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Ethnic Cleansing and New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, May 6th, 2021 - 108 comments
Categories: human rights, uncategorized - Tags:

Let’s start with the principles of the thing.

There’s a contest afoot about whether democracy and individual autonomy will out-compete autocratic state control of society. What is being attacked now are principles settled after World War 2. To refresh ourselves with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, here’s the preamble that puts New Zealand and others into fundamentally irreconcilable difficulty with China:

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights has resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

This contest New Zealand is in, then, is whether such universal rights for us all as humanity will be protected under autocracies or under democracies. President Joe Biden makes this threat repeatedly clear in his recent Presidential Address to the House: “We have to prove democracy still works. That our government still works – and can deliver for the people. In our first 100 days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver.”

That threat to democracy being the optimal state for sustaining and protecting human rights is provided directly by China. China is the presiding autocracy of the world we are in. During his first press conference in March, President Biden said: “It is clear, absolutely clear … that this is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies.”

And just before his Wednesday evening address, Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper and other television presenters that historians would write about “whether or not democracy can function in the 21st century … The question is: In a democracy that’s such a genius as ours, can you get consensus in the timeframe that can compete with autocracy?”

Let’s argue about the inherent genius of US democracy another day. The fact that Biden has to spell it out shows that democracy is losing. Democracy in our world is under rapid retreat and outbreaks of its revival are slim.

With the decline in democracy goes our actual settled global acceptance of human rights are under attack. To this end, the road to Trumpian autocracy is getting wider and easier, and it leads to direct assault on Congress and election results. And the road to more countries around China just folding up their democracies entirely and resorting to martial order is also getting a lot easier: witness Nepal, Laos, Myanmar.

Can democratic states do a better job of overcoming ethnic cleansing and human rights than autocracies?

We are going to have to pick a side and say yes.

Ethnic Elimination and Genocide

Most countries across the world have experienced settler colonialism and within it the logic of elimination: not only the dissolution of native societies but also their expropriation through regimes of bicultural assimilation. Settler colonialism involves both effacement and replacement (Whether that aligns with a specific definition of genocide is another matter). We thought we could consign such savagery to history: we can’t.

In the United States the threat of domestic terror from race-hating groups is assessed as the highest internal threat that the United States now faces, with the entire intelligence community assessing that:

racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs) present the most lethal DVE threats, with RMVEs most likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks against civilians and MVEs typically targeting law enforcement and government personnel and facilities. The IC assesses that the MVE threat increased last year and that it will almost certainly continue to be elevated throughout 2021 because of contentious sociopolitical factors that motivate MVEs to commit violence.”

So the United States governmental intelligence order understands the deep damage to its society that Donald Trump’s movement (and before that the Tea Party, and before that the segregationists, and before that the Confederate supporters, and before that the actual slave economy) has done. Only democratic change and massive law enforcement will alter that – and even then Trump has irreversibly transformed the Republicans into nativist warriors who are still rising and are ever-more accepted into mainstream society and politics.

But China’s racist actions are state directed, not from local terror cells. There has already been multiple studies of China’s actions against the Uighurs, but the repression isn’t stopping and is getting worse.

Most post-colonial countries have records of mass deaths of native peoples in their histories, us included. Whether China’s actions against those peoples in the north-west are or are not defined as ‘genocide’ will continue to rage as it gets worse. Here’s one recent go at evaluating it.

The importance of the definition “genocide” being achieved is because following the Rwanda massacres in the mid-1990s, the United Nations provides genocide as a potential reason of “responsibility to protect” by at the endpoint invading a country with military force to stop it.

The expression “responsibility to protect” was first presented in the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), set up by the Canadian Government in December 2001. The Commission had been formed in response to Kofi Annan’s question of when the international community must intervene for humanitarian purposes. Its report, “The Responsibility to Protect,” found that sovereignty not only gave a State the right to “control” its affairs, it also conferred on the State primary “responsibility” for protecting the people within its borders.

In January, the United States State Department declared that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other ethnic and religious minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, later echoed by the Biden administration.

Subsequently the Canadian, Dutch, and British parliaments passed non-binding resolutions designating China’s actions a genocide, with calls for other governments to follow suit.

Our own Parliament will be debating something similar next week. The analysis of why that’s important to us when 30% of our entire trade goes to China is well spelled out this week by Professor Natasha Hamilton-Hart, which she cutely phrases the “ethics-economy dilemma”.

That human rights dimension defining genocidal acts is important in terms of international law, amongst other things.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)2 has repeatedly stated that the Convention embodies principles that are part of general customary international law. Among those are the prohibition of genocide, as well as the obligation to prevent and punish genocide. As customary international law, such obligations are binding on all States, whether or not they have ratified the Genocide Convention.

The ICJ has also concluded that the obligation to prevent genocide contained in Article I of the Genocide Convention has an extraterritorial scope.

As such, States that have the capacity to influence others have a duty to employ all means reasonably available to them to prevent genocide, including in relation to acts committed outside their own borders.

China utterly rejects outside interference in its affairs. It did so this week to our Prime Minister’s face by the Chinese Ambassador, live before the most influential China-New Zealand audience we have here. So China actively resists is any international study that would provide evidence to confirm that genocide was being committed.

Were such evidence debated at the United Nations, there would be big calls for international intervention – of all kinds.

What this sets up is the really big contest going on about whether an open society that gets to examine and expose and rectify crime is actually better than an autocracy that hides it and does its work without scrutiny and evidence and accountability among nations.

The Framing of the Ethnic Cleansing Debate

The European roots of modern ethnic cleansing began after the breakup of the old Yugoslav state, and they are important here as precedents for the hard right who seek to replicate this elsewhere. By the 2010s, Bosnian genocide denial and the valorisation of nationalist war criminals because a staple of Western far-right discourses.

Serbian purity of old Orthodox Christian areas against the rise of Muslim populations became a pillar of hard-right political lexicon like the Confederacy, the third Reich, or the African apartheid regimes.

You could see anti-Muslim hate from Serbian conflicts in Anders Brevik’s attack in Norway in 2011, where his account made nearly 1,000 mentions of the Yugoslav wars (not linking to it).

The Christchurch mosque shooter, sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2019 Christchurch mosque killings here, covered his riples and munitions in the names of Serb and Monetenegrin historical figures and livestreamed himself playing a Serb nationalist ballad glorifying Karadzic’s genocide from the Bosnian War (nope not giving a citation for that either).

So it’s the framing of ethnically-driven massacres by madmen that tends to frame recent discourse about China’s approach to it’s north-western states. I think this is mistaken because they are different.

