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titus
10-11-2010, 04:31 AM
China has lashed out at the Nobel Peace Prize committee after it awarded this year's prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has long called for political reform in the country.

The Chinese government's reaction was swift and unequivocal. A statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website called the award "an obscenity" that goes against the aims of the award. It warned the award also will hurt China's relations with Norway, the country where the Nobel Committee is based.

The statement expressing the Chinese government's anger was carried on the Foreign Ministry's Webpage and aimed at outsiders.

Other than that, the news of the Nobel Peace prize going to Liu Xiaobo was not carried in Chinese media, and broadcasts of international TV channels carrying the news were temporarily cut. Internet users could find information about it on the Internet, but only if they used proxies to get around cyber-blocks the Chinese government maintains to filter out information that it deems sensitive or illegal.


SOURCE

Such is life under one party rule.
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Argamemnon
10-12-2010, 08:15 PM
The nobel peace prize is just another western political tool, it has nothing to do with promoting peace. In the U.S. people like Norman Finkelstein always lose their career or they are threatened by the CIA, or forced to resign. There is no freedom of speech in the west; there is only freedom to bash and demonize China, Iran and other non-western nations and cultures. When will the West stop imposing their chaotic, fractious, and self-interested Western model of governance upon China and other nations? Mind your own business people. Also, stop talking about "human rights". We all know what your "civilization" (!) is doing in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. You are fooling nobody (except the fools)....
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tango92
10-12-2010, 08:21 PM
as usual the west attemptimg to destroy a nation internally. i wonder how much green they put into the hands of the prize commity?
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titus
10-12-2010, 08:39 PM
So you two have an issue with the Nobel committee, but none with the way China has imprisoned this man?

And to compare Liu Xiaobo with Finkelstein is a joke. One has had to face criticism from the public and lost some tenure at his teaching job, the other had his own government arrest him for creating a petition.

There is no freedom of speech in the west; there is only freedom to bash and demonize China, Iran and other non-western nations and cultures.
So you think that if a charter, like the one he is in jail for, was created in the United States that the person who created it would be jailed?

And do you think if that happened, and that person won the Nobel prize, that the US government would ban the press from reporting it?

If so then your perception of the US is completely different than reality.
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جوري
10-12-2010, 10:43 PM
The problem is in reporting world's news in such a manner that appears more and more like a personal opinion rather than facts makes the rest of us un-interested in reading!
I have seldom seen the Nobel Prize go to deserving characters (admittedly I don't know much about the Chinese guy) but from a long history of awards to undeserving criminals- I'd say the prize means positively nothing. A guy who invented dynamite I suppose wanted to pass the torch down to like minded remorseful malefactors!
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Ramadhan
10-13-2010, 12:26 AM
For most of its history, the nobel peace prize has always been used as political tool, and the biggest joke of all must be when they awarded henry kissinger the prize.
Kissinger has more blood on his hand than any other person, with the exception of stalin.
He was awarded the nobel peace prize in 1973, along with le duc tho, and while duc tho had the decency to reject the award, kissinger accepted the award with "humility".
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Junon
10-13-2010, 01:10 AM
Salaam

Yeah if you look at the people who get it, its no great prize.

I mean Obama, what did he get it for? For not being George Bush? Come on :hmm:

The idea of the award is generally good (if you read Nobels actual words regarding the award it makes sense), but more often than not its used as a political weapon by the powerful.

Having said all that this doesnt detract from the terrible way the dissident has been treated.
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Lynx
10-13-2010, 01:17 AM
China is funny.
They should realize Western democracy is going to overrun them eventually; it's human nature. They've already basically accepted the free market system of the West and that's essentially more than half way there ~.~
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Zafran
10-13-2010, 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by Lynx
China is funny.
They should realize Western democracy is going to overrun them eventually; it's human nature. They've already basically accepted the free market system of the West and that's essentially more than half way there ~.~
They are very different things - many nations have accepted the free market - But the system of governance has been and still is different from western democracy. There are few countries that dont have a free market system.

I'll question the idea of western democracy being "human nature" - that type of rhetoric can be scary - especially seeing whats happening in Iraq and Afghainstan.
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Lynx
10-13-2010, 03:15 AM
Originally Posted by Zafran
They are very different things - many nations have accepted the free market - But the system of governance has been and still is different from western democracy. There are few countries that dont have a free market system.
It's true a democracy is different from free markets; China is a fine example. However, I'd argue that without a free market you couldn't have a Western Democracy which is what I mean by 'half way there'. The necessary component is being fulfilled!

