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COVID Coverup Reflects Habitual American Naiveté in Dealing With Autocracies

Posted on Thursday, March 2, 2023
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by David Lewis Schaefer
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AMAC Exclusive – By David Lewis Schaefer

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On Monday, the Department of Energy released a new classified report to the White House and key members of Congress which concluded that the COVID-19 virus probably leaked from a Chinese laboratory, rather than from an infected animal in a “wet market” near the lab, as had previously been asserted by top national security officials and government health specialists. Given the long history of cover-ups by communist governments, why should anyone have been surprised?

Back in the 1950s, conservative Republicans in and out of Congress had a saying: “You can’t trust the communists.” This maxim was borne of long experience with the behavior of the Soviet government. The Soviets had, for instance, joined in an aggressive alliance with Hitler’s Germany before suddenly turning into America’s ally when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union (before Stalin had the chance to turn on Hitler). They infiltrated the American government with spies, sometimes at the highest levels of our foreign policy establishment such as Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, in the midst of our wartime alliance. They also imposed puppet dictatorships in all the European countries the USSR had liberated from the Nazis and stole the secrets of America’s nuclear weapons programs.

But the memories of mainstream American policymakers throughout the postwar period – not only professed liberals, but mainstream centrists and some ostensible conservatives like Richard Nixon – were short, particularly when it came to understanding that the aims and practices of totalitarian dictatorships are guided far more by expansionist aspirations, or at least the determination to keep their subjects safe from any awareness of the possibility of freedom, than by any fear of aggression from liberal, inherently pacifist, democracies.

The natural liberal tendency (using “liberal” in the broadest sense) is to think the best of potential aggressors and to believe that international hostilities arise out of a failure of understanding, or irrational fears, which can be remedied through diplomacy, cultural exchanges, increased trade, and treaties. For example, until the publication of German historian FritzFischer’s book Germany’s Aims in the First World War in 1961, scholars typically explained the origins of World War I as the product of accidents or misunderstandings, rather than of the German government’s imperialist aims.

Liberal historians also long blamed World War II on the American government’s failure to join the League of Nations, which supposedly would have prevented the conflict through international cooperation. In the 1920s, under Republican administrations, the U.S. signed a naval treaty designed to limit the expansion of forces by leading powers, including Japan, and then ostensibly “solved” the problem of international conflict by signing the Briand-Kellogg pact, which made war “illegal.” Franklin Roosevelt, early in his administration, gave diplomatic recognition to the Soviet regime, despite its murderousness toward its own people and proclaimed aspirations of engendering world revolution. Four decades later, Nixon, a onetime determined foe of the Chinese Communist government, made his famed “opening” to China, supposedly for reasons of Realpolitik, even at the cost of withdrawing formal recognition of a longtime U.S. ally in Taiwan and encouraging doubts elsewhere about America’s reliability.

The Nixon administration also signed a treaty with the Soviet Union banning the development of chemical and biological weapons in 1972, continuing this pattern of wishful thinking. Yet no sooner was the treaty signed than the Soviets ramped up their production of bioweapons. Two decades later, the Russian government signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, yet continued to hold a large stock of such weapons. Though the Russian government claimed to have destroyed them by 2017, the poisoning of several exiled dissidents demonstrated otherwise.

Also in 1972 (a banner year for naiveté) the Nixon government signed an agreement with the Soviets, first proposed by Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, banning the development of anti-ballistic missiles designed to defend a country against nuclear attack. McNamara’s professed fear was that, by reducing the risk that a pre-emptive Soviet nuclear attack would succeed, the U.S. would encourage the continuation of the “arms race” between the two countries.

Common sense, by contrast, would suggest that the best means of preventing a nuclear attack on the U.S. would have been to enhance our defenses against it – a program that Ronald Reagan finally attempted to initiate, only to have it rejected by Congress, with Democrats ridiculing the idea under the name of “Star Wars.” Today, the U.S. is still deterred from providing sufficient weaponry to Ukraine to enable it to defeat Russian aggression out of the fear that excessive “escalation” of Ukraine’s military capacity would provoke Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear attack.

Although the George W. Bush administration announced this country’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002, citing the risk of a potential nuclear attack from Iran, which was not a signatory to the treaty, little evidence exists that the U.S. has subsequently invested the substantial sums that would be needed to build a workable missile-defense system even against Iran. Instead, the Obama administration signed a “deal” with the Iranian government by means of an executive agreement – hence not a treaty subject to Senate ratification – that would have mandated only a postponement in Iran’s development of nuclear weapons in return for the lifting of sanctions and the release of hundreds of millions of dollars that the mullahs’ regime could use to enhance the financing of its terrorism programs. The Biden administration has not given up hopes of restoring the agreement, despite Iran’s denial of the right of U.N. inspectors to check on its nuclear development.

