Karzai’s farewell speech: US didn’t want peace in Afghanistan

Sep. 23 2014

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai punctuated on Tuesday his tumultuous 13-year relationship with the United States, alleging that America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for “its own interests” and never really wanted peace in the region.

Karzai, the only Afghan president since the 2001 US-led invasion, said the United States only wanted war in Afghanistan "because of its own interests,” and that Pakistan colludes with Washington to back perpetual violence in his country.

"If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan," Karzai said, according to AP. "War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war."

Karzai criticized neighboring Pakistan for the lasting Taliban-led insurgency while warning the incoming government to "be extra cautious in relations with the [United States] and the West," Reuters reported.

Karzai’s successor, President-elect Ashraf Ghani, and his opponent Abudullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing dealover the weekend. After a fairly bitter electoral process, with Ghani and Abdullah both alleging voter fraud, Ghani stressed that the agreement struck between the two - which makes Abdullah the government chief executive, a newly-created role with prime ministerial duties - marks an extraordinary transfer of power in Afghanistan.

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H* #35: Decolonial Love (feat. John & Khadi)

"We are never going to get anywhere as long as our economies of attraction continue to resemble, more or less, the economies of attraction of white supremacy." Junot Diaz

In this episode, Kari and Chuks joined by two special guests- John (ninjaruski) & Khadi (rococobutter), use this Junot Diaz quote as a jumping off point to discuss decolonial love. We also discuss US imperialism, ISIS and Emma Watson’s “feminist” speech and answer a question about AAVE appropriation and boundary policing.

Music: IntroClosing

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anonymous said:

Tarrlok was fascist, Unalaq was fascist, Kuvira is imperialist.

I can kinda see how Unalaq was a fascist, but he was more of an occultist than anything else. Fascism is when you’re overly nationalist and militaristic. Nazism was a specific brand of fascism. Unalaq was… I don’t even know how to classify him. 10,000 years of darkness isn’t something that can’t be easily categorized into real-life politics.

Same with Tarrlok. He wasn’t militaristic. He was your run-of-the-mill corrupted politician that was trying to sneak into power, not seize it openly by force. Aside from that, Amon was the main villain in the book, and notably similar to communism in his theory.

The other thing that I’m going to point out is that each season has independently addressed different movements that have occurred in the 20th century. Season 1 was communism. I want to say season 2 was occultism, since fascism is more Kuvira’s thing. Season 3 is obviously anarchy.

The reason why I stand behind Kuvira being fascist instead of imperialist is because not only does it look like she’s expanding an empire like you say, but because she seized power by force, through a military means. The other point I will make is that Suyin made several points in how she’s tired of the monarchy in the Earth Kingdom. Who’s to say that Kuvira wouldn’t adopt that philosophy, especially with this guy in line for the throne?

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I do understand how Kuvira could be interpreted as imperialist, but that was something that was more prominent in the 18th and 19th centuries. I would say that the Fire Nation during ATLA was a better example of imperialism. The Fire Nation had colonies set up in various places, a key factor to imperialism. 

New Afghanistan pact means America’s longest war will last until at least 2024

Bilateral security deal ensures that President Obama will pass off the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor

Sep. 30 2014

The longest war in American history will last at least another decade, according to the terms of a garrisoning deal for US forces signed by the new Afghanistan government on Tuesday.

Long awaited and much desired by an anxious US military, the deal guarantees that US and Nato troops will not have to withdraw by year’s end, and permits their stay “until the end of 2024 and beyond.”

The entry into force of the deal ensures that Barack Obama, elected president in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, will pass off both the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor. In 2010, his vice-president, Joe Biden, publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.”

Obama called Tuesday “a historic day” for the US and Afghanistan, as the security pact, which puts US troops beyond the reach of Afghan law, “will help advance our shared interests and the long-term security of Afghanistan.”

The primary explicit purpose of the deal, known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, is to permit the US to continue training Afghanistan’s roughly 350,000 security forces, which the US and Nato have built from scratch.

But with domestic US political acrimony swirling over the rise of the Islamic State (Isis) after the 2011 US withdrawal from Iraq, the accord is also a hedge against the resurgence of the Taliban and a recognition that 13 years of bloody, expensive war have failed to vanquish the insurgency.

Any earlier termination of the deal must occur by mutual consent, ensuring a US veto in the event of an about-face by newly inaugurated President Ghani or his successor. Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, incensed the Obama administration by refusing to sign the basing deal, rebuking the country that installed him as Afghanistan’s leader after the US drove the Taliban from Kabul in 2001.

