Open thread?

I put the question mark in there because I got kind of disillusioned with the open threads here after they became popular (so much random banter) and I just want to test whether I should start it up again, especially considering how insane my schedule already is, and how it’s only going to get worse in late March, to the point of possibly forcing me to close the blog altogether.

One commenter in the previous thread suggested I start this up again, so let’s see how it goes. Another commenter in the same thread said I should get a discussion going on this opinion piece by my dear friend, Philip Cunningham. I know, we already have two active threads going on Spielberg, so please feel free to bring up whatever you want – just try to keep it relevant to this blog. And do read the Cunningham column – he makes some fair points.

Do you want an open thread, and if I leave one up will you use it?

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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: 116 Comments

I think a great question would be: how does the statute of limitations fluctuate so greatly in these two examples?
You consciously limit government crimes in China to 10 years (and they indeed certainly still continue); however, the Opium War is still fresh in your mind.

Sure, I’m extremely supportive of the idea that the CCP should pay back their debts for any crimes they may have committed to the CHINESE people. And so should the Colonialists.
I’m happy of course because in BOTH cases the CHINESE people will be the beneficiaries.

However there is a qualitative difference between the CCP and the Colonialists. The CCP dragged a feudal, middle-ages, pre-modern, semi-colonial nation, carved up by 8 different foreign powers, kicking and screaming into the twentieth century. Between the years 1949 to 1976, life expectancy increased from 35 to 68. It now stands at 71. Literacy rates are now about 90% and I think about 96% for those under 30.
China would not be the nascent economic and military superpower she is today, with atomic weapons, a capable military and the most incredible economic growth probably ever seen in the history of the world, had it not been for the CCP. You see without independence, China would have gone nowhere, or at best much like India is today.

The Colonialists of course were in China just to plunder to build up their own countries. China was just one of many victims of course.

FIFTY MILLION, yes 50,000,000 Africans and Asians (a very conservative estimate) were killed by several Western powers in the 20th Century alone. This figure is likely to be significantly revised up soon.

EVERY brick in USA and Britain is stained with the blood of AFRICAN and ASIAN slaves, forced labourers, and coolies. The wealth of the West was built on murder, butchery and plunder the sheer scale of which the world has never seen.

WESTERNERS LECTURING CHINESE ON HUMAN RIGHTS IS ANALOGOUS TO NAZIS LECTURING ISRAEL TO TREAT PALESTINIANS BETTER.

February 24, 2008 @ 7:51 am | Comment

you’re really letting your true colors shine

The fact that I know the majority of China expats are only there to be treated like a god by the locals?

February 24, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Comment

People like Amban, Kevin, Mon instead of just debating the points me and others like me make, just attack the reasons for my ideas, not those ideas themselves.

But this is good. It proves of course that they have no argument. They just want to muffle their opponents instead of engaging in honest debate.

The definitive history of the atrocities of Western whites against colored people the world over is yet to be written. Most of the data is available. When such a book is published it will be a ‘bombshell’ of a book that the Jung Chang book was not.

Westerners lecturing Chinese on human rights is analogous to Nazis lecturing Israel to treat Palestinians better

February 24, 2008 @ 8:03 am | Comment

Are you angry at those countries which occupied parts of China during the 19th and 20th centuries (not all of whom were ‘western’)? Is your target the industrialized countries in today’s North America and Western Europe

Jeremiah, of course I am angry at those industrialized countries which built up their wealth on imperial plunder. But I have absolutely nothing against people because of skin color or race. Absolutely nothing at all. I am angry at those citizens from those countries which benefitted the most from imperial plunder coming to my country and self-righteously lecturing us on how to run our own affairs.

Of course as I have said, genuine constructive criticism should be welcome. But most of those foreigners who bash China do so, not from a desire to help, but to indulge their own feelings of racial and moral superiority.

And to answer your question Jeremiah, Romanians, Bulgarians, Greeks are fine by me.
But so then are English, French and Americans.
Its not the race or nationality that matters. It is the attitude

February 24, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Comment

Ferin: The fact that I know the majority of China expats are only there to be treated like a god by the locals?