I'll question the idea of western democracy being "human nature" - that type of rhetoric can be scary - especially seeing whats happening in Iraq and Afghainstan.
Iraq & Afghanistan are in a state of war and have not developed their democracies. I mean, Afghanistan doesn't even have a government. The people who run the country are all drug dealers, and the people who want to kick out the NATO forces are too incompetent to run a country; neither are representative of the indigenous population.

In a place like China where economic stability is already there or at least getting there, western democracy would work just fine IMO. It's just that with globalization and all there's little the Chinese can do to curb the natural desire of humans to be free from unnecessary oppression; you can only shelter your country so much in this increasingly shrinking world.
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Trumble
10-13-2010, 10:14 AM
Originally Posted by tango92
as usual the west attemptimg to destroy a nation internally. i wonder how much green they put into the hands of the prize commity?
Erm, OK...

Chinese veteran politicians call for reform

A group of 23 Communist Party elders in China has written a letter calling for an end to the country's restrictions on freedom of speech. The letter says freedom of expression is promised in the Chinese constitution but not allowed in practice. They want people to be able to freely express themselves on the internet and want more respect for journalists.

The call comes just days after the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Mr Liu was sent to prison for 11 years in 2009 for expressing his desire to see peaceful political change in China. The letter's release also comes ahead of a key party meeting that is expected to promote future leaders and shape policy for the next few years.

The authors of the letter describe China's current censorship system as a scandal and an embarrassment. Many who signed the letter were once influential officials. One author is a former personal secretary to the revolutionary leader Mao Zedong and a former editor of the official People's Daily newspaper. They make eight specific demands - all designed to enhance Chinese people's right to express themselves in public.
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Argamemnon
10-13-2010, 02:18 PM
So you two have an issue with the Nobel committee, but none with the way China has imprisoned this man?
So you have no problem with your government's unconditional support for that illegal Zionist entity and brutal invasions and massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan? So you have no problem with your troops mass raping Iraqi and Afghani girls and women, but you have serious issues with this Chinese man's "freedom of speech"? You don't have any problem whatsoever with the systematic torture policy of your rogue goverment either, do you?

Who are you to criticize, who do you think you are?

“US Following Systematic Torture Policy”

http://tassc.org/blog/?page_id=1297
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titus
10-13-2010, 02:36 PM
So you have no problem with your government's unconditional support for that illegal Zionist entity and brutal invasions and massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan?
If you want to discuss that then go ahead and do it on another thread. The US is not even involved in this thread as it is about the Nobel prize and China.

China imprisons a man for creating what is basically a petition, and you spend your effort criticizing the group that gives him an award instead of the government that imprisoned him and is trying to keep their population ignorant of it.

So you have no problem with your troops mass raping Iraqi and Afghani girls and women, but you have serious issues with this Chinese man's "freedom of speech"? You don't have any problem whatsoever with the systematic torture policy of your rogue goverment either, do you?
Your anger is misdirected and your accusations are made out of ignorance. If you want to know how I feel about those issues then ask me. Don't assume and point fingers.

If you want my feelings on such issues start a thread and ask me.

Until then, maybe you can explain to us why you feel that the Chinese government is acting properly in this situation. Explain how you believe this man should be imprisoned, and how the Chinese government shouldn't be criticized for filtering the press and the internet about news of this.
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Zafran
10-13-2010, 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by Lynx
It's true a democracy is different from free markets; China is a fine example. However, I'd argue that without a free market you couldn't have a Western Democracy which is what I mean by 'half way there'. The necessary component is being fulfilled!



Iraq & Afghanistan are in a state of war and have not developed their democracies. I mean, Afghanistan doesn't even have a government. The people who run the country are all drug dealers, and the people who want to kick out the NATO forces are too incompetent to run a country; neither are representative of the indigenous population.

