Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1145 The Uyghurs and the Destabilization of China, Part 3

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FTR #1145 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment. 

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram con­tin­ues dis­cus­sion of the Uyghurs/“Uighurs” and the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na. This ongo­ing effort is one of an array of covert and overt oper­a­tions against Chi­na, which, in turn, set the polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal con­text for the out­break of Covid-19.

Dis­cussed in numer­ous pro­grams, the Uighurs (also spelled Uyghurs) are heav­i­ly over­lapped with var­i­ous fas­cist ele­ments. All of these are present in the his­to­ry of the World Uyghur Con­gress.

  1. The nar­co-fas­cist regime of Chi­ang Kai-shek.
  2. The Grey Wolves, youth wing of the Nation­al Action Par­ty. The group was a key ele­ment of the Turk­ish “Stay Behind” move­ment.
  3. Var­i­ous Islam­ic ter­ror­ist off­shoots of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, includ­ing Al-Qae­da and the Islam­ic State.
  4. The Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations milieu, direct­ly evolved from the Third Reich and the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion.
  5. The Dalai Lama and his SS/Third Reich her­itage.

Of great sig­nif­i­cance, once again, is the deci­sive pres­ence of the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, a U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out found­ed by William Casey.

Amer­i­can and West­ern media draw on an Amer­i­can regime-change oper­a­tion for much of their coverage–that orga­ni­za­tion is the World Uyghur [“Uighur”] Con­gress and numer­ous sub­sidiary ele­ments.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the WUC milieu is Rushan Abas: ” . . . . Anoth­er influ­en­tial orga­ni­za­tion spun out of the WUC net­work is the Cam­paign for Uyghurs. This group is head­ed by Rushan Abbas, the for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent of the UAA. Pro­mot­ed sim­ply as a Uyghur ‘human rights activist’ by West­ern media out­lets includ­ing the sup­pos­ed­ly adver­sar­i­al Democ­ra­cy Now!, Abbas is, in fact, a long­time US gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary oper­a­tive. Abbas boasts in her bio of her ‘exten­sive expe­ri­ence work­ing with US gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Home­land Secu­ri­ty, Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of State, and var­i­ous US intel­li­gence agen­cies.’ While work­ing for the mil­i­tary con­trac­tor L3 Tech­nolo­gies, Abbas served the US gov­ern­ment and the Bush administration’s so-called war on ter­ror as a ‘con­sul­tant at Guan­tanamo Bay sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom.’ Abbas ‘also worked as a lin­guist and trans­la­tor for sev­er­al fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing work for the US State Depart­ment in Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba and for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and for­mer First Lady Lau­ra Bush’. Like so many of her col­leagues, Abbas enjoyed a stint at Radio Free Asia. While Abbas once shared her his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US gov­ern­ment in the open, she has attempt­ed to scrub bio­graph­ic infor­ma­tion from her online pres­ence fol­low­ing a dis­as­trous pub­lic­i­ty appear­ance in Decem­ber 2019. Dur­ing a Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Any­thing’ ques­tion and answer forum, par­tic­i­pants blast­ed Abbas as a ‘CIA asset’ and fre­quent US gov­ern­ment col­lab­o­ra­tor, prompt­ing her attempt to dis­ap­pear her bio from the inter­net. . . .”

The osten­si­bly “peace­ful’ intent of the WUC can be eval­u­at­ed against the back­ground of the com­ments of for­mer WUC Vice-Pres­i­dent Sey­it Tum­turk: ” . . . . In 2018, Tüm­turk declared that Chi­nese Uyghurs view Turk­ish ‘state requests as orders.’ He then pro­claimed that hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chi­nese Uyghurs were ready to enlist in the Turk­ish army and join Turkey’s ille­gal and bru­tal inva­sion of North­ern Syr­ia ‘to fight for God’ – if ordered to do so by Erdo­gan. . . . Short­ly after Tumturk’s com­ments, Uyghur mil­i­tants dressed in Turk­ish mil­i­tary fatigues and on the Turk­ish side of the Syr­i­an bor­der released a video in which they threat­ened to wage war against Chi­na: ‘Lis­ten you dog bas­tards, do you see this? We will tri­umph!’ one fight­er exclaimed. ‘We will kill you all. Lis­ten up Chi­nese civil­ians, get out of our East Turkestan. I am warn­ing you. We shall return and we will be vic­to­ri­ous.’ . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the polit­i­cal his­to­ry of William Casey, on whose watch as CIA direc­tor many of the U.S. intel­li­gence fronts involved with the Uyghur desta­bi­liza­tion effort were devel­oped.

Key Aspects of Analy­sis of Casey Include: Casey’s Wall Street legal back­ground and the man­ner in which it dove­tailed with William Dono­van and the OSS (Amer­i­ca’s World War II intel­li­gence ser­vice); Casey’s net­work­ing with Lands­dale and oth­ers involved with the recov­ery of Gold­en Lily loot, in the Philip­pines, in par­tic­u­lar; Casey’s pos­si­ble role as a key imple­menter of the Black Eagle Fund; Casey’s role in set­ting up Cap­i­tal Cities, a com­pa­ny that even­tu­al­ly bought ABC in 1985; Casey’s posi­tion as Cap­i­tal Cities’ largest stock­hold­er, includ­ing in 1985, when he was CIA direc­tor; the prob­a­bil­i­ty that Cap­i­tal Cities was an intel­li­gence front; Casey’s key posi­tions in the Nixon Administration–Chairman of the SEC, Under Sec­re­tary of State for Eco­nom­ic Affairs and head of the Export-Import Bank; the prob­a­bil­i­ty that Casey was with CIA through­out his post-World War II career; Casey’s friend­ship with both Allen and John Fos­ter Dulles; Casey’s knowl­edge of how to “pri­va­tize” the CIA; Casey’s role as the han­dler of Fer­di­nand Mar­cos and his Gold­en Lily bul­lion; Rea­gan’s sign­ing of Exec­u­tive Order 12333, autho­riz­ing the CIA to enter into pri­vate rela­tion­ships with PMF’s (pri­vate mil­i­tary foun­da­tions) for intel­li­gence pur­pos­es, while per­mit­ting those rela­tion­ships to be kept secret.

1. Dis­cussed in numer­ous pro­grams, the Uighurs (also spelled Uyghurs) are heav­i­ly over­lapped with var­i­ous fas­cist ele­ments. All of these are present in the his­to­ry of the World Uyghur Con­gress.

  1. The nar­co-fas­cist regime of Chi­ang Kai-shek.
  2. The Grey Wolves, youth wing of the Nation­al Action Par­ty. The group was a key ele­ment of the Turk­ish “Stay Behind” move­ment.
  3. Var­i­ous Islam­ic ter­ror­ist off­shoots of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, includ­ing Al-Qae­da and the Islam­ic State.
  4. As seen above, the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations milieu, direct­ly evolved from the Third Reich and the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion.
  5. The Dalai Lama and his SS/Third Reich her­itage.

Of great sig­nif­i­cance, once again, is the deci­sive pres­ence of the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, a U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out found­ed by William Casey.

Amer­i­can and West­ern media draw on an Amer­i­can regime-change oper­a­tion for much of their coverage–that orga­ni­za­tion is the World Uyghur [“Uighur”] Con­gress and numer­ous sub­sidiary ele­ments.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the WUC milieu is Rushan Abas: ” . . . . Anoth­er influ­en­tial orga­ni­za­tion spun out of the WUC net­work is the Cam­paign for Uyghurs. This group is head­ed by Rushan Abbas, the for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent of the UAA. Pro­mot­ed sim­ply as a Uyghur ‘human rights activist’ by West­ern media out­lets includ­ing the sup­pos­ed­ly adver­sar­i­al Democ­ra­cy Now!, Abbas is, in fact, a long­time US gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary oper­a­tive. Abbas boasts in her bio of her ‘exten­sive expe­ri­ence work­ing with US gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Home­land Secu­ri­ty, Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of State, and var­i­ous US intel­li­gence agen­cies.’ While work­ing for the mil­i­tary con­trac­tor L3 Tech­nolo­gies, Abbas served the US gov­ern­ment and the Bush administration’s so-called war on ter­ror as a ‘con­sul­tant at Guan­tanamo Bay sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom.’ Abbas ‘also worked as a lin­guist and trans­la­tor for sev­er­al fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing work for the US State Depart­ment in Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba and for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and for­mer First Lady Lau­ra Bush’. Like so many of her col­leagues, Abbas enjoyed a stint at Radio Free Asia. While Abbas once shared her his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US gov­ern­ment in the open, she has attempt­ed to scrub bio­graph­ic infor­ma­tion from her online pres­ence fol­low­ing a dis­as­trous pub­lic­i­ty appear­ance in Decem­ber 2019. Dur­ing a Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Any­thing’ ques­tion and answer forum, par­tic­i­pants blast­ed Abbas as a ‘CIA asset’ and fre­quent US gov­ern­ment col­lab­o­ra­tor, prompt­ing her attempt to dis­ap­pear her bio from the inter­net. . . .”

The osten­si­bly “peace­ful’ intent of the WUC can be eval­u­at­ed against the back­ground of the com­ments of for­mer WUC Vice-Pres­i­dent Sey­it Tum­turk: ” . . . . In 2018, Tüm­turk declared that Chi­nese Uyghurs view Turk­ish ‘state requests as orders.’ He then pro­claimed that hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chi­nese Uyghurs were ready to enlist in the Turk­ish army and join Turkey’s ille­gal and bru­tal inva­sion of North­ern Syr­ia ‘to fight for God’ – if ordered to do so by Erdo­gan. . . . Short­ly after Tumturk’s com­ments, Uyghur mil­i­tants dressed in Turk­ish mil­i­tary fatigues and on the Turk­ish side of the Syr­i­an bor­der released a video in which they threat­ened to wage war against Chi­na: ‘Lis­ten you dog bas­tards, do you see this? We will tri­umph!’ one fight­er exclaimed. ‘We will kill you all. Lis­ten up Chi­nese civil­ians, get out of our East Turkestan. I am warn­ing you. We shall return and we will be vic­to­ri­ous.’ . . .”

“Inside the World Uyghur Con­gress: The US-backed right-wing regime change net­work seek­ing the ‘fall of Chi­na’” by Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 03/05/2020

While pos­ing as a grass­roots human rights orga­ni­za­tion, the World Uyghur Con­gress is a US-fund­ed and direct­ed sep­a­ratist net­work that has forged alliances with far-right eth­no-nation­al­ist groups. The goal spelled out by its founders is clear: the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na and regime change in Bei­jing.

In recent years, few sto­ries have gen­er­at­ed as much out­rage in the West as the con­di­tion of Uyghur Mus­lims in Chi­na. Report­ing on the issue is typ­i­cal­ly rep­re­sent­ed through seem­ing­ly spon­ta­neous leaks of infor­ma­tion and expres­sions of resis­tance by Uyghur human rights activists strug­gling to be heard against a tyran­ni­cal Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

True or not, near­ly every­thing that appears in West­ern media accounts of China’s Uyghur Mus­lims is the prod­uct of a care­ful­ly con­ceived media cam­paign gen­er­at­ed by an appa­ra­tus of right-wing, anti-com­mu­nist Uyghur sep­a­ratists fund­ed and trained by the US gov­ern­ment.

A cen­tral gear in Washington’s new Cold War against Chi­na, this net­work has a long his­to­ry of rela­tion­ships with the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state and far-right ultra-nation­al­ists.

At the heart of this move­ment is the World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC), an inter­na­tion­al Uyghur orga­ni­za­tion that claims to be engaged in a “peace­ful, non­vi­o­lent, and demo­c­ra­t­ic” strug­gle for “human rights.” The WUC con­sid­ers China’s north­west­ern Xin­jiang region to be East Turkestan, and sees its Uyghur Mus­lim inhab­i­tants not as Chi­nese cit­i­zens but instead as mem­bers of a pan-Tur­kic nation stretch­ing from Cen­tral Asia to Turkey.

