When coups are also Made In China

Nationalist Americans strongly believe that the ouster of Imran Khan from power was the work of China


Imran Jan September 15, 2022
The writer is a political analyst. Email: [email protected] Twitter @Imran_Jan

In the American media, for a while now, China has been the favourite target of the accusing finger behind everything that is wrong with the world. Whether low quality of products worldwide or the snatching of the energy resources from the American influence, China takes the blame.

But here is an argument and a strong belief that nobody might have heard, making this Op-Ed part breaking news. Nationalist Americans, and I don’t mean the MAGA crowd, strongly and genuinely believe that the ouster of Imran Khan from power was the work of China. That the Chinese were upset with him and didn’t want him in charge. This would be the second instance of China manufacturing something that the Americans absolutely love, the first one being the manufacture of the iPhone.

With the exception of North America, the entire world believes that Khan was removed with ulterior motives. The list is long as to who could have been leading this orchestrated removal of Khan but nowhere in that list is China included except in the American minds. The most common belief is that Khan was removed from power because he vehemently declined providing bases to the Americans, which the latter wanted to use for flying drones over Afghanistan for surveillance and kill missions. There are a few other factors too but that is the highest order bit.

When I heard the narrative, I realised that perhaps the UFOs would have a better chance of being treated seriously in Pakistan than a coup Made in China. But this wouldn’t be the first time the American people would believe absolute nonsense. Maybe this is not coming from ignorance but is rather rooted in an intellectual thought-experiment driven by a nationalistic urge of shifting the blame to the enemy. Perhaps they have realised that Khan is the most popular leader in Pakistan right now and being blamed for removing such a man wouldn’t be fruitful, so why not put it on the enemies. Blaming China for anything bad is almost instinctual anyway. It makes sense from an intellectual standpoint to shift the public anger toward the enemy. This is a shift of sorts in that China was always blamed for doing what Washington didn’t like. This time around, China is blamed for doing what Washington absolutely likes. The former was done to cater to the domestic audience, the second one is for global public opinion.

When you argue with the proponents of this narrative that people widely believe that perhaps it was actually the US that orchestrated Khan’s removal because he said “Absolutely Not” to helping the Americans making new killing fields in Afghanistan, the counter-argument comes in very rational sounding words such as “it is not convincing that the US removed Khan because Americans-hardly-know-who-Khan-is”. Fair enough, is it then ‘convincing’ that the Chinese did it when Khan was a very pro-China Prime Minister? Truth be told, it is actually laughable to even suggest that.

How many Americans had heard of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi when Colin Powell introduced him as the Al Qaeda leader perched on Northern Iraq as proof of the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda? How many Americans even today know the man Ahmed Chalabi whose bogus intelligence was treated as rock solid to justify the invasion of Iraq? How many Americans actually know that Israel torpedoed US spyship Liberty killing twice the number of US sailors than the number of US sailors killed by Al Qaeda in the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen? The point is that basing an argument on what the Americans know or do not know can hardly be a rational argument. More specifically, when it comes to foreign policy, the American people are almost always in the dark about the activities of their elected government.

While China might have overtaken the global manufacturing industry, the global coup making still remains an American monopoly.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2022.

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