Quote of the day

From Glenn Greenwald’s new book.

Write it down. Memorize it. Bind it between your eyes. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

The president who vowed to lead America in a moral crusade to win hearts and minds around the world has so inflamed anti-American sentiment that America’s moral standing in the world is at an all-time low. The president who vowed to defend the Good in the world from the forces of Evil has caused the United States to be held in deep contempt by large segments of virtually every country on every continent of the world, including large portions of nations with which the U.S. has historically been allied. The president who vowed to undertake a war in defense of American values and freedoms has presided over such radical departures from the defining values and liberties of this country that many Americans find their country and its government unrecognizable. And the president who vowed to lead the war for freedom and democracy has made torture, rendition, abductions, lawless detentions of even our own citizens, secret ‘black site’ prisons, Abu Ghraib dog leashes, and orange Guantanamo jumpsuits the strange, new symbols of America around the world.

In sum, the great and tragic irony of the Bush presidency is that its morally convicted foundations have yielded some of the most morally grotesque acts and radical departures from American values in our country’s history. The president who insists that he is driven by a clear and compelling moral framework, in which the forces of Good and Evil battle toward a decisive resolution, has done more than almost any American in history to make the world question on which side of that battle this country is fighting. The more convinced President Bush and his followers become of the unchallengeable righteousness of their cause, the fewer limits they recognize. And America’s moral standing in the world, and our national character, continue to erode to previously unthinkable depths.

I’ve pretty much given up writing posts about Bush and Iraq and the war on America’s core values. It’s simply too draining, and all I’m ever left with is despair. All the evidence is out there already for everyone to see, and I can’t keep banging my head against the wall, knowing nothing will change until we completely excise this administration from power. For all of China’s sins, I am glad to be living here now – not only because I’m loving my work and my life here, but because I don’t have to live in America. I never thought I’d say that. 911 changed everything, but Bush changed everything even more. 911 was our opportunity to unite the world, and look at the impossible train wreck. If we had hired consultants and asked them to design a plan for alienating all our friends and creating countless new enemies we couldn’t have done better. A tragic legacy, and one we’ll be paying for for the rest of our lives.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 41 Comments

No offense, but you really should go back to why 911 happened in the first place, not how US should react to it.

June 25, 2007 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

Enlighten us – why did 911 happen?

June 25, 2007 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

Quote from Sir Wellington Boot, to enlighten you, this is just one of the explanations provided by the author. I think it is the most relevant one.

“US foreign policies in the middle east, in particular its support of Israel. By Bin Laden’s own account, this is why al Qaeda is attacking America. His critique has never been cultural; he never mentions Madonna, Hollywood, homosexuality or drugs in his diatribes. US support for Israel, especially the support it gave to Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, first triggered Bin Laden’s anti-Americanism, which during the 1980s took the form of urging a boycott of US goods. He was later outraged by the “defiling” export of 500,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.”

June 25, 2007 @ 1:38 pm | Comment

BTW, it seems to me that the good/evil arguement is just a self-preservation, an inconvenient truth.

June 25, 2007 @ 1:43 pm | Comment

I won’t necessarily disagree with that quote, but it is far more complex than that. One of the triggers, for example, was the creation of a military base in Saudi Arabia by the US after the Kuwait war, which Bin Laden saw in direct defiance of the Koran (for a detailed description of this, and for all the other reasons why 911 happened, read the book The Looming Tower). To put all the blame on America is plain wrong. Al Qaeda’s core philosophy has its roots more with Zawahiri than with Bin Laden (or maybe it’s 50-50) and it goes back to the perceived secularization of the Egyptian government. The fury and the blind rage that drove so many to commit acts of unbelievable atrocity, like the Luxor killings and the Bali bombing, were inspired by much more than US foreign policy, though that surely played a role. Bin Laden was well on the way to being a fanatical mass murderer back when he was still accepting help from the US. Kuwait was a major turning point. The seeds that led him to 911, however, were planted far earlier, and his target was not only America but all people – even Muslims – who did not embrace his frightening brand of Islam, which took every word of the Koran literally. Again, read The Looming Tower. I suspect most people don’t even know what “al Qaeda” means, let alone how it was born and evolved. Once you understand these things, you’ll see that hatred of the US was just one of several factors behind Al Qaeda’s growth, and at the start was basically irrelevant.

