Showing posts with label propaganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label propaganda. Show all posts

Monday, 16 June 2014

Three Points On Ukraine

Note: I realise I’ve already said all this on Raghead, which nowadays serves the purpose of both satire and political comment, but it went over like a lead balloon with readers. Apparently one has to say things out loud and clear.

So let me make three points on Ukraine.

1      1.   There are Nazis in Ukraine.

To anyone with half a brain, this is more than obvious. The entire western Ukraine, based around Lvov, which was Polish territory between the wars is a Nazi hotbed. Western media – such as Britain’s Channel 4 – even admitted during the (bought and paid for) Euromaidan “protests” that the “protestors” included open Nazis. However, afterwards, they suddenly fell silent on that point and till today have stayed stubbornly silent.

Are there Nazis in Ukraine?

They act like Nazis, openly identify with Nazis, use Nazi symbols and slogans, and venerate people who actually fought in SS divisions created by the Nazis. I mean, they do all that, but still according to the official Western mythology they are not Nazis.

Here are some of these non-Nazis:







Now, these Nazis/non-Nazis are not just in the streets – they are also in the illegitimate putschist “government” of Ukraine, holding on to key positions. Among these are(check the link below for the positions they hold):

Andriy Parubiy (Андрій Парубій), Dmytro Yarosh (Дмитро Ярош), Oleksandr Sych (Александр Сыч), Ihor Shvaika (Игорь Швайка), Dmytro Boulatov (Дмитрий Булатов), Oleh Makhnitsky (Олег Махницкий) and Tetiana Tchornovol (Татьяна Черновол) [Source]

The existence of these Nazis is something the West would love to deny, just as it kept denying the existence of jihadists in Syria, and for the same reason: the jihadists, and the Nazis, are the allies of the moment.

But their actions underline the fact that they are well aware of the existence of the Nazis; for instance, they advised the Nazis to tone down their Nazism and lay off the swastikas and slogans.

Not too surprisingly, the Nazis ignored it.

       2.  The putschist “government” of Ukraine and its EU controllers hate and fear the Nazis.

This seems to be a strange thing to say, seeing that key posts in the “government” are occupied by the Nazis, and the openly Nazi Pravii Sektor are the storm troops of the selfsame “government” in Eastern Ukraine since the army is neither willing nor capable of handling the job of fighting the separatist militias. But the facts are clear.

The Nazis, like all Nazis, are not just racists but, very significantly, ultra-nationalists. As such, they will never, ever, accept domination by the European Union, the American Empire, and its assorted hangers-on like Canada and Australia. The purpose of the putsch in Kiev, we should remember, was twofold – for the EU to control the Ukrainian economy, and for the Americans to control Ukraine as a military base. The Nazis would, of course, accept neither.

For the EUthanasia Project for Ukraine, the Nazis are just as much an obstacle as the Russians, and the EU and their oligarchs (known as the EUgarchy for convenience from this point on in this article) know it well.

The Nazis didn’t even make any attempt to hide the fact that the alliance was merely a marriage of convenience:

“The participation of Ukrainian nationalism and Svoboda in the process of EU [European Union] integration,” admits Svoboda political council member Yury Noyevy, “is a means to break our ties with Russia.” [Source]

The Nazi-EU-US alliance of convenience at the time of Euromaidan fell apart almost immediately afterwards, when the Pravii Sektor’s Number Two, war criminal Oleksandr Muzychko, was shot by the “government’s” police, allegedly while “resisting arrest”. In other words, the putschists were already beginning to fight among themselves over the spoils.

If the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – led by ethnic Russians who are, justifiably, alarmed at the prospect of being ruled by either Nazis or EUgarchs with their “austerity measures”, or a combination of both – had not happened, by now, Western Ukraine would have been openly in civil war against itself; the rudiments of the state versus the Nazis. Instead, the Pravii Sektor and other Nazi organisations were diverted into the so-called National Guard, and sent off to fight the hated ethnic Russians ("Moskals") in Eastern Ukraine. If and when the Eastern Ukraine crisis ends, in whatever form, the Nazis and the EUgarchy will immediately be at each other’s throats again.

In fact, as far as the EUgarchs are concerned, the war in Eastern Ukraine, no matter how badly it goes, is a godsend.

 - It keeps the Nazis busy.

- It keeps the population in west and central Ukraine docile, with the “threat” of an external enemy (Russia) serving to keep them from questioning the actions of their masters.

 - It keeps their American and EU paymasters sending more billions in “aid”, which can be siphoned off without questions being asked and

- By creating an “us-versus-them” mindset, it improves their chances of polarising votes to win future elections in a rump Ukraine.

But the war can’t go on forever, and there’s no denying that the Nazis aren’t doing too well against the motivated Eastern Ukrainian “separatists” (who should really be called “federalists”, since they started off demanding autonomy in a federal Ukraine with rights to decide their own economic future, not independence). The resistance is shooting Nazi planes out of the sky like clay pigeons with captured MANPADS, the Nazi assaults against the cities aren’t exactly going to schedule, and there will be a point reached when they will realise what’s happening, turn round in their tracks, and march back on Kiev. That point is dangerously close. In fact, it's already beginning.

Only one thing can stop that from happening: Russia.

Which brings us to our third point:

      3.   The EUgarchs and the Empire are desperately attempting to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is again something that would seem, on the surface, totally counter-intuitive, but it’s obvious when one thinks about it. As I said, the EUgarchs hate and fear the Nazis, and know that they can’t control them. If and when a showdown comes, the Nazis are at least as powerful as the rump Ukrainian state. This same rump Ukraine also knows something very well: it can’t, ever, control the majority Russian areas of the country for any time at all. The ethnic Russians will never, ever, accept Ukrainian and EU domination. It will be a permanent drain of effort and resources to keep them under control, and even if the EUgarchs manage to occupy it, a low level guerrilla campaign lasting years is the least to be expected.  