As this inves­ti­ga­tion estab­lish­es, the WUC is not a grass­roots move­ment, but a US gov­ern­ment-backed umbrel­la for sev­er­al Wash­ing­ton-based out­fits that also rely heav­i­ly on US fund­ing and direc­tion. Today, it is the main face and voice of a sep­a­ratist oper­a­tion ded­i­cat­ed to desta­bi­liz­ing the Xin­jiang region of Chi­na and ulti­mate­ly top­pling the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

While seek­ing to orches­trate a col­or rev­o­lu­tion with the aim of regime change in Bei­jing, the WUC and its off­shoots have forged ties with the Grey Wolves, a far-right Turk­ish orga­ni­za­tion that has been active­ly engaged in sec­tar­i­an vio­lence from Syr­ia to East Asia.

None of these links seem to have trou­bled the WUC’s spon­sors in Wash­ing­ton. If any­thing, they have added to the network’s appeal, con­sol­i­dat­ing it as one of the most potent polit­i­cal weapons the US wields in its new Cold War against Chi­na.

The World Uyghur Con­gress, brought to you by the US government’s regime change arm

The WUC pro­motes itself as an “oppo­si­tion move­ment against Chi­nese occu­pa­tion of East Turk­istan [sic]” that “represent[s] the col­lec­tive inter­ests” and is “the sole legit­i­mate orga­ni­za­tion of the Uyghur peo­ple both in East Turk­istan and abroad.”

Head­quar­tered in Munich, Ger­many, the WUC is an inter­na­tion­al umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion with a net­work of 33 affil­i­ates in 18 coun­tries around the world. The WUC and its affil­i­ates — par­tic­u­lar­ly the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion, Uyghur Human Rights Project, and Cam­paign for Uyghurs — are cit­ed in near­ly every West­ern media report on China’s Uyghur Mus­lims.

From its incep­tion, the WUC has been backed by the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED). With mil­lions in US tax­pay­er mon­ey, the NED and its sub­sidiaries have backed oppo­si­tion par­ties, “civ­il soci­ety” groups, and media orga­ni­za­tions in coun­tries tar­get­ed by the US for regime change.

Philip Agee, the late CIA whistle­blow­er, described the work of the NED as a more sophis­ti­cat­ed ver­sion of the old-fash­ioned covert oper­a­tions that Lan­g­ley used to engi­neer. “Nowa­days,” Agee explained, “instead of hav­ing the CIA going around behind the scenes and try­ing to manip­u­late the process by insert­ing mon­ey here and giv­ing instruc­tions secret­ly and so forth, they have now a side­kick, which is this Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, NED.”

Agee’s assess­ment was con­firmed by Allen Wein­stein, a for­mer Trot­sky­ist and found­ing mem­ber of the NED. Wein­stein told the Wash­ing­ton Post in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covert­ly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

When the WUC was found­ed in 2004, the NED’s then-senior Asia pro­gram offi­cer, Louisa Coan Greve, praised the move as a “great accom­plish­ment.”

The NED has pro­vid­ed the WUC with mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing, includ­ing $1,284,000 since 2016 alone, and mil­lions of dol­lars in addi­tion­al fund­ing to WUC-affil­i­ate orga­ni­za­tions. The grants are ear­marked for train­ing Uyghur activists and youth in media advo­ca­cy and lob­by­ing “to raise aware­ness of and sup­port for Uyghur human rights,” with a par­tic­u­lar focus on US Con­gress, Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, and the Unit­ed Nations.

In 2018, the NED pro­vid­ed the WUC and its off­shoots with close to $665,000, accord­ing to the for­mer organization’s web­site.Anim3w@rriors2020

The NED has played a direct role in mold­ing the direc­tion and pol­i­tics of the WUC. Besides hon­ey­comb­ing WUC-affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tions with NED oper­a­tives like Coan Greve, the NED has spon­sored and orga­nized annu­al “Lead­er­ship Train­ing Sem­i­nars” for the WUC since 2007.

Many lead­ing mem­bers of the WUC have also worked in senior posi­tions for Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty (RFE/RL). These US gov­ern­ment-run news agen­cies were cre­at­ed by the CIA dur­ing the Cold War to project pro­pa­gan­da into Chi­na and the Sovi­et Union, and to stir up oppo­si­tion to com­mu­nism on these coun­tries’ fron­tiers.

Unsur­pris­ing­ly, the WUC is tight­ly aligned with Washington’s for­eign pol­i­cy agen­da and hos­tile new Cold War strat­e­gy which seeks to con­tain and impede the rise of Chi­na. The WUC reg­u­lar­ly meets with and lob­bies US and West­ern politi­cians, urg­ing them to iso­late and “increase the pres­sure on Chi­na”; ratch­et up eco­nom­ic sanc­tions; curb ties with Chi­na, and with­draw West­ern com­pa­nies from the region.

The WUC cel­e­brat­ed the pas­sage of The Uighur Act of 2019 by the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in Decem­ber 2019. The bill, which called on the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to enact sanc­tions against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, was the lat­est in a string of anti-Chi­na achieve­ments.

This regime change appa­ra­tus has made its strongest impact through the media, pro­vid­ing a con­stant source of self-styled Uyghur dis­si­dents and human rights hor­ror sto­ries to eager West­ern reporters. The expo­sure the WUC and its affil­i­ates receive extends well beyond cor­po­rate media out­lets known for echo­ing Washington’s for­eign pol­i­cy talk­ing points; even osten­si­bly adver­sar­i­al, pro­gres­sive, and left-wing media such as The Inter­cept, Democ­ra­cy Now! and Jacobin Mag­a­zine have pro­vid­ed them with an uncrit­i­cal plat­form.

While adopt­ing the WUC’s nar­ra­tive, these self-styled alter­na­tive out­lets nev­er seem to men­tion the close bonds the orga­ni­za­tion and its off­shoots have forged with the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state and right-wing eth­no-nation­al­ist move­ments abroad. But the rela­tion­ships are no secret. In fact, they appear to be a source of pride for WUC lead­er­ship.

The Far-Right Roots of the Uyghur “Human Rights” Move­ment

Behind its care­ful­ly con­struct­ed human rights brand, the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment emerged from ele­ments in Xin­jiang which view social­ism as “the ene­my of Islam,” and which sought Washington’s sup­port from the out­set, pre­sent­ing them­selves as eager foot-sol­diers for US hege­mo­ny.

The found­ing father of this sep­a­ratist move­ment was Isa Yusuf Alptekin. His son, Erkin Alptekin, found­ed the WUC and served as the organization’s inau­gur­al pres­i­dent. The senior Alptekin is referred to as “our late leader” by the WUC and cur­rent Pres­i­dent Dolkun Isa.

Born at the turn of the 20th cen­tu­ry, Alptekin was the son of a local gov­ern­ment Xin­jiang offi­cial. He received a large­ly Islam­ic edu­ca­tion as a youth, as his fam­i­ly intend­ed for him to be a reli­gious schol­ar.

Dur­ing the Chi­nese Civ­il War that raged between the nation­al­ists and com­mu­nists from 1945 to ’49, Alptekin served under the nation­al­ist Kuom­intang (KMT) admin­is­tra­tion in Xin­jiang. Through­out this peri­od, the KMT received mas­sive mil­i­tary and eco­nom­ic back­ing from the Unit­ed States — includ­ing bil­lions of dol­lars in cash and mil­i­tary hard­ware, along with the deploy­ment of tens of thou­sands of US marines — in an effort to quash the Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion.

At the same time, accord­ing to his­to­ri­an Lin­da Ben­son, Alptekin “became more active in both the Guo­min­dang [sic] and nation­al lev­el pol­i­tics … and met sev­er­al times with [KMT leader] Chi­ang Kai-shek per­son­al­ly.” For Alptekin and fel­low trav­el­ers advanc­ing Tur­kic nation­al­ism and the region’s even­tu­al inde­pen­dence, “equal­ly impor­tant was the neces­si­ty of pro­tect­ing the land they called East Turkestan from Sovi­et and Chi­nese com­mu­nism, both of which were viewed as real and present dan­gers to Islam­ic peo­ples.”

For the KMT, Uyghur activists like Alptekin made prime can­di­dates for Xinjiang’s provin­cial admin­is­tra­tion. As Ben­son explained, “[t]he essen­tial qual­i­fi­ca­tion for such appointees… was that they be anti-Com­mu­nist and anti-Sovi­et.” In his mem­oirs, Alptekin revealed that he “sought to elim­i­nate all Rus­sians and left­ists in the gov­ern­ment,” and said that “schools were also encour­aged to include reli­gious instruc­tion in their cur­ricu­lum.”

A fer­vent oppo­nent of mis­ce­gena­tion, Alptekin worked to pre­vent inter­mar­riage between Han Chi­nese and Uyghur Mus­lims. Dur­ing his time in gov­ern­ment, reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ists “attacked the hous­es of Han Chi­nese who were mar­ried to Moslem [sic] women […] The mob abduct­ed the Moslem wives, and in some cas­es the unfor­tu­nate women were forced to mar­ry old Moslem men.” Though the vio­lence killed numer­ous Han Chi­nese, it pro­ceed­ed with­out any gov­ern­ment response dur­ing Alptekin’s tenure.

As the civ­il war wore on, Alptekin grew frus­trat­ed with the declin­ing pow­er of the nation­al­ists and met with US and British Con­suls in Xin­jiang, beseech­ing the twin pow­ers to deep­en their inter­ven­tion in Chi­na and the region. With the com­ing vic­to­ry of the Chi­nese Rev­o­lu­tion, Alptekin went into exile in 1949.

Alptekin even­tu­al­ly set­tled in Turkey, emerg­ing as the pre-emi­nent leader of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment through­out the lat­ter half of the 20th cen­tu­ry. He set out to enlist inter­na­tion­al sup­port for the cause of East Turkestan inde­pen­dence, court­ing lead­ing US offi­cials and far-right, neo-Ottoman­ist ide­o­logues in Turkey.

The Uyghur sep­a­ratist leader wrote to then-US Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon on sev­er­al occa­sions, plead­ing for him to sup­port East Turkestan sep­a­ratism. In a 1969 mis­sive to the pres­i­dent, Alptekin declared full-throat­ed sup­port for the US war on Viet­nam: “We are hope­ful and pleased that the US, as a fortress of lib­er­ty, is pro­tect­ing cap­tive nations,” he stat­ed. Altep­kin then plead­ed for his “Excel­len­cy” Nixon and the US, “the most immi­nent pro­tec­tor of cap­tive nations”, to sup­port East Turkestan inde­pen­dence.

Alptekin wrote Nixon the fol­low­ing year to warn of the evils of “Red Chi­na.” He brand­ed the coun­try “a great men­ace which the whole world as led by the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca is con­fronting. This men­ace is now in the process of evo­lu­tion to engulf the earth. If time is allowed it can upset the bal­ance of the world to dis­ad­van­tage the free nations.”

“The whole world has rea­son to be appre­hen­sive of Red Chi­na,” Alptekin insist­ed to Nixon, “for it is like­ly to be an irre­sistible [sic] threat on earth… Chi­na today is one of the biggest nations in the world where the Marx­ist teach has been imple­ment­ed… Chi­na may prove to be a greater men­ace to all the world, and this men­ace is like­ly to cause a total destruc­tion to the free nations if they are not pru­dent and fore-sight­ed.”

Alptekin advised Nixon to com­bat the “Chi­nese war of world con­quest” by sup­port­ing sep­a­ratist move­ments, name­ly that of East Turkestan nation­al­ists, and by “speed­ing up the process of the dis­mem­ber­ment of the Chi­nese empire.”

Map­ping out a detailed regime change strat­e­gy for Wash­ing­ton, Alptekin urged the US to gen­er­ate sup­port for his cause among the “free world,” set up an aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tute to study “every aspect” of minor­i­ty nation­al­i­ties liv­ing with­in Chi­na, devel­op media pro­pa­gan­da tar­get­ing minor­i­ty nation­al­i­ties by oper­at­ing “a radio net­work beam­ing at these peo­ples in their respec­tive lan­guages”; “devise a plan to secure [the] col­lab­o­ra­tion” of minor­i­ty nation­al­i­ties and “train the chil­dren of the non-Chi­nese exiles abroad.”