In any case, the cause of 911 isn’t what’s at question in this post. It is how our president reacted and how he turned the world and so many of his own citizens against him.

June 25, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

The origins of 911 come mainly from a crisis inside Islam and not from American or west foreing policy, even if Israel did not exist today or there was no palestinian problem, this conflict would still exist and other justifications would be used to blame America and the west.
The real conflict is inside Islam itself, between a fundamentalist intolerant concept of religion and society and a more moderate and tolerant Islam. Also the inhability of Muslim countries to improve the living standards of its population, its perceived weakness and backwardness when compared with the west ( and in som case the east… ;-) is a major factor that fuels a deep resentment .
They consider themselves a great civilization, and they were great in the past. It is very easy to blame others to justify you own failings.

There is not much that we in the west can do, it is a problem that they, the muslim countries, must solve themselves, and I am afraid that we all will suffer a lot of pain before it is solved. One of the problems of Islam, compared with other monoteist religions, is the easy justification of violence in their religions writings.
Not surprising from a religion that extended itselft in the beginning through very successful military campaigns: Egypt, Persia, India, Most of the Byzantine Empire, etc.

June 25, 2007 @ 3:03 pm | Comment

Going back to Bush….

I mainly agree with the post. The feeling here in Europe about America as worsened quite significantly lately, and those people that have a good opinion about the US can not understand why so many Americans kept voting and supporting President Bush. Even in an America traditional ally like UK the opinions are very strained lately.

I myself am also confused, there is something in the dynamics of American society that is much different from Europe.
Perhaps some american could elighten us.

I also ask myself. Did Bush really believe what he says about fighting for freedom and democracy, but he just commited big mistakes when trying to carry out his intentions, or he used the 911, freedom and democracy only as cover up to push forward an unrelenting desire of supremacy of the US?

In both cases, I think he has done a terrible job. I can not remember another time where America has not been so much despised as today since the Vietnam war.

And going back to China…. I wish one day people in China could speak so openly abouth the CCP, his track record ( past, present and future), his policies, his psychopatic grab of power, etc, etc, so openly as in this blog about the Bush and American politics…, without having the blog locked and/or the chinese people who expresed their opinions be free from any fear of reprisal.

When that time comes, if it ever comes, then China will be great again. Will this blog need to exist also then….? I think yes. China will be then more interesting than ever ;-)

June 25, 2007 @ 3:23 pm | Comment

Very interesting article, more so because of your other post “Separate universes”.

Like city people in China, people in the US are to ‘spoiled’ to worry about wars and freedoms. But, unlike Chinese, Americans have blind trust in their democratic system. It seems that the Chinese government is constantly acting to prevent an impending revolution. Where’s the impending revolution in the US?

June 25, 2007 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

Many, many Americans are deeply worried about war and freedom, and thus we have the article above, plus a 2006 election in which we tossed out those who brought us these initiatives (Iraq war, torture, etc.). That was a close to revolution as you will see in America, because we have free elections and can throw out our leaders every few years. We have faith in our democratic system because it has worked relatively well. No one can deny that.

And thanks for taking us off-topic. Let’s return to Bush and 911.

June 25, 2007 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

I know why 911 happened. All terrorists are from Saudi Arabia and just go look what kind of conditions do they live in socially and politically. As for Bush, if he really care about 911 and defeating terrorist, pressuring our dear allies i.e. Saudi Arabia to reform their governments and allowing more opportunities for their people will be a far better strategy to invade Iraq that was not even involved in 911.

Also, if you are living in America, let me tell you it doesn’t look like we are at war at all (other than the gas price). Bush is really smart at keeping general public’s feeling from war as far as possible. Also, if you think there is no chance a Republican can’t win the next presidency, you are fooling youself. Either Hillary or Obama can possibily win the South, Edwards is our democrats best choice for a general election candidate but I don’t think he will win the primary. And if Fred Thompson won the Republican nomination, and he is facing either Hillary or Obama, it will be a tough fight and I will actually bet on Thompson. So go Edwards!!!

