China Some Face
is interesting that the author talked about "the world" throughout
the article. It really should be "the West" instead. I'd say it's
typical for a Westerner to consider himself representing the world. The West
does not represent the world. It never has and is becoming less so. I hope this
trend continues. It's a lot healthier for the world when the "powers"
get cut down in size.
~ Lily Wu
that is interesting. I never consciously think of myself as representing the
world or as being a "Westerner" – I guess I have been programmed
to do so subliminally.
article is wrong in the claim that Chinese language doesn't differentiate patriotism
and nationalism. In the Chinese language, patriotism and nationalism are two
different words as well. Ai guo zhu yi indicated in the article means
patriotism, nationalism is min zu zhu yi.
~ Ler Lian Wee
true, but I qualified the statement with a "today" because ai guo
zhu yi is used in the media and by the government most often and, in practice
if not in theory, has come to mean both ai guo ("love the nation")
and min zu zhu yi.
You seem to see
this Chinese nationalism/patriotism as something that just began this year,
something that has spontaneously burst forth from the people, something that
is in no way stimulated, moderated, and later extinguished by the Communist
that idealistic Kool-Aid; it sounds like you've been reading Mao's Little Red
Book. The Communist Party has used nationalism/patriotism in many instances
in both long past and in recent memory, most notably recently against the Japanese
(a few years ago when Koizumi visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo), the Americans
(after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, downing of Chinese MiG
fighter and later emergency landing of American plane on Hainan Island), the
Taiwanese (you name it), etc. They stoke the fires of nationalism, allowing
a hundred flowers to bloom on the Internet against anything from Japanese cars
and consumer goods to Western men who "prey" on young Chinese women (there's
quite a shortage of these, relative to young men of the same age). The policemen
stand by while protesters smash windows in the Japanese embassy, etc. etc.
A point is reached, however, when the Communist Party finally sends a message
out – "Enough, now, put a cork in it" – and it disappears.
The Chinese would
never invite the Dalai Lama to Beijing for the Olympics.
they'll invite the leaders of Falun Gong too, and the Taiwanese ex-President
Chen Shui-bian. Right? They could all sit down and hold a "splittist conference."
Just yesterday, KMT Chairman Wu Bo-shung met with Hu Jin-tao, and he was unable
to call the democratically elected president of the Republic of China on Taiwan
(I call it Taiwan personally), Ma Ying-jeo, "President Ma." He had to call
him, "Mr. Ma," as calling him by his proper title, "president," would have
upset the sensibilities of the Chinese.
The problem with
the west is that they mistakenly believed that by embracing China and welcoming
them to the community of nations, the resulting economic growth would foster
more democracy and freedom for the people of China. Perhaps it will in the
future, but I'm not too hopeful at this point, where Western companies, agog
over the prospect of reaping profits from the giant Chinese market, have been
co-opted to perpetuate the central control of the Communist Party at all costs.
~ PM, Kaohsiung,
first off, I am not drinking Kool-Aid. If you read through the column again,
you will find that I mention the government's willingness and ability to warp
the minds of the people. I also mention that it is not just the Party's tools
that manipulate the society, but society's rigid rules themselves, basically
face and peer pressure à la Red Guards. I know the government will keep
a grip as long as possible, but experience tells me embracing works better than
I am actually
exasperated often in China when I discuss anything with my friends. The Party
has done a tremendous job of brainwashing pretty much everyone, but again one
can't just say Chinese are sheep. There is a lot more behind this than political
persuasion. Chinese are confused and hurt by the world's scrutiny and criticism,
so they naturally react defiantly. To many Chinese, it seems like the world
is out to get them. Disregarding all of the issues the society has concerning
the Victim and the Ego, I have seen that it is counterproductive to attack China.
The Party is fearful
and reacts violently to squash any threats. In the eight years I have been here,
I have seen such dramatic – dramatic isn't the word, ridiculous?
– social changes take place. At the same time, things remain as they have
been for hundreds if not thousands of years.
So although the
Party infuriates me as well, I can easily imagine and will continue to hope
for China to (proverbially) invite the Dalai Lama in for tea. A nation allowed
to grow organically will become confident enough to relax its grip. A country
constantly prodded and scrutinized will never feel comfortable enough to do
Talks With Syrians Make Sense
propose that Israeli talks with Syria indicate a deviation from U.S. neocon
orthodoxy, and thus a waning of U.S. influence on Israel. But Israel has always
done what it wants. That is well documented by Mearsheimer and Walt. The influence
has always run primarily in the other direction: Israel influences the U.S. to
do as it wishes.
So, if Israel
talks to the Syrians and the U.S. seems opposed, the most likely explanation is
that the two governments have agreed to play the roles of good cop/bad cop with
Syria as Bush prepares to attack Iran. The idea is to start "peace talks,"
concluding and conceding nothing, but leaving things at a "promising stage,"
so that Syria will be quiet (not wanting to jeopardize progress in those promising
talks) as Bush and Israel devastate Iran.
for this, of course.
remember how the U.S. softened up Iran by undertaking cooperative arrangements,
such as intelligence sharing, prior to the Afghan and Iraq wars? Iranians seemed
stunned when the U.S. turned on a dime after the fall of Baghdad and said "You're
It's so obvious:
the bully temporarily buddies up to one guy while he beats up the another. And
so it's no surprise that Israel is demanding, in its current talks with Syria,
that Syria first of all cut all ties with Iran. Divide and conquer.
Don't be fooled,
Syria. You're next.
~ Mark W.
Sacrifices for Foolish Causes
fail to see how the author could see so clearly the immorality of virtually
every war we've waged – except the current debacle in Afghanistan. Even
if one believes that the Taliban was harboring bin Laden, to unleash aerial
bombing in civilian areas against a stateless enemy is a foolish endeavor that
can only end horribly.
Short of resorting
to granting letters of marque and reprisal, our response could not have avoided
a massive slaughter of innocent victims, and has surely been an effective recruiting
tool for Muslim extremists.
In short, what
are we doing intervening in Afghanistan? Six years along and we've accomplished
nothing, while squandering lives and treasure.
There is no strategy
that I can detect other than to maintain permanent military bases in the region
and to enrich a few arms merchants.
in what amounts to a civil war half a world away seems like a really stupid
idea. I'm wondering how many American soldiers in that country have concluded
that they're fighting and dying for a lie.
~ Steve Hogan