In a place like China where economic stability is already there or at least getting there, western democracy would work just fine IMO. It's just that with globalization and all there's little the Chinese can do to curb the natural desire of humans to be free from unnecessary oppression; you can only shelter your country so much in this increasingly shrinking world.
You have to remember the excuses the Nato forces use to invade Afghanistan or the UK and US for Iraq - its to give them western democrcay or as you would say back to there "human nature" - and if bombs and guns have to be used so be it - Besides NATO is only dragging them back to "human nature", right?
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Trumble
10-13-2010, 04:00 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
You have remember the excuses the Nato forces use to invade Afghanistan or the UK and US for Iraq - its to give them western democrcay or as you would say back to there "human nature" - and if bombs and guns have to be used so be it - Besides NATO is only dragging them back to "human nature", right?
That wasn't the reason/excuse in either instance. And, as has been said, it has no relevance to China whatsoever.
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Zafran
10-13-2010, 11:30 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
That wasn't the reason/excuse in either instance. And, as has been said, it has no relevance to China whatsoever.
was I talking to you? I dont think I was.
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Lynx
10-14-2010, 06:55 AM
Originally Posted by Zafran
You have remember the excuses the Nato forces use to invade Afghanistan or the UK and US for Iraq - its to give them western democrcay or as you would say back to there "human nature" - and if bombs and guns have to be used so be it - Besides NATO is only dragging them back to "human nature", right?
The process to developing a 'free' state is long and complex but IMO inevitable. The way the NATO forces are 'forcing' these freedoms in countries that are not ready for them is wrong and stupid. China is much farther ahead in that process.
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Trumble
10-14-2010, 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by Zafran
was I talking to you? I dont think I was.
You are posting on an open forum, and therefore talking to everyone reading it. If you wish to communicate privately, use the PM system.
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Zafran
10-14-2010, 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
You are posting on an open forum, and therefore talking to everyone reading it. If you wish to communicate privately, use the PM system.
I was specifically replying to Lynx and what he said about western democracy being "human nature" - You need to actually read the posts next time rater then jumping on the reply button.
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Lynx
10-14-2010, 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
I was specifically replying to Lynx and what he said about western democracy being "human nature" - You need to actually read the posts next time rater then jumping on the reply button.
Western democracy isn't human nature.Desire to be from oppression is human nature. I clarified in this post:

In a place like China where economic stability is already there or at least getting there, western democracy would work just fine IMO. It's just that with globalization and all there's little the Chinese can do to curb the natural desire of humans to be free from unnecessary oppression; you can only shelter your country so much in this increasingly shrinking world.
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Trumble
10-14-2010, 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
I was specifically replying to Lynx and what he said about western democracy being "human nature" - You need to actually read the posts next time rater then jumping on the reply button.
I did read the posts and what I said still stands. It may have escaped your attention but just about every post in every thread, bar the first one, is 'specifically replying' to somebody.

Please keep your thoughts on what I 'need' to do to yourself in future.
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Zafran
10-14-2010, 11:22 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
I did read the posts and what I said still stands. It may have escaped your attention but just about every post in every thread, bar the first one, is 'specifically replying' to somebody.

Please keep your thoughts on what I 'need' to do to yourself in future.
If I need your advice, I'll ask you for it - but as I havent mind your business.
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almahdali
10-15-2010, 06:29 PM
Westerners always make their brands look good everywhere and everytime. It is them who made themselves as classy and others are not. They have this standard and others have no standard. Well, certain standards that they have are quite good, that's impressive! But they can't impose everything that come from them as suitable everywhere or being perceived in the same manner as they perceive it. Many seminars and workshop being held in educational institution for e.g whether EU is a good example for ASEAN? EU is a supranational organization which is established through treaties for economic purposes in the beginning, while ASEAN is more to a group of countries in South East Asia established due to political motives. How could we answer the question on what is the good model of the systems in each part of the world?

In the case of China, I personally won't look at it as something wrong or right. They have their own values and also their own justification for the state acts, the same as West have their own values. My respect and condolence to Tian An Men victims. We should first understand the situation. I have a Muslim Chinese friend and this topic is quite interesting for me.