Then there is the fact that in the post-Soviet era, Eastern Ukraine has mostly turned into a rust belt. The factories are obsolete, the coal mines are worked out, the population largely poverty-stricken. To make the area profitable for exploitation – meaning to make money for the oligarchs – will take an enormous amount of funds and effort, quite apart from the resistance of the locals.

Resistance fighters - anti-Nazis and anti-Empire


Seen in that light, what good would a Russian invasion do for the EUgarchy?

- It would start by wiping out the Nazis. They could never put up any effective fight against the Russian army, and would be faced with a choice. They could either be killed and/or surrender, or they could withdraw in defeat to Western Ukraine. The first choice would destroy them. The second choice would destroy their credibility beyond recovery. “Patriotic ultra-nationalists” who turn tail and run don’t retain any cred. Either way, the Nazis would be as good as finished, and leave the field open for the EUgarchs. Yes, I am saying that the Nazis are being set up by the EUgarchs, and if they’re too stupid to see that yet, that’s not too surprising. After all, they’re Nazis.

- It would also take the problems of the rust belt off the EUgarchs’ hands. All the problems, henceforth, from the worked out mines to the corroding factories, the aging population and the crumbling infrastructure, would be Russia’s responsibility. It would be an economic burden nobody wants.

- It would make the EUgarchy’s hold over West-Central Ukraine a permanent one. They could push themselves as the only bulwark against a total Russian takeover of the country, and “do all that was necessary” to protect what was left of the country.  Any and all opposition (which would mount as the rump economy collapses completely under the weight of EU "austerity measures”) could be crushed as traitors to the nation. As we in India well know, a running sore of a territorial dispute works wonders to divert people from the problems of daily life.

- It would make NATO almost incredibly happy. Even if the EUgarch rump didn’t immediately join NATO (it probably would), the rest of the US’ puppets in Central and Eastern Europe would line up either to join or to reaffirm their membership. As we all know, NATO has long since passed its sell-by date, and after the defeat in Afghanistan, its appeal is beginning to wear a bit thin. NATO needs a new Cold War. It needs a new Cold War very badly indeed, and has been attempting desperately to ignite one since at least circa 2008 when Georgia started, and lost, a war with Russia.

Yes, the EUgarchs would love nothing more than a Russian invasion, and are trying to provoke one by all means. So far these have included shelling cities, burning unarmed protestors alive in Odessa, lies  about Russian intervention, and finally, when all else failed, an attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev.

So far Putin has not taken the bait, and I am convinced that he will not take the bait. He has a far better option: to do exactly nothing. And that is what he’s been doing so far to help the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – nothing. Despite all the media rage in Russia, he has kept his head, and will keep it. At most he will keep the pressure up on the EUgarchy, by perhaps quietly supplying missiles to the resistance (just as Obama is now doing openly to the jihadists in Syria while pretending to fight them in Iraq), and economic measures, like asking them to pay for the gas  they're buying. All's fair in love and proxy war.

Militarily, the Nazis can’t keep fighting much longer without, as I said, realising that they’re being set up. When that moment comes, and they recoil on the EUgarchs, the rump Kiev regime, already tottering on the verge of bankruptcy, will collapse in infighting and disorder. Whatever rises from the ruins will have to compromise with Russia, and be at least neutralist. The EU/US managed coup’s failure will be obvious to everyone, and provide a signal lesson to other potential targets of Western-imposed regime change.

If in the meantime, the resistance manages to carve out a South Abkhazia or Transdniestria-style independent entity in Novorussia and/or Donbass, that's fine too from Putin's point of view. He can supply aid without taking responsibility for the problems.

Meanwhile, Russia is now busy converting Crimea’s infrastructure and economy back to Russian standards. It will be a while before the investment begins providing returns – and during that time the last thing that Putin needs is to be saddled with Eastern Ukraine as well.

So, no, despite all the American propaganda and lies, and all the increasingly desperate provocation by the EUgarchy, Russia is not going to invade.

It was a great plan on paper, really: Putin invades, takes the rust belt and its assorted problems, destroys the Nazis, energises NATO, does the EUgarchy’s dirty work for it, and, best of all, ends up with all the blame. But it’s not going to happen.

Fortunately. 


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Mythology of D Day

If you’re at all interested in the history of the Second World War, answer this question: which battle was the single, most important turning point of the war?

If you answered “D-Day”, or “the Normandy Landing”, congratulations: you’ve learned your pseudohistory well.



Why do I say pseudohistory?

I assume that most people reading this will already know something about the Normandy invasion of 6th June 1944, the greatest amphibious assault in history up to that point. And, as Hollywood proved repeatedly by making films like The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan, the world would be still under the Nazi jackboot if that colossal effort had failed. Only after D Day did the tide turn, the Wehrmacht fall apart, and the Allies roll on Berlin.

As certified by Nobel Peace Prizident and Supreme Warmonger-in-Chief Barack Obama, that was where the “tide was turned in that common struggle for freedom”.[1]

Isn’t that what happened?

Of course not.

The D-Day landings had one significance, and one only: they shortened the war. Even if they hadn’t happened, the Germans would still have been beaten. Why do I say this?

The tide in the war against Nazi Germany had turned long before Normandy. It had broken before Moscow in the hell of the winter of 1941; it had been decisively turned in the alleys of Stalingrad in 1942-3, when General Chuikov and Marshal Rokossovskii, between them, wiped out Field Marshal Paulus’ Sixth Army along with its Italian, Hungarian and Romanian allies. The last vestiges of the Nazi tide had been turned at Kursk in 1943, when the vaunted Waffen SS Panzer divisions had been annihilated by Marshal Zhukov’s T 34 regiments. By 1944, the final German defeat was only a matter of time.



Let me say this once and for all: it was the Red Army which beat Hitler. Not the British, though they played a part, as did Tito’s Yugoslav partisans. Not the “Free French”, and not the US Army or Marine Corps. For all their sacrifices (quite undoubted sacrifices too), they were ancillaries. I repeat: it was the Red Army which beat Hitler.  

Throughout the 1941-5 period, the Soviet Union was Nazi Germany’s primary enemy, and the war on the Eastern Front the overwhelming concern. As Alan Clark noted[2], to the Germans, the war always meant the war in the East. Even after D-Day, the German High Command committed the overwhelming majority of its forces in the East[3]. Till the very end, it was attempting to negotiate an armistice in the West while continuing fighting in the East.

The D-Day landings, huge as they were, involved landing five divisions (130000-156000) of troops against defenders who could be, it has been said, “most charitably described as second-line”[4]. While these troops, and subsequent reinforcements, were fighting their way through the hedgerows of Normandy, something far more important happened on the other side of the continent.

Second question: how many of the readers of this article, who claim to be knowledgeable about the Second World War, have heard of Operation Bagration?

I’m not surprised if you haven’t. Launched on 22nd June 1944 – three years to the day that three million German soldiers had poured across the border to invade the USSR - it was the single most significant military action of 1944, far outstripping D Day, the Ardennes Offensive and the Burma Campaign put together, and it brought the Red Army to the gates of Warsaw. Operation Bagration[5] was the first mass offensive (rather than counteroffensive, as at Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk) that the Red Army had launched in the war, and it marked a permanent shift in the balance of power in the East. But to the average Western history book, it might as well never have happened.



If Operation Bagration was the largest offensive of 1944, D Day was one that might well have happened earlier. There are excellent reasons to believe that, as Stalin himself thought, the “Second Front” (Normandy) had been delayed until it could be put off no longer[6]. If the Western Allies (or, as the Supreme War Criminal Barack Obama implicitly pretends these days[7], the only Allies) had procrastinated much longer, the USSR would have beaten Germany by itself, and likely laid claim to a much larger share of influence in post-war Europe.

There is some substance to this claim. That the troops required to invade France were available well before D Day is not in dispute; they were available, in fact, over a year earlier. Instead of being used to invade France, though, they were utilised in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. Though they did end the war in the Sahara by May 1943, that was always a sideshow in the war. Even if the Germans and their Italian allies had (never a real possibility, given the balance of forces) prevailed in Africa, that would have had no effect on the war as a whole. The Red Army would still have rolled over the Wehrmacht, and Berlin still would have fallen.  



But why would the (Western) Allies want to postpone the Second Front as long as possible? The answer to that lies in the fact, as Alan Clark said[2], the Western Allies would have preferred to see a stalemate in the East, with the Germans and Russians beating each other to pieces. As a matter of fact, the Western Allies had expected a swift collapse of the Soviet Union in 1941; William Shirer claims that Pentagon officials had “confidentially informed reporters” in September 1941 that “the collapse of the USSR was a matter of weeks.”[8] And even as late as 1945, both US General Patton[9] and British Prime Minister/ Supreme War Criminal Winston Churchill[10,11] were plotting a war against the USSR as soon as the German war was concluded – in alliance with the defeated Germans, if need be.

There is another reason why D Day is celebrated in Western historical mythology, of course – the pernicious American tendency to rewrite history to put the US in the driver’s seat, each time, every time. It’s just part of the charming thing called American Exceptionalism.

It doesn’t change the real history, though. And it doesn’t change the fact that the descendants of the men who fought the Nazis are fighting the Nazis again, in Ukraine[12].

Only, this time, the erstwhile Western Allies are openly on the Nazi side.

Sources:


[2] Alan Clark, Suicide Of The Empires

   




[8] William Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich







Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Myth Of The Tiananmen Square "Massacre"

Note to readers: This is a repost of an article I wrote back in January 2010. It first appeared on Multiply (which no longer exists, unfortunately), and was later reposted on Subversify, on Piazza Della Carina, and on my archive blog. However, since this is the anniversary of the alleged "Tiananmen Square Massacre", which is being sprayed all over the internet, I believe it needs reposting, just to make a point.

Remember this: the same people who want you to believe that the Tiananmen Square Massacre happened, or that, for instance, North Korea is a starving, impoverished dystopia, are the same people who peddled the myth of Saddam Hussein's WMDs, the myth of Bashar Assad's "chemical weapons attacks", the myth of
"peaceful Ukrainian protests", and so on. If you choose to believe them, I can really not help you.