June 25, 2007 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

One misunderstanding about al Quaida is that it is some sort of Arab liberation movement.

They are not. They are religious fanatics following a nihilistic ideology. In theire worldview there are only blievers (those who blieve in theire branch of Islam) and all the others who should convert or die.

Take for example their strategy in Irak, where they try to incite hatred among Shia and Suni by blowing up civilians. Does that sound like a liberation movement?

This is not about the Westbank or Gaza, or about some piece of dessert in Saudi Arabia with a US military base. That’s only the beginning. The end is conquering the whole world.
The US presence in Saudi Arabia might have been the cause for Bin Laden to start fighting the US (Israel was never important for Bin Laden as far as I know). The ideology is older. It stems from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as Richard said.
Make no mistake. They will target anybody. Anybody who does not believe in their creed is a potential enemy and thus a target.

June 25, 2007 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

BTW here is an interesting approach to the psychology of phenomenon of the suicide bombers. I metioned it before, anyway, here it is again:
http://www.signandsight.com/features/493.html

June 25, 2007 @ 6:06 pm | Comment

Spot on, Shulan. Seriously, The Looming Tower was far and away the most important book I read last year and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. Shocking, how little most of us really know about Al Qaeda and its history, in defiance of the most basic Chinese military wisdom (know thy enemy).

Al Qaeda is not about “liberating” anyone. They were not created in reaction to the US. The US added fuel to their cause, and by ignoring the facts that were right in front of their faces helped A.Q. succeed beyond their wildest dreams. But to simply say the US created AQ, or that they see themselves as the saviors of the Arabs is terribly simplistic and wrong.

While I believe the WOT has been hyped and abused beyond description, and has served the terrorists well, the determination and the savagery of A.Q. is very real and shouldn’t be underestimated (again, see the link to that book above – these guys are monsters, in case any of you had any doubts). Too bad we embarked on the worst possible strategy to defeat them, instead boosting their recruitment and breaking them up into multi-headed hydras, allowing them to thrive and multiply around the world. How one dinky little drunk with a fake Texas accent could fuck up the world so totally will be a source of wonder to future historians.

June 25, 2007 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

Glad you live in China because you don’t have to live in the US? And this is because of the political situation in the US?

Seriously dude, get some perspective. It’s easy for you to say nonsense like that when you are you enjoying a privledged life in China (largely due to the opportunities afforded by your American nationality BTW) and aren’t working in a brick kiln in Henan.

June 25, 2007 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

Correction: Good/evil theory is a convenient truth.

The history of conflict inside Islam might be longer than American histroy. Thus US should have nothing to do with it. Those in middle east should just be busy killing each other. Instead there was 911.

Even the most extreme and ideological Islamists have some common sense. They will Not dream of ruling the world.

If US had totally stayed out of it or devoted to peace process in 1970s-1980s, 911 would never happen. US foreign policies in the middle east provided the stable oil supply. Now American paid for that with blood.

America supports Suni to fight Shia, demand Suni countries to pay for itself to fight another Suni country, and supports Israel to beat eveybody else. Someone is bounded to react like Bin Laden.

US has a better domestic administrating system. CCP should learn from US. Regarding to deal with outside world, US keep a poor record in the recent decades, though it is not comparable since China has not been to that place.

June 25, 2007 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

“If US had totally stayed out of it or devoted to peace process in 1970s-1980s, 911 would never happen.”

Peace was near in the 70s until the assasination of Anwar Sadat. Additionally, the Arabs like to blame Isreal as part of the problem but it was several Arab nations who attacked Isreal with Soviet weapons, they lost because many were untrained, illiterate tribesmen who could not coordinate or cooperate. The Arabs faced centuries of oppression and humiliation under the Ottoman empire for pretty much the same reasons.

As for US bases in Saudi Arabia, those were there with the full permission of the Saudi Royal family (and they are paying for that base as well). The tribal Wahhabiists are the ones who don’t want the base there, they also want to depose the al-Saud family and establish a Taliban-type state. The problem with Islam is that it is going through what Christianity went through when the Protestants in Germany successfully broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, albeit much more violently.

