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paranoid theory of the week :: is china about to invade the u.s. via mexico?

we hope you made enough salsa, comrades
this one is actually a few years old, but it just seems to have fizzled without much explanation. its latest incarnation seems to have flared up around 2011, but it's considerably older than that and seems to have remarkable staying power for such a bizarre-sounding allegation. so let's get to the meat and bones of it, shall we?

the theory :: chinese troops were massing along the u.s.-mexican border

in late 2011, reports began to surface that large numbers of chinese soldiers, tanks and arms were seen near border crossings on the mexican side of the border.

the story ::

there's not a lot to this one besides that. the sightings are always reported anonymously, but in great earnestness, to people whose world view dovetails nicely with the idea that there is a much bigger threat along the border than people coming to take jobs at wal-mart and home depot. the number of troops is reported to be very large- in the vicinity of one hundred thousand and opinions seem split on the extent to which the u.s. government [both the bush and obama administrations] is aware of this and complicit in it.

the originator ::

very hard to pinpoint, but the earliest example i could find comes from the web site your own world usa, back in 2000. this is just a brief mention [where the authoor also asserts that the panama canal is under the control of the chinese]. the first discussion i found on the topic came from dennis and anne bossack of dna live radio. dennis asserts that there have been large numbers of chinese soldiers near the border since at least 2002 and that he and his wife have spoken to border patrol officers who have seen them, but who are afraid to speak out. if you scroll down the page, you'll also see some email communications with people who do claim to have seen operations up close, or something like that. in this case, the troops were reported to be near the border crossing at tijuana- san diego. the bossacks do not claim to have seen any of this themselves, just that they've had sources tell them it was happening. they also say that there are russian and cuban troops as well [and one of the emails sent to them gives a figure of two hundred million russian soldiers along the canadian border.]

in march 2011, it was revived through this article on coup media.

the believers ::

this falls into the "strictly for the hardcore" category. as you'll see in the links above, even the bossacks and coup media are circumspect about what they can say for certain. everyone who reports on this story frames the discussion with something like "i'm not saying there are definitely chinese military bases in mexico, but..." therein lies the magic of the word "but" [stop giggling]: it's like a code, instructing you to disregard everything that's just been said, because the important part is coming up. 

the bad guys ::

china. mexico. obama. bush. but mostly china.

the evidence ::

very, very shaky insofar as it exists at all. the earlier reports from the bossacks cite conversations with terrified border patrol agents. the common thread in the 2011 revival is the story of "the trucker". apparently this base is so top secret that they let a regular truck driver come right in and deliver goods and then let him sit there while chinese soldiers unloaded the goods. the trucker claims he was able to count ten thousand military vehicles parked on the site, which i think means that our source on this story is rain man. 

radio host steve quayle [whose report on the subject unfortunately appears to have been removed from his site], upon hearing the story, sent his own scout down to check things out and the scout reported that the area was almost completely inaccessible because it was locked down. except for truckers. and the fact that it was crawling with mexican federales, which of course would arouse no suspicion, despite being nestled in the crosshairs of several highways connecting the major city of monterrey and the border crossing at laredo texas. [not sure if they've abandoned tijuana or if this is just a second outpost.]

at least one site has claimed to have captured pictures of barracks being built for the chinese army, although the base is cleverly disguised as a construction site for a subdivision. the disguise is evidently quite elaborate, since, if you search the development's name on google earth [real san pedro, monterrey, mexico], you'll see that it does appear to look exactly like a suburban development and not a chinese army base. they've built a starbucks and a paris crêpe restaurant to perpetuate the charade.

the tanks are hidden underneath the shopping plaza

this is quite literally all the evidence i was able to marshal in support of this story. i mean, there are more, lots more videos and blog posts and mentions, but they're all traceable back to the sources i've already cited. no one who's actually seen anything has ever thought to pull out their cell phone and take a surreptitious picture. no one has ever employed the powers of google earth to see what's actually in the area[s]. until now.

going on the theory that the site that looked like a monterrey suburb was, in fact, a monterrey suburb, i went back to the article linked above from activist post. the location they give is not real san pedro, but an area that looks suspiciously empty. here's what i found...

doesn't it look all creepy and isolated?
no way is that just an ordinary group of buildings

clearly a military installation, with 100,000 very cramped soldiers

so are those the mysterious military bases? no, i'm pretty certain they're not. i don't know what they are, but they're the only even vaguely base-like things i could find. perhaps the base has moved underground.

but all of this is mere distraction from the real problems with this whole tale:

  1. why would the chinese have a hundred thousand soldiers in northeastern mexico?
  2. why haven't they done anything? 

none of the reports try to construct any serious narrative of why the chinese would want to invade america, although most seem convinced that's the ultimate plan, beyond just wanting to crush america. in fact, there's no place on earth that wants to see america's economy come crashing down less than china, because the second that happens, all those i.o.u.'s they're holding become worthless. furthermore, their own economy is dependent on having a healthy america willing to buy their goods by the boatload. so unless the entire u.s.-china trade economy is just a smokescreen thrown up to hide the real communist agenda... you know what, i'm gonna stop there, or we'll be here all night.

the likelihood :: 0/10

there are no chinese troops in mexico, unless they're vacationing at one of its many resorts. the chinese are not going to invade. this is not red dawn and we are not the wolverines. 

ok, i have to admit that the reason i wanted to cover this one was just to give an example of a type of conspiracy theory that i encounter a lot. it never once occurred to me that there was any truth to it. [although i did my due diligence nonetheless!]

this type of theory is the kind of thing that one encounters a lot. it has a seedy allure- the idea that something big is happening, but more importantly, something that justifies the pontificating of those who declare that the end is near. they are, in a way, like old fairy tales, instilling a healthy fear of the dark and the world beyond our [literal and figurative] borders. they're flexible [hence the separate and slightly different instances] and they're tenacious, because by offering almost no supporting evidence, they offer nothing that can be disproved. this is why it's always important, i think, to ensure that there's something of substance to actually believe in before we actually fall down the paranoia hole.

this theory is really just an expression of bottled anxiety about america's place in the world and its problematic southern border. i could go on about the psychology behind it, but that's another series of posts.

p.s. :: i'm posting ptotw on saturday, whereas last week's was on friday. i hadn't really decided where i wanted it to go. do you have a preference? or did you just assume that i was late again? feel free to let me know either way.

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