WHILE leaving the preview screening of John Pilger’s latest documentary, one patron asked another what they thought.
“It was a bit unbalanced,” was the reply. Well, there is the rub with anything from this particular journalist. He’s not attempting to create a work that relies on the normal consensus of assumptions propagated in Western journalism.
That is a consensus largely shared by journalists of the left and right, which perceives the USA as, if not the world’s friend, then at worst a necessary evil.
Pilger takes us into a different space altogether: the United States as a warmonger intent on putting its stamp on every conflict. Or, in the case of China, a conflict that doesn’t exist.
This is clearly contentious, as we are dealing now with the provocation inherent in China claiming islands in the South China Sea being prepared for military purposes.
Filmed over two years across five potential flashpoints in Asia and the Pacific, The Coming War On China illustrates a build-up to war on more than 400 US military bases that encircle China in a ‘perfect noose’.
Despite the title, a large portion of the film is given over to archival material and interviews with natives of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, once the epitome of a tropical paradise before becoming the subject of prolonged American testing of nuclear weaponry.
Pilger says: “The aim of this film is to break a silence. A new cold war is under way along with the drumbeat to war, this time with the real possibility of nuclear weapons.
“The Coming War On China is also a film about the human spirit and the rise of an extraordinary resistance in faraway places.”
The most disquieting aspect of the documentary is the description of a nuclear winter in the event of all-out nuclear war.
A nuclear winter after a calamitous Us-china war could be a very long season indeed.
John Pilger’s The Coming War On China.