Charter Member of the Sub-Media

September 08, 2004

More Controversial History « Rhetorical Questions »

Did you know that "Our glorious partners in Democracy" (Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang) brutally slaughtered 20-30,000 Taiwanese who objected to having their island taken over? And they didn't allow the native Taiwanese to participate in elections until 1996?

Inconvenient facts of history get glossed over to fit the script people want to believe.

Here's an interesting question: How many times has China been the initiator of military conflict over the last 500 years? How about 1000 years? How many times have they been invaded in that same time span?

At what point are the territorial boundaries of a nation "set"? For some reason, it seems to be "1955", but I'm curious about that attitude.

Who has to agree to allow a "re-setting" of national boundaries?

Why did the United States refuse to lend its weight to restoring territory stolen from China in the 1800s after China fought on the US-UK-France side in WWI? When we took away Germany's colonies in Asia, why did we give them to Japan rather than restoring them to China and Korea?

Do you know when the Viet Nam war started? How about right after WWII when the Western powers refused to listen to a delagation of Vietnamese who wanted their nation back? Maybe we could have avoided most of Asia turning to Communism if we had enforced the end of Colonialism at the end of WWII instead of turning a blind eye to the continued exploitation there by UK and France.

Why is it okay to declare war to seize territories in 1898, but not in 1951? What is Great Britain's claim to the Falkland Islands? Heck, what actually is the basis of United States claim to everything west of the Appalachians? (Hint: it begins with "Con-" and ends with "-quest". Will the United States ever give Hawaii back to the natives, since its annexation was pretty much a scam from the beginning?

Obviously there were some objections to the establishment of Israel...who got to decide that? Was it a majority of nations, or just the strongest?*

Does anyone know why the Soviets hated the United States so much? There was a pretty decent reason, you know...

Now, I'm not saying that cruel, oppressive behavior should be excused. Not at all. I am saying that every nation has its moments it shouldn't be proud of, and that refusing to recognize your own nation's mistakes is a good way to make sure they get repeated. I am wondering what standards people apply to the actions of other nations...when is it okay to "move on"? When is it okay to dismiss or ignore mistakes? If it tends to be self-serving (Well, it's okay when the US makes a mistake because our hearts are pure, but the filthy Chinese are Godless Heathens who shouldn't be forgiven for centuries, if ever), I want to know why. What is the standard for allowing a nation to rehabilitate its reputation? Only if it embraces democracy? What form of democracy? Aren't high tax and crime rates a form of oppression? A government rules only through the consent of its an extent. To what extent is a nation allowed to quell dissent within its borders? Was the violence at the Branch Davidian compound acceptable, or was it the sign of oppression (since they could have served the warrant against David Koresh on his weekly trip to Wal-Mart)? How about Ruby Ridge? Would a car bomb in Beijing styled after the Murrah Federal Building explosion be acceptable because it was directed against the Evil Communist Overlords?

Heck, why do we focus so much on 2-decade old sins of a China that is "Communist" in name only, and ignore the continuing sins of an actual Communist regime to its South (Viet Nam)? Why don't more people talk about the totalitarian military dictatorship in Rangoon (Burma)?

I've studied Asian history extensively, but perhaps someone else can point out some hypocrisies, double-standards, and controversies in other parts of the world? Say, Africa or Eastern Europe?

*from what I understand, the area that is now Israel was pretty much a wasteland with very few people living there, and those people were not displaced but allowed to stay. The refugee situation has developed because of the refusal of other Middle Eastern nations to accept Palestinians as citizens. So I have little problem with that solution, but it is still a good question.

Posted by Nathan at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)
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