Unfortunately for the US, when 9-11 happened we had a bible thumping nut with an oil background for a president and a corporate monster with an oil and defense background as VP. Both MNCs and christian fanatics wanted the Iraq invasion to establish a “British East India company” type of economic colony and convert an entire nation of muslims to christianity.

And don’t think Europe, Russia or China opposed the war out of the goodness of their hearts, they didn’t want their business contracts with the Hussein regime broken. They also didn’t want the embarrassment of US troops finding chemical and biological weapons and manufacturing facilities from European, Russian and chinese companies. Notice that Iran was fairly mute about the US Invasion, they wanted Hussein gone because Hussein kept Iraq strong enough to resist Iranian political domination and Iranian seizure of “disputed territories” all of which are Iraq’s shoreline.

June 26, 2007 @ 12:30 am | Comment

I’m with Jay.

While I agree with your assessment that W has been a terrible president, I was a bit taken aback when you said you’d rather live in China. For all of America’s problems–and it certainly has no shortage of them–it is light-years ahead of China.

-America does not block half my blogroll
-America does not put “scare-quotes” around any mention of Taiwan’s presidency
-American newsmedia and government officials do not refer to America as the “motherland” in borderline fascist fashion
-America’s sky is not brown

And most important of all, America does not stop me from criticizing it in any sense I please.

World opinion is fickle, and also largely driven by idiots with very poor long-term memory. As soon as we get a Democrat back in office who utters the proper politically-fashionable buzzwords of the day (global warming, pretending the UN isn’t worse than worthless, etc), anti-Americanism will fade. Not immediately, but pleasantly fast.

June 26, 2007 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Well, I wonder who believes in a convenient truth here, fatbrick.

What about the bombs on Bali 2002, or Casablanca 2003? Or the planned bombings in Srassburg 2000, and the bombs that were placed in German trains last year but did not go off.
All that because of Americas involvement in the middle East?

Just read some of the material of the islamists and you will realize what they are really about.

And you know, common sense gets a totally different meaning if you believe that you are executing gods will. Then world domination is the least you should aspire.

June 26, 2007 @ 1:35 am | Comment

I will reluctantly grant that Bush has good intension but he is one of the most incompetent presidents we ever had.

June 26, 2007 @ 2:41 am | Comment

Go back to Soviet Canuckistan you commie!

Boo! Hiss!

June 26, 2007 @ 4:08 am | Comment

shulan, I think your link somehow proves my point.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_Yusuf_Azzam

” He subsequently joined Sharia College at the University of Damascus where he obtained a B.A. in Sharia in 1966. After the 1967 Six-Day War ended in Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Shaikh Azzam left the West Bank and followed the Palestinian exodus to Jordan, where he joined the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.”

His experience as a college student probably is one of main reason behind his ideology. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict actually causes many Islamists hate the western countries. That is the root of the middle east terrorism.

Your second example is a typical anti-western person. It seems that he just reprensented another bunch of Islamists to join the conflicts in the middle east. All his work is to “defend” his ideology in middle east, not go out to “attack” other areas in the world.

When America is the primary target, the countries standing with the US in middle east issues become targets too. Then the areas where they can hurt American also become targets.

So people easily accept the good/evil arguement, because it is simple and straightforward.

June 26, 2007 @ 5:31 am | Comment

Nixon Pardon Enabled Bush.

Bush no doubt was emboldened by the pardon of Nixon. Rather than “putting a national nightmare behind us”, Nixon’s getting off scot free sent a message to all future wannabe presidents, and to the public , that presidents really ARE above the law, and THAT’S OKAY!
(Nixon never faced prosecution, and he even escaped impeachment by resigning).

I hope the U.S. doesn’t repeat the Nixon mistake.
Bush’s conduct must be investigated by the Justice Dept., even if it’s not till after he leaves office. If he appears to have broken laws, he must be prosecuted.

It needs to be demonstrated vividly to Americans that presidents are subject to the same laws under the same Constitution as everyone else,
and if a president abuses the trust of his office by law breaking, he must be punished.

It’s the only way future would be Bush’s will be dissuaded from abusing their offices through extra-legal activities.