In 1970, Alptekin trav­elled to Wash­ing­ton to meet with mem­bers of US Con­gress and address the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Forg­ing bonds with fascis­tic, eth­no-suprema­cist Turk­ish nation­al­ists

While appeal­ing for Washington’s sup­port, Alptekin devel­oped strong ties with the Turk­ish far-right. Their bonds rest­ed on a sol­id foun­da­tion of anti-com­mu­nist zeal and pan-Tur­kic, neo-Ottoman­ist nation­al­ism.

On numer­ous occa­sions, Alptekin met with Alparslan Türkes a fascis­tic, ultra-nation­al­ist who believed ardent­ly in Turk­ish eth­nic supe­ri­or­i­ty over minori­ties like Kurds and Arme­ni­ans, and for whom the erad­i­ca­tion of com­mu­nism among the Tur­kic pop­u­la­tions of Sovi­et Cen­tral Asia and Xin­jiang was “the dream he had most cher­ished”.

Türkes was long-time leader of the far-right Nation­al­ist Action Par­ty (MHP) and its para­mil­i­tary arm, the Grey Wolves. Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post, he head­ed a mur­der­ous group of “right-wing ter­ror­ists” who are “blind­ly nation­al­ist, fas­cist or near­ly so, and bent on the exter­mi­na­tion of the Com­mu­nists.” The fascis­tic mil­i­tant group killed numer­ous left-wing activists, stu­dents, Kurds, and noto­ri­ous­ly attempt­ed to assas­si­nate Pope John Paul II.

With mil­i­tary train­ing from the US, Türkes co-found­ed the Turk­ish cell of Oper­a­tion Glad­io, the US and NATO-backed net­work of “stay behind” anti-com­mu­nist para­mil­i­tary groups that car­ried out numer­ous acts of ter­ror and sab­o­tage across Europe.

Alptekin appears to have shared the hate­ful pol­i­tics of Türkes and the Turk­ish far-right, often express­ing anti-Armen­ian views includ­ing denial of the Armen­ian geno­cide and claims that Arme­ni­ans were mur­der­ers of inno­cent Turks.

The Turk­ish right-wing has embraced the East Turkestan sep­a­ratist move­ment with open arms, appeal­ing to them as a key base of polit­i­cal sup­port. “The mar­tyrs of East Turkestan are our mar­tyrs,” stat­ed Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan, then may­or of Istan­bul, as he inau­gu­rat­ed a park named in hon­or of Alptekin, fol­low­ing the death of the Uyghur nation­al­ist in 1995.

In recent decades, the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment has deep­ened its con­nec­tions with Wash­ing­ton and the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state. The WUC and its affil­i­ate orga­ni­za­tions — includ­ing the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion, Uyghur Human Rights Project, and Cam­paign for Uyghurs — are made up of indi­vid­u­als with direct ties to the US gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, and regime change estab­lish­ment.

Inspired by pro-free mar­ket col­or rev­o­lu­tions spawned by the US gov­ern­ment in the for­mer Sovi­et republics of Cen­tral Asia, the WUC’s regime change net­work has set out a clear goal of desta­bi­liz­ing Chi­na and top­pling its gov­ern­ment.

With vow to destroy Chi­na, WUC lead­ers earn West­ern adu­la­tion and sup­port

In 2004, Erkin Alptekin was named the inau­gur­al pres­i­dent of the WUC. He is the son of the far-right, ultra-nation­al­ist father fig­ure of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment, Isa Yusuf Alptekin, whose back­ground is explored lat­er in this arti­cle. From 1971 to 1995, Erkin Alptekin worked for the US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed RFE/RL media net­work.

Speak­ing at the funer­al of his father, in 1995, the junior Alptekin out­lined his anti-com­mu­nist, sep­a­ratist views and artic­u­lat­ed his desire to destroy Chi­na: “Ten years ago no one believed that the USSR would fall apart now you can see that. Many Tur­kic coun­tries have their free­dom now. Today the same sit­u­a­tion applies to Chi­na. We believed in the not too dis­tant future we will see the fall of Chi­na and the inde­pen­dence of East Turkestan.”

The WUC describes Alptekin as “close friend” of the Dalai Lama, the U.S‑backed, CIA-fund­ed fig­ure­head for Tibetan sep­a­ratism. “We are work­ing very close­ly with the Dalai Lama,” Alptekin told The Wash­ing­ton Post in 1999. “He is a very good exam­ple for us.”

In 2006, Erkin Alptekin was suc­ceed­ed as WUC Pres­i­dent by Rebiya Kadeer, a self-described mul­ti-mil­lion­aire real estate and trad­ing entre­pre­neur who prof­it­ed off of China’s eco­nom­ic reforms of the 1980s and claims to have once been the sev­enth wealth­i­est indi­vid­ual in the coun­try. Accord­ing to The New York Times, Kadeer’s “[d]issidence brought the end of her Audi, her three vil­las and her far-flung busi­ness empire”. Kadeer’s hus­band, SIdik Rouzi, worked for US gov­ern­ment media out­lets Voice of Amer­i­ca and Radio Free Asia.

Dur­ing her tenure as WUC Pres­i­dent, Kadeer met with then-US Pres­i­dent George W. Bush on sev­er­al occa­sions. As Bush waged his ille­gal war on Iraq and per­se­cut­ed Mus­lim Amer­i­can lead­er­ship under the aus­pices of his so-called “war on ter­ror,” Kadeer appealed to the US head of state to take up the cause of Uyghur Mus­lims. “I was deeply hon­ored to meet with the Pres­i­dent,” Kadeer stat­ed.. She “expressed grat­i­tude for Pres­i­dent Bush’s demon­strat­ed com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing free­dom and demo­c­ra­t­ic reform in the PRC.”

At the 2007 Democ­ra­cy & Secu­ri­ty Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence in Prague, Bush praised Kadeer as a human rights defend­er in his address before the gath­er­ing. The con­fer­ence was orga­nized by the Prague Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies Insti­tute, a think tank that aims to advance free-mar­ket soci­eties in post-com­mu­nist states, and the Adel­son Insti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies, an Israeli out­fit named for ultra-Zion­ist Repub­li­can casi­no baron Shel­don Adel­son. Con­fer­ence part­ners includ­ed the US gov­ern­ment and NATO.

Kadeer kept close rela­tion­ships with the Dalai Lama and Vaclav Hav­el, the leader of the ‘Vel­vet Rev­o­lu­tion’ which brought down Czechoslovakia’s com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment. Hav­el was a “major pro­po­nent of NATO” and instru­men­tal to the West­ern mil­i­tary alliance’s east­ward expan­sion. Kadeer described Hav­el as “an uncom­pro­mis­ing advo­cate for truth, jus­tice and peace” and point­ed to his polit­i­cal accom­plish­ments as an exam­ple to be emu­lat­ed for Chi­na. “Mr. Havel’s vision for the Czech peo­ple […] speaks to Chi­nese democ­rats today”, wrote Kadeer, fol­low­ing Havel’s death, and “con­tains […] the seeds of a new era for polit­i­cal reform in Chi­na.”

The cur­rent Pres­i­dent of WUC is Dolkun Isa, win­ner of the 2019 Democ­ra­cy Award from the NED. In 2016, Isa received a human rights award from the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1993. In his accep­tance speech, Isa empha­sized “the Uyghurs’ resis­tance to com­mu­nism” and that “we will not stop our work until we con­sign this destruc­tive ide­ol­o­gy, in the words of Ronald Rea­gan, to ‘the ash heap of his­to­ry.’”

Isa reg­u­lar­ly lob­bies US and West­ern politi­cians to inten­si­fy their new Cold War agen­da by enact­ing eco­nom­ic sanc­tions and curb­ing ties with Chi­na.. Among those he has met with in recent years are Trump admin­is­tra­tion White House offi­cials, right-wing Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz, and the fer­vent­ly anti-Chi­na act­ing Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence, Richard Grenell.

In Novem­ber 2019, Isa attend­ed the Hal­i­fax Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Forum, a gath­er­ing con­vened by NATO and the Cana­di­an Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence. There, he met with lead­ing West­ern polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary fig­ures.

In Jan­u­ary 2020, Isa was host­ed at an event orga­nized by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a right-wing British Israeli lob­by group. At the event, Isa met with with the ultra-Zion­ist orga­ni­za­tion Bnei Aki­va, whose leader called for the Israeli Army “to take the fore­skins of 300 Pales­tini­ans” amid Israel’s pun­ish­ing 2014 assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Omer Kanat serves as the WUC’s Chair­man of the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee. Kanat helped found the WUC and has been a per­ma­nent fix­ture in its exec­u­tive lead­er­ship. The vet­er­an oper­a­tive has a lengthy his­to­ry of work with the US gov­ern­ment, from serv­ing as senior edi­tor of Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Ser­vice from 1999 to 2009 to cov­er­ing the US wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and inter­view­ing the Dalai Lama for the net­work.

In an inter­view with The Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal at a 2018 NED awards cer­e­mo­ny in the US Capi­tol build­ing, Kanat took cred­it for fur­nish­ing many of the claims about intern­ment camps in Xin­jiang to West­ern media. He con­ced­ed, how­ev­er, that the WUC did not know how the oft-repeat­ed “mil­lions detained” claim was arrived at aside from “West­ern media esti­mates.”

Prepar­ing for a col­or rev­o­lu­tion, WUC off­shoots staff up with nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tives

Estab­lished in 1998, the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA) is a Wash­ing­ton D.C.-based affil­i­ate of the WUC. A long time grantee of the NED, the UAA has received mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing. Accord­ing to its pub­licly avail­able tax fil­ings, the group works close­ly with the US gov­ern­ment, par­tic­u­lar­ly the US State Depart­ment, Con­gres­sion­al-Exec­u­tive Com­mis­sion on Chi­na (CECC), and US Congress’s Human Rights Com­mis­sion.

“The Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy has been excep­tion­al­ly sup­port­ive of UAA,” stat­ed Nury Turkel, for­mer UAA Pres­i­dent, “pro­vid­ing us with invalu­able guid­ance and assis­tance” along with “essen­tial fund­ing.”

Turkel cred­it­ed the NED with enabling the UAA increase its cred­i­bil­i­ty and expand its influ­ence. Among the top achieve­ments he cit­ed was a meet­ing with the new Kry­gyzs­tan gov­ern­ment “with­in weeks of [the for­mer government’s] fall from pow­er” fol­low­ing the US-engi­neered Tulip “col­or rev­o­lu­tion” which brought a pro-West­ern regime to pow­er.

Speak­ing at the 5th Con­gress of the UAA, in 2006, Turkel con­firmed the regime change agen­da of the UAA, UHRP and broad­er Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment, stat­ing that “as we wit­nessed the ‘Tulip Rev­o­lu­tion’ and the top­pling the for­mer gov­ern­ment of Kyr­gyzs­tan, our hopes were again rein­forced.”

The UAA’s lead­er­ship con­sists of US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tors includ­ing employ­ees of the US gov­ern­ment, Radio Free Asia, and mil­i­tary-indus­tri­al com­plex.

Kuz­zat Altay, the nephew of Reibya Kadeer, is the cur­rent pres­i­dent of the UAA. Altay is also the founder of the Uyghur Entre­pre­neurs Net­work, which claims to offer Uyghur Amer­i­cans with guid­ance to “start their own busi­ness”.

In 2019, his busi­ness net­work has orga­nized an event in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the FBI, the fed­er­al law enforce­ment agency noto­ri­ous for its sur­veil­lance of Mus­lim Amer­i­cans and ensnar­ing count­less men­tal­ly trou­bled young Mus­lim Amer­i­can men in man­u­fac­tured ter­ror plots.

