Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bowring's Invented History

Huangyan Island

Bowring's Invented History
June 7, 2012
Taipei, China

The China Desk: Dedicated China-demonizer Philip Bowring, whose work is never done, recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “China's Invented History.” Bowring asserts that "Beijing is rewriting the past to justify its expansive claims to disputed waters."

Daniel Ong, a Chinese-Filipino, puts Bowring's allegations under the microscope and demolishes them, one by one. The facts are clear. Within the framework of the conventional monopolistic state, the Huangyan Islands belong to China.

Actually, most territorial disputes bedeviling the world, including the recent ones in the South China Sea, are the tragic but predictable result of the conventional monopolistic state and its flawed concepts of "collective ownership."

Free market anarchism, grounded correctly in individual ownership, would have prevented such clashes from arising in the first place. 

The Huangyan Isles
by Daniel Ong

"A little learning is a dangerous thing.” So wrote Alexander Pope in the 18th century. A little learning can even be more dangerous nowadays, when it hides under the cloak of a prestigious publication and is widely disseminated through modern online media. One example of such is Philip Bowring's article “China's Invented History” tackling the China-Philippine conflict over Scarborough Shoal, posted on the website of the Wall Street Journal. The article of Mr. Bowring charges that China is rewriting history to bolster its own claim to Scarborough Shoal (and the Spratly Islands).

Mr. Bowring's main evidence for Chinese historical revision is that Chinese sailors were latecomers to the South China Sea and could not have been the first to discover Scarborough, as China claims. Mr. Bowring presents other arguments to counter the Chinese claim to Scarborough: (1) the Philippines has a stronger claim to Scarborough Shoal on the basis of “geography,” and (2) China is wrong in using the 1898 Treaty of Paris as a basis for its claim.

Let us first consider Mr. Bowring's subsidiary arguments. Mr. Bowring writes that the “Philippine case for Scarborough is mostly presented as one of geography,” and proceeds to cite the oft-repeated figures showing the proximity of Scarborough to Luzon, and the distance of Scarborough from China. He also writes that China avoids these inconvenient geographical facts in pressing its claim.

Mr. Bowring is apparently unaware that the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines has released a position paper on the matter last April 18 (Department of Foreign Affairs, “PH sovereignty based on Unclos, principles of int'l law,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 April 2012, A18; “ ‘Panatag is part of Phl territory',” The Philippine Star, 20 April 2012, 10). The position paper stated that Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction over “Bajo de Masinloc” or Scarborough is not premised on proximity or the fact that the rocks are within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or continental shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Even the Philippine government has already realized that geographic proximity alone is not an adequate basis for claiming sovereignty over territory (Jon M. Van Dyke, “Legal Issues Related to the Sovereignty over Dokdo and Its Maritime Boundary,” Ocean Development & International Law, Jan 2007, 38(1-2): 159, 193; Louis Henkin, Richard Crawford Pugh, Oscar Schachter, and Hans Smit, International Law: Cases and Materials, 2nd ed., St. Paul: West Publishing, Co., 1987, 290, 306-307).

Mr. Bowring criticizes China for partly basing its claim to Scarborough on the 1898 Treaty of Paris between Spain and the United States. This segment is worth quoting in full, if only to demonstrate Mr. Bowring's convoluted logic and his lack of knowledge regarding history in general:

Another unsteady pillar in China's claim to the Scarborough Shoal is its reliance on the Treaty of Paris of 1898. This yielded Spanish sovereignty over the Philippine archipelago to the U.S. and drew straight lines on the map which left the shoal a few miles outside the longitudinal line defined by the treaty. China now conveniently uses this accord, which these two foreign powers arrived at without any input from the Philippine people, to argue that Manila has no claim.

The irony is that the Communist Party otherwise rejects “unequal treaties” imposed by Western imperialists, such as the McMahon line dividing India and Tibet. Does this mean Vietnam can claim all the Spratly Islands, because the French claimed them all and Hanoi has arguably inherited this claim?”

