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HomeOpinionOpinion: The Beijing Politburo and the Trial Balloon

Opinion: The Beijing Politburo and the Trial Balloon



By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor

A Chinese spy balloon flew over Alaska, and we didn’t shoot it down. We didn’t even notice it at first, or so we’re told.

The Canadians noticed it, but they didn’t shoot it down either. The Canadians just told the US government that it was on its way, and passed the buck. Or so we’re told.

Finally, it entered the airspace of the 48 contiguous states. It floated over Montana, uninterrupted, and continued to float southeast, across the Plains states, across the Midwest, over the Southeastern seaboard, until it finally floated out to sea, and the US government finally gave orders to shoot it down, in US territorial waters, over the Atlantic Ocean, only after its mission had been completed.

Pundits tell us that it was a difficult decision… that a White House has to balance the positives and negatives, weighing the risk of the balloon transferring intelligence to China against the risk of further damaging our relations with the world’s primary rogue government.

But that’s a lie.

Such an issue should never have been up to the White House to decide. The US Armed Forces should be empowered to defend our borders, 24/7. Border agents can’t call the White House every time a spy is caught on the Canadian border, every time a drug gang sneaks across the southern border, every time a terrorist is caught boarding a plane. They must be empowered to deal with the threat, then and there. And then report on it after the threat has been eliminated.

At least, that’s how it should be.

In this case, one morning at a cabinet meeting – if this bunch of incompetent delegators even keep up the fiction of cabinet meetings anymore, that is – one of the “new business” reports should have read as follows: “A Chinese spy balloon was spotted entering US territory over Montana. We shot it down. We will report our findings when we’ve finished analyzing the debris.”

There are three reasons for this. One, it sends a message to the world that our armed forces owe their allegiance to the security of the United States, not to a bunch of politicians. Two, it eliminates the threat before it has had a chance to gather any more data to transmit back to Beijing. Three, it frees even a good White House of a foreign policy embarrassment. There can be no indecision, no dithering, if the opportunity for dithering is never provided.

Immediate action to secure the homeland simply cannot be placed in the hands of people trained to make all their decisions based on campaign donors, party operatives, and focus groups.

As the balloon floated across the country, inexplicably unimpeded, free to send endless images, communications, maps, and who knows what other intel back to Beijing, with infinitely more detail than distant satellites can capture, many Americans thought we would have a chance to make the most of the event. We would learn from the experience, have the necessary debate, and ensure such a thing never happened again.

No such luck.

Other stories pushed this one off the front page as quickly as the debris tumbled into the ocean. Rail derailments, mass shootings, a senile U.S. senator’s retirement, and even more spy balloons. Before you knew it, the most offensive national security breach in months felt like old news.

And of course, that is the plan. Get the public tired of an issue before it ever has a chance to really contemplate it, and seriously confront it head-on.

We can say this for the Biden-Harris regime: they are masters at timing. Only after the story of the spy balloon had been relegated to the back pages could The Gateway Pundit break the news – on St. Valentine’s Day – that our military had seen that first balloon being launched, and followed it the whole time. They could have shot it down anytime, but chose not to.


Were there direct orders to leave it alone? Is there so much ambiguity in the concept of homeland defense today that our military is stymied by indecision? Is there a conscious wish that things get worse, and worse, and worse, perhaps in the crazy hope that eventually, something will be outrageous enough to awaken the country?

It is difficult to think of a reason for the refusal to shoot it down other than treason. Very little else could explain it.

But if so, who? Who do you charge?

And what are the odds of such treason being prosecuted by the current Congress, one in which half the representatives themselves clearly owe their allegiance to foreign nations, blocs, NGOs or other movements, rather than to the United States of America?

The story of the first foreign spy balloon to cross over our country unhindered – the first one we know about, anyway – may well be the key example, the most important single one yet, that the Democratic Party and its current leadership simply cannot be trusted with America’s national defense. As much as half of America has known that fact for a generation — the fact has never been painted so clearly before.

Do we have a regime that happily allows an enemy nation to spy upon us at will?

Or do we have a military that’s been given such contradictory directions, so often, they’re afraid to act?

January 20, 2025 cannot come too soon.

If we make it until then.

Copyright 2023 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, and former president of the Ethnic American Council, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.

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