Past pres­i­dents of UAA include Kadeer; Alim Seytoff, a for­mer Radio Free Asia cor­re­spon­dent and cur­rent Direc­tor of RFA’s Uyghur Ser­vice; and Ilshat Has­san Kok­bore, who has worked at Booz Allen Hamil­ton since 2008.

...

The main project spun out of the UAA and the NED is the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP). The UHRP was found­ed by the UAA in 2004 with the NED as the prin­ci­pal source of fund­ing. The NED grant­ed the UHRP a whop­ping $1,244,698 between 2016 and ’19.

The UHRP is staffed by WUC lead­ers like Omer Kanat and Nury Turkel, along with for­mer US gov­ern­ment offi­cials and senior mem­bers of the NED.

Dr. Elise Ander­son serves as UHRP’s Senior Pro­gram Office for Research and Advo­ca­cy. In 2019, Ander­son served as the Liu Xiaobo Fel­low, occu­py­ing a posi­tion at the Con­gres­sion­al-Exec­u­tive Com­mis­sion on Chi­na named for the far-right Chi­nese dis­si­dent who sup­port­ed colo­nial­ism, US mil­i­tarism and the “West­ern­i­sa­tion” of Chi­na.

Ander­son states that from 2012 to 2016, she was “based out of Ürüm­chi, the region­al cap­i­tal of Xin­jiang,” con­duct­ing research for her doc­tor­ate. The extent of her activ­i­ties in the region are unclear, as Anderson’s CV indi­cates that dur­ing this time she was also work­ing for the US gov­ern­ment as “Ürüm­chi War­den for the US Embassy in Bei­jing, Chi­na, 2014–16.”

Louisa Coan Greve, the for­mer vice pres­i­dent of NED, today serves as UHRP’s Direc­tor of Glob­al Advo­ca­cy. Greve for­mer­ly worked as Vice Pres­i­dent of the NED.

Rushan Abbas, the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state’s favorite “human rights activist”

Anoth­er influ­en­tial orga­ni­za­tion spun out of the WUC net­work is the Cam­paign for Uyghurs. This group is head­ed by Rushan Abbas, the for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent of the UAA. Pro­mot­ed sim­ply as a Uyghur “human rights activist” by West­ern media out­lets includ­ing the sup­pos­ed­ly adver­sar­i­al Democ­ra­cy Now!, Abbas is, in fact, a long­time US gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary oper­a­tive.

Abbas boasts in her bio of her “exten­sive expe­ri­ence work­ing with US gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Home­land Secu­ri­ty, Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of State, and var­i­ous US intel­li­gence agen­cies.”

While work­ing for the mil­i­tary con­trac­tor L3 Tech­nolo­gies, Abbas served the US gov­ern­ment and the Bush administration’s so-called war on ter­ror as a “con­sul­tant at Guan­tanamo Bay sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom.” Abbas “also worked as a lin­guist and trans­la­tor for sev­er­al fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing work for the US State Depart­ment in Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba and for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and for­mer First Lady Lau­ra Bush”. Like so many of her col­leagues, Abbas enjoyed a stint at Radio Free Asia.

While Abbas once shared her his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US gov­ern­ment in the open, she has attempt­ed to scrub bio­graph­ic infor­ma­tion from her online pres­ence fol­low­ing a dis­as­trous pub­lic­i­ty appear­ance in Decem­ber 2019. Dur­ing a Reddit’s “Ask Me Any­thing” ques­tion and answer forum, par­tic­i­pants blast­ed Abbas as a “CIA asset” and fre­quent US gov­ern­ment col­lab­o­ra­tor, prompt­ing her attempt to dis­ap­pear her bio from the inter­net.

Besides col­lab­o­rat­ing with the US gov­ern­ment, Abbas’ pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence con­sists of aid­ing the expan­sion of US cap­i­tal­ism in the glob­al south. She boasts work with con­sult­ing firms such as ISI Con­sul­tants which “assists US com­pa­nies to grow their busi­ness in Mid­dle East and African mar­kets.” Abbas claims to have “over 15 years of expe­ri­ence in glob­al busi­ness devel­op­ment, strate­gic busi­ness analy­sis, busi­ness con­sul­tan­cy and gov­ern­ment affairs through­out the Mid­dle East, Africa, CIS regions, Europe, Asia, Aus­tralia, North Amer­i­ca and Latin Amer­i­ca.”

Cel­e­brat­ing the Gray Wolves, propos­ing US and Turk­ish mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion

Along with their exten­sive ties to Wash­ing­ton, the WUC and Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment has main­tained close con­nec­tions with the Turk­ish far-right.

In 2015, mem­bers of the MHP-affil­i­at­ed Grey Wolves for­mer­ly led by Alparslan Türkes attacked South Kore­an tourists in Turkey, mis­tak­ing them for Chi­nese cit­i­zens, in protest of the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang.

Turk­ish MHP par­ty leader Devlet Bahçeli defend­ed the attacks. “How are you going to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between Kore­an and Chi­nese?” the right­ist politi­cian ques­tioned. “They both have slant­ed eyes. Does it real­ly mat­ter?” Bahceli’s racist remarks coin­cid­ed with the dis­play of a Grey Wolves ban­ner at party’s Istan­bul head­quar­ters read­ing, “We crave Chi­nese blood.”

The Grey Wolves and Uyghur mil­i­tants were blamed by Thailand’s nation­al police and an IHS-Jane’s ana­lyst of car­ry­ing out a 2015 bomb­ing of a reli­gious shrine in Thai­land that killed 20 peo­ple. The attack was intend­ed as revenge against the Thai government’s deci­sion to repa­tri­ate a group of Uyghur Mus­lims to Chi­na. Bei­jing had claimed the Uyghurs were en route to Turkey, Syr­ia or Iraq to join extrem­ist groups fight­ing in the region such as the al-Qae­da-affil­i­at­ed East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), or Turkestan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP).

Months before the bomb­ing, a group of 200 pro­test­ers wav­ing East Turkestan flags attacked the Thai con­sulate in Istan­bul in response to the Uyghur repa­tri­a­tion. The group was report­ed­ly led by the Grey Wolves and East Turkestan Cul­ture and Sol­i­dar­i­ty Asso­ci­a­tion.. The lat­ter orga­ni­za­tion was head­ed by Sey­it Tüm­turk, who served as WUC Vice Pres­i­dent from 2008 to 2016 and belonged to the organization’s found­ing pan­theon.

The WUC con­tin­ues to pub­lish arti­cles on its web­site that praise and cel­e­brate Alparslan Türkes, the far-right, ultra-nation­al­ist founder of the Grey Wolves and long-time MHP par­ty leader. Its web­site also pro­motes endorse­ments of East Turkestan sep­a­ratism by cur­rent lead­ers of the MHP and Grey Wolves.

While build­ing links with the Turk­ish far-right, lead­ing WUC rep­re­sen­ta­tives have appealed to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan to take an inter­ven­tion­ist role in Chi­na akin to Turkey’s actions in Libya and Syr­ia, where it sup­port­ed the regime change efforts of the US, West and an array of extrem­ist proxy groups.

Writ­ing in the Wall Street Jour­nal in 2012, Nury Turkel argued that Turkey can play a lead­ing role in “ral­ly­ing democ­ra­cies” to pres­sure Chi­na on Xin­jiang: “As a long­stand­ing ally of the US and a neigh­bor of Europe, Turkey is unique­ly well-sit­u­at­ed to do this.”

As a first step in this strat­e­gy, Turkel pro­posed that Turkey “should orga­nize a ‘friends of Uighurs’ con­fer­ence with demo­c­ra­t­ic allies – sim­i­lar to the ones orga­nized for Libya and Syr­ia – dis­cussing Ankara’s vision and pol­i­cy objec­tives with respect to the Uighur peo­ple in Chi­na.”

Oth­er lead­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of WUC have vocal­ly endorsed Turk­ish mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion­ism. The polit­i­cal state­ments of Sey­it Tüm­turk, who served as WUC Vice Pres­i­dent, under­score the extrem­ist and mil­i­tant pol­i­tics behind WUC’s care­ful­ly cul­ti­vat­ed image as a “peace­ful and non­vi­o­lent” human rights orga­ni­za­tion.

In 2018, Tüm­turk declared that Chi­nese Uyghurs view Turk­ish “state requests as orders.” He then pro­claimed that hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chi­nese Uyghurs were ready to enlist in the Turk­ish army and join Turkey’s ille­gal and bru­tal inva­sion of North­ern Syr­ia “to fight for God” – if ordered to do so by Erdo­gan.

Short­ly after Tumturk’s com­ments, Uyghur mil­i­tants dressed in Turk­ish mil­i­tary fatigues and on the Turk­ish side of the Syr­i­an bor­der released a video in which they threat­ened to wage war against Chi­na:

“Lis­ten you dog bas­tards, do you see this? We will tri­umph!” one fight­er exclaimed. “We will kill you all. Lis­ten up Chi­nese civil­ians, get out of our East Turkestan. I am warn­ing you. We shall return and we will be vic­to­ri­ous.”

2. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the his­to­ry of for­mer CIA direc­tor William Casey, on whose watch many of the intel­li­gence fronts involved with the Uyghur desta­bi­liza­tion effort were found­ed.

Key Aspects of Analy­sis of Casey Include: Casey’s Wall Street legal back­ground and the man­ner in which it dove­tailed with William Dono­van and the OSS (Amer­i­ca’s World War II intel­li­gence ser­vice); Casey’s net­work­ing with Lands­dale and oth­ers involved with the recov­ery of Gold­en Lily loot, in the Philip­pines, in par­tic­u­lar; Casey’s pos­si­ble role as a key imple­menter of the Black Eagle Fund; Casey’s role in set­ting up Cap­i­tal Cities, a com­pa­ny that even­tu­al­ly bought ABC in 1985; Casey’s posi­tion as Cap­i­tal Cities’ largest stock­hold­er, includ­ing in 1985, when he was CIA direc­tor; the prob­a­bil­i­ty that Cap­i­tal Cities was an intel­li­gence front; Casey’s key posi­tions in the Nixon Administration–Chairman of the SEC, Under Sec­re­tary of State for Eco­nom­ic Affairs and head of the Export-Import Bank; the prob­a­bil­i­ty that Casey was with CIA through­out his post-World War II career; Casey’s friend­ship with both Allen and John Fos­ter Dulles; Casey’s knowl­edge of how to “pri­va­tize” the CIA; Casey’s role as the han­dler of Fer­di­nand Mar­cos and his Gold­en Lily bul­lion; Rea­gan’s sign­ing of Exec­u­tive Order 12333, autho­riz­ing the CIA to enter into pri­vate rela­tion­ships with PMF’s (pri­vate mil­i­tary foun­da­tions) for intel­li­gence pur­pos­es, while per­mit­ting those rela­tion­ships to be kept secret.

Gold Warriors—America’s Secret Recov­ery of Yamashita’s Gold; by Ster­ling Sea­grave and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 187–188.

. . . . Many CIA agents spent years or even decades under var­i­ous cov­ers, so it was hard to estab­lish beyond any doubt whether they ever left the Agency, or mere­ly went under­ground.

A per­fect exam­ple is William Casey.

Casey was one of the orig­i­nal OSS crowd. After law school, he went to work for an account­ing firm but kept in touch with fel­low lawyer John ‘Pop’ How­ley, who worked for Wild Bill Donovan’s law firm, Dono­van Leisure New­ton & Irvine. When Dono­van became head of OSS, Casey and How­ley joined him. Casey was John Singlaub’s case offi­cer in the war, while Paul Hel­li­well was Singlaub’s direct supe­ri­or. Casey also was a close friend of Allen Dulles and John Fos­ter Dulles, worked with Ray Cline, and became involved with Lans­dale as San­ta Romana’s tor­ture of Major Koji­ma was bear­ing fruit. This put Casey in a posi­tion to know a great deal about the Black Eagle Trust, and one source insists that Casey’s finan­cial skills made him one of the key play­ers, along with Paul Hel­li­well and Edwin Pauley, in imple­ment­ing the Black Eagle Trust under the guid­ance of Robert B. Ander­son and John J. McCloy.