So What Is China Really Up To?

Aspects of China’s new policy direction are certainly destructive, yet their colonial intent is one we should recognise here. They seek to transform not exterminate the physical and social landscape of Xinjiang and other peripheral regions in their control. They work instead to actively alter the thoughts and behaviours of what Chinese authorities perceive as a “backward”, “deviant”, and innately “dangerous” sub-section of its population by lifting their “bio-quality”, and overseeing their rebirth as loyal, patriotic, and civilized Chinese citizens. Pretty similar to what was imposed here for about a century.

Beyond the semantics of debating ‘you say genocide, we say civilized’, China’s CCP under Xi Jinping is turbocharging assimilation across their colonial possessions from Kashgar to Hong Kong and Lhasa to Hohhot.

Resistance in Xinjiang against foreign control has been occurring since the dying days of the Qing dynasty. The program of settler colonialism through Han resettlement continued following the establishment of the Chinese Republic and intensified as state power grew in the post-Mao era, eventually attracting more than 10 million Han settlers to Xinjiang and sparking cycles of indigenous resistance. We’ve seen similar cycles play out across the South Pacific for many decades.

This settler colonialism involves both effacement and replacement, but doesn’t necessarily align with commonly accepted definitions of genocide.

As Xi came to power in late 2012, violent resistance escalated once again in Xinjiang, with a spate of deadly attacks across China. In response he announced a “people’s war on terror” and called on Xinjiang authorities to show “absolutely no mercy”.

So having said above that they are different, here’s where the supporters of Xi Jinping and Donald Trump meet pretty closely.

Ethnic Cleansing With Chinese Characteristics

The idea common to China, United States racists, and European racists is this: that Muslims and other minorities are waging demographic warfare against the majority, seeking to outbreed them, replace them and their civilisation, and sow discord within their newly established order. So in this logic it becomes the job of the great majority an their leaders to stop that by all means at their disposal.

The essence of the project across China’s periphery is replacement theory with Chinese characteristics. Defending that “civilisation”, as such, requires a confrontation with the “invaders”. Or as the Canadian reactionary Mark Steyn put it in a 206 New York Times bestseller:

“In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography – except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out, as other Continentals will in the years ahead: If you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull ‘em.”

If we want to be a part of retaining our human rights in the world supported by democracy – and stand with those countries who already see the damage of racist ethnic assimilation – we should continue to resist what China is doing in its north-west.

It’s the principle of the thing, and our Parliament as of Wednesday unanimously agrees.

108 comments on “Ethnic Cleansing and New Zealand ”

  1. Byd0nz 1

    The only moral ground we have as a Nation (and that's a bit shakey) is to go it alone. History is not kind to any of the Nations you want to align with, they all have and still do, have no clean slate when it comes to the question of genocide and human rights. Better to call out all Nations to get their own act together before accusing others of doing the same.

    Aligning yourselves with any of the major players makes you a hypocrite. Stay out of it.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Well put Byd0nz.

      ADVANTAGE has obviously put significant thought and effort into his piece…but really it still amounts to a backpat for US Imperialism. Ask the indigenous people of America about Genocide.

      The Non Aligned Movement (NAM) of 120 odd nations, still exists after the Cold War and a reinvigorated version of it might be a better way to honour the UN Founding Principles really than picking an existing “side”. Fascism is on the rise alright–Hungary, Poland etc., and it has to be dealt with at a local level in political struggle, rather than submitting to this or that “1984” style bloc.

    • Ad 1.2

      Only cowards "stay out of it". Real citizens engage and take moral risks, including that of intervention.

      Thankfully there are no such cowards in our Parliament.

  2. Gabby 2

    I'm just really impressed that the yankers have found a totalitarian regime they don't approve of. It's been a while.

    • In Vino 2.1

      Good cynical comment, Gabby.

      I as a retired teacher of language am annoyed about the misuse of the word 'genocide'.

      It means the slaughter of a race of people, not just oppression.

      Campaigners rush to extend the meanings of such words when it suits their cause, and soon they claim that examples of oppression become outrageous genocide, and they scream the word loudly.

      For genocide I think you need hundreds of thousands of corpses over the short period of time that this Chinese thing has been going on.

      Oppression; severe oppression; persecution – all these terms may be applicable yo what the Chinese are perpetrating.

      But 'genocide' is an obviously deliberate exaggeration.

      Where are the hundreds of thousands of corpses?

      I detest this Orwellian newspeak that people use when it suits their purpose.

        • In Vino 2.1.1.1

          My response is that those UN people may be good theorists about what they don't like, but they are not the linguistic arbiters about what a word means.

          Their extensions of what genocide originally meant is exactly what allows Orwellian Newspeak.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            The UN literally did provide the current legal definition of genocide. In 1948, based on practical events immediately preceeding the creation of the UN.

            The Nuremberg Trials did include a more narrow definition:

            They conducted deliberate and systematic genocide, viz., the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian populations of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people and national, racial, or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles, and Gypsies and others.

            But then the guy who actually created the word applied a definition that is arguably more broad than the current one:

            By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group. This new word, coined by the author to denote an old practice in its modern development, is made from the ancient Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing)…. Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group

      • Tricledrown 2.1.2

        In Vino Raphael Lemkin introduced the term genocide its literal translation is not its meaning.

        Also meaning the cause of bodily harm mental harm as well as killing people.

        Placing children other ethnicities.

        Looking at oranga tamariki ,All the Maori put downs mainly from right wing white supremacist colonialist perpetuating the propaganda of the conquering race of dehumanising Maori to keep Maori poor and unimpowered.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    "President Joe Biden makes this threat repeatedly clear in his recent Presidential Address to the House: “We have to prove democracy still works. That our government still works – and can deliver for the people. In our first 100 days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver.”

    If this were at all true then why didn't Biden and his fellow Democrats keep their main election promise of a $15.00 minimum wage that had 72% of the US population (62% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats) supporting it?..can't you see everything he says after not delivering this most basic citizen approved policy (that the Democrats used as the election spring board) while in control of both houses is to be taken with a grain of salt, if that.

    And further you have the gall to present the US and Biden as some sort of beacon of civility in the world..I am not even going to start listing all the countries with democratically elected leaders that the USA is today and have recently been negatively meddling in, because you know as well as anyone on TS that the USA is THE primary source of aggression in the world today..the USA are the biggest threat to democracy in the world today…if it were a democracy the people of the USA would have a reasonable minimum wage and free health care today, as that is what most of them want and have wanted for a long long time.