(Before I begin: I suspect I may be about to upset a great many applecarts with this article; if I do so, you may not agree with my conclusions, but at least I will have made you think. And for that I do not apologise. All sources have been cited at the end of the article and are available on the internet.)
I belong to a school of thought – probably there aren’t very many of us – which holds that so-called “iconic” individuals and occurrences in history, things that are so taken for granted that to question them is tantamount to sacrilege, need revisionist historical analysis. If, after that revisionist historical analysis, the original version, or some semblance thereof, holds up, fine. But if one finds that the revered original version is critically flawed, one usually has clear indications from the flaws of just why it’s allowed to survive at the expense of the truth.
I intend, therefore, to submit to critical examination one of the “defining” occurrences of our time, the so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre” that is said to have occurred on the night of 4 June 1989, just twenty years and six months ago. I intend to prove my hypothesis that the actual course of events was deliberately misreported and propagandised in the Western media. I intend to attempt to prove my hypothesis that the Chinese government of the time acted correctly and in the best interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation by cracking down, in whatever form, on the demonstrations. And I intend to try and prove my contention that destroying the protests was of immense positive significance to the world at large, today, almost a generation later.
(In order to be strictly fair, I should lay on record that I’m not an unbiased commentator. I’m a Sinophile in many respects. While my ideology isn’t equivalent to any “-ism”, it most closely parallels Marxism. I admire the Chinese Revolution, the Long March, and Mao Zedong. I view with deep suspicion any and all Western media pronouncements about the non-Western world; and I believe that after the invasion of Afghanistan on false pretences and of Iraq on pretences that weren’t just false but deliberately and cynically cooked up, my suspicions are more than justified.)
We all know, or we have been reminded in great detail over the years, of the occurrences of 1989 that culminated in the (alleged) “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. In brief, they were these: that 1989 was the year when so-called “peoples’ revolutions” were clearing away (never very enthusiastic) Communist regimes across Europe. It was the year when the world seemed suddenly about to become free for the triumph of Western style capitalism. The Eastern European regimes were crashing. The Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachev had begun a programme of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), was, mostly as a consequence, tottering on the verge of implosion. Only the great monolith of China still held out, refusing to be blown away by the winds of change.
The Background.
Actually, at the time, China was already into its twelfth year of its own version of perestroika; the then leader, Deng Xiaoping, had begun a programme of economic reform since 1978. China wasn’t the equivalent of the state-driven economies of Eastern Europe. It was already moving towards a mix of socialism (for most American readers: to the non-American world, believe it or not, socialism is not a dirty word) and market-driven capitalism. This kind of transit has characteristic features, including a sharp rise in prices, a widening rich-poor divide, and rising levels of corruption and social unrest. It’s been seen so often worldwide that it should be included as one of the defining characteristics of a privatising society.
I mentioned that there was social unrest. There were those who hoped and expected that the Communist Party would evaporate like the artificial parties of Eastern Europe and usher in unbridled capitalism. There were those old Maoists who felt the Communist Party was betraying the Revolution. There was opposition, too, from quite ordinary people from a non-ideological viewpoint; people against the negative aspects of the privatisation, against the price rise and the corruption; people who were, in effect, opposed to the first, free-marketeer, lot. All these diverse protesting groups were themselves divided in just what they wanted and were united in just one thing – opposition to the Chinese government. They had absolutely nothing else in common, and it’s important to remember that.
The so-called Tiananmen Square protests began in this atmosphere. They began on a relatively small scale on 15 April 1989 after the death of deposed and “pro-reform” Communist party General Secretary Hu Yaobang; they comprised mourning for Hu on college campuses across China and calls for reform. At this stage the protestors comprised almost entirely students who wanted change. They weren’t sure what kind of change they wanted, reform of the system or its overthrow. All they wanted was change.
By 17 April, groups of students had begun holding protests outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, issuing a list of demands, and the next day they had begun blocking access to and affecting the functioning of the seat of the Chinese government at the Zhongnanhai Building. Police with linked arms formed a human cordon that prevented these students from physically forcing their way into the Zhongnanhai complex. It was only on 20 April that the police finally broke up the student demonstrations outside Zhongnanhai, using force – said force being the limited use of batons. Not even tear gas was employed at this stage.
The next day, some 100,000 students occupied Tiananmen Square while others boycotted classes. On 27 April, after the government had made an official pronouncement accusing small groups of plotters of fomenting unrest (more on that later) 50,000 students gathered in Beijing’s streets. By now other demonstrations were taking place in many other Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Urumqi and Chongqing. It’s important to remember that these protests occurred, and it will be important to see how they turned out.
In the first days of May, there were renewed student protests, including marches on Beijing’s streets and by 13 May there was a hunger strike by students in Tiananmen Square, with the demand that the government negotiate. However, the government only agreed to talk to the approved student’s organisations, which these students had abandoned in favour of their own, unrecognised organisations. The hunger strike went on, drawing increasing national concern, and early on the morning of 19 May Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Communist party, and Li Peng, Prime Minister of China, went personally to the hunger strikers on Tiananmen Square to persuade them to abandon their hunger strike. It had no effect, but it’s important to remember that they did go.
At this time – to all appearances – the Communist party hierarchy was itself divided about its attitude to the students. It is clear that at least a good section were sympathetic to the students’ concerns about corruption, and so far the government had refrained from violence despite the virtual paralysis of the capital for weeks. Parts of the government, including Zhao Ziyang, were willing to negotiate – but negotiate with whom? The protestors had many and often mutually exclusive agendas. With whom should the government have negotiated? On 20 May, faced with an apparently insoluble dilemma, the government declared martial law.
