The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Health status of the population living in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories

Health status of the population living in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories. (2019)

D. J. Janavayev1 , Ye. T. Kashkinbayev1 , K. B. Ilbekova1 , Ye. A. Saifulina1 , M. M. Bakhtin1 , M. K. Sharipov1 , P. K. Kazymbet. (2016). Electron J Gen Med 2019;16(6):em176.

Some brief extracts:

The results of the study indicate an almost complete absence of healthy individuals living in the area.”

  • Currently, the study of the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation on biological objects continues to be a complex problem in the field of radiation biology.
  • The urgency of this problem is due to the increase in the number of people exposed to man-made radiation in small doses, this category of the population includes people living near the storage of radioactive waste of uranium production
  • The risk of environmental problems and living conditions is high for public health.
  • Radioactive contamination of the territories behind the sanitary protection zone, tailings of radioactive waste is one of the serious problems of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • As a result of earlier clinical and epidemiological studies found that the population living in a tense environmental situation, had a high medical and social risk of chronic somatic and cancer.


  • Analyzing the research results, we note a clear pattern of the distribution of the incidence of the pathology among the population, depending on the length of stay in the territory longer duration of residence in the territory of the tailings, the greater the prevalence of diseases observed in the population.
  • In the population of the control group, the prevalence of diseases, depending on the period of residence in the Akkol settlement of Akmola region, tended to increase, but did not change significantly. This may indicate that the influence of technogenic factors of radiation nature on the overall morbidity of the population living near the tailings dump for a long time is not excluded.
  • A significant increase in the prevalence of diseases, depending on the length of residence in ecologically unfavorable areas, was detected for diseases of the eye, cardiovascular system, digestive and genitourinary systems.


  • Thus, living conditions in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories determine the wide prevalence among the population of the main group living in the settlements of Zavodskaya and Aksu.
  • The results of the study indicate an almost complete absence of healthy individuals living in the area.

  • Length of living near radioactive waste storage affect the formation and character of General somatic morbidity: increase the duration of life in the areas adjacent to the tailings, leading to increased incidence of chronic diseases.
  • It should be noted that in order to fully assess the health of the population of the settlements of Zavodskaya and Aksu under prolonged exposure to radioactive waste storage factors, data are required, which will be obtained in the course of further research.



February 11, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Reference | 1 Comment

Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination.

As long as the public is excluded by “national security” concerns and by government agencies relying on nuclear expert knowledge and self-serving rules that favor commercial interests over public well-being, justice will be elusive.

Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination (2016). By : Dean Kyne and Bob Bolin, and Jayajit Chakraborty, Academic Editor, Sara E. Grineski, Academic Editor, and Timothy W. Collins, Academic Editor.


  • Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events.
  • Justice concerns include plant locations and the large potentially exposed populations, as well as issues in siting, nuclear safety, and barriers to public participation.
  • Other justice issues relate to extensive contamination in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and the mining and processing industries that have supported it.
  • To approach the topic, first we discuss distributional justice issues of NPP sites in the U.S. and related procedural injustices in siting, operation, and emergency preparedness.
  • Finally, we discuss the persistent risks of nuclear technologies and renewable energy alternatives.
  • Then we discuss justice concerns involving the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and the ways that uranium mining, processing, and weapons development have affected those living downwind, including a substantial American Indian population.


  • What steps could be taken to begin to resolve some of the above discussed justice issues?
    • To overcome all types of environmental justice issues, it is imperative for all key stakeholders including nuclear regulatory agency to take accountability and responsibility in carrying out activities in risk evaluation, risk decision-making, and risk management regarding nuclear power and radiation [69].
    • This requires full disclosure and public right-to-know principles and full democratic procedures in all nuclear issues, even those involving the military [27].
  • Next we examine the problem of high-level nuclear waste and the risk implications of the lack of secure long-term storage.
  • The handling and deposition of toxic nuclear wastes pose new transgenerational justice issues of unprecedented duration, in comparison to any other industry.

