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Matus1976 Blog - Philosophy, Science, Politics, Invention
Korea, Vietnam, and China
[on the opening of economies in closed nations] from - http://www.solohq.com/Forum/NewsDiscussions/0581.shtml
I think it is more accurate to say that the prevailing economic philosphy indicates that governments will become more open as economic freedoms increase, but not necessarily more free in regards to individual civil liberties. It's reasonable to assume that foriegn investments are inversely proportional to the transparency of a government. In China's case, foriegn investment dropped drastically following the SARS epidemic in China (if you can call it an epidemic) China's secrecy regarding the number of SARS cases and deaths sent shockwaves through the calm assumption that it's economic policies were generally fair and open. No one would invest in a country that could confiscate the property of that investment on the slightest whim. But wheather chinese individuals can practice fulong gong or burn chinese communist flags and portraits of Mao Ze Dong seems to bear little international relevance on markets and open economies. My biggest fear is that China will become economically open but retain it's closed ruling elite of philosopher kings (hats of again to Plato for that one) thus giving it the military and economic power of any western nation, but the dictatorial decision making that would make Hitler seem like a cakewalk.
I can never help but wonder what the world would have been like if the west had backed the nationalists just after WWII. China would have been and probably still be the dominate world power, economically and militarily, and probably on generally friendly terms with all other westernized market based democracies, and there would have been no korean war, no vietnam war, no cold war, and the soviet union would have probably collapses decades earlier. Oh and millions of chinese, koreans, vietnamese and camodians would not have been slaughtered. Thanks Truman!
SOLO Parenting Leader
Friday, March 25 - 2:57pm Reply
I appreciate your sentiment that China might have been free of Communism had West backed the nationalists. However, my understanding of history makes me believe that the Communist’s take over of Mainland was inevitable, whether Americans backed Jiang or not. Soviet was backing Mao. The nation and people had already got fed up with Jiang’s vast corruptions. Mao’s Land Reform movement in the countryside seized the properties of rich landlords (who were in general pro-KMT), and distributed them to the poor peasants, thus wining the loyalty of the majority of common peasants. Mao’s people were masters of mass propaganda and Communist Utopian ideals appealed to the city folks as well. And oftentimes, backing by a foreign power is not necessarily a good thing and it tends to alienate domestic populations as has been shown on numerous occasions. I quite believe that even if US was fully committed to support KMT, they still could not have won. Look at Vietnam. And China was so much bigger and more complex than Vietnam.
Michael F Dickey
Friday, March 25 - 10:22pm Reply
Hong Zhang said:
"And oftentimes, backing by a foreign power is not necessarily a good thing and it tends to alienate domestic populations as has been shown on numerous occasions. I quite believe that even if US was fully committed to support KMT, they still could not have won. Look at Vietnam. And China was so much bigger and more complex than Vietnam"
Hong, thanks for your comments. I have no doubt you have a different and far more informed perspective on all this then a disconnected westerner such as myself (I remember you mentioning that your parents had fled the intellectual purges, is that correct?) I would freely admit that I really dont know how the world would have turned out if the US had backed the nationalists and they succeeded in defeating Mao, but I am hard pressed to imagine it could have possibly been *worse* than the 30 million killed by mao and 60 million killed by Stalin. Especially looking at Tawain today. And South Korea fared just fine after fighting a war with a lot of foriegners involved on both sides and today it is one of the worlds freest and richest nations.
Vietnam is a seperate issue, nearly every military engagement was a victory, and South Vietnam fended off the Soviet backed north for 1 month shy of two full years after the last US soldier left. The Vietnam war was won, with only a modicum amount of support South Vietnam would be another South Korea. Recall the now oft repeated 80% voter turnout in the elections of South Vietnam in the late 70's. (cited as a reason to not be incredibly excited by the voter turnout in iraq by liberals struggling to find something negative and always struggling to connect Iraq with the Vietnam war) The democratically controlled US congress completely abandoned indochina to the communists by making it illegal to provide any aide whatsoever. Vietnam fell, then Laos, then Cambodia, and then millions died. Where were the peace activists then? The vietnam war was lost by the brainwashed anti-war activists who had been hijacked by communists (as even admitted to by Tod Gitlin, a leading anti-war activist during the vietnam war and founder of the Students for a Democractic society) See my Free Vietnam page for some telling passages by Vietnamese reporters about the war. e.g.