The argument of Mr. Bowring is untenable, in two ways.

(1) In his analysis, China contradicts itself when it rejects other “unequal treaties,” but uses the Treaty of Paris for its purposes. Mr. Bowring seems to imply that the Treaty of Paris is also some sort of “unequal treaty,” since it was concluded “without any input from the Philippine people.”

Mr. Bowring appears to be confused about the concept of unequal treaty. An unequal treaty, in the view of East Asian nationalists, is a treaty which was not negotiated between states treating each other as equals, but imposed upon a weaker state after its military defeat or with further threat of military action by a stronger state. For example, the Treaty of Nanjing signed by China after its defeat in the First Opium War, provided for the cession of Hong Kong Island to the United Kingdom (among other things), and is considered the first of the unequal treaties imposed by foreign powers on China. If the 1898 Treaty of Paris is to be considered an unequal treaty, the stronger state would obviously be the US, and the weaker state in this case would be Spain, which was forced to relinquish the Philippines (plus Guam and Puerto Rico) after its defeat in the Spanish-American War.

Therefore, even if the Treaty of Paris is interpreted to be an “unequal treaty,” what would be in question would not be the proper boundaries of the Philippines, but the validity of the transfer of the Philippines to the United States (just as the issue about the “unequal” Treaty of Nanjing would not be the boundaries of Hong Kong, but the validity of the cession). Even if the Philippines had remained under Spain, or even if the Philippines had successfully won its independence in 1898, the extent of Philippine territory would still not have been greater than what it had been before the Spanish-American War. One good thing about the Treaty of Paris is that it provided a clear delineation in writing of this territorial extent.

(2) Despite all this, one might still argue that the Treaty of Paris was null and void and is not binding on the Philippines, simply because the Philippines was not a participant in the negotiations leading to the treaty. It may be true that the Treaty of Paris was concluded between Spain and the US “without any input from the Philippine people,” but was this treaty later rejected by the Philippines?

The boundaries set by the Treaty of Paris (and by the Treaty of 1900 between the US and Spain, and the Treaty of 1930 between the US and the UK) served as the basis of the definition of Philippine territory in the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines.

One can argue further that the 1935 Commonwealth Government of the Philippines was not a true independent government. However, the definition of Philippine territory in the 1935 Constitution was adopted in the subsequent post-independence Constitutions of 1973 and 1987, and by Republic Act (RA) No. 3046 in 1961 defining Philippine baselines. On the Philippine claim, Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas has already written that “We are claiming land areas that are outside the lines drawn by the Treaty of Paris. The challenge for us is to be able to justify our claims under the present state of international law. Merely citing the shape or date of old maps will not settle the issues.” (“Scarborough issues,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 14 May 2012, A17)

Perhaps the only thing that Mr. Bowring got right was this statement: “The seafaring history of the region at least for the first millennium of the current era was dominated by the ancestors of today's Indonesians, Malaysians, Filipinos and (less directly) Vietnamese.” This statement at least is supported by current historical and anthropological knowledge. (Victor T. King, “Ethnolinguistic Groups of Southeast Asia,” inSoutheast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, ed. Ooi Keat Gin, pp. 492-498, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2004).

Unfortunately, that's about it; his subsequent statements reveal his limited knowledge about these ancestors of the Southeast Asians. Mr. Bowring writes that “Malay people from what is now Indonesia were the first colonizers of the world's third largest island, Madagascar, some 4,000 miles away,” that “the Madagascan language and 50% of its human gene pool are of Malay origin,” and that “the Malay-speaking, Hindu-ized Cham seagoing empire of central Vietnam dominated South China Sea trade until it was conquered by the Vietnamese.”

