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post #51 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
I did read the entire link and I was not debating the numbers killed other than it was far more than the 4 at Kent State that I mentioned.

I am aware the Chinese student occupations lasted over 2 months but the quote was about the U.S. government, Times Square and the National Mall without mention of a time span. Admittedly, the time span should have been a given and I thought of including it in my response but the effect of the time factor was more of an opinion than fact, even to that extreme. I felt that it should be discussed separately.

However...

You are correct.

I failed to catch the nuance of the "Zhao Ziyang administration's" reference as compared to the ultimate action taken by the Chinese government which by that point, had moved beyond Zhao Ziyang and was operating by committee.

In effect, the government at the beginning of the event, which Freeman referred to, was not the same government at the time of the massacre.

For the record, I was old enough to be aware of and understand the antiwar protests (never agreed with spitting on returning GI's) but still too young to venture out for any such events. For me, the news, with its body counts and never ending Paris Peace talks was just something to get through before Gilligan's Island came on at that age.


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Well said, and I am glad that you see Jim's point instead of falling for Boo's cooked up argument. From the righties, you're one with reason
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post #52 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:07 PM
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Well said, and I am glad that you see Jim's point instead of falling for Boo's cooked up argument. From the righties, you're one with reason
My work has always been a case of hurry up and grasp the idea and then run with it. Skimming for the gist is important to me so when someone intentionally misstates or misrepresents a position or idea, it can slip by me.

I race through words instead of taking them in and turning them over to test them for the feel of truth. Good for setting up merchandise displays, not so good for reading BWOT posts.

Anyhow, I'm always willing to listen to reason.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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post #53 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:13 PM
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Dig,

I grew up going to a US Army School for Dependents Overseas. My father paid tuition for me to go there as he was not attached to the DoD. But almost every good friend I had from second grade until I graduated from high school was an Army brat. I got to know their fathers and many of them volunteered and joined up after high school. All of them, without exception, thought they were doing their duty. It was only when some of them came home, like the senior on the football team when I was a freshman came home when I was senior, a guy I admired for his physical abilities on the field and looked up to as a leader of the team, a broken, drug addicted, mentally and physically destroyed person that the effect of that war came home to many of us. It turned the majority of my graduating class against the war and we conducted many symbolic protests back in the late 1960's as a result.

I will never understand how anyone could presume to spit on one of those returning GI's - they were my classmates and buddies, or the fathers of my classmates. The intent of the protests was to end the war, and for some reason ending the war to protect and save our fellow countrymen with shitty draft lottery numbers was not extended to bringing the poor souls home who had no one to stand up for them earlier, and apologizing for what we as a nation had used them to do.

The real spitting on those GI's continued though. It is a kind of institutionalized spitting on them by the entire nation as we did little or nothing to actually acknowledge we took a healthy, normal young man and sent him to do something that has turned him inside out, and then don't have the human goodness to make a place for him if he doesn't fit back into the world of those who never had to do what we forced him to do to survive. In the end, we, as a nation, made many of those young men think surviving their tours of duty was worse than dying on the field of battle. Spitting on them, physically spitting on them, was only a small hurt by a small, spiteful and stupid protester.

I only hope we are not full of bullshit talk this time around. Yeah, the news and the people in general seem to respond differently. I used to fly enough that I always got upgraded to first class. On one flight from Charlotte to Hartford a couple years ago, I saw three GI's coming home and asked where they had been, while waiting to board. They had been in Iraq, so I asked the woman behind the desk in the boarding area if I could upgrade one of them to first class for the ride home. She took care of all three of them. That may make me, and the woman behind the desk, as well as everyone in the first class cabin feel good. But it does nothing for those returning with long term care needs. The ones who did turn inside out and need help turning back around. Or the ones with chunks of their body missing or non-functional. They need a real purpose in life, not just a pass to imitate a rutabaga. We as a nation have asked them for unlimited service, they complied and we owe them the same level of enduring dedication in return.