Ghani also agreed to a garrisoning accord with Nato forces, known as a Status of Forces Agreement. Nato has agreed to fund Afghanistan’s soldiers and police through 2017.

Under the Bilateral Security Agreement’s annexes, the US military will have access to nine major land and airbases, to include the massive airfields at Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar, staging areas not only for air operations in Afghanistan but the US drone strikes that continue across the border in tribal Pakistan.

The additional bases – in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Helmand, Gardez and Shindand – ensure the reach of the US military throughout Afghanistan.

US defense leaders greeted the signing of the accord with enthusiasm.

“These agreements will enable American and coalition troops to continue to help strengthen Afghan forces, counter terrorist threats, and advance regional security,” said Defense secretary Chuck Hagel.

“Our partnership is an important one, and as we prepare to transition to a traditional security cooperation mission in the coming years, we remain committed to providing the necessary support to our Afghan partners and, in particular, to their national security forces,” said General Lloyd Austin, commander of US forces in the Middle East and South Asia.

In May, Obama pledged to reduce the US troop presence to 9,800 through most of 2015, ahead of what he called a “normal embassy presence” by the end of his presidency. Yet he hedged by saying the US will continue to conduct counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, a less visible mission than the training of Afghan forces.

Nothing in the bilateral deal prevents a US president from ramping troop levels back up. The accord’s terms “acknowledge that US military operations to defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism.”

The “intention” of future counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan is to partner US and Afghan forces together, with the goal of placing the Afghans in the lead, similar to the broader training mission. In 2013, Rolling Stone released a video showing Afghan forces that the US relies upon for counter-terrorism torturing a detainee.

In a September 25 letter to Ghani, Human Rights Watch urged the new president to end the “widespread impunity for members of the security forces responsible for serious violations of human rights in Afghanistan.”

Spring 2012 -

Introduction

American culture has a strong influence on foreign cultures. Nevertheless, culture spreads through many channels and does not always bring truth. Indeed, it almost never does. In my childhood, my first encounter with American culture was reading comic books translated from English. The hero was an “American ranger” against “bloody red-skins.” Turkish translators named indigenous people, Native Americans, “red skins.” The comic books described them as killing innocent settlers, setting fires, destroying the environment, and peeling the skin off the skulls of their victims. “Heroic” American rangers were fighting against American Indians and the colonial British army, called “red jackets.” The stories always ended with glorious victory for the American rangers. Many Turkish children grew up reading these politically incorrect comic books, learning American history from the settlers’ perspective. Schools banned these books, but this made them even more desirable. In the 1980s, TV dominated our popular culture, and American TV series became our firsthand source to learn about the most powerful country in the world. We learned the history of slavery watching Roots and contemporary Texas culture watching Dallas. 

Many years later, when I arrived in the United States as a Fulbright scholar, I had the opportunity to learn more about the American legal system and the legendary Supreme Court of the United States. My first encounter was the vicious debate during the nomination process for a Supreme Court Justice: Clarence Thomas’s hearing in the United States Senate and Anita Hill’s testimony against him. It was a fascinating learning experience, showing how the democratic system worked in the United States in such a transparent way. Questioning the Supreme Court candidates, let alone broadcasting it live on TV, was unimaginable in my country. No one was above the law in this country, even those nominated to the Supreme Court! Of course, I did not appreciate at the time the underlying racial tone, the importance of Justice Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court, and his decidedly controversial reputation in the African American community. I did not understand any of the competing and contrasting interests shaping the whole debate. I just admired the fact that people seemed to take sexual harassment seriously and that the United States protected women’s rights in such a vigorous way. It was a fascinating and impressive first encounter. In retrospect, I figured out that half of the importance of such a case, the politics of race, had not registered in my mind. I learned the side of the case that had been invisible for outsiders many years later when I read Toni Morrison’s book on this famous trial. [1]

My first personal experience with race consciousness was in 1993 when my 13-year-old daughter started the 9th grade at a local public high school in Ann Arbor. I received a warning from her German language teacher that she was spending time with African American students, which she described as a “potentially dangerous group.” She said I should be careful about my daughter’s friends. However, I learned from my daughter that they were the only kids in school friendly with her even though some of the African American kids questioned her presence in the group as she was awhite girl.” Soon someone explained thatshe is not white, she is a Muslim!This was the first knowledge I received that being white or black is much more than one’s skin color! Muslims were considered non-white in this country, yet not exactly black, either. We entered our new lives with this new identity.

