When Fox News talking head Kathleen "KT" McFarland had ex-Reagan stooge Michael Pillsbury on her "Defcon 3" web show in 2014 to discuss the so-called Umbrella Movement protests which were then raging across Hong Kong, she got more than she bargained for.
Noting that "Chinese state-owned media" were alleging that the protests were "all the fault of the Americans," she asked Pillsbury point blank: "So what do you think? It's all the Americans' fault?"
Obviously, she was expecting a simple "no." Instead, Pillsbury told her: "It's not all our fault, but we're partially involved. We have a large consulate there that's in charge of taking care of the Hong Kong Policy Act passed by Congress to ensure democracy in Hong Kong. We also have funded millions of dollars of programs through the National Endowment for Democracy to help democracy in Hong Kong. So in that sense the Chinese accusation is not totally false."
Like an old propaganda master, McFarland ignored that inconvenient answer and plowed ahead with her questions as prepared (including one that began "My former boss, Henry Kissinger, and I know he's a friend of yours as well. . ."). Regardless, the ugly truth did peek out from behind the slickly-packaged "news" propaganda, if only for a moment, and there was no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.
Five years old now, that exchange has resurfaced in the wake of the latest round of protests in Hong Kong to underscore the point that Uncle Sam does have his fingers in the HK pie and is still manipulating events there. The latest indication of US interference in HK is the brouhaha caused by US diplomat Julie Eadah, who was caught meeting with some of the protest movement's leading activists in a picture that made the rounds on Chinese social media. The picures caused a stir, with China "summon[ing] senior officials from the US consulate general in Hong Kong and lodg[ing] stern representations over the contact between US consulate officials and Hong Kong secessionist forces." The US response? You're a bunch of thugs for daring to talk about the picture!
But all of this tit-for-tat raises a string of questions: What is America's role in the current Hong Kong protest movement? Does Washington's involvement in the protests de-legitimize the movement itself? And where does that leave us, looking from the outside in at a situation like this?
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