This is completely 100percent true. In Hong Kong it is still bad now, but worse before 1997. These westerners enjoy all the hospitality of the locals, get paid way more than the locals for the same work, yet love to do nothing more than sit back and laugh at the Chinese and make snide comments.

One telling example. I formerly worked as a Structural Engineer at a large engineering consultancy which will remain nameless. There was this white American ho, who was in the marketing side, who would always act disgusted about the ‘materialism’ of the local Hong Kong people. Yet this ho was making HK$70,000 per month plus housing, in a place where the average salary for localss about $15,000. Yet she had the audacity to lecture the local Hong Kong chinese on being materialistic!!!

On a grander scale of course, the West will lecture China on pollution and military spending when of course the West is the most egregious offender in these categories.

Just shows the utter racial and moral superiority in the thinking of all too many Western whites, even today.

February 24, 2008 @ 8:22 am | Comment

Here is a glimpse at American society: everyone knows the story of the Native Americans, but they do not know that the large-scale rape and humiliation of natives has never ended.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/25/AR2007042502778.html

34% of Native American women are raped. Why? Is it because Native men are inclined to do so? No.

86% of the perpetrators are white. 29 percent of *all* Native Women are raped by white (sometimes black) men. Pretty terrible.

The reason why things are like this is because these men know that law enforcement on reservations are underfunded. So they can force sex on young girls for prolonged periods of time and get away with it.

The vast majority of men in Southeast Asia having sex with little girls and boys are from Europe or America.

Some male China expats are no different.

http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/302721

More than 44,970 computers nationwide are actively engaged in trading child pornography… Canada ranks fourth behind Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Bermuda for the highest distribution rates per capita of such illegal images.

With more than 570,000 computers sharing child porn in the United States, that country ranks seventh per capita worldwide.

In Canada, pornographic images involving children have been traced to more than 205,305 unique IP addresses. In Ontario, more than 63,338 unique IP addresses have been linked to such images.

The boy molested in Korea, the girl raped in Japan, are not exceptions to the rule. Think of all the children who do not report the abuse.

February 24, 2008 @ 8:35 am | Comment

Blah blah blah blah blah.

I swear to god all of you are a bunch of useless vainglorious drama queens without an iota of common sense spread between the lot. No one has a clue how to actually end the Sudanese conflict since they are all too busy pointlessly appropriating blame. Spielberg this, Mia Farrow that, Sanction this, Resolution that. The best method for ending civil war in Sudan is as follows.

1) Retrain the Sudanese Army officers and NCO’s with a more professional code of ethics (this means no more allowing soldiers to prey on civilians). They can be trained at Western military academies or China.

2) Integrate foreign military advisers into the ranks of operational Sudanese Army units to evaluate performance and provide guidance.

3) Provide low interest developmental loans and favorable terms of trade to develop Sudan’s economy and generate more revenue for the government.

4) Provide MORE cost-effective weapons for the Sudanese army tailored for the suppression of rebel forces. This means more armored vehicles, more helicopters, more tanks, artillery, more heavy support weapons such as automatic grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, rockets, etc. The army should be able to bring to bear significantly overwhelming force against rebels using technicals. The problem is not the presence of weapons flowing into Sudan, it is that there are not enough of them.

5) A military solution is THE BEST SOLUTION to Sudan’s problems, negotiating with various rebel warlords is a waste of time.

6) Expand the government’s zone of control from Northern Sudan and sweep southward and proceed to drive all rebel forces out of the country. Destroying them outright is preferable but considering the nature of the opposition, they will likely a) disintegrate only to reform later or b) cross the border and hideout in a separate nation. This leads to the next point.

7) Either lock down the borders so that the rebels cannot re-enter Sudan or alternatively if viable, give pursuit to rebel forces sheltering in neighboring countries and destroy them there.

8) Disarm all remaining militias within Sudan, these even includes pro-government forces. The state must retain it’s monopoly over the exercise of force within it’s borders or is isn’t a government worth it’s salt.