Fol­low­ing the war, Casey and his old friend How­ell found­ed their own Wall Street law firm. But what made Casey real­ly wealthy was his involve­ment with oth­er for­mer intel­li­gence offi­cers in set­ting up the media hold­ing com­pa­ny Cap­i­tal Cities in 1954. Accord­ing to many inves­ti­ga­tors, dur­ing this peri­od the CIA poured mil­lions into set­ting up front com­pa­nies for covert oper­a­tions in broad­cast­ing and pub­lish­ing, and it is alleged that Casey fun­neled some of these funds into Capi­tol Cities to acquire fail­ing media com­pa­nies and turn them around. It is like­ly that Casey nev­er left the Agency, but only moult­ed into one of its finan­cial but­ter­flies. It would not be the first time a senior CIA agent has had a dou­ble career on Wall Street, Allen Dulles being but one of many oth­ers. From 1971–1973, Casey was Nixon’s appointee as chief of the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion, where he worked close­ly with SEC attor­ney Stan­ley Sporkin (lat­er appoint­ed by Casey as CIA gen­er­al coun­sel and involved in the Schlei case.) Casey also served as Nixon’s Under-Sec­re­tary of State for Eco­nom­ic Affairs, and chair­man of the Export-Import Bank. In 1978, Casey found­ed a think tank called the Man­hat­tan Insti­tute that absorbed a num­ber of for­mer CIA offi­cers, and fun­neled mon­ey from con­ser­v­a­tive foun­da­tions to con­ser­v­a­tive authors. When Casey left Cap­i­tal Cities to head the Rea­gan pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and then to become Reagan’s direc­tor of the CIA, he is said to have been its biggest sin­gle stock­hold­er with $7.5‑million in Cap­i­tal Cities stock. He was still its biggest stock­hold­er, and CIA direc­tor, in 1985 when Cap­i­tal Cities bought ABC.

A man who was involved in covert finan­cial oper­a­tions through­out his entire career, Casey had links to all the key play­ers in this book; his DNA is all over the place, from pre-San­ty to post Mar­cos. He was one of the men who dreamed up the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the CIA, and as CIA direc­tor, he showed Rea­gan how to imple­ment it.

One of Reagan’s first acts was to sign Exec­u­tive Order 12333, which autho­rized the CIA and oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies to enter into con­tracts with PMFs, “and need not reveal the spon­sor­ship of such con­tracts or arrange­ments for autho­rized intel­li­gence pur­pos­es.” This put Casey back in har­ness with Cline, Singlaub, Shack­ley, Lans­dale and many oth­ers purged ear­li­er, whole obscur­ing their activ­i­ties, keep­ing them—theoretically at least—in the pri­vate domain. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, Casey per­son­al­ly took over han­dling Pres­i­dent Mar­cos press­ing him to pro­vide black gold for covert pur­pos­es, and final­ly mas­ter­mind­ed the down­fall ad removal of Mar­cos and his bul­lion.

Even­tu­al­ly, Iran-Con­tra revealed the inti­mate bonds between mem­bers of The Enter­prise and unelect­ed offi­cials of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Pen­ta­gon and CIA. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #1145 The Uyghurs and the Destabilization of China, Part 3”

  1. With the news that Pres­i­dent Trump has test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19 and is now suf­fer­ing mild symp­toms throw­ing the US pres­i­den­tial race into tumult, it might be a good time to take a moment and con­sid­er the ele­vat­ed chances of some sort of extreme des­per­a­tion play being exe­cut­ed in the near future. And not nec­es­sar­i­ly a des­per­a­tion play by the Trump reelec­tion cam­paign but also any groups that may have had very high hopes for what they could achieve under a Trump pres­i­den­cy see­ing those hopes slip away. High hopes like war. War with Iran is an obvi­ous high hope held by a num­ber of actors in the Mid­dle East. Or Venezeu­la. But per­haps war with Chi­na is the biggest poten­tial prize, espe­cial­ly giv­en the ongo­ing desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign on top of a glob­al pan­dem­ic that’s being blamed on Chi­na. War with Chi­na is some­thing the Mil­i­tary Indus­tri­al Com­plex has been sali­vat­ing over for years. Lots of planes, ships, even the poten­tial for space-based war­fare. It real­ly is a war­mon­gers dream sce­nario and the best oppor­tu­ni­ty for that to hap­pen (a Trump sec­ond term) may have just expe­ri­enced a near fatal blow. If any inter­ests — for­eign, domes­tic, or a mix of both — had any plans sit­ting in a draw­er some­where for how to pro­voke a major inter­na­tion­al mil­i­tary con­flict between the US a some tar­get coun­try now is the time to put those plans in action. It real­ly is kind of a now or nev­er moment for cer­tain mega-con­flicts.

    So with that in mind, it’s worth tak­ing a look back a fas­ci­nat­ing piece from The Gray Zone put out back in March about the mil­i­taris­tic think-tanks behind a set of reports that were jumped on by the West­ern press as evi­dence of mas­sive gulag-like forced labor camps in the Xin­jiang region of Chi­na tar­get­ing the Uyghur Mus­lim eth­nic minor­i­ty. The reports described what amounts to a mas­sive an gris­ly crime against human­i­ty. A crime against human­i­ty that com­pa­nies across the world are ben­e­fit­ing from because its alleged­ly West­ern firms that are uti­liz­ing this slave labor. It’s the kind of nar­ra­tive that can osten­si­bly unite the world against Chi­na and jus­ti­fy almost any sort of upcom­ing con­flict as a fight for the lib­er­a­tion of a peo­ple under­go­ing what amount to geno­cide. So, of course, it turns out that these reports are based on com­plete garbage and out­right fab­ri­ca­tions and the enti­ties behind them are a com­bi­na­tion of cult apol­o­gist and NATO-fund­ed think-tanks.

    One of the think-tanks, the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI), put out a report on March 1 enti­tled, “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The report is thin on sources and turns out to rely heav­i­ly on anony­mous alle­ga­tions found on a far right blog called Bit­ter Win­ter. The blog is a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR), an Italy-based group ded­i­cat­ed to fight­ing “anti-cult ter­ror­ism”. Yes, it’s a group ded­i­cat­ed to defend­ing cults. Cults like Aum Shin­rikyo and Falun Gong. CENSUR is found­ed by Vat­i­can schol­ar Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, an indi­vid­ual to deep con­nec­tions to Ital­ian fas­cists and the far right.

    CENSUR isn’t the only reli­gious extrem­ism tie to this sto­ry. The ASPI report was pre­ced­ed by two ear­li­er stud­ies put out by Adri­an Zena, senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion. As we’ll see, Zenz is a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian who oppos­es homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty, sup­ports “scrip­tur­al spank­ing” of chil­dren, and believes he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na and relies on extreme­ly shod­dy evi­dence and method­olo­gies.

    The sec­ond report recent­ly put out by a mil­i­taris­tic think-tank that mak­ing alle­ga­tions about slave labor camps that got a lot of atten­tion by West­ern gov­ern­ments was put out by the DC-based Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS). Like ASPI, CSIS is exten­sive­ly fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and allied gov­ern­ments around the world, along with fund­ing from weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, petro­le­um inter­ests, and banks. In 2019, CSIS was exposed to have host­ed a secret meet­ing where US and Latin Amer­i­can offi­cials dis­cussed a pos­si­ble mil­i­tary inva­sion of Venezuela. These are the kinds of groups that have been heav­i­ly pro­mot­ing the kind of nar­ra­tive that could be used to jus­ti­fy a major con­flict pred­i­cat­ed on human­i­tar­i­an grounds: mil­i­taris­tic think-tanks, reli­gious zealots, and reli­gious zealot apol­o­gists:

    The Gray Zone

    ‘Forced labor’ sto­ries on Chi­na brought to you by US gov, NATO, arms indus­try to dri­ve Cold War PR blitz

    By Ajit Singh
    March 26, 2020

    A recent surge in sto­ries in the West­ern press accuse Chi­na of imple­ment­ing an oppres­sive pro­gram of “forced labor” against the country’s Uyghur Mus­lim eth­nic minor­i­ty. The titan­ic crime Chi­na is accused of has been called “Xinjiang’s new slav­ery.” This alleged coer­cive sys­tem is said to encom­pass more than 80,000 labor­ers and impli­cate the sup­ply chains of 83 glob­al brands, includ­ing Apple, Ama­zon, Nike, BMW, Gap, Sam­sung, Sony, and Volk­swa­gen.

    Fea­tured in West­ern news out­lets from For­eign Pol­i­cy to the Wash­ing­ton Post to Democ­ra­cy Now!, the reports rely on a series of ques­tion­able stud­ies by pur­port­ed­ly “inde­pen­dent, non­par­ti­san” think tanks and crank experts backed by the West’s mil­i­tary-intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus. Build­ing upon the dubi­ous but end­less­ly repeat­ed claims that Chi­na is detain­ing mil­lions of Uyghurs Mus­lims, these stud­ies argue that “forced labor” is the “next step” in China’s tyran­ni­cal cam­paign against the eth­nic minor­i­ty.

    The Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) and Wash­ing­ton, DC-based Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) are the main insti­tu­tions respon­si­ble for the forced labor stud­ies. The reports have also relied heav­i­ly on an evan­gel­i­cal reli­gious fanat­ic billed as the “lead­ing expert” on Xin­jiang, Adri­an Zenz, who has said he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na.

    A close look at the reports churned out by these bod­ies reveal seri­ous bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty gaps that West­ern media will­ful­ly ignores in its bid to paint Chi­na as the world’s worst human rights vio­la­tor.

    Both ASPI and CSIS are right-wing, mil­i­taris­tic think tanks fund­ed by US and West­ern gov­ern­ments, mega-cor­po­ra­tions, and an eye-pop­ping array of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers. As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed by The Gray­zone, Adri­an Zenz is a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian whose ques­tion­able but incen­di­ary accu­sa­tions against Chi­na have led to the West­ern press crow­ing him as the lead­ing inter­na­tion­al “expert” on Xin­jiang. Zenz’s most recent claims of “forced labor” were pub­lished by a “jour­nal” found­ed and man­aged by US and NATO mil­i­tary oper­a­tives.

    Main sources in this sto­ry, which is part of a wider Cold War PR blitz:-ASPI, a “think tank” run by Aus­trali­a’s Defense Depart­ment-Adri­an Zenz, a far-right End Timer from the US-backed Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism ‑Uyghur Human Rights Project, a US-fund­ed sep­a­ratist lob­by­ing oper­a­tion https://t.co/ibr5zDvlJ5— Max Blu­men­thal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 8, 2020

    The lat­est alle­ga­tions against Chi­na appear to form part of a PR blitz seek­ing to esca­late Washington’s new Cold War and regime change efforts against Bei­jing.

    Short­ly fol­low­ing the release of these reports, US Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­man Jim McGov­ern announced that he would be intro­duc­ing a new bill which would ban all US imports from Xin­jiang. McGov­ern is an ardent sup­port­er of the World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC), a US-backed, far-right regime change net­work seek­ing the over­throw of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. He even pre­sent­ed WUC Pres­i­dent Dolkun Isa with the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democracy’s 2019 Democ­ra­cy Award.

    BREAKING: U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive McGov­ern announces Uyghur Forced Labor Pre­ven­tion Act, which would ***BAN ALL IMPORTS FROM XINJIANG*** to the Unit­ed States! Bill to be intro­duced short­ly. pic.twitter.com/8alcyghvSu— Adri­an Zenz (@adrianzenz) March 6, 2020

    On March 9, US law­mak­ers intro­duced the Uyghur Forced Labor Pre­ven­tion Act, co-spon­sored by McGov­ern and Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mar­co Rubio, which would effec­tive­ly ban all imports from Xin­jiang. The pro­posed act would cod­i­fy into US law a “rebut­table pre­sump­tion” that “assumes that all goods man­u­fac­tured in Xin­jiang are made with forced labor and there­fore banned […] unless the com­mis­sion­er of U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion cer­ti­fies oth­er­wise.” The bill also calls for the US Pres­i­dent to impose sanc­tions on “any for­eign per­son” who engages in “forced labor” in Xin­jiang.

