I thought it was a joke – a balloon sent over from China. I mean, if you’ve been following the war in Ukraine, you’re alive to the threat of high-tech drones and missiles. And if you’ve been following the threats from North Korea, you know about ICBMs — inter-continental ballistic missiles.
But did you see it coming that it would be balloons? Not me.
And in fact we should ask, who did see it coming? Because from what I can tell is, it was announced to the world not by the U.S. military, not by NORAD, not by NATO, not by the president — but by some folks on the ground who just saw it with the naked eye.
Here’s a timeline put together by ABC News. It was first spotted ten days ago, January 28th, over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Then it was over the Northwest Territories of Canada two days later. I’m laughing at how the ABC map shows the interior of British Columbia, and they call it “SW Canada”, so maybe I’m dealing with a less than reputable news agency here.
Then it entered U.S. airspace again on January 31st and then it was publicly filmed by citizens on February 1st, four days after cruising across North America. Here’s one of the first citizen journalist reports of it:
It was literally a UFO — an unidentified flying object. Not an alien spaceship, just something that wasn’t identified. And the local airport was diverting flights.
Here’s a story — the headline has been changed over time, but here’s the line I want:
"On Wednesday, the Billings Logan International Airport was shut down for roughly two hours around the same time many Montanans were noticing an unexplained object in the sky.
Shane Ketterling, the Director of Aviation at Billings Logan, says two flights to the airport were diverted, and one flight was delayed from taking off while the air space was closed. The diverted flights were eventually able to land.”
So my point is, literally five days after this Chinese balloon had been over North America, it still wasn’t identified, no officials had said anything, and it fell to ordinary citizens to report on it and local airports to change air traffic to accommodate it.
Biden let it finish its journey all across North America and then shot it down only after it was done:
By the way, the vast majority of North America is uninhabited. I’m talking most emphatically about Alaska and the Northwest Territories — huge areas, almost no people.
I don’t believe Biden’s excuse for not shooting it down earlier. Shooting it down over Alaska or the Northwest Territories or even northern B.C would have had a minuscule risk of hurting someone below. And frankly, they could have issued a public warning to anyone in the area — especially remote areas.
But that’s the point. I really don’t think they wanted anyone to know.
They — and by that, I mean Trudeau and Biden — both deeply admire China. They would rather have allowed the balloon (which I think we can assume is a spy balloon) to finish its job rather than to expose China as hostile and active.
And yet even when it was revealed by citizens, they still allowed it to finish its complete mission before shooting it down. Oh, and it just so happens that the route of the balloon took it over the U.S.’s ICBM fields in North Dakota.
Who knows what it was. Some people wonder if it was a test for an EMP attack: electromagnetic pulse attack. To detonate a nuclear device at that height, to “fry” electronic communications across America. Or was it something even more sinister — like testing out a bioweapon delivery system.
In the end, a $200 million F-22 fighter jet and $400,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile took down the balloon, after a week.
No condemnation of China, no repudiation or denunciation, no threat, no demand — no end to joint Canada-China military projects, of which we know there are many. It was a complete and utter success for China’s dictatorship. If I were Taiwan, I’d be worried.
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