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August 09, 2008

Comments

Andrew

"the most brutal dictatorship extant anywhere on Earth today"

Worse than North Korea?

Abiola

By the measure of accumulated bodycount, I'd say the PRC leads without a question. Heck, even in terms of Koreans killed I'd still give the PRC the medal (remember the Korean War), well ahead of the "atrocious" Japanese one never ceases to hear about ... I'm not going to absolve the present leaders of the PRC regime of any of the crimes committed by the predecessors from whom they derive their claim to authority, but even if I were to do so, by the time one had counted up all of the casualties of China's activities in Tibet, Xinjiang, Burma, Sudan, etc., I'd bet it would still lead North Korea in the brutality stakes by a solid amount.

JuJuby

[some 100 million by any restrained reckoning]

Do you have one reliable source for that figure? China's government has directly purged very few compared to the USSR and Nazi Germany. The 20-30 million that died during the GLF died, by most reliable accounts, from incompetence in social and economic engineering.


[Communist China is also far from being an unaggressive power, having attacked several of its neighbors over the years, and both the Chinese communist regime's bloody occupations of Tibet and Xinjiang as well as its insistence that Taiwan "belongs" to it are by any objective reckoning far more deserving of opprobrium than anything the United States has done or will do in Iraq.]

This is clearly nonsense. Over 1 million Iraqis have died as a result of the violence from the war according to very reliable demographic sources published peer reviewed journals. That's not including the people who have died from indirect causes like not being able to get medical attention from the collapse of the hospitals.

By almost all objective and reliable accounts, China has increased the quality of life of most Tibetans substantially. They've ended a brutal system of serfdom which is to be commended. The relatively minor political, religious and economic injustices which do occur in Tibet as a result of Chinese policies are more than balanced out by the beneficial policies the Chinese have instituted and they pale in comparison to the injustices which continue to occur in Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. China has not brutally murdered over a million Tibetans. China has not instituted brutal apartheid policies like Israel. China does not illegally occupy Tibet and has never ethnically cleansed Tibet like Israel ethnically cleansed Arabs and continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza. The quality of life for most Palestinians and Iraqis has been made unquestionably worse by their oppressors. Tibetans have, at least since 1980, benefited greatly from Chinese rule.

See the papers written by the Tibetologists Melvyn Goldstein, Cynthia Beal and their collaborators at the Case Western Reserve Center for Research on Tibet.

http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/staffPub/publications.htm

Many of the papers can be found online and read for free. It’s one thing to make baseless accusations and shout slogans. That’s what most debates in the US are based on regarding the Tibet issues. I always go with empirical data from people who have gone in and done the field work and have published their work in peer-reviewed journals if they are available. Since resources are available for substantive dialogue unsubstantial accusations are inexcusable.

Also see

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Tibet-Politics-Development-Disputed/dp/0765613549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218351207&sr=8-1

The papers "’Demographic annihilation’ and Tibet”, “The impact of post-Mao reforms on rural Tibet” and “Market formation and transformation: private business in Lhasa” are especially relevant to get a general assessment of the current economic, religious and political situation in Tibet.

While I don't exactly support the Olympics (though probably for different reasons than you) being held in Beijing, statements like the following

[I for my part have no interest in participating in any way in the whitewashing of the most brutal dictatorship extant anywhere on Earth today]

make your position wholly dismissible.

Abiola

"This is clearly nonsense. Over 1 million Iraqis have died as a result of the violence from the war according to very reliable demographic sources published peer reviewed journals. That's not including the people who have died from indirect causes like not being able to get medical attention from the collapse of the hospitals."

And how many have died in Tibet, Xinjiang, North Korea, Sudan and Burma because of the Chinese regime's actions? You want to add on to the American tally deaths resulting from fratricidal conflict between Iraqis, but choose to ignore the costs of the policies carried out by the PRC - the attitude of a classic apologist.

