For God's Sake. Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already

(YouTube screenshot)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has given the Biden administration’s response to President Xi Jinping and China for their brazenly illegal act of sending a balloon over U.S. territory to spy on the United States.


How do we know it’s a spy balloon? We don’t have to know. We can, should, and must assume that’s what it’s doing.

Blinken, along with his advisors Wynken and Nod, has come up with a brilliant riposte to this Chinese transgression. The United States will deny China the pleasure and honor of hosting the U.S. secretary of state this week as planned.

It’s the well-practiced “comfy chair” response to China. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to impress President Xi. In fact, Xi couldn’t care less if Blinken comes to Beijing or not. He must be watching the diplomatic byplay with amusement.

Blinken and one of his deputies spoke with the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday night, and on Friday morning, he told China’s top foreign policy official, Wang Yi, that the balloon’s course was a violation of sovereignty and “unacceptable,” according to a State Department official.

Oh, dear! Did ya hear that Xi-man? It’s “unacceptable” to fly your aircraft over U.S. territory.

New York Times:

Beijing had sought to defuse tensions with Washington on Friday over the balloon, expressing its regret over the incident, and saying the balloon was for civilian research and had “deviated far from its planned course.”

The explanation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry came after Pentagon officials said on Thursday that they had detected a balloon, “most certainly launched by the People’s Republic of China,” over Montana, which is home to about 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos.


Just an accident, Mr. President. Really. How were we supposed to know that the bulk of the U.S. ground-based nuclear deterrence force was based in Montana? A completely honest and natural mistake?

The U.S. response should be short and quick. No need to waste a sophisticated missile on the interloping balloon. A couple of rounds from an F-35 Gatling gun would do the trick.

Does anyone not named Biden think that if the roles were reversed — if the U.S. had “accidentally” sent a balloon that flew over China — that Xi would not order the damn thing shot down the minute it crossed Chinese air space?

China isn’t going to start World War III if we treat the balloon as a hostile aircraft and shoot it down. Even if it’s harmless, as the Pentagon believes, it’s here and it’s flouting our air space.

Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder and a senior U.S. defense official provided details about the ballon. “First, our best assessment at the moment is that whatever the surveillance payload is on this balloon, it does not create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit,” the official added. “But out of an abundance of caution, we have taken additional mitigation steps. I’m not going to go into what those are.

The experts at The Drive’s The War Zone disagree that there’s no added benefit to floating a balloon above U.S. military installations: “The idea that a terrestrial aerial platform in close proximity and floating for long periods above major military installations and other sensitive locales is not significantly more of a threat than what can be collected by satellites in orbit is a debatable claim.”


This was no “accident,” as a senior defense official told The War Zone.

“Clearly they’re trying to fly over sensitive sites,” the senior defense official said. They added that the balloon’s current anticipated flight path takes it over a number of locations of potential interest, but would not specify what those were. It was noted during the press conference that Montana is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base with well over 100 silos holding nuclear-tipped Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles belonging to the 341st Missile Wing.

Given this information, Joe Biden is doing nothing laudatory, nor is he showing “restraint” by not turning this balloon into a flaming ball of gas. He’s showing incredible weakness. It’s a balloon, damn it.  Blow it out of the sky and tell Mr. Xi that any more “accidental” balloons that drift over American airspace will be dealt with in a similar fashion.

Just shoot the damn thing down already.


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