But not for the reasons suggested in an op-ed piece last week in this newspaper. It is not the existence of supposedly primitive American religious conservatives like me that are the cause of Putin’s and Xi’s glee. Rather it is because the current zeitgeist mandates that we attempt to find real or imagined enemies within, to the detriment of the ability to focus on foreign adversaries. By doing this, we are advancing China’s and Russia’s subversive work for them.
I deployed on active-duty to both Iraq and Afghanistan, with years of service in each country. I suffer from neither “disaffection” nor “disillusionment.” Rather, I consider it an immense honor to have served in both conflicts. In Iraq, I fell under the authority of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC). This provided me with the training and experience to recognize a psychological warfare operation (PSYOP) when I see one.
For example, note the tendency of the last couple of years for U.S. professional sports, professional athletes, and athletic shoe and apparel companies to intensely focus on the horrible institution of slavery in this country, which ended the century before last, to the exclusion of condemning the horror of modern-day slavery and genocide in China’s Xinjiang Province occurring right now, this very moment, as you read these words. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) might ban them from its country’s lucrative consumer and labor markets, sources of billions in revenue for them, if they dare to do so. The same threat applies to any criticism of human rights abuses in Hong Kong.
Speaking of Hong Kong, in June the CCP forced the closure of the Apply Daily, a pro-democracy paper there. A Chinese state-owned newspaper justified the extreme measure by referencing the banning of the Twitter account of a former sitting U.S. President by that U.S. company in January. This provided them with the perversely helpful precedent that, even in a democracy, some political speech is just too unacceptable to permit on a media platform. You’re welcome, CCP.
We are Americans. We are not perfect, but we are not the real bad guys. Let’s stop weakening ourselves by waging internal PSYOP campaigns for the benefit of those who are.