Since the year 2000 the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission of the US Congress has produced reports on the nature of China-US relations, including on matters related to trade and security.
This year, the Commission has named Chinese news agency and broadcaster Xinhua as an “intelligence gathering organisation” in spite of producing no evidence to suggest that Xinhua is anything other than a news media outlet.
According to the report,
“Xinhua serves some of the functions of an intelligence agency by gathering information and producing classified reports for the Chinese leadership on both domestic and international events”.
This could likely be the first step in laying down a modern-day witch trial against Xinhua in the same way that wild accusations against RT have led the US forcing RT America to register as a “foreign agent”.
The United States is turning into a country where freedom of speech is now a privilege reserved only for classes of people who agree with the line of the deep state governmental consensus. It goes even beyond racism, as many US born citizens who have no ethnic connections to the peoples of Russia, work for RT America and will have to be included on the list of “foreign agents” even though they are US citizens with diverse ethno-racial backgrounds.
Things are becoming truly frightening in the United States where the First Amendment is becoming little more than a way leverage the use of state power against the individual’s right to say and even hear that which he or she wants to say and here.
A bill in the US Congress looks to criminalise support of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, a group which campaigns for a material and cultural boycott of Israel.
Taking things to an even more sinister level, the Texas city of Dickinson has stated that public relief funds will only be issued to citizens who agree “not to boycott Israel”. Not only is this sadistic, but because it does not draw the distinction between an active or passive boycott, it is unclear how such a requirement would be enforced.
If someone in Dickinson whose property was damaged in a hurricane has never bought an Israeli product in his or her life because the product was itself unattractive or too expensive, will this be proscribed? If someone in Dickinson went to the BDS website out of curiosity and just happened never to have bought Israeli products, is this person now guilty?
It is beyond ridiculous that in a country which supposedly values free speech and the freedom of choice in the marketplace, both are being attacked.
The attacks on the freedom of speech, freedom of thought and the freedom to navigate the marketplace are nothing less than a concerted effort to push a certain narrative while censoring all others.
If you are RT or Xinhua–you are a “foreign agent”. If you are the British state-owned BBC, French state-owned France 24, Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera or the Saudi state-owned Al Alabiya, you are perfectly free to say and do whatever you like.
If you are the leader of the Israeli regime, you can come to Los Angeles, leaving your illegal nuclear weapons at home and threaten to make war upon Syria in order to fulfil the burning desire to make war upon Iran. This double-whammy threatens the sovereignty and safety of two countries all the while meddling in Syria’s diplomatic affairs using the threat of war.
On the other side of the coin, if you are a North Korean diplomat coming to Washington D.C. for tentative peace talks, you’ll not even be allowed to set foot into the United States.
If you campaign against the government of Venezuela, the US Treasury Department will help your cause by sanctioning key Venezuelan companies, the Venezuelan government and the President of Venezuela personally.
But if you are a tax paying US resident like former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters, powerful groups in the US that lobby on behalf of a foreign entity will try to use the courts to stop you from performing your music concerts and why?….because Roger Waters is a vocal supporter of BDS. Roger Waters simply wants to do to Israel exactly what the US government itself has gone to Venezuela.
It would be one thing if the US decided to unilaterally force all foreign run media to register as foreign agents and ban US citizens from campaigning in any foreign related political movements. This would violate the First Amendment guaranteeing the freedom of speech and assembly, but at least it would be a consistent, blanket ban.
Instead, the US has effectively given a list of acceptable and unacceptable foreign media outlets and causes. If it’s Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Palestinian, Syrian or Venezuelan, it’s unacceptable. If it’s Saudi, British, Israeli, Qatari or French, it is acceptable.
To make matters even more strange, if similar behaviour was being conducted in a country whose foreign policy was not subservient to that of Washington, such a country would be labelled a “dictatorial regime”.
Welcome to the United States in the 21st century, a place where you are free to agree with the government, but not free to actually be an individual with unique opinions.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.