Was the pre-Olympic “Uighur terrorist attack” in Kashgar for real?

A very strange and confusing story that leaves the reader with many, many questions and no answers at all. Something is definitely wrong with the story the government told us back in August. Stories don’t come any more bizarre than this one. Not even in China. (I thought the post immediately below won today’s prize for bizarre, but this one runs neck-and-neck.)

Read it, and let me know if there’s any way to tie together the bits of information we have to create a scenario that makes even the slightest bit of sense. WTF happened??

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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: 18 Comments

I know at least one little bit of sense: The CCP had to come up with an excuse to have so much security and paranoia around the olympics. When they say terrorism, what they are really afraid of is truth, so whatever happened it is sure to have been gladly used (or even created) to use as such an excuse. This is similar to how they created the scene of people setting themselves on fire for the CCTV camera crew and using it as an excuse to validate their persecution of Falun Gong. The CCP wantonly kills people for no reason against the Chinese constitution, it is thoroughly corrupt and so all the bullcrap it tells in it’s media (which is also treated like news outside of China by people who have no clue, like anyone who would accept the CCP’s tale of this so called terrorist attack). My point is that all the stuff it tells is for one reason, to get away with being corrupt, to make excuses and seem like it is doing good when it is really acting against the constitution and the country. So as much as I don’t know the real story, I know that the CCP will create scenes like this and will daily use things that happen to twist in such a way that makes them look valid in their ways.

September 29, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Ignoring snow’s giant wall of garbage above, after reading the article I don’t see a single shred of proof by the journalists substantiating their claim. The photo NYT offered doesn’t say anything either. It’s just as believable as any ungrounded CCP claim.

The simple fact is however, that the Uighur have a long history of violence against the natives of Xinjiang (Tibetans, Mongolic tribes, Han Chinese) ever since their ancestors came over from the general area that is modern Uzbekistan.

September 30, 2008 @ 12:56 am | Comment

If there were a school shooting carried out by a disturbed student in Xinjiang, I bet CCP would attribute it to the “Uighur terrorist”.

September 30, 2008 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Ferin, case in point. Until it is proven, without ANY room for doubt, and without needing to do any mental work or caring to find out, the truth will look to the masses as a “wall of garbage” (?) When you are totally ignorant, the truth looks a lie, very stupid and unbelievable. I want to help make things clearer, but somehow, I can’t get through the barrier, what can I do to better express this opinion? I guess I could write a book explaining this very clearly. Maybe that’s what I should do since it is not easy to make a clear point with such a short comment just on the spot like this.

Best of luck to you Ferin, by the way, have any proof that my opinion is “garbage”?

September 30, 2008 @ 1:47 am | Comment

I just browsed through the photos at IHT…..and I didn’t find them matching the articles description of events, unless some were omitted. Very grainy – hard to decipher. The one somewhat clear photo with a policeman carrying machetes looks exactly like what it is…a man carrying machetes…and he isn’t using them on anyone.

Bizarre.

September 30, 2008 @ 2:04 am | Comment

This is not by any means something trivial or that applies only to the field of culture and history. This deep buried threat is implanted in the minds of all Chinese in every profession and in daily normal living….:

It’s not only what the
Chinese Propaganda Department
does to artists, but what it makes
artists do to their own work

By Ha Jin

The office that Chinese writers, artists, and journalists dread and hate most is the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department. In addition to its propaganda work within the party, this department, through its numerous bureaus, also supervises the country’s newspapers, publishing houses, radio and TV stations, movie industry, and the Internet. Except for the Military Commission, no department in the Party Central Committee wields more power than this office, which forms the core of the party’s leadership. Its absolute authority had gone unchallenged in the past, though even the Communists themselves understand the sinister role it has played. Luo Ruiqing, who was the first to head the Propaganda Department after the Communists came to power, once admitted: “To let the media serve politics means to tell lies, to deceive the above and delude the below, to defile public opinions, and to create nonsensical news.”

In recent years, however, the authority of the Propaganda Department has been challenged from time to time. To many Chinese, one of the brave figures in this regard is Jiao Guobiao, formerly a professor of journalism at Peking University, who in March 2004 posted on the Internet a long article titled “Fight Against the Party’s Propaganda Department.” Jiao condemns the office and its entire system as “the main blockage in the development of Chinese civilization,” and as “the protector of the evil and the corrupt.” He lists 14 illnesses the department has suffered, among which are its betrayal of the original communist ideal and its perpetuation of a Cold War mentality (to wit, stoking hostility toward the United States). He suggests that the department be dissolved, since no civilized country in the world has such an office. Jiao was not “disciplined” immediately, but later when he was on a short visit to the United States, Peking University claimed that he had “voluntarily quit” his teaching position.

Another challenger of the authority of the Propaganda Department is the writer Zhang Yihe. In early 2007, Wu Shulin, a senior official from the department, declared at a meeting that eight books published in 2006 must be banned. Most of the books are nonfiction and unveil some seedy sides of contemporary Chinese history. Among the banned titles was Zhang’s book Past Stories of Peking Opera Stars, which describes the vicissitudes of eight master opera singers, especially their sufferings and ruination after 1949, when the Communists seized China. When Wu Shulin issued the ban, he gave no explanation beyond “because the book was written by that person.” Zhang’s previous two books had also been banned. But she couldn’t stomach it this time and wrote a public letter demanding an apology from Wu Shulin and calling on the Propaganda Department to rescind the ban. In an interview, she said she would defend her book with her life. Zhang’s action caused a stir and was supported by the public. She tried to file a lawsuit against the Propaganda Department for violating her citizen’s rights of publication and free speech. Of course, no court dared to accept such a case. However, the public uproar deterred Wu Shulin, who kept a low profile and was apologetic in private, saying he had just followed instructions from above. Nevertheless, the ban has remained in place, and Zhang’s book is no longer available on the mainland.