Most recently, Putin announced his country’s withdrawal from the New Start nuclear arms limitation treaty, following repeated American accusations that he violated the treaty by refusing to allow the inspections that it authorized.

As a final instance of American leaders’ historical naiveté regarding the trustworthiness of communist regimes, let us recall Jimmy Carter’s initial speech on foreign policy, delivered at Notre Dame University shortly after he took office, scolding Americans for what he called their “inordinate fear of communism.” Two and a half years later, Carter publicly confessed that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan taught him more about the nature of communism than he had ever known before. Rather expensive on-the-job training, one might observe.

But how could an educated politician, an ex-nuclear engineer on American submarines, have had to wait so long to learn his lesson? Carter’s fault wasn’t stupidity, but the characteristic American tendency of “mirror-imaging,” or imagining that the motivation of communist leaders must be more or less like our own. As the great Sovietologist Robert Conquest once observed, Western leaders and diplomats typically failed to understand the communist regime because they lacked personal experience in dealing with the sort of people who advance under communism: the sort who are commonly found in the West only in violent criminal organizations like the Mafia.

Carter, it must be noted, was a slow study when it came to communism, never completing his education. Long after departing the White House, he became, effectively, an apologist for North Korea’s Marxist despotism in the name of promoting negotiations to halt the growth of the dictatorship’s growing nuclear arsenal. On one self-appointed peace mission, he naively described how a “department store” he visited in Pyongyang resembled one in in Atlanta – not realizing it was really a phony, Potemkin-village construction set up just to deceive him in a nation filled with starving people. Later, in 2011, Carter downplayed North Korea’s belligerence by characterizing the government’s shelling of a South Korean island and disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility – in violation of U.N. resolutions – as merely “designed to remind the world that the country’s rulers deserve respect in negotiations that will shape their future.”

Although today’s aggressive Russian dictatorship no longer professes communism, it practices the same sorts of violence and treachery as its Soviet predecessor. Meanwhile, Xi Jinping’s regime in China still openly describes itself as communist – even though it has sought to keep its populace contented by allowing far greater scope for private enterprise than Marx, Lenin, Stalin, or Mao would ever have authorized, on the condition that the people seek no political rights. And Xi has been more open than either Mao or the Soviet leaders about his ambition to achieve world dominance. His expansion of his military forces, even as American military spending (taking account of inflation, and as a percentage of GNP) has receded, has put them roughly on a par with America’s forces, while his threatening actions in the Pacific make an attack on Taiwan more and more likely. (China is expected to achieve the capability for parity with the U.S. in its nuclear arsenal as early as 2030.)

Under these circumstances, why woulda Chinese government laboratory focused on “gain-of-function” research nothave been aiming to enhance their country’s military arsenal, just as Soviet scientists had long been employed to do? And yet, until quite recently, anyone who proposed such a hypothesis was ridiculed as a “racist” or “conspiracy theorist.” Senator Tom Cotton’s mere suggestion of the lab-leak theory was met with severe derision from both the leading British medical publication The Lancet and The Washington Post in early 2020.

President Biden, who accused Donald Trump of promoting anti-Chinese racism for his criticism of China’s policies and reportedly shut down the State Department’s investigation of the possible lab origins of the virus, was later accused of falling victim to such racism himself when he revived the investigation. (These details are summarized in law professor Jonathan Turley’s revealing February 27 column in the New York Post, “Blowing Lid off Shaming Censors.”)

Amazingly, America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) had contributed more than $600,000 to help fund the Wuhan lab’s supposedly benign research. And despite public denials by Dr. Anthony Fauci as recently as April of 2021 that the NIH under his direction had ever funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, damning emails obtained by the watchdog White Coat Waste Project show his concern as far back as 2016 that the lab was engaged in such research, despite a ban by the Obama administration. Interim NIH Director Lawrence Tabak admitted in a letter to Congress late in 2021 that the experiments conducted at Wuhan in 2018-19 were gain-of-function.

The American intelligence community has not announced a final determination of how the COVID flu originated. But leaving aside the tens of millions of people worldwide who have died from it, over the longer run the greater threat to our (and the world’s) freedom and security may be, as Turley argues, the censorship scandal that our response to it embodied. The outrage previously expressed by U.S. government officials, academia, and media to the mere questioning of the “official” explanation of COVID’s origin was apparently motivated by the desire to avoid offending Chinese sensibilities at all cost. Once again, it seems, our government and academic institutions failed to grasp the fundamental nature of communism and the fact that communist regimes cannot and should never be trusted.

David Lewis Schaefer is a Professor of Political Science at College of the Holy Cross.

