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AP Photo/Evan Vucci
The most transparent administration in history has done it again.
We first learned about the balloon on Thursday, February 2, as it was over the skies of Montana. As slowly as it was moving, you almost had to wonder where in the hell it came from and how long it had been there. Thanks to a bit of journalism from Bloomberg, we now have that answer: It entered American airspace a week ago.
As it turns out, US authorities were well aware of the unidentified object that had entered American airspace on Jan. 28, that had then left and re-entered over North Idaho on Tuesday. But with such a high-profile trip at stake, keeping it on the down-low was key.
By the time the thing became visible in Montana, President Joe Biden had already been briefed and the White House was scrambling to decide whether to blast it from the sky.
The gravity of the situation was only exacerbated by Montana being home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, which houses a large portion of the US’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Biden team was in a tizzy, it seems, trying to figure out what to do. Shoot it down? Let it go? Make a statement? Keep it quiet? They were indecisive, which is part of the reason they seemed to be caught off guard when the incident became public – what’s more, the Chinese embassy in Washington was apparently just as taken aback.
As the balloon continued to hover over the Big Sky state on Wednesday, Biden huddled with his national security team to receive a detailed briefing on the balloon. The president argued for shooting the object down, but was urged against doing so by his most senior military advisors.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley insisted that such a move would put civilians at risk.
The president ultimately decided to let the balloon continue on its way as the US sought answers from the Chinese embassy in Washington, but they struggled to obtain satisfactory responses. US officials said they were baffled by China, which itself appeared to be caught off-guard by the bizarre incident.
The U.S. response since the balloon was brought to the public’s attention has been nothing short of reactive, though, as if they really had just learned about it on Thursday like the rest of us. All we knew is that they were sure it was a spy balloon and that they had no intention of shooting it out of the sky.
But that’s where the decisiveness ended. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due to travel to China for a diplomatic summit – and it wasn’t until mere hours before he was set to depart that Biden canceled Blinken’s trip. The fact that the balloon was nearing the airspace of Malmstrom is even worse, and prompted no action whatsoever, it seems.
Granted, it does sound like a lot of things were going on behind the scenes, but that just makes the lack of action–or even a half-assed attempt at crisis management–seem even worse. It’s like they did not even consider that the balloon would be discovered, which is odd, considering it’s within our atmosphere and a lot of people have telescopes.
The handling of the situation just seems to be as bizarre as the situation itself. There’s no reason to think that the Chinese were gathering any intelligence they couldn’t get from satellites flying much, much higher. There’s also no reason to think that the Chinese would be stupid enough to assume that we wouldn’t notice something like a giant balloon flying in our airspace.
But, there’s also no reason to think we wouldn’t do something about it. At no point under any circumstance would China, Russia, or any other geopolitical foe hesitate to shoot down an American spy balloon if it entered their airspace, and they would not hesitate to publicly condemn the U.S. for violating their sovereignty in a big, public statement.
But the Biden administration was paralyzed with indecision. That’s a terrible, terrible quality to have in the face of something like this. Even if the balloon was basically worthless as a tool of spycraft, you don’t just let a foe gently glide over your nation’s airspace.
China Is Preparing for War at ‘Any Time,’ Says Noted China Expert in Chilling Assessment
By By Mike Miller | RedState.com
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
As the obsession with the Chinese spy balloon currently traversing the U.S. mainland continues, from various shark-jumping reports to discussions about nuclear bombs and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) capability, the salient question is more fundamental: Why is China doing “it” in the first place?
Whatever “it” is, social media keyboard warriors have run wild (I know; try to contain your shock and amazement), calling for the immediate downing of the massive balloon, and valid points about the embarrassing and dangerous weakness of Joe Biden as his equally feckless administration on the world stage. Meanwhile, the balloon floats on.
Gordon Chang, a noted expert on U.S.-China relations and Fox News contributor shared a grim assessment of why he believes China sent the balloon across the U.S. The author of “The Coming Collapse of China” chillingly told Fox Digital:
China is preparing to go to war. It’s engaged in extremely provocative and dangerous activities around its periphery and war could come at any time and at any place.
“We know what the Chinese are doing,” Chang explained.
They’re engaged in the fastest military buildup since the Second World War. They’re trying to sanctions-proof their regime and most ominously they’re preparing China’s civilians for war.
It’s my belief that China is also testing the resolve of not only “Sino Joe” and his administration, but also that of the American public. Why else would Xi Jinping commit such a brazen act, knowing the balloon would be discovered (U.S. sources have tracked the balloon at least since it flew over or near the Aleutian Islands) as well as its origin?
In addition, Chang pointed to a strategic move by Xi shortly after he was appointed to his precedent-breaking third term as General Secretary at the National Congress in October when he appointed what is being referred to as the “war cabinet.”
The United States is so much more powerful than China from almost every perspective and yet the Chinese don’t view it this way. The Chinese view that they can do whatever they want because we have told them that they can do that.
The Chinese have engaged in a number of activities that violate our sovereignty, and some of those activities constitute acts of war and we did not respond. And it’s not just not responding in February 2023, it’s not responding over the course of decades. So, of course, the Chinese have this mentality right now. We have created the conditions for history’s next great war.
Note: Chang’s “we” reference was to the U.S. — not China. Meanwhile, Joe Biden fiddles.
So what has China learned?
The spy balloon is the only the latest — yet most brazen — act of Chinese aggression. From Taiwan to the South China Sea and across the globe, the ChiComs have created an atmosphere in which they don’t fear repercussions — particularly from the United States. And why should they? Biden scoffs at the notion of China “eating our lunch,” refers to his “good friend Xi Jinping,” and presides over a federal government now more interested in gender, self-proscribed pronouns, “equity,” and so-called “critical race theory.”
I’ve often envisioned Xi and Putin laughing hysterically on a secure line every time Biden goes Biden. Tell me you haven’t done so, as well. Xi and Putin have to wonder what’s wrong with this country, as it relates to the country that the left has desperately tried to destroy and continues to do so.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder at the Pentagon on Friday provided scant information on the balloon, most of which he called “classified.”
The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now. The U.S. government, [including] NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely.
The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years.
Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.
While “instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously,” I’m not aware of any Chinese balloons previously traversing the United States, General Ryder, am I missing something? No.
As reported by CBS News on Friday, a Chinese balloon has never been over the middle of the country before. The only other time a Chinese balloon has flown over the continental U.S. was during a brief overflight of Florida. There have been overflights of Hawaii and Guam. In previous instances, the Chinese have been able to recover the balloon.
The above raises an important strategic question for the Biden administration. Why would the U.S. not down the balloon, and show proof to the world that China’s ridiculous claim that the balloon is a “civilian airship,” used mainly for weather research, deviated from its planned course?
Now that’s an interesting question for Sino Joe. Moreover, I wonder what Hunter thinks about the balloon.
BREAKING: Chinese Spy Balloon Shot Down Over Atlantic
By Nick Arama | RedState.com
The Chinese spy balloon was just shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.
Former General Keith Kellogg told Fox News he hopes the U.S. is able to recover it, because a lot is going to be destroyed when it comes down.