The reason that Sudan’s conflict has been so long and bloody is because no one side has been able to achieve a decisive and overwhelming advantage. The simplest and best solution is to assist the Sudanese government in eliminating all organized military opposition in it’s entirety, this is the only way to bring rebel factions to the negotiating table and the only way to make sure they do not renege.

February 24, 2008 @ 8:40 am | Comment

While I agree that China does deserve to be criticized over its Dafur policies, so too does the United States and the European Union – all of this is about competition over access to oil in the Dafur region – a struggle that goes back some way. Janson, in an article published last year, has an interesting article on the CIAs role in Dafur, which is worth a read:

http://www.countercurrents.org/janson090507.htm

The current singling out of China by the Western press is designed to humiliate and to pressure China into backing off a little – both the US and the EU would very much like to limit China’s influence in the region.

February 24, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Comment

“both the US and the EU would very much like to limit China’s influence in the region.”

Yep. European greed knows no bounds. They stole what, 47 million km^2 from various Native populations and know they want Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Antarctica, the moon, Mars, the list is endless.

Want want want want want

February 24, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Jing – I find your last comment above to be very interesting, and well worth considering.

February 24, 2008 @ 8:49 am | Comment

*now
*the Moon

February 24, 2008 @ 8:49 am | Comment

It is said that, “He who has the gold makes the rules. ” Well, how does one get the gold in the first place?
The foremost Profit-before-people, calamity-opportunism advocate, Economist Milton Friedman once said, �Only a crisis produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.� He also BSed everyone with his “trickle down economy.”
There is a relationship between massacres, between crises, between major shocks and body blows to countries and the ability to impose policies that are actually rejected by the vast majority of the people on this planet.
Friedman was an adviser to Thatcher, to Nixon, to Reagan, to the current Bush administration. He tutored Donald Rumsfeld in the early days of his career. He advised Pinochet in the 1970s. So he had enormous influence. He was described as the Karl Marx for capitalism. He saw shopping�buying and selling�as the highest form of democracy, as the highest form of freedom. And his best-known book was Capitalism and Freedom. Money is freedom and free-speech actually facilitates the generation of crisis which ultimately serves only the capitalists.
In response to Francis Fukuyama’s, �History has ended. Capitalism and freedom go hand in hand,�
Margaret Thatcher said, �There is no alternative.� When Bush cries freedom, it is the battle call for more bloodshed to advance Capitalism.
Do not for a second fall for the propaganda spread through the Capitalist-owned Media. No, Darfur is not about Human Rights, America being no paragon of virtue, it is really about sabotaging China’s steady supply of oil from Sudan.

February 24, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Comment

“They stole what, 47 million km^2 from various Native populations and know they want Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Antarctica, the moon, Mars, the list is endless.”

You are certainly talking about the CCP. Thanks for telling us. It’s really good to have an inside man to keep us up-to-date.

“The vast majority of men in Southeast Asia having sex with little girls and boys are from Europe or America.”

And we all know this statement will be backed up by 1993 FBI statistics.

“More than 44,970 computers nationwide are actively engaged in trading child pornography… Canada ranks fourth behind Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Bermuda for the highest distribution rates per capita of such illegal images.”

And all those movies are sold, in broad daylight, on the streets of Chinese cities.

“The boy molested in Korea, the girl raped in Japan, are not exceptions to the rule. Think of all the children who do not report the abuse.”

Exactly right! Especially those raped by Chinese government officials.

February 24, 2008 @ 9:53 am | Comment

The biggest mistake China made was sending in businessmen to Sudan to buy oil instead of what America & the UK do so well by sending in tanks to steal the oil.

February 24, 2008 @ 9:58 am | Comment

Close this thread. Now.

February 24, 2008 @ 10:02 am | Comment

Amban, that’s a fine idea. The risk with these anything-goes open threads is that they can easily devolve into chaos. I’ll put up another thread, maybe later today, but I think we have totally exhausted the Darfur topic. We all know where the other stands, and any more comments about it will just be beating a very dead horse.

February 24, 2008 @ 10:11 am | Comment

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