Except for watching ME-TV or Antenna-TV reruns, people under the age of 40 missed out on the TV series of the 1950s and 1960s that presented moral dilemmas, dystopian futures, and other think-pieces intended to push the envelope of one’s imagination and possibilities. Science fiction was brought to the small screen in ways that examined current events and controversies of the day while providing “wholesome” entertainment unlike the sex-dominated TV fare of today.
Check out this list to see where your 1960s series favorites rank in terms of popularity. Interestingly, numbers one and two on that list are my favorites, too: The Twilight Zone and Star Trek (Original Series). Alternate earth scenarios, time loops, alien visitations, what-if scenarios, examination of key decisions that changed history, the consequences of moral (or immoral choices), etc.
Many of the episodes of those series were prescient and very insightful, and the lessons from those shows remain applicable even today. A lot can be learned from those old reruns! Take for example “The Omega Glory” (Star Trek Season 2, Episode 23) which was first broadcast on 1 March 1968. That episode depicted an alternate Earth in which a worldwide biological war devastated the planet, leaving two groups pitted against each other a couple of hundred years later – the “Yangs” and the “Kohms.” CAPT Kirk and Mr. Spock deduced that the Caucasian-appearing Yangs and Chinese-appearing Kohms corresponded to 20th century Earth’s “Yankees” and “Communists,” and that these two groups remained at war even after biological warfare had devastated their civilizations.
The storyline of the episode is not as important as the parallel context and the subsequent analyses and opinions of people who interpreted the meaning/intent of the episode’s author based on their own ideological biases. The story was written by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, at the height of the Cold War. In 1968, America was enmeshed in the Vietnam War, with some national security experts concerned that Communist China would set aside their complex history, tensions, and competition with the Vietnamese and expand the war by greatly increasing military and economic aid for North Vietnam’s “communist brothers.” After all, the US and Communist China had fought the Korean War to a stalemate just over a decade previously, and the resultant mutual distrust and enmity between the two countries were still smoldering. And by 1967, there were 170,000 PLA troops deployed to North Vietnam. What would additional Chinese escalation bring about?
Meanwhile, Red China had successfully tested its first atomic bomb on 16 October 1964 and in August 1966, had initiated Mao Zedong’s latest crackpot scheme – the Cultural Revolution – to “ideologically purify” the Chinese Communist Party. What might the increasingly paranoid Chairman Mao do about the growing US military presence a few hundred miles away in South Vietnam? Precipitating a nuclear war with the US would have been suicide for the CCP since the Chinese had no intercontinental missile delivery systems at the time, but limited biological warfare might have been within the realm of possibility since the Chinese themselves had been victims of Imperial Japan’s biological warfare campaign during World War II and fully understood the potential impact of an effective biological warfare agent on adversaries. During World War II, Japan’s Unit 731 had weaponized cholera, typhus, and the plague to kill over a half-million Chinese.
Enter Gene Roddenberry with his fertile imagination and his keen ability to weave modern dilemmas tied to current events into a believable dystopian science fiction story intended to stimulate thought (and maybe influence a few key decision-makers, too). Imagining an alternate Earth in which a biological war had devastated the planet and destroyed civilization was entirely believable to Star Trek’s Cold War audience in 1968.
Roddenberry’s science fiction of 1968 may have become science fact in 2020. Fast forward to the recent speculation by many that the COVID-19 virus was likely engineered through gain of function research and then released – either accidentally or intentionally (the jury is still out on that for the time being) – from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as previously reported here. Was that virus release the first salvo in a “Third World War that will be fought with biological and genetic weapons“?
Communist China’s current biological capabilities are excerpted below and summarized here (emphasis added):
A 2005 US Department of State compliance report noted that “China maintains some elements of an offensive [biological weapon] capability in violation of its Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) obligations. Despite China’s declarations to the contrary, indications suggest that China maintained an offensive [biological weapon] program before acceding to the Convention in 1984.” Since signing the BTWC, China has been a stringent supporter of the treaty, desiring to improve both the verification mechanism of the treaty as well as strengthen export controls to prevent the proliferation of biological materials. However, according to a US intelligence official, China was the biggest export violator of all, as it had sold dual-use equipment and vaccines with both civilian medical applications and biological weapons applications. These exports likely turned into the beginnings of the Iranian biological weapons program. Then in 2006, China updated its export control list to restrict 14 additional biological agents from being exported from the mainland. Despite these actions, it is still believed that China has helped Iran and other Middle Eastern nations build their biological weapons programs.