The same year, another important event filled TV screens: the hot pursuit of O.J. Simpson. Police chased his white SUV and the whole country watched this drama unfold. The trial of O.J. Simpson was even more odd and confusing to me as a foreign lawyer. I had no deep knowledge of the workings of the U.S. criminal justice system in the real world, not in law books or Hollywood movies. Race politics had high-jacked the criminal justice system. People took sides. O.J. Simpson’s guilt or innocence could not be separated from his racial identity. I was also very surprised that while society and the justice system were so preoccupied with race, law school curriculum seemed to deal with race from the perspective of “color blindness,” instead of critically evaluated one of the most important issues in American society. Racial discrimination was a “white elephant” in law school classrooms. After many years, I learned that the Michigan Law School was one of the important venues in a famous Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. [2]

The new era of awakening arrived in 1995, when Timothy McVeigh exploded a public building killing hundreds of innocent people in Oklahoma City. I was at the airport, returning from an American Society of International Law meeting in New York on my way to Malta. They kept me at the airport the whole day without any explanation, and then sent me home on another flight. I figured that by carrying a Turkish passport I became an instant suspect in terror cases. On the morning of 9/11, as I watched the horror on TV, I hoped that the names of terrorists were not similar to mine! Unfortunately they wereSince then, my travel experiences have been difficult and humiliating. Visa applications to Europe were nightmarish, if not humiliating. They involved long investigations, background checks, visa officers accusing me of fabricating my documents. Flying back and forth was a stigmatizing experience as I was “randomly” searched because of my Turkish passport. Sometimes, they stamped my boarding card with a red sign, which meant that they searched me again and again each time I changed planes, until I reached my final destination. After 9/11, every time I returned to the United States immigration officers interviewed me in a back room, sometimes for hours, after long trips from Europe. They asked what is wrong with me that I am still a Turkish citizen, despite my green card, my profession, and my American husband. I should be an American citizen. I became an American citizen!

My personal experience in the United States helped me gradually understand the deep and complex relationship between racial politics, various forms of discrimination, the very important role of the legal system, and the complex relationship between race and law from the perspective of critical race theory. Law can be read, interpreted, and implemented from various angles depending on who reads or interprets it and, more importantly, who is the subject of a particular law. Looking from a critical race theory perspective, I learned that court decisions are not dead materials. Their lifetime is much longer than their historical moment of decision. They can be interpreted, reused, and abused depending on what current motives prevail. Law also could be used as a political tool to protect the interests of the dominant class by empowering them, while subordinating certain groups to keep them under control. Domination and subordination constitute an economic and political project. In this process, law is a useful tool of dominant ideology in any given society. According to scholar Carol Greenhouse, “courts, as well as law itself are places where ideologies are formed and articulated.” [3] “Culture and ideology interact with politics and law.” [4] Considering the versatile use of the legal system, I will approach the theme of this Article claiming that the term “Islam” historically has been used as a common denominator to establish a category, constructing “others” by reference to a dominant white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant American culture and ideology. The legal system articulates, permits, and allows this construction implicitly or explicitly, using as a strong justification its sense of the foreign culture of Muslims as sometimes “uncivilized.” This background prepared the post 9/11 political environment by using the state’s responsibility to protect American citizens from “terrorism.” I will argue that, contrary to general understanding, Muslims were subject to discriminatory behavior before the 2001 terrorist attack. This discrimination goes back to the historical period of immigration and citizenship discourse. Over the years, various national and international policies and events paved the way for post-9/11 discrimination and anti-Muslim behavior on social, political, and legal fronts. As a result, Islamophobia quickly came to the surface. 

This Article will situate pre-9/11 era American Muslims in relation to various stages of immigration policies and the difficulties of Muslims and Middle Easterners faced in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship as compared to immigrants of other European origins. Discrimination against Islam as a minority religion in white, Christian America, the international political events, and American foreign policy toward Muslim countries are major reasons for pre-9/11 resentment against Muslims and Middle Easterners in the United States. The role of the African American Muslims, and the rather difficult relationship between them and immigrant Muslims further complicates today’s conditions. The second part of the Article will focus on legal constraints and post-9/11 civil rights abuses that were imposed upon the Muslim population and which resulted in the creation of a new type of racial category that would help to entrench such discriminatory attitudes. The third part will examine the most recent events to evaluate how likely it is that American liberal secularism will embrace Islam and its symbols in public spaces. Ten years after 9/11, the recent controversy over building an Islamic Center in NYC and the ongoing global debate about Islamophobia will be discussed in this part. The Article also will emphasize the construction of public opinion that gives permission for such injustices to take place, leading to large-scale discrimination in the course of the “War on Terror,” which has no time constraints or geographical limits. War, terrorism, and fear are used as a national security blanket to cover pure racial politics, making discrimination against Muslim U.S. citizens acceptable even in mainstream society. 

