The persistence of genocide
Published by marco on
“Meanwhile, Zenz’s study accusing China of forced sterilizations didn’t contain any proof of coercion. The Grayzone showed how “Zenz consistently framed the expansion of public healthcare services in Xinjiang as evidence of a genocide in the making.” Characterizing expanded access to birth control as genocide is what the Christian Right does. So it makes perfect sense that Zenz – an evangelical fundamentalist himself – holds this view.”
“In reality, the decrease in birth rate is a normal, predictable outcome of economic development. When people are more financially secure, they choose to have fewer kids and do it later in life. In fact, China is pouring money into Xinjiang to develop its economy. According to a 2015 U.S. government study, “To decrease ethnic instability in Xinjiang, the Chinese government’s plan is to economically develop the region.””
“Then there’s Tursunay Ziyawundun. She’s the central character in the forced-sterilization narrative cooked up by Adrian Zenz. She’s delivered teary testimonies for the BBC, CNN and Democracy Now. A few months before those reports, however, she told Buzzfeed News, “I wasn’t beaten or abused.” Again, why did she change her story? And why did all of these media outlets fail to do a basic check into her past statements?”
“Xinjiang is the heart of China’s Belt and Road initiative, the economic plan that connects Asia to Europe and the Middle East. It’s an alternative model to the dictatorship of the U.S. dollar, where the World Bank and International Monetary Fund turn countries into neo-colonies for American corporations – a system backed up with the constant threat of military invasion. The U.S. can’t deal with legitimate competition, so it’s resorting to smears in an attempt to isolate China diplomatically and slow its economic growth.”
This is an interesting theory. We have two opposed viewpoints: one is that the Chinese is government is simultaneously trying to enslave and exterminate an ethnic population. They are doing this not through actually killing them in large numbers, but by forcing them into reeducation/labor camps and controlling their numbers with birth control. At the same time, they are injecting money into the region because they are economically interested in it. As with nearly every other government on the planet, they would, presumably, like their own elites to benefit from it rather than the locals that actually provide the value. This is classically capitalist. It is still a rather convoluted way of orchestrating a genocide. Perhaps it’s the modern, 20th-century way of doing so.
I honestly think that this campaign is very similar to the U.S.‘s desire to be in Afghanistan. It was only initially about revenge for 9-11—we’ve leave discussion of that misguided and abhorrently criminal justification to the side for now. It is now—and has been for quite some time—about keeping troops close to China. It is about disrupting trade routes and keeping an eye on things. It is about setting up non-Chinese resource routes, like oil pipelines.
This story about the Uighurs, with its relatively sparse and seemingly unreliable and self-serving sources with dubious paychecks seems very much like exactly the kind of propaganda the U.S. needs to keep its people focused. It’s like the U.S. pretending to care about women’s rights in Afghanistan—well, anywhere, really—it’s like the babies being tossed from incubators in Iraq, it’s WMDs in that country, it’s anything about Qaddafi. They’re all just pedestrian lies told to get enough support to provide political cover for projects that would otherwise look to authoritarian and war-like. Far better to pretend, at least superficially, that one was forced into war rather than that one sought it out for personal gain.
The show Redacted Tonight: Whose War Crimes? by Lee Camp on March 19th, 2021 (Portable.TV) provides a good overview of this effect through the lens of a war-crimes lie that I’d forgotten above: Assad using chemical weapons on his own people. The west has accused Assad of this 3 times (I think) and each time it’s been nearly completely evidence-free. Camp shows how 60 Minutes provided a very recent report that continues to promulgate this myth without addressing any of the multiple refutations from investigators actually involved there.