"By almost all objective and reliable accounts, China has increased the quality of life of most Tibetans substantially. They've ended a brutal system of serfdom which is to be commended. The relatively minor political, religious and economic injustices which do occur in Tibet as a result of Chinese policies are more than balanced out by the beneficial policies the Chinese have instituted and they pale in comparison to the injustices which continue to occur in Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories."

What ridiculous claptrap! It seems you'd like nothing better than to believe that no one suffers more in this world than Arabs, but that is utter nonsense. Even despite the fact that reporters are allowed great freedom to roam within Gaza and Iraq by the wicked Israelis and Americans while the nice Chinese communists routinely throw foreign journalists out, it takes a supreme act of willful ignorance to maintain as you do that what China has been doing over the last few decades is anything other than brutal in the extreme.

First you attempt to equate Palestinian support for Hamas with Israel's attitude towards the likes of Kach and Gush Emunim in my post on Israel's Arabs, and now you attempt to make the absurd argument that the Tibetans have been "liberated" from slavery by the Chinese? Why then do so many protest the PRC's presence in their land throughout the world? Why are they in need of crushing by PRC goons - and foreign reporters in need of tossing out - if what you say is true? What are you, a paid apologist for illiberalism and authoritarianism?

"make your position wholly dismissible."

A lot less dismissable than yours by a long shot ... The Chinese Communist regime has killed more people than any other in history, but unlike Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union it remains with us; anyone who wishes to overlook this is either a fool, a moral cretin, or likely both.

Abiola

Oh, by the way, since you want to play the numbers game, here's one for you: an estimate of the numbers of Tibetan deaths directly attributable to the Chinese communist "liberators".

http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/tibet/C3-How-many-Tibetans-have-died-as-a-result-of-the-Chinese-o.html

The total estimate between 1950 and 1988 is *1.2 million*, and these directly attributable to Chinese communist aggression, rather than to a civil war the Americans are struggling (and now succeeding) to contain.

As for your beloved Palestinians, no half-way credible source has *ever* recorded the death toll in their conflict as ever amounting to more than a few thousands, e.g. see

http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/viewresource.asp?resourceID=639

which estimates the total Palestinian death toll from the conflict between 2000 and 2007 as less than 5,000. That you confuse the amount of media coverage given to such a low-intensity conflict with the supposed scale of its brutality just shows how lacking you are in the judgment required to be able to criticize my assertions.

Ross

"This is clearly nonsense. Over 1 million Iraqis have died as a result of the violence from the war according to very reliable demographic sources published peer reviewed journals. "

Which studies estimated over a million dead Iraqis? The John Hopkins Lancet survey gave an estimate of between 426,369 to 793,663 Iraqis dead from violence since the invasion. The larger and more authoritive study by the WHO and Iraqi health ministry estimated 150000 Iraqis killed violently in the first three years of the war, so where are the studies estimating over a million dead?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17970231

JuJuby

[Which studies estimated over a million dead Iraqis? The John Hopkins Lancet survey gave an estimate of between 426,369 to 793,663 Iraqis dead from violence since the invasion.]

The Lancet/Johns Hokpins figure was from a study conducted in early 2006. The revised numbers for late 2007 are much higher (about 1 million). estimates from 700,000 to 1.4 million (ORB) are now widely accepted among leading epidemiologists. Studies conducted by ORB, Just Foreign Policy, and some meta-studies support the Johns Hopkins/Lancet revised figure.

http://www.opinion.co.uk/Newsroom_details.aspx?NewsId=88

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/07/070918_the_media_ignore.php

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/19/iraq

http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0918-04.htm

JuJuby

as for your npr link, see this

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3326

JuJuby

"Oh, by the way, since you want to play the numbers game, here's one for you: an estimate of the numbers of Tibetan deaths directly attributable to the Chinese communist "liberators".

http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/tibet/C3-How-many-Tibetans-have-died-as-a-result-of-the-Chinese-o.html

The total estimate between 1950 and 1988 is *1.2 million*, and these directly attributable to Chinese communist aggression, rather than to a civil war the Americans are struggling (and now succeeding) to contain."