The thesis ofRacializing Islamfrom the critical race theory perspective will help to raise questions such as: how did historical, legal, ideological, cultural, and geopolitical conditions help to frame the inquiry?; does Islamophobia help to racialize Muslims so that even the mainstream American public is comfortable with it?; does Islamophobia help to dominate and subordinate Muslims in this country and facilitate an ambitious foreign policy that enables a new type of colonialism and imperialism here and abroad?; what is the relationship between the United States and rest of the West in terms of Islamophobia?; is it possible to create a racial category that does not fit the traditional concept of race based on ethnicity or religion?; and is racism just another way of dealing with minorities based on subordination and re-colonization? The conclusion suggests that racial categorization is not just a policy based on pure racism, but that it also incorporates various hidden ideological, economic, and geopolitical ambitions that help to dominateothers.” In this context, Muslims are not the first examples of such racialization. Historically, this kind of discrimination happened to Jewish and Irish immigrants, as well as Japanese-Americans during World War II.

[1] Toni Morrison, Race-ing justice, en-gendering power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the construction of social reality (1992).

[2] Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)

[3] Kathleen M. Moore, Al-Mughtaribun: American law and the transformation of Muslim life in the United States 145 n. 30 (1995) (citing Carol Greenhouse, Courting differences: Issues of interpretation and comparison in the study of legal ideologies, 22 Law & Soc’y Rev. 687, 688 (1998)).

[4] at 6.

Remember that time the U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over Iranian airspace, killing all 290 on board, including 66 children, and then refused to apologize for doing it?

"I will never apologize for the United States. I don’t care what the facts are. I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy." — Vice President (and then-presidential candidate) George H.W. Bush, commenting on the downed airliner, 8/2/1988

Watch on americawakiewakie.com
American soldiers teasing children for water in Afghanistan
8

Full Text on Storify: How US Imperialism Created ISIS

Correction: ISIS was not a subsidiary of Al Qaeda, although there were links between the groups which contributed to its rise before Al Qaeda disavowed ISIS. “ISIS grew out of the former Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), a jihadist militant umbrella group that is believed to have helped create the al-Nusra Front in mid-2011” (x). al-Nusra is al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria.

More Sources:

A short (and incomplete given the scale of US-propagated violence across the globe) account of the myriad ways in which US imperialism directly led to creation of ISIS. US imperialism is never the answer and the US-led coalition now will only destabilize the situation further and lead to even more violence and long term problems in the entire region.

2

CNN removes reporter Diana Magnay from Israel-Gaza after calling Israelis celebrating the death of Palestinian civilians ‘scum’
July 18, 2014

CNN has removed correspondent Diana Magnay from covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after she tweeted that Israelis who were cheering the bombing of Gaza, and who had threatened her, were “scum.”

“After being threatened and harassed before and during a liveshot, Diana reacted angrily on Twitter,” a CNN spokeswoman said in a statement to The Huffington Post. (Neglecting to even acknowledge that it was directly related to the people cheering on Palestinian deaths.)

“She deeply regrets the language used, which was aimed directly at those who had been targeting our crew,” the spokeswoman continued. “She certainly meant no offense to anyone beyond that group, and she and CNN apologize for any offense that may have been taken.”

The spokeswoman said Magnay has been assigned to Moscow.

Magnay appeared on CNN Thursday from a hill overlooking the Israel-Gaza border. While she reported, Israelis could be heard near her cheering as missiles were fired at Gaza.

After the liveshot, Magnay tweeted: “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum.” The tweet was quickly removed, but not before it had been retweeted more than 200 times.

The removal of Magnay comes a day after NBC News pulled Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza.

NBC’s decision to remove the widely praised Mohyeldin, and unwillingness to explain why, has been met with anger and frustration from journalists inside and outside the network.

A source with knowledge of the decision told The Huffington Post that NBC executives cited security concerns. But at the same time Moyheldin was pulled, NBC assigned chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel to Gaza.

One of Mohyeldin’s tweets and Facebook posts were recently deleted, a move that has fueled speculation that his social media use could have been the cause for his removal. But the source said the reason given internally by network executives was security.