Uwe Siemon-Netto's, A journalist who covered much of the Vietnam war, said in his mea culpe to the English magazine Encounter,1979
"...today's Vietnam tragedy may have a lot to do with the way we reported yesterday's Vietnam tragedy; considering that we journalists might have our fair share of guilt for the inhuman way the world treats those who are being expelled by an inhuman regime which some of us had pictured as heroic"
Former South Vietnamese native, NLF Supporter, and Anti-American protester Doan Van Toai had this to say about modern Vietnam said:
"if liberty and democracy are worth struggling for in the Philippines, in Chile, in South Korea or in South Africa, they are no less worth defending in Communist countries like Vietnam. Everyone remembers the numerous demonstrations protesting United States involvement in Vietnam and the war crimes of the Thieu regime. But some of those people who were then so passionately committed to democratic principles and human rights have developed a strange indifference now that these same principles are under assault in Communist Vietnam"
And paralleling comments above by Uwe Siemon-Netto, Doan Van Toai says in his own mea culpe
"Looking back now on the Vietnam war, I feel nothing but sorrow for my own naivete in believing that the Communists were revolutionaries worthy of support. In fact, they betrayed the Vietnamese people and deceived progressives throughout the world. The responsibility for the tragedies that have engulfed my compatriots is mine."
The Korean war lasted almost as long, was with as unfamiliar a people as indochina, and saw almost as many people killed, yet it did not have anywhere near the kind of anti-war movement that the vietnam war had, and South Korea todays stands as a clear emblem to the moral legitmatcy of the korean war and what *should* have happened in Vietnam.
Incidently, April 30th is the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, there will be a (hopefully) large gathering in DC in sad recognition of this date and hopefully to bring some attention to the tragedy. I urge anyone who can go and who cares about freedom to attend.
SOLO Parenting Leader
Saturday, March 26 - 6:19am Reply
I agree with you that it could not have possibly been worse if things had turned out any differently in China.
I would freely admit that I really dont know how the world would have turned out if the US had backed the nationalists and they succeeded in defeating Mao,
It's just that this is a futile question to ask. As I see it, Mao's Communists backed by the Soviet had deceived the whole nation and people, and they were destined to win. Maybe I am just too fatalistic and always see the inevitability in the past, especially in this case.
Michael Stuart Kelly
Saturday, March 26 - 1:37pm Reply
Michael D: "The democratically controlled US congress completely abandoned indochina to the communists by making it illegal to provide any aide whatsoever. Vietnam fell, then Laos, then Cambodia, and then millions died. Where were the peace activists then?"
That is a damn good question. And I think your points about South Korea and Vietnam are extremely enlightening. Thank you.
Hi Hong - After living in an highly corrupt country (Brazil during the end of the military rule years - and even beyond) I basically agree with you on your speculation about Mao winning despite foreign intervention. With poor communication facilities and widespread hunger and blatant corruption tortuously extending for years, have-nots definitely think that ANY change will be preferable to those in power, especially if there is a promise of improvement for them. If a foreign government supports the corrupt ones, it even makes it easy for the opposition (Mao, for example) sell the idea of a Western monster.
That kind of thing went on in Brazil for a long time and was ultimately defeated by better communications (satellite broadcasting, optical cables and Internet, and better publications).
China can presently rattle its sword at the West, but I don't think it can fool its people on that scale any longer. The only thing a bully understands is a bigger club, so the West must not abandon Taiwan militarily under any circumstances. On the contrary, I believe that Taiwan's ideological culture will eventually conquer mainland China through hightech communications and just plain successful living. Mainland China's own people then will happily do the dirty work.