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Hal-
Hal-
1 year ago

If you trust the “natural” good will of Communist China, you are in for hard times. The USA is a pushover for China’s tactics to better their political power and welfare at the expense of the USA ,,, especially if a DemocRat regime is in power in the USA. In truth the Chinese government is not a true Communist regime … more like a autocracy managed by a small power group with no limits on what they will do to retain and strengthen their power position.

Kim
Kim
1 year ago

All I have time for right now is, “Why the Dept. of Energy?”

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

You can’t trust democrats which should be the updated saying. Being exposed seems to have no effect for them as they have plenty of illusionists to deflect blame, then it’s on to the next debacle. Amac people seem to know this already, I suppose the rest don’t care if they’re constantly lied to, at least not enough to do anything about it.

Linda
Linda
1 year ago

They all knew all along! They think we are all stupid. If it was from the bats they would have been testing bats all over the world from day one. I have not heard any bat testing. But I have heard about the chickens being tested for bird flu.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

Democrats Love Wearing Masks! . . . Why? Because don’t ALL thieves and crooks ALWAYS wear masks when committing crimes?

Bob Chase
Bob Chase
1 year ago

We have government by special interests. They find politicians who will join in the spoils. So, how to get back to some semblance of “by the people and for the people”? First step may be to downsize the FED and severely reduce the tenure of politicians. Political office is the pot at the end of the rainbow now.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

What is the next step now that the facts are made public instead of lies and manipulations We educated and equipped our enemy How do we get our head out of that noose

Jeri
Jeri
1 year ago

The “naïveté” are going to do what they are going to do, believe what they want to believe. Who are we to interfere?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Well stated and true, but it goes well beyond communism. I lived in Iran for 3 years in the 1970s. It was a culture shock that most Americans never get to experience (which is why we tend to be so naïve). The shock was that they value honesty in personal interactions/relations far less than we do — they value being pleasing and unoffending far more. The whole culture is saturated with a pseudo-politeness that demands deceit and leads to underhandedness (the classic is pretending you don’t see someone so you don’t have to be polite to them). They will flat out lie to your face if that is what they think you would prefer to hear rather than tell you the truth and they don’t see that as a bad thing, it’s demanded of them by their culture. In their view they are doing the right thing by doing so.

It’s not just mirroring motivations and intent that Americans are guilty of, it is mirroring cultural influences, priorities and expectations. We would have similar problems and misunderstandings with China (and Russia) even if they had more democratic governments. We cannot even begin to understand their motivations until we understand their culture — and we don’t. Our naivete is rooted in ignoring cultural difference just as much as ignoring ideological differences (if not more).

H.L.Howell
H.L.Howell
1 year ago

Everybody is cmplaining about the commies, and rightly so, but nobody is saying anything about the chinese police stations that are being st up in ThE UNITED STATES, why?

Larry Bush
Larry Bush
1 year ago

When is America going to learn that when we enter agreements with foreign countries, we often are the only ones that honor them.Racism is the cry to defend many times bad elements. If anyone that is not white is arrested, its racism. If they are arrested and are not straight its homophobic. It is often excuses for any that can fit into a designated group to be protected from the legal system.

Jackie
Jackie
1 year ago

Any coverup only makes people not trust the government and rightfully so!! Our federal government lies to us so consistently and constantly that many Americans don’t trust one party or the other or both!! Some say that if you are a politician, you must be a liar (sad but true)!! With every different administration there seems to be more and more coverups, corruption, scandals and unscrupulous and even criminal behavior!! Something needs to change!!

David
David
1 year ago

Does anyone know why the DOE conducted this investigation? It is supposed to be run thru the State Department but a full public report would have to be published. Biden tasked the Intelligence Community to kept it secret from the public but the DOE is issuing this report. What’s going on?

John
John
1 year ago

The US government is not trustworthy today. We have been lied to and censured by our own government. Under Democrat Leftist policies the US Constitution and this Country’s laws are willfully violated. The Deep State does exist and it is a horror. Joe Biden is the worst President in our Nations history and he is getting worse. He is embarrassing to watch or listen to. He lies about all things and even those that don’t matter. “Corn Pop” stories are who Biden is. The Chinese virus did come from China despite the ridicule that the MSM heaped on anyone who dared as the question. Today, if not acceptable, the US might not even investigate something legitimate. COVID opened our eyes to the evil of big government and the vial organization the Democrat Party has become. They are unified in their hate for American values, the family and even biology itself. Their destruction is assured. Their evil cannot stand.

john b
john b
1 year ago

Obama might have banned GOF in early in his regime, but he A-OKed in Jan 2016, just days b4 Trump took office. Don’t whitewash Barry’s involvement in this … or Ukraine where he engineered the overthrow of a presidency in 2014 and also had many bioweapons labs.

john b
john b
1 year ago

re: naivete.
Around 10-20 years ago, a chinese scientist announced he cloned the 1st human being. He did this despite (or in spite of) a global agreement that cloning humans was illegal and doing so forbidden.

