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Archive for June, 2016

Where have all the Flowers/Heroes gone?

June 29th, 2016 5 comments

Growing up in the 60s with all the music from Beatles to Rock’ n ‘Rolls, I gravitate more to folk songs by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez. The song “Where have all the flowers gone” is always one of my favorites. Today with the younger generation or millennials questioning all the values, knocking all heroes from their pedestals, decry all politicians for their failure to be authentic, worshipping only make believe super heroes from Marvel Comics or movies like “Star Wars”, or even feeling the Bern of Bernie Sanders, I wonder whether they carried their cynicism too far. Two recent movies by HBO, “Confirmation” and “Going All the Way”, About Anita Hill and Lyndon Johnson, both affected politics in U.S. very much for the last 50 years, generated excellent reviews, but little resonance to the market place.
This phenomenon of questioning everything seem to be infecting China also. Yesterday I read an article from NYT (Sinosphere), “Chinese Court Orders Apology Over Challenge to Tale of Wartime Heroes”. Mr. Hong Zhenkuai questioned the validity of narrative of 5 martyrs of Langya Mountain, on whether they really jumped or slipped, or whether many Japanese were killed or just injured during the engagement. There were others in Weibo questioning other heroes during the Korea War. I wrote a comment back;
“Does it really matter whether any Japanese died there? Does it matter that someone else was identified as raising the flag in Okinawa? Mr. Hong is not really interested in debunking the narrative of 5 martyrs, he’s more interested in debunking the whole narrative of Chinese Revolution. For that he should be more than required to apologize for defamation, maybe expelled to U.S. for a faculty position in Ivy League.”
This questioning of war time heroes generated large backlashes in China from the left, not only on the specific questions, but also on the economic reform of the last 35 years, whether China is on the correct path, and of course the historical evaluation of Mao and Cultural Revolution.

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Extremely biased Aljazeera program

June 18th, 2016 4 comments
Extremely biased by Aljazeera English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F821Fe2_wBk
If you get the message «The uploader has not made this video available to your country», try http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2015/01/transcript-dr-zhang-weiwei-150130115930963.html
 …
«Interviewer»: Mehdi Hasan (born in the UK)
«Guest»:
Zhang Weiwei, professor of international relations at Fudan University; author of «The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State» (World Century Publishing Corporation, 2012)
In the panel:
Diane Wei Liang, who left China in august 1989 for US and now lives in London; author of «Lake With No Name – a memoir of Tiananmen and love.» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_drwuQ8o1R0
Steven Chan, professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London; author of the book «Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence», https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Mugabe-Life-Power-Violence/dp/0472113364
In the audience:
Amnesty international Asia Pacific director Richard Bennet asking on behalf of «New citizens’ movement» 中国新公民运动 – which in 2014 got NEDs (CIA) «Democracy Award», http://www.ned.org/events/2014-democracy-award/
Rahima Mahmud, probably East Turkestan movement
Here are some comments to the program from Youtube:
«This man is so rude. He don’t even give the guest a chance to speak.»
«… the interviewer in this video is very obnoxious and disrespectful, if I’m Dr Zhang Weiwei, I will tell him: «Your country is advance enough to give you this level of education of manners.»
«The interviewer is very unprofessional. Your job is to ask questions and listen, not to express your opinions and argue with the guest let alone adding insults and condescension to your speech for a subject that you do not fully understand.»
«Quality of the questions are below bar. Typical biased provocation.»
«The whole purpose of this is to humiliate Zhang»
«This racist Indian is not qualified to host event, he is extremely rude»
«Thank you Mehdi Hasan. I’ve learned absolutely nothing.»
«The more propaganda against China by BBC, CNN & now Al Jazeera, the more I admire China.»
Regards Rolf
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Blowback: America’s Failed Foreign Policy Comes Full Circle

June 12th, 2016 6 comments

In the wake of the worst shooting massacre in Orlando nightclub, we start seeing mass killings done by mentally sick individuals change to ISIS sympathizers.  It started from the 2015 San Bernardino shooting whose roots come from Pakistan and this shooting comes from a person whose roots come from Afghanistan.

Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan were significantly altered as the result of the wars after 9/11.  President Bush has altered the landscape of these countries and including Iraq which has created many of these ISIS sympathizers caused terrorist attacks within Europe.  Only now these sickos started to come full circle back here in the US.

President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton has made this problem worse by supporting terrorists in Libya and Syria.  The difference between Obama and Bush was that Bush spent money in trying to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq.  Obama and Clinton cares little about rebuilding countries that he destroyed and pulled troops and resources from these countries as well as countries that was devastated by Bush, creating the mass refugee migration to Europe and allowed terrorist organization like ISIS to fester to a cancer now which Europe and US are struggling to try to contain.

When will America wake up that the failed leaders causing this problem in the first place?  Even western propaganda knows that these homegrown ISIS inspired terrorists attacks won’t be the last.   In our election cycle, we have one presidential candidate who wants to ban all Muslims while another candidate will continue Obama’s failed foreign policy.  So at least for the next 4 years, we will be screwed.

Is «the tank man»-story true?

June 11th, 2016 3 comments

"Tank Man"

As we all know – every year around June 4th, Western media has stories about «the tank man» – like then The New York Times first printed «the tank man»-photo, and wrote: «A single man stopping a column of tanks rumbling toward Tian’anmen Square». Similar narrative has been repeated by Western news outlet every year since 1989. TIME magazine even declared «the tank man … one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century».

But is this narrative true?

Read more…

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German parliament votes to recognize Armenian genocide

June 2nd, 2016 1 comment
Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how Germany has cheapened its own history and disregarded its own humanity by turning a blind eye on Japan’s horrific crimes against humanity in China on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the Nanking massacre.

In that piece, I wrote how Germany may not be preaching “universal values” per se, but politically-expedient political myths.  Well, interestingly today, the German parliament voted to recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide” as a true “genocide” and a crime against humanity.  Turkey – which has been both fighting and growing its own brand of  terrorism abroad – is none too thrilled.

I wonder if this is a case of external politics ripening for Germany – as a lapdog of America, which has increasingly seen Turkey drift away – to strike at Turkey?  Or is it a case of Germany finally finding some guts to stand up for history, as this LA Times story seem to report? Read more…