Martial Law and Thereafter
The army tried to enter Beijing, but the streets were blocked with throngs of protestors. The army made no attempt to force its way through them, but withdrew on 24 May. The students made no attempt to meet the government halfway – the hunger strike was approaching its fourth week and with public discontent rising, the government either had to cave in completely to a disunited and disorganised mass of conflicting interest groups – an invitation to utter chaos – or take action. It decided to take action. Zhao Ziyang, who had consistently supported the students, was ousted. The “hardliners” took over. The students had sown the wind, and they were about to reap the whirlwind.
Not that this seems to have occurred to the students in the square. By 30 May, they had set up a plaster statue of the “Goddess of Democracy” in the square. The next day, the government sent in soldiers again; reportedly the 27th and either the 28th or 38th Armies of the People’s Liberation Army (accounts differ). They were supposed to take control of the city and restore normalcy.
It is at this point that the accounts from the “sources” which are usually quoted by the Western media and the other sources begin to differ. According to the Western media’s “sources” (I have deep and abiding suspicion of any “source” whose account is accepted uncritically by Western media – remember the Iraq “sources”? – hence the quotes) the two armies sent in were armed and ready to shoot. According to the Chinese government, and, crucially, according to the US embassy in Beijing, the soldiers were sent in unarmed (see link below for documentation on this point).
As rumours spread of thousands of troops converging on the square, a large part of the people of Beijing came out on the streets, burned buses – government property – and set up barricades. The unarmed troops could not penetrate through these barricades. Soldiers were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails; some were beaten or burned to death and their bodies strung up. Finally, armed troops were sent in, and they were met with the same reception. Officers were pulled from tanks and killed. After an armoured personnel carrier was incinerated and its crew killed, the soldiers fired at the people throwing Molotov cocktails. That there were barricades and people throwing firebombs isn’t something that any Western media “source” has even attempted to refute. This was not a massacre; it was somewhere between a riot and an insurrection.
I wonder what the reaction would have been if American occupation troops in Kabul or Baghdad were similarly barricaded and attacked with petrol bombs? Actually, I don’t need to wonder; the actions of the occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan speak for themselves in such situations.
To get back…
The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”
Finally, at 1am on 4 June, the army cleared the streets and reached Tiananmen Square. What did the soldiers do then? Go in shooting? No – according to even the “sources” which are quoted by the Western media, they waited for governmental orders. By then – again, this is not doubted – a large majority of the students had left the square. Only a few thousand remained. The army offered these students amnesty to leave. At 4 am, the students put the matter to vote – whether to go or to remain and face the consequences. Again, this is a matter that is not at dispute. The army did not go in, shooting blindly, and killing everyone in the square. First, according to everyone, they gave the students a chance to save themselves.
Now things get rather interesting. According to the standard Western media account of this episode, the tanks went in about 4 or 5am, shooting and crushing the students. This is the famous “massacre”, which is so inscribed in the modern consciousness. The bloodthirsty Chinese government had let loose a reign of terror on the poor peace-loving democracy-craving people of their own capital city. You know the stuff.
However, Spain’s ambassador to Beijing at the time, Eugenio Bregolat, notes that Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square at the time, and if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it. Did they? No. If they had, wouldn’t there have been videos all over the internet, not to mention TV, of the massacre itself? But there are none. Bregolat also claims that most of the journalists who filed “eyewitness” accounts of the massacre were – at the time when they were allegedly witnessing the massacre – away from the Square, in the Beijing Hotel.
Similarly, Graham Earnshaw, a journalist in the square who was interviewing student leaders and was present during the night of June 3-4, claims (link below) that all the few hundred remaining students were persuaded to leave by the army, and when the tanks entered from one side of the Square, the last remaining students were withdrawing peacefully from the other side. Earnshaw agrees that the students’ “tent city” was crushed under the tanks’ treads as they came in, but he says there was nobody sleeping in the tents at the time to be crushed by the armour. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near a tank with its engine running will agree with his contention that nobody (except, I assume, the profoundly deaf) could have remained sleeping through the episode to be crushed, even without the earlier drama of the amnesty offer and the vote.
Then again, Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident, now resident in Canada, writing in the Asia Sentinel and quoting Taiwan-born Hou Dejian who had been on a hunger strike on the square to show solidarity with the students, said: “Some people said 200 died in the square and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning.”
And these are the words of a dissident, and more, of a dissident who now lives abroad and presumably has nothing to fear.
Then there is the circumstantial evidence. Most of the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” crowd repeat, ad nauseam, lists of student leaders arrested in the aftermath of the “massacre”. Many of these student “eyewitnesses” also claim to have seen tanks shooting and crushing people in the Square. Well, in that case, there’s an obvious question: how come all these leaders and/or eyewitnesses who were present in the Square all survived the “massacre” unscathed? How come not one of them can state the name of anyone who was killed in the Square itself, given that they had all been protesting together there for weeks? Wasn’t a single person of those hundreds or thousands killed a friend or comrade or classmate of these students? Why isn’t there one single, miserable photo showing the massacre in the Square itself?
I’m not saying there weren’t killings in Beijing that night. I’m saying that said killings were restricted to the fighting in the streets leading to the square, essentially between barricaders and soldiers trying to get through the barricades. I cannot find one single bit of incontrovertible proof that there was a single killing in the Square itself, let alone a massacre.
If you – therefore – try and maintain an impartial attitude to the sources, there is at least reasonable grounds for doubt about whether there was a single episode of firing, a single death, in Tiananmen Square on the night of 3/4 June 1989; let alone the famous “massacre”.
Deconstructing a famous photograph.


