In March, Briarpatch Magazine published an article critical of our public awareness-raising campaign about the kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou.
On March 16th, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War executive member Owen Ford submitted a response to the hostile article. However, more than a month later, Briarpatch Magazine has not published the response in any form known to us.
Consequently, we are making available Owen’s response, below. It is also available as a Word document.
Letter to the Editor @ Vincent Wong article
By Owen Ford
I penned a response to the piece you ran recently by Vincent Wong on the matter of China:
“For observers of western state and corporate media it has been clear for some time that a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign against the Chinese state has been mounted by our intelligence apparatuses to manufacture consent for an American-led ‘hybrid war’ effort against the principal threat to its waning global hegemony. This campaign is assuredly not driven by compassion for fellow beings on the other side of the globe: indeed, its success can be measured in the sharp rise in violent attacks against people of Chinese appearance in North America:
A key feature of this campaign is a media flood of highly-coloured anti-China stories and the suppression of ALL information that is off-message. The mediascape is scrubbed of critical counter-narratives to create the near-vacuum-like conditions necessary for these disinformation memes to survive, for they would simply collapse in the face of actual evidence.
Commentators brazen enough to protest such crude manipulation are submitted to grotesque ‘you’re either with us or against us’ reductions and branded ‘useful idiots’ or outright supporters of the targeted ‘regime’. Nuance, complexity, evenhandedness: all sacrificed in the drive to align us against a freshly minted international pariah.
In his piece, ‘China, the Canadian left and countering state apologia’ published in this March’s briarpatch, Vincent Wong delivers just such a hit-job against the op-ed ‘Green Party statement takes brave stance on Meng Wanzhou, but pushes imperialist narratives about China‘ which appeared in The Canada Files, October 29 by Ken Stone and David Rennie. In their comprehensive rebuttal of charges against China circulating in the west they commit the cardinal sin of citing data provided by the Chinese government itself! Whereas the rules of the game are quite clear: with regime change machinations afoot, one must NEVER allow the targetted state to present their own case. Absolut verboten. The normally de rigeur journalistic nod to ‘objectivity’ by offering contending viewpoints can be safely abandoned, indeed must be. This is war after all. One side of the story is all we need. Perhaps Mr.Wong could label it ‘bothsidesism’.
After identifying the ham-fisted sinophobic actions that prompted Stone and Rennie’s article and graciously noting they ‘begin with several points that are rather unobjectionable’ Mr.Wong veers into a tirade against ‘campism’ and ‘marcyism’, accusing the authors of mobilizing rightwing talking points to defend the Xi government and generally grinding his own ax against Chinese state perfidy. This attack against strawmen of his own manufacture takes up the rest of his piece.
It is at this point I discover Mr.Wong is a Hong Kong Chinese scholar studying at Toronto’s prestigious Osgoode Hall. If this exemplar of the Chinese working class set out to inform himself as to the conditions of the Cuban people and their government, would he start and end by interviewing members of the Cuban exile community in Miami – and insist on exclusivity? And while I’m sure it was not difficult for the briarpatch to find anti-mainland views among Hong Kong’s 7 million embattled ex-colonials, perhaps they can share the views of some of China’s other 1.4 billion citizens, the overwhelming majority of whom apparently regard their government favorably?
Surely the point of Stone and Rennie’s article is to address Canada’s growing alignment with an American drive to military confrontation with China (the one arena it still enjoys dominance in)? Why not address that instead of gaslighting us with partisan propaganda about ‘genocide’, ‘mass rape’ and whatever other salacious nonsense the Five Eyes braintrust presumes to insult our intelligence with?
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the executive of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War; the ideas expressed here are my own.