Evidently, Mr. Bowring confuses “Malay” with “Malayo-Polynesian;” replacing all occurrences of “Malay” in the previous statements with “Malayo-Polynesian” would make them correct. The concept of “Malay” as a race encompassing the peoples of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines was an invention of 18th-century European racism (“Malay,” in Barbara A. West, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, Volume II, p. 478, New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2009). “Malay people” now refers to people speaking the Malay language, a language which may have existed since before the Christian era, but attested in writing only in the 7th century CE (Hein Steinhauer, “Malay/Indonesian,” in Facts About the World's Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages, Past and Present, ed. Jane Garry and Carl Rubino, pp. 452-453, New York and Dublin: The H. W. Wilson Company, 2001).

Mr. Bowring argues that the Chinese could not have been the first to discover Scarborough, since the dominant seafarers in the South China Sea in the first millennium were the “Malays” (i.e., Malayo-Polynesians). Mr. Bowring believes that because the Malayo-Polynesians were the earlier seafarers, they must have discovered every existing land feature in the South China Sea before others did.

Even if Mr. Bowring is correct, the discovery of Scarborough by Malayo-Polynesians does not mean that it became their territory. A review of the Clipperton Island arbitration case would be helpful ( The Clipperton Island case happens to be very similar to that of Scarborough. Clipperton is a coral atoll; it was and still is uninhabited, is closest to Mexico, and was claimed by both France and Mexico. Mexico argued that Clipperton had been discovered by Spain and therefore had belonged to Spain, and that Mexico succeeded to Spain's rights over Clipperton upon independence in 1836.

The arbiter reasoned that even if it could be proven that Clipperton had been discovered by Spanish navigators, there was no evidence that Spain incorporated it in its possessions, so it could be considered territorium nullius in 1858, when a French naval lieutenant declared French sovereignty over it. Abandonment by France after 1858 (“no positive and apparent act of sovereignty”) was also not considered a factor to extinguish French sovereignty. Although the decision was rendered in 1931, the arbiter decided that based on the facts, sovereignty over Clipperton belonged to France from the date Nov. 17, 1858.

If Mr. Bowring thinks that the “13th-century map” is not sufficient basis for China to claim Scarborough, there are other more recent official acts and proclamations on the part of China. In 1935, China's Land and Water Maps Inspection Committee published a journal listing the approved Chinese and English names of islands and other features in the South China Sea (Li Jinming and Li Dexia, “The Dotted Line on the Chinese Map of the South China Sea: A Note,” Ocean Development & International Law, July-Dec 2003, 34(3-4): 289).

In December 1947, the Chinese government at the time (which is the government now administering Taiwan) officially drew the dashed lines forming a U-shaped boundary around the South China Sea islands (Zou Keyuan, “Historic Rights in International Law and in China's Practice,” Ocean Development & International Law, April-June 2001, 32(2): 161; Peter Kien-Hong Yu, “The Chinese (Broken) U-shaped Line in the South China Sea: Points, Lines, and Zones,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, Dec 2003, 25(3): 407). Scarborough Shoal lies within this U-shaped boundary.

In September 1958, China promulgated its “Declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China on Territorial Sea,” laying claim over the islands in the South China Sea, including Scarborough Shoal (Yann-Huei Song and Zou Keyuan, “Maritime Legislation of Mainland China and Taiwan: Developments, Comparison, Implications, and Potential Challenges for the United States,” Ocean Development & International Law, Oct-Dec 2000, 31(4): 306-307).

In February 1992, China promulgated its “Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone,” declaring sovereignty over Scarborough as part of the Zhongsha Island Group. In 1996, China's legislature ratified the UNCLOS, but also declared that China was reaffirming its sovereignty over all the archipelagoes and islands listed in the 1992 Territorial Sea law (Yann-Huei Song and Zou Keyuan, 2000, 309).

As for the Philippines, it made a formal claim to Scarborough only in 2009, when the Philippine Congress passed RA 9522, labeling Scarborough a “‘Regime of Islands' under the Republic of the Philippines” over which the country “exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction.” Before 2009, Scarborough was not considered Philippine territory even by its own Constitutions.