Don't give me that drivel. That's propaganda. If you'd only look at the source. Don't fall for it again.

"The following table was made up by the Bureau of Information of the
Tibetan government-in-exile:"

There's never been any confirmation that that 1.2 million figure by any reputable demographer or scholar. It has been confuted numerous times.

In fact, the former director of the Free Tibet Campaign in London, Patrick French exposed the figure as a notorious hoax. Speaking of pro-tibet groups:

"These groups hate criticism almost as much as the Chinese government does. Some use questionable information. For example, the Free Tibet Campaign in London (of which I am a former director) and other groups have long claimed that 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese since they invaded in 1950. However...while researching my book on Tibet, I found that there was no evidence to support that figure."

You can read his article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/opinion/22french.html

Again, see my other links especially the one "'Demographic annihilation’ and Tibet.”

The 1.2 million figure has never even been publicly scrutinized because the Tibetan Government in Exile keeps their data a secret. The only person to get access to it in the west was French.

Estimates of deaths attributable to both communist incompetence and brutality in Tibet range in numbers *far* less than that. The highest I've seen is by Warren Smith who estimates 400,000 Tibetan deaths. He is not a demographic scholar and have not published his results. He is a journalist with Radio Free Asia so his #s are likely inflated. He also denounced the 1.2 million Government in Exile number as a hoax.

To rely on such baseless garbage is barely worth the effort. It is you who have shown a complete lack of judgment in using that website. I've only used (though some were secondary) sources published in peer-reviewed journals by reputable scholars such as Sautman, Goldstein, the Johns Hopkins epidemiologists, et al.

JuJuby

"And how many have died in Tibet, Xinjiang, North Korea, Sudan and Burma because of the Chinese regime's actions? You want to add on to the American tally deaths resulting from fratricidal conflict between Iraqis, but choose to ignore the costs of the policies carried out by the PRC - the attitude of a classic apologist."

The policies of the PRC had little to do with the deaths in all those places. Take Sudan for example. The spark for the conflict and the fuel that keep sit going is almost entirely the responsibility of the west.

The UN (Ban ki-Moon's statements) has admitted that global climate change caused by greenhouse emissions are the cause of the conflict in Darfur.

“The scale of historical climate change, as recorded in Northern Darfur, is almost unprecedented...The impact of climate change is considered to be directly related to the conflict in the region, as desertification has added significantly to the stress on the livelihoods of pastoralist societies, forcing them to move south to find pasture...”

If this is true then that means the western nations are almost exclusively responsible for the conflict because it is they that are responsible for the vast majority of the air pollution that has occurred and hence the responsibility for the current and much of the future global warming. The western nations have been polluting the earth for two hundred years and they continue to contribute to most of the green house emissions.

Weapons:

It's also a manufactured myth that most of the weapons the Sudanese gov gets come from China. A comprehensive study of the historical weapons issue by the Swedish institute for international peace SIPRI demolished these claims. Most of the weapons (87%) come from Russia, only 8% come from China. These findings contradict western sources (which were unsubstantiated) that had asserted that 90% of the weapons came from China.

http://www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/PR_AT_data_2007.html/view?searchterm=darfur

“In 2003-2007, Sudan received 87 per cent of its major conventional weapons from Russia and 8 per cent from China. Some of the aircraft imported from these countries were deployed in Darfur in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1591. The government of Chad used arms newly imported from Belgium and Switzerland in this period in combat against rebel forces.”

So these deaths in Darfur are more attributable to the unjust and unsustainable energy practices of the west than to anything China has done.

"What ridiculous claptrap! It seems you'd like nothing better than to believe that no one suffers more in this world than Arabs, but that is utter nonsense."

