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Hands off Hong Kong: The Cry Seldom Heard

Hands off Hong Kong: The Cry Seldom Heard

by John V. Walsh / September 4th, 2019

South China Morning Submit

Via the summer time the world has watched as protests shook Hong Kong. As early as April they started as peaceful demonstrations which peaked in early June, with tons of of hundreds, in protest of an extradition bill. That bill would have allowed Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Area of China, to return criminals to Taiwan, mainland China or Macau for crimes committed there – after approval by multiple layers of the Hong Kong judiciary. In the wake of those monumental nonviolent demonstrations, Carrie Lam, CEO of Hong Kong, “suspended” consideration of the extradition invoice, a face-saving ploy. To ensure she was understood, she declared it “lifeless.” The massive rallies, an plain expression of the peaceful will of a giant phase of the Hong Kong inhabitants had gained a powerful victory. The unpopular extradition bill was slain.

However that was not the top of the story. A smaller phase continued the protests. (The Hong Kong police at one point estimated 4,000 exhausting core protesters.) pressed on with different calls for, starting with a demand that the invoice be “withdrawn,” not simply “suspended.” To this writer dying by “suspension” is each bit as terminal as dying by “withdrawal.” As this piece is shipped to press, information comes that Corrie Lam has now formally withdrawn the invoice.

Because the summer time passed, two iconic photographs introduced us with two human faces that captured two essential options of the continued protests; they were not proven extensively in the West.

First, Fu Guohao, a reporter for the Chinese mainland newspaper, International Occasions, was attacked, sure and crushed by protesters throughout their takeover of the Hong Kong International Airport. When police and rescuers tried to free him, the protesters blocked them and in addition tried to dam the ambulance that ultimately bore him off to the hospital. The photographs and videos of this ugly sequence have been seen by netizens across the globe despite the fact that given scant consideration in Western media. Where have been the stalwart defenders of the press in the US as this occurred? As one instance, DemocracyNow! (DN!) was utterly silent as was the remainder of the U.S. company media.

Fu’s beating got here after many weeks when the protesters threw up limitations to cease visitors; blocked closure of subway doors, in defiance of commuters and police, to close down mass transit; sacked and vandalized the HK legislature constructing; assaulted bystanders who disagreed with them; attacked the police with Molotov cocktails; and stormed and defaced police stations. Fu’s ordeal and all these actions proven in photographs on Hong Kong’s South China Morning Publish, a paper leaning to the aspect of protesters, gave the misinform the picture of those “democracy activists” as young Ghandis of East Asia. (The South China Morning Submit is predicated in Hong Kong and its readership is concentrated there so it has to have some affordable fidelity in reporting events; otherwise it loses credibility – and circulation. Similarly, much as the New York Occasions abhorred Occupy Wall Road, it could not fail to report on it.)

Which brings us to the second photograph, far more essential to U.S. residents, that of a “Political Counselor” at the U.S. Consulate Common in Hong Kong who in August was pictured meeting with, Joshua Lengthy and Nathan Regulation, at a lodge there. The official was formerly a State Dept functionary in the Center East – in Jerusalem, Riyadh, Beirut, Baghdad and Doha, definitely not an space lacking in imperial intrigues and regime change ops. That photograph graphically contradicted the rivalry that there isn’t a US “black hand,” as China calls it, within the Hong Kong riots. In truth, here the “black hand” was caught red-handed, main Chen Weihua, a really perceptive China Day by day columnist, to tweet the image with the comment: “This is very very embarrassing. … a US diplomat in Hong Kong, was caught meeting HK protest leaders. It will be exhausting to imagine the US reaction if a Chinese language diplomat have been meeting leaders of Occupy Wall Road, Black Lives Matter or Never Trump protesters.”

And that photograph with the protest leaders is only a snap shot of the ample evidence of the hand of the U.S. authorities and its subsidiaries within the Hong Kong events. Perhaps the most effective documentation of the U.S. “black hand” is to be found in Dan Cohen’s excellent article of August 17 in The Greyzone entitled, “Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence.” The article by Cohen deserves careful reading; it leaves little doubt that there’s a very deep involvement of the US within the Hong Kong riots. Of particular interest is the detailed position and funding, amounting to over $1.three million, in Hong Kong alone in recent times, of the U.S. Nationwide Endowment for Democracy (NED), ever on the prowl for brand spanking new regime change opportunities. Perhaps most essential, the leaders of the “leaderless” protests have met with major US political figures akin to John Bolton, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo, Senator Marco Rubio, Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, Nancy Pelosi and others, all of whom have heartily endorsed their efforts. This is not to deny that the protests have been residence grown on the outset in response to what was extensively perceived as a professional grievance. But it might be equally absurd to disclaim that the U.S. is fishing in troubled Hong Kong waters to advance its anti-China campaign and regime change ambitions.

