:

Taiwan has been in the news a lot lately, and it’s really bringing out the crazy in people.

The mass media have been falsely reporting that China has been encroaching on Taiwan’s “air defense zone”, which gets stretched into the even more ludicrous claim that China “sent warplanes flying over Taiwan”. In reality Chinese planes simply entered an arbitrarily designated area hundreds of miles from Taiwan’s coast it calls its “Air Defence Identification Zone”, which has no legally recognized existence and contains a significant portion of China’s mainland. This is likely a response to the way the US and its allies have been constantly sailing war ships into disputed waters to threaten Beijing.

As Moon of Alabama reports, US warmongers inflamed this non-controversy even further by feeding a story to the press about the already public information that there are American troops in Taiwan training the military there, citing “concern” about the danger posed by China.

Now headlines are blaring about President Tsai Ing-wen responding to this non-event with the announcement that Taiwan will “do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life.” Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott just visited Taipei to advocate that “democracies stand shoulder to shoulder” with Taiwan against China. The CIA has announced the creation of a new spy center that will focus solely on China, which CIA Director William Burns says will “further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century: an increasingly adversarial Chinese government”.

A recent poll says that now more than half of Americans would support sending US troops to defend Taiwan from an invasion by the mainland, plainly the result of the aggressive propaganda campaign that has greatly escalated public hysteria about China. In Australia the mass media are cranking out unbelievably insane 60 Minutes episodes ridiculously pushing the idea that China may attack Australia and that Australians should be willing to go to war to protect Taiwan. I’ve been having many disturbing interactions with people online who emphatically support the idea of the US and its allies going to war with China over Taiwanese independence.

This is clearly nuts, and anyone who buys into this line of thinking is a brainwashed fool.

This isn’t some kind of complicated anti-imperialist issue, and it has nothing to do with which side you take in the debate over what government Taiwan belongs under. The US and its allies engaging in a full-scale war with nuclear-armed China over Taiwan is a prospect that should be vehemently opposed out of simple, garden variety self-preservation.

Obviously if Beijing decides to launch a military assault on Taiwan in its bid to reunify China that would be a terrible thing which would cause a lot of suffering. I don’t think that will happen unless western powers push Taipei into declaring independence or otherwise upset the delicate diplomacy dance in some major way, but if it does happen under any circumstances that would be awful.

But Taiwanese independence is not worth fighting a world war that could kill millions, and potentially billions if things go nuclear. This should be extremely obvious to everyone.

War proponents will reference Hitler, as they literally always do whenever there’s talk of war against someone the United States doesn’t like, arguing that China taking Taiwan would be like the Nazis invading Poland after which they’ll just keep invading and conquering until they are stopped. But there’s no evidence that China has any interest in invading Japan, much less Australia, still less everyone else, or that it has any ambitions on the world stage beyond reunification and securing its own economic and security interests.

The idea that China wants to take over a bunch of foreign lands, make you live under communism and give you a social credit score is the same kind of foam-brained bigoted othering which told previous generations that Black men want to take over your neighborhood so they can have sex with your wives. It’s the sort of belief that can only find purchase in an emotionally primitive mind that lacks the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand that not everyone wants what you have.

The jarring amount of pushback I’ve been getting for my very sane and moderate position that we should not be willing to start World War Three between nuclear powers over Taiwanese independence makes it abundantly clear that many people don’t truly understand that starting a war means you have to actually send actual human beings to go fight that war. All the big brave warrior men bloviating about the need to stand up to China know they’ll never find themselves on the front line of that conflict because they’re too old, but they’ll happily send my kids and the kids of countless of other mothers to go and fight in it. It’s like a video game or a movie to them.

Propaganda has made us so compartmentalized and detached from the realities of the horrors of war. If people could really see what war is and what it does, truly grok deep down in their guts how their own governments are inflicting those horrors on people right now, they’d fall to their knees in anguish and never again advocate for such things. No sane person would support a war of this scale if they truly understood what it would mean.


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35 responses to “Anyone Who’d Support Going To War Over Taiwan Is A Crazy Idiot”

  1. There are bottom lines aplenty here. Unsustainable CO2 increases attributable to China or the USA alone are enough to sink the planet over time. World hunger is spreading, grain harvests in the northern hemisphere were abysmal as the polar vortex shifts, Greenland meltwater is suppressing the Gulf Stream and when that stops Europe will also. If you look back at history 1 billion human beings without the Haber process or fossil fuels had to spend their time battling each other; war may not solve anything but it does answer the question of WHO will survive. The CCP or at least Big Brother Xi will not survive a collapse of their real estate bubble, the empty, already crumbling cities that financed Australia with iron ore sales and added a lot of extra ppms of carbon to the atmosphere – unless he can do like Hitler and come up with a string of imperialist triumphs. The promised retaking of the Motherland will be first. And once on that path there is no going back. Sorry but this crap has always been an essential part of our species, written in the stone between our ears.