This book by Dru. C. Gladney is quite interesting. It's title is Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism. It is about the protest began in Beijing on 12th of May 1989 by Sino-Muslim and other Muslim ethnic students on the publication of a book called 性風俗, Xing Fengsu (Sexual Customs) which was claimed as denigrated Islam. The book can be found online.
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Hugo
10-15-2010, 06:39 PM
Originally Posted by almahdali
Westerners always make their brands look good everywhere and everytime. It is them who made themselves as classy and others are not. They have this standard and others have no standard. Well, certain standards that they have are quite good, that's impressive! But they can't impose everything that come from them as suitable everywhere or being perceived in the same manner as they perceive it. Many seminars and workshop being held in educational institution for e.g whether EU is a good example for ASEAN? EU is a supranational organization which is established through treaties for economic purposes in the beginning, while ASEAN is more to a group of countries in South East Asia established due to political motives. How could we answer the question on what is the good model of the systems in each part of the world?
I see your point and it has value but I wonder if simply contextualising something just allows one to explain why something is as it is and then we are not very far away from explaining its away? Just to give an extreme example to make the point, one might try to see the holocaust in its setting and that of itself is no bad thing as long as we are able to maintain that nothing can explain away such depravity - thus cultural norm or regimes must not stop us seeing wrongs, obvious wrongs and it really does not matter if they are Western or Eastern since none of these has a monopoly on goodness. What do you thing?
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almahdali
10-15-2010, 07:01 PM
I do agree with the idea that we could never justify wrong deeds done by certain regimes or group of people, that is more to liberalist idea who believes in the law, norms, and negotiations. But as to say, we also have to try to see things in their own shoes. By placing ourselves on their feet, then what will we do? Sometimes, certain situations had deprived actors I mean the state or governance to act in certain measures. Well, if we look at it in theoretical manner but in real life, those acts of states are of the mixture of things and quite complicated :)
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Argamemnon
10-17-2010, 11:56 AM
Nobel Peace Prize: Pak comes out in support of China

Pakistan on Friday came out in support of its ``all-weather friend’’ China by questioning the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2010 to Liu Xiaobo ``for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China’’. Beijing has viewed the selection as a display of the arrogance and prejudice of the Nobel Committee against China.

In a statement that came exactly a week after the announcement was made in Oslo last Friday, the Foreign office said Pakistan was ``surprised and deeply perturbed’’ by the choice; adding that the politicisation of the Prize for the purposes of interference in the domestic affairs of states is not only contrary to the recognized principles of inter-State conduct but also a negation of the underlying spirit conceived by the founder of the Prize.
Maintaining that Mr. Liu was sentenced by the Chinese judicial system and has ``done nothing that could possibly qualify him for the Prize’’, Pakistan said the decision runs contrary to the established principles for the award of the Prize and ``therefore cannot but be seen to be detracting from the prestige associated with this award’’.

Pakistan, according to the Foreign Office, deeply values the implementation of the commitments that the People’s Republic of China has made for upholding the principles and norms of international law, humanity and civilized conduct.

``China has made bold strides on the road to socio-economic development. Pakistan has no doubt that under its sagacious and visionary leadership, the Chinese people will continue to pursue their national development priorities which have brought about substantial improvement in the standard of living and the human rights of 1.3 billion people. The spirit of humanity that imbues the Chinese civilization is a shining example to the rest of the world.’’

http://www.thehindu.com/news/interna...icle834058.ece
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Muezzin
10-17-2010, 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
If I need your advice, I'll ask you for it - but as I havent mind your business.
Less of this, lads.
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titus
10-18-2010, 06:18 AM
Argamemnon,

So you support the way China is treating Liu Xiaobo?

Or do you just think that awarding him a prize is more of an injustice than what China is doing to him, since you seem to be heaping scorn upon the prize but none on the China.
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Argamemnon
10-18-2010, 10:09 AM
Originally Posted by titus
Argamemnon,

So you support the way China is treating Liu Xiaobo?

Or do you just think that awarding him a prize is more of an injustice than what China is doing to him, since you seem to be heaping scorn upon the prize but none on the China.
I believe western imperialism and media propaganda and aggression are much more serious issues and threats than Liu Xiaobo's freedom of speech.
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titus
10-18-2010, 02:18 PM
I suppose you believe that people in the West should not voice their opinions on anything that does not take place in the West then?

Or are you just at the point where no matter what someone in the West does your first reaction is to find some way of justifying how to rail against it? Even if that means implicitly condoning throwing someone in jail simply for voicing their opinion.

Or do you have no problem throwing people in jail for voicing their opinion, especially if they disagree with you?
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Ansariyah
10-18-2010, 08:37 PM
I agree that the Nobel Peace prize nowadays is a Big Joke, mostly for political gain but has lil to do with 'peace'. Its obvious that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is using this award as a tool to shame another country, not that I disagree that china is a Police state that needs its own reform, but I think that reform should come from china itself not from NPP.

I do hope that Liu Xiabo gets released he's serving 11 years for being the voice of so many oppressed people.
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almahdali
10-19-2010, 06:01 AM
That kind of realist perspective is very Western itself, it came from Greece. Asia is somehow different from Westerners and I think that it is not fair to just assume Western model would suit Asian states.

