#321

Synergy posted:

I don't believe Cuba or Venezuela feels it necessary to resort to these kinds of measures



you're insinuating analysis has already been done but obviously it hasn't. you didn't answer the question you quoted... sorry if this is obnoxious:

...
1) what is the purpose of the barbed wire?
2) is the barbed wire effective for whatever its purpose is