Letter from President Obama to President Xi on the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII

An Anonymous Senior Official at the White House provided the following confidential letter to us.

Dear President Xi,

On September 3, your country is hosting a commemoration of the end of World War II on the 70th Anniversary of the day recognized as its termination in the Asia-Pacific.  You have invited both me and President Abe of Japan.  We both have chosen to refuse – just as we refused to attend the earlier commemoration of the defeat of Fascism in Moscow last Spring.

As you very well know, Jinping, if I may use your given name, this makes the United States look pretty mean spirited.  And to put it plainly, your cooking up these events with Vlad pisses me off.  The world knows that the Chinese and Russians made unparalleled sacrifices to defeat Nazism in the West and Japanese militarism in the East.  The world knows that China suffered almost 20 million casualties and great atrocities exemplified by the Rape of Nanjing.

And the world knows that close to 30 million Russians gave their lives in that struggle.  The U.S., in contrast, lost 460,000 souls, and so it looks pretty shoddy when I do not show up to acknowledge your victory and the great debt we owe China and Russia since your loss of life minimized our own.  It looks bad for us.  But you know that, and you know it damned well.

So do not think for a moment that I do not see through this “parade” on September 3 as an exercise in soft power.  But I also warn you that you will not succeed, as I will make clear below.

First let me survey the further damage that I think you and Vlad are trying to do.  Let me emphasize that word “trying,” because, I repeat, you will fail.  Even as you celebrate the victory over neo-Nazism in the West, we were using neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and assault Russia.  And to top it off we are pushing Abe to rekindle the fascist militarism in Japan, which he is ramming through – successfully I might add – despite the objections of over half his population, taking the form of hundreds of thousands demonstrating against his new militarism.  Even South Korea is deserting us over this, and I might say it angers me mightily to see the South Korean President attend your September 3 celebrations.  We have warned her that she might not get re-elected if she keeps this up.  We have our ways.  Ask the surviving relatives of Ngo Dinh Diem.

Yesterday it was called to my attention that SputnikNews ridiculed my White House spokesperson, Joshua Earnest, when he said he, and I, know nothing of your commemoration cum parade.  The accompanying cartoon was really over the top, and it was rerun in China Daily I am told.  We notice these things, especially Hillary who gets quite vexed by them. Then she is on the phone to me, which ends up being the hardest part of my day – except when Bibi calls.

And there are other complaints drifting in to me.  Many of the countries in the developing world are telling me that I should take the occasion to congratulate China on its enormous progress since the end of WWII.  They especially needle me about the roughly 700 million people brought out of poverty in the last 30 years, which has accounted for almost all the progress against poverty in the world during this period.  In no uncertain terms, they say that your model is peaceful and ours is warlike.  I do not like to hear that one bit, Jinping.  Where is the respect?  It really fries my derriere.

And then there is your AIIB, on which all of our allies deserted us, save for Japan. Larry Summers, of all people, and the indispensible Madeline Albright complained about that and rubbed my nose in it publicly.  Finally, there is all the hype you are dishing out about the One Belt, One Road Initiative.  Enough is enough, Jinping.

But as I said this stuff will not succeed.   It will not count one wit unless the people of the West and the American people wake up to it. That is where you will fail.  We have very sophisticated means of reaching our people.  Each of our big dailies, the NYT, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, each of which reaches 1 million people or more weekly, not to mention the Washington Post, will never broadcast these themes.  The very fact of 700 million brought out of poverty is rarely mentioned even in the final paragraphs of an article.

Then there is our crown jewel, National Public Radio, which might as well be broadcasting directly from the Pentagon and State and sometimes do.  NPR’s audience has a mean income of $90,000. These are our opinion receivers and repeaters and they are very reliable. They have no idea they are in the dark. They have been educated in the best schools.  You will not catch nary a one of them reading China Daily, for example.  In fact, you might as well stop distributing that particular rag in the U.S.  It does you no good.

One final thing, Jinping.  We are tired of hearing of your philosophy of “win-win” when it comes to relations between nations.  We in Europe and the U.S. have been in the global driver’s seat for half a millennium now.  We know from our own history that interactions between nations involve win-lose, domination and conquest.  If it is true for us, how could it be otherwise for anyone else?  The mere fact of nuclear weapons will not change that.  We are ready to fight on. Exceptionalism will prevail.

And, Jinping, if you think that I am uncooperative or aggressive, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Wait until Hillary becomes president.  She is a whirling dervish when it comes to the pivot to Asia.  Then you will know what standing on the precipice of oblivion looks like.

Sincerely yours,

Barack H. Obama
President

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. He writes about issues of war, peace and empire, and about health care, for Antiwar.com, Consortium News, Dissident Voice.org and other outlets. Now living in the East Bay, he was until recently Professor of Physiology and Cellular Neuroscience at a Massachusetts Medical School. He can be reached at Read other articles by John V..