    Even puta­tive­ly pro­gres­sive news out­lets have joined the fren­zy, with The Nation and Democ­ra­cy Now! uncrit­i­cal­ly par­rot­ing these stud­ies with no men­tion of their rela­tions to the US and West­ern gov­ern­ments and mil­i­tary con­trac­tors. Fur­ther­more, both of these media plat­forms inter­viewed mem­bers of the WUC-affil­i­at­ed Uyghur Human Rights Project, Mustafa Aksu and Nury Turkel respec­tive­ly, to com­ment on this sto­ry ?— again, with no men­tion or con­cern for their exten­sive ties to the US regime-change estab­lish­ment.

    ‘Inde­pen­dent’ Aus­tralian think tank fund­ed by US, NATO, and weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers

    The three reports relied upon in the recent “forced labor” media cov­er­age are authored by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI), Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS), and Adri­an Zenz. While pre­sent­ed by the West­ern press as impar­tial, expert assess­ments, a clos­er look rais­es seri­ous con­cerns about the bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty of these “stud­ies.”

    On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief, titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The paper trig­gered the renewed round of West­ern media accu­sa­tions against Chi­na.

    While ASPI describes itself as a “an inde­pen­dent, non-par­ti­san think tank” — a char­ac­ter­i­za­tion that has been par­rot­ed by the West­ern press — it is, in fact, a right-wing, mil­i­taris­tic out­fit that was found­ed by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 2001 and is fund­ed by the country’s Depart­ment of Defence.

    ASPI is spon­sored by a host of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Raytheon Aus­tralia, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Northrop Grum­man, MBDA Mis­sile Sys­tems, Saab AB, Thales, and Austalia.

    Iron­i­cal­ly, Australia’s For­eign Influ­ence Trans­paren­cy Scheme — enact­ed by the cen­ter-right Lib­er­al Par­ty to mon­i­tor alleged threat of “Chi­nese polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence” in the coun­try — has revealed ASPI’exten­sive sources of for­eign fund­ing, includ­ing the US State Depart­ment, UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), gov­ern­ment of Japan, and NATO.

    ASPI blast­ed for being US lack­ey, pro­mot­ing new Cold War with Chi­na

    A recent pro­file of ASPI in the Aus­tralian Finan­cial Review notes that the orga­ni­za­tion has “been accused of foment­ing anti-Chi­na hys­te­ria, to the alleged ben­e­fit of its bene­fac­tors.” ASPI has been so bel­li­cose it has come in for crit­i­cism from major fig­ures in Aus­tralian for­eign pol­i­cy cir­cles.

    For­mer Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Bob Carr has slammed ASPI for push­ing a “one-sided, pro-Amer­i­can view of the world”, while the for­mer Aus­tralian ambas­sador to Chi­na Geoff Raby added that ASPI is “the archi­tect of the Chi­na threat the­o­ry in Aus­tralia”.

    Aus­tralian Sen­a­tor Kim Carr of the Labour Par­ty has echoed the crit­i­cism of ASPI, con­demn­ing the think tank for seek­ing to “pro­mote a new cold war with Chi­na” in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US. In a Feb­ru­ary 2020 par­lia­men­tary ses­sion, Carr warned that “[i]n parts of the [Aus­tralian] defence and secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment, there are hawks intent on fight­ing a new cold war” with Chi­na, high­light­ing ASPI’s exten­sive fund­ing from the US State Department’s Glob­al Engage­ment Cen­ter, head­ed by for­mer CIA offi­cer and Navy fight­er pilot Lea Gabrielle.

    Carr said ASPI has received near­ly $450,000 in fund­ing from the US State Depart­ment for the 2019 to 2020 finan­cial year. (ASPI claims that the amount is “less than half” of the fig­ure stat­ed by Carr.)

    These crit­i­cisms of ASPI appear to be well found­ed. Since 2012, ASPI has been head­ed by Peter Jen­nings, a for­mer Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defense offi­cial. Jen­nings is an ardent advo­cate of US impe­ri­al­ism who has staunch­ly defend­ed the Iraq War, sup­port­ed regime change in Syr­ia, and point­ed to Ukraine and Iraq to argue that “the West is set­ting the bar for a mil­i­tary response too high.”

    Jen­nings believes that “the rise of Lenin­ist autoc­ra­cies” threat­en Aus­tralia and glob­al peace, apply­ing the label to Chi­na and North Korea, and, baf­fling­ly, Rus­sia and Iran. He is an ardent advo­cate of expand­ing and mak­ing “bul­let­proof” Australia’s mil­i­tary alliance with the US and “let­ting the Bei­jing Bul­ly know this is our neigh­bour­hood”, includ­ing expand­ing joint naval pres­ence in the Indi­an Ocean.

    Jen­nings and ASPI have also pushed for Aus­tralia to join Washington’s glob­al cam­paign to ban Chi­nese tele­com giant Huawei from 5G net­works around the world. Aus­tralia banned China’s Huawei and ZTE from pro­vid­ing the coun­try with 5G tech­nol­o­gy in 2018.

    ASPI’s ‘forced labor’ report relies on spec­u­la­tion and sen­sa­tion­al­ism

    On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The report was fund­ed by the UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), which over­sees Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters (GCHQ) the UK equiv­a­lent to the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, and the Secret Intel­li­gence Ser­vices (SIS) com­mon­ly known as MI6.

    As Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blu­men­thal pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed for The Gray­zone, the FCO backs the Integri­ty Ini­tia­tive, a pro­pa­gan­da mill which smears left-wing fig­ures across the West, includ­ing for­mer UK Labour Par­ty leader Jere­my Cor­byn.

    The lead author of the report is ASPI researcher Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, a Chi­nese-Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist and stand-up come­di­an, who pre­vi­ous­ly stud­ied at the Har­ry S. Tru­man Research Insti­tute in Israel. In her pub­lished work, Xu has defend­ed the far-right Falun Gong cult and char­ac­ter­ized Chi­nese-Aus­tralians who oppose the US-backed, anti-gov­ern­ment protest move­ment in Hong Kong as “brain­washed” pup­pets of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and vio­lent thugs.

    Open­ing with the high­ly sus­pect claim that Chi­na is detain­ing mil­lions of Uyghur Mus­lims, the ASPI study con­tends that China’s “re-edu­ca­tion cam­paign” is “enter­ing a new phase” in which at least 80,000 Uyghurs “are now being forced to work in fac­to­ries” through a pro­gram trans­fer­ring Uyghur labor­ers to com­pa­nies with­in Xini­jang and to oth­er provinces. The fac­to­ries employ­ing these work­ers are alleged to be part of the sup­ply chain of 83 major cor­po­ra­tions.

    The study con­tends that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has imple­ment­ed the coer­cive pro­gram under the guise of pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion and gen­er­at­ing employ­ment for impov­er­ished sec­tors of the pop­u­la­tion. The authors ignore the fact that China’s pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion efforts are praised by devel­op­ment insti­tu­tions around the world for lift­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple out of pover­ty and pre­sume it to be a pho­ny pre­text.

    While Beijing’s pol­i­cy in Xin­jiang is indis­putably focused on com­bat­ing reli­gious extrem­ism, sep­a­ratism and polit­i­cal insta­bil­i­ty — the gov­ern­ment open­ly admits to this — the authors’ claims of a dystopi­an forced labor regime seem to rely more on sen­sa­tion­al­ism and spec­u­la­tion than con­crete evi­dence.

    For exam­ple:

    * The authors claim that work­ers are tight­ly con­trolled, with “lit­tle free­dom of move­ment” and “iso­lat­ed from their fam­i­lies.” As evi­dence, they cite a Chi­nese-lan­guage media report which fea­tures a sto­ry about a migrant work­er from Xin­jiang who obtained full-time indus­tri­al employ­ment in the urban province of Shan­dong through the government’s employ­ment pro­gram. The woman describes the chal­lenges of work­ing far away from her fam­i­ly in Xin­jiang but empha­sizes that she has used the pro­gram to earn more income and pay for house­hold ren­o­va­tions and new live­stock back home. What’s more, the woman states that while she ini­tial­ly want­ed work through the pro­gram for only one year, she now wants to work for at least three years giv­en the income it allows her to earn, indi­cat­ing that she is vol­un­tar­i­ly choos­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram for eco­nom­ic ben­e­fit.
    * Through­out the report, the authors refer to hous­ing pro­vid­ed for migrant work­ers as “seg­re­gat­ed dor­mi­to­ries.” On the one hand, the authors decry the “seg­re­ga­tion” and “iso­la­tion” of the Uyghur work­ers who “speak almost no Man­darin, so com­mu­ni­ca­tion with locals is large­ly non-exis­tent,” but denounce Man­darin lan­guage class­es offered to work­ers as insid­i­ous “polit­i­cal indoc­tri­na­tion.”
    * The authors claim that “work­ers’ ide­ol­o­gy and behav­iour are close­ly mon­i­tored,” cit­ing the exis­tence of a “psy­cho­log­i­cal con­sult­ing” ser­vice.
    * The authors searched for “a vari­ety of key­words relat­ing to Xin­jiang labour trans­fers” on the Chi­nese search engine Baidu and cite the increase in search results over time as indi­cat­ing the increas­ing impor­tance of the pro­gram to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. This would be akin to ana­lyz­ing US pol­i­cy based on the vol­ume of Google search results.

    Ulti­mate­ly, only two pages and a case study of a sin­gle fac­to­ry are devot­ed to estab­lish­ing the case of “forced labor”, with the vast major­i­ty of the 56-page report focused on con­nect­ing this alleged invol­un­tary pro­gram with the major West­ern cor­po­ra­tions and pres­sur­ing them to dis­en­gage with Chi­na.

    ASPI’s ‘forced labor’ report relies on far-right blog of reli­gious fanat­ics

    The ASPI report presents no orig­i­nal evi­dence from work­ers who have been forced to work in this pro­gram, but cites anony­mous “tes­ti­monies” from an obscure, far-right online blog. Called Bit­ter Win­ter, the blog is a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR), an Italy-based orga­ni­za­tion that oppos­es what it calls “anti-cult ter­ror­ism”.

    Bit­ter Win­ter and its par­ent orga­ni­za­tion have vig­or­ous­ly defend­ed fanat­i­cal Chi­nese reli­gious move­ments includ­ing Falun Gong and the Church of the Almighty God, or East­ern Light­ning. The lat­ter is a Chi­nese-Chris­t­ian sect which believes that Jesus Christ has been rein­car­nat­ed as a Chi­nese woman cur­rent­ly liv­ing in Queens, New York.

    East­ern Light­ning is noto­ri­ous for mass kid­nap­pings, assaults, and mur­der­ous vio­lence against per­ceived “demons” or non-believ­ers, includ­ing blud­geon­ing a woman to death for refus­ing to give recruiters her phone num­ber in 2014. Dur­ing the 2019 Israeli elec­tions, Buz­zfeed report­ed that Twit­ter sus­pend­ed dozens of Hebrew-lan­guage accounts run by the cult for “ampli­fy­ing polit­i­cal mes­sages for right-wing [Israeli] politi­cians.”

    CESNUR has also tak­en up the cause of the Japan­ese dooms­day cult, Aum Shin­rikyo which was respon­si­ble for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack. CESNUR board mem­ber J. Gor­don Melton was paid by Aum Shin­rikyo to trav­el to Japan to doc­u­ment alleged human rights vio­la­tions against the group.

    CESNUR founder, Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, is the edi­tor-in-chief of Bit­ter Win­ter. Intro­vi­gne is an ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive reli­gious zealot who con­tends that Chris­tians are “the most per­se­cut­ed group in the world” due to abor­tion, gay mar­riage, and hate speech laws which he con­tends supress their reli­gious free­dom.