That stated, where is the U.S. peace motion on the query of Hong Kong?

Let us be clear. One can sympathize with the demand of many voters of Hong Kong to finish the extradition invoice or even the opposite 4 demands: an inquiry into police handling of their protests; the retraction of a authorities characterization of the demonstrations as riots; an amnesty for arrested protesters; and universal suffrage. (The first three all grow out of violence of the protests, be it noted.) But that is the enterprise of the citizens of Hong Kong and all the remainder of China. It isn’t the enterprise of the U.S. authorities. Peace activists within the US must be arduous at work documenting and denouncing the US government’s meddling in Hong Kong, which might set us on the street to warfare with China, probably a nuclear struggle. And that may be a mission for which we within the U.S. are uniquely suited since, at the least in concept, we’ve got some management over our authorities.

So, we should always anticipate to hear the cry, “US Government, Arms Off Hong Kong”? Sadly, with a number of principled exceptions it is nowhere to be heard on both the left or proper.

Let’s take DemocracyNow! (DN!) as one example, a outstanding one on the “progressive” finish of the spectrum. From April via August 28, there have been 25 temporary accounts (“headlines” as DN! calls them, every amounting to some paragraphs) of the events in Hong Kong and four features, longer supposedly analytic pieces, on the identical matter. Transcripts of the 4 options are here, right here, here and right here. There’s not a single point out of potential US involvement or the conferences of the varied leaders of the protest movement with Pompeo, Bolton, Pence, or the “Political Counselor” of the US Hong Kong consulate.

And this silence on US meddling is true not solely of most progressive commentators but in addition most conservatives.

On the Left when somebody cries “Democracy,” many overlook all their pro-peace sentiment. And similarly on the Proper when somebody cries “Communism,” anti-interventionism too typically goes down the tubes. Forgotten is John Quincy Adams’s 1823 dictum, endlessly quoted but little honored, “We don’t go overseas seeking monsters to destroy.” The place does this lapse on the a part of activists come from? Is it a deep-seated loyalty to Empire, the result of countless indoctrination? Is it U.S. Exceptionalism, ingrained to the purpose of unconsciousness? Or is it at bottom a query of who the paymasters are?

On each side anti-interventionism takes an particularly exhausting hit with regards to main rivals of the US, powers that would truly stand in the best way of US international hegemony, like Russia or China. In truth on its August 12 program, DN! managed a story taking a swipe at Russia right subsequent to the one on Hong Kong – and DN! was within the forefront of advancing the now debunked and disgraced Russiagate Conspiracy Concept. In distinction, the anti-interventionist motion is entrance and middle on the subject of weaker nations, for example Venezuela – and fairly properly so. But when one puts this advocacy for weaker nations along with the New Chilly Conflict stance on China and Russia, one should ask what’s going on right here. Does it betoken a type of imperial paternalism on the part of DN and like-minded retailers? It definitely positive factors DN!, and others prefer it, considerable credibility among anti-interventionists which might help win them to a place in favor of DN!’s New Cold Struggle stance. And the masters of Empire definitely understand how helpful such credibility may be at crucial moments when help for his or her adventures is required from every quarter.

Luckily, there are a handful of exceptions to this New Chilly Struggle angle. For example, on the left In style Resistance has offered a view of the events in Hong Kong and an outstanding interview with Okay.J. Noh that transcend the line of the State Division, the mainstream media and DN! And on the libertarian Proper there’s the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and the work of its Government Director Dan McAdams.

We might all do properly to comply with the instance of those organizations in rejecting a New Chilly Conflict mentality which is extraordinarily dangerous, perhaps fatally so. A great beginning for us in the U.S. is to demand of our government, “Palms Off Hong Kong.”

John V. Walsh might be reached at [email protected] He writes about problems with conflict, peace and empire, and about health care, for Antiwar.com, Consortium Information, Dissident Voice.org and different retailers. Now dwelling within the East Bay, he was until just lately Professor of Physiology and Mobile Neuroscience at a Massachusetts Medical Faculty. Learn other articles by John V..