Previous posts in this discussion:
PostUyghurs and Genocide (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 04/06/21 4:23 am)
I can hardly believe it when the editor of the Forum Pax et Lux wrote, "I don't think it's even up for discussion whether the Uyghurs are the victims of genocide. To suggest that their persecution may be the result of 'terrorism' (hence deserved) is troubling, to say the least."
Really? First of all, I never stated the Uyghur people deserve anything bad, to my heart and mind all people deserve nothing but the best, unless they do it to themselves. Do the Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Cubans, etc. deserve their suffering? I don't think so.
Regarding the statement as to whether the US still holds the moral high ground in its criticism of China, beliefs are like noses, everybody has one. I must admit that if I have to choose, I'll take Pax Americana over any other because it is my country. But, how about the truth we are supposed to seek?
As I wrote, I hear a lot of rumors but not much evidence about how many Uyghurs got killed in this so-called genocide. Was there some terrorism before the Chinese government started indoctrination camps? What would the US government have done if such terrorism had occurred here? Would they send people to secret prisons like we already have? Have we forgotten that the US government has been killing millions of innocent people all over the world just by deliberately starting and enabling major civil wars? Is that better than the so-called Uyghur "genocide?"
John Eipper stated, "Senator Coons did suggest that the US must 'out-strategize' China--namely, that it has to show the world that the democratic system yields more tangible, quality-of-life benefits than an authoritarian one."
Talk is cheap; we must look at the evidence. After our brilliant foreign policy strategists enabled China to become the manufacturing center for the world in a few decades, they now want to constrain the elephant by antagonizing and demonizing it so we can manipulate the rest of the world to do what we want. Like I said, Pax Americana works for me if we can get it. But only an ignoramus idiot thinks this is going to work for the American people. It might work short term for a few special interests but strategically, it is too late.
China and Russia are coming closer together politically, economically, and militarily to greater/lesser extents as time passes. Strategically, the only hope for the US is a mind transplant: stop lying to ourselves, enforce justice and true democracy for all Americans, less income and wealth disparity, strict respect for law and order, etc. How can America have any moral ground without these?
JE comments: Tor, sorry to push your buttons, but I do take exception to calling the Uyghur tragedy a so-called genocide. It's an attempt to erase an entire culture. Of course we don't know the full story, but the anecdotes leaking out paint a horrific picture. Especially sickening are the numerous reports of the systematic rape of Uyghur women. Why--and with what motive--would someone make this stuff up?
How Grave is the Oppression of the Uyghurs?
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
04/08/21 3:58 AM)
I found the comments of Tor Guimaraes (April 6th) excellent as usual. Yet for once I am not fully convinced by the following statement from JE:
"Of course, we don't know the full story [in China with the repression of the Uyghurs], but the anecdotes leaking out paint a horrific picture."
Isn't there room for doubt on each and every side of the story?
We do know that the Uyghurs are a minority in Xinjiang. They number 11,300,000, or 46% of the population of that autonomous region. They speak a Turkic language and profess Islam. Therefore they differ greatly from the Han Chinese.
Moreover, the Uyghurs tried to achieve their independence with the First Republic of 1934 and the Second Republic of 1944, but were occupied and annexed by China in 1949. Now the Islamic Movement for Eastern Turkistan and the Organization for the Liberation of Eastern Turkistan (included on the US terrorist list) are conducting a fight for independence, including terrorist attacks against Chinese civilians.
Erdogan was initially, at the time of his Pan-Turkism, inclined to support them, dreaming of a great union under him of all ethnic Turks of Asia (and Europe), but now it is more fashionable to dream of a renewed Ottoman Empire. Furthermore it is good to have friendly relations with Xi Jinping. The poor Uyghurs have been forgotten.
Now the problem is: are the anecdotes all true? History has countless examples of anecdotes being BS, mostly coming from politicians supposedly on the "good side," beginning in WWI when it was accepted that the Germans were cutting off the hands of Belgian children. Perhaps the most amusing (if terrible catastrophes did not result from it) anecdote was the one presented by poor Colin Powell, who shook a test tube in front of the UN. Anyway, at present in Italy, there is a Uyghur couple stating that their children have been placed in a camp.