To some extent, the outcome of the two incidents represents the current situation in China—the authorities no longer try to justify actions that obviously have no legal grounds, but their decisions remain unchanged. Why didn’t the party have the two disobedient individuals punished, just as it had punished tens of thousands of intellectuals, by banishment or imprisonment? Why didn’t they just silence the two troublemakers? There are three main reasons. First, the Communist Party, despite its powerful appearance, has become quite fragile, weak within. No party members believe in the ideal of communism anymore. Mainlanders say that those who join the party do so as a way “to solve the association problem.” On the one hand, party membership is viewed as a burdensome thing; on the other, it is necessary if one wants to have a good career and benefit from the system. In other words, the party can no longer derive any justification from the firm belief in its ideology, so challenges such as those made by Jiao and Zhang can put officials on the defensive.

Second, both Jiao and Zhang belong to the so-called elite class, which the authorities have avoided exasperating. After Tiananmen, the Communist Party adopted a relatively conciliatory position toward intellectuals, who can be vocal, resourceful, and troublesome. On the whole, the party has succeeded in buying off the intellectuals, who live much better than the people in the lower social strata. By not punishing Jiao and Zhang harshly, the party could avoid incensing the elite class. As long as China’s brains do not join forces with the rebellious masses, the country will be easier to control.

Third, Jiao and Zhang were well connected within the country and with the outside world, and they occupied a conspicuous spot in the public eye. In Jiao’s case, if his article had not been posted on the Internet, he couldn’t possibly have become a public figure overnight, and the officials could have silenced him summarily. Likewise, the Internet has protected some dissident intellectuals living in China, such as Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie, and it has kept their voices heard by people inside and outside the country. If an ordinary citizen at the bottom of society, one of the “weed people,” posts a protest letter on a wall, we may never hear an echo of the writer’s voice, let alone know about his or her fate. Most Chinese are still not listened to, and the authorities often respond to the demands of peasants and factory workers with brute force.

read all: http://www.theamericanscholar.org/au08/censor-jin.html

September 30, 2008 @ 2:09 am | Comment

In the time of confusion, where is Raj?

September 30, 2008 @ 3:19 am | Comment

I knew it. Clearly this shows the shadowy NWO is also at work in China, creating chaos.

This is the proof. There is a shadowy element in the Chinese government that is definitely a part of the NWO.

Now that felt good, in a twisted kind of way, knowing now that China is a part of the NWO.

WAKE UP!

September 30, 2008 @ 7:42 am | Comment

and what the heck is NWO?

September 30, 2008 @ 8:35 am | Comment

All we can say for certain from these accounts is that the official version of events as reported by Chinese media is someway distant from the truth. Imagine my surprise.

September 30, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Maybe the NWO is related to NWA…

September 30, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | Comment

to be honest, my initial reaction to when the news came out was that the entire thing was a setup so that the chinese authorities could clamp down on the region and ratchet up “security” measures in general.

it was especially suspicious when absolutely no foreign media was allowed to corroborate the CCP’s version of the events. if that doesn’t scream “suspicious”, i don’t know what does.

September 30, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

Very odd. We will probably never know what really happened. One possibility is that it was an inside job, with some ethnic Uighur police aiding their compatriots and then copping the punishment after the event.

September 30, 2008 @ 5:36 pm | Comment

What exactly happened may never become apparent, but was has become increasingly obvious and transparent is Beijing’s attack on the Uighur ethnicity. The constant portrayal of Xinjiang people as separatists and terrorists has become more and more severe in the months leading up to the Olympics, as have the attacks on their ethnic and religious practices. Again, per usual, we have no real reason to believe the chinese media in it’s ‘stories’. Rarely has their side of the events in situations like these been proven to be true.

September 30, 2008 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

Last summer at SAIS one of the chinese language instructors was an ethnic Uighur. Except for trying to get me to do a tradition uighur dance with the other students at the end of the semester dinner party for the chinese language students she seemed calm and well adjusted.

October 1, 2008 @ 3:57 am | Comment

LOL @ Lindel’s last comment

October 1, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Comment

Try to corroborate the CCP propaganda machines version of any such story and you will feel the fear of the party. Why they control all the media and even tell them all what to say and how to talk about things, how to twist things and lie? Just try to corroborate any sensitive issues and you will be thrown in the torture chambers for the “crime” of revealing state secrets(lies), or spying (investigating) or plotting to overthrow the government (seeking to tell the truth) or disrupting social harmony (acting on a sense of moral justice and truthfulness). It’s not very complicated, there is a very carefully systematized machine at work to censor and forbid real journalism and investigating in China, why? It’s so simple, cause the party is constantly lying and fabricating. For that reason, sites like the China Digital Times are the golden magic tools that will change the world.why? Why does the CCP so carefully enforce this mind controlling system? Why do they mobilize everyone into propaganda driveling mode and punish so severely truth-tellers, terrorizing the population into submission or just keeping them ignorant at all cost? Because they know that the truth being publicly accessible would totally change the situation, the CCP’s biggest fear is justice, balance, openness, opinion, public awareness things like that.

October 2, 2008 @ 1:07 am | Comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHJ2joOSSGw

NWO, it’s all there, posting it again since an older thread went below the radar. Very interesting.

October 6, 2008 @ 1:04 am | Comment

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