    BTW maybe the USA should start in their own back yard before pointing out state sanctioned mass murder…talk about class war!

    "Nearly 841,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose.

    "In 2017 alone, there were 70,237 recorded drug overdose deaths, and of those deaths, 47,600 involved an opioid. A report from December 2017 estimated 130 people every day in the United States die from an opioid-related drug overdose."

    https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    The trail of contemporary genocide goes back a little further than Serbia, or Chechnya, or the ethnic peoples of the former Soviet Union, the holocaust camps, the Turkish concentration camps that were copies British camps for Boer prisoners of war, which in turn copied American civil war POW camps, and before that, to the trails of tears and reservations that marked the virtual extermination of US native peoples.

    Coercive actions against populations, even if they fall short of direct violence, are not to be blithely accepted, for all that a democracy parasitized by neoliberalism is going to follow that principle about as often as a stopped clock follows time.

    China likes to portray itself as a benign autocracy. International validation of that assertion rests on them refraining from actions like forced assimilation and erosions of the public franchise as seen in Hong Kong. We are obliged to dissent from their preferred interpretation. Whether further action is desirable rather depends upon how maturely they handle that kind of international criticism.

    • Byd0nz 4.1

      Yea, and the flattening of Korea in the 50's, and the American chemical war in Vietnam, etc, etc etc. Oh yea, let's play for that team.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Tell us Byd0nz, who were the aggressors in Korea?

        Irrespective of your ill-judged factionalism, we should condemn genocide, even cultural genocide.

        • arkie 4.1.1.1

          Indeed.

          One of the worst incidents preceded the Korean War, in 1948, when the new Syngman Rhee government installed in Seoul by the United States ordered its army to suppress a leftist revolt on Cheju Island. About 30,000 local people were gunned down.

          By early 1950 Rhee had about 30,000 alleged communists in his jails, and had about 300,000 suspected sympathisers enrolled in an official "re-education" movement known as the Bodo League. When Kim Il-sung's communist army attacked from the North in June that year, retreating South Korean forces executed the prisoners, along with many Bodo League members.

          https://www.smh.com.au/world/south-korea-owns-up-to-brutal-past-20081115-gdt2yw.html

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1.1

            Not the US's finest hour it's true.

            But whose troops crossed the border to take advantage of the power vacuum left by departing Japanese troops? It was Kim Il-sung's forces, some say at the instigation of Stalin.

            Conditions were harsh in Korea. Starvation and death from exposure was happening even in Seoul. In such circumstances, enemy combatants cannot expect a lot of clemency.

            Which is part of the reason NZ joined UN forces in defending the peninsula.

            • arkie 4.1.1.1.1.1

              These enemy combatants were South Korean civilians in 1948. They were imprisoned and 're-educated' for having communist sympathies. They were massacred by the South Korean state. It was covered up for 40 years.

              We should condemn genocide, but we should also be certain. Which sadly makes the determination of genocide largely academic and post hoc.

              • Stuart Munro

                Civil wars are invariably brutal. Was the North more humanitarian then, in the treatment of their prisoners? Were the Chinese, who lost getting on for 2 million troops by conducting human wave attacks, more sparing of their prisoners than of their rank and file?

                North Korea established a reputation for brutality which it maintains to this day. The South has gradually moved away from the oppressive militarism and built as enlightened a modern society as they could. They make a fairly good case for UN intervention.

                • arkie

                  I don’t have a faction in this, but I think it makes a pretty good case against war in general and in particular the proxy wars of greedy superpowers.

                • Pierre

                  When you say

                  The South has gradually moved away from the oppressive militarism and built as enlightened a modern society as they could.

                  I refer you to the previous point about the systematic killing of democrats, peace activists, trade unionists, and suspected communists. If it was a gradual transition, what happened in May 1980 in Gwangju? Why was Bak Jong-cheol tortured to death in 1987? The enlightened modern society you mention had to be dragged into being by determined protesters. It wasn't the UN which did that.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    True.

                    Now explain to us why the North has not made a comparable transition.

    • Gosman 4.2

      The concentration camps set up by the British during the Second Boer War were for civilians not Boer POW's.

      • Tricledrown 4.2.1

        Gosman it was a Guerilla war not just civilians how would the british troops how who were guerilla fighters they just incarcerated everyone then separated the men and sent them abroad to make sure they didn't re engage!

        Gosman you always fail to engage with the complete truth.Spinning white colonialist superiority at every opportunity.its time you took a few steps in others shoes to develop some empathy.

  5. Gosman 5

    NZ does not have examples of mass deaths of "native people". The Maori population declined between the early 19th century and the 1890's mainly as a result of the impact of new diseases (which would likely have happened regardless of colonisation). However to label it mass deaths is erroneous as it was more a steady decline as a result of higher mortality rates over decades.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      The Maori population declined between the early 19th century and the 1890's mainly as a result of the impact of new diseases (which would likely have happened regardless of colonisation).

      That’s an intriguing Gosman reckon – what’s the evidence that the impact of new diseases would “likely have happened regardless of colonisation“?

      Colonisation, hauora and whenua in Aotearoa (JRSNZ, 2019)

      While acknowledging Cook’s estimate of the Maori population of 100,000 at contact, Pool and Kukutai put their assessment at 90,000 and argue that, in line with the pre-European trajectory, between 1769 and 1810, numbers grew to 95,000. The cultures of Aotearoa remained intact and adapting, their economies were vibrant and life expectancies were likely improving (Salmond 1991; Belich 1996).

      The Maori population began to contract between 1810 and 1825, falling to 90000 as infectious diseases in particular, took their toll on both birthrates and mortality rates.

      In this period the European population was small, although increasing ship visits meant transitory influxes at specific sites such as Kororareka in te Tai Tokerau (Salmond 1991; Belich 1996; O’Malley 2013) and exposure to new illnesses, guns, alcohol and tobacco. Maori population decline accelerated from 1825, falling to 80,000 by 1840, as infectious diseases spiralled into epidemics and changes to Maori economic activity (clustering for exportable resource exploitation) likely reduced life expectancy. By 1840 the European population had grown to about 2000 (Orange 1987), English life expectancy was about 40 years (Roser 2019) and the first significant acquistions of Maori land were under way.

      In the period from 1840 to the end of the nineteenth century, the Maori population fell to 42,000 as both increased mortality and and decreased fertility due to infectious disease, war, land alienation, malnutrition and mass immigration from Europe cut against growth. Settler numbers grew rapidly to outnumber Maori by 1860 (Statistics New Zealand 1861), reaching 770,000 by 1901 (Statistics New Zealand 1902). By the 1880s the life expectancy disparity between tangata whenua and settler was around 30 years (Pool and Kukutai 2018) as Maori longevity fell to the mid-20s and settler equivalents rose to mid-50s. Land confiscations, acquisitions and purchases saw Maori holdings fall to sixty percent by 1890 (Ministry for Culture and Heritage 2017). The period between between 1860 and 1890 was one of extreme trauma, loss and hardship for tangata whenua, especially those directly affected by the material, cultural and psychological ravages of war and the consolidation of the colonial state (Rusden 1974; Belich 1986).

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Because Maori would not have been able to keep out infectious diseases. They were already struggling with them pre 1840.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.1.1

          Gosman, scholars have studied the deadly impact of diseases introduced by colonisation activities on Māori and other first people populations. I reckon the impact would have been less if colonisation had not occured. Your remarkable contention appears to be that the impact would have been the same regardless of colonisation, in which case we must agree to disagree.

          Aboriginal Housing Company
          With the arrival of the Europeans, the Gadigal population was virtually wiped. In 1789 and 1790 a smallpox epidemic swept through the Aboriginal population around Sydney killing literally thousands of people. It is probable that anywhere between 50-90% of all the Aborigines in the vicinity of Sydney died from this epidemic within the first three years of the European settlement. During this period, a large number of Eora were also killed during their resistance (led by Eora leader Pemulwuy) to the violent, dispossession and invasion of their land. Those who survived moved out of the area and joined neighbouring groups. Eora society as it had existed for so many millennia is believed to have been completely destroyed by the early 19th century. The events surrounding the Aboriginal resistance during the European invasion is analogous to the American Indian’s resistance against British colonial rule. During the French and Indian wars in the 1600’s, the British waged germ warfare against the American Indians and their leader Pontiac. The British strategically infected blankets with small pox and distributed them to the Indians. Small pox crippled the resistance and practically wiped out the American Indian Nation. Historians have revealed that dried smallpox scabs brought to NSW by surgeons for inoculating against the disease may have been used to start the epidemic among Aborigines. Two junior officers of a British commander who had approved using smallpox against Native Americans sailed with the First Fleet, so knowledge of germ warfare was possible. The timing of the Sydney small pox epidemic and the Aboriginal resistance would suggest that the British may indeed have used similar germ warfare tactics in Australia during colonisation.

          But we'll never know for sure.

          Biological warfare and bioterrorism: a historical review
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200679/

          Smallpox epidemic kills 55 (8 April 1913)
          By the end of the year the epidemic had killed 55 New Zealanders, all of them Māori.
          https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/smallpox-epidemic-kills-55

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            You use examples of a deliberate infection of populations in two other places as if that happened in NZ. It did not. There is no evidence the British engaged in such activity in NZ.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You use examples of a deliberate infection of populations in two other places as if that happened in NZ.

              Gosman, that seems an overly sensitive interpretation on your part – I made no effort to conceal the geographical locations of the examples that I cited.

              Nevertheless, infection of Māori populations in NZ with deadly diseases occured as a direct result of colonisation. It seems commonsense (to me) that the impact of diseases introduced to NZ by colonisation activities would have been less if colonisation had not occured, whereas you appear to believe that the impact would likely have been the same regardless of colonisation.

              The Maori population declined between the early 19th century and the 1890's mainly as a result of the impact of new diseases (which would likely have happened regardless of colonisation).

              And so we must agree to disagree; OK?

              • RedLogix

                Nevertheless, infection of Māori populations in NZ with deadly diseases occured as a direct result of colonisation.

                Really? After the past year or so and you still have so little idea of how infectious diseases spread?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  After the past year or so and you still have so little idea of how infectious diseases spread?

                  An intriguing question from someone who, in October 2020, confidently and repeatedly asserted (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over".

                  And (23/3/2020): “The virus will likely take 4 – 12 weeks to overcome…laugh

                  Maybe we both still have a bit to learn about infectious disease spread.

                  Smallpox was probably introduced into China during the 1st century CE from the southwest, and in the 6th century was carried from China to Japan. In Japan, the epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of the population.

                  Inoculation for smallpox appears to have started in China around the 1500s. Europe adopted this practice from Asia in the first half of the 18th century.

                  By the mid-18th century, smallpox was a major endemic disease everywhere in the world except in Australia and in small islands untouched by outside exploration. In 18th century Europe, smallpox was a leading cause of death, killing an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year.

                  Australia and New Zealand are two notable exceptions; neither experienced endemic smallpox and never vaccinated widely, relying instead on protection by distance and strict quarantines.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallpox

                  How times change!

                  • RedLogix

                    And now can we examine the origin of the Black Death – widely believed to have originated in China.

                    The point is that humans have always moved about, and inadvertently taken diseases with us. Trying to pin the blame on 'colonialisation' is a futile distraction from the fact that nothing was ever going to keep the modern world away from New Zealand. In that era there was no magical force-field bubble that was going to keep vulnerable populations isolated indefinitely. Hell we're having enough trouble achieving this today with all of our science and current methods.

                    Maori were inevitably going to be exposed to diseases they had no immunity to – exactly as isolated populations had suffered for millennia.

                    • Mark

                      According to a team of medical geneticists led by Mark Achtman that analysed the genetic variation of the bacterium, Yersinia pestis "evolved in or near China",[62][63] from which it spread around the world in multiple epidemics. Later research by a team led by Galina Eroshenko places the origins more specifically in the Tian Shan mountains on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China.[64]

                      LOL! trying to blame China for the black death carried by fleas is like blaming the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami on Indonesia (that's where the earthquake happened I think), hahahahahahahahahah

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Dear Redlogix, as a beneficiary of colonisation, it would be hypocritical of me to want to wish it away. Fortunately, in these more enlighted times we can acknowledge both the historical and on-going benefits and disadvantages of colonisation, and note that the disadvantages tend to weigh more heavily on first people societies (or minority populations in general), even to this day.

                      Effects of colonisation on Māori
                      Pre- and post-contact life expectancy
                      Evidence suggests that Māori life expectancy at the time of Captain James Cook’s visits to New Zealand (between 1769 and 1777) was similar to that in some of the most privileged 18th-century societies. Māori may have had a life expectancy at birth of about 30. After European contact, however, there was a major decline in Māori life expectancy. By 1891 the estimated life expectancy of Māori men was 25 and that of women was just 23.