June 26, 2007 @ 5:40 am | Comment

I urge you all to check out the Washington Post’s series on VP Cheney. Today’s is a particular skin-crawler…

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around former Atty. General Ashcroft being one of the more principled members of this bunch who actually stood up for the Constitution…

June 26, 2007 @ 6:36 am | Comment

“When Presidents Lie”

Great book, read it.

Cheney is a pig and a criminal.

June 26, 2007 @ 8:22 am | Comment

Lisa, that’s the second part of a series and one of the best exposees the WaPo has ever done. Why is it i a blog and not the front page?

About China….I have perspective on what the China government is all about. I have no illusions. (Check the post below.) I actually find them less hypocritical than my own government at the moment. For all its dreadful faults, I prefer living here during the Bush years. Call it hypocritical of me or contradictory, it’s just a fact.

June 26, 2007 @ 9:08 am | Comment

“For all its dreadful faults, I prefer living here during the Bush years.”

My mind just simply cannot wrap itself around this statement. Oh well, Richard, to each his own. To each his own…

June 26, 2007 @ 9:26 am | Comment

Maybe it’s because, as I tried to convey in the post below, I really do feel that I live in a separate universe, though I am always fighting the conflicting feelings here in China. For whatever reasons, when I was in the US in 2004-5, I did not feel I was in a separate uiverse. I was galled and mortified and made miserable every day by Fox News and living in an America I was ashamed of. As you say, to each his own – it may be morally wrong of me, but the fact is that I feel better here, far from the Bush administration, and also far from the Hu administration (separate universes, again – they are right here on my block, but it’s as if they don’t exist most of the time; I could be in Paris). I am not saying this is rational or right or moral. It is simply what is.

June 26, 2007 @ 9:38 am | Comment

I get it, Richard. Being here during Bush/Cheney has been nightmarish in a lot of ways – because I feel responsible, because I feel helpless, because the horrific news just keeps coming, every day.

In China, well, it’s not my problem, to put it bluntly. It is on a universal human level, but I’m not Chinese, and I don’t feel as responsible for what’s going on.

BTW, it is on the front page of the Post. I’m not sure why they have it under “blogs,” but it’s getting tremendous play in the MSM and blogworld.

June 26, 2007 @ 9:42 am | Comment

“living in another universe” is a nice way to phrase “escapism”.
I know the feeling, and it is comforting and numbing at the same time, it also allows one a false sense of moral righteousness to scold those back in your home country that can’t seem to straighten the gov’t.

Of course, when something goes wrong for expats, they throw a big temper tantrum or storm off to the consulate to wave their passports and make demands.

June 26, 2007 @ 10:25 am | Comment

Lisa, I am thrilled to hear it made the front pages. Scariest article on this administration I’ve seen yet. He truly is the prince of darkness, and he’s loving it, knowing we all know yet no one dares stop him. How much longer can it go on?

About living outside the US – you nailed it. I could not find my separate universe in America; I felt like I was in the thick of it and was so overwhelmed with anxiety.

June 26, 2007 @ 10:29 am | Comment

Nanhe, it is a form of escapism. I don’t for a minute deny it. That’s what a separate universe is all about, finding your comfort zone when surrounded by badness. And we all do it to some degree.

June 26, 2007 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Does this mean your departures from and arrivals to the US will depend on presidential elections?

Not at all. And please don’t put words in my mouth, which you do several times. I stayed in America for nearly a year after the 2004 election. It did not drive me out, though at that time I was unhappy and uncomfortable in America, not just because of who was president because of a rising tide of sheep-like gullibility and disturbing nastiness, something I hadn’t seen in America before. Maybe it was always there, but I never saw it. All the “Support out Troops” stickers on the cars on my way to supporting a vile war the people didn’t understand, the popping up of countless web sites on the badness of Muslims, a we-can-do-anything attitude by government where people were thrown out of taxpayer-funded events for having the word “peace” on their T-shirt, torture, environmental arrogance, a general mood of thuggishness… It was much more than who was president. Still, I didn’t leave because of Bush, but because of an opportunity that arose, In taking the opportunity, I realized from a distance just how unhealthy America had become. I don’t want to live in the America of 2004-5 – the stress of Fox News and Talk Radio and the ubiquitous image of our incoherent and incurious leader were constant causes of anxiety. Again, not enough to force me to leave, but enough to make living there a trying experience. Back then, this blog was nearly 60 percent focused on US politics and not China.