  2. Caitlin Johnstone does not understand the core issue!

    This whole issue is NOT about Taiwan’s freedom or sovereignty – it is about containing the Chinese desire for expanding their territory in east- and south-Chinese sea. Why is this important to us in the West and why should we care? If China takes Taiwan and other nearby islands, they will be able to halt international supply lines and dictate new terms that suits the CCP – the next target for them will be the island chain outside of India, where they already have disputes. Ultimately this is completely unacceptable for the West and all nations dependent on sea-bound logistics to allow China to dictate terms – this is what is at stake here! This is old fashioned power politics and just like in WW2, this is a game is about “island-hopping” where the Japanese had occupied islands all over the pacific – providing them strategic advantages.

    So, why is China beating their chest now? Most likely because to distract their population from the impending collapse of the chinse property and banking sector – which will be the catalyst for next international finance crises. But all this take-Taiwan-by-force-talk is obviously posturing from China – despite their military superiority(compared to Taiwan) they do not have the military capabilities to take AND occupy Taiwan. Only 10% of the Taiwanese coastal line is suited for an amphibious assault, where the Taiwanese military has entrenched numerous heavily fortified positions and the Chinese forces sailing towards Taiwan will also come under heavy fire – this is what the US marines are training the Taiwanese military to do; using drones and modern day mines for countering coastal attacks. Should China attack Taiwan, then the US, Australia and Japan will intervene in the conflict, where China will be completely outnumbered and outgunned – Beijing knows this, and there’s no way in hell that they risk throwing themselves into a war that they cannot win!

    1. Wow! You mean the Chinese would block the shipping of goods produced IN China from going to the US only if they “take Taiwan”?
      Let me ask you how much of the “international supply lines” are currently going to or coming from China? Why do they need to take Taiwan in order to disrupt those supply lines?
      I think it is you who doesn’t understand the core issue.

    2. USA-ma Bin Laden Avatar
      USA-ma Bin Laden

      Unlike you, Caitlin sees through the current barrage of anti-China war hysteria/propaganda being spewed by America or Anglosphere nations like Australia.

      In fact, you are inverting reality on its head in a manner worthy of George Orwell.

      As she explains in this tweet: “The US and its allies are not surrounding China with an ever-increasing military arsenal to prevent them from cutting off trade routes, they’re doing it so that they can cut off China when the time comes.”

      The idea that China would want to “halt international supply lines” (in Asia) is ludicrous in that it would be committing economic suicide, given that much of the Chinese economy is dependent on keeping them open.

      Your argument is a classic case of Psychological Projection whereby the Anglo Americans project their own predatory designs onto their geopolitical enemies.

      In fact, it is the United States that would most BENEFIT from a (limited) war in the Asia Pacific region–as it would cripple the economy of its leading economic competitor, China, while the USA thinks that it would remain “safe” on the other side of the world.

      Indeed, China is trying to develop land trade routes in Eurasia with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—an initiative that America is hostile towards. Why? Precisely because it would allow China to bypass America’s current chokehold over the sea trade routes that China’s economy is dependent on.

      In terms of Taiwan, China’s position has been to maintain the status quo, whereby Taiwan agrees to make no moves towards formal “independence” while enjoying de facto sovereignty under the One China principle.

      It is America (and its proxies in the Taiwan DPP) that are trying to unilaterally change this status quo by undermining the One China principle, despite the USA’s formal pledge to this policy for the past several decades. China’s so-called “chest-beating,” as you call it, is fundamentally driven by the undermining of this decades-long One China principle.

      What’s more, the imminent property and financial meltdown that you mention is actually more acute in the Anglosphere, led by the United States, with its housing bubble; massive money injections into Wall Street through the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing; and the quadrillion-dollar Derivatives Bubble. You have inadvertently admitted who (America) would *really* have motivation to stoke war fever and hysteria as a distraction from an impeding financial implosion.

      Financial Blowout Ahead: Lobotomized Economists Clash on the Deck of the Titanic

      In short, the Taiwan issue is merely a geopolitical pretext, as you suggest. But it is an Anglo American pretext to weaken the economy of its leading competitor, China, through the incitement of war.