Louis Proyect’s Hack Job on the Grayzone
“Now, Grayzone’s attention is riveted on the Uighurs. In five different articles published since August 23, 2018, its reporters have warned about an unarmed and largely quiescent population, which is .0084 of the dominant Han nationality, becoming a mortal threat to China. All of these intrepid anti-imperialists at Grayzone have probably never thought much about how Muslims speaking a Turkic language ever ended up as part of China. Anybody with the slightest familiarity with American history would instinctively understand that when Texas became part of the USA, it was the result of an expansionist foreign policy, especially since the indigenous population did not speak English and showed little sympathy for the invading army. So what’s the difference between that and China’s colonization of Xinjiang?”
Fucking Louis Proyect nearly always manages to be a supercilious arrogant know-it-all troll who feels he’s 100% right and that everyone else fails his purity test. God help you if you enjoyed an Avengers movie instead of some obscure Iranian socialist documentary. He is the very definition of off-putting and ally-killing every time i read him.
Here, he’s got his panties in such a bunch over Grayzone that he thinks he can just slander them as fake anti-imperialists and accuse them of talking about the threat of the Uighurs to the Han Chinese. They do not, as anyone who actually reads their articles already knows. Proyect is engaging in fabrication because he knows no-one will actually go check his accusations. That’s also why he conveniently doesn’t link or cite anything. It’s just underhanded.
The Grayzone has never argued that China is not authoritarian or that the Uighurs are not an oppressed minorty. Quite the opposite. They simply argue for truth and evidence, especially as relates to the charge of genocide, something that Proyect conveniently ignores—like how his support of the accusation of genocide against China can be interpreted as implicit support of the U.S. imperial project.
It’s propaganda from one authoritarian state against another and the Grayzone advises not to believe it. Proyect talks about how the Uighurs are oppressed—often with very eloquent historical context—but it’s a different topic than what the Grayzone reports on, generally. They’re technically on the same side, but Proyect has to burn all potential allies because he’s a pompous ass.
“The USA annexed Mexico in 1845. Showing the same kind of alpha male drive, the Qing dynasty annexed East Turkistan in 1759, henceforth to be called Xinjiang, or new territory.”
I only know this isn’t satire because Proyect doesn’t have a sense of humor.
“Unfortunately, Sheng’s identification with Soviet leaders included a willingness to imitate Stalin’s ruthless police state controls.”
So telling that this is considered unfortunate, because Proyect is desperate to retain an ally in Sheng. Thus, he uses much softer and more forgiving language to forgive the latter’s actual descent into authoritarianism. The Grayzone, on the other hand, he considers to be a bunch of faux-intellectual faux-anti-imperialist nigh war criminals just for reporting about the suspicious origins of the Chinese genocide trope we’re seeing today.
“In October 1944, the Soviets helped the Uighurs mount a revolt across Xinjiang that led to a major step forward. Armed with Soviet weapons, they were able to secure a victory that led to the formation of the East Turkistan Republic (ETR).”
This is what he deems self-determination—assistance from one authoritarian power against another. Perhaps he supports a similar effort on the part of the U.S., which clearly shares the same moral high ground that the 1944 Soviet did. It’s amazing that the Soviets had time to help the Uighurs in 1944, right when they were fighting the Japanese on one front and the Germans on the other.
“In this sense, it was no longer a matter of 19th century colonialism but up-to-date imperialist predation, all of which Grayzone defends as “anti-imperialist” in Orwellian fashion.”
That’s a filthy lie putting that in quotes. After that coherent and informative history, why keep taking shots at Grayzone, especially by making shit up? Again, he has no link to help his readers verify that what he’s saying is true. Links and references aren’t necessary when you’re preaching to a choir.
This tack of Proyect’s is completely misguided. Grayzone is not the enemy. They may be overdoing it sometimes, but they are allies in spirit. They point out the lie of genocide. Thats important too. They do not say everything is otherwise rosy.
“[…] only they were Communists rather than the 21st century’s emerging number one imperialist power cheered on by the neo-Stalinists at Grayzone.”
This dude is such a dick. He’s smart and well-read but utter poison for a revolution. He will alienate everyone, splitting into factions.