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Re: First with the most

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  • C. S. Wyatt
    ... The Chinese political system did not change much, did it? Look at the resistance to Hong Kong s Basic Law -- a decade and still no directly elected
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2007
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46" <jjimstuart@...> wrote:
      >Remember the Chinese guy who stood in front of the tanks in
      > Tiananmen Square? Remember the Czech guy who set himself on fire as
      > a protest to the Soviet invasion in 1968? You don't win hearts and
      > minds with a fist in the face, you win hearts and minds by
      > courageously facing up to reality in a non-violent way. We need to
      > win the hearts and minds of our Muslim friends, not nuke them out of
      > existence.

      The Chinese political system did not change much, did it? Look at the resistance to Hong
      Kong's Basic Law -- a decade and still no directly elected executive. Last month, the
      Communist Party reaffirmed that the military is loyal first to the Party, then to China.
      Progress in a few cities has decimated the interior of China.

      Non-violence can be effective, but usually there are already underlying social pressures
      that allow the protests to be tipping points. The Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. was the
      result of a slow evolution. The NYT had a good column about Brown v. Board of Ed and
      how the decision didn't change America -- there were lots of other factors at work, too.

      I don't know about winning hearts and minds of various people. I honestly don't care to
      win hearts; I'd rather we leave them to kill each other over Shiite / Sunni / Kurd-Sunni /
      Persian-Shiite / Turkish Sunni differences and not put any of our own people at risk. Stop
      arming everyone in the region, give up debating who is / is not "right" in centuries of
      warfare, and let time do whatever it will.

      People kill over stupid things. In fact, people also allow stupid killings, which I think
      makes them complacent and at least in some way responsible. But, that's a choice.

      If we vote (indirectly or directly) to do nothing for vast regions of African nations, that's an
      active decision. If I support democracy, I have to accept the results or I'm a hypocrite. (I
      actually do not support direct democracy, since I think most people are not only ill-
      informed, but make an effort to avoid news. It isn't like you can't buy The Nation or listen
      to Air America / Nova M in most large cities.)

      Peaceful protests are part of our system, and they can have some effect, but standing in
      front of a Chinese tank only matters if people inside China see the act and unify. That
      didn't happen. Different culture, different experiences.

      I'm a decently informed consumer of information. I still don't know what is "right" or
      "wrong" internationally. I make a best guess, based on what I think does the least harm to
      others. Curiously, doing little often does the least amount of overall harm.

      - CSW
    • jimstuart46
      CSW, You write: Peaceful protests are part of our system, and they can have some effect, but standing in front of a Chinese tank only matters if people inside
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 2, 2007
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        CSW,

        You write:

        "Peaceful protests are part of our system, and they can have some
        effect, but standing in front of a Chinese tank only matters if people
        inside China see the act and unify. That didn't happen. Different
        culture, different experiences."

        Even if the heroic act was not seen in China, it was seen all over the
        world, and acts of extreme courage and heroism do inspire people to do
        more to bring about a better world.

        We influence each other by our actions, not by our words – that's why
        children learn from what their parents do, and not from what their
        parents say. The photo/video of the Chinese guy standing alone before
        the convoy of tanks is an image that inspires me, and, I'm sure,
        others as well, to fight for democracy and against totalitarian
        dictatorship.

        Jim
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