  • As long as the public is excluded by “national security” concerns and by government agencies relying on nuclear expert knowledge and self-serving rules that favor commercial interests over public well-being, justice will be elusive.
  • Given the history of secrecy and denial in the U.S. over nuclear technology risks and impacts [14] whether a more just approach could be developed remains unclear.
  •  Clearly, phasing out of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons technologies, with their centralized and authoritarian tendencies [102] (as many European countries have initiated) is a positive step that responds to public opinion.
  • Likewise, planning for high-level waste storage must involve democratic procedures and full consultation with those people and places that will be most affected. To do otherwise will repeat a history of nuclear injustice.


February 11, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, Religion and ethics | 1 Comment

Australia safest country to survive nuclear apocalypse – except for it being a military target

However, they also said that Australia does have one major factor working against it – its relatively close military ties with the United Kingdom and the United States make it more likely to become a target in a nuclear war.

In this area, New Zealand displayed some advantages because of its longstanding nuclear-free status, the researchers wrote

Scientists Reveal Safest Countries To Survive Nuclear Apocalypse, NDTV, Bhavya Sukheja February 10, 2023

Scientists have recently revealed that Australia and New Zealand are best placed to survive a nuclear apocalypse and help reboot collapsed human civilisation. 

The study, published in the journal Risk Analysis, has found that there are just a few island nations that could continue to produce enough food to feed their population after an “abrupt sunlight-reducing catastrophe” such as a nuclear war, super volcano or asteroid strike. These countries include not just Australia and New Zealand, but also Iceland, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 

There would “likely be pockets of survivors around the planet in even the most severe” scenario, the researchers wrote in the study. They compared 38 island countries on 13 factors which they said would predict which ones stood the best chance of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. 

The authors of the study found that Australia and New Zealand – both robust agricultural producers and tucked away from the likely sites of northern hemisphere nuclear fallout – topped the tables, with Australia performing best overall………..

However, they also said that Australia does have one major factor working against it – its relatively close military ties with the United Kingdom and the United States make it more likely to become a target in a nuclear war. In this area, New Zealand displayed some advantages because of its longstanding nuclear-free status, the researchers wrote. …………………………….

The study also predicted that in an event of a nuclear apocalypse, China, Russia and the US could see food production fall up to 97 percent under nuclear winter models and would be forced to rely on new food production technologies.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US role in Kiev’s artillery warfare identified – media Feb 10 2023

The American military is “controlling every shot” with Pentagon-supplied rockets, a Ukrainian official told the Washington Post

The Ukrainian military requests precise coordinates from the Pentagon for almost every rocket fired from US-made artillery systems, and would not fire a shot without getting them, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Three Ukrainian officials and one senior US official spoke to the newspaper, on condition of anonymity, about America’s involvement. One Ukrainian source implied that Washington has the final say on every action, making the case for the delivery of longer-range rockets to Kiev………………………. more

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Did Volodymyr Zelensky call for ‘preventive nuclear strikes’ against Russia? Not exactly

Social media users have been circulating a video of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, claiming that the footage shows him calling on NATO to launch preventive nuclear strikes against Russia. It turns out, however, that this footage isn’t new – Zelensky made these statements back in October 2022. Moreover, the translation of his statement, originally in Ukrainian, leaves out some nuance.

  • Far-right Twitter accounts have been sharing a video of Volodymyr Zelensky speaking in Ukrainian. According to the English subtitles on the speech, Zelensky is calling on NATO to “launch preventive strikes against Russia” and “use nuclear weapons”. These accounts said the footage was evidence of a risk of “nuclear war.”
  • The video also circulated in French-language accounts and was even shared by a French senator. 
  • Turns out, however, this footage isn’t new. It was actually recorded on October 6, 2022 – and Zelensky’s comments did create a bit of a stir. However, the subtitles on the video that has been circulating recently are a little off, making Zelensky’s words sound even more menacing than the reality……………………….

Old footage and inexact translations 

If you type “Zelenskyy preventive strikes” into Google, then one of the first things that comes up is an article published by Politico on October 7, 2022. 

The article says that Zelensky participated in a discussion at the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank. During that discussion, Zelensky said through an interpreter that NATO should take “preventive strikes”, before the interpreter corrected himself to say “preventive action”.

………….. The FRANCE 24 Observers team also consulted with the Ukrainian-language team at RFI.  The team said that the subtitles on the video weren’t quite accurate. 