It’s called one of the “100 most famous photographs of all time”; actually, there are several versions of the photo, and there’s a video of the episode as well, which has its own peculiar significance. Taken on the morning of 5th June 1989, it shows a lone man, in white shirt and dark trousers, with what seems to be shopping bags in his hands. He stands in front of a line of tanks. In the most well-known version, that taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press, there are four tanks. In other photos, taken from further away, there are more tanks behind those four. They are Chinese Type 59 tanks, with the crew “buttoned up” inside; i.e. the hatches shut.
As seen in the video, the man gestures angrily to the tank with his bags. The tank swerves to one side in order to drive around him. The man steps again in front of the tank, and the heavy vehicle again tries to steer around him. Finally, it stops, and the man clambers on it, has a brief exchange with the crew, and descends. As the tank tries to drive on, he again steps in front of it and again it stops. People from the crowd then pull the man to safety and the tanks drive on (this last bit is typically excised from videos of this episode posted on such sites as YouTube).
According to the standard mythology of the event, one so standard that it’s practically sacrilege not to believe it, the man displayed almost unbelievable courage in the face of overwhelming Chinese military aggression. This “lone hero” became an instant icon, known as the “Tank man” and a symbol of courage worldwide.
Now let’s take a close look at the photograph, one from a strictly neutral viewpoint, and there are several extremely interesting features, which go well beyond the particular episode itself and reveal a lot about the entire Tiananmen Square affair.
First, and most obviously, the crew of the tanks have sealed themselves inside. This is extremely significant because as far as possible tank crews avoid doing this. Even in combat, whenever they can get away with it, they try to keep the hatches open. There are several reasons for this; one is that vision from inside a “buttoned down” tank is very limited and it’s almost impossible to hear sounds from outside; for a fairly primitive tank like the Type 59 (of which surviving examples are now relegated to training and second-line duties), this is even truer. All the driver can see when his hatch is shut, through two “vision blocks,” is to the front and slightly to the right. The commander in the turret can do little better (for details on the capabilities of the Type 59 tank, see link below). And a sealed up tank, especially an early model one like the Type 59, is extremely hot and cramped and difficult for the crew to operate in for prolonged periods.
So why did the crew seal themselves inside? There can be only one reason: to protect themselves against Molotov cocktails and attacks from mobs.
Secondly: take a close look at the photo. The first, third and fourth tanks can clearly be seen to have caps covering the muzzles of their main guns. The second may have a black muzzle cap or the muzzle may be open, but the rest certainly have capped muzzles. Muzzle caps, which are meant to protect the interiors of the guns from dirt and dust, are never taken into a situation where the main guns may need to be fired. This is proof positive that the tanks were sent in without any intention of firing the main guns, come what may.
Similarly, the tanks being sealed up means the crews cannot use the machine guns on the turret roofs (the blocky objects on the right of each tank turret, sticking out to the side). The Type 59, admittedly, has two other machine guns; of them more anon.
Then, there are the shopping bags carried by the “tank man” himself. Obviously, if you go shopping – and nobody has ever suggested the shopping bags meant anything else – there must be shops open. Take it from one who has been in riot situations: shops never open when there is a possibility of serious violence. The shop owners have too much to lose from riots and looting. If there are shops open, the quantum of violence must be much lower than usually thought.
Now, if we look at the video, we see the tank shifting to the right and back again in an effort to avoid the man. If the Chinese troops had already shot and crushed down hundreds to thousands of unarmed civilians, and according to standard mythology they were, even on this 5th of June, shooting students trying to re-enter the Square, why would the tank have gone to such trouble to save the life of one miserable counter-revolutionary? There can be no reasonable explanation but the fact that the tankers were exercising the maximum restraint in the face of provocation. (Again, suppose an Iraqi or an Afghan were to do this to an American armoured column, or a Palestinian to an “Israeli” [Zionistani] Merkava, as many in fact have done; what do you think would he have been called even as he was being blown away? A terrorist!)
Incidentally, this is the photo that first made me doubt the entire story of the massacre. The action of the crew of those tanks was so completely opposed to the conventional tale of the “massacre” that it merited a closer look. So, in all, I am thankful to the photographer and the “tank man” – for reasons directly contrary to the usual Western media accounts.
Also, Widener’s own account of the prelude to the photo is interesting. He was confined to his hotel – he says – because he had flu and was injured by a protestor who threw a brick at him, smashing one of his other cameras and giving him a concussion. Nice nonviolent protestors, eh?
Deconstructing an ancillary photo.


Before we reach a final conclusion on the Tank Man, though, let’s take a look at another photo, taken from ground level and published only in June 2009. Taken shortly before the “iconic” images, it shows the distant tanks coming towards the camera, and, in the middle left distance, what is alleged (there is no direct proof of this) to be the “tank man” himself, waiting beside a bulldozer, all ready to step in the way of the armoured column, shopping bags and all. In the right distance a bicyclist pedals unhurriedly on, and in the left foreground a man (also carrying a shopping bag) seems about to flash a thumbs-up sign at the camera. In the right foreground is the only sign of hurry or panic; a young man who appears to be sprinting or trying to duck.
Terrill Jones of the Associated Press, who took this photo, claims that – in order to avoid firing – he and others took shelter and could no longer see what happened afterwards. This is one of those stories that need to be examined carefully. First: If there indeed was firing, why is the cyclist so unconcernedly pedalling on? Even if it is true that the man in the left distance is the “tank man” himself, and even if he is willing to sacrifice his life in order to stop the tanks and so is unconcerned, why is the shopping bag man in the foreground obviously not in any panic or fear? Why is he apparently about to break into a huge grin? Why is the only man in a hurry the one in the right front, dashing towards the photographer?
Then, if there was indeed firing, where was it coming from? Certainly not from the tanks; as I said, the main guns were capped and the anti-aircraft machine guns unattended by the buttoned-up crew. The Type 59 has two other machine guns, both of 7.62 mm calibre. One is a coaxial gun, which fires along the line of the main gun, in whichever direction the main gun is pointing. In this case all the tanks had their main guns elevated at normal position, so the firing wasn’t coming from the coaxial guns – the bullets would have gone into the sky. The third gun is one fixed in the front of the tank and firing straight ahead through a very small aperture in the glacis plate (the tank’s front armour) and operated by the driver. It’s a nearly useless weapon, since it can only be aimed by turning the entire tank to point it directly at the target. If the hull gun was firing, only the lead tank could have been firing it, as the fire from others in the line would have struck the tanks in front of them. And in that case, what was the hull gun firing at? And again – why on earth did the tank save “tank man’s” life? It doesn’t make any sense.
Similarly, if “tank man” was spirited away by the crowd to safety, then there was enough of a crowd to take him away to safety, and that in turn means that there wasn’t any firing. Whoever the man was, there’s no evidence as to what happened to him; accounts of his execution are balanced by accounts that he is living in Taiwan (link below). If he’s dead, why aren’t any acquaintances coming forward to say who he was? If he is alive, why isn’t he coming out of the shadows, if necessary after smuggling himself out of China? Absolutely nobody seems to be sure who he is. Or is he, as some have suggested, mentally ill? A madman wouldn’t be the best expression of defiance of a tyrannical regime, would he?
All in all, the conclusion is clear: far from being a symbol of courage, “tank man” was in no real danger from military units exercising restraint in the face of provocation. In fact, what the photos and video clearly demonstrate is the reverse of what the official iconography, if I can put it that way, of this episode claims.
The Death Toll
How many people died in the entire Tiananmen Square affair? The Chinese Red Cross was alleged to have said 2600 died, but denied having ever given any such figure. “Unbiased” Western media alleges that the Red Cross backed down after pressure from the Chinese government, but fails to either provide any evidence of either this pressure or just who were these 2600 who died. At least some hundreds of their relatives could have been cited? The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including the soldiers who were burned and battered to death when they tried to make an unarmed approach to the Square. There are various other estimates. And, according to the Tiananmen Mothers, only 186 names of the alleged thousands dead have been confirmed as of June 2006, and that includes people whose deaths weren’t necessarily due to army action, including one who committed suicide.
Does it matter how many died? Yes, it does; it marks the difference between a unilateral massacre and fighting on both sides. For such an allegedly enormous death toll, the evidence seems to be scanty indeed.
The Significance
It was – I think – Zhou Enlai who, when asked about the significance of the French Revolution, said “It’s too early to tell.” At the time, the Chinese government was probably not looking to the long term; in a year when fellow Communist governments were being toppled by mass street protests and governmental paralysis, it was looking to its own survival when it decided to use force, in whatever form, against the students. However, in deciding to use force, it put a permanent full stop to a chain of events which – going by what happened in other nations at the time – would have led to unravelling of Central governmental authority, collapse of the state, disintegration of the economy and more than likely of the nation, and anarchy leading to mass impoverishment and mafia rule.
For comparison, we should look to the Soviet Union and the so-called putsch of 19 August 1991, which temporarily overthrew Mikhail Gorbachev and tried to maintain the unity of the nation, something the Soviet people had themselves largely approved of in a referendum. The coup collapsed in three days almost entirely because the new junta refused to use overwhelming force against the protestors, led by Boris Yeltsin, later to preside, marinated in alcohol, over the descent of Russia into a corrupt oligarchy with the collapse of social services, skyrocketing corruption, and plummeting life expectancy. Almost exactly the same thing would likely have happened to China if the Tiananmen Square protestors hadn’t been neutralised.
In fact, it’s likely that the entire crackdown could have been avoided if the Beijing authorities had acted early and severely, incarcerating ringleaders and shutting down their media outlets, as Jiang Zemin, then the mayor of Shanghai, had done. This had nipped in the bud developing disturbances in China’s second city. Allowing the students weeks of a free hand was in itself an error, and China has taken care not to repeat that error in later years.
One look at China today, with its roaring economy and its people – who are far more prosperous than they were two decades ago – and a comparison with where Russia is even now, when it’s finally beginning to get to its feet again, and it should be clear that the Chinese government acted in the best long-term interests of its own people when it ended the protests.
But – what about freedom? Aren’t the Chinese people deprived of freedom? That is an oft-heard argument, a rich argument indeed when one thinks of the status of the “freed” citizens of such nations as Iraq or Afghanistan; or indeed of Russia, whose starving and impoverished people were called “free” but now that they are, at last, slightly better off are no longer called “free”. Strange are the definitions of freedom, and bizarre are the uses of the word.
For the record, I believe democracy, as practiced today, is an eyewash and does not equal freedom. I believe that the right to live with dignity is more important than the right to vote, and I believe that a nation which provides the necessities for the maximum number of its people is freer than one which allows them to vote but takes no steps to ensure they have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.
There is also the question of the significance of the crackdown to the world at large, two decades later. As we all know (or should know), China is one of the most significant nations in the world today, and certainly the fastest-rising one. It’s also the only country which serves as a counterweight to the global hegemon and self-declared world policeman, the United States of America. The US is a power in decline, but is still the only nation which believes in war as a policy of first resort and seeks to impose its will – by force – on the rest of the world. But even the US has to tread warily on Chinese economic might.
Can one imagine how much more arrogant and lethal the USA’s war against the world would have been without China providing some kind of balance?
The Media Lies
As should be obvious by now, I believe the mass of the Western media lied, cynically and repeatedly, and continues to lie about the Tiananmen Square incident. Much of the lying is due to a phenomenon called “pack journalism” (see link below) where media fall in line, quite unthinkingly, and without checking facts, on a particular “plausible” story. One only has to remember the tales of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Distraction, sorry, Destruction, for a recent example.
Also, the Western media have never hidden their anti-China bias, even in these days when they have to treat China with respect. So the 2001 incident when an American spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter and was compelled to land in China was an “intolerable act of aggression”, without regard to the facts. Actually, the facts never really mattered, as we saw in 2008 when the Lhasa rioting was deliberately and cynically misreported with propaganda from Tibetan exile groups (speedily exposed through the Chinese blogosphere) of how the PLA soldiers were responsible for dressing up as monks and rioting, and so on.
But media sources have to take their inspiration from somewhere. That inspiration is almost always from the people who actually control these media, people who have the most to gain from the lies the media disseminate. In Iraq, we know who benefitted the most from the invasion, which firms saw their stock prices jump through the ceiling. Similarly, a collapsed and disintegrating China would have freed a lot of space for certain business interests and allowed certain nations a free hand in East Asia. So it was entirely predictable that they would react violently to firm action that made it less likely that any such collapse would occur, besides painting all Communists with the same genocidal brush.
The conventional truth about Tiananmen Square – in summary – is not the truth. But the truth is out there for those who care to know, the evidence visible for those who wish to see.
Statutory Disclaimer: The opinions stated herein are mine. I am in no way responsible for any fights, quarrels, or breaks in relations caused by the contents of this article. Be warned.
Further reading:
If the links below don’t work, please copy and paste to your browser
(I wish to express my gratitude to blogger “Bobby Fletcher” – http://tiananmenmyth.blogspot.com/ – for bringing some of the links below to my attention)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 (The wikipedia entry on the Tiananmen Square protests)
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm (US Embassy note stating that the Chinese troops had initially been unarmed.)
http://www.earnshaw.com/memoirs/content.php?id=5 (Graham Earnshaw’s account of Tiananmen Square, where he states unambiguously that “most of the deaths did not happen on or near the Square.”)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man#cite_note-NYTNewPhoto-1 (About the Tank Man, with a description of the original video)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_59 (All about the Type 59 tank)
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/behind-the-scenes-tank-man-of-tiananmen/ (Jeff Widener’s account of how he was hit in the face by a rock and also claims how the photographers of the “iconic” image saw armoured personnel carriers firing at the crowds. Where are the photos of that episode?)
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/?hp (Terrill Jones’ account claiming the tanks were firing at the time of the “tank man” incident)
http://www.yachtingnet.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/rebel2.html (A Time Magazine article on the “tank man,” typical of Western media reportage of the incident. Note the unattributed and unsubstantiated allegations that the Chinese shot “hundreds of workers and students and doctors and children, many later found shot in the back.”)
http://dajiyuan.com/b5/6/6/1/n1336133.htm (Chinese language article claiming “tank man” still lives. I don’t speak Chinese so have to take it at its word)
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html (An article by the former Canadian ambassador to Japan, Gregory Clark, examining the myth of the “massacre”)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CLA20060410&articleId=2245 (By the same author; an examination of the phenomenon of pack journalism)

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2510/stories/20080523251000400.htm (A discussion of other anti-Chinese western media propaganda)

Edit (5 June 2014):

New information from these links, which will be of interest:


[This link also has photos of armoured personnel carriers burned by "peaceful protestors", one of which I am displaying below, and which cites US diplomatic cables outed by Wikilleaks.]

OF JUNE 3-4 EVENTS ON TIANANMEN SQUARE
1. CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT.
2. SUMMARY- DURING A RECENT MEETING, A LATIN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT AND HIS WIFE PROVIDED POLOFF AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR MOVEMENTS ON JUNE 3-4 AND THEIR EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AT TIANANMEN SQUARE. ALTHOUGH THEIR ACCOUNT GENERALLY FOLLOWS THOSE PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, THEIR UNIQUE EXPERIENCES PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INSIGHT AND CORROBORATION OF EVENTS IN THE SQUARE. THEY WERE ABLE TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE SQUARE SEVERAL TIMES AND WERE NOT HARASSED BY TROOPS. REMAINING WITH STUDENTS BY THE MONUMENT TO THE PEOPLE'S HEROES UNTIL THE FINAL WITHDRAWAL, THE DIPLOMAT SAID THERE WERE NO MASS SHOOTINGS OF STUDENTS IN THE SQUARE OR AT THE MONUMENT...GALLO EVENTUALLY ENDED UP AT THE RED CROSS STATION, AGAIN HOPING THAT TROOPS WOULD NOT FIRE ON THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL THERE. HE WATCHED THE MILITARY ENTER THE SQUARE AND DID NOT OBSERVE ANY MASS FIRING OF WEAPONS INTO THE CROWDS, ALTHOUGH SPORADIC GUNFIRE WAS HEARD. HE SAID THAT MOST OF THE TROOPS WHICH ENTERED THE SQUARE WERE ACTUALLY ARMED ONLY WITH ANTI-RIOT GEAR--TRUNCHEONS AND WOODEN CLUBS…ALTHOUGH GUNFIRE COULD BE HEARD, GALLO SAID THAT APART FROM SOME BEATING OF STUDENTS, THERE WAS NO MASS FIRING INTO THE CROWD OF STUDENTS AT THE MONUMENT. WHEN POLOFF MENTIONED SOME REPORTEDLY EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OF MASSACRES AT THE MONUMENT WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, GALLO SAID THAT THERE WAS NO SUCH SLAUGHTER. ONCE AGREEMENT WAS REACHED FOR THE STUDENTS TO WITHDRAW, LINKING HANDS TO FORM A COLUMN, THE STUDENTS LEFT THE SQUARE THROUGH THE SOUTHEAST CORNER. ESSENTIALLY EVERYONE, INCLUDING GALLO, LEFT. THE FEW THAT ATTEMPTED TO REMAIN BEHIND WERE BEATEN AND DRIVEN TO JOIN THE END OF THE DEPARTING PROCESSION. ONCE OUTSIDE THE SQUARE, THE STUDENTS HEADED WEST ON QIANMEN DAJIE WHILE GALLO HEADED EAST TO HIS CAR.



2. I consider http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/22535/both-china-and-west-have-distorted-truth-about-tiananmen-square-protests-and-massacre  a fairly typical piece of gatekeeper propaganda, for the simple reason that it repeats the fictional casualty figures without mentioning either the "protestor" violence or giving any actual names of those "thousands" killed. However, even it admits that no student in Tiananmen Square was killed.

3. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/tiananmen-square-massacre-myth-all-were-remembering-are-british-lies-1451053 makes the point that the tanks were moving away from the Square on 5 June when Tank Man pulled his stunt.

I doubt that all the evidence will convince any of the shambling mental zombies who insist on believing the lies, though.