Townhall

by Bob Barr

Why in the world was the U.S. funding virus research in China? This is the $10 trillion question about which more members of Congress other than Sen. Rand Paul should be grilling Dr. Anthony Fauci, who thus far has failed to give Americans the straight answers we deserve.

The issue is far bigger than Fauci and what Republicans should be demanding is a clear answer to why America funds any research of any sort with our primary world adversary, especially research that is at best “dual use” research, and at worst a precursor for devastating biological warfare.

One reason is that the Left has never appeared to understand the real world, in which there are friends and enemies; including enemies with smiling faces and offering candy, but whose aim is to kill you. In the case of China, smiling faces are empty promises of domestic liberalization, and its proffered candy is lucrative Chinese markets for U.S. companies.

The truth behind the mask is all too easy to spot – if one is willing to look.

Human rights abuses against the Uyghur people, Orwellian surveillance networks and “social credit” systems, a tyrannical crackdown in Hong Kong, and state-sponsored cyber-hacking of U.S. companies are but a few examples of China’s recent reprehensible conduct. Still, the Left continues to mollycoddle this global power as if it were nothing more than a puppy wetting the carpet.

This behavior is embarrassing when it comes from the private sector, as when the NBA, an avowed “social justice” advocate, shushed its players from criticizing China for fear of jeopardizing the league’s $5 billion investment in that country, or when a spineless Hollywood actor apologizes to Beijing for making a factual statement about Taiwan. Kowtowing from U.S. government leaders, however, is a far more serious matter.

Despite the formidable size of its military, China’s bread and butter remains asymmetrical warfare, focusing on geopolitical pressure to manipulate other international powers including the U.S., while using its military chess pieces primarily to ward off interference in its internal affairs. With China’s finely honed knowledge of how money and power flows through Washington, D.C., its leaders understand that buying influence in academia, the media, Hollywood, and woke corporations serves the dual purpose of controlling American politicians.

It therefore comes as no surprise that fact-based theories about COVID-19 originating in a Chinese lab led to pushback by leftist politicians and media. Some Democrats even played the race card, accusing Republicans of being “anti-Asian” for placing the blame on China; no doubt exactly as Chinese officials privately predicted.

China’s well-known and historical predisposition to play the “long game” in its dealings with U.S. administrations, allows it to wait patiently for presidents more easily manipulated to its agenda – someone like Joe Biden. With Democrats now in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House, it is unlikely China will ever be held accountable for its release of the COVID virus and its intentional cover up efforts.

None of this analysis is new. China’s bad and manipulative behavior has been on display for decades, which only raises the question of why the U.S. continues to play into its hands geopolitically, even as we give the communists critical intelligence by “partnering” with them on health, economic, and academic endeavors, like Fauci’s research in Wuhan. That such resources sooner or later will be used directly or indirectly against us has been a very real and tangible danger for decades.

Perhaps America’s primacy as a global superpower has dulled our ability to recognize a bully when we see one, but it is beyond time for the U.S. to begin fighting back, using the same asymmetrical methods as China uses against us. For example, Trump’s 2016 post-election phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was a masterclass in subtle, diplomatic shot-firing at China. Another easy win would be extending refugee status to Hong Kong citizens attempting to escape tyrannical Chinese rule.

Democrat politicians and the lords of social media in Silicon Valley may whine and complain about agitating their “buddies” across the Pacific, but these craven concerns need to be brushed aside. China is already waging war against the U.S., even if Democrats choose not to recognize the reality.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.