We don’t need a world leader; we need world team players. We need nations to work together to solve some of the most pressing problems that affect all people in all nations, such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, world-wide poverty and food insecurity. Instead, we cannot even achieve cohesion within a single nation. Instead, half the population of the U.S. believe climate change is a hoax and refuse to do so much as turn their thermostat down and don a sweater. Instead, we add more nuclear weapons rather than supporting the reduction of the global nuclear arsenal. Instead, we pander to the already-wealthy and turn a blind eye toward the poor. We continue to populate the earth, even knowing that the earth cannot support more people.
On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, no later than Friday. Why? According to a spokesperson for the State Department, “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior.”
Funny, isn’t it, that the ‘United States’ is perfectly willing to not only tolerate but encourage Russia to violate our sovereignty and intimidate our people. Have you ever felt intimidated by anyone from China? I haven’t, but I’ve damn sure felt violated by Vladimir Putin and his henchmen who interfered in our 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump, leaving us on a ship headed for an iceberg.
That same spokesperson intimated that China was in violation of the Vienna Convention, that they had somehow breached the requirement that diplomats must “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State” and “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.”
And yet … the U.S. State Department had no problems with Trump bullying the United Kingdom into banning Chinese tech company Huawei from the UK’s 5G telecoms network. No problem with Trump attempting to blackmail the president of the Ukraine into creating false data to bolster Trump’s own bid for re-election. No problem at all demanding that other members of the G7 accept Russia back into the fold.
The demand for closure of the consulate appears to be in retaliation for two Chinese nationals accused of hacking into U.S. pharmaceutical companies doing coronavirus research. Russia has also been accused of hacking into drug companies research in the UK, U.S., and Canada, but … no Russian facility has been ordered closed. No sanctions have been applied to Russia. In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned by any in the government. Double standard? Oh yeah, definitely. China didn’t help Trump in 2016 and isn’t helping him now, so they are not entitled to the ‘special privileges’ that Russia is. Trump is Russia’s puppet, not China’s.
China vowed to retaliate, likely by forcing the U.S. to close either the embassy in Beijing or one of the five consulates it has in various cities in China. This, my friends, is how tensions escalate and wars begin.
But let’s talk for a minute about countries hacking into the virus vaccine research. Mind you, I am not in support of hacking at any level … ever. However, I think we need to consider some extenuating circumstances here. We have a pandemic that is killing people in every nation around the globe. The pandemic is also killing businesses and economies around the globe. This is not unique to the U.S. or the UK, though these two nations have done possibly the worst jobs of any in dealing with the virus. Donald Trump has already made it abundantly clear that he is pushing drug companies in the U.S. to rush through a vaccine by election day, November 3rd, in order to give him a campaign advantage. It doesn’t matter whether it remains effective in the long-term, nor whether there are devastating side effects down the road, just so long as he can tout that he was the reason there is a vaccine. Worse yet, he has declared his intent to buy any and all vaccines for the U.S. and keep other nations from having access to them. So … other nations will do what they must to attempt to gain access to a vaccine in order to keep their people from dying. It’s simple.
If you have no food in your house and no way to get any, but your neighbor has so much food that he must store his potatoes on his back porch, yet he refuses to give you so much as a single potato to feed your poor starving children, will you not be tempted to steal a few potatoes from him? Greed and arrogance go hand in hand, and Trump has a triple dose of each.
People like Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and others seem to have lost sight of the fact that the people in China, Russia, Mozambique and every other nation on the globe are … human beings. There is nothing that makes citizens of the United States any better than the people of Afghanistan, Ghana, or India. They are no more deserving of life than any person in any other nation. If a vaccine is developed that is proven both effective and safe, the ‘recipe’ should be freely shared with every pharmaceutical company in the world so that enough can be manufactured to help every person on the globe. This should not be about profit … but it is.
This should be about human life, about people. It should not matter in what country or on what land mass those people live. It should not matter the colour of their skin or what religion, if any, they follow. It should not matter if they are rich or poor. But it will. It will because the leaders of some nations are arrogant and greedy. It will matter because people who have more money than they could possibly need in a lifetime are more concerned with making even more profit than they are with the lives of people.
Imagine if the top 1% of all people on the economic scale gave … oh, say 5% of their net wealth to providing the vaccine, once developed and fully tested, to every man, woman and child on the planet? The 1% would still be ultra-wealthy by any standards, and how many million lives would be saved? Call it socialism if you wish, but in my book, it is simply humanitarianism.
I end as I began … we don’t need a specific nation to step up and become the “leader of the free world”, as the U.S. was once known. We don’t need China or Russia or the U.S. to be the “leader” who dictates how the world should be run. We need teamwork among nations, we need all of our leaders to put the greater good ahead of personal profit, ahead of their own desire for power. We need people of conscience at the head of every nation, not the bungling Trumps, Johnsons and Bolsonaros we see today. We simply cannot stay on this path we are on and still survive.