I now see a lot of beams of light streaming through the blackness, and I think we are getting back on track. But for now, I am glad to be where I am, and if there were any time to live outside America, this is certainly it, and many Americans I speak with here fully agree. It’s not really that strange a concept.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Comment

Another, parallel phenomena to that of American expats, like Richard, finding non-Bush regimes preferable, is the sharp decline of foreign tourism to the U.S. The trend is for the rest of the world to feel such revulsion for what America has become, and for the havoc BushCo. is causing in the world,that many would be tourists find the idea of even visiting the Evil Empire on vacation repulsive.

I feel that way myself. I live in Canada, an hour’s drive from the U.S. border. I used to enjoy visiting now and then. No more. Like so many others, 6.5 years of Bushco. has instilled a
revulsion for the country that hosts such a
regime of lawbreakers and abusers of power.
As Jeffrey says, a majority of Americans voted for
Bush in ’04. A majority of American voters, who should have known better even back in ’04, are thus enablers of BushCo’s abuses.
One can’t just blame the Bush admin. without holding those Bush voters responsible too.

On a tangental note: After seeing Michael Moore’s “Sicko” , I expect thousands of American health refugees will soon be fleeing the
broken, bankrupting, patient killing U.S. criminal HMO health racket – I mean “system” – for sunnier shores in France, Britain and Canada, all
comparative health utopias, according to Moore!

For America to now be resented or despised by much of the civilized world (and not just by jihadists) does little to advance America’s global influence, or moral authority (-say what?). Bushco has diminished America in the eyes of Americans and non-Americans alike.

June 27, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Comment

Thanks Bob.

Jeffrey, your repellent comments with the personal hatred are gone. Please don’t come back or I’ll be forced to let RCN know about the abuse of their servers on company time.

I believe in total freedom of speech. I have the freedom to run my blog as I see fit. Some blogs have no comments. Some have heavily moderated comments. I usually never touch a comment unless there is personal malice and insult to it. Ask Arty or Jxie or Ferins and Nanhe and many others I often disagree with. The personal stuff is not permitted. You are a guest here, and you don’t shit in your host’s living room.

Update: I see we have an issue here, Jeffrey. You can’t call your host an idiot and make personal attacks like that. If you look above, you’ll see Janus and canrun and others disagree with me, but they don’t call me names, they don’t try to embarrass me with personal taunts, and they generally remain polite. So again, please move along. I have enough problems disinfecting these threads as it is. Again, argue, present data, disagree. Never start by saying your host is an idiot. Fascism? Call it what you want, but I have to have standards here. I see it as my freedom to run this blog as i so choose. If you can’t cooperate, please go elsewhere.

June 27, 2007 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

Well, my wife just got her green card visa in GZ at the U.S. consulate today! We’ll be heading to the land of Darth Bush soon and she’s simply overjoyed! I say this in respect as always, Richard, but the beaming faces on those who were issued their visas today and the dejection of those who were rejected paints a slightly different picture and gives a different impression of America than you and a few others here seem to want to acknowledge. I had six hours today to witness these highs and lows of human emotion. It’s easy bemoan the state of things in the USA if one has a blue and silver passport. On the other hand, it’s the land of opportunity and shot at a new life free of “guangxi” entanglements and a “ma mu” existence for the faces I saw today. Not a criticism, here. Just a first-hand observation.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

Richard,

I saw nothing whatsoever from Jeffrey’s comment that was meant with personal malice towards you; however, I do feel that you took issue with his comments because it was diametrically opposed to your stringent views of the US and the current political situation.

You did share the view that you preferred living in China because of the current situation in the US; you shared that information and you shared those reasons for doing so. Frankly, I didn’t buy any of it, but I didn’t challenge you on it because Jeffrey was doing just that, and I don’t possess his verbiage.

He took the opposing side and I feel he hit too close for your comfort zone–and it wasn’t necessarily about the political issues as far as I saw with your inflexibility and intolerance.

You went way overboard on this one; we all do sometimes with those inner and outer conflicts in life. That is, what is going on outwardly may just be leak somewhere inside.