Regarding genocide, which according to the UN is when acts are performed with the intention of destroying, completely or partially, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, what should China do? The best would be to give full independence to Xinjiang, but what about the remaining 54% of people living there? Let's consider an example in the Western world. Suppose that all the native peoples of the Western US wanted to carve out an independent state, with Navajo or a similar language and the Dance of the Ghost religion or something like that, in the interior of California and in parts of the surrounding states. How would Washington react? Would it give independence or go back to the old practices of WWII, even if not politically correct by the new ways of understanding?
JE comments: In the absence of the full story of the Uyghurs' situation, we are forced to rely on our prior assumptions. Those inclined to see the Chinese regime as ruthless and cruel believe the worst reports, and those who accept China's hegemonic status see little difference between the Uyghurs' plight and that of ethnic and religious minorities throughout the world. Assuming the "re-education camps" do exist, can they be compared to the US facilities of the Guantánamo variety? Here's a question that may shed some light: are all the "internees" in the Chinese camps accused of actual crimes? Or is being a Uyghur crime enough? And do the camps house any children?
We could assemble a long list of Stateless Peoples with No Friends. After Erdogan's about-face, the Uyghurs join this depressing club alongside the Kurds. What other groups should we include?
Is US Losing Media War to China?
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
04/11/21 3:29 AM)
One can hardly blame John Eipper for being confused; the so-called "Uyghurs genocide" media war is very strong. In one corner with China which after decades of being our biggest trading partner has lately been declared by the US government as the biggest threat. And they are because we want them to be. But attacking them in public is probably the dumbest thing we can do, because we will lose the mudslinging in the eyes of the world. Now is the time to listen to wiser people like Kishore Mahbubani rather than politicians with skin in the game. I subscribe to his advice: be cunning rather than engaging in stupid attacks, unless you are seeking the unthinkable: WWIII.
There is a lot of talk, and I found some evidence of strong Chinese paranoia (many Mosques got closed but thousands are still open) and reaction against Islamic extremism and violence but not much evidence about how many Uyghurs got killed in this so-called genocide. There are many labor camps and some are like prisons; there are orphanages but they are better than what we are doing in the US/Mexican border today. Also to gain credibility by fairness, one should ask why we don't compare US government "genocides" all over the world against this Uyghur one? Before I asked if there was some terrorism before the Chinese government started the indoctrination camps. Our friend Eugenio Battaglia presented evidence that there was a major terrorist threat to China in this area. Then I asked what would the US government have done if such terrorism had occurred here? Would they send people to secret prisons like we already have several?
What is done is done but worst now for us Americans is that we will lose the media war which is escalating. We should not forget that the US government has been killing millions of innocent people all over the world just by deliberately replacing unwanted governments, starting and enabling major civil wars. By that alone we will look much worse than the so-called Uyghur "genocide?" John Eipper stated, "Senator Coons did suggest that the US must 'out-strategize' China--namely, that it has to show the world that the democratic system yields more tangible, quality-of-life benefits than an authoritarian one." These are empty words, we talk about and blame each other, we establish commissions but no change really happens over the years. For how long have we discussed the plight of Native Americans, Blacks, the poor, etc.? Now our democracy is in deep trouble, it is our Capitol that was just attacked by Americans, not the Chinese.
After our brilliant foreign policy strategists enabled China to become the manufacturing center for the world in a few decades, they now want to constrain the elephant by antagonizing and demonizing it so we can manipulate the rest of the world to do what we want. We already got the Australians and Canadians in trouble, the first for insulting the Chinese verbally pushing the Chinese virus line from Trump, the Canadians for carrying Trump's attacks on Huawei to the personal level. China (the dirty commies) seems to be interested not in military conquest for land or wealth, but in expanding trade worldwide for getting its people out of poverty; and for the last few they have done much better than we have so far. Let's try to compete with China in that area.
As Americans, we must win the competition over China by remembering who we were: the most knowledgeable, the smartest, most capable. The more we attack China with words and deeds, the more defensive they become, and they are very serious about their image. China, Russia, and increasingly many nations are coming closer together politically, economically, and militarily to greater/lesser extents as time passes. Strategically, we now are in the losing end, even our old friends are losing their enthusiasm supporting us.
The only hope for the US now is a massive mind transplant: stop lying to ourselves, enforce justice and true democracy for all Americans, less income and wealth disparity, strict respect for law and order, etc. How can America have any moral ground without these?