Source

The war drums are beating hard in the media. Anyone who dares to hint at the truth will be removed from the area by the corporate media owners. Shame on CNN and NBC both. 

about hong kong, what it means to be chinese and loyalty

stirringwind:

1. As we know, Hong Kongers are protesting against the latest news that they can only choose their leader from a list of candidates pre-approved by Beijing-  a troubling development because China had promised Hong Kong could keep its liberal democratic traditions from under British rule as “Two systems, one country”. The police have responded heavy handedly. 

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  • While mainland Chinese nationalism generally sees Hong Kong (and Taiwan) as a part of China, that’s not the ONLY perspective. Go and ask Hong Kongers and Taiwanese that and MANY of them would disagree. Identity amongst the Chinese diaspora is EXTREMELY fractured. Taiwan doesn’t see itself as the same as China. Many Hong Kongers don’t QUITE see itself as part of China either. Diasporic Chinese elsewhere in Asia have extremely different and fractured identities, and very confusing and contradictory feelings towards our mother country because of how tumultuous our history has been. That is the reason why you can see people all of Chinese ethnicity having completely different views about Hong Kong being “part of China”. There isn’t one person who is really, truly “correct”. What I am explaining here is why though, I resent the idea that we are somehow disloyal if we don’t agree with Beijing. 

2. Some background. I am not a HK-er but I am a person of Chinese ancestry. My great grandparents were ethnic Han Chinese. 

  • They left China in the early 1900s in the wake of the political strife and poor conditions caused by the Opium Wars- caused by the British and other European powers. That same conflict that led to China being forced to give Hong Kong to the British Empire. But that doesn’t mean I support the Chinese government in Beijing. Because, the year is not 1860, but 2014 and so many other things have happened. Because blind loyalty is dangerous. Because buying into oversimplistic arguments that want to portray anti-Beijing dissidents as neo-colonialists and traitors to the “motherland” is a trap. Because sharing the same ethnicity doesn’t automatically mean you have people’s interests at heart. 

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  • Because contrary to what this post seems to assume, people from the same ethnicity can damned well oppress one another and rob them of their right to self-determination. 

3. You know what this comment below is calling Hong Kongers?

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A bunch of English dogs”. Because, yes, everything is soooo simple. Chinese govt good, West bad. Two legs good, four legs bad! “Dog” by the way, is often used pretty derogatorily as an insult in China. 

  • So because they disagree with Beijing, Hong Kongers are “dogs of the English” huh? How convenient. How convenient that they are supposed to support or be loyal to the Chinese Communist Party just because they look like them. So nothing about their policies matter. Nope, nope. The Chinese Communist Party treated Chinese people better than the British because they were also Chinese. So even though Mao caused a disastrous famine that killed anything from 18 million to 45 million Chinese, that’s still better than British rule over Hong Kong.

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  • So even though the CCP started the Cultural Revolution where millions of Chinese were subject to political witch hunts and accused of being “bourgeois anti-revolutionaries” and caused turmoil and strife that just severely damaged the country and destroyed its education system, destroyed or damaged numerous, treasured historical sites from pre-Communist China- it’s still better than British rule over Hong Kong. Just because.

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  • While all of this was going on, Hong Kong flourished by comparison. No matter how British rule had certainly problematic paternalistic elements, there was nothing on the level of what mainland Chinese were suffering. Although the circumstances under which Britain obtained Hong Kong were wrong (the Opium Wars), the fact is Hong Kongers were consequently shielded from the worst excesses of Communist China later and generally had it good under British rule. And so many mainland Chinese fled to HK. And are today’s Hong Kongers. To ask for their loyalty after what has been done to their families, many of whom were killed? To call them “dogs of the English” when their own government persecuted them? Is that ironic as hell? Yes, but it is true. With that history, any wonder why Hong Kongers resent the influence of the government in Beijing and tend to view British colonial rule more positively (a very, very rare exception to colonialism)? 
  • So now, wanting civil and political rights, democracy = English dog. Nice. Nice how the rest of the non-white world that is democratic must also be “dogs of the English”. India, which won its independence by demanding and fighting for it from the British Empire, is evidently a “dog of the English” because hey, they’re a democracy too! Sorry Americans, y’all “dogs of the English” after all too, despite the Revolutionary War and stuff. What a cynical oversimplification of why many Hong Kongers are at odds with Beijing, what a way to completely discredit them without realising they have good reason to prefer British rule, as ironic and a bit strange as it is. 

4. I’ve seen a lot of comments claiming Hong Kongers are colonised. And disloyal to the “motherland”. And y’know what? All these claims of disloyalty are WRONG because they fundamentally forget… the CCP =/= CHINA.

