Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Seriously?!? Are these people crazy or just evil?

More on the violence in Uighur-land from an AP story:

Meanwhile, for much of the afternoon, a mob of 1,000 mostly young Han Chinese holding cleavers and clubs and chanting "Defend the Country" tore through streets trying to get to a Uighur neighborhood until they were repulsed by police firing tear gas.

Panic and anger bubbled up amid the suspicion in Urumqi (pronounced uh-ROOM-chee). In some neighborhoods, Han Chinese — China's majority ethnic group — armed themselves with pieces of lumber and shovels to defend themselves. People bought up bottled water out of fear, as one resident said, that "the Uighurs might poison the water."

The outbursts happened despite swarms of paramilitary and riot police enforcing a dragnet that state media said led to the arrest more than 1,400 participants in Sunday's riot, the worst ethnic violence in the often tense region in decades.

Trying to control the message, the government has slowed mobile phone and Internet services, blocked Twitter — whose servers are overseas — and censored Chinese social networking and news sites and accused Uighurs living in exile of inciting Sunday's riot. State media coverage, however, carried graphic footage and pictures of the unrest _showing mainly Han Chinese victims and stoking the anger.

The Chinese also said that the riots were stirred up by Rebiya Kadeer, a Uighur exile who is a leader of her people because the regime put her in jail for having the nerve to complain about the horrible situation of the Uighur people.  She had the nerve to do this precisely because, call her crazy, the Chinese had annointed her as a model Uighur due to her business success, and made her one of their ethnic show ponies.  When she actually thought that this gave her some grounds to present evidence of the grievances of her people to the Chinese leadership, they threw her in jail and nearly killed her.  To this day, her children are in jail because they are her children.  

So, is the Chinese regime out of their minds or are they really this cynical?  Is stoking ethnic hatred to maintain your own legitimacy the behavior of a responsible government?  Let's think about a few lessons from history...hmmm....

A few facts: 

- The initial incident that sparked all this was an attack on a group of Uighur men in a coastal Chinese town.  A mob of Han Chinese attacked and beat 6 Uighurs who were accused of raping a Chinese woman.  What does this remind you of? (here's a hint: Emmit Till; here's another: Adolf Hitler)

- Han Chinese outnumber ethnic Uighurs 2-to-1 in Urumqi, and control the political, security and economic infrastructure of the city, region and country.  

- The Chinese government strictly controls all telecommunications into and out of Uighur-land.  Rebiya Kadeer lives in Washington, DC and is a 60+ year old woman with a cellphone.  Yet, according to the Chinese regime, she orchestrated these protests.   

- Last year, the Chinese government claimed that the Dalai Lama's "clique" in India orchestrated protests in Tibet.

Conclusion a reasonable person would reach if given the facts: either the Chinese government is not as on top of things as they claim to be in Tibet and Uighur-land, or maybe they are not being truthful in blaming the Dalai Lama and Rebiya Kadeer when these miserable, put-upon people decide they have had enough and just can't take it anymore.

Conclusion that most Chinese people reach because they only hear what the government wants them to: Uighurs and Tibetans are ungrateful little snots who are trying to destroy China.  But please don't take it upon yourself to beat the crap out of them - that is our job.

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