When looking at political scene in Asia, look at it in Asian shoes. Just like Western look at their political scenes in their own shoes. We can simply see Europe according to Asian perspectives and the result would be not according to the ideas of Westerners. Nonethless, the First World War began in Europe which is a part of West. You have that rival among each others that made you need a supranational body to bring you together in negotiations and compromise.

In Asia we already have our own philosopies such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and also Islam, Judaism or Oriental Christianity as religions which sets our paradigm toward our own realm. It's different from the West where you people have to develop secularism, marxism, liberalism, realism, whatever complicated theory frameworks to view the acts of states in international relations. It's not wrong however to provide opinions :)
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almahdali
10-19-2010, 06:22 AM
My personal opinion is that I don't give a **** to Nobel Prize, lol ;D
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Junon
11-04-2010, 11:15 PM
Salaam

Originally Posted by titus

Such is life under one party rule.
USA not a one party state? (slightly off topic I know:p)

Lynx

China is funny.
They should realize Western democracy is going to overrun them eventually; it's human nature. They've already basically accepted the free market system of the West and that's essentially more than half way there ~.~
Yes, this idea that it’s a ‘law of nature’ that the peoples of the third world countries will become like Europeans (hence ‘civilised’) has a long and sordid history in European intellectual and political thought. So (for example) one shouldn’t be too surprised when European nations invade other lands, they are not there to plunder, despoil, and exploit the place; they are merely there to civilise them hence enacting the ‘law of nature’.

Of course when the natives resist the ‘civilising’ process it elicits incomprehension particularly among educated opinion hence stern measures must be taken so that the ‘law of nature’ can proceed without interruptions.

Let’s take one example the American conquest of the Philippines during the 1900s. It was a murderous colonial war (parallels with Iraq anyone?) where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were slaughtered. The American press recognised this but soberly advised that ‘we’ must continue to kill ‘the natives in English fashion’ until they come to ‘respect our arms’ and ultimately respect our good intentions.

When President McKinley was queried about whether America was acting in ways ‘inconsistent’ with its professed values of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ he responded;

‘it is not a good time for the liberator to submit important questions concerning liberty and government to the liberated while they are engaged in shooting down their rescuers’

Happily for the President the Filipinos eventually realised the error of their ways and submitted to their new ‘benefactor’ hence the ‘law of nature’ is resumed. Of course it took hundreds of thousands of corpses and the destruction of the country but these are minor, grubby and ultimately uninteresting details.

Take a look at Philippines now, particularly its economy after a century of American ‘tutelage’ and compare it with countries like South Korea, Taiwan that managed to resist for one reason or another the imposition of American neoliberal economics. Philippines is a basket case while South Korea and Taiwan have developed. Iraqis take note.
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Lynx
11-05-2010, 01:14 AM
Originally Posted by Junon
Salaam



USA not a one party state? (slightly off topic I know:p)



Yes, this idea that it’s a ‘law of nature’ that the peoples of the third world countries will become like Europeans (hence ‘civilised’) has a long and sordid history in European intellectual and political thought. So (for example) one shouldn’t be too surprised when European nations invade other lands, they are not there to plunder, despoil, and exploit the place; they are merely there to civilise them hence enacting the ‘law of nature’.

Of course when the natives resist the ‘civilising’ process it elicits incomprehension particularly among educated opinion hence stern measures must be taken so that the ‘law of nature’ can proceed without interruptions.

Let’s take one example the American conquest of the Philippines during the 1900s. It was a murderous colonial war (parallels with Iraq anyone?) where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were slaughtered. The American press recognised this but soberly advised that ‘we’ must continue to kill ‘the natives in English fashion’ until they come to ‘respect our arms’ and ultimately respect our good intentions.

When President McKinley was queried about whether America was acting in ways ‘inconsistent’ with its professed values of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ he responded;

‘it is not a good time for the liberator to submit important questions concerning liberty and government to the liberated while they are engaged in shooting down their rescuers’

Happily for the President the Filipinos eventually realised the error of their ways and submitted to their new ‘benefactor’ hence the ‘law of nature’ is resumed. Of course it took hundreds of thousands of corpses and the destruction of the country but these are minor, grubby and ultimately uninteresting details.

Take a look at Philippines now, particularly its economy after a century of American ‘tutelage’ and compare it with countries like South Korea, Taiwan that managed to resist for one reason or another the imposition of American neoliberal economics. Philippines is a basket case while South Korea and Taiwan have developed. Iraqis take note.
Good thing I don't support forced democracies.
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Ramadhan
11-05-2010, 03:31 AM
Originally Posted by Junon
Take a look at Philippines now, particularly its economy after a century of American ‘tutelage’ and compare it with countries like South Korea, Taiwan that managed to resist for one reason or another the imposition of American neoliberal economics. Philippines is a basket case while South Korea and Taiwan have developed. Iraqis take note.
It is interesting to note that -which may come as a shock to some of our western friends here- Singapore, a country which is often much lauded by western countries, is actually among the LEAST democratic nations of SE Asia, if not asia, and has only slowly changed in the past few decades, in terms of political and "western human rights". It certainly has the least press freedom, only beaten by North korea.

But the western nations are not ruffled by this fact, why?
It is because Singapore allows giant multinational companies to operate and take profits from Singapore's economy (which in essence profits from its neighbouring big economies - Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand) and conform conveniently to international trade rules (as it has nothing to lose). Singapore never contradicts US and europe demands in terms of trade and economy although it still control extremely tight grips on its financial system. The country plays very smart, and it has very strong relations with Israel.

Compared that to China, who is demonised by the west, especially by the US, who refuses to kowtow to every demands by the US and european countries.
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Ramadhan
11-05-2010, 03:36 AM
Originally Posted by Lynx
Good thing I don't support forced democracies
From past history, forced democracies have failed miserably.
Countries and societies should be allowed to evolve on their own terms.
But why is the US repeating their "mistakes" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at an apparent huge costs too?
Makes you wonder eh?
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Lynx
11-05-2010, 06:13 AM
Originally Posted by naidamar
From past history, forced democracies have failed miserably.
Countries and societies should be allowed to evolve on their own terms.
Yep. Personally I think in the next 200 years almost everywhere will be a democracy of some kind.

But why is the US repeating their "mistakes" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at an apparent huge costs too?
Makes you wonder eh?
The US has many complicated issues in the policy making department, hence Israel being so well supported by USA.
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GuestFellow
11-07-2010, 05:04 PM
Salaam,

Originally Posted by Junon
I mean Obama, what did he get it for?
No idea. ._.

Originally Posted by Zafran
I'll question the idea of western democracy being "human nature" - that type of rhetoric can be scary - especially seeing whats happening in Iraq and Afghainstan.
Yes, I find it frightening how many civilians are killed in the name of democracy.
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titus
11-08-2010, 06:28 AM
USA not a one party state?
Nope. In the United States you can vote for any party, or even an independent candidate. You can vote Democrat, Republican, Green, Communist, Socialist, Libertarian... the list goes on and on. If I wanted to I could start a new party tomorrow and with enough support have it on the ballot for the next election.

In China you can only vote for someone who is a member of the Communist Party. Technically there are 8 other parties that are "allowed" but those parties are all controlled by the Communist Party.
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Junon
11-15-2010, 12:11 PM
Salaam

Originally Posted by Lynx
Good thing I don't support forced democracies.
This idea that the USA (and what I mean by the ‘USA’ is the government and elites who run the country) is a champion for democracy (self determination for people to decide their own fates) forced or otherwise is quite simply a masterpiece of propaganda.

It’s interesting how American elites view themselves. They seem to believe that they have a ‘historic mission’ to go forth wherever they see injustice and evil and replace it with ‘tolerant societ[ies] in which leaders and governments exist not to use or abuse people but to provide them with freedom and opportunity’. The world is fortunate to have such a benevolent superpower, who is unique in its insistence that ‘we do not seek to expand the reach of our institutions by force, subversion or repression,’ instead keeping to persuasion, compassion and peaceful means.

The world is lucky to have such a benevolent superpower, too benevolent as many fear like Henry Kissinger who has often warned that the altruism of US policy goes too far for its own good. After all when he was queried about the role he played in allowing thousands of Kurds to flee their homelands (during the 1970s) he replied that ‘covert action should not be confused with missionary work’. George Bush the first evidently agreed, after giving the Iraqis a good smiting in the first Gulf War (1990), stood tall and sternly warned the world that ‘What we say goes’.

Sometimes the idea of ‘American benevolence’ reaches to the point of pure logic. Thus a Professor of political science like Samuel Huntington (1990s) can write that the USA must maintain its ‘international primacy’ for the benefit of the world because, alone among nations, its ‘national identity is defined by a set of universal political and economic values’, namely ‘liberty, democracy, equality, private property, and markets’ accordingly ‘the promotion of democracy, human rights, and markets are far more central to American policy than to the policy of any other country’. Perhaps now we can understand Secretary of War Henry Stimson (May 1945) explanation of why other countries must dismantle their regional systems yet the US must be allowed to maintain theirs, in fact the US has to extend its regional system ‘as part of our obligation to the security of the world’ the influential Liberal Democrat Abe Fortas explained adding sagely that ‘what was good for us was good for the world’.

Now that we know that whatever the US does is by definition ‘democratic’ we can happily
dispense with the tedious work of trying to confirm whether American ‘words’ matches its ‘actions’. A wise decision because when you start to investigate the conduct and history of US foreign policy you do find plenty of odd ‘anomalies’.

For example how does one reconcile Americas principled rejection of ‘force, subversion or repression’ with the terrorist wars launched by the (conservative) Regan administration in Central America during the 1980s which left three countries in ruins, strewn with tens of thousands of tortured, mutilated corpses. Or how could the (liberal) Kennedy administration (1960s) reconcile American principles with its international terrorist campaign against Cuba and its escalation of the attack against South Vietnam. Moving from supporting the standard Latin American Style terror state (that Eisenhower had instituted) to outright aggression, which included bombing of civilian targets by the US Air Force, the use of napalm, crop destruction to starve out the indigenous resistance and other such means.

Perhaps we should look to South America to see US ‘benevolence’ in action. After all they have had a long relationship with this part of the world. Secretary of War Henry Stimson (May 1945) described the relationship quite well with the pithy phrase ‘our little region over here which has never bothered anybody’. Sadly, however those ‘anomalies’ appear again. In South America during the 1960s the US played a pivotal role in overthrowing the parliamentary government of Brazil, paving the way for a regime of killers and torturers. This had a domino effect that left neo Nazi regimes in control of much of the hemisphere for decades, always with firm US support if not initiative.

There are scores of more examples but I don’t want to belabour the point. I’m sure you get the picture.

Nicaragua

Having said that I would like to concentrate on one case namely the central American country of Nicaragua because it gives an instructive example of how and why the US acts in the way it does in International affairs.

Somoza a devoted US ally seized control of Nicaragua during the 1930s and ran a brutal military dictatorship, which remained in power under the Somoza dynasty until 1979. It was finally overthrown by the Sandinista National Liberation Front which enjoyed immense popular support

President Jimmy Carter tried desperately to prop up Somoza regime to the bitter end. Even Israel was enlisted (despite US denials) but failed to stop the final death agonies of the bloody regime. By the time Somoza regime was overthrown Nicaragua lay in ruins, its countryside devastated with 40-50000 killed.

When the Sandinistas were finally in government, everything was done to demonise them with accusations of genocide, drug trafficking and undemocratic practices. Not to mention US sanctions/trade embargo which played a key role in strangling the economic development of the country (eg. If the Nicaraguan government tried to get international loans it was blocked by US diplomatic pressure). Despite this Sandinistas did manage to enact a series of ‘remarkable reforms’ which the US media kept silent about. In fact despite the pressure they were under (by now they were under terrorist attack from the ‘Sons of Reagan’ (Contras)) they managed to maintain a relatively free press and won elections held in 1984 (which was judged free and fair by international observers). The election part is interesting as far as I know it was never reported in the US media and to my knowledge US scholarship doesn’t mention it (because the wrong people won perhaps?).

Oxfam commented with its experience of working in 76 developing countries, Nicaragua’s Sandinista government proved exceptional in its commitment to addressing inequities in land ownership, and in extending health, educational and agricultural services to poor peasant families.

By the mid 1980s the US began to use the Contras a terrorist force who’s main purpose was to retard the economic developments of Nicaragua (engaging in acts of terrorism, destroying schools, farms etc etc) and contribute to the strangulation of the country. Forcing the recalcitrant population to comprehend that survival requires submission to the will of the master of the hemisphere. In May 1988 a defence department official explained it well.

‘Those 2000 hardcore guys [maintained by the US within Nicaragua] could keep some pressure on the Nicaraguan government, force them to use their economic resources for the military, and prevent them from solving their economic problems – and that’s a plus. . .Anything that puts pressure on the Sandinista regime, calls attention to the lack of democracy, and prevents the Sandinistas from solving their economic problems is a plus’
Contra commander Israel Galeano, in an August 1989 interview said ‘we’re sure we’ll be able to make sure the Sandinistas can’t live in peace’.

Eventually after a decade of tremendous pressure the people of Nicaragua buckled and bowed down to the will of the ‘master of the hemisphere’ with the election in 1990s of the Pro US candidate. You can’t blame them, after all its hard for people to resist the ‘master of the hemisphere’ when it is holding a gun to your head.