Mr. Bowring writes that “Beijing argues that its 1932 claim isn't bound by the Convention, which came into effect in 1994 since it preceded it. That's a handy evasion, most probably because China knows its case for ownership is weak by the Convention's yardsticks.” These statements actually do not demonstrate China's evasion, but rather Mr. Bowring's ignorance of the UNCLOS.

The jurisdiction of the UNCLOS and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is generally understood to be limited to law of the sea disputes (Zou Keyuan, “The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: Procedures, Practices, and Asian States,” Ocean Development & International Law, Apr-June 2010, 41(2): 140). This means that the ITLOS only has jurisdiction over matters covered by the UNCLOS, such as disputes over delimitation of territorial seas and EEZs, and not issues such as which state owns a particular island in the sea. In other words, the UNCLOS deals with maritime boundary disputes, but is has no “yardsticks” when it comes to sovereignty disputes over land territory.

By appealing to the “Convention's yardsticks,” Mr. Bowring probably thinks that the Philippines can rightfully claim Scarborough because it lies within its 200-nm EEZ. Raul C. Pangalangan had already written that it's the other way around—the Philippines has to settle its title to an island first, before the extent of the surrounding territorial sea and EEZ can be determined (“Baselines: A primer for beginners,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6 February 2009, A14).

According to Mr. Bowring, China believes that its claim to Scarborough precedes the UNCLOS and is therefore not bound by it. That is absolutely correct: the UNCLOS sets the limits of territorial seas and EEZs; it does not and cannot alter existing state boundaries. This is the same reason why the Philippines cannot claim Taiwan and the Talaud Islands as its territories even if these lie within 200 nm of Philippine coasts.

All that Mr. Bowring's article demonstrates is ignorance of history, anthropology, linguistics, law, and logic.

On the issue of Scarborough Shoal, the evidence suggests that China is not the one guilty of historical revision, and “today's naval arguments won't come to an end” until the guilty side stops rewriting the past.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It Belongs to China

Philippines and Mainland China Clash over Huangyan Islands  

The China Desk: The following is an article published in the Manila Standard Today. The name of the author was shown as "Victor N. Arches of San Juan City, a retired investment and merchant banker, a retired Certified Public Accountant, and a retired economist who dabbles in history and political science."

Some in the Philippines allege that Arches is a pseudonym, and that Arches is not who he claims to be. But the author's identity is beside the point. The point is whether what he wrote was true. On this point the record is clear. Within the framework of the conventional monopolistic state, Huangyan Island belongs to China.

Actually, most territorial disputes bedeviling the world, including the recent ones in the South China Sea, are the tragic but predictable result of the conventional monopolistic state and its flawed concepts of "collective ownership."

Free market anarchism, grounded correctly in individual ownership, would have prevented such clashes from arising in the first place.

It Belongs to China
By "Victor N. Arches II" 
April 28th, 2012
Manila Standard Today

The Scarborough Shoal does belong to China which discovered it and drew it in a map as early as 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty.  Chinese fishermen, from both the Mainland and Taiwan, have since used it.  As a matter of fact, Guo Shoujing, (the Chinese astronomer, engineer and mathematician who worked under the Mongol ruler, Kublai Khan) performed surveying of the South China Sea, and the surveying point was the Scarborough Shoal which is considered part of the Zhongsha Islands (renamed Huangyan Island in 1983).

By contrast, the “old maps” being relied upon by our Department of Foreign Affairs in its spurious claim on the same territory were drawn up only in 1820, or 541 years after China’s.  I am surprised that Senator Edgardo Angara—supposedly a renowned lawyer—can claim that a map drawn 5 centuries and 4 decades after, takes precedence over the much earlier map of China.

But I am all the more astonished that Fr. Joaquin Bernas, in his April 22 article in another newspaper,  being one of the main framers of the 1987 Constitution, uses the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as his basis to defend the Philippine claim.  This, despite and after acknowledging the fact that, indeed, “the Scarborough Shoal is OUTSIDE THE LIMITS set by the Treaty of Paris for Philippine territory.”  What kind of double-speak is that?