The interviewer asks Zelensky what more he would like NATO to do to deter Russia. 

Zelensky doesn’t say that “they could use nuclear arms against Russia”. What he actually says is that they should “prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons”. 

Essentially, he says the opposite of what the subtitles indicate. ……………………

In the video posted by the Lowy Institute (at 25:30), you can hear the interpreter correct himself. He starts by saying “preventive strikes” before correcting himself, saying “preventive action”. However, the Ukrainian word that Zelensky uses, удари, does mean strikes. 

So what did the Ukrainian president mean? At one point he mentions the period “before February 24”. That would mean the time before Russia invaded Ukraine. 

While the president’s word choice is confusing, it is possible that he meant using economic or diplomatic sanctions to dissuade Russia from using its nuclear weapons.

That’s the interpretation taken by a number of Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. Podolyak was interviewed by a Ukrainian media outlet on October 6, 2022. 

“Zelensky was referring to Russia’s nuclear threats and suggesting that the world should make clear the consequences for Russia [if they do use nuclear weapons] and intensify strikes against the Russian Federation, like sanctions and providing armed assistance [to Ukraine].”

Back in October, Russian authorities did criticise Zelensky’s choice of words, believing they were a call to strike Russia. Dmitri Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, said that Zelensky’s words were a call to “kick off a global war with disastrous and impossible-to-predict consequences”. 

In summary, this footage doesn’t show Ukrainian President Zelensky calling on NATO to strike Russia using nuclear weapons in 2023. The footage is from 2022 and the translation isn’t accurate; it makes his statements seem more threatening.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan: Cabinet adopts policy of using nuclear reactors beyond 60-year limit

Japan Times 10 Feb 23

The Cabinet formally adopted a policy on Friday that will allow for the operation of nuclear reactors beyond their current 60-year limit alongside the building of new units to replace aging ones as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions while ensuring adequate national energy supply.

The government’s “green transformation” [whaaa..aat?] policy features extensive use of nuclear power along with renewable energy and marks a major policy shift for the country, which suffered a devastating nuclear disaster in 2011. The Cabinet decision follows a meeting in late December at which the policy was agreed upon.

The government also plans to raise about ¥20 trillion ($152 billion) through the issuance of green transformation bonds to boost investment in decarbonization projects, as it estimates public and private investment of over ¥150 trillion will be necessary over the next 10 years……… (Subscribers only]

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Japan, politics, safety | Leave a comment

U.S. Test Launches ICBM Into Pacific as Part of Nuclear ‘Deterrence Mission’

US News By Paul D. Shinkman, Feb. 10, 2023

Military officials said the test launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile serves as a reminder that the U.S. can ‘deter twenty-first century threats.’

The U.S. Air Force test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Pacific Ocean neighborhood of its adversaries in China and North Korea late Thursday at a time of growing international concern that brewing tensions among nuclear powers could escalate into a new arms race………….

The missile’s payload, which for a real strike could carry thermonuclear warheads, flew more than 4,000 miles from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands…..

China has repeatedly warned of the dangers of a new arms race as it blasts U.S. political rhetoric that increasingly views Beijing as the signature threat around which America’s national security infrastructure must organize itself……………….

February 11, 2023 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France considers tapping public interest savings accounts for nuclear reactor funding

Critics of the potential UK funding model have warned, however, that consumers could be left exposed if construction of the plants takes longer than anticipated or goes well over budget, as has happened frequently with European nuclear projects.

France is considering using funds from depositors in a centuries-old
savings account to finance part of a €50bn plan to build six nuclear
reactors, one of the world’s most ambitious energy programmes.

Putting together financing for nuclear projects is challenging because of the high
costs that weigh on state balance sheets and the wariness of private
investors of the decades-long construction periods and safety risks.

As a result, state-owned nuclear operator EDF and the French government are
considering tapping into the resources provided by the popular “Livret
A” savings account, two people familiar with the discussions said on

With about €370bn in deposits, Livret A funds are deployed by
the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), a state-linked bank that
carries out projects in the public interest, such as building social
housing. The popularity of Livret A means the CDC has additional funds to
invest and its head Eric Lombard has said it should play a bigger role in
financing the green transition.

