Book Review

‘Do not open the window or sing’

‘Do not open the window or sing’

When I read certain online commentaries about the possibility of war with China, I smile. Not happily, but grimly. It’s a smile that shakes its head, baffled and in disbelief by the innocence and naivete of the commentators. They’re generally referring to a hot war with China, most likely to occur over the sovereignty of the independent nation of Taiwan, yet they seem oblivious to the fact that China — more specifically, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — has been at war with the United States for over 20 years.

In 1999, two CCP colonels wrote a book, “Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America.” The key idea behind this manifesto, which the CCP adopted, is that a hot war is always the last resort, that war by other means can often accomplish the same goal as bombs, missiles, and guns. The weapons in unrestricted warfare are many: media warfare, psychological and ideological warfare, drugs, trade and financial warfare, and more.

Since then, and even earlier, the CCP has used these weapons against the United States. That fentanyl pouring across our southern border that’s annually killing tens of thousands of Americans? Sure, violent and lawless drug cartels manufacture and distribute this poison, but the Chinese provide them with the ingredients. Disney, the NBA, and hundreds of other corporations? The Chinese have a finger in each of them. The cheap goods supplied by our box stores and online companies like Amazon? Most come from China, which means every time you buy that pair of jeans or that frying pan, a small portion of what you pay goes to support the military of an oppressive and murderous regime. The list goes on and on — intellectual theft, TikTok (banned by India in 2020 in the interests of national security), spies in our universities and in the halls of Washington, D.C. These and more are the tactics behind the strategy of unrestricted warfare.

In “When China Attacks: A Warning to America” (Regnery Publishing, 2023, 256 pages), retired Marine colonel Grant Newsham begins by depicting a hot war between China and the United States. The Chinese invade and take Taiwan, abetted by agents implanted on the island. Once Taiwan falls, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has outflanked the southern defenses of Japan, moves into the Southwest and South Pacific, where they already have bases in the area like the Solomon Islands, and threaten both Australia and eventually the west coast of the United States. Newsham, who is long acquainted through his work and interests in the Pacific theater, then writes, “Once China takes Taiwan, every nation in Asia besides Japan — even Australia — will cut the best deal it can with Beijing. Pacific Asia turns Red.”

For a good part of his book, Newsham then focuses on China’s unrestricted warfare, especially against the United States. In chapters like “Economic Warfare: Putting America out of Business,” “Cyber Warfare: Hacking through American Defenses,” and “The Chinese Military: No One Is Laughing Anymore,” he lays out an abundance of evidence of the “gray war” the CCP has long waged against Americans.

In the chapter “China Attacks: The Political and the Kinetic Combine,” Newsham describes what circumstances within the United States might encourage a military assault on Taiwan, writing, “Beijing will like its chances even more if the United States is tearing itself apart politically, with half the nation seeing the other half as enemies to be destroyed. Social and racial unrest will be another plus from Beijing’s perspective — and it will continue to stroke it via media warfare and use of proxies.”

Sound familiar?

Unlike some doom-and-gloom books, in “How to Win” Newsham points to ways we can turn around this war on our institutions and our lives. First, he tells us, we must truly recognize that the CCP is practicing a strategy with the long-term goal of bringing America to her knees. Once we fully grasp this concept, we can counterpunch with all manner of tactics of our own. We can demand that corporations do business with the United States government rather than with China. We can insist that so many of our leaders in government and the talking heads in our corporation media cease the excuses they make for the behavior of the CCP. We can take a firm stand on human rights, condemning what is China’s slavery of certain groups and their organ harvesting, which involves murdering prisoners, extracting their organs, and selling them to “medical tourists.” We can strengthen our ties with Taiwan in numerous ways.

One observer gave Newsham this succinct formula for dealing with the PRC from a military viewpoint: “Deter militarism by developing a robust combined capability to dominate them in war. Collectively protect what is ours. Never do anything to help them.”

From Shanghai in 2022 we have some footage taken during the extreme COVID lockdowns that shows residents in apartment buildings, protesting their confinement and their lack of food and goods, standing on their balconies and singing in protest. As Newsham tells us, “A drone appears and broadcasts: ‘Please comply with COVID restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.’”

Those italicized words, written by Newsham illustrate the heart of the Chinese Communist Party. What stands behind those words is a threat: if you can’t control that desire, we’ll control it for you.

In “When China Attacks,” Newsham, like other experts and observers before him, warns us of the dangers we face. What happens next is up to us.

(Jeff Minick reviews books and has written four of his own: two novels, “Amanda Bell” and “Dust On Their Wings,” and two works of nonfiction, “Learning As I Go” and “Movies Make the Man.” This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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