So, what exactly was the territory we declared independence from the US in 1946?  Why is it that NONE of our constitutions, past and present, from 1899, 1935, 1943, 1973, 1986 and 1987, include either the Spratlys or the Scarborough Shoal within our declared national territory?  Where, or from whom, did we, all of a sudden, acquire title to these?  Out of thin air?

In the late 1970s, China organized many scientific expeditions in the Shoal and around that area.  In fact, in 1980, a stone marker reading “South China Sea Scientific Expedition” was installed by China on the South Rock.  This Chinese marker was removed, without authority, by the Philippines in 1997.

All official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990s excluded both the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal from its territorial boundaries.  Our own Republic Act No. 3046, passed by our Congress and approved in 1961, stopped us from our claim.  Yet, we had the temerity to amend this law on March 10, 2009, after 48 long years, to unilaterally include the disputed territories.

But what takes the cake is the fact that China holds three international treaties in support of its claim over the territories in question—namely, the 1898 Treaty of Paris between the US and Spain, the 1900 Treaty of Washington between Spain and the US, and the 1930 Treaty between Great Britain and the US, all limiting Philippine territorial limits to the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich.

On the other hand, the basis of the Philippine claim is restricted to proximity, relying solely on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  As far as I know, a mere “convention” cannot overturn or supersede a treaty or an agreement reached between colonial powers.  And even if it were considered a “law”, it cannot be made to take effect retroactively.

Whom are we fooling?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The US Massacre Mentality

Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011
Captain America leads the fight for freedom in the action-packed blockbuster starring Chris Evans as the ultimate weapon against evil! When a terrifying force threatens everyone across the globe, the world's greatest soldier wages war on the evil Hydra Organization, led by the villainous Red Skull.
-- Captain America Official Website

The US Massacre Mentality
by Jack D. Douglas
April 10, 2012

The U.S. carried out a systematic program of racial clearing of the valuable land of Native Americans. I don't know of evidence many thought of it as genocide or even ethnic cleansing, though some probably did, since Social Darwinism of various kinds was loose in the world and by the early twentieth century some might have thought of it in genetic terms. I think most of the massacres and policies that led to the rapid dying away of the millions of Native Americans were aimed at getting control of the valuable lands at the local and national level.

There is no question, though, that the national massacre mentality, which later exploded so immensely against other nations, from the Philippines and WWII saturation bombing and burning of all the cities of Germany and Japan (except Kyoto) to Vietnam and the use of economic national strangulation against Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran , existed very early in some U.S. officials at the top. I first became aware of this as a young teenager when I read about four of Kenneth Robert's novels about pre-revolutionary and revolutionary America – Rabble in Arms (my first and favorite), Arundel, Northwest Passage....Northwest Passage contained a bit of a shocker for me. The young hero (?) center piece of the novel who witnesses it all, Langdon Towne, and an old geezer friend join Roger's Rangers on a mission to attack a Huron village on the border. When they get there they attack at dawn and trap the Indians, massacring with abandon. One crazed Ranger is even found later with a head of one of the victims in a sack – he's been eating it. Bit shocking when you've grown up on American State Textbook Fantasies about the Good Americans Saving The World. (I think the victims had sent marauding border parties that killed some frontier Americans, so this was a Reprisal Massacre, which is the way Americans and other nations normally "Justify" their more immense massacres.)

When you get to Jackson's slaughter of the Seminoles in the Florida Glades and the later March of Tears to Oklahoma, etc., which would make Bataan look tame, you realize how horrific the U.S. Racial Clearing was. Sheridan was a late comer. And when you see the massive forcing of native Americans onto useless land that could not support them, imprisoning them in open air concentration camps ("Reservations"), and letting them die away on booze and government handouts that were inherently very unhealthful, Sherman burning a huge swath across Georgia and burning a big city like Atlanta, and the use of vast firepower against Vicksburg and other Southern areas, and Sheridan's slaughters, you know the U.S. ushered in the modern age of total warfare against nations and immense slaughters committed in a rage of moralistic hubris and greed and blood lust.