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.comT&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

Critics of the potential UK funding model have warned, however, that consumers could be left exposed if construction of the plants takes longer than anticipated or goes well over budget, as has happened frequently with European nuclear projects.

France 9th Feb 2023

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No to US nukes in Britain: CND is returning to Lakenheath, 20 May 2023!

 CND is returning to the US airbase at Lakenheath in Suffolk, to say no to the return of US nuclear bombs to Britain!

With reports last year that the nuclear weapons bunkers at the US-run Lakenheath airbase were undergoing multi-million pound upgrades, alarm bells rang: the US is planning to deploy upgraded B61-12 nuclear bombs to Britain. We must oppose this dangerous and destabilising development!

Hundreds of you joined us for two demonstrations at the base last year. On Saturday, 20 May, we will return with our biggest protest yet! More information to follow. Coaches are being arranged from around the country, please let us know if you are coordinating transport. For all queries, contact

February 11, 2023 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Cuts Support for Ukrainian Military but continues work for U.S. military.

Decrying Starlink’s ‘Weaponization,’ SpaceX Cuts Support for Ukrainian Military, Defense One, Patrick Tucker, 10 Feb 23

But Wednesday’s explanation by the Elon Musk-founded company is at odds with its continuing work for the U.S. military.

SpaceX will no longer support certain Ukrainian military operations through its Starlink satellite-communications service, the company’s president said on Wednesday, explaining that the tech was “never meant to be weaponized.” But Gwynne Shotwell’s explanation is at odds with Starlink’s role in recent U.S. Army modernization experiments that seek to fire on targets more quickly………………

On Wednesday, Shotwell said has taken steps to keep Ukraine from using Starlink to control armed drones and perform other military tasks. 

“We were really pleased to be able to provide Ukraine connectivity, and help them in their…fight for freedom. It was never intended to be weaponized, however,” the SpaceX president said during an FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, according to Breaking Defense

SpaceX’s work for the U.S. military suggests otherwise. In May 2020, the company signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Army to look at battlefield applications for the Starlink broadband. Later that year, Starlink played a key role in the service’s inaugural Project Convergence experiment to test new and more interconnected weapons and systems………………………..

In November, Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, told reporters that Starlink communications were a “signal of life” for Ukrainians, but said the country was growing increasingly concerned about the ever-erratic behavior of the company’s founder, Elon Musk—especially after Musk made attempts to charge the Pentagon for Starlink services he had donated. Ukrainian officials said they are looking for alternatives to SpaceX

February 11, 2023 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Greenpeace will sue the European Commission over its decision to include gas and nuclear as “clean”

Greenpeace will take the European Commission to court over its decision to
include gas and nuclear energy in the EU’s list of investments that can be
labelled as “green”, the campaign group said on Thursday.

Greenpeace requested a formal review in September of the Commission’s decision,
arguing the European Union had violated its own climate laws by labelling
some gas and nuclear energy investments as green.

Reuters 9th Feb 2023

February 11, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Fears of ‘catastrophic’ nuclear horror as Turkey’s reactor rocked by horror earthquake

Turkey’s Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is facing a major risk, an expert has
warned, as the death toll of the disastrous earthquake racks up. The
disaster in Turkey and Syria has so far left 11,224 confirmed dead, with
the World Health Organisation warning that the final death toll could be as
high as 20,000.

Rescue teams in Turkey and Syria worked through the night
to recover more bodies from the rubble of thousands of buildings destroyed.

Following the disaster, an expert told that Turkey’s nuclear
power plant, which lies just 16 miles away from an earthquake fault and is
currently under construction, could be at risk.

Express 8th Feb 2023

February 11, 2023 Posted by | incidents, Turkey | Leave a comment

The US Department of Energy has made it easier to share nuclear information with Mexico and harder to do so for Colombia and Egypt.

US DOE changes rules for nuclear information exchange with Mexico, Colombia, Egypt

S and P Global, William Freebairn,

Mexico rules relaxed after nuclear cooperation agreement reached

Work with Colombia, Egypt now requires specific permission

The US Department of Energy has made it easier to share nuclear information with Mexico and harder to do so for Colombia and Egypt.