      This is nothing new. The Anglo Americans specialize in promoting pretexts and deception to foment wars–just like non-existent Iraqi WMDs, humanitarian intervention, or the bogus War on Terrorism are the deceptions that the Anglo Americans peddled to justify their criminal aggressive wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, et al….

  3. The ignorance of the fact that the vast majority of our silicon chip manufacture for Western Markets takes place in Taiwan places the modern world at risk if Taiwan is undefended.
    Our daily lives have changed to an incredibly short sighted reliance on strategic supply chains and embedded products that act as key components to our survival.
    Taiwan is not a positional strategic alliance it is a dependent strategic alliance.
    You do not allow an enemy to burn your food crops or force reliance on the enemy for survival.

  4. If you — a US voter — do not want More Of The Same that has happened after every election in the past, do not vote for another R or D, ever!, no matter what an R or D promises!

  5. USA-ma Bin Laden Avatar
    USA-ma Bin Laden

    The American war criminals just got their asses kicked by the Taliban and driven out of Afghanistan in a humiliating retreat.

    America is barely holding on by a thread in Iraq, where American stormtroopers can only hide in their fortified military bases and “green zones” out of fear that they will be IEDed or shot by the Iraqi Resistance if they poke their heads out.

    Yet, America–with its cannon fodder like Australia in tow–are foaming at the mouth to wage war on China.

    This will not end well for the Anglo-Americans.

    So be it. America will reap the whirlwind and be on the receiving end of all the pain that it is guilty of inflicting on the world such as America’s criminal wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Serbia, Somalia, etcetera….

    Americans have a universe of negative karma that will be visited upon them.

    And the great irony that most people don’t want to admit is this American war–like all of America’s wars–is based on deception.

    Taiwan, democracy, or even semi-conductors are diversionary issues that obscure America’s true agenda, which is about maintaining the unipolar American world dictatorship… sorry… unipolar US world order that has existed since the end of the First Cold War.

    All other reasons are lies.

  6. War with China is already a fact. Ascertain where Fentanyl comes from and there you are. This is just one easy to understand example. War doesn’t necessarily mean boots on the ground. Sanctions, like those which have been killing Venezuelans, count. Plenty of bodies in things which we are not led to think of as war. There’s a whole passel of lethal other measures which are war by any other pretty name.

    War is also a distraction. In this case a distraction from the war at home between the prospective techno slaves and their would be masters. War unites and can bring opposing elements back in to the fold too when all else appears failure. And we are already playing a dangerous stupid game without bounds.

    None of this excuses anything. The continuation of two wrongs make a right will persist among nations as it has for millennia. The best case scenario is often the lesser of evils and right now that can be plenty.

    Power and clarity do not go hand in hand. Be thankful for powerlessness as without it you would be a demon too. Be of hope that an accumulation of powerlessness will overcome evil, but beware of replacing it. That’s the Devil’s bargain.

  7. The Americans – and Australians – are a bit naive if they believe that an assault on China’s Mainland or even on Taiwan, recognized as one part of an indissoluble China, will generate a conflict that will be confined to Chin or East Asia.
    No great power will allow an attack on its homeland to go without a response of similar magnitude. And China now has reach.
    The big, brave spoiled warrior men and women (Hillary and “Vicki” Nuland leap to mind) may have a big surprise awaiting them.
    We had better not tempt fate nor let them do so.

    1. Michael Vincent Avatar
      Michael Vincent

      I’m Australian and I haven’t heard anyone say attacking China is,not everyone here supports what our government is doing or has done,I however am not an expert on such matters,I would prefer we didn’t go pissing of China,there’s room on both sides for blame to be placed

  8. The Americans – and Australians – are a bit naive if they believe that an assault on China’s Mainland or even on Taiwan, recognized as one part of an indissoluble China, will generate a conflict that will be confined to Chin or East Asia.
    No great power will allow an attack on its homeland to go without a response of similar magnitude. And China now has reach.
    The big, brave spoiled warrior men and women (Hillary and “Vicki” Nuland leap to mind) may have a big surprise awaiting them.
    We had better not tempt fate nor let them do so

  9. We are not helpless against propaganda. Ebay has used textbooks on neurology and psychology. Reading up on this stuff is like getting a covid vaccine- not as much fun as complaining, but far more effective.

