The party’s over. The 2022 Beijing Olympics won’t be remembered for the Uyghur genocide or hypocritical U.S. corporate sponsorships or even for the medal count. If we’re smart, it will mark the moment we finally took notice that the world’s two biggest authoritarian regimes joined forces against the West, changing the geopolitical landscape.
America and Europe reveled so much in their victory in the Cold War they believed it would stand the test of time. Companies and investors made billions in the new global economy. Globalists preached their new religion of collectivism and relaxed sovereignty for all nations, including our own. Climate change profiteers encouraged the West to deconstruct its economies.
Russian oligarchs swooped in to buy up prime U.S. real estate, Western products flooded the once closed Soviet market and trade preferences were given to Communist China. Both nations were supposed to convert into some semblance of more open, liberal societies as a result. It didn’t happen.
For 30 years we’ve stirred a simmering pot, thickening a wicked brew for the sake of Americans’ unquenchable desire for cheaper goods and greater profits. In so doing, we’ve willfully integrated our biggest geopolitical foes into our economy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alliance has been years in the making. What’s now clear is that no amount of U.S. sanctions will meaningfully deter either’s territorial or hybrid warfare aggressions. China wants Russian energy. Mr. Putin’s rickety economy needs Chinese technology and products. Each will provide a financial and military backstop to the other.
Whether Russia invades Ukraine, or whether China invades Taiwan, America’s perceived weakness has forged an alliance between those powers that will last for decades.
Whether we like it or not, our self-indulgent slumber of the last three decades, filled with selfies, smartphones, political scandals, new genders and the latest wearable tech, has come to an end.
The burgeoning energy alliance between Russia, China and Iran is firmly establishing a super bloc that will span from Europe to the Pacific. Pakistan would likely side with this new Axis and India would be pressed into a defensive posture, requiring more U.S. support.
For the West, containment of this authoritarian powerhouse will likely not be as possible as it was in the last century.
While containment may be unrealistic, economic and military pressure can still be effective. The long, hard process of pulling together our allies and pulling away others who have established relationships with both China and Russia must begin in earnest.
Here, Washington and state capitals need to start regulating Chinese and Russian interests out of major industries including energy, real estate, agriculture, telecommunications and tech. Universities who receive federal tax dollars should have to cut ties with Chinese researchers and funding.
Priority must be given to new trade deals that favor free, democratic nations over countries aligned with Communist China. A Western energy cooperative should be created to use a combination of nuclear, natural gas and renewables to ensure that Western-allied nations are independent from energy blackmail, and the high political and economic costs associated with programs like Belt and Road.
The United States must immediately begin increasing its domestic production of lithium and other rare earth metals. For 30 years, the United States was at the top of a unipolar world — one that for a time was producing more democracies and freer societies. But absolute power is an opiate that has tempted humanity since time began. Today, dictators like Mr. Xi, Mr. Putin and the mullahs in Iran are on the rise, spreading their shadow across the globe. They’re in our backyard. They’re at our doorstep. They’re in our house.
For too long we’ve been too blinded by our desire for peace and prosperity to realize that there is something more important — freedom. History has proven that when freedom is imperiled across large expanses of the world, the effect of that will reach our shores.
This global shift should also serve to reconnect us with our sense of self-preservation, pride and national unity. It should have the effect of countering and marginalizing dangerous ideologies aligned with communism, fascism and socialism in our midst.
For generations, we rallied the willing to bring freedom to countless souls and save countless lives, though our own self-interests often fooled us into thinking that tumult, terror and tyranny were someone else’s problem.
For decades now Americans have been taught by the leftists in academia and the media, scarred by Vietnam, that crusades against communism are foolhardy, abstract endeavors. Republicans, fearful of an increasingly inward-looking public and the wrath of former President Donald Trump, are tying themselves in knots to explain how to handle Russia and China.
It’s time to sober up and step up. The world has changed. Turn on the lights. The party’s over.
• Tom Basile is an author, a former Bush administration official and the host of “America Right Now” and “Wake Up America Weekend” on Newsmax Television.