China’s Nationalist Fervor & Fear-Mongering Paranoid Xenophobic Bloodthirsty Racist West-Bashing Reaches Dangerous New LevelsPosted: August 11, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Ai Weiwei, Anti-Western, Army, Beijing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Communist Party of China, Electoral Affairs Commission, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Basic Law, Hu Jintao, Human rights in China, Lawyer, Mainland China, Pan-democracy camp, propaganda, RUSSIA, Xi Jinping 1 Comment
This kind of propaganda is highly effective and gives licence to ordinary people to indulge their most primitive prejudices. By convincing its people that many of China’s ills are the work of foreign spies and conspiracies, Beijing could eventually be forced to hit back against such perceived enemies in order to placate popular outrage.
Across much of the world, fear-mongering and xenophobia are creeping into public and political discourse.
In liberal democracies with traditions of free speech, vociferous denunciations of these attitudes can act as a counterweight. But in authoritarian countries where alternative narratives are forbidden, official attempts to demonise foreigners and “others” can be especially dangerous. In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame “western hostile forces” for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China.
“In the past, most foreigners in China enjoyed a certain level of unstated protection and privilege. In business and in everyday life ‘foreign friends’ were welcomed and often treated with kid gloves by the authorities. Some of them undoubtedly took advantage of this to flout the rules or behave badly without fear of retribution.”
The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal. One video promoted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Communist Youth League, two of the most powerful state bodies, begins with heartbreaking scenes of orphans and victims of the wars in Iraq and Syria, and then jumps to an assertion that the west, led by the US, is trying to subject China to the same fate.
“Today, that informal immunity seems to have vanished. In its place are hints of a backlash that many long-term foreign residents will tell you can be very ugly, ranging from casual discrimination and racial slurs, to physical altercations that take on a racist dimension.”
“Under the banner of ‘democracy, freedom and rule of law’ western forces are constantly trying to create societal contradictions in order to overthrow the [Chinese] government,” the subtitles read over pictures of democracy protesters in Hong Kong and President Barack Obama meeting the Dalai Lama.
[Read the full story here, at FT.com]
According to the video, western plots and the “dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes” are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement. The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.
“In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame ‘western hostile forces’ for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China. The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal.”
In some ways this is a mirror of the populist, jingoistic tilts happening elsewhere in the world. While not a direct reaction to the assertive Trumpism emanating from the US or the rise of rightwing nationalism in Europe, some of the same collective animus is taking hold in China, partly at the instigation of the ruling Communist party.
“According to the video, western plots and the ‘dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes’ are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement.“
Many of those propagating this message are the shallowest of nationalists — the kind of party apparatchiks who are diversifying their (often ill-gotten) assets abroad as fast as they can and sending their children to study in Australia, the US, Canada or the UK.
“The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.”
Indeed, one of the main producers of the video on western plots is a 29-year-old PhD student from China now living in Canberra, Australia. Meanwhile, the party has called for the rejection of western values and concepts in favour of Marxism — an ideology named after a German living in London and refracted into China via Moscow. Read the rest of this entry »
Rendezvous at Beidaihe: Never Underestimate the Power of Chinese Beach TownsPosted: August 5, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Politics | Tags: Activism, Ai Weiwei, Army, Beijing, China, Communist Party of China, Hu Jintao, Lawyer, Xi Jinping Leave a comment
China leadership gathers in Beidaihe for secret conclave.
Beijing watchers will closely monitor comments that trickle out over time after the meeting this year to discern what may have been discussed there. Xi is closing in on the last year of a five-year term that ends in October 2017.
Seems Mody reports: A closed-door meeting in a resort town on the Bohai Sea may be where China‘s future leadership begins to take shape, at a time when observers say there’s tension at the top in Beijing.
“We will be looking for signs that the successors to Xi and Li have been chosen, as this time 10 years ago it was clear that Xi and Li would come to power after five years.”
President Xi Jinping is said to be hosting the very highest echelon of China’s Communist Party this week in Beidaihe. No hard decisions on leadership are expected to come immediately from the annual meeting, but this year’s conclave is expected to initiate those conversations among top officials.
[Read the full story here, at cnbc.com]
The precise whereabouts of the meeting are not disclosed, but sources close to CNBC said the annual meeting typically takes places in four to five villas nestled in Beidaihe, a coastal town.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a message left by CNBC.
Beijing watchers will closely monitor comments that trickle out over time after the meeting this year to discern what may have been discussed there. Xi is closing in on the last year of a five-year term that ends in October 2017. It’s for that reason that experts say politics and leadership changes will likely be on the agenda. Read the rest of this entry »
Jihad Denial Kills…AgainPosted: June 12, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Self Defense, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Al-Hayat, Angus King, Army, Ashton Carter, Barack Obama, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, Islamic calendar, Islamic state, Islamic terrorism, Ramadan, Saudi Arabia, September 11 attacks, United States Air Force, United States Congress 3 Comments
So far, his story is shaping up as the now-customary list of jihadist clichés.
America just suffered our worst terrorist attack since 9/11. We need to start talking honestly about the enemy that keeps butchering Americans.
writes: Tonight we burn illusions. A terrorist attack on a popular gay club in Orlando, Florida in the middle of the night ended before the dawn with the violent deaths of at least 50 innocents and the maiming of 53 more. This was the bloodiest terrorist attack on America since 9/11. The Pulse nightclub, something of an icon in Florida LGBT circles, was transformed into a charnel house.
“While all Islamists view gays and lesbians with a distaste that veers easily into violence, ISIS kills them so routinely – pushing them off buildings before the cameras, for instance – that it scarcely attracts attention any longer. Nobody should be shocked that a murderer swearing allegiance to ISIS makes gays his target – particularly during Ramadan, when the group has exhorted its followers to make war on infidels with enhanced intensity.”