    Intro­vi­gne con­sid­ers com­mu­nism to be an exis­ten­tial threat to reli­gion, writ­ing that “[n]egotiating with Bei­jing is like the prover­bial sup­ping with the Dev­il.” Intro­vi­gne reg­u­lar­ly appears in videos pro­duced by Church of the Almighty God/Eastern Light­ning advo­cat­ing on their behalf and claim­ing the cult is the vic­tim of “pro­pa­gan­da” and “fake news”.

    Intro­vi­gne has deep roots in the reli­gious far-right, and was a long-time mem­ber and for­mer vice pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian orga­ni­za­tion Allean­za Cat­toli­ca, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the group from 1972 until 2016. Dur­ing his time with the orga­ni­za­tion, Allean­za Cat­toli­ca advo­cat­ed for Chilean mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Augus­to Pinochet to be released fol­low­ing his arrest in the UK; denounced the pro­gres­sive World Social Forum as a “lab­o­ra­to­ry for sub­ver­sion”; and endorsed the North­ern League, a far-right, anti-immi­grant, Islam­o­pho­bic polit­i­cal par­ty, in Ital­ian elec­tions.

    The “direc­tor-in-charge” of Bit­ter Win­ter is Mar­co Respin­ti, a far-right Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tive who describes his work as “devot­ed to serve and pro­tect the West­ern her­itage of life, lib­er­ties, and prop­er­ty” and work­ing towards a soci­ety of “lim­it­ed gov­ern­ment, free enter­prise, nat­ur­al fam­i­ly, and tra­di­tion­al moral val­ues.” Respin­ti is a Senior fel­low at the Rus­sell Kirk Cen­ter for Cul­tur­al Renew­al and a found­ing mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Euro­pean Renew­al, two ardent­ly con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions, and edi­tor-in-chief of the anti-gay, anti-choice pub­li­ca­tion Inter­na­tion­al Fam­i­ly News.

    Aus­tralian media sti­fle crit­i­cism of ASPI report, manip­u­late inter­view sub­jects

    As they push for­ward with their anti-Chi­na fren­zy, West­ern media out­lets are not con­cerned with the seri­ous issues relat­ed to the bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty of the ASPI report, in fact, they seem intent on sti­fling any crit­i­cism of their nar­ra­tive.

    Short­ly fol­low­ing the release of the report, the state-run Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (ABC) aired a pro­file of lead author, Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, as part of their “Aus­tralian Sto­ry” doc­u­men­tary series. Accord­ing to Ye Xue, a Chi­nese-Aus­tralian PhD stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney, who was an inter­vie­wee on the pro­gram, the broad­cast­er pushed him to “praise Vicky’s research on Xin­jiang” and made it clear “that they [did] not need my neg­a­tive com­ments” or to hear that he dis­agreed with Xu.

    I was an inter­vie­wee on @AustralianStory. The inter­view­er sig­naled me that they not need my neg­a­tive com­ments on Vicky Xu, even they are valid and the inter­view­er tried to push me to praise Vicky’s research on Xin­jiang.— Ye Xue (@XueYe90) March 10, 2020

    The silenc­ing of alter­na­tive view­points on Chi­na appears to be part of a larg­er trend with­in Aus­tralian media. Michael, a Chi­nese Mus­lim who lives in Aus­tralia and request­ed anonymi­ty to pro­tect him­self from reprisal by his employ­er, told The Gray­zone that Aus­tralian media out­lets often attempt to manip­u­late Chi­nese-Aus­tralians into echo­ing the offi­cial nar­ra­tive on Chi­na.

    “SBS, a tele­vi­sion net­work fund­ed by the [Aus­tralian] gov­ern­ment called me for an inter­view on Chi­nese Mus­lims in Aus­tralia,” Michael told The Gray­zone. “When I didn’t tell her what she want­ed, she asked me if my fam­i­ly was held hostage, in dan­ger or being coerced.”

    “She want­ed me to con­firm her nar­ra­tive that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment had oper­a­tives fol­low­ing me and were active­ly sup­press­ing me in Aus­tralia,” con­tin­ued Michael. “Any­way, she nev­er called back.”

    “There are more Chi­nese-Aus­tralians who’ve had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. They seem to cast a wide net and hope to get some­one like Vicky Xu who will just con­firm all their nar­ra­tives.”

    Far-right Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist pub­lish­es ‘forced labor’ report in NATO pub­li­ca­tion

    The ASPI report fol­lowed two ear­li­er stud­ies. The first was authored by Adri­an Zenz, senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1983.

    As Max Blu­men­thal and I pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed for The Gray­zone, Zenz is a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian who oppos­es homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty, sup­ports “scrip­tur­al spank­ing” of chil­dren, and believes he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na. Zenz is one of the main sources behind the claim that Chi­na is detain­ing mil­lions of Uyghur Mus­lims, and he has been pro­mot­ed as the “lead­ing expert” on Xin­jiang by West­ern media because of the damn­ing claims he makes against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

    How­ev­er, a clos­er look at Zenz’s work reveals that he relies on extreme­ly shod­dy evi­dence and method­olo­gies, includ­ing bas­ing his deten­tion esti­mate on a lone media report by an extrem­ist tele­vi­sion net­work that reg­u­lar­ly hosts fanat­i­cal anti-Semi­tes who describe Chi­na as “a nation of sav­ages, worse than the Jews” and call for “armed jihad” against the coun­try.

    In Decem­ber 2019, Zenz pub­lished a new “study” titled “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Long-Term Scheme of Coer­cive Labor, Pover­ty Alle­vi­a­tion and Social Con­trol in Xin­jiang”, in which he accus­es Chi­na of imple­ment­ing a forced “wage-labor” regime against Uyghurs as the “next step” in Beijing’s “grand scheme” against the eth­nic minor­i­ty. Zenz calls for a “strong response” from the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing the divest­ment of West­ern and oth­er for­eign com­pa­nies from Chi­na.

    How­ev­er, as with his pre­vi­ous work, Zenz’s lat­est report is rid­dled with spec­u­la­tion, sen­sa­tion­al­ism, and inco­her­ence. Zenz begins his arti­cle with the con­tention that this nefar­i­ous, coer­cive pro­gram is “being imple­ment­ed under the […] guise of ‘pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion’” through high­er-income work, only to lat­er admit that the pro­gram, in fact, “achieve[s] nation­al pover­ty reduc­tion goals” and “promote[s] eco­nom­ic growth.”

    Zenz maligns what he calls the Chi­nese government’s aims to ensure “poor house­holds … have at least one per­son in sta­ble employ­ment” and pro­mote full-time, paid employ­ment. He argues that since China’s pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion efforts are “all-encom­pass­ing and involves lit­er­al­ly every sin­gle cit­i­zen” it must nec­es­sar­i­ly be forced because he spec­u­lates that “not every­one will want to be part of this rigid plan.”

    Zenz claims that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment aims to force every Uyghur and eth­nic minor­i­ty adult into slave labor and elim­i­nate tra­di­tion­al rur­al liveli­hoods and cul­ture. To sup­port his incen­di­ary claim, he cites a mun­dane munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment that calls for achiev­ing pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion goals through voca­tion­al train­ing and employ­ment pro­grams, as well as ini­tia­tives like “envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion pro­grams,” “sub­si­dies in mon­e­tary form or ani­mals” for farm­ers, and “sup­port [for] small-scale self-employ­ment” or small busi­ness­es.

    Zenz’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of of the Chi­nese government’s pro­grams for pub­lic child­care and edu­ca­tion­al ser­vices for the chil­dren of work­ers offers a reveal­ing look at the pro­pa­gan­dis­tic nature of his claims:

    “While the par­ents are being herd­ed into full-time work, their chil­dren are put into full-time (at least full day-time) edu­ca­tion and train­ing set­tings. This includes chil­dren below preschool age (infants and tod­dlers), so that eth­nic minor­i­ty women are being ‘lib­er­at­ed’ and ‘freed’ to engage in full-time wage labor. Notably, both fac­to­ry and edu­ca­tion­al set­tings are essen­tial­ly state-con­trolled envi­ron­ments that facil­i­tate ongo­ing polit­i­cal indoc­tri­na­tion while bar­ring reli­gious prac­tices. As a result, the dis­so­lu­tion of tra­di­tion­al, reli­gious and fam­i­ly life is only a mat­ter of time.”

    Zenz describes full-time employ­ment and child­care ser­vices as “inhibit[ing] inter­gen­er­a­tional cul­tur­al trans­mis­sion” and pro­mot­ing “inter­gen­er­a­tional sep­a­ra­tion and social con­trol over fam­i­ly uni­ty”. Cit­ing a Chi­nese media report in which a moth­er describes how the child­care ser­vices “solved my prob­lem, now there are peo­ple who take care of my chil­dren, I can in peace go to work … very con­ve­nient,” Zenz denounces this as a “shock­ing exam­ple of this ‘lib­er­a­tion’ of women from their chil­dren”.

    Unsur­pris­ing­ly, Zenz’s flim­sy research on “forced labor” has not been pub­lished in a rep­utable aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal, but rather “The Jour­nal of Polit­i­cal Risk,” a pub­li­ca­tion head­ed by for­mer NATO and US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tives.

    The pub­li­ca­tion was found­ed by Anders Corr, whose bio describes him as “hav­ing worked for sev­er­al con­sul­tan­cies and gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Booz Allen Hamil­ton, Unit­ed States Army, Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Com­mand (USPACOM), Unit­ed States Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand Pacif­ic (USSOCPAC), Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA), Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency (DTRA), and the North Amer­i­can Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion (NATO).”

    The edi­tor of the pub­li­ca­tion is Neil Siviter, who “pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a Junior Pro­fes­sion­al Fel­low at the NATO Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­da,” and “has also held var­i­ous intern­ship posi­tions with the Cana­di­an Gov­ern­ment [and] U.S. Con­sulate Gen­er­al Toron­to.”

    US mil­i­taris­tic think tank recy­cles shod­dy research in ‘forced labor’ report

    The final study accus­ing Chi­na of imple­ment­ing “forced labor” pro­grams against Uyghur Mus­lims was a report by the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) enti­tled, “Con­nect­ing the Dots in Xin­jiang: Forced Labor, Forced Assim­i­la­tion, and West­ern Sup­ply Chains”.

    Like ASPI, CSIS is a mil­i­taris­tic think tank fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and a host of mil­i­tary allies includ­ing the UK, Japan, Tai­wan, South Korea, Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, Cana­da, Aus­tralia, South Korea, Turkey, Ger­many, Italy, and the EU. CSIS also receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from a num­ber of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, fos­sil fuel cor­po­ra­tions, and banks.

    In April 2019, Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal exposed a secret meet­ing host­ed by CSIS, where US and Latin Amer­i­can offi­cials dis­cussed a pos­si­ble mil­i­tary inva­sion of Venezuela. That Novem­ber, The Grayzone’s Ben Nor­ton report­ed that CSIS host­ed a US con­gres­sion­al pan­el which out­lined the next phase of Washington’s dirty war against Syr­ia, includ­ing plans to occu­py Syr­i­an oil fields and block recon­struc­tion of the coun­try.

    In its “forced labor” report, CSIS offers lit­tle to no new infor­ma­tion, rely­ing instead on the work of Adri­an Zenz and undis­closed inter­views with anony­mous “detainees who were forced to work.”

    ...

    ————

    “‘Forced labor’ sto­ries on Chi­na brought to you by US gov, NATO, arms indus­try to dri­ve Cold War PR blitz” by Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 03/26/2020

    “The Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) and Wash­ing­ton, DC-based Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) are the main insti­tu­tions respon­si­ble for the forced labor stud­ies. The reports have also relied heav­i­ly on an evan­gel­i­cal reli­gious fanat­ic billed as the “lead­ing expert” on Xin­jiang, Adri­an Zenz, who has said he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na.

