The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Neurostrike Weapons and China: The Modern Cold War

A warm breeze whirls through the streets of Havana, Cuba in the dead of night. All seems to be peaceful on the communist island. That is until 5:00 am when Dr. Paul Andrews, a CIA physician in a hotel room near the American embassy, awakes from his sleep by a painful piercing ringing in his ear, accompanied by an excruciating headache. The sound is so disorienting that he struggled to maintain balance when standing and forgot to collect his belongings when leaving his Havana hotel room. Dr. Andrews believes he was subject to the very health anomaly he was first sent by the United States government to investigate, Havana syndrome; of unknown origin and only affecting American and Western military and political officials, the syndrome disorients its victims, impairing their ability to carry out basic tasks and think critically. But, Dr. Andrew’s report in 2017 is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

Havana syndrome has been affecting Americans near embassies in nations which hold a hostile disposition towards the West. Marc Polymeropoulos, another CIA operative, was also in a hotel room near the American embassy in Moscow where he had an identical experience to Dr. Andrews. His case of Havana syndrome was also reported in 2017. The correlation between prominent American officials experiencing crippling symptoms of unknown origin in adversarial countries has led to speculation by officials that Havana syndrome is caused by neurological tampering by China – specifically Chinese neurostike weapons.

Popularized by Nikki Haley, a former GOP 2024 presidential candidate, the term neurostrike refers to a type of weapon designed to disrupt a target’s brain by using focused beams of invisible directed energy. This secret science-fiction weapon is the result of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) investing billions of dollars to find covert ways to sabotage the US. Neurostrike weapons seem to have caught the American government off guard, adding to speculation of additional secret Chinese capabilities. The surprise rapid development of Chinese neurostrike weapons reveals a deeper issue within the US government: American politicians have been plagued with complacency in preserving a liberal world order, following the end of the Cold War. However, now, it seems that the gap has been filled. In the past few years Congress and the Executive have started to pass legislation in response to a growing China such as the 2021 HAVANA Act (financial aid for Americans attacked by neurostrike weapons). But the US cannot simply pursue reactionary policies, it must be proactive in countering China’s growth in US dominated industries. To expedite the process, American constituents must elect representatives who will be tough on China and rebalance the international dynamic.

The American world order has promoted freedom across the globe and liberal ideology, but those very freedoms are now under threat from a modern Red Menace. China is ruled by ‘President’ Xi Jinping, who has pursued totalitarian national policies comparable to the ruthless Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. According to the US State Department, some of the population control measures the CCP uses include: the destruction of religious buildings such as churches, mosques and synagogues; widespread use of forced labor camps, filled with Chinese citizens who hold political views that go against the CCP; and the forced abortion and forced sterilization of Chinese citizens by the CCP for ultimate control. China and its people are imprisoned by a government that wants to destroy individual identity, thought and freedoms to craft a police state controlled by the communist political elite.

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As a result of the bloodstained political stability within China, the regime has been fueling the Modern Cold War, expanding its influence beyond its borders and into international affairs. Other than experiments in neurostrike weapons, the CCP has been pursuing a policy similar to the US Monroe Doctrine by attempting to try and remove Western influence from the Indo-Pacific to establish a foothold for future global ambitions are well under way. One central point of contention between the two superpowers is the island of Taiwan. The CCP claims that the US-backed democratic island of Taiwan is historically owned by mainland China, and that the independent democracy must be united with their totalitarian overlords by any means necessary–directly saying military conquest. In addition, attempts are seen in the South China Sea where the CCP has been building artificial island archipelagos equipped with military installations, the Spratly Islands. This is part of a larger effort to enforce a fabricated claim that China owns the entire body of water, violating the sovereignty of many Southeast Asian countries. And when analyzing how the CCP is attempting to conduct international power plays, a pattern of militarism clearly emerges; force will be used to take Taiwan and force will be used to control an international body of water. The CCP is consolidating power within the Indo-Pacific region, threatening to promote its inhumane practices across the globe.

The new Red Menace is a formidable opponent to the US, and clearly one not to be disregarded. For years the CCP has indulged in the gluttony of unchecked growth. We are faced with a monstrous power-mongering regime. But now it must stop. The US’ mentality towards maintaining the liberal status quo must match that of the CCP’s mentality towards overthrowing it–aggressive.

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