China's policies are benign compared to Israel's in the OPTs. You seem to have great confidence in journalists from the west. Yes, a few are thrown out. There's still plenty of information available and accurate information to boot. Like I already explained, Amnesty International, B'tselem, WHR, and people like the UN's International Court of Justice's John Dugan and Richard Falk and other international legal experts have said that not only is Israel formally practicing apartheid in the OPTs but they are far more brutal at it than S. Africa ever was when it had instituted it policies. Now all these sources combined do seem credible.

Tibetans, by contrast, are living their lives without much interference from the government. In fact, almost 90% of rural Tibetans (rural Tibetans constitute over 80% of the total populations) who are between 60-79 years old say that they have better lives than their parents (who lived their lives almost entirely before Chinese liberalization policies first instituted in 1959). 92% of Tibetans say the lives of their children will be better than theirs and the vast majority practice their religion without much interference from the government.

See the study "The impact of post-Mao reforms on rural Tibet" by Goldstein, Phuntsog Tsering, Beall, and Benjor.

This isn't the only study on the subject from Tibet. I can give you others from economists and sociologists that have assessed the economic and living situations for Tibetans inside China. They have drastically improved their standards of living over their ancestors and they continue to improve. The religious/political restrictions are relatively minor by almost all accounts.

I'm perfectly willing to revise my position if you can give me reasons to (which you apparently cannot). The more I learn about the situation in Tibet, the more I see that it is more complex and optimistic than the image commonly portrayed in the west.

"Why then do so many protest the PRC's presence in their land throughout the world?"

Very few Tibetans protest Chinese rule. The few that do are brainwashed by religio-fascists like the Dalai Lama's government in exile and western propaganda. Very few people from Xinjiang protest Chinese rule. Most of the East Turkestan independence movement is actually based in Ankara and Washington DC, not inside China. These religio-nationalist/fascists are similar in make to the maniac suicide bombers in the Middle-East. The major difference is that Palestinians have far more reasons to go on suicide bombings than Tibetan's have to riot and terrorists from Ankara or DC have to blow up buses. I find your rabid denunciation of Palestinian terrorists combined with your lack of concern for those cut from the same cloth (Xinjiang and Tibetan terrorists) to be very telling of a biased and ignorant worldview.

Ross

JuJuby you said that the death toll of a million was "according to very reliable demographic sources published peer reviewed journals", but as far as I can see the ORB survey did not appear in a peer reviewed publication.

Extrapolating the Lancet study's results through 2007 doesn't seem to constitute a peer reviewed source for a million deaths either. Particularly as the Surge has occurred since the end of that study.

JuJuby

"Extrapolating the Lancet study's results through 2007 doesn't seem to constitute a peer reviewed source for a million deaths either. Particularly as the Surge has occurred since the end of that study"

Actually, The Surge came *after* the survey. That was one of the reasons why an extrapolation was taken. The Surge occured in late 2006 to mid 2007. The field work for the ORB study where the data was collected happened in the Fall of 2005 and was published in October 2006. So the number of greater than 600,000 deaths occured fully one year before The Surge.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/uk-poll-consistent-with-1_b_64475.html

"It's important to recognize that the results of the ORB poll are quite consistent with the Lancet results, when you take into account the fact that the ORB poll was completed a month ago, whereas the Lancet cluster survey, the results of which were published in the fall, was completed in July 2006. A lot of people were killed in Iraq since July 2006."

The WHO's estimate is from 2003-2005.

I don't know what journal the ORB report was published in (if at all) but if more than 600,000 excess deaths occured one year before the peak of the violence in Iraq, the 1 million figure doesn't seem high at all. In fact, there's credible sources that says it is likely way too low. It does seem to have passed scientific muster as its results are public and I haven't found a successful refutation to it by any leading epidemiologist.

Jubril

"I will not watch a single event of this despicable propaganda-fest."

Not even the upcoming gold medal match Nigeria will be playing against Brazil (assuming they defeat Argentina)?

Chuckles

I have to agree with Jubril. Abiola can surely afford to make an exception for this match. It promises to be one for the books.

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