  10. The MIC war-profiteering corporations captured the US Federal administration decades ago and manipulate their corporate media vehicles to create hysteria with misinformation. A new war would generate massive profits for them, and the few alternative voices left who are economically and politically literate have a huge task in balancing these lies with truths.

    The loss of a whole tradition of intelligent left/socialist interrogation of reality, and of the war against the dialectical method of interrogating reality has produced a one-sided drab and reactionary linear thought process devoid of rich contradictions. So they remain out of sight as does the potential of popular revolt for now.

    But there are also thousands who know they cannot believe a word the official information-formers say. And with a new round of globalised currency collapses immanent, it will quickly become increasingly clear that neither have the establishment any hope of satisfying real social needs (housing, health, food supply etc,) for now – or later.

    Never has it been more important to re-post and circulate Caitlin Johnstones timely warnings as widely as possible. And to discuss their content with a view to promoting critical thinking everywhere.

  11. You’re right about the pushing of publicly known information (regarding training) into the news as well as beating drums about ADIZ incursions is clear propaganda to get the US et al on a war footing. Moreover, many normal Taiwanese (and my fellow expats) know all this stuff. The bothersome fact is that Taiwan has become a pawn to the West and China, or a Rook maybe.

    The fact that this island has the worlds most capable semiconductor manufacturing is almost like having oil under the sand here.

    Every economy needs those silicon chips to survive at this point. It’s like the little desert planet that made the spice in Dune, which allowed navigation through the stars. 2020 and ongoing shortages (which literally ground production of everything from cars to home electronics to a hard stop)

    Because of this, I don’t see the problem going away. Only fools want war. But to stop it, we Have to build a world without the need for technology made with semiconductors, or a world where China and the Western nations have plentiful sources of those things. Or a world where a preponderance of leaders are great at de escalation and cooperative iterative games. Something. In this world we have now, the war with China is probable (though not inevitable)

    The spice must flow.

    One move that would avert this would be TSMC corporation committing to reducing its facilities to flaming rubble in case of invasion. Meanwhile, once the company builds fabs on US soil (which is in the works), the US won’t have such a boner to “defend Taiwan.” If they built a fab in China, maybe Xi’s government wouldn’t care so much about “reunification.” I don’t know if a nation having hold on the best of the worlds most important economic resource is such a good thing…. in this world that means you need to pack big guns.

  12. Unfortunately that’s not how the US military regards “war” these days. They think it consists of sending a bunch of floating deathtraps to sail aggressively near the target’s coast and readying fleets of drones to blow up the inhabitants once they rush out of their homes to see what’s going on.

  13. The “greatest military the world has ever known” could not defeat the Taliban in 20 years of fighting. The Taliban had no navy, no air force, no CIA, no NSA, no State Department, no aircraft carriers, no stealth fighter jets, no nuclear weapons. The most optimistic western estimates of Taliban annual GDP was $400 million (which is about what Jeff Bezos makes in 44 hours). The Taliban—again based on western estimates—had 25,000 fighters (probably a gross over estimation), mainly goatherds and farmers armed with surplus Soviet rifles. Hey, I have an idea, the U.S. should fight China.

  14. Republicofscotland Avatar

    John Pilger is savvy enough to know this, infact he make a film on the coming war with China, again the US is using a proxy to start a possible war. The USA will do just about anything to keep its economy on top, regardless of how many bodies pile up.

    Now that consent for the war appears to have been manufactured by the US warhawks and their compliant media, it might now be a forgone conclusion that hostilites will commence sooner than later.

  15. Hey Caitlin,

    Naturally I agree.
    So . . . I’d appreciate your thoughts re my Substack essay. A slightly different approach, putting it mildly.

    BTW – I’m also from Melbourne. You have my E-Mail address.

    Regards . . . Les.

  16. Who is tough Macho Tony working for these days?
    The MIC, the microprocessor industry (thanks Michael), Right Wing think tanks, the CIA, US oligarchs etc etc.
    He was an utter failure and embarrassment as a PM.
    I’ve got some advice for you Tony:

  17. No doubt the massive US war machine is keen to replace Afghanistan as soon as possible with another country, preferably a bigger one so they can make bigger profits.
    They must be salivating with the thought of the potential size, and duration, of a war with China. Hitting the profit jackpot!
    It was said that the first, and then the second, wars were wars ‘to end all wars’ – perhaps third time lucky (so to speak). If there’s a war with China, it could well turn nuclear, which would certainly achieve the desired result!

  18. Cancelled Animal Avatar
    Cancelled Animal

    You don’t have to worry folks, all part of the charade.