  • THE CCP IS NOT CHINA. And all of us diasporic Chinese have no obligation to support them.
  • Because this political party has existed for barely 1/50th of China’s known, 5000 year old history. 
  • My Chinese heritage is in my name, my family’s traditions, the dishes we eat, how we celebrate Chinese New Year. Not the fucking CCP, which is the GOVERNMENT of China. China is bigger than the CCP. That’s why I can say I am against them. That’s why I understand why Hong Kongers say they preferred the security of British rule, as ironic as it all is. Because it was a fact that they were treated better by a foreign power than mainland Chinese were by their own government. Opposing Beijing doesn’t make me a colonial lapdog. It’s so easy for people to wrap themselves in the flag or history of an ancient civilisation and demand loyalty when it’s a LIE. 

being “chinese” is

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so much bigger 

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and older 

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than just loyalty to these people

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5. The reason Hong Kong doesn’t want to be “part of China” is in big part because of the CCP. They have NOT disowned their Chinese heritageGo there. You’ll see they speak Chinese dialects. They celebrate Chinese New Year. The food they eat is very much Chinese. Culturally, they’ve HARDLY disowned their heritage. Also, Hong Kong definitely benefits from increasingly wealthy, growing and capitalist China. 

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  • Why don’t they want to be a part of China then? Because what they don’t want is this unaccountable political system that already causes a crapload of problems to mainland Chinese being imposed on them. Beijing tries to meddle in their affairs and threatens to roll back their long-held civil and political rights. Because unlike how Scotland has a Scottish Parliament, how Westminster has at least kept its promises to devolved power when Scottish people asked for it, Beijing now insists Hong Kong must choose its Chief Executive from a pre-approved list of candidates. Because it looks like they’re going back on their promise of “Two systems, one country” made when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997. 
  • Perhaps this is bewildering to Mainland Chinese. After all, wasn’t HK wrongfully taken away as part of the humiliation of China during the Opium Wars? Yes, but the experience of the damage Maoist Communism did to the mainland caused Hong Kongers to start to view British rule more positively. The sense I get is that HK wants to retain its unique political character and not to have the politics of the mainland (and therefore, the CCP) influencing it due to the extremely negative view of Maoist Communism (which colours the modern CCP, even though they are quite different). It has led HK-ers to see themselves as distinct from mainland China. They see it as “colonisation” (I do recognise this word as used by many protesters may be poorly chosen due to how HK even came under British rule) because they think the mainland is trying to impose another system of governance on them and interfere with their right to self-determination.

6. China today is the world’s second largest economy because Deng Xiaoping and other more practical minded members of the CCP won a power struggle against the staunch Maoists in the 1970s- and ended its disastrous economic policies. But as much as they have reformed economically,politically, the authoritarianism from the Communist era is still there. And still causing a lot of problems. More reform is needed. Saying Hong Kongers should be loyal to a bunch of people just because they are also Chinese and that they are “English dogs” for preferring the system fostered under British rule, is the most shallow, the appeal to lowest common denominator in politics. Race and ethnicity based politics.

  • Nice try, but I’m not going to disregard reality and history, the reality that the Chinese Communist Party is so fucking problematic today in not just how it treats Hong Kong but mainland Chinese themselves even. How it treats Tibetans and the Muslim Uighurs. So the fact that their skin colour is the same as mine negates ALL THAT. What a load of nonsense. Throughout human history, some of the worst crimes have been committed by governments against their OWN people.

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  • Do you know how much further along and better off China could have been without those two decades of strife, political persecution and famines in the late 50s-70s? The economic progress in China today is because of REFORM. Because China started moving away from Maoist Communism. And they still need to move further away from the authoritarianism of the Communist era to fully realise the potential of their country. 

So, if you want to legitimately debate issues, sure. But this attempt at wrapping oneself in the flag to proclaim those angry with Beijing are “English dogs”, this accusation of Hong Kongers or diasporic Chinese of disloyalty, try harder. That’s a false paradigm. Our recognition of our ancestry and heritage is to a much longer history, not to some political party that has barely existed for 1/50th of China’s history that tries to make itself synonymous with an entire culture and civilisation. China existed long before the CCP was even an idea.

And that’s why I support the Hong Kong protesters even though my family fled China because of the Opium Wars. Because blind loyalty is dangerous. Because people who are of the same ethnicity are perfectly capable of oppressing one another. Because oppressor and victim can sometimes wear the same skin. 

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