Imagine that! Now trying to tell Australia what to do! Bullies don't have a lick of sense sometimes.
Korea and Vietnam redux
Yeah a war against the people of a country that we can never win.
Oh, like Korea?
As is usual with people like you commenting about Vietnam, you have no idea what you are talking about. If we couldnt 'win' that war, then how did the South Vietnamese with NO HELP AT ALL from the US or ANY OTHER COUNTRY fend off the Soviet Backed North Vietnamese communist for almost TWO YEARS after we left? Check the date the last US soldier left vietnam someday and compare it with the date that saigon fell. The war WAS won, and with only a modicum amount of support South Vietnam would be just like South Korea is today. But the democractically controlled US congress made it ILLEGAL to help the people of Indochina "They Need peace, not guns" cried Sen Chris Dodd. People like you sabatoged that win and subseqently led to the murder of nearly 6 million people and the brutal oppressive enslavement of well over 100 million. It is one of the greatest trangressions the US has commited in its entire history and it is primarily the fault of the US liberals and the anti-war activists.
Oh, like Korea?
Yes like korea, because even if america got to the border to china they would have pushed us back to where we started. Just like what happened in korea. Americans got too close to china so they came in and bitch slapped america back into south korea. We could not have ever won it, it would have made us just as stupid as the french to try and keep attacking and wasting resources. How many good old boys have to die before it would be lost. They had a strategic advantage that no amount of troops could overcome, backing from russia and china(alegedly).
Well, you liberal revisionists like to redefine 'victory' in Korea as one that actually includes taking over North Korea, last I checked, North Korea, with soviet and chinese backing INVADED South Korea, where the US / UN then stepped in and beat them back into far north territory, where a new chinese onlsaught pushed back south again. The Objective of the US/UN was not to take over the north, it was to defend the south. The Objective of the North was to take over the south, it failed in it's objective. The US/UN succeeded in its. The Korean war was a victory, and today South Korea is the worlds 11th largest economy and has a GDP per capita that rivals any western country. North Korea, by countrast, is THE WORST country on earth. The 25 million people of Korea would be starving under the brutal jackboot of Kim Jong Il if anyone had listened to your ilk back then. Good thing your moronic pacifist they-aint-killin-us-so-it-doesnt-matter attidude was as ignored back then as it deserved to be. Sadly and at the cost of millions of lives, it isnt anymore.
Korean Penninsula at night
Jordan doesnt care about Iraqi Shiites? Not surprising...
Tampa Tribune - http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=HOME
"Iraq and Jordan engaged in a tit-for-tat withdrawal of ambassadors Sunday in a growing dispute over Shiite Muslim claims that Jordan is failing to block terrorists from entering Iraq,”
Not surprising, considering Jordan is 92% Sunni.
CIA World Fact Book - http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/jo.html
Freedom House - http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/freeworld/2003/countryratings/jordan.htm
400,000 people have been killed in the Sudan in government sanctioned murder and rape. Where are the anti war activists? Where are the peace activists protesting the brutal Janjaweed soldiers burning entire villages that house 10's of thousands of people. They are as silent as the millions of people that have been killed in wars they couldnt care less about. A terrorist blows up a car in Iraq and kills 10 and its front page news across the western world, but a janjaweed gunship mows down thousands with anti personel rockets and not a peap is heard. Disgusting.
