Clinton's green imperialism and Chinese intelligence

By Peter Zhang
web posted October 25, 1999

The massive Three Gorges Dam project has come under more attacks. There have been dire warnings of ecological disaster on an unprecedented scale if the project is allowed to proceed. Professor Vaclav Smil, of the University of Manitoba in Canada, has joined the green chorus against the damn project accusing China of engaging in " blind economic development at the environment's expense." Smil certainly paints a frightening picture, conjuring up natural disasters and energy and food shortages if the project is not halted .

To be frank, I have no time for the professor's green scaremongering. His argument that high economic growth and increasing energy production will be a disaster for the China is a complete absurdity, especially when one considers that China is enjoying very little real growth at the moment, if any at all. His solution to China's lack of development is the usual green one of suffering energy shortages. But as this magazine has pointed out a number of times, there is never a genuine shortage of energy — there is only a scarcity of the means to put energy to work, i.e., capital. This is one fundamental fact that green critics of economic growth always ignore, including, so it seems, Professor Smil.

But what has this to do with Clinton? Quite a lot. The main aim of the Three Gorges Dam project is not to produce energy, nuclear power stations can do that, but to tame the Yangtze and save the citizenry from the kind of flooding that has literally taken millions of lives during the centuries. Controlling this mighty river will improve transport and irrigation. If successful the project will bring immense benefits to the country. Enter Clinton.

In an attempt to sabotage the $US14 billion project Clinton had Samuel Berger, National Security Council advisor, try to 'persuade' Ex-Im Bank to cut off the project's commercial credits. Considering that the bank is supposed to be independent this was a gross abuse of power by the White House. But I guess that's how they do things in Ozark City. But why should Clinton do this? To 'save' various flora and fauna that were said by greens to be at risk from the project. What about saving Chinese peasants? Well, as we all know, the greens reckon there are too many of them, including brown and black peasants. (Do I detect a touch of racism here?)

Clinton's attitude to the project was not just a passing interest in matters green, as many American landholders are discovering to their great loss, it is part of the administration's ideology. This is why Clinton appointed former Senator Timothy Wirth (a green extremist) as under-secretary for environmental affairs at the Department of State, a position especially created to implement the administration's policy of green imperialism.

I have already written how Beijing has a profile on every member of the administration. Wirth is no different. Even as a Senator Wirth openly maintained intimate ties with the left-wing Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. The IPS not only acted as a clearing house for the KGB it also provided a stream of anti-defense programs designed to cripple America's military, which it still does, that Wirth, along with other left-wing Senators, enthusiastically promoted. All of this was carefully noted by Beijing.

Part of Wirth's brief was to appoint a senior officer at each embassy as an environmental agent, thus entrenching environmentalist ideology as a part of America's foreign policy. Secretary of State Warren Christopher made it clear that environmental issues were now considered part of America's vital interests when he issued a memorandum to all embassies and bureaus of the State Department instructing them that "environmental concerns'' are now a key component of U.S. foreign policy. Environmental issues are to be `"integrated'' into `"bureau and mission program plans,'' into `"trip plans,'' and into "talking points for bilateral meetings involving the President and other senior officials.'' What this amounted to was turning American embassy officials into agents for the green movement.

For a moment it was full steam ahead for Clinton's green offensive. Then suddenly, his opposition to the Three Gorges Dam project waned. Now why was that, I wonder? Mr Sam Berger, for one, quickly lost his enthusiasm. Was that because of the deal he had done with Beijing over getting export controls on satellites lifted? Perhaps it was something to do with his time at Hogan and Hartson when he was that firm's contact man for China's trade office? Or was it one of his several other arrangements with Beijing that have yet to be publicly discussed, if ever? Maybe it was Chinese intelligence information on some of his homosexual activities. (Incidentally, Beijing holds the likes of Berger and Wirth in the greatest contempt).

Whatever the reason for Berger's waning enthusiasm for antagonising Beijing over the damns project, we know that in Clinton's case it was pure greed and corruption. Enough dollars in the right places and Clinton's enthusiasm for the environment could be redirected into more useful channels — say blocking the development of the Utah coalfields, much to the financial advantage of the Riady family.

Perhaps the Three Gorges Dam project is misplaced; perhaps it is a piece of socialist gigantism; maybe several smaller damns would have been appropriate. Whatever the case, the most venal and corrupt administration in American history has no moral authority whatsoever to criticise the project.

Reprinted with the kind permission of The New Australian.

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