Reports from the United States in 2010, 2012, and 2014 all state essentially the same thing, that China likely possesses a biological weapons program, but the extent of that program remains unknown to the public. According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, it is clear that “China possesses the required technology and resources to mass-produce traditional [biological weapon] agents as well as expertise in aerobiology.” Today, it is likely that China’s current dual-use infrastructure acts as the basis for its offensive biological capability.
The 2005 US Department of State report also identifies two facilities that have links to an offensive biological weapons program: the Chinese Ministry of Defense’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology (IME) in Beijing, and the Lanzhou Institute of Biological Produces (LIBP). China responds that the former is a biodefense-focused facility and the latter is a vaccine production facility. In addition to these two central laboratories, it is estimated that there are at least 50 other laboratories and hospitals being used as biological weapons research facilities.
Occam’s razor: China had the capability and the means — two out of three pieces of the pandemic puzzle. There is zero evidence for the zoonotic theory of the virus release while real science points to the lab leak theory as being correct. The ChiComs learned a lot by watching the US and other countries strangle their economies in response to a campaign of fear over the last 18 months. What is the likelihood that “COVID-19” was the last such viral pandemic originating from Communist China? Zip, zero, nada. In fact, a recently released document written by Chinese scientists in 2015 actually predicts that biological warfare will be the basis for conducting “World War Three”. Is this document a harbinger providing a glimpse of the third piece of the puzzle — intent?
A document written by Chinese scientists and Chinese public health officials in 2015 discussed the weaponisation of SARS coronavirus, reveals the Weekend Australian.
Titled The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons, the paper predicted that World War Three would be fought with biological weapons.
Released five years before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it describes SARS coronaviruses as a “new era of genetic weapons” that can be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before”.
Lastly, there is also an historical parallel between some who reviewed The Omega Glory episode and the so-called “China hands” – acolytes of Henry Kissinger’s theory of “engagement” with the ChiComs) – who have enabled the rapid growth of Communist China since 1972 at the direct expense of the US and the West in general. The reliably left-of-center Wikipedia quoted Allan Austin, a professor of history at Misericordia University (Dallas, TX), providing one such example of their thinking:
[This episode] consciously and unconsciously reflected a number of deep American anxieties that grew out of more than two decades of the Cold War. By the mid–1960s, some Americans began to critique what they saw as mindless nationalism. This unthinking patriotism had coalesced as part of a liberal consensus grounded in confidence in the essential soundness of American society as well as the assumption of a pervasive communist threat to the U.S. and its allies. Many supporters of the liberal consensus believed that economic growth and development would solve any remaining social inequalities while damping class conflict.
“Mindless nationalism” and “unthinking patriotism.” How does that look after experiencing the fruits of President Trump’s “America First” policies? “The liberal consensus.” That’s pretty ridiculous, too, given the red-pilling that has transpired over the last four years. “Damping class conflict.” Marxist claptrap. And finally, “economic growth and development would solve any remaining social inequalities.” That’s a variation on the China hands’ belief that integration of Communist China into the international order would eventually democratize and liberalize their totalitarian regime. An epic fail, given what we’ve seen with Communist China’s expanding “authoritarian capitalism” and the increasing ChiCom belligerence on the world scene thanks to Xi Jinping’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy.
Which brings us to the modern dilemma posed after putting The Omega Glory background in the context of current events in the 21st century. What can and should be done to avoid the catastrophe visited upon that alternate Earth by an all-out biological war? Should we continue the Kissingerian China hands’ suicidal engagement and appeasement approach with Red China? Or return to the path of direct confrontation that was illuminated by President Trump’s China policies and hold the ChiComs accountable NOW before it’s too late?
I vote for the latter.