China balloon doesn’t cross the ocean blue

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | The U.S. military deployed an F-22 Raptor to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday afternoon.

Russell Macias | Staff Writer

Feb. 9, 2023

Take that Ike!

The Military Industrial Complex succeeds in defeating an adversarial Chinese balloon!

In what was undoubtedly the wildest story of the week, the United States government used an F-22 Raptor to shoot down a suspected spy balloon. The Chinese balloon took a wondrous coast to coast trip before being shot down as it floated over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

Immediately people, most notably from the right, were eager to discuss how disgusting and spineless America is for allowing a balloon to fly over the continent. Former director of the CIA and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even crawled out of his post-Trump era cavern to chime in, claiming he would have never let that happen.

As the balloon casually meandered about, the suspected reasoning was to conduct surveillance of sensitive US military sites. China said it was a civilian weather balloon that drifted off course, which frankly would’ve made for a way funnier story then what the Chinese government is trying to feed us.

Perhaps the only thing that both political parties can agree on is that China had deceitful intentions.

If you ask the alt-right, the real reason China invaded U.S. airspace was to prove that Biden, and by affiliation – the U.S., is weak. This past weekend would give the Chinese a preview of the U.S.’s inability to quickly and aggressively act if they were to invade Taiwan.

It seemed many from the right were eager to see military action. The opportunity to shoot guns outside of their porch to stop an inflatable enemy seems like the perfect plot to the next Clint Eastwood movie.

This quickness to respond to any crisis with hostile force has become as American as the apple pie or racism. We love our violence even at the peril of a peaceful coexistence.

All of this ugly discourse over a balloon.

That balloon almost assuredly didn’t give China any information they didn’t already have. Truthfully, we live in an age of satellites and pictures from space. While maybe providing a moderately closer look, China likely already knows whatever it wants to know.

That’s not to say this story isn’t meaningless, as it was actually the funniest story I’ve ever seen, as it’s literally a balloon! The last time a major sect of the U.S. Population was affected by a balloon was when SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star stole a pair of balloons and went to jail.

The Chinese spy balloon did receive obscene amounts of press coverage.

But why? I think that’s the intriguing question. Why would the media choose to focus on something so obscure? There’s been more coverage and discourse about this balloon seemingly than there was about the horrific death of Tyre Nichols. Is it because more people care about a balloon than human life?

The media also could’ve continued scrutinizing Congress and the gong show that’s occurring there, with George Santos or more importantly, the week leading up to the State of the Union Address, but instead the country fixated on a balloon.

One is left to simply ponder then, is the balloon the easy story then? Is that why it got so heavily fixated upon? Obviously, the Republicans jump at any reason to show they’re true patriots, and there’s never been a better opportunity to prove that. But why then pander to them and give it so much press?

The whole story strikes me as so wildly innocuous yet fascinating, and maybe that’s why it’s got all the attention it’s got.

Or maybe, it is exactly what Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us all about, some 60 plus years ago, that the Military Industrial Complex needed to be deconstructed, otherwise any tiny strands of things to be used to strengthen the military, will be seized.

The quickness to relinquish the American “might” on our foreign adversaries is telling. It is worrisome that a large portion of the populace wants violence to be a focal point in our foreign policy.

We just ended a 20-plus year war, what is this rush to create another military intervention? When will we learn?

While this story will likely blow over – like a balloon in the wind – the constant call to violence is becoming an alarming mainstay in our countries conscience.