So, yeah, Dig. Spitting on returning GI's was a perversion. But so is ignoring their needs that arose from the service they gave this nation, and that continues to this day. They can wipe the spit off themselves, but they can't, as we now know, do the rest alone.

Jim
I don't bullshit you, Jim. I just see things differently than you sometimes. I tried three times to put my thoughts on this matter into words but I still find I am unable. I had a draft number. I was 1-A. I had no deferment and I was likely on a path to follow those young men you spoke of. My life changed, without me realizing how much for the better, when the draft was suddenly ended.

I've gotten to do as I please since then but coming from a family where my Father and his brothers all served in WWII, have always maintained a respect for the people of our military. That said, I feel like an outsider. I wasn't there on St. Crispin's Day and feel foolish, thinking that there is some way that I could help.

Quote:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
I'll have to think about that some more.


Dig
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post #54 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
I don't bullshit you, Jim. I just see things differently than you sometimes. I tried three times to put my thoughts on this matter into words but I still find I am unable. I had a draft number. I was 1-A. I had no deferment and I was likely on a path to follow those young men you spoke of. My life changed, without me realizing how much for the better, when the draft was suddenly ended.

I've gotten to do as I please since then but coming from a family where my Father and his brothers all served in WWII, have always maintained a respect for the people of our military. That said, I feel like an outsider. I wasn't there on St. Crispin's Day and feel foolish, thinking that there is some way that I could help.



I'll have to think about that some more.
I got a high draft number - 170 at a time when the last number called was 95. My father met my mother in Germany just after WWII. My father was too young, but was 6"6" and conned a recruiter to let him join when he was 17. He got over there just after the war ended. My mother volunteered to be a nurse and was shipped over the same time. She was a year older than my father. They met on the ship over. I was born in Bethesda Naval Hospital on my old man's GI bill benefits. So was my older sister. Both my parents are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. So what?

My father's brother was a WWII pilot in the Pacific. He died a few years ago and had a military funeral in his hometown in Florida. Both of my mother's brothers served in WWII, one in the Pacific, one in Germany. The list goes on. But what is the point? NONE OF THEM WAS FOR THE WAR in Vietnam. I was welcome in all their homes while I was in college, where I participated in many protests. Most had kids going into the draft lottery, some were already through it and none were of the opinion the Vietnamese posed a threat to the United States or its interests. Some got there after time, but some, like my parents, were there before we sent our first round of advisors over to replace the French.

Ours is a wonderful nation where the actions of the government are not taken to be some kind of papal decree that by definition cannot be wrong. That is the whole point of freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom of the press. To restrict those who have a beef with the government from exercising their right is contrary to the Constitution. Our allegiance is to the nation crafted by the Constitution, not the latest goon elected President or to some political party.

Jim
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post #55 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post

Ours is a wonderful nation where the actions of the government are not taken to be some kind of papal decree that by definition cannot be wrong. That is the whole point of freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom of the press. To restrict those who have a beef with the government from exercising their right is contrary to the Constitution. Our allegiance is to the nation crafted by the Constitution, not the latest goon elected President or to some political party.

Jim
Well said.

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post #56 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
Ours is a wonderful nation where the actions of the government are not taken to be some kind of papal decree that by definition cannot be wrong. That is the whole point of freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom of the press. To restrict those who have a beef with the government from exercising their right is contrary to the Constitution. Our allegiance is to the nation crafted by the Constitution, not the latest goon elected President or to some political party.
This is very well said. Nevertheless, the duties of the President, and the rights of the citizen are two different kettle of fish. The blend of all these elements is the Constitution. Beyond all this, the human factor and the system of checks and balances try to keep the scale level. When all these factors work correctly, the acts of government may not result totally right to historians but they average to be the most convenient to enact, either for political, economical, egocentric, or ability limitations. Congratulations and thanks on yours and your family track record.
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post #57 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 06:58 PM
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Good, now let's take control of our OWN country
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post #58 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 07:41 PM
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[I]As the man said, the time for China to act was before it was necessary for massive bloodshed. Unless you think it was best for those 7000 plus dead protesters to die there that day. Or 3,000? ....