JE comments: Physician, heal thyself? Absolutely, though I remain confused why Tor Guimaraes insists on the qualifying, even annulling adjectival "so-called genocide" when referring to the Uyghurs. Reports of their mistreatment have been circulating for years. See this 2008 WAIS post from Massoud Malek, which mentions forced sterilizations and similar abuses:
Tor, could you give us a primer on Kishore Mahbubani? What does this Singaporean civil servant have to teach us?
Uyghurs Again; Comparing China and US Policies against Covid, Terrorism
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
04/13/21 3:56 AM)
JE commented on my last post: "I remain confused why Tor Guimaraes insists on the qualifying, even annulling adjectival 'so-called genocide' when referring to the Uyghurs. Reports of their mistreatment have been circulating for years."
Like I stated before, I don't blame John for being confused, but no genocide has happened. I was also confused for a few years, but now the picture is more clear after massive search for evidence. I always believe that where there is smoke there is some fire; but the only questions are what started the fire, how threatening is it, and who are the real firefighters?
I think circumstances started this Uyghur fire (Islamic fundamentalism started it, Chinese government reacted very strongly as usual, just as with Covid). The US government also as usual, just like starting Al Qaeda and ISIS fires in the Middle East, tried to manipulate the Uyghur situation to suppress Chinese power.
Some ugly moves by the Chinese are certainly likely to have occurred, a lot of misinformation has now been provided by both sides via the media, but just like when we started the second Iraq war (remember the WMD lies about Saddam Hussein?). Yet the truth is slowly coming out. Don't trust anyone, definitely not the AP, Reuters, etc. Check out other sources to get a broader picture of the special interests involved, before casting your own mind in stone.
Bottom line: To me the Chinese government has done things to fight Covid 19 and Islamic Fundamentalist which are unacceptable to the American way. Obama started a war on China which is continuing unabated. The American government has handled Covid 19 and Islamism much worse in terms of hurting people, Americans and others alike. Should both sides pretend one has the moral high ground? I don't think so because we have too many very deadly common enemies to fight: Covid 19, terrorism of any kind, ignorance, poverty, racism, etc. I say, stop the bickering, get your priorities straight, and get to work.
There are a few people who seem to know what they are talking about regarding geopolitics and seem to have been truthful in the past. Kishore Mahbubani is just one of them. Two of my favorites are Yukon Huang and Max Blumenthal. Several others are still being tested but are looking good so far in terms of how clear, observable, and strong their provided evidence really is. In combination, you go against these guys and you will be on the wrong side of history. It is that simple.
Kishore Mahbubani's background is quite impressive (available on Wikipedia) but most important is his wisdom and balance. He has had a career in public service, academia, several best-selling publications, and numerous board memberships throughout the world.
Yukon Huang is a senior fellow with the Asia Program, a former World Bank's country director for China, after being director for Russia and the Former Soviet Union Republics. He is an adviser to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and various governments and corporations. His research focuses on China's economy and its regional and global impact. He is widely published on economic development issues, a featured commentator for the Financial Times on China, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, and Caixin. Among his many books is his latest Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom Is Wrong, Oxford University Press (2017). His PhD is in economics from Princeton University, with a BA from Yale University.
For those who like investigative reporters with incredible courage, consider Max Blumenthal (see background in Wikipedia). The man is so outrageously brave digging up dirty deeply hidden that it surprises me he is still alive. We are talking about nasty, against-the-establishment evidence, so at first I thought he was an agent for the other side, whichever that might be. I found out he is clearly a leftist, but his evidence has been powerful, clear, and hard to contradict. I have not been able to contradict any of it so far on several thorny topics. So I have been forced to take what he says until proven otherwise.
JE comments: Yesterday I had the pleasure of catching up on the phone with WAISer Paul Pitlick, and among several topics, we discussed China's Covid policy. Dr P contrasted China's draconian yet effective response with the tentative, uneven measures taken in the US. Democracy is messy, but in extreme cases, it can be deadly. Still, I'll take it (democracy) over the cruel efficiency of the Chinese way.
Tor, most of us never find the time to read our Mahbubani, Huang, et al. Can you give us a few of their examples of what we should be doing, but aren't...or what we are doing, but shouldn't?
- Uyghurs Again; Comparing China and US Policies against Covid, Terrorism (Tor Guimaraes, USA 04/13/21 3:56 AM)
- Is US Losing Media War to China? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 04/11/21 3:29 AM)