Thursday, 8 December 2016
Warning to the world in John Pilger's film The Coming War on China
Journalist John Pilger has produced an excellent film chronicling the build up of tension between the US and China, which will have repercussions for us all.
The film looks at how over the years the US has built its military might, placing its bases across the world but particularly recently encircling China. There seems to be a push to fence in the biggest growing economic power via military means.
The Pacific Ocean it would seem is packed full of US warships, just off the China coast. In a telling interview with a US official, Pilger asks how the US would react were there a similar build up off the coast of California.
The veteran documentary maker looks at how the US has behaved in the post war period, using the Marshall Islands for its nuclear tests, with devastating consequences for the inhabitants – many of whom died from cancers.
At one point Pilger looks at a near miss during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when nuclear warheads based on Okinawa, off the Chinese coast, were about to be fired at China. One of the military personnel involved gives a powerful interview 53 years later, where he is still clearly shaken as to how the action could have effectively ended the world.
The focus on nuclear weapons brings home to any rational person the lunacy of proliferation. The number of times these weapons have almost been accidentally set off over the past 50 years should be enough alone to bring an immediate ban. The deterrent argument is a grotesque miscalculation that could have grave consequences for humanity.
Pilger unveils what appears to be the unstoppable growth of the US military industrial complex, with spending on nuclear weaponery and other forms of offence spiraling up under President Obama.
The hope from this rather frightening film comes from people resisting on the ground. There is the Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon who has been protesting for a decade against the building of a US base on the Korean island of Jeju.
Father Jeong-hyeon together with other priests says mass every day on the site of the base. He has been arrested and manhandled many times for his protest. There are other similar protests in Okinawa.
These people give the hope needed to fight back against what seems to be a drift to a terrible conflict between the US and China. The most worrying element going forward is the election of President Donald Trump. The film carries footage of some of Trump’s most belicose attacks on China.
John Pilger has revealed a war that is virtually growing in the shadows. The sabre rattling of the US seems intended to provoke some sort of response from the Chinese. The hope must be that as more people become aware of what is happening that the world can be pulled back from what could be the last war.
* see Independent Catholic News - 9/12/2016
*The Coming War on China can be viewed on playback, while the DVD can be bought from John Pilger’s website – johnpilger.com