US’ overreaction to Chinese balloon shows disregard for world peace: Scott Ritter
Mar. 3 (Gwadar Pro) - A former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter in a recent interview with Global Times ridiculed the US’ move of sending an F22 fighter jet, at the cost of roughly $2 million, to destroy an alleged Chinese “spy balloon”, which in fact was a civilian aircraft mainly used for meteorological research.
“It's clear that there is virtually no threat posed by this balloon. If it's a surveillance balloon designed to collect intelligence, I would welcome the Chinese to get all their intelligence capability and just put it on a balloon. That means you'll have no intelligence, because it's the worst possible platform for collecting Intelligence Information against the US that one could imagine,” the former intelligence officer explained.
He pinpointed that the balloon incident is not a threat to America's security, but a threat to international peace and security, because of the irresponsible way that the US has responded.
“We have enough tensions raised in the South China Sea, and in Taiwan and elsewhere. We don't need to artificially raise the temperatures, especially in a manner which manifests in a military action against a civilian target,” Ritter said.
According to a report published by The Washington Post on February 14, it acknowledged that the Chinese balloon “may have been diverted on an errant path caused by atypical weather conditions”.
The newspaper reported that the balloon “took an unexpected northern turn, according to several U.S. officials, who said that analysts are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with their airborne surveillance device”.
“This new account suggests that the ensuing international crisis that has ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing may have been at least partly the result of a mistake”, the newspaper said.
But why the US government insisted on over-hyping the “threat” of a Chinese weather balloon? From Ritter’s viewpoint, the US has been stuck in a game where Republicans and Democrats are determining who is weaker in the face of “Chinese aggression”.
“There seems to be certain element within the American body politics that seeks to exploit the tensions between the US and China over the South China Sea, Taiwan, trade to create a cold war like atmosphere that can be exploited politically to gain political benefit. This is about domestic American politics, not about genuine national security. ”
On the other hand, US politicians are trying to score cheap political points to politicize Americans' ignorance of China and get Americans afraid so that they can support their anti-China policies.
“We have a situation where Americans have been programmed to fear China. We've been told to fear China virtually in every aspect of our lives...... And then a balloon shows up. And for most Americans, that's a physical manifestation of all the fear. They've been programmed to have all these intangibles, and then the balloon shows up and it's real. We can see it. And so we fear it, and it's been exploited,” Ritter revealed.
The manoeuvre has been honed to perfection by US politicians. “We've seen this, for instance, with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, where American public had been predisposed to accept anything negative about Iraq and Saddam Hussein so that our [US] government could lie about weapons of mass destruction and American people would accept these lies without question,” Ritter disclosed.
On whether the balloon incident could be a trigger of a cold war between the US and China, Ritter said, “ I believe we'll get through this balloon incident because it's not a real security threat. It is a politicized issue where nothing has been made into something, which will turn back into nothing. As time passes, something else will happen. The politicians will move on to that. This is not the beginning of a new cold war.”