12. Judge dismisses Agent Orange lawsuit
"A federal judge Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of some 4 million Vietnamese claiming that U.S. chemical companies committed war crimes by making Ag ent Orange for use during the Vietnam War. U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein disagreed that the allegedly toxic defoliant and similar U.S. herbicides should be considered poisons banned under international rules of war, even though they may have had comparable effects on people and land." (03/10/05)
Not able to bring a lawsuit up against the murderous government that holds them hostage, Vietnamese people (or rather lawyers, acting on their ‘behalf’) seek to go after easier fish. No peer reviewed scientific study has linked Agent Orange to any adverse health effects, the US veterans that receive benefits for their Agent Orange ‘related’ disorders do so through the VNA, a political organization that insists something is bad about Agent Orange, instead of a scientific one that sets to show it with a modicum of reason. Consider the primary ingredient of Agent Orange, Dioxin, has been called ‘the most deadly substance known to man’ yet with Ukranian president Victor Ushenko was poisoned with a dose 6000 times higher than any human had ever received, his skin got pockmarked. The true transgressor against the Vietnamese people is the government of north Vietnam, which has killed thousands of people since the war, arbitrarily imprisoned people for advocating democracy and human rights, and brutally oppresses nearly every civil liberty the west has yet dreamed up.
While the alleged peace activists and anti-war protestors decry the deaths caused by the US and the US led coalition in Iraq, no mention is made of the hundreds of thousands dead in the Sudan. In WWII the world stood aghast at the horrors committed by Nazi Germany and cried never again. In Cambodia the world stood by while millions of people were murdered, again it cried “never again” In Rwanda the Tutsis slaughtered the Hutsi by the 10’s of thousands, the UN declared it was not a genocide. The world cried “never again”. Now it happens all over again in the Sudan, the world stands by while another government kills thousands and thousands of people. Burning villages, looting, raping, torturing, smashing babies skulls and mass executions. Where are the peace protestors? Where are the Anti War activists crying for peace in the Sudan? They are as silent as the 400,000 murdered Sudanese people. Why is it that when a large wave kills nearly 300,000 people, the world recoils in horror. But when a government kills that many, it couldn’t bat an eye. Where are the incessant headlines? We read every day “Insurgent bomber Iraq kills 10” but never read “Janjaweed soldiers murder 100’s of men, women and children” There is enough killing for a headline every day, and a Pulitzer prize winning photograph every week. Where are the reporters, where are the newspaper headlines? Where are the narratives detailing the horrific conditions? Where are the documentaries, the local liberal rags screaming to stop the killing. Where are the women’s rights group decrying the deplorable rape gangs, officially sanctioned by the Sudanese Government. They are silent. They are silent because they know that with every cry for justice, they are only crying that WE need to do something about it. The only people that can do anything about it are the same ones they despise. Better to let 100,000’s of thousands die than to have the US military intervening.
Marine Captain in Sudan
Former Marine Capt. Brian Steidle has been in the Dafur region of Western Sudan monitoring the humanitarian crisis there for the African Union. In the past 18 months, 180,000 people have died from hunger and disease.
An unknown number of Sudanese have died as a result of the violence, and at the hands of the militia group the Janjaweed, which has carried out a scorched-earth campaign of killing, raping and driving people from their homes. The Janjaweed targets non-Arab villages. There are at least 2 million refugees as a result. Steidle says he has no doubt that what is going on there is genocide
Philosopher faults, Proper relationships, the UN on refugees from Vietnam, and April 30th
People love to bash Ayn Rand for her alleged personal failings, conveniently using it as a reason to ignore her ideas, since they have no credible objection to them. Instead they worship philosophers with far more dubious personal lives, although one might argue they lived closer to their ideal, as disgusting as it often turned out to be.
Quoted from www.solohq.com
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1788): This architect of the “noble savage” put all five of his children in a Paris orphanage. He also had an affair with a married woman twelve years his elder, and fled his sanctuary in Great Britain because of paranoid suspicions that David Hume was plotting against him.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): In his last ten years of life, this advocate of “The Will to Power” was completely insane and dependent on the care of his sister, Elizabeth. He seems to have been in error when he wrote, “that which does not kill you makes you stronger.”
-Martin Heidegger (1889-1976): When he wasn’t busy joining the Nazi Party and purging his own book of a dedication to his Jewish mentor, this seminal existentialist had an extra-marital affair with his doctoral student, Hannah Arendt. His post-war life was marked by a cowardly refusal to come to terms with the crimes of Nazi Germany. In an interview he had been promised would be published posthumously, Heidegger placed the blame for the Holocaust on technology.
-Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961): This well-known author is believed by many to have suffered from sexual insecurity—he called Ford Madox Ford impotent, and told Allen Tate that men only experience a fixed number of orgasms. He violated the Geneva Convention when he tossed 3 grenades into a cellar where SS officers were hiding. And his atrocious luck with a string of terrible injuries was only worsened by his own drinking and self-destructive behavior, culminating in his shotgun suicide in Ketchum, Idaho, after which he willed his Cuban estate to Fidel Castro.
Another from SoloHQ, this time a poster commenting on relationships
"The reason is that we are not just collections of generic, abstract philosophical premises. We are not floating brains, and our bodies aren't just carrying cases for them. We are, each of us, something very unique and specific, and both mind and body. In both of those aspects, we are also individuated. We are not generic abstractions; we are concrete particulars, with many unique characteristics. When we define man as "a rational animal" we tend to focus on the adjective, not the noun, and the genus "man," not the specific "me."
Finding someone generically "good" or even "great" is not sufficient grounds for a particular attraction. The question is: good or great for whom? Moral character is important, but not enough. Intelligence is important, but not enough. Beauty is a plus, not enough, perhaps not even necessary. In fact, being all-around "wonderful" is not enough. I've met any number of wonderful women. I've been involved with several. But I've found very few wonderful women are wonderful for me.
Do you share the same temperament and moods? Are you an indoor or outdoor person? A day or night person? Optimist or pessimist? Is your mental style abstract or concrete or metaphorical? Are you quiet or verbal? Do you both like the same kinds of music? What kind of energy level do you both have? Are you fastidiously neat, or relaxed and casual? Do you share the same sense of humor? Are you both tactile and physically demonstrative, or physically withdrawn? Do you like to verbalize everything, or leave a lot to unspoken implications? Etc., etc
All of which is to say that relationships are built on a host of individuating, not just generic qualities. Think of gears meshing, or of the right key for the right lock.
And don't bother writing up a list of such particulars. As we evolve in life, the priorities we place on those things are always shifting and changing.
What's the relevance of all this here? Well, we were discussing the relevance of Rand's personal life; and our answer has to be based on the fact that we haven't a clue what two people really see in each other. I suppose one moral implication is that we should cut people a lot of slack about their particular romantic choices, and not bother to draw weighty philosophical or psychological inferences about them for their selections. Because attractions are so particular and unique, its virtually impossible to know the answer to the question, "What in the world does she/he see in her/him?" All we can know is that the partners must have touched each other on a profoundly personal, individual level that even the participants may not fully understand
that is, of course, only pertaining to more proper philosophical foundations for relationships, mutual sets of values, deep appreciation for each other's sense of life, etc. I find most relationships to be nowhere near as deep and as profound, mostly just excuses to keep people from having to deal with making a life of their own and to keep from getting bored with thier own lives. - matus
Excerpt from Rummel’s blog
On the UN treatment of Refugees
One case that is particularly despicable is that during the mass flight of over a million Vietnamese who risked their lives on the ocean often in overcrowded, rickety boats to escape the communization of South Vietnam or persecution of Sino-Vietnamese, hundreds of thousands died or were murdered by pirates before reaching land (my figure is 500,000 dead). The UN organized a relief and resettlement program in conjunction with many countries, including the U.S., which saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and for that we should be grateful. But, when some countries began to turn the refugees away, to tow or push starving Vietnamese in their often unseaworthy boats back into the ocean to almost certain death, as did Malaysia beginning in 1978 and ultimately causing an estimated 70,000 Vietnamese to deaths, the UN did nothing more than assert that all Vietnamese Boat People had de facto refugee status and encourage multilateral discussion among concerned nations. (Before a death toll like 70,000 flits through your mind as just a statistic, consider that this far exceeds the American combat killed in the Vietnam War of 47,369, in the Korean War of 33,651, in World War I of 53,513, and is slightly under the Civil War Confederate combat dead of 74,524 – yet this estimated 70,000 dead Vietnamese refugees Malaysia killed is a wave of the hand statistic that historians will never include in major world histories, and that’s the way the UN treated it. We should not.)