So of course, china has no morals and would have no problems making a murderous virus

Jo Ponte
Jo Ponte
1 year ago

I guess you can believe that all the covid lab leak denial was about soothing the CCP’s feelings but I believe it is more about a CYA situation. The Federal public health bureaucracy and their anointed scientists and virologists presented the Wuhan lab with a lot of our money to research gain of function after American labs were no longer allowed to do such research due to the danger such research could cause to the public. They found a way around the new restrictions by contracting it out to the CCP. Now maybe Fauci, et al, are incredible Pollyannas but I for one do not believe for a minute that they are so naive they had no idea what Wuhan was doing with our money. In fact, by covering for the lab, they show that they had full knowledge what Wuhan was doing. We can’t have people at Fauci’s level of government so naive, if you will, that they would set up a Chinese, military run lab with our money for any reason, let alone gain of function research. If it’s too dangerous to do it in our superior military labs, why on earth would be outsource it to the CCP?

David Campbell
David Campbell
1 year ago

Once again the real point is missed. The real story isn’t “was it a lab leak or of natural origin” and did they lie about that. Nor is it about gain of function research (although that is an important sub story and explains a lot about our government’s reaction.) Regardless of how or why Covid 19 started, once it did, the communist Chinese governement locked down travel to and from Wuhan…internaly…while allowing, and even encouraging it, internationally. There is no other reason for that than the intentional spreading of Covid around the world. That’s the real story.

Laurie
Laurie
1 year ago

Our government right now is no better than the communists in fact they are straight up communists themselves. Covid was released on purpose to lock us down, mask us up and shut down businesses. I think our naivete at this point is thinking our own government cares about our freedoms, our constitution, our health, our prosperity, anything for our good. There are exceptions but this administration cares more about money laundering through Ukraine than taking care of our own disasters.

Stan
Stan
1 year ago

Fauci, Pfizer and the government and, of course, all the mainstream and social media conspired to shut down the truth about the vaccines and either censor or label any dissent as “debunked” or “disinformation”.
We have learned that Pfizer never did any transmission studies on their vaccine but everyone lied and said the vaccine would prevent transmitting COVID, so Biden lied and called it the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. He mandated the vaccine for employment and put millions out of work as well as requiring tens of millions of students to get vaccinated; who were never in mortal danger from COVID but may now be at risk from vaccine side effects.  In fact, the number of athletes who “died suddenly” between January 2021 and April 2022 (15 months) is 1,696% above the historical monthly norm between 1966 and 2004 (38 years). That average monthly number is now 42 per month compared to just over 2 per month for nearly 40 years! Over the past two years (2021 and 2022) more than 1,650 professional and amateur athletes have collapsed due to cardiac events and 1,148 have died.  We are also just learning (based on the CDC’s own data) that there is a 1200% increase in severe menstrual abnormalties and and 57% increase in miscarriages in the last two years and the long term effects on fertility are yet to be known.

Now the CDC has unanimously declared that the COVID vaccine be added to the list of mandatory vaccines before children can enter school. This after we know children’s natural immunity is stronger than the vaccine and they are in no mortal danger from COVID and are more likely to be killed by a lighting strike. Further, many European countries have already banned injecting the vaccine into children yet the CDC continues to support this insanity here and it needs to stop.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 year ago

INDICT FAUCI.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

Far, far too many of our ‘long in the tooth’, greedy politicians are just looking for $$$$$ and realize the American voters don’t have any.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
1 year ago

Great, very important article you wrote Mr Shaefer , the way you presented the facts about the strategies used by the communists , the historical examples of the communist system operating in various countries and the dangers of the communist system. It should be valued by all people who value Liberty. I reckon I am blessed with a very good memory as after reading the article I remembered the mood of the country during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, I was 12 years old at the time ,but I do recall a sense of seriousness about most of the adults then, parents, relatives, neighbors and teachers, it was something different, like something was in the air and it could be felt . So, the best course I believe that the United States of America should follow at this time would involve a renewal of the principles found in the Declaration of Independence, that sort of courage provides much strength and wisdom, an appreciation of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution would help too. Keeping a clean sense of humor is always good for the spirit, and having respect for the will of God , all of these things will give the country a sense of purpose , and provide a code of conduct to live by as well.
Victory for the truth helps in the defense of Liberty.

Miranda
Miranda
1 year ago

Greed and $$$$$$ makes those people blind, and the regular people pay a big price. We need to demand accountability.

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