The United States had been lucky, having avoided truly mass casualty terrorist incidents since that awful day 15 years ago, through a combination of luck, inept enemies, and excellent intelligence work. But the Orlando horror demonstrates that attacks on soft targets in public places can cause huge numbers of casualties, here as well as in Europe, like last November’s assaults on Paris that killed 130 people, 89 of them at the Bataclan theater, where a hostage situation resulted in a bloodbath. Something similar has just happened in Florida.
His statement that his son was triggered by seeing two men kissing in public seems unlikely to endear the family to the American public.
“Within hours of the massacre, progressives and jihad apologists were insisting that the Orlando attack was ‘really’ about guns – and certainly not about Islamism or jihadism. The Pulse massacre was about guns the way that the 9/11 attacks were ‘really’ about box cutters and the 2013 Boston bombing was ‘really’ about pressure cookers.”
While the Paris attacks were the work of nine terrorists, plus several others providing logistical support, so far only one killer has been identified in the Orlando atrocity. While there are reports of other shooters, these remain unconfirmed, and the sole terrorist definitely involved was Omar Mateen, born in this country in 1986 to immigrant parents from Afghanistan. He was killed by police at the end of the nightmare he inflicted on Orlando.
So far, his story is shaping up as the now-customary list of jihadist clichés. The 29-year-old went from a relatively normal American life towards extremism, winding up on the radar of the FBI more than once for his aggressive beliefs. A brief marriage failed, in part because he frequently beat his wife, she claims, asserting that Mateen “was not a stable person.” A trauma like divorce leading to an embrace of jihadism is as common as can be in extremist circles.
The killer’s family has claimed that their son’s terrible act had “nothing to do with religion” – again, following the script we have come to expect whenever a young person, usually male, brutally murders strangers in the name of Islam. While Omar Mateen’s father claims to be utterly mystified by his son’s actions, that assertion should be examined closely, since Seddique Mateen has publicly praised the Taliban in his home country – the very people the American military has been fighting since late 2001. In a truly bizarre twist, Mateen Senior claims to be the real president of Afghanistan. His statement that his son was triggered by seeing two men kissing in public seems unlikely to endear the family to the American public.
[Read the full story here, at the Observer]
Wasting no time, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Pulse nightclub. This should not surprise, since Mr. Mateen is reported to have declared allegiance to ISIS just before starting his rampage, and that group boasts of its pathological hatred of homosexuals. While all Islamists view gays and lesbians with a distaste that veers easily into violence, ISIS kills them so routinely – pushing them off buildings before the cameras, for instance – that it scarcely attracts attention any longer. Nobody should be shocked that a murderer swearing allegiance to ISIS makes gays his target – particularly during Ramadan, when the group has exhorted its followers to make war on infidels with enhanced intensity.
“There’s also a disturbing question about how Mr. Mateen managed to keep working as a security guard despite having been twice investigated by the FBI.”
Whether Mr. Mateen had any bona fide contacts with the Islamic State is another question, one that investigators will want to answer properly. Since he was known to the FBI, it seems likely that U.S. intelligence had questions about that too. Regardless, since the Islamic State has commanded jihadist wannabes worldwide to take action by themselves, without any direct orders from the group, it’s quite possible that this killer was simply doing what he thought ISIS would want him to do in their name. Read the rest of this entry »
Stolen CentCom Computers Found on eBayPosted: April 24, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Army, begging, Combat medic, Dale Mabry Highway, Florida, Identity document, IHeartRadio, Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, MacDill Air Force Base, Stolen Valor, Tampa, Tampa Bay Times, WFTS-TV, WTVT 1 Comment
TAMPA — Patty Ryan reports: The internal theft of five laptop computers from U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base went undetected until a supplier noticed four of them advertised on eBay, according to federal court records.
A CentCom official ordered an inventory, putting it in the hands of a Riverview man who now admits to being the thief.
Scott Duty’s signed federal plea agreement spells out those details and more, in anticipation of a hearing next month in which he is expected to plead guilty to stealing government property.
Duty, a former civilian CentCom employee who is 48, could face up to 10 years in prison.
There’s no evidence of a data breach, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman William Daniels said in February, when Duty was indicted, and again on Tuesday.
The indictment alleged that Duty stole computers worth $5,499. Further investigation showed he also took electronic switches and tablets, the plea agreement states. In all, the devices were worth $28,137. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Desertion Charge for BergdahlPosted: March 25, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Law & Justice, Mediasphere | Tags: Army, Barack Obama, Bowe Bergdahl, Desertion, media, news, Pentagon Leave a comment
Ongoing Anti-Terror Non-War Plan UnveiledPosted: September 12, 2014 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, War Room, White House | Tags: Air Force, Anti-terror, Anti-war, Army, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, doves, Hawks, John Kerry, Marines, military, Military Engagement, Navy, satire Leave a comment
Ft. Hood Shooter Gave Away Salary, No Money Left for VictimsPosted: September 17, 2013 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, War Room | Tags: Army, CBS News, Fort Hood, Hasan, John Gilligan, Nidal Malik Hasan, Salary, Staff sergeant Leave a comment
Convicted Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan gave the $300,000 collected in salary since 2009 to charity, leaving none for his victims or their families.
According to CBS News, an “Army spokesman [says] the military can’t get the money back because Hasan, like any other service member charged with a crime,” was simply receiving his salary as required until he was convicted.
Hasan’s civil attorney John Gilligan added: “There’s really no money in any bank that I’m aware of. There’s really no property holdings.”
In other words, the victims of Hasan’s attack will not be getting any funds from their attacker. Read the rest of this entry »