In a new rule effective Feb. 9, DOE expanded the requirements for sharing nuclear energy technology with Mexico, doing away with a limit that had only allowed such general sharing on matters related to upgrades and operation of its single nuclear power plant, Laguna Verde, or research reactors. Now, the country becomes a generally-authorized destination for sharing nuclear technology without those limits, DOE said

Under rules in Part 810 covering the exchange of certain non-public commercial nuclear energy technology, countries may be generally authorized, meaning information can be shared with those countries as well as citizens of those countries working at nuclear facilities in the US.

The DOE changes, which were announced in a secretarial determination Dec. 29, also included removing Colombia and Egypt from the list of generally authorized destinations, DOE said. These destinations, and the sharing of information with citizens of those countries in the US, will now require a specific authorization from DOE, it noted……… (Subscribers only)

February 11, 2023 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

TODAY. The evil of the nuclear industry – France to transfer public interest savings funds to the nuclear industry?

Just when I think that the nuclear industry can’t sink any further into hypocrisy and depravity – it comes up with a new trick against the poor and against the public good.

France – such a leader in many good things – philosophy, cheese, etc – has also been a leader in nuclear evil – nuclear colonialism. And now the nuke-obsessed French government comes up with an evil trick against its own population – to transfer Livre A social benefit savings to the nuclear industry.

France’s Livret A savings accounts are a unique system that enable any adult or child in the country to have a simple tax-free savings account . The system has been going for 200 years, and is used to provide funds for social benefit measures, especially social housing.

What’s a Livret A in France? Livret A is a simple savings account with instant withdrawal access that’s historically been very popular in France, a kind of on demand tax free savers account. In May 2022, there were 55 million accounts holding a total amount of 358,8 billion euros between them.  French families felt confident in these government backed accounts that are easy to open while making a difference for the country. They are a great idea for kids and grand kids; for the first car or a deposit on a house later.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes, France | 4 Comments

Media ‘Spy Balloon’ Obsession a Gift to China Hawks

The Pentagon says it believes this spy balloon doesn’t significantly improve China’s ability to gather intelligence with its satellites.

Minimizing US provocation

The unstated premise of much of this coverage was that the US was minding its own business when China encroached upon it–an attitude hard to square with the US’s own history of spying.


For over a week, US corporate media have been captivated by a so-called “Chinese spy balloon,” raising the specter of espionage.

NBC News (2/2/23), the Washington Post (2/2/23) and CNN (2/3/23), among countless others, breathlessly cautioned readers that a high-altitude device hovering over the US may have been launched by China in order to collect “sensitive information.” Local news stations (e.g., WDBO2/2/23) marveled at its supposed dimensions: “the size of three school buses”! Reuters (2/3/23) waxed fantastical, telling readers that a witness in Montana thought the balloon “might have been a star or UFO.”

While comically sinister, the term “Chinese spy balloon”—which corporate media of all stripes swiftly embraced—is partially accurate, at least regarding the device’s provenance; Chinese officials promptly confirmed that the balloon did, indeed, come from China.

What’s less certain is the balloon’s purpose. A Pentagon official, without evidence, stated in a press briefing (2/2/23) that “clearly the intent of this balloon is for surveillance,” but hedged the claim with the following:

We assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective. But we are taking steps, nevertheless, to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.

Soon after, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website (2/3/23) stated that the balloon “is of a civilian nature, used for scientific research such as meteorology,” according to a Google translation. “The airship,” the ministry continued, “seriously deviated from the scheduled route.”

Parroting Pentagon

Despite this uncertainty, US media overwhelmingly interpreted the Pentagon’s conjecture as fact. The New York Times (2/2/23) reported that “the United States has detected what it says is a Chinese surveillance balloon,” only to call the device “the spy balloon”—without attributive language—within the same article. Similar evolution happened at CNBC, where the description shifted from “suspected Chinese spy balloon” (2/6/23) to simply “Chinese spy balloon” (2/6/23). The Guardian once bothered to place “spy balloon” in quotation marks (2/5/23), but soon abandoned that punctuation (2/6/23).

