The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous. It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressing diplomacy.
The essential narrative of the West is built into U.S. national security strategy. The core U.S. idea is that China and Russia are implacable foes that are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” These countries are, according to the U.S., “determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”
I want to, first of all, thank all of our witnesses including our very distinguished witnesses from the administration, one, for your tremendous work that you are doing in this opioid crisis, and secondly, for taking the time out here to provide expert testimony. We do have a second panel of experts who will follow, so this, I think, will be a very enlightening and hopefully motivating hearing on what do we do next, and of course to go very deeply into the nature of the problem and how it has been exacerbated almost from month to month it is getting worse as we all know. Chinese made fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is killing Americans, more than 29,000 in 2017 alone. We must hold the Chinese Government accountable. Kirsten Madison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs will testify today that China is a, quote, ``primary source of illicit synthetic drugs coming to the United States'' (emphasis added).
I love my friend, who I think is a very good person, but I don't agree with the perspective on China that he propounded at that dinner party. I think Sachs has a better handle on how we ought to view our relationship with both Russia and China. There is, indeed, a "relentless" narrative (clearly one that is persuasive to my friend) that suggests that both Russia and China are implacable foes of our country, and that both nations are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity...”
It’s past time that the U.S. recognized the true sources of security: internal social cohesion and responsible cooperation with the rest of the world.