And look at Lincoln and the other Republicans who made huge land grants to Big Rail Roads in the West of Indian lands the size of France. They gave away those vast lands indiscriminately which continue to this day to vastly enrich some, such as Burlington-Northern under its new names – and the Fascist Hero Buffet who bought the whole gigantic B-N Corp. and much of that huge basin of gas and coal they've found from Canada down into North Dakota. I think that's a case where simple justice would be served immensely by turning that huge area into a Native American Trust Fund for rebuilding their homes and lands and cultures – and help them escape the diabetes and gambling trap.

The British concentration camps in S. Africa and the Nazi Death Camps had their beginnings in the vast annihilation of Christian and Classical Liberal Standards that began in the U.S. and the similar clearings of Native Americans by Spain and local states south of our border (and to a lesser degree in the Russian pogroms against Jews in the nineteenth century).

The late Bill Marina and I started realizing those things, after all that Textbook Fantasy Propaganda, in early high school at Miami Jackson (named after that Seminole mass murderer) , the tenth grade, and began talking about some of it in my tenth grade civics class run by a wonderful teacher, Mrs. O'Hara, dedicated to Liberal Education principles and practices of free speech. We especially talked about the totally unnecessary nuclear bombing of women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Once you begin to see those things clearly for what they were, you cannot go back to the mindless American Hero Fantasies and you see more and more clearly how awful the U.S. global empire has been for mankind and finally that it is the greatest threat mankind has ever faced. It took decades to get to that, but, once you can see clearly where before you could not see at all, the awful truth of American guilt dawns slowly on you.

April 10, 2012

Jack D. Douglas is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.

American Progress, Oil Painting by John Gast (1872)
Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers. Native Americans and animals flee into darkness

The China Desk comments: 

The US Massacre Mentality by Jack D. Douglas is an incisive commentary of how the US government rationalizes atrocities committed against anyone deemed an enemy. 

As long time readers of The China Desk know, I was once the coldest of Cold Warriors, thoroughly indoctrinated with the myth of American Exceptionalism. As late as Desert Storm, I was still willing to rationalize away much of the US government's misdeeds as "regrettable but necessary." 

I awakened from my dream only when Bush Senior's promised Peace Dividend failed to ever materialize. The American Imperium trotted out one rationalization after another to justify its War on Drugs, its War on Terror, its War on the Evil of the Month. The chimera known as the Peace Dividend just kept receding into the future.

But the biggest disillusionment came with Imperium Americanus' unrelenting Cold War against Mainland China, despite the fact that it had abandoned Communism and embraced free markets. That's when it finally dawned on me that the US government's rampant colonialism, imperialism, and racism had no higher purpose. Instead, it was nothing more than naked Social Darwinist aggression.

As Douglas astutely notes:

"Once you begin to see those things clearly for what they were, you cannot go back to the mindless American Hero Fantasies and you see more and more clearly how awful the U.S. global empire has been for mankind and finally that it is the greatest threat mankind has ever faced. It took decades to get to that, but, once you can see clearly where before you could not see at all, the awful truth of American guilt dawns slowly on you." 

So true.

American preoccupation with righting wrongs the world over reflects an desperate effort to assuage a guilty conscience. The American preoccupation with "liberating Tibet" is a textbook case of psychological projection. Redressing historical mistreatment of American Indians would be emotionally upsetting and might open the floodgates to costly demands for reparations. Far cheaper, both morally and fiscally, to go after China, a convenient scapegoat. 

I recently watched all 10 seasons of the enormously entertaining 1995-2005 military procedural series "JAG," in a single, month long sitting.