                      Population decline
                      The Māori population also declined steeply. It is estimated to have been about 100,000 in 1769. By 1840 it was probably between 70,000 and 90,000. At its lowest point in 1896 it was around 42,000.

                      Edit: In regard to your point about the inevitability of exposure of first peoples to diseases to which they had no immunity, I thought this was interesting.

                      Australia and New Zealand are two notable exceptions; neither experienced endemic smallpox and never vaccinated widely, relying instead on protection by distance and strict quarantines.
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallpox

                      And yet smallpox outbreaks did occur in NZ, so it looks like ‘we‘ dodged a bullet there.

                       Smallpox epidemic kills 55 (8 April 1913)
                      By the end of the year the epidemic had killed 55 New Zealanders, all of them Māori.
                      https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/smallpox-epidemic-kills-55
                      
                    • RedLogix

                      @Mark

                      It is of course idiotic to 'blame' anyone for the inadvertent spread of any disease. The obvious point I was making – and that you deliberately ignore – is that disease and it's movement between populations is one of our ancient enemies.

                      Still it would have been reflected much better on China if various CCP mouthpieces hadn't been shouting 'racism' back in February last year when we should have closed down global travel much sooner. I'm still struck by the fact of the CCP locking down internal travel with an iron-fist – while demanding the rest of the world remain open and thus ensuring the virus spread around the globe,

                      It's very tempting to think this was not an 'inadvertent' mistake at all.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I'm still struck by the fact of the CCP locking down internal travel with an iron-fist – while demanding the rest of the world remain open and thus ensuring the virus spread around the globe,

                      It's very tempting to think this was not an 'inadvertent' mistake at all.

                      It’s very VERY tempting. The Yellow Peril thinks they're inscrutable, but you see through them, eh Redlogix – you're not for 'veering'.

                      Trump said China may have started the coronavirus deliberately, as top advisers claim attacking Beijing may be the best way for the president to save his job
                      Trump’s approach to China has veered between blaming it for the coronavirus outbreak and seeking to strike a more conciliatory tone.

                      Trump repeats claim China may have deliberately spread virus, admits no evidence
                      There’s a chance it was intentional,’ US leader tells newspaper as Beijing battles new outbreak. ‘I don’t think they would do that, but you never know

                      Stamp it out, keep it out
                      Nah, a completely idiotic and in the long term, impossible dream. It will fail.

                      And yet here we are, seven prudent months later. Seems to me that "Stamp it out, keep it out" (elimination) has served NZ (and Australia) rather well, despite the on-going pressure to free-up international travel faster (do it now!)

                      Completely off topic (sorry) – we’re planning to visit Dad in Caloundra in September, COVID-willing! We really don't know how lucky we are.

        • Tricledrown 5.1.1.2

          Gosman I see you are sneaking in some dehumanising of Maori .

          In the history classes at the school I attended, Maori were classified as lower in intellect only good for shearing, strumming guitars,freezing workers.

          This has had a longterm damaging effect of the psychology of a complete race of people .Gosman you should know better but you are part of the problem where Maori were supposed to have equal rights under the Te Triti but have been undermined for 180 years ending up on the bottom of the heap.

          Where incidious odious people kick Maori while they are down.

    • Tricledrown 5.2

      Gosman Maori forced into clusters increasing transmission rates.

      A 50% to 60% decline in population is not mass in your hollow mindset Gosman.

      Your aloofness to others realities must be a good case study for your partner.

    • Ike 5.3

      11 deaths may not be genocide but given Samoa's small population this does not reflect well on NZ

      https://nzhistory.govt.nz/black-saturday-nz-police-open-fire-on-mau-protestors-in-apia-nine-samoans-killed

      Neither does this.

      https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/erueti-te-whiti-o-rongomai-iii

  6. bill 6

    But China’s racist actions are state directed, not from local terror cells. There has already been multiple studies of China’s actions against the Uighurs, but the repression isn’t stopping and is getting worse.

    If there was serious oppression in Xinjiang there would be hordes of refugees, and camps springing up in the neighbouring countries (Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan) – a bit like how victims of oppression flood up towards the southern border of the USA. But there is no outflow. Somewhat odd, no?

    Secondly, the terrorists in Xinjiang were pushing a foreign notion of Wahhabism onto the local Muslim populations. (As an aside, Uyghur Muslims have a long tradition of making and consuming wine, and the naqib isn't a part of Uyghur culture…) Anyway. The source of terrorist attacks was well documented even by liberal western media sources until (it seems) the word came down to change the script.

    China's response was different to that of 'the west' or Russia – rather than high levels of surveillance and jackboots, they threw high levels of surveillance and development at the problem, (I believe China has made plausible claims to have eradicated extreme poverty?) and there hasn't been a terrorist attack in Xinjiang for a year or two now.

    The USA is pursuing it's Middle East and N Africa strategy on the borders of China now….the creation of failed states by leveraging divisions in society and actively training, arming and funding selected factions to bring about chaos – basically exactly what liberal media accuses Russia of doing…but on steroids and with plenty of smoking guns for us all to see.

    Myanmar's shaping up to be quite a case study for anyone who can be bothered to move beyond the Washington talking points of liberal media outlets and avail themselves of quality and verifiable info. Just sayin'….

    My (probably forlorn) hope is that the bullshit about Xinjiang is so transparent, that the growing number of people who see through it for the cynical piece of State Dept propaganda that it is, will recognise the template (that of funding and promoting rabidly antagonistic "civil society" groups ) and tumble to the fact that it's essentially the same one that's being applied in the case of Myanmar, and that was applied to Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Hong Kong…

    Can I suggest people take note of the countries and regions that would be essential for a smooth roll out of the Belt and Road initiative and compare that list to a list of states and regions suddenly undergoing "out of the blue" upheavals? And go to the NED website and see what groups are being funded in what countries and regions by those regime change ghouls…

    Throw that information alongside the "scramble" scenario laid out in a study done by (I think) the petro chemical industry (Shell?) on likely future scenarios if climate change was not going to be tackled. It's an historical document now – climate change wasn't tackled.

  7. Pierre 7

    It's a bizarre argument to claim that 'Han' Chinese are concerned about Muslims as a demographic threat, considering how Uyghurs (along with various other ethnic minorities) were specifically exempt from the one child policy.

    Also, this post reads as if there's some kind of binary with 'the Muslims of Xinjiang' on one side and the Chinese Communist Party on the other. What about the many thousands of Chinese Uyghurs who are committed communists? Those who believe in a secular and progressive republic under the leadership of the working class, are they the racists in this scenario? Of course not.

    It would be useful for the left to produce critical and comradely analysis about what is going on in Xinjiang. At the same time it's difficult to have an honest discussion while rebuffing all the stuff abut genocide and ethnic cleansing being thrown around with intent to push some kind of regime-change agenda.

    I would assume everyone here does not support whatever Al-Qaeda franchise is currently in fashion, and we do not want to see Xinjiang turned over to an Islamic state. We all want peace, ethnic harmony, and the unity of the working class in this region. Yes? So start there. Uyghurs already have special protections for their language, their cultural practices are recognised and supported by the state. The CCP has obviously made various attempts to de-radicalise people and suppress terrorist elements. What is the overall strategy here, and is it showing much success?

    • Byd0nz 7.1

      Well researched and without hysteria.👍

    • Mark 7.2

      Good comment from Pierre. Measured, and facts based.

      The point is this. If the Chinese communists were really into genocide, after 70 years of Communist rule, there would hardly be any Tibetans, or Uighurs etc remaining – a billion Han Chinese could easily have extirpated all minority groups if that was their aim.

      But anyone who has visited Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia etc, can see that the local cultures are thriving and intact to a far greater extent than that of indigenous people in any other part of the world. Bilingualism is sponsored by the state, and as Pierre said, minorities were exempt from the one child policy. They also benefit from massive affirmative action programmes (google it).

      There are real concerns over terrorism in Xinjiang: "The Syrian government reportedly informed Beijing there were 5,000 as of May, 2017 (Reuters, May 11, 2017). Another Dubai-based media outlet reported the number as 10,000 to 20,000 Uighurs, mostly in Idlib province (Asia Times, May 21, 2017)." Returning Uighur Fighters and China's National Security Dilemma – Jamestown

    • Ad 7.3

      The Chinese government's forced population of Uighur's is both effective and well attested.

      https://jamestown.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Zenz-Internment-Sterilizations-and-IUDs-REVISED-March-17-2021.pdf?x14952

      The Uighur language has been banned in a key Xinjiang prefecture. Mandarin is fully and resolutely implemented.

      https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/language-07282017143037.html

      China's alignment of Islamic countries to support it is spectacularly obvious from its oil deals with those countries in Saudi Arabia and Iran: oil security and the money that flows from it trumps religious ethics.

      China has also been able to align its hostility toward its Muslim population with the antipathy of these countries toward particular forms of political Islamism — ranging from mainstream political groups that want their governments to expand democracy, cut corruption and protect human rights, to more radical Islamist groups that denounce governments as apostates and puppets of the West. You can see who China gets to mandate as Muslim through their official Chinese islamic Association. You will be familiar with the standard soft power routine at play there.

      https://www.mei.edu/publications/chinese-islamic-association-arab-world-use-islamic-soft-power-promoting-silence

      To be really clear: the strategy from my point of view is to denounce fools like you who attest opinions without sources, and to hold tyrant governments to account.

      • Mark 7.3.1

        One of your souces is Radio Free Asia, lol!!!

        Not ONE Muslim country has come out and condemned China. Many have supported China's actions.

        The fact is the world is changing. The views of a few angst ridden white supremacist Anglo Saxon countries worried about losing their centuries long dominance of the world simply don’t count for shit.

        More and more of the world are seeing the real threat to the well-being and happiness and indeed true democracy internationally is the USA. Not China or Russia.

        US seen as bigger threat to democracy than Russia or China, global poll finds | World news | The Guardian

        Genocide my ass.

        • Stuart Munro 7.3.1.1

          Pretty sure if the boot were on the other foot, and the Uighurs were reeducating Chinese people and making them give up their language and culture, it'd be genocide all right.

          Throwing mud at the US, however deserved, doesn't make China's hands clean.

          • Mark 7.3.1.1.1

            I'm sure if there were 5,000 to 15,000 former ISIS fighters, battle hardened wandering around California or New South Wales, the respective US and Australian governments would crack down very very very hard, and most people would support them for doing so.

            Indeed on a pretext of weapons of mass destruction on the other side of the world, the Western response is to bomb the shit out of a sovereign country causing upwards of a million deaths.

            • Stuart Munro 7.3.1.1.1.1

              False analogy.

              The Uighurs are in their own country, not invading.

              Love the red herring about the US though – yes, Bush was completely out of order – doesn't license China any more than WMDs licensed the US.

        • Ad 7.3.1.2

          The countries who oppose China's actions in the Xinjiang are on the record as:

          Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia,Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

          Those who support it according to their own joint statement to the United Nations are:

          Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba,Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua,Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the UAE,Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

          It's democratic and open countries condemning China's action on the one side, and autocrats and China addicts supporting them on the other.

          There has been some movement to and from either camp, and a few notable neutrals. The fact that this is an open multilateral contest shows that China still views globally held values and international sanction to be real to their interests.

          They can deny it all they want, but the international pressure is only going to get worse until they change.

        • Brigid 7.3.1.3

          And more hilariously Ad's other source is Adrian Zenz, A born again christian who in an interview with the Wall Street Journal said "I feel very clearly to be led by god to do this. With Xinjiang things really changed. It became like a mission, or a ministry".

          In his spare time he denounces homosexuality, sexual equality and believes the rule against the punishment of children is anathema to Christianity.

          More on Zenz

          https://thegrayzone.com/?s=adrian+zenz

          • Mark 7.3.1.3.1

            Yep, the guy is a fruit-loop with a pre-set agenda who is a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

            Zenz a fair and impartial observer? – ROFL!!!!!!!!

            • Bill 7.3.1.3.1.1

              …victims of communism to properly include all those who have died (and who will die?) from Covid….according to the mentioned foundation.

          • Mark 7.3.1.3.2

            Thanks for this Brigid – –I always thought there was something extremely dodgey about the guy!

      • Pierre 7.3.2

        There are very simple explanations for all these things though. The Uyghur population has grown quite steadily and consistently since 1949. The 1.1% of Uyghur women of childbearing age who requested IUDs are doing so because they do not want to have children, and indeed it's their right. It's not a nefarious plan for mass sterilisation, it's just the ordinary and fairly routine provision of birth control for women who ask for it.

        Mark is right, if there was a genocide you would see it happening. And yes as it happens if you go to China you see Uyghur language printed on the banknotes, in Xinjiang the road signs are written in both Uyghur and Chinese script, the language is taught in schools, there are museums, theatres, and television stations dedicated to the Uyghur culture. The Chinese Islamic Association organises the rituals, trips to Mecca, Islamic scholarship, upkeep of shrines and religious buildings, it's not just a front for soft power. Despite what Radio Free Asia might claim, Uyghur culture is alive and well.

        Since you mention it, the party does interfere in the Islamic Association, Imams and other figures of religious authority are politically vetted in order not to promote violence or ethnic hatred. That's also quite normal in the context. The Chinese government clearly has no problem with Uyghur culture or the Islamic religion, what it is trying to do is to combat a (US backed) jihadist insurgency.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Events in Xinjiang are but a prelude to the far more dramatic dissolution of the PRC as we know it.

    As for all those cretins here pretending that China perches on some kind of moral high ground compared to the US – you forget to ask exactly why the CCP is frantically building out a massive military capacity.

    It far exceeds anything necessary for a legitimate defense from any plausible threat. Either the CCP leadership never intend to use it, in which case they're nothing more than foolish preening bullies intimidating their region. Or they do, in which case you're going to have to make a choice between the PRC and the rest of the world.

    • Mark 8.1

      "you forget to ask exactly why the CCP is frantically building out a massive military capacity."

      The US spends three times that of China per year:

      • Ranking: military spending by country 2020 | Statista

      But I suppose that is for 'legitimate defense' whereas China's spending is not????

      "It far exceeds anything necessary for a legitimate defense from any plausible threat"

      The US has around 800 military bases around the world, whereas China has four or five.

      China has very legitimate security concerns:

      Declassified: Trump's Indo-Pacific Strategy – United World International

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        So if the USA is an evil empire for having a large military – then by the same logic so is the PRC for rapidly building out the same capacity.

        You simply cannot have it both ways.

        • Mark 8.1.1.1

          "So if the USA is an evil empire for having a large military – then by the same logic so is the PRC for rapidly building out the same capacity."

          Not if the USA started it, in order to threaten other countries.

          Does China surround the USA with a noose of military bases. NO.

          Does the USA encircle China with the same? YES.

          Case closed.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1

            Did the USA help the Nationalists fight off Japan, (while the communists cowards skulked in the mountains) and help free China?

            The vast majority of these bases are in places like Europe (where they're part of NATO) and the others arose in the context of WW2 and the Cold War. Far from 'encircling China' they've served the purpose of creating a security environment in which modern China could arise and thrive as it has.

            Now that the CCP wants to bite the hand that fed it is completely characteristic of it's vile Maoist origins – which it has never repudiated.

            • Mark 8.1.1.1.1.1

              "The vast majority of these bases are in places like Europe (where they're part of NATO) and the others arose in the context of WW2 and the Cold War."

              usachinamil2.jpg (800×426) (unitedworldint.com)

              • RedLogix

                Here's another source that doesn't leave out the vast majority.

                Note that most of the significant bases in Asia are in Japan. The implication that the US has 800 massive bases all surrounding China is selective bullshit; the reality is they're spread around the world and that most are relatively small with fewer than a few hundred service people staffing them.

    • Mark 8.2

      "Or they do, in which case you're going to have to make a choice between the PRC and the rest of the world."

      Seems like the 'rest of the world' has more of a problem with the USA

      https://www.rt.com/news/522986-world-fears-us-influence-democracy/

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Anything from RT is rejected here. Out of hand.

        • Mark 8.2.1.1

          "Anything from RT is rejected here. Out of hand."

          Whereas RFA (Radio Free Asia) is all ok eh? LOL!

          OK then, how about Newshub?

          United States more of a threat to democracy than Russia, China – global poll | Newshub

          • RedLogix 8.2.1.1.1

            Same propaganda source. As you are part of the effort to defeat the West by undermining belief in itself.

            • Mark 8.2.1.1.1.1

              "Same propaganda source. As you are part of the effort to defeat the West by undermining belief in itself."

              LOL! Here is the report:

              The Democracy Perception Index 2021.pdf (hubspotusercontent00.net)

              Prepared by the "The Alliance of Democracies Foundation"

              Not sure how defending China relates to trying to 'defeat the West' – LOL

              • RedLogix

                You're the obvious propaganda tool here – all you ever do is act as a mouthpiece for the CCP.

                • Mark

                  You are an obvious propaganda tool for US imperialism. LOL!

                  • RedLogix

                    Nope. I comment on a very wide range of topics, and have been doing so here since the site was started in 2007. You on the other hand …you have but one agenda here as an apologist for the CCP.

                    As for this 'US Imperialism' line that you run. Here is the blunt reality; that the US provided the manufacturing and strategic backbone to win WW2 and the Cold War. In this they defeated both the fascists and communists, and then set most of the world on a path to free trade and the extraordinary prosperity of the modern world.

                    Indeed China remained a backward nation, prone to famine and economic dysfunction until the US explicitly determined to dismantle the Maoist Bamboo Curtain and bring the PRC into the world trading order the US had created. All you had to do was play by the rules that everyone else abided by and for the most part peace, development and prosperity was within reach.

                    And this is what was happening for China until your President for Life came along, with his dreams of re-shaping the world to restore the 'prestige and face' of the great dynasties of old.

                  • Incognito

                    You do your nickname justice.

        • Siobhan 8.2.1.2

          ..but why out of hand ..and who do you consider independent?

          personally I would recommend neither accepting nor rejecting any news source without due diligence

          take the BBC for starters…

          https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ourbeeb/bbc-is-neither-independent-or-impartial-interview-with-tom-mills/

          https://www.bbc.com/aboutthebbc/governance/regulation

          (my bolds)

          " BBC World Service is not regulated by Ofcom. Instead the BBC is responsible for setting its overall strategic direction, the budget and guarding its editorial independence for World Service. It must set and publish a Licence for the World Service, which defines its remit, scope, annual budget and main commitments, as well as "objectives, targets and priorities" which are agreed with the Foreign Secretary."

          • RedLogix 8.2.1.2.1

            Until we see the free movement of a number of journalists into the region – who're able to investigate without fear or constraint – then I'm frankly disinclined to believe anything the CCP or it's mouthpieces tell us.

            It's my sense that what we're seeing is not so much what most people think of as 'genocide' in the sense of a lot of dead bodies, but more an exercise in extreme coercive social engineering. There are now some 400 of these re-education camps showing up on satellite (or at least absent on the ground verification this is what we think they are) and I doubt anything much good happens inside of them.

            • Mark 8.2.1.2.1.1

              "I doubt anything much good happens inside of them."

              What's wrong with de-radicalisation and vocational training?

              Similar to the same sort of de-radicalisation camps set up in the West and modelled off them:

              China: Xinjiang camps take similar approach to US, UK, France – POLITICO

            • Mark 8.2.1.2.1.2

              "It's my sense that what we're seeing is not so much what most people think of as 'genocide' in the sense of a lot of dead bodies"

              That is the impression and effect the Western propagandists such as yourself are trying to convey, lol!

            • Siobhan 8.2.1.2.1.3

              …you must have replied to the wrong person here RedLogix as this doesn't in anyway address the issue I was following up on…

              however, I tend to agree with your second point…and in that regard there are a number of slow moving 'genocides' in the world ..which makes the idea that the West are going to war over this particular issue (rather than geopolitical maneuvering and power plays) all the more ridiculous…

        • Ike 8.2.1.3

          11 deaths may not be genocide but given Samoa's small population this does not reflect well on NZ

          https://nzhistory.govt.nz/black-saturday-nz-police-open-fire-on-mau-protestors-in-apia-nine-samoans-killed

          Neither does this.

          https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/erueti-te-whiti-o-rongomai-iii

          • RedLogix 8.2.1.3.1

            What exactly is your point here? This kind of mistake happened over and again in our history.

            It happened just last year when the CCP loudly protested back in February that it would be 'racist' to stop travel in and out of China – while at the same time dramatically locking down their own internal travel. Thus ensuring COVID spread around the world. How well does that reflect on them do you think?

            Or am I just engaging in the same whattaboutism as you are?

        • Ike 8.2.1.4

          RT is a state sponsored Media outlet. So are the BBC, Radio NZ TV1, Most private media organisations in the western world are owned by 9 corporations. These 9 are controlled by 2 corporations Vanguard Inc. and BlackRock. Most of them get their news from Reuters and APN. These are also owned by the same corporations.

          https://www.bitchute.com/video/5gSH1K3sOmez/. About 20min mark for newsmedia

          And you think our news service is somehow better than RT.

          I beg to differ.

          • RedLogix 8.2.1.4.1

            I read RT daily – but I don't pretend to use it as a source because it's so closely entangled with the Russian govt that it's hard to tell what is reliable and what isn't. For the same reason most people here would reject Fox as a source.

            The reality is that there are no 100% reliable sources, even the ones you like. Hell I've caught out The Guardian often enough in blatant lies that I no longer trust them.

            My solution is to read widely and then construct a narrative from the plausible common elements. And be willing to read material that challenges your thinking.

            • Adrian Thornton 8.2.1.4.1.1

              Why wouldn't you use a piece of information from RT if was obviously correct and no other sources were covering that story?..is it because you are inherently biased yourself?

              "My solution is to read widely and then construct a narrative from the plausible common elements. And be willing to read material that challenges your thinking."

              From your own statements this does not seem to be the case at all.

              "Anything from RT is rejected here. Out of hand."

              • Stuart Munro

                …RT if was obviously correct and no other sources were covering that story?

                We'll let you know if that ever happens. Most of us used to read RT until they showed objectivity and professionalism the door.

                FYI “Anything that Causes Chaos”: The Organizational Behavior of Russia Today (RT) | Journal of Communication | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Human Rights Watch April 27, 2021
                  A Threshold Crossed
                  Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

                  "In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."

                  Right, and if the wests news is so much more reliable and deeply concerned with the welfare of oppressed, subjugated people getting fucked over in their own countries, then why wasn't this front page news across all their front pages?…where was the moral outrage? where are all the op-eds? why are we not talking about sanctioning Israel? why wouldn't the wests news liberal outlets seize on this report and use it as a springboard to help alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people and pressure Israel?…I will tell you why, because the wests news is as biased and as unreliable as everyone, seriously open your eyes man.

                  https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I will tell you why, because the wests news is as biased and as unreliable as everyone, seriously open your eyes man.

                    Why address this to me Adrian – I get my news on Russia from people on the ground, not these news agencies that you are at such pains to vilify.

                    You should do the same – and then you would not be an ignorant and facile tool for a murderous genocidal kleptocrat.

                • mauī

                  Yeah they can't be trusted… probably because they have show after show of dissenting Western voices.

                  I mean they can hardly compare to Hosking and Garner in the mornings, and a bit of Q+A on the weekends 🙄

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Well of course I don't watch them – but judging by the ignorance coming from their fans, they aren't drilling down to any real issues. No surprises there of course – a candid journalist in Russia will go the way of Politkovskaya.

                    Actually they're very comparable to Hosking and Garner – neither of which are worth a moment of anybody's time.

            • Ike 8.2.1.4.1.2

              Fine as long as you read the BBC etc with the same circumspection. Frankly I don't think you do or you would have a more cynical attitude as to why China's alleged mistreatment of the Uighurs has come up at this particular time. Why for instance is this not front page news?

              Perhaps it is better to rely more on personal commentary from people who have been to Xian Xiang and appear to not be strongly idealogical as well.

          • joe90 8.2.1.4.2

            And you think our news service is somehow better than RT.

            Yup, totally convincing vid from a channel boosting all manner of conspiratorial, pro-plague, anti semetic NWO claptrap.

            /

            • Adrian Thornton 8.2.1.4.2.1

              oh thats right because it's not like western media hasn't been pushing an evidence free conspiracy in the most mad, outlandish and bat shit crazy ways in the shape of 'Russiagate' four nearly five years…

              ..though, at least we can all laugh at it together now, that’s something I suppose…

              • Stuart Munro

                We realize that you and your fellow dupes have swallowed this story without a pinch of salt, much less a healthy chewing – but many of us here at the Standard find your slavish adherence to Putin's third rate propaganda something of an intellectual failing – it really isn't something that you should wish to advertise.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Mate you are priceless…thanks for just being you LOL!!!

                  I love the way that you and your pals have to keep on contorting and distorting your logic into pretzels to keep from admitting that you were played like violins (out of tunes one though!) by the Liberal press/Democrats/CIA and the FBI….what a chump.

                  There may not have been Russian bounties on US troops in Afghanistan after all

                  https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2021/04/15/there-may-not-have-been-russian-bounties-on-us-troops-in-afghanistan-after-all/

                  • Stuart Munro

                    If only you were priceless, rather than that malleable dross that, through your permeability to disinformation, empowers corrupt pretenders like Trump, and destroys the value of democracies around the world.

                    As for bounties on US troops – why address this to me? Have I made such a claim? – No, it is a straw man, no doubt to divert attention from your peculiar and unseemly love for totalitarian kleptocrats. I fail to see the attraction myself.

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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
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  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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