    “The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” Orwell 1984

  19. What is really driving this conflict, at least in large part, is a semiconductor issue. Due to some strange blindness to geopolitical strategy in both the corporate board rooms and govt regulatory agencies, several decisions were made to produce 90% of our most powerful processor chips in Taiwan.

    These decisions were taken even though there were several other options available when they were made. Now, almost all of the personal computing chips are produced in than country. It’s like Taiwan is Arrakis and processor chips are spice.

    The fist thing we should do is wind down those contracts as quickly as possible and get these enormously pivotal chips made somewhere else. But don’t hold your breath. Such wisdom seems antithetical to modern power politics.

    1. The voice of reason! How refreshing.

    2. I said the same thing above about the semiconductors.

      One thing I have learned is that in the process of psychological evolution, we actually get to move past saying obvious things like “War is bad and only psychopaths want it” to looking at functional solutions that allow the world to survive that are not predicated on leaps in consciousness.

      Leaps in consciousness are great, for those of us who are in position to make them. However, it’s also a fact in spiritual evolution that people don’t really skip steps. Some pre-modern moralist from Iran isn’t going to turn into an enlightened person by taking ayahuasca a few times and meditating for a year. And even if that could work (maybe if he had a great teacher it could!), it would take a lot of steps before he would even do that.

      So, given the world we live in, where people are at various levels of understanding, and most actually choose to stop evolving somewhere between the Taliban and the Shitlibs, we have to come up with working solutions.

      (None of this should be considered a criticism of CJ’s art and journalism. She’s fighting the good fight and I find no fault in her approach recently. The point is, for anyone reading her and looking for solutions, there has to be creative thinking of what will work.)

      My tantric teachers were terrifying because *nothing* was off the table.

      They were also very effective.

  20. To make matters worse, see this also:
    WW3 over uninhabited islands? Well, maybe if there’s oil nearby: “The discovery of potential undersea oil reserves in 1968 in the area was a catalyst for further interest in the disputed islands.”

  21. But Caitlin, China is a threat to the U.S. She doesn’t play fair. She uses her resources to build infrastructure, including transportation systems which provide vital trade links with other countries with which she has, through respect diplomacy and fair and honest dealing she has created good will and good relations. The U.S. cannot compete with her because the U.S. uses her resources (what is left after enabling the thieves to steal most of it) making war with all countries which refuse to follow U.S. orders. The only rational and logical thing to do is start a war with countries which compete so unfairly.

    Would it be helpful to place some ads somewhere the average U.S. moron would see them advising that Taiwan IS a part of China and that the U.S. recognizes this fact via its One China legal position? Probably not. Of course, the rule of law, or the U.S. official legal position, means nothing to the great leaders of the U.S. After all, Blinken and Nod have already announced to China and the rest of the world that the only rules which matter are the “Rules Based Order” invented by the U.S., which means that the U.S. makes the rules and the rest of the world must follow them. That sums it up very well. Complete thuggery, assertion of the U.S. Empire. Totally insane. And the 1% who rule this freak show take these silly assertions seriously and back them up with threats of world annihilation.

  22. boy i wanna be the 1st up da beach in dat one!
    get me one a dem sweet Chinee grrrls so fine! yep.
    but why don’t we trade with them.
    we give China Cuba, PR, Key West, Newfoundland, Santa Catalina, and Bainbridge Is if they’ll take bill gates who lives there.
    we get Taiwan.
    Gates has a dock suitable for Battleships tell ’em.
    This will prevent WWIII, and make us all friends. we’ll take ’em bowling and stuff.
    ps~~yes. i AM a robot! what’s wrong with that? they made me this way!

  23. A lot of bat shit crazies out there saying they would fight the Chinese in a war to shore up Taiwan .Familiar chest thumping in the plandemic climate we presently live in .A history lesson is well in order depicting the carnage in the Korean war and this to say nothing of what would definitely turn nuclear in short order .
    Our so-called leaders enjoy stoking the rhetorical fires instilling fear .That is what they do best .They would not be sending members of their own family though to do the fighting .

  24. Caitlin, America is full of idiots, include the White House, so this doesn’t surprise me at all – just look all the idiots that fell for the C-19 scam and the 9-11 inside job. To go to war over Taiwan is so ridiculous that it will be an end to life as we know it.

  25. I spent last night, instead of sleeping, watching a series of Bored Panda posts about big, brave warrior men and the pushback they got from normal people. Hilarious!

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