Given that media had no proof of either explanation, it might stand to reason that outlets would give each possibility—spy balloon vs. weather balloon—equal attention. Yet media were far more interested in lending credence to the US’s official narrative than to that of China.

n coverage following the initial reports, media devoted much more time to speculating on the possibility of espionage than of scientific research. The New York Times (2/3/23), for instance, educated readers about the centuries-long wartime uses of surveillance balloons. Similar pieces ran at The Hill (2/3/23), Reuters (2/2/23) and the Guardian (2/3/23). Curiously, none of these outlets sought to provide an equivalent exploration of the history of weather balloons after the Chinese Foreign Affairs statement, despite the common and well-established use of balloons for meteorological purposes.

Even information that could discredit the “spy balloon” theory was used to bolster it. Citing the Pentagon, outlets almost universally acknowledged that any surveillance capacity of the balloon would be limited. This fact apparently didn’t merit reconsideration of the “spy balloon” theory; instead, it was treated as evidence that China was an espionage amateur. As NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel (2/3/23) stated:

The Pentagon says it believes this spy balloon doesn’t significantly improve China’s ability to gather intelligence with its satellites.

One of Brumfiel’s guests, a US professor of international studies, called the balloon a “floating intelligence failure,” adding that China would only learn, in Brumfiel’s words, at most “a little bit” from the balloon. That this might make it less likely to be a spy balloon and more likely, as China said, a weather balloon did not seem to occur to NPR.

Reuters (2/4/23), meanwhile, called the use of the balloon “a bold but clumsy espionage tactic.” Among its uncritically quoted “security expert” sources: former White House national security adviser and inveterate hawk John Bolton, who scoffed at the balloon for its ostensibly low-tech capabilities.

Minimizing US provocation

The unstated premise of much of this coverage was that the US was minding its own business when China encroached upon it–an attitude hard to square with the US’s own history of spying. Perhaps it’s for this reason that media opted not to pay that history much heed.

In one example, CNN (2/4/23) published a retrospective headlined “A Look at China’s History of Spying in the US.” The piece conceded that the US had spied on China, but, in line with the headline’s framing, wasn’t too interested in the specifics. Despite CNN‘s lack of curiosity, plenty of documentation of US spying on China and elsewhere exists. Starting in 2010, according to the New York Times (5/20/17), China dismantled CIA espionage operations within the country.

And as FAIR contributor Ari Paul wrote for Counterpunch (2/7/23):

The US sent a naval destroyer past Chinese controlled islands last year (AP7/13/22) and the Chinese military confronted a similar US vessel in the same location a year before (AP7/12/21). The AP (3/21/22) even embedded two reporters aboard a US “Navy reconnaissance aircraft that flew near Chinese-held outposts in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago,” dramatically reporting on Chinese military build up in the area as well as multiple warnings “by Chinese callers” that the Navy plan had “illegally entered what they said was China’s territory and ordered the plane to move away.”

The US military has also invested in its own spy balloon technology. In 2019, the Pentagon was testing “mass surveillance balloons across the US,” as the Guardian (8/2/19) put it. The tests were commissioned by SOUTHCOM, a US military organ that conducts surveillance of Central and South American countries, ostensibly for intercepting drug-trafficking operations. Three years later, Politico (7/5/22) reported that “the Pentagon has spent about $3.8 million on balloon projects, and plans to spend $27.1 million in fiscal year 2023,” adding that the balloons “may help track and deter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia.”

In this climate, it came as no surprise when the US deployed an F-22 fighter jet to shoot down the balloon off the Atlantic coast (Reuters2/4/23). Soon after, media were abuzz with news of China’s “threat[ening]” and “confrontational” reaction (AP2/5/23Bloomberg2/5/23), casting China as the chief aggressor.

Perpetuating Cold War hostilities

Since news of the balloon broke, US animus toward China, already at historic highs, has climbed even further.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a trip to China. President Biden made a thinly veiled reference to the balloon as a national security breach in his February 7 State of the Union address, declaring, “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democratic ranking member of the newly formed House Select Committee on China, asserted that “the threat is real from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Rather than questioning this saber-rattling, US media have dispensed panicked spin-offs of the original story (Politico2/5/23Washington Post2/7/23New York Times2/8/23), ensuring that the balloon saga, no matter how much diplomatic decay ensues, lasts as long as possible.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | media, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment