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Live from the streets of China, Jeff
The process [of mass-media deception] has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. George Orwell in the book, 1984
June 4th fell on a school day this year. When teaching children in China, even for 6th graders, liusi, (六四= Six Four) is a shibboleth that gets bandied about quite a bit towards the culminating date. The most mundane refrain is that the internet slows down to an Arctic molasses pace. Then there is a general increase in the presence of security forces on the streets. They seem to grow exponentially as you travel to the nexus of the Middle Kingdom’s universe, the Forbidden City, and its accompanying Tiananmen Square. In keeping with all the myriad, mind boggling, socioeconomic superlatives that China has and is accruing on the world stage, Tiananmen is the planet’s fourth largest public square, weighing in at 440,000m² (880m by 500m). China still grabs the We’re Number One medal in any case, as Xinghai Square, in Dalian, stretches out an expansive 1,100,000m². Bring your compass or GPS.
As usual, a few bright sparks in my class, those young minds who love to read through our class’ subscription to the print edition of The China Daily newspaper and peruse articles on the educational current events website, The Day, dutifully asked me,
Mr. Brown, so how many people were killed during the Tiananmen massacre?
Before returning to China in 2010, I would have undoubtedly spouted the pedantic, Western mainstream media mantra,
Oh, I understand the Chinese army massacred many thousands.
Back in the day, even grade school kids always seemed to bring up the iconic, Western media image of Tank Man. We would all dutifully extol the virtues of this allegorical saint of resistance to tyranny and oppression, like some political superhero version of The Epic of Gilgamesh. This year, when Tank Man was proffered, I reflexively demurred.
At least this year, I had enough of a fledging knowledge to say,
I have read estimates from the low hundreds to a few thousand. My guess would be maybe a thousand.
Because this year is different. Having done hundreds of hours of serious research to write my book, 44 Days Backpacking in China (44 Days Publishing, 2013), I learned that Baba Beijing, my affectionate, tongue in cheek name for China’s leadership, also has their version of the story to tell: the Tiananmen protests were ended with very little bloodshed, given the huge numbers of people involved, up to one million in and around the square. That out of a total of 300 deaths, a number of these were unarmed PLA soldiers, who were first sent into this teeming mass of humanity to stand sentry. Well organized, well armed protesters upped the ante of violence and Baba Beijing responded by sending in armed soldiers to suppress these violent groups. The rest of the protesters slowly left the square and the surrounding streets were emptied.
This year’s classroom discussion was even more poignant. One student told us that his father had a friend who was killed during the protests and it was after all, the 30th anniversary, a quarter of a century since that fateful night. The Chinese take numerology very seriously.
As we were talking together, I couldn’t help but ask myself, how would Uncle Sam respond if a few hundred thousand protesters were packed into Washington DC’s National Mall, and well organized, well armed groups began assaulting and killing the authorities’ security forces? I kept coming to the same conclusion: it would get really ugly, really fast.
A serendipitous juxtaposition also happened right before this year’s liusi: I had just finished reading Killing Hope (2004, Common Courage Press), by William Blum. It is a factual, scathing exposé of the American Central Intelligence Agency’s and National Security Administration’s long, long rap sheet of covert and violent regime change in dozens of countries around the world, since World War II, including China. My eyebrows raised more than just a tetch while reading about all the ceaseless American efforts to destabilize and overthrow the Communist government here, starting even before October 1st, 1949, the day Mao Zedong stood overlooking said Tiananmen Square and declared the Republic’s independence from the Japanese, Western colonialists and the murderous, Mafiosi KMT, which had fled to Taiwan. Killing Hope details the hiring of the Dalai Lama’s older brother, as America’s lead Tibetan saboteur. For years, the CIA and Thubten Jigme Norbu planned to invade the Land of Snow, using hundreds of exiles trained in Colorado and on America’s Saipan Island, and flying numerous weapon drops onto the Plateau to arm the overthrow. Elsewhere in China, scores of American and Taiwanese agents were sent to infiltrate, sabotage and foment antigovernment revolution in-country, as well as hundreds of aerial espionage sorties, many of which were shot down. This has all been documented in detail to have gone on well into the 70s.
Now I know why Baba Beijing will have nothing to do with the Dalai Lama. In the Chinese familial hierarchy, if your gege (哥哥＝ older brother) is rotten and corrupt, then all the younger siblings are equally so, by filial association. The fact that Radio Free Asia, a CIA propaganda megaphone, used someone with a voice sounding exactly like the Dalai Lama, to egg Tibetans to violent insurrection the day before the March 14th, 2008 riots in Lhasa, riots which were obviously well planned and coordinated in advance, it is easy to see that the United States continues to try to undermine China’s sovereignty unabated. Thus, one has to ask, is the recent string of so called Xinjiang Muslim terrorist acts getting outside support of the Red, White and Blue variety? Based on all I have learned, I am convinced they are. Beijing is certainly not fooled either.
Enthralled that we Westerners are so convinced of our moral superiority and that this Great Con is so ruthlessly effective and pervasive, all over the world. This is manifested in one of the United States’ greatest post-WWII media propaganda coups. We all dutifully regurgitate the annual international flogging that Baba Beijing, and by extension, China’s 1.3 billion citizens have been and will be subjected to, by Western Empire’s state-corporate mass media. This worldwide juggernaut, a system that makes North Korea’s Kim Dynasty blush with envy, will go on in perpetuity every June 4th, for an ersatz massacre that never was. It’s a hoax that just keeps on giving. The fact that Tiananmen was financed, planned, aided and abetted by the CIA, makes the whole affair especially galling and diabolical.
I’m equally ashamed that I have been an unwitting dupe to fall for this blatant, state-corporate brainwashing most of my life. Not anymore. Like Neo in The Matrix, since returning to China four years ago, I am renouncing the blue pill and opting for the red one. Thanks to my experiences here, I can now forgo the Matrix’s fabricated reality and stop living in its illusion of ignorance. Living and working here in Sinoland, inside the belly of the 21st Century Beast, has taught me to escape from the Matrix, to be fully sentient in the real world, embracing Morpheus’ truth of reality.
What could be more profound and liberating than that? And who would have guessed this new found freedom would be discovered in the West’s big, bad, Communist China? My research continues into the truth of reality and honestly, it is difficult to bear. It is easy to see why the vast, vast majority of humanity prefers to swallow the blue pill, living inside that comforting, soothing illusion of ignorance, in an amniotic womb of infotainment and soulless Stuff. I am learning that real freedom is not free. The truth of reality is hard, humbling and sobering work.
But as Morpheus told Neo, there is no turning back now. I am currently reading NATO’s Secret Armies – Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, by Daniele Ganser (Routledge, 2005). Inevitably, the West’s deep, dark, colonial state metastasized and continues to terrorize and kill its own citizens, per the needs of the Princes of Power, on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as around the world. Next up is JFK and the Unspeakable, by James W. Douglass (Touchstone, 2010), to get at the deep, dark heart of America’s very own, homegrown, violent regime change. Interestingly, the majority of Americans have known since that fateful day they have been lied to by their government and leaders.
Americans know their government was responsible for John F. Kennedy’s execution. Now it’s time to look elsewhere for the usual suspects (image by gallup.com)
With one more week of school to go, I already apologized to this year’s class for my earlier analysis of what happened on June 4th, 1989. Next year, when liusi rolls around, I will be a much better teacher to my students, from the get go. I didn’t swallow the red pill until I was in my fifties. Better late than never. I hope from now on that I can teach my students, regardless of their age or nationality, to embrace the truth of reality. Better earlier than later. It’s the only hope humanity has for its future salvation, starting now.
Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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