The US media reaction to the election of the pro US candidate is again instructive. Time commented on the ‘happy series of democratic surprises’ as ‘democracy burst forth’ in Nicaragua. How did the US achieve this wonderful result? The method was to ‘wreck the economy and prosecute a long and deadly proxy war until the exhausted natives overthrow the unwanted governments themselves’ with a cost that is ‘minimal’ (to the US) leaving the victim ‘with wrecked bridges, sabotaged power stations, and ruined farms’ and thus providing the US candidate with ‘a winning issue’ ending the ‘impoverishment of the people of Nicaragua’. The only issue dividing the US media was ‘who should claim credit’ for this magnificent triumph of US styled ‘democracy’.

Nicaragua now is one of the poorest countries in the world, with any hopes of economic development retarded for the foreseeable future.

There is only one debate that I can find that brings all these issues together. Its 12 minutes in total so its not too long. John Silbers defence of the indefensible leaves little to the imagination


John Silber vs Noam Chomsky Part 1




John Silber vs Noam Chomsky Part 2



Transcript here if anybody’s interested.

Attachment 4175

One question needs to be asked is why the United States is so threatened by countries particularly weak countries who decide to follow an independent path of development. Why is it a threat?

‘An explanation for this superficially quite irrational behaviour is provided by the rotten apple theory, in its internal rather than public form; in these terms the hysteria makes perfect sense. If a tiny impoverished country with miniscule resources can begin to do something for its own population, others may ask: ‘Why not us?’ The weaker and more insignificant a country, the more limited its means of resources, the greater the threat of a good example. The rot may spread threatening regions of real concern to the rulers of much of the world.’
Moving on

Originally Posted by naidamar

Compared that to China, who is demonised by the west, especially by the US, who refuses to kowtow to every demands by the US and european countries.
Yes, Human Rights is only a means to an end, if it serves the purpose of promoting US policy then it’ll be backed but if it doesn’t then it’ll be dispensed with. Saddam Hussein is a classic example. Pre 1991 he was a great friend and ally whom the US protects (eg. Remember Donald Rumsfeld handshake with Saddam. Guess who vetoed the resolution condemning Saddam for gassing the Kurds, China? USSR? No it was the UK, He was even allowed to bomb a US warship in the Gulf with no response, a rare privilege only given to Israel). But when he disobeyed orders (by invading Kuwait) he was immediately transformed into the next incarnation of Hitler.

Originally Posted by Lynx
Yep. Personally I think in the next 200 years almost everywhere will be a democracy of some kind.
I personally don’t like making predictions that far in advance but one can hope that people of the world would be able to run affairs as they see fit. However if you think people are going to ‘ape’ after American model of development then you are sadly mistaken. I think it would be even better if the US would stop acting as a barrier to people’s right of self determination and learn simply to mind its own business.
Reply

Trumble
11-15-2010, 12:28 PM
Originally Posted by titus
In China you can only vote for someone who is a member of the Communist Party. Technically there are 8 other parties that are "allowed" but those parties are all controlled by the Communist Party.
I'm by no means a fan of the Chinese state, if for no other reason than their brutality and continuing cultural genocide in Tibet. However, there no inherent contradiction between a one-party state and a democracy. A requirement to be a Party member is no less 'democratic' in terms of being able to stand for office (with any chance of winning) than the requirement for huge amounts of campaign cash needed, say, in the US. Historically the major flaw with a one-party model (or at least with those that weren't just wallpaper for out-and-out dictatorships) has been corruption. A multi-party model is much better at preventing it as each party is always looking to dig up dirt on the others, hence it just becomes much harder to get away with.
Reply

titus
11-17-2010, 04:19 PM
However, there no inherent contradiction between a one-party state and a democracy.
Sure there is. A huge contradiction.

One party rule means that there is no dissent allowed. It is an imposition of rule and voters are not given a real choice, and the party leaders are de facto dictators.

Can you name a one-party state in which there is not a leader that pretty much runs the country however they want for as long as they want?

In a two party state you can vote the countries leader out of office. In a one party state you cannot.

Think about it. If you were Chinese and wanted more democracy who would you vote for? Nobody, because your choice is not allowed on the ballot.

If you were Chinese and wanted to run for office because you thought that the current Communist Party policy on X was wrong, you couldn't. You are not allowed a voice.

That is not democracy. Not even close.
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