VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


Truth the casualty in imperialist rivalry

Amid the seemingly endless stream of drivel passing as news coverage about the COVID-19 pandemic, a large feature-spread in the Australian finally revealed some factual information from well-placed sources.
Despite the Trump administration using the pandemic problem as part of its renewed Cold War position toward China, the Australian article denied it was the outcome of China's biological warfare program.
The Australian article, nevertheless, was both poorly written and presented, containing a number of questionable paragraphs of contradictory information.
On 2 April 2020 the Australian published an article entitled 'Biological War is now top of mind'; coming amid the stream of news coverage about the COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the article, at 78 column centimetres and eighteen paragraphs, indicated both the importance and significance of the feature-spread to the pro-Coalition Australian editorial board.
Other media coverage has been more of a military-style Psychological Warfare program, based in propaganda and designed to instil insecurity and fear into the minds of people; the hurried stockpiling of food and toilet- paper by people who are behaving in a disturbed manner can be seen as the outcome of almost hysterical media coverage.
Five Eyes disputes the lies
Reference was given in the article to the Five Eyes, an elite intelligence organisation consisting of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, ruling that the COVID-19 virus originated in bats, and was transferred to humans 'perhaps via another animal'. (1) It was also accompanied by the statement that 'it is, of course, possible that the first human being in contact with COVID-19 predates the Wuhan wet market'. (2)
No reference, however, was made in the Australian article about the rapid transfer of the COVID-19 virus to other countries, not geographically close to China. How was it possible? The ultimate question, therefore, about people shopping in a lower socio-economic wet market in Wuhan and the nature of their relationship with Italian residents living in the close vicinity of the Swiss Alp and others living on the Falklands in the South Atlantic was not addressed. As with other areas of the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, serious common-sense questions remain unanswered by government officials.
Reference to the Five Eyes would tend to indicate a high-level intelligence inquiry with findings made available to US-led governments and their allies. Information for the article was then made available to the Australian, very likely in a heavily censored form, acceptable to those at the centre of the US-led global intelligence.
Great stress in the article is laid upon the statement 'I am not remotely accusing Beijing or any other national government of contemplating the use of biological weapons'. (3) The article, however, subsequently launched upon a tirade against China's biological weapons program, consisting of several lengthy paragraphs in a highly contradictory manner, while stating ‘I think it's very unlikely that the virus came from a Chinese laboratory'. (4)
Elsewhere, use of technical information has been merged with personal conjecture, to create a rather befuddled and poorly presented feature-spread. One single reference to the problem of terrorism is recorded, for example, although not elaborated upon, despite the fact it was known Islamic jihadists were experimenting with germ and biological warfare and so-called 'dirty bombs', about the same time as the US invasion of Iraq nearly twenty years ago. (5) The latter received extensive television coverage, prime time.
The Australian, as the national newspaper of the country has historically provided well-written media coverage for decades. The predicament the Australian editorial board has found itself in is publishing news coverage about the COVID-19 that runs counter to the hostility toward China adopted by the Trump administration.
In between speeches about what Trump has referred to as the China virus and 'Wuhan flu', there have been threats 'in US government circles of decoupling from China' and attempting to push the country to the periphery of the global economy. (6)
The moves have been accompanied by a frenzy of anti-China rhetoric from the far-right

both in the US and elsewhere, as part of their Cold War platform to make 'America great again', a fallacious position based upon nostalgia. The whole position, however, carries a hollow ring, revealing the false premise on which it is based; when pressed about suitable information source material about the whole matter, Tom Cotton, a Republican Senator and known Cold War hawk, actually acknowledged 'we don't have evidence that this disease originated there (Wuhan)'. (7)
The stakes have become very high for the Trump administration, both in a presidential re-election year where those in power want to remain in the position of control with their snouts well positioned around the trough, and with an increased defence budget with military planning aimed at real-war scenarios. The intensity of the whole COVID-19 pandemic is symptomatic of the escalation of US-led diplomatic hostilities toward China at every level of operation.
In early April the US Defence Department relieved Brett Crozier of his duties as Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier which had docked at Guam, following manoeuvres in the region. Guam is a major US hub for military operations. His dismissal followed an internal memo dated 30 March from him to his superiors 'pleading for help with a coronavirus outbreak at sea … sailors do not need to die', which was subsequently leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle. (8)    
While the internal memo was regarded by the Navy as secure, coverage in a major West Coast newspaper was not; fears arose that the information could be regarded by adversaries that the US Navy was not fully prepared for war.
That concern from an imperialist point of view is more important than preparation for, and actions against, the pandemic.
We must stop following US imperialism.   
We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     Biological war is now top of mind, Australian, 2 April 2020, paragraph 3.
2.     Ibid., paragraph 4.
3.     Ibid., paragraph 11.
4.     Ibid., paragraph 6.
5.     Ibid., paragraph 10; and, Interventions, Noam Chomsky, (London, 2007), Notes, pp. 16-17, Number One.
6.     Information war widens rift between China and the US, Australian, 23 March 2020.      
7.     Ibid.
8.     US Navy sacks carrier captain, The Weekend Australian, 4-5 April 2020.