-- April 30th --- The 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the brutal communist enslavement of the people of South Vietnam.
VIETNAM FREEDOM MARCH ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
P.O. Box 2213, Saratoga, CA 95070 – Tel/Fax: (408) 904-4617
6433 Northannna Dr., Springfield, VA 22150 – Tel/Fax: (877) 592-4140
Email: [email protected]
June 9, 2004
VIETNAM FREEDOM MARCH:
REMEMBERING THE PAST SHAPING THE FUTURE
APRIL 30, 2005 WASHINGTON DC
April 30, 2005 marks the thirtieth year that the entire country of Vietnam has been under the repressive control of the Vietnamese Communist Party. In the last three decades the country has gone through numerous changes, but one thing has stayed the same: Vietnam remains an underdeveloped country lacking basic human freedoms.
In contrast, over the last 30 years, Vietnamese refugees of communism have rebuilt their lives and contributed to their adopted countries in diverse fields: business, science, arts, education, and even national defense. The empowerment of the Vietnamese community in America can be seen through its growing political voice. In many localities, Vietnamese
American candidates have run for and won political office. Others have been appointed to important positions in government.
Over the last 30 years, the Socialist Republic Vietnam has been repeatedly censured by the international community for its restrictions on human rights and repression of peaceful voices. Many Congressional resolutions have addressed these abuses. Each year the State Department details how Vietnam lacks democracy, human rights, and religious freedoms. The attention paid to the conditions in Vietnam has come in no small part from the relentless advocacy of the Vietnamese American community.
An important symbol for Vietnamese everywhere is the Freedom and Heritage Flag. In the last year, over 50 states, cities, and municipalities in the US have recognized this enduring symbol. This achievement underscores the deep respect for freedom that is the heritage of Vietnamese Americans.
To mark the efforts to bring democracy and freedom to Vietnam through the last thirty years, the Vietnamese American Public Affairs Committee (VPAC), National Congress of Vietnamese Americans (NCVA), and Len Duong International Vietnamese Youth Network in conjunction with other Vietnamese organizations and communities will organize a Vietnam Freedom March: Remembering the Past Shaping the Future in Washington, DC on April 30, 2005.
The daylong program will consist of a human rights rally before the US Capitol, remembrance ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Wall Memorial, outdoor concert featuring Vietnamese folk music, and special cultural activities and exhibitions on the history of the
Vietnamese community in America.
Further details will be available in the near future. For additional information on this historic event, please email us at: [email protected]
On behalf of the Organizing Committee:
Binh Vo, Vietnamese American Public Affairs Committee
Hung Nguyen, National Congress of Vietnamese Americans
Huy Phan, Len Duong International Vietnamese Youth Network
Newest part of my animation (all require DIVX to view)
Here is what has been completed of it so far (just imagine the above part is played at the end of this one)
Here is what the whole thing will look like, eventually (low poly test version) (40MB)
Libertarians now attack Democracy
Non-interventionist Libertarians, now at a loss to credibly attack Bush’s premise of spreading democracy in the face of obvious success, devolve instead into attacking democracy itself.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in his article “Democracy’s Road to Tyranny” posted on the "Foundation for Economic Freedom" [http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=1901] opens with "Plato, in his Republic, tells us that tyranny arises, as a rule, from democracy." Far from espousing noble truth's or asserting that men should be free to rule themselves, Plato was bashing democracy in favor of a rule by elite philosopher kings who held complete sway over peoples lives and property. Plato was the founding father of dictatorial communism, and isolationist libertarians are now waving his flag. Disgusting.