Predictably, Bradley Manning was found guilty on most of the charges brought against him by his government including espionage last week. He is facing about 130 years behind prison. I’d like to take this post and compare his crimes with another individual. Compare his case with that of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 winner of the Nobel Peace [sic] Prize. If you look at many of the critics of Liu’s imprisonment (he was sentenced to 11 years of house arrest), you see that they criticize the Chinese government for jailing Liu despite the fact that Liu broke PRC laws. But in the case of Manning (and Edward Snowden), many of their detractors seem to focus on the legality, framing the discussion in terms of what they had supposedly violated (US laws).
Tag Archives: United States
As you know, some of my past posts about some modern characteristics of Chinese people mat have been offensive. While I believe it’s often quite uncivilized and harmful (and I think you’d be surprised at how many Chinese in China will affirm what I have said because it is so obvious to anyone who has been here for a long time), some people may reply that “outsiders” such as myself can’t judge them because different cultural values are incommensurable and judgments using one set of values can’t be applied to judge another set of values.
After living here for more than 9 months, I have come to a most repugnant conclusion. It pains me to even think about it for I am a Chinese person who has often defended the traditions, institutions, values and dignity of the Children of Heaven. But the truth is often painful at first. I realize now that much of the problems in Chinese society, and a plethora of problems there are, are not from the Chinese government (not a surprise to me since I am a long time China watcher suspicious of the anti government rhetoric of the west). What is surprising is that the myriad problems within Chinese society comes from the behavior, values and the beliefs of its people, a people that with all their traditions of wisdom behave in the most atrocious, despicable manner towards each other today. In a sense, I’d always expected this but were perhaps too proud to admit it and needed first hand experience for verification. Now I cannot escape that basic truth.
One of the greatest American heroes in recent memory has lately fallen from grace. Lance Armstrong was considered one of the greatest sportsmen in the world and his story of coming back from cancer to win the Tour de France inspired millions. He was seen as an All American hero embodying everything Americans value: hard work, determination, charisma, and moral character. So when the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found that he had cheated by using performance enhancing drugs, the reactions of the US public was predictable. It was predictable because we know how effectively the media works in a society with a cult-like mentality.
This blog may be taken as a second part my Collective Defamation article (with possible further blogs in the future involving other kinds of anti-sinitic defamation). It is inspired by recent events blogged by Charles Liu. Another vicious slander that is common in the west is that the Chinese are a cruel people. The image is made visceral, rage inducing, when a cute animal is shown being killed or tortured. These kinds of images are often made focusing on Chinese people as the perpetrators. This is an effective image that serves to single out and dehumanize the Chinese as a group and it is very effective.