    A pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign that is ulti­mate­ly based on the unhinged ram­blings of a man who claims he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na. It’s not exact­ly a sound foun­da­tion for start­ing a major conflict...unless you hap­pen to share Zen­z’s reli­gious fer­vor. But these are the inter­ests that nonethe­less were wide­ly treat­ed as cred­i­ble. Cred­i­bil­i­ty that’s, in part, derived from the fact that groups like ASPI are heav­i­ly fund­ed by West­ern gov­ern­ments. In the case of the March 1, ASPI report, it was the UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office that fund­ed the report:

    ...
    On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief, titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The paper trig­gered the renewed round of West­ern media accu­sa­tions against Chi­na.

    While ASPI describes itself as a “an inde­pen­dent, non-par­ti­san think tank” — a char­ac­ter­i­za­tion that has been par­rot­ed by the West­ern press — it is, in fact, a right-wing, mil­i­taris­tic out­fit that was found­ed by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 2001 and is fund­ed by the country’s Depart­ment of Defence.

    ASPI is spon­sored by a host of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Raytheon Aus­tralia, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Northrop Grum­man, MBDA Mis­sile Sys­tems, Saab AB, Thales, and Austalia.

    Iron­i­cal­ly, Australia’s For­eign Influ­ence Trans­paren­cy Scheme — enact­ed by the cen­ter-right Lib­er­al Par­ty to mon­i­tor alleged threat of “Chi­nese polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence” in the coun­try — has revealed ASPI’exten­sive sources of for­eign fund­ing, includ­ing the US State Depart­ment, UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), gov­ern­ment of Japan, and NATO.

    ...

    Carr said ASPI has received near­ly $450,000 in fund­ing from the US State Depart­ment for the 2019 to 2020 finan­cial year. (ASPI claims that the amount is “less than half” of the fig­ure stat­ed by Carr.)

    These crit­i­cisms of ASPI appear to be well found­ed. Since 2012, ASPI has been head­ed by Peter Jen­nings, a for­mer Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defense offi­cial. Jen­nings is an ardent advo­cate of US impe­ri­al­ism who has staunch­ly defend­ed the Iraq War, sup­port­ed regime change in Syr­ia, and point­ed to Ukraine and Iraq to argue that “the West is set­ting the bar for a mil­i­tary response too high.”

    ...

    On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The report was fund­ed by the UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), which over­sees Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters (GCHQ) the UK equiv­a­lent to the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, and the Secret Intel­li­gence Ser­vices (SIS) com­mon­ly known as MI6.
    ...

    Then there’s the fact that the ASPI report relied heav­i­ly on anony­mous claims that showed up on the Bit­ter Win­ter blog of Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne’s CESNUR:

    ...
    The lead author of the report is ASPI researcher Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, a Chi­nese-Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist and stand-up come­di­an, who pre­vi­ous­ly stud­ied at the Har­ry S. Tru­man Research Insti­tute in Israel. In her pub­lished work, Xu has defend­ed the far-right Falun Gong cult and char­ac­ter­ized Chi­nese-Aus­tralians who oppose the US-backed, anti-gov­ern­ment protest move­ment in Hong Kong as “brain­washed” pup­pets of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and vio­lent thugs.

    ...

    Ulti­mate­ly, only two pages and a case study of a sin­gle fac­to­ry are devot­ed to estab­lish­ing the case of “forced labor”, with the vast major­i­ty of the 56-page report focused on con­nect­ing this alleged invol­un­tary pro­gram with the major West­ern cor­po­ra­tions and pres­sur­ing them to dis­en­gage with Chi­na.

    ...

    The ASPI report presents no orig­i­nal evi­dence from work­ers who have been forced to work in this pro­gram, but cites anony­mous “tes­ti­monies” from an obscure, far-right online blog. Called Bit­ter Win­ter, the blog is a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR), an Italy-based orga­ni­za­tion that oppos­es what it calls “anti-cult ter­ror­ism”.

    Bit­ter Win­ter and its par­ent orga­ni­za­tion have vig­or­ous­ly defend­ed fanat­i­cal Chi­nese reli­gious move­ments includ­ing Falun Gong and the Church of the Almighty God, or East­ern Light­ning. The lat­ter is a Chi­nese-Chris­t­ian sect which believes that Jesus Christ has been rein­car­nat­ed as a Chi­nese woman cur­rent­ly liv­ing in Queens, New York.

    ...

    CESNUR founder, Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, is the edi­tor-in-chief of Bit­ter Win­ter. Intro­vi­gne is an ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive reli­gious zealot who con­tends that Chris­tians are “the most per­se­cut­ed group in the world” due to abor­tion, gay mar­riage, and hate speech laws which he con­tends supress their reli­gious free­dom.

    ...

    Intro­vi­gne has deep roots in the reli­gious far-right, and was a long-time mem­ber and for­mer vice pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian orga­ni­za­tion Allean­za Cat­toli­ca, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the group from 1972 until 2016. Dur­ing his time with the orga­ni­za­tion, Allean­za Cat­toli­ca advo­cat­ed for Chilean mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Augus­to Pinochet to be released fol­low­ing his arrest in the UK; denounced the pro­gres­sive World Social Forum as a “lab­o­ra­to­ry for sub­ver­sion”; and endorsed the North­ern League, a far-right, anti-immi­grant, Islam­o­pho­bic polit­i­cal par­ty, in Ital­ian elec­tions.
    ...

    But CENSUR isn’t the only source of reli­gious zealotry involved in putting togeth­er these kinds of reports. The March ASPI report fol­lowed two ear­li­er stud­ies authored by Adri­an Zenz mak­ing sim­i­lar shod­dy claims also based on far right sources:

    ...
    The ASPI report fol­lowed two ear­li­er stud­ies. The first was authored by Adri­an Zenz, senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1983.

    As Max Blu­men­thal and I pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed for The Gray­zone, Zenz is a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian who oppos­es homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty, sup­ports “scrip­tur­al spank­ing” of chil­dren, and believes he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na. Zenz is one of the main sources behind the claim that Chi­na is detain­ing mil­lions of Uyghur Mus­lims, and he has been pro­mot­ed as the “lead­ing expert” on Xin­jiang by West­ern media because of the damn­ing claims he makes against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

    How­ev­er, a clos­er look at Zenz’s work reveals that he relies on extreme­ly shod­dy evi­dence and method­olo­gies, includ­ing bas­ing his deten­tion esti­mate on a lone media report by an extrem­ist tele­vi­sion net­work that reg­u­lar­ly hosts fanat­i­cal anti-Semi­tes who describe Chi­na as “a nation of sav­ages, worse than the Jews” and call for “armed jihad” against the coun­try.

    In Decem­ber 2019, Zenz pub­lished a new “study” titled “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Long-Term Scheme of Coer­cive Labor, Pover­ty Alle­vi­a­tion and Social Con­trol in Xin­jiang”, in which he accus­es Chi­na of imple­ment­ing a forced “wage-labor” regime against Uyghurs as the “next step” in Beijing’s “grand scheme” against the eth­nic minor­i­ty. Zenz calls for a “strong response” from the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing the divest­ment of West­ern and oth­er for­eign com­pa­nies from Chi­na.

    How­ev­er, as with his pre­vi­ous work, Zenz’s lat­est report is rid­dled with spec­u­la­tion, sen­sa­tion­al­ism, and inco­her­ence. Zenz begins his arti­cle with the con­tention that this nefar­i­ous, coer­cive pro­gram is “being imple­ment­ed under the […] guise of ‘pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion’” through high­er-income work, only to lat­er admit that the pro­gram, in fact, “achieve[s] nation­al pover­ty reduc­tion goals” and “promote[s] eco­nom­ic growth.”

    Zenz maligns what he calls the Chi­nese government’s aims to ensure “poor house­holds … have at least one per­son in sta­ble employ­ment” and pro­mote full-time, paid employ­ment. He argues that since China’s pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion efforts are “all-encom­pass­ing and involves lit­er­al­ly every sin­gle cit­i­zen” it must nec­es­sar­i­ly be forced because he spec­u­lates that “not every­one will want to be part of this rigid plan.”

    Zenz claims that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment aims to force every Uyghur and eth­nic minor­i­ty adult into slave labor and elim­i­nate tra­di­tion­al rur­al liveli­hoods and cul­ture. To sup­port his incen­di­ary claim, he cites a mun­dane munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment that calls for achiev­ing pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion goals through voca­tion­al train­ing and employ­ment pro­grams, as well as ini­tia­tives like “envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion pro­grams,” “sub­si­dies in mon­e­tary form or ani­mals” for farm­ers, and “sup­port [for] small-scale self-employ­ment” or small busi­ness­es.

    ...

    Unsur­pris­ing­ly, Zenz’s flim­sy research on “forced labor” has not been pub­lished in a rep­utable aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal, but rather “The Jour­nal of Polit­i­cal Risk,” a pub­li­ca­tion head­ed by for­mer NATO and US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tives.
    ...

    Final­ly, there’s the report put out by the CSIS that makes the same basic set of alle­ga­tions as the ASPI report: that a mas­sive forced labor crime against human­i­ty is tak­ing place in Xin­jiang sup­ply­ing prod­ucts to West­ern cor­po­ra­tions. This is the same think-tank that host­ed a secret meet­ing last year to dis­cuss regime change oper­a­tions in Venezuela:

    ...
    The final study accus­ing Chi­na of imple­ment­ing “forced labor” pro­grams against Uyghur Mus­lims was a report by the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) enti­tled, “Con­nect­ing the Dots in Xin­jiang: Forced Labor, Forced Assim­i­la­tion, and West­ern Sup­ply Chains”.

    Like ASPI, CSIS is a mil­i­taris­tic think tank fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and a host of mil­i­tary allies includ­ing the UK, Japan, Tai­wan, South Korea, Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, Cana­da, Aus­tralia, South Korea, Turkey, Ger­many, Italy, and the EU. CSIS also receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from a num­ber of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, fos­sil fuel cor­po­ra­tions, and banks.

    In April 2019, Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal exposed a secret meet­ing host­ed by CSIS, where US and Latin Amer­i­can offi­cials dis­cussed a pos­si­ble mil­i­tary inva­sion of Venezuela. That Novem­ber, The Grayzone’s Ben Nor­ton report­ed that CSIS host­ed a US con­gres­sion­al pan­el which out­lined the next phase of Washington’s dirty war against Syr­ia, includ­ing plans to occu­py Syr­i­an oil fields and block recon­struc­tion of the coun­try.
    ...

    So as we can see, over the last cou­ple of years we’ve seen a mul­ti­pronged push by West­ern gov­ern­ment-fund­ed mil­i­taris­tic think-tanks to pump out nar­ra­tive of crimes against human­i­ty in Chi­na. And not only are is this pro­pa­gan­da thin­ly sourced based large­ly on anony­mous claims but those anony­mous claims appear to have come from far right reli­gious zealots. This is what it looks like when the MIC ‘finds God’.

    As as, this kind of a pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign is alarm­ing enough. But now that we find our­selves in the extreme­ly ten­u­ous sit­u­a­tion of COVID-pos­i­tive Trump a month before an elec­tion that is look­ing to be a dis­as­ter — a dis­as­ter for Trump and a dis­as­ter for the US’s stand­ing in the world in gen­er­al — these kinds of dis­turb­ing sto­ries about gov­ern­ment-con­nect­ed mil­i­taris­tic think-tanks team­ing up with reli­gious zealots to foment WWIII are the kinds of sto­ries should take on an extra lev­el of rel­e­vance. Sure, it’s not entire­ly clear what exact­ly these groups could do to foment a major con­flict in short order but when we’re talk­ing about groups deeply con­nect­ed to both the far right and mul­ti­ple mil­i­tary indus­tri­al com­plex­es you can be sure they have a dis­turb­ing num­ber of options at their dis­pos­al. And if you’re intent on start­ing some­thing as extreme as WWIII you’re prob­a­bly will­ing to do a lot of extreme things to make that hap­pen too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 2, 2020, 2:56 pm

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