You’re right it’s your blog.

As a loyal reader since the very beginning of The Peking Duck, I can’t cooperate when I see this kind of hypocrisy, and I found myself lately constantly suppressing the sharing of my opinions and views especially when they differ from your own, and for the very reason that this incident has happened.

You’re a good writer, a conscientious journalist, but you need to get the needle back in the middle of the range instead of in the red zone–regardless of where you stand politically or where anyone stands politically.

I can understand if the commentator is a troll or if his or her comments are demeaning, but these comments and your handling of them seem way of course.

I don’t think I’ll be reading you that much anymore if this is what is to be expected from now on.

Take care of yourself.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

Mister Tea, maybe you didn’t see the first comment and the 15 that followed. Some were pretty vicious.

Sorry if you don’t like where I am now. If you look up through this thread, you will see several who disagree with me. I never censor them. As with your comment, I try to engage them. I do not insult them. Our new friend started along the lines of, Richard you are really a ninny. Then he went on to ridicule me in other ways. I simply can’t tolerate that. It had nothing to do with viewpoint – I allow the most pro-Bush nutters to comment here and never, ever delete them.

Others here, like you, have called me a hypocriteand I never delete them. Just like your comment – I would never delete such a comment. You have to cross a personal line.

I realize that readers who want me to hate China are disappointed, and I’m sorry I can’t accommodate everyone. I’m enjoying it here. I am aware of the hypocrisy of that and try to discuss it very openly. I felt overwhelmed with anxiety about the US government when I lived there back in 2004-5, and I feel relieved now. That may strike you as hypocritical or bad, but it is my reality. I wish I could post in a way that made every reader happy. I wish this site could be all about agreement. However, I will continue to write about the world as I see it. No one is forced to come here, and all I ask of commenters is some courtesy.

As I’ve said before, I may just shut the whole thing down because the nature of my job makes it impossible to maintain this site as I did in the old days. And the increasingly ugly exchanges are a huge turnoff. Meanwhile, thanks for expressing yourself and I hope things are great with you.

June 27, 2007 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

Well, I read Jeffery’s post and I think Richard is right that Jeffery was less than respectful in his disagreement with Richard. He was disrespectful. He used insulting words, such as “idiot” or “idiotic” The tone of his post was one of ridicule, implying Richard’s position was a complete and utter absurdity. But I wanted to point out that in fact revulsion toward America has been become a common feeling worldwide, and there’s justification for attitudes such as Richard has.

And I caught a passage from Jeffery where the implication seemed to be “if you think that way, we don’t need your kind here anyway…but we might be prepared to welcome you back if you smarten up!” (some of the actual wording was something like “we’re doing quite well here without you, thank you…”).

Each blogger establishes his or her own standards when it comes to allowing abusive posts and personal attacks. That’s their right.
As Richard says, it’s infrequent that he deems to remove comments, which suggests he’s
generally tolerant of diverse expressions.

I don’t think he’s being draconian in this case.

June 27, 2007 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

Thanks Bob.

Canrun, I say all the time here that no one hires snakeheads to take them to China. I have been posting about the evils of the CCP for years. America is a great country. It is less great however under Bush, though I believe it will regain its place once he and his ghosts have been excised from Washington. I am with you 100 percent. But that doesn’t alter the fact that I am now happier here than I was there. And I try to discuss this, admitting I feel guilty and hypocritical for it, and yet there it is. I love China, while I I hate aspects of China. Same with the US. But in the US I always felt the political cloud around me to be heavier, more in your face. Maybe you disagree, but that is how I felt. To each his own. Most of my expat friends here agree, now is a fine place to not live in America.

In the past few minutes, by the way, Jeffrey has posted no fewer than 20 comments as he keeps trying to ruin my site. I will be forced to close this thread soon. It really hurts. I asked him politely to go more than once, be he wont stop. I’ve been operating this site long enough to know when I’m beng spammed and trolled. I am really sorry if he forces me to shut down comments, as he is clearly trying to do.

June 27, 2007 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

Okay, he’s forced me to close the thread. Readers can email me comments and I’ll be happy to post them manually. I’m really sorry.

June 28, 2007 @ 12:06 am | Comment

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