Monthly Archives: May 2017

Violence breeds violence. When will we finally learn that?

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their relatives. Just as they are with the millions of victims that western terrorism is responsible for, by unlawful use of force and wars of aggression.

Since the terrorist deeds hitting us are, beyond reasonable doubt, induced and provoked by our violence, there is a self-evident way to counteract them: stop our own crimes.

We should instead try the Chinese – peaceful – way to conquer the world: by aid, trade and investments.”

I posted those words on the NYTimes Readers Comments to an article about the Manchester attack, with to date not one “Recommend” from readers. On the other end of the list, with almost 700 Recommends, one finds the following sentences:

“When my son heard about this horror, he looked at me and said ‘Why, Mommy? Why would somebody do such a thing?”

“in the end I just said, ‘I don’t actually know. I don’t know why.'”

“we all so desperately want this to stop and we don’t know how to make it end.”

One can’t blame this woman since she is misinformed by our media like most of us. But on the other hand it should’t take much imagination to picture oneself in the same situation as a fellow human being in the Middle East, in countries torn apart by the merciless war machine hitting them from “the free world”. And if thinking alone doesn’t work, the Internet is abundant with testimony from the suffering people.

Take the interview with the Yemeni boy in his lower teens who had lived in the U.S. and moved back to his village, where he managed to convince his countrymen that America was a fair country. Then came a drone-strike killing innocent people, and all his efforts were in vain. They then naturally hated the U.S. and lived in constant fear of the drones, praising cloudy days because drones can’t fly then.

Or take the bombed wedding parties (at least eight such U.S. bombings since 2001, according to The Nation), together killing more people than all terrorist attacks in Europe in the same time-span. The human beings we threaten with immediate death are more eligible to “don’t know how to make it end” than we are. The only response some of them can think of is terrorism (they are in other words just as vindictive as many U.S. citizens after 9/11). These are just minor examples, the number of killed in Iraq alone exceeds one million by now.

It seems impossible that their terrorism will achieve any productive goal whatsoever. It will just induce even more atrocities from “the free world”, provoking further terrorism, in a never-ending loop. Contrary to what the woman above thinks, there is a simple way to break this loop: stop our violence!

Europeans and their offshoots in America have for 500 years dominated the world with military power. We have killed millions and millions of poor, innocent people through the centuries (besides shortening the lives of hundreds of millions through economic suppression.) Violence has worked as far as the western well-being is concerned. For those at the wrong end of the club it has been detrimental in all aspects. The new terrorism by the oppressed is a clear sign that our violence doesn’t work the way it used to.

China has demonstrated a way forward, we just have to achieve the same cultural and rational level as them. It should be easy: see and learn! A new era is dawning, as long as we can prevent the lunatics from incinerating the globe into nuclear ashes, or clean the planet from human beings through a climate catastrophe.

And yes! We can!

Anti-colonialism that we call colonialism: China in Africa

Europeans and their offshoots have colonized the world for 500 years, enslaving, killing and robbing indigenous people on all continents. My schoolbooks 60 years ago taught us that the pagans should be grateful to us for giving them Christianity, which we considered the height of civilization (to which Gore Vidal famously said: yes, we gave them Christian burials). What we did was to exchange one superstition for another, destroying ancient cultures in the process.

The progress we now see in the South is closely correlated to the West losing its neo-colonial grip on the developing countries. In Asia this happened earlier and coincided with rejection of western neoliberal dogmas. In Africa and Latin America it’s a more recent phenomenon, and the pace of development is impressive. Extreme poverty is rapidly diminishing.

Now there really is a change in paradigm going on in the world, in which China is showing how a country can gain power without using power. The peaceful and large-scale “invasion” with investments and aid in Africa and elsewhere is a forceful refutation of the western idea of violence being a sustainable way to obtain influence in the world.

China’s efforts benefit themselves as well as the receiving countries. The advantages of peace will be enforced by every new railway, school, road, mine, hospital etc. that’s being built. At a first glance it could look as if pacifists’ centuries old dreams have turned into reality.

Since no one can be against such benevolent enterprises, our media has chosen its first line of defense: to ignore them. The philistine Swedish media are masters in that art, while papers like the New York Times sometimes opens a minor vent to the real world. And that’s what they did the other day on China’s industrious ventures in Africa, and particularly in the small, desert country of Namibia.

The NYT article is long (18 typed pages) and mostly informative, but naturally not lacking insidious fault-finding and hyper-criticism of the kind we save for our enemies. The story focuses on the Husab Uranium Mine, a §4.6 billion investment to construct the second largest uranium mine in the world. It’s intended to support China’s rapidly expanding nuclear power program, also casting light on another benign effort: to reduce CO­2 emissions, benefitting the environment, not just for China itself but for the entire globe. When fully operative, the mine is estimated to increase the Namibian GDP by 5 percent.

The special relationship between the two countries goes back to the 1960s when China supported the liberation movement Swapo, who struggled against an apartheid regime (ruling the country in a way that even US nowadays condemn). China is not pacifist but upholds a strict policy of non-interference, meaning that they oppose military actions against other nations. Consequently, it supports the Namibian military and its ability to defend its own country.

“China’s gravitational pull can be felt today in every nook of the globe” says NYT article. Then it devotes considerable space to ransack all kinds of problems that inevitably follows from international operations on this scale. Friction between cultures, assiduous strangers giving orders, there are all kinds of possible difficulties, most thoroughly examined by the author.

“Is China the World’s New Colonial Power?” the headline to the article reads. To compare China’s efforts of improving the economies in poor countries with our enslaving, robbing and murdering colonialism is of course a disgrace. It’s equivalent to compare a surgeon with a knife killer.

This patronizing and contemptuous attitude in our mainstream media and public narrative is of course despicable. We are overrun by China’s peaceful offensive, while we continue to destroy everything that gets in our way. The West has turned the entire Middle East into a complete disaster, bombing it to rubbles, leading to the death of millions and forcing even more millions to join a refugee flood. And we are still unable to show even a trace of humility (except among dissidents in the margin).

Our way of treating the world is not sustainable in the long run. Luckily the human species has been endowed with a rather potent brain which inevitably will figure out that China’s way is far better than ours. When that materializes maybe even the future of the human species can be saved.