Did Biden's Weakness Break 80-Year Streak with 1st Enemy Aircraft Over US Since WWII?


President Joe Biden and his administration are busy breaking records. If only we could say that was a good thing.

On the southern border, record numbers of illegal immigrants are pouring into the United States in what can only be considered an invasion by civilians. In the economy, on Biden’s watch, inflation has posted record numbers not seen in four decades. Heck, even North Korea has set off a record number of missiles in the Biden presidency.

And the saga of the Chinese surveillance balloon might well have broken an 80-year record of American skies being clear of enemy aircraft.

The balloon was brought down Sunday in U.S. territorial waters off of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The shoot-down occurred after several days of high drama in which the balloon overflew North America without military intervention.

The Biden administration tried to spin the overflight as a good thing.

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According to the BBC, a Pentagon official stated, “while we took all necessary steps to protect against the PRC [China] surveillance balloon’s collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon’s overflight of U/S. territory was of intelligence value to us.”

“We were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable.”

China, it’s worth noting, has claimed the balloon was a civilian ship doing meteorological research, according to CNBC, and urged Washington to remain “cool-headed.”

“Affected by the westerly wind and with limited self-control ability, the airship seriously deviated from the scheduled route,” the statement Friday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, according to CNBC.

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“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the US to properly handle the unexpected situation.”

Well, they didn’t think that the Biden administration handled it “properly,” since Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement Monday saying that what the American military had done “has seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing bilateral relations since the Bali meeting [between leaders of both countries in November],” according to CNN.

To which one wishes the Biden administration could thumb its collective nose in Beijing’s general direction and go about its business.

However, given the fact the overflight happened in the first place, it might be good to pose the question that conservative activist Jack Posobiec did:

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The last time a hostile target had to be shot down over U.S. airspace — and it wasn’t even the continental United States — was during World War II, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

On June 4, 1942, a Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane was shot down over the Aleutian Islands after an attack on Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

“A shot severed the jet’s oil line and forced the 19-year-old pilot Tadayoshi Koga in to crash landing in waters around the Akutan Islands in Alaska. Koga died on impact, possibly from a broken neck,” the Daily Mail noted.

Now, there’s a big caveat to this. On Saturday, during a news briefing, an unnamed “senior defense official” came out with news that there had been “at least three times” that Chinese surveillance balloons had “transited the continental United States” during the “prior administration.”

That is in dispute, however, and the man who led that “prior administration,” former President Donald Trump, went on a blistering counteroffensive at the implied accusation that he had allowed the Chinese government to violate American sovereignty without any repercussions. In an interview with Fox News Digital, he categorically denied any such infringements had taken place.

Major figures of his administration who would be in a position to know backed him up.

On Sunday, a “senior administration official” told Fox News Digital that incursions had occurred during the Trump administration, but that the information “was discovered after the [Trump] administration left.”

“They went undetected,” the official said.

According to Politico, unnamed Defense Department officials said “those balloons never stayed above U.S. territory for a significant period of time.”

That doesn’t sound remotely suspicious, does it?

The American public has watched the Biden administration spin half-truths and outright lies over the past two years — the disgrace and disaster of the Afghanistan withdrawal was an “extraordinary success,” the president said in August 2021.

Americans have plenty of reason to doubt the sudden, all-too-convenient discovery that Chinese balloons had flown into American airspace during the Trump administration.

They also have plenty of reason to question any word coming out of supposedly non-political agencies in the era of Biden’s weaponization of the federal government.

But even assuming the possibility that the Chinese incursions did occur, that’s considerably different from an overflight of the continental United States, including sensitive nuclear weapons sites. (The “senior defense official” who spoke Saturday might also be a little more careful about the implications of the words “transited the continental United States .”)

What happened with the balloon saga was clearly the first time in 80 years that the U.S. military had to shoot down an enemy aircraft over U.S. airspace. All of which is to ask: Is it too late to slap one of those Joe Biden “I Did That!” stickers on the spy balloon?

Correlation is not causality, of course, but we can’t help but notice how much more bellicose our adversaries have become since Biden took office. Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine proper. China, meanwhile, has its sights set on Taiwan.

In last year, North Korea fired more missiles than any year on record; according to CNN, in 2020, Pyongyang only conducted four missile tests. In 2022, the North Koreans fired 23 in one day alone.

The world is laughing at who’s in charge at the White House — and it shows. The question almost feels like it’s not whether or not this is the last spy balloon China sends over U.S. airspace, but how many balloons they think they can get away with while ol’ Uncle Joe is in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

That’s not a record to be proud of.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture