The Uyghur War
The only correct response to China's genocide in East Turkestan is war. So where is it?
There is no reason why we should not be at war with China right now.
Until all Uyghur prisoners are released and safe from persecution, and those responsible for their ongoing genocide are punished, there is no reason why we should not be engaged in hostilities against China.
So why aren’t we?
Why aren’t the heroic radical leftists who claim the mantle of revolutionary struggle actively agitating for a military campaign to free the Uyghurs?
Why aren’t liberals, who insist that America’s Back and claim to uphold the post WW2-order they so cherish (and aren’t just phoning it in as they jockey for positions with a CCP-funded nonprofit/think tank in 10-15 years) using the power they now have to at least build a coalition to threaten China with military action if they don’t back down?
Why aren’t the “neocon” remnants, now (unfortunately) making a Zoomer-powered comeback, leaping at this golden opportunity to expand American power?
Let’s take a step back - a war with China would imply that all other means of stopping their genocide failed. And yet, absolutely no one except us are advocating actions on the vast spectrum of activities beyond minor sanctions and short of open war.
No identifiable political bloc outside of ours is willing or interested in pursuing a radical antifascist agenda, regardless of their posturing, and regardless of their targeted sanctions and “support.”
That’s precisely why "solidarity” with the Uyghurs is so common relative to, say, the victims of the Syrian or Rohingya Genocides. This has given false hope to many who saw the lack of real “solidarity” with those victims. They think that we’re turning some kind of corner, that their agitation over those other assaults on basic decency (and the very system of values that makes the United States in its modern, 50-year old democratic form even possible) is finally transmuting to this new horror - that people are finally getting it.
They’re wrong. But I hope to let them down easily.
The reason why there is so much relative “solidarity” with Uyghurs compared to Syria or the Rohingya is because there is no risk that anyone will be asked to back their words with action. Stopping Assad would have been (and still would be) extremely easy. It would take a single sortie if you wanted to be minimally invasive, one destroyer’s worth of Tomahawks on his air bases if you wanted to be sure. The Rohingya would take more to defend, but intervention against Burma is a much easier sell than war against China.
And so there is no risk for those who are calling what is happening to the Uyghurs a genocide. There’s no chance that anyone hashtagging, raising awareness, or taking “principled” stands on the issue of an entire people marshalled into concentration camps, stripped of their identity, and parceled off for slave labor by a rising superpower that sees just how effective this system of labor and repression really is will ever have their chips called - except by me and a handful of others.
Because you would have to be “crazy” to do so.
And ironically, there is, of course, a direct Syria connection to all of this. The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) is known to be one of the more elite forces fighting among rebel forces against the Assad regime. It’s largely composed of dozens of families that fled China’s repression in East Turkestan. And China never fails to invoke them whenever they have the chance - a mirror image of how Syria is largely ignored in Western circles outside of a narrow (and false) “counterterror” framework.
So what are we to draw from this? The “solidarity” expressed toward Uyghurs is actually meant for ourselves - virtual resistance intended to create an illusion that the people who are supposed to “do something” are doing it. No one is actually proposing any action that could stop the atrocities or the new order they herald.
None of it will stop China. None of it is supposed to. But it can make the people talking about it look better.
The reason for this is simple. Yes, this is a replay of the 1930s. Yes, if we don’t stop China now (or Iran, or Russia), as the Allies did not stop Germany’s persecution of the Jews when it was easy to do so, we’ll only face a greater challenge later.
But therein lies the answer: we are going to sit this one out. The victims of the Axis are on their own. They will make great refugees for us. By their existence, they will give the solidarity crowd every excuse they need to say we should do nothing - except, of course, accept more of them.
But who wants to say that out loud?