National Security Expert Bill Gertz: Biden’s Weak Response to China Spy Balloon Yet Another Example of America’s Current ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Leadership

National Security Expert Bill Gertz: Biden’s Weak Response to China Spy Balloon Yet Another Example of America’s Current ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Leadership

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Washington Times reporter and national security expert Bill Gertz to the newsmaker line to comment on the Chinese spy balloon and the intentions of current U.S. leadership.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, our very good friend, the great national security correspondent with The Washington Times, Bill Gertz. Good morning, Bill.

Gertz: Good morning.

Leahy: I’m reminded of this Babylon Bee headline. I don’t know if you saw this. Chinese spy balloon shot down after it’s completed all the spying. You’ve written just recently that balloons serve multiple roles in Chinese warfare. Chinese military confirms snub of U.S. Defense Secretary Austin’s call over balloon. What do you make of this Chinese spy balloon?

Gertz: It’s really a sputnik moment going back to the days of the space race. I think it was a real wake-up call for most Americans to see that China is not some far-away threat, that it’s a here-and-now threat to the United States, albeit an intelligence threat. But let’s not forget that the Pentagon has identified electromagnetic pulse weapons as a threat.

And so they could have flown a nuclear warhead on a balloon and dropped it and detonated it over one of the large cities which would have blacked out all of the electronics over there. So I think the key takeaway from this whole incident is that China can reach out and touch us. And I think that’s really an important wake-up call for most Americans.

Leahy: To me, it seems ingenious that they use balloons for this purpose not just to gather intelligence, but they could use it for military purposes. Our leadership, from Joe Biden to Joint Chief of Staff Chair Milley to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, I’m going to use a word, they seem feckless to me. Your thoughts?

Gertz: I kind of agree with you. Clearly, the mishandling of this was evident in the fact that the Biden administration is launching what I would call a neo-appeasement approach. That means they’re getting ready to revert to the older policies where we look the other way for Chinese human rights abuses and nuclear arms proliferation in order to somehow avoid a future conflict with China.

It’s the opposite of the policy of Ronald Reagan, which was peace through strength. Instead, they’ve adopted what I call a war avoidance policy. And this is really dangerous. I think that we really need to stand up to the Chinese. They’ve made it clear that they want to dominate the world, and the main obstacle to dominating the world is the United States.

So they’re working very covertly through things like fentanyl shipments and undermining our system here and promoting communist ideology to try and undermine and ultimately destroy the U.S.

Carmichael: Bill, this is Crom Carmichael. My question is there are lots of folks in the media who are supportive, in fact, most people in the media are supportive of the Biden administration and his worldview. What would it take to wake them up, or is it even possible for them to be awakened? Are they kind of part of the communist plot?

Gertz: A lot of the mainstream liberal media just signed on to the Democratic Party. And the Democratic Party has kind of been taken over by a lot of radical leftists and I think that’s really the main issue. So you have this reflection in the mainstream media that, oh, China is not really a threat.

In fact, I think the far-left in the U.S. looks at China as the ideological future. This is a communist system that they think works. Unlike the Soviet Union, which collapsed back in 1991, the Chinese have tried to find ways of forcing their economy to work.

Although right now, their economy is in trouble, which is one reason they’re trying to revert back to some of the more COVID policies of pretending to be a capitalist system, when in fact, they’re really a nuclear-armed communist dictatorship.

Leahy: Yes. And I look at this, and I think of what former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said about Joe Biden. They asked him, has Joe Biden ever been right on any foreign policy issue? And Secretary Gates said I can’t think of one time he’s been right. He’s been wrong; it seems to me. And he’s brought in dunderheads underneath him, Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin, who make the wrong decisions to advance the cause of our enemy; it seems to me almost as if they are covertly cooperating. Now that’s a little bit out there, but what are your thoughts when I say something like that?

Gertz: First, Lloyd Austin reached out to his counterpart in China immediately after we shot down the balloon last week, and the Chinese said no thanks. And yet the Pentagon issued a statement saying, well, we think it’s so important to talk with the Chinese. The Pentagon has had this military-to-military exchange program with China for decades, and the whole point is to try and “build trust.”

And they misunderstand the nature of the Chinese military. It’s not a national army like our U.S. Army. It’s a party army. His main job is to defend the Communist Party of China. On General Milley, we had the case where back during the Trump administration, he actually called his Chinese military counterpart and said, oh, we think you’ve misunderstood us, we think you’re going to attack us, and we’re going to attack you.

But we’re not. And if we do, I would warn you in advance. A lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill thought that was treasonous, but he defended it, saying there was some kind of intelligence. Yet I spoke with top officials of the Trump administration, and they said there was never any intelligence that China thought the U.S. was going to attack them. So these are the two top defense leaders that have really shown themselves to be woefully inadequate.

Leahy: I think you’re kind to just call them woefully inadequate. I look at their actions, Bill, and I got to tell you, and I don’t want to get you in trouble on this, right, but I look at it, and I think their actions are treasonous. Both of them. Both Milley and Lloyd Austin. And I think that a patriotic American president would fire them immediately. Your thoughts?

Gertz: Republicans have recently just taken over the House of Representatives, and they have formed a special commission on China. So, hopefully, I think these two issues, the actions of Lloyd Austin and General Milley should be part of that investigation.

They should do a thorough investigation, bring them before this committee, and have them testify on explaining what they’re doing and whether or not what they’re doing is wrong.

Leahy: Is that the special committee headed up by Mike Gallagher, the congressman from Wisconsin?

Gertz: Yes. I have great hopes.

Leahy: He’s a very sharp guy. I have confidence in him.

Gertz: Yes.

Leahy: You’ve been doing this at a high level of excellence for, what, three decades now? Maybe more than that.

Gertz: It’s been a good run. (Chuckles)

Leahy: You’re a great American and a great reporter, and we are honored to have you on The Tennessee Star Report. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Gertz: Thank you for having me on.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Bill Gertz” by Bill Gertz. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Wendy Maxwell.


International Relations Expert Dominick Sansone Suggests Chinese Spy Balloon’s Trek Illustrates Division Among U.S. Leadership

International Relations Expert Dominick Sansone Suggests Chinese Spy Balloon’s Trek Illustrates Division Among U.S. Leadership

Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed international relations expert and contributor for The Epoch Times, Dominick Sansone, to the newsmaker line to speculate on the reasoning the Chinese spy ballon that recently entered the United States airspace was allowed to complete it’s trek and causing the sowing of division between US leadership.

Leahy: This morning on our newsmaker line, our very good friend Dominick Sansone, who is an Epoch Times contributor, an expert on all things eastern Europe, and a doctoral student at Hillsdale College. Welcome to our microphones, Dominick.

Sansone: Hey, Michael. Good to speak with you.

Leahy: Dominick, you’ve been studying foreign policy and we’ve been talking about the Chinese spy balloon fiasco. The Chinese spy balloon, which we didn’t learn about until it was over in Montana.

We’ve heard that the U.S. military was aware of it at least when it was over the Aleutians, but may have heard about it before. Just give us the facts about what we know about the spy balloon and the current status of our foreign policy relations with regard to China and our projection of, I don’t know, weakness around the world.

Sansone: Yes, definitely. As you said, it was first reported over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska but floated over the United States for quite a few days. Of course, we saw it in Montana, which is home to a major U.S. Air Force base that houses 150 minutemen and IBMs. So that’s alarming.

Whether it was collecting information on that, I can’t say. But again, it raises more questions, I think, than any answers we have. Why did we wait until it was over the Atlantic Ocean which spans the entire continental United States before President Biden decided to shoot it down?

As you alluded to as far as state projecting an image of weakness in the international scene, that’s definitely a possibility. I also think there are some pretty odd coincidences that happened with this event.

Why did it happen right on the eve of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s planned trip to China in which there were reports of a potential (Inaudible talk) Why did that happen right now? Obviously, China knew that this balloon was over in the United States at this specific time. What was going on in the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party that would need them to reach that calculus that this is the right time to do this?

Leahy: Let me ask you this question and if you can give us a concise and brief response to it. It seems to me, looking at this, that the Chinese Communist Party, they look at this, they know Joe, the legal but not legitimate President of the United States, is compromised by all of the dealings of his drug-addled influence-peddling son, Hunter Biden.

And they know that all this in the press, that he is the big guy who is getting 10 percent of all these foreign deals, including deals with the Chicoms that Hunter Biden is involved with. Did they send this probe out in order to test the reactions of Joe Biden? So answer that first, and then I’ve got a follow-up question.

Sansone: That’s definitely a possibility. You hit it on the head, they have their man in the White House. That’s who they want there. And all of Joe Biden’s dealings proven with China, so, yes, I think that could definitely potentially be a possibility.

Leahy: The follow-up question to that is the following: what did they learn from the weak, and there’s another adjective I could use here, but I’m not going to use it because we’re on the air and the FCC might have a word to say about that. (Sansone chuckles)

But to the weak blank response of Joe Biden, who allowed this spy balloon to go across the breadth of the United States, collecting all sorts of information and sending it back to the Chicoms before, “shooting it down?” Well, he did shoot it down after it had done all its spying as The Babylon Bee responded. What grade would you give Joe Biden as a commander-in-chief for his response to this spy balloon?

Sansone: I’m going to give him a C plus and maybe a D, honestly, only not a failing grade because I don’t really think that he’s legitimately in control and as you said, making decisions. I think we saw a lot of division between him, General Mark Milley and the entire United States’ high command.

Leahy: Let me jump in here, Dominick. I would give him an F minus. (Sansone chuckles) It sounds like you’re suggesting that Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were really in charge of America’s response and not Joe Biden. And I see Crom Carmichael also has a follow-up question for you on this.

Carmichael: Biden, he’s the commander in chief. Are you saying that Biden is not responsible for the lack of action until after the spy satellite had done all that the Chinese desired for it to do?

Sansone: Of course, he certainly deserves all responsibility as the commander-in-chief. But again, I do think that there’s a lot of different inclusive acting in the White House. I don’t think that he’s just making decisions by himself. I do think that that is one thing that the Chinese government showed very well, that they wanted to show, that worked well for them, that they sowed a division in the U.S. Leadership.

And also when we see the media response of left-wing sources now coming out, all these other things during Trump, I think they get off on all of this division that they sell here and it shows – just projects – U.S. weakness in general.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Dominick Sansone” by Modern Diplomacy. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Andrew Van Huss. CC BY-SA 4.0.