A Vote for Kennedy is a Vote for Peace with China
By Jeremy Kuzmarov
In January, four-star Air Force General, Mike Minihan, sent a memo to the officers he commands predicting that the U.S. and China would be at war within two years. Minihan said, “I hope I am wrong [but] my gut tells me we will fight in 2025.”
If either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump is re-elected in 2024, then Minihan’s prognosticating gut may prove right. But if Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is the victor, then he will have been wrong.
Kennedy is intent on avoiding a war with China that would be suicidal for the U.S. and China. In July, Kennedy tweeted: “the indications are that the Chinese leadership does not want a military confrontation with us, and we shouldn’t want that either.” A few weeks earlier, the Boston Herald quoted Kennedy criticizing U.S. provocations directed against China and saying that he thought the U.S. putting military bases in the South China Sea was a mistake.
These statements represent a refreshing divergence from the saber-rattling rhetoric coming from the Biden White House and Republican Party leadership that alarms even seasoned Air Force Generals.
Kennedy is absolutely correct to emphasize that China does not want a military confrontation, as Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has publicly advocated for a “win-win” cooperative strategy, in which the U.S. and China work together and collectively try to advance their national interests.
On September 17, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff acknowledged that the Chinese spy balloon hysteria earlier in the year, which contributed greatly to the deterioration of U.S.-China relations, was entirely baseless. Many other accusations directed against China appear to be either false or inflated for political reasons, including the claim, according to The Grayzone, that China has committed genocide against the Uyghur.
The U.S. allegation of Chinese aggression centers on China’s attempt to control the Senkaku, Spratley, and Paracels Islands in the South China Sea. Their claims to these islands, however, are disputed, with the Senkakus having been taken from China by Japan in the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War.
The Biden administration has antagonized China by sending Navy warships into the South China Sea and flying spy planes over the Taiwan Strait, over which China has jurisdiction under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
CIA DirectorWilliam F. Burns, the first career diplomat to head the agency, and recently named to Biden’s cabinet, has carried out an expansive covert influence operation focusing on China, according to the New York Times. Two years ago, Burns created the China Mission Center and has since hired more China experts, increased spending on China-related intelligence gathering and counter espionage efforts that include flying spy planes off China’s coast.
The Biden administration has further signaled a possible break with the traditional “One China Policy” that recognizes Taiwan as part of China, by ratcheting up arms sales and covertly supporting separatist movements within Taiwan, according to Global Times.
A U.S. government official described the U.S. strategy as being designed to turn Taiwan—the recipient of $3 billion in U.S. military aid in 2023—into a “porcupine,” a territory bristling with armaments and other forms of U.S.-led support that makes it “appear too painful to attack.”
Kennedy stands opposed to this policy, stating that the U.S. should “back off militarily” and “take the pressure off China and Taiwan and let them figure it out for themselves.” Additionally, Kennedy has called for diplomatic talks between the U.S. and China to “see if there are ways that we can work with each other peacefully and keep the world at ease.”
This progressive approach does not correlate with the interests of the military industrial complex that has corrupted the Democratic and Republican parties and, as Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his farewell address over 60 years ago, hijacked U.S. foreign policy. It was the most controversial speech of Eisenhower’s life, yet, he edited and thereby diminished what his speechwriters, Malcolm Roos and Ralph E. Williams, originally termed the “Military-Industrial Congressional Complex.”
During the 2020 election, Northrop Grumman of Falls Church Virginia, which received a $180 million Pentagon contract for Volcano anti-tank munitions to Taiwan, gave Joe Biden $419,156 and another $492,003 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for Congressional races.
Raytheon’s support for Joe Biden took the form of $506,424 for his 2020 presidential campaign. $2 billion in contracts were awarded to Raytheon by the Pentagon in just the first three months of Biden’s presidency. Raytheon has since sold Sidewinder and HARM missiles to Taiwan and agreed to a $100 million deal for the maintenance of Taiwan’s missile defense system, which led China to impose sanctions on the company.
Biden’s $842 billion defense budget for FY 2024 includes $9.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, whose purpose is to upgrade U.S. military infrastructure and readiness and to “bolster the capacity and capabilities of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.” These allies/partners include the Philippines, South Korea, India and Okinawa, Japan, which has been transformed into a military garrison directed against China.
By far, the biggest winners of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative have been the arms companies listed above and Wall Street investment firms that own them, and make large donations to the DNC.
Another is Renaissance Capital, which at the time of the 2020 election owned 1.2 million shares of RTX (parent company of Raytheon) worth over $75 million, and 130,000 shares in Lockheed Martin worth $50 million. Renaissance’s founder, Jim Simons, a former MIT mathematics professor who resigned from a military-connected think tank in the 1960s because he opposed the Vietnam War, gave over $7 million to Biden’s campaign in 2020, and $21.8 million to the DNC in 2018.
Perhaps the most infamous on that short list of big winners, Blackrock, which owns 6.9% of Raytheon, 5% of General Dynamics, 6.8 percent of Lockheed Martin, and 6.3% of Northrop Grumman, is another Wall Street investment firm profiting massively from the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. During the 2022 midterm elections, Black Rock gave $410,675 to Republican and $606,366 to Democratic Party candidates, including $113,950 to Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a longtime Sinophobe and China hawk.
And just to circle back for a sense of how tightly dominated this industry is by a handful of corporations, the federal IT and mission support of Northrop Grumman was bought by Veritas Capital in 2021.
Kennedy has called the billion dollar U.S. weapons supplies to Ukraine “a money-laundering scheme,” taking wealth out of the pockets of tax-payers and putting it into the coffers of Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed-Martin, which, he notes, are owned by the investors of “BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard.”
These comments are equally true of the U.S. military buildup in Southeast Asia, which a President Kennedy would put an end to. Kennedy has said that he supports and encourages America competing with China on an economic plane. But he has emphasized that “meeting the needs of the American people”—whether in the realm of health-care, education, housing or fighting homelessness—is “more important than funding wars, it’s more important than funding overseas adventures.”
This is not the message that Wall Street plutocrats and weapons manufacturers who manage and pull the levers of the DNC want to hear. It is, however, one that resonates with millions of American voters from all political parties who understand that a war with China, as with Russia, is not in the best interests of the country.