JAG (TV Series, 1995-2005)
J.A.G. - Military parlance for Judge Advocate General's corps. JAG follows the adventures of Harmon "Harm" Rabb Jr. Given far-ranging powers as a detective, prosecutor, and defense attorney. Harm now works alongside Marine Corps attorney Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie, who shares Harm's desire to seek out the truth in every case and keep the delicate balance between what's good for the military and what's best for the common good.
-- JAG Official Website

As I watched one episode after another of JAG in swift succession, I realized how far I had come over the past two decades. The personal dynamics between the well-drawn, highly attractive characters were no less enjoyable to watch. But the "My country right or wrong" politics of many JAG episodes left me shaking my head. I found it hard to believe that I once subscribed uncritically to that self-congratulatory, "America can do no wrong" mindset. 

Douglas is right. Once one has seen the light, one cannot go back to the mindless American Hero Fantasies.

The film Captain America: The First Avenger, promotes the Myth of American Exceptionalism. But intentionally or otherwise, it simultaneously subverts the Myth of American Exceptionalism. As Dr. Abraham Erskine, the expatriate German scientist tells Steve Rogers, the man he is about to transform into Captain America:

"A strong man who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power. But a weak man, knows the value of strength, and knows compassion ... You must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man."

The US government today is like a strong man who has known power all his life. He has lost respect for that power. He has forgotten what it is like to be weak. He has forgotten the value of strength. He does not know compassion. He has not stayed what he once was. He may be a perfect solider, but he is no longer a good man. Dr. Erskine would be dismayed to learn that the country he fled to has become just like the Nazi Germany he fled from.

The official website for Captain America: The First Avenger gushes:

"Captain America leads the fight for freedom in the action-packed blockbuster starring Chris Evans as the ultimate weapon against evil! When a terrifying force threatens everyone across the globe, the world's greatest soldier wages war on the evil Hydra Organization, led by the villainous Red Skull."

Today, the US government hardly "leads the fight for freedom." Today, with its post-9/11 police state measures, it leads the fight against freedom. Today the US government is not "the ultimate weapon against evil!" Today, with its killer drones, it is the ultimate weapon for evil. It is the terrifying force that threatens everyone across the globe. Today the world's greatest solider is the evil Hydra Organization (Military Industrial Complex), led by the villainous Red Skull (Trotskyite Neo-Conservatives).

Conventional monopolistic government, once it acquires power, is the same everywhere. Every government on earth is susceptible to the same absolute corruption by absolute power. The only antidote to this corruption, to statism, and the resulting Chauvinism, jingoism, and delusions of national exceptionalism, is Free Market Anarchism.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

China Does Capitalism Better than America

China Does Capitalism Better than America

The China Desk: Interesting debate on whether China does capitalism better than America. Strictly speaking no nation is doing 100% bona fide capitalism -- laissez-faire capitalism, that is. But the very fact that such a question could be asked is a sad commentary on how far the US of A has fallen. There was a time when no one would have thought to ask such a question.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

National Strength and National Policy

National Strength and National Policy
March 18, 2012
Taipei, China

The following is some political humor from Taiwan that has been circulating on the Internet.


National Strength and National Policy

1. 美國: 想打誰,就打誰。
United States: If I feel like attacking someone, I attack them.

2. 英國: 美國打誰,我就打誰。
Britain: If the United States attacks someone, I attack them.

3. 法國: 誰打我,我就打誰。
France: If someone attacks me, I attack them back.

4. 俄羅斯: 誰罵我,我就打誰。
Russia: If someone insults me, I attack them.

5. 大陸: 誰打我,我就罵誰。
Chinese Mainland: If someone attacks me, I insult them.

6. 日本: 誰打我,我就讓美國打誰。
Japan: If someone attacks me, I let the United States attack them for me.

7. 南韓: 誰打我,我就和美國一塊演習。
South Korea: If someone attacks me, I conduct joint military exercises with the United States.

8. 以色列: 誰心裡想打我,我就打誰。
Israel: If someone even thinks about attacking me, I attack them.

9. 北韓: 誰讓我心裡不痛快,我就打南韓。
North Korea: If someone angers me, I attack South Korea.

10. 台灣: 誰讓我心裡不痛快,我就罵馬英九。
Taiwan: If someone angers me, I denounce Ma Ying-jeou.