Jim
The "time for China to act" and do what? Put an end to the democratic reforms demanded by the protesters, that’s what.

Very convenient and courageous advice from someone who is taking money from the Chinese government in his role as an advisor to their nationalized Oil company.

So his take home lesson from this incident is that the Chinese Government should have broken up the demonstrations in favor of democratic reforms and that their only mistake was waiting until it was too late to do so and deadly force was required.

Note no criticism here over China’s handling of the protestors; only remorse over the fact of its “inevitability” based upon their failure to crackdown sooner!

Sounds like a white wash to me.
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post #59 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 08:39 PM
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continued:

Freeman’s words, even when construed in a way most flattering to its author, is revealing of a mind that is a ready apologist for tyranny and who, (like Jimmy Carter) has seemingly never met a dictator he did not admire and respect. He took the side of China against the Tiananmen Square protestors. He took the side of China against the Tibetan people who have been systematically murdered and oppressed by the Chinese government referring, at one point, to the March 2008 Tibetan uprising as “race riots.” He refers to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as “Abdullah the Great.” As if there is anything great about a ruler who runs a government that systematically oppresses women, executes those who convert to Christianity, that flogs 75 year old women in Saudi Arabia for "mingling" with men (Saudi court sentences widow, 75, to lashes for 'mingling with men' - Telegraph), that imposes 6 months in prison and 200 lashes to a female gang rape victim (Saudi court ups punishment for gang-rape victim - CNN.com) and that practices apartheid by permitting only Muslims to use certain thoroughfares.

That has “religious police” who enforce Sharia law and that does not allow the public practice of any religion other than Islam.

Freeman is clearly ill equipped, either by virtue of temperament or financial conflict of interest to objectively report on America’s intelligence needs to the president.

He is, however by virtue of his admiration for tyranny, imminently qualified to resume his former post as president of the American Arab Affairs Council.
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post #60 of 96 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 10:00 PM
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The "time for China to act" and do what? Put an end to the democratic reforms demanded by the protesters, that’s what.

Very convenient and courageous advice from someone who is taking money from the Chinese government in his role as an advisor to their nationalized Oil company.

So his take home lesson from this incident is that the Chinese Government should have broken up the demonstrations in favor of democratic reforms and that their only mistake was waiting until it was too late to do so and deadly force was required.

Note no criticism here over China’s handling of the protestors; only remorse over the fact of its “inevitability” based upon their failure to crackdown sooner!

Sounds like a white wash to me.
You are wasting your time. When the man spoke the people who died in the event were already dead. His point is that China fucked up by not squashing the event before it became a 7 week standoff that ended with thousands of dead protesters instead of hundreds of arrests. The man never suggested it was better for the government of China in place at the time to snuff out the protests instead of letting them successfully overturn that government. That was never in the cards.

You seem to find this perspective less appealing than having the thousands Chinese people killed to give the US the opportunity to meaninglessly shit on the government of China about it. Your analysis is way too simpleminded to address the reality of the relationship between the two countries.

This was an internal to China political issue that the United States had no intention of supporting or encouraging with funding, weapons or "boots on the ground." As such, our interests should not be to have 7,000 people jump off a cliff to their death to embarrass or otherwise shame the government of China. We did the Bay of Pigs thing already. As appealing as that sequence of events seems to be to your perspective, it is not the best way for those people to have lived their lives, or for the United States to build a relationship with China that is based on anything other than fear and loathing.

China is slowly becoming more responsive to its people's needs. And it is doing it China's way. We don't need to assume any kind of role, especially one of international field judge, cheering one side and booing or red carding the other, in their ongoing revolution, or if it happens so slowly, evolution from their peculiar present day system of government to something we find more appealing in the future. And it is not suitable for US State Department or other bureaucrats to be bending over and mooning the Chinese government at every opportunity if we intend to have a normal relationship with that government.

Jim
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