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Arab Winter

When Professor Zhang of Fudan University used the term of Arab Winter as counter to criticism of China in being not responsive as Arab Spring to liberal reforms, he was not being flippant, but simply stating a fact which West avoids. Similarly when a Chinese college student responded to a question on China by posting 2 pictures of Shanghai skyline from the early 90s and today she was making a point which can also be make with 2 pictures of Aleppo from then and today.
With the newspaper industry in decline in U.S. and investigative reporting under pressure from profit squeeze it was gratifying that New York Times in the Sunday August 14 issue, devoting the whole magazine issue to Middle East. In reporting by Scott Anderson and photos by Paolo Pellegrin, it chronicled in detail 5 parts from 1972 to today of 6 people from various parts of Middle East and the realities of the countries involved.
Mr. Anderson puts the blame on colonial Britain and France for carving up Middle East without regard for their cultures and geography, blames U.S. policy makers for their short sights and of course the dictators in those countries. Others like Thomas Friedman blamed it partly on drought or climate change for driving the people away from land to the cities. Yet for all the blaming going on there is really no solution in sight and the article ends with pessimism for the region, with maybe some hope those who escaped to Germany or next generation emigrated there.
For someone like me who have lived in U.S. for over 55 years and obsessively read all the news happening around the world, this is not really news and conclusions obvious. Yet there is one item all seem to miss when discussing China or Middle east.
In the song “East is Red”, Mao is a great savior of the people. People in West think it’s propaganda, yet they will be really offended if you question about Jesus Christ being a savior. Similarly present day government in China wants to down play the role of Mao, while others wants to demonize him by blaming CR on him. Mao, like Marx is a man ahead of his time. Without him there is really no new China. Middle East, Islam, lack a man like Mao, who can reform Islam and bring it from the Middle Age to modernity as Mao did to China, or Martin Luther did to bring Christianity. Mao said, women are half the sky, and Islam will never be modern without the women being equal.

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  1. ltlee1
    August 16th, 2016 at 12:08 | #1

    I find it odd that Scott Anderson did not mention America’s role from the beginning. The following is King Jordan’s view:

    “I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
    I believe that you do not realize how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realize your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.
    The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before. …
    What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
    Our answer is the same.
    And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?
    Ours will be the same.” (Quoted from “Our Last Best Chance” by King Adullah II of Jordan)

  2. August 18th, 2016 at 12:06 | #2

    The picture showing the time lapse of Shanghai is here.

    Shanghai 1990-2015

  3. August 20th, 2016 at 08:15 | #3

    @Cheung
    Anyway, have you watched this 49 episode TV series on the life of Mao? Other than some serious cost cutting on some scenes, I highly recommend it.

    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzg1NDg3MDA0.html?from=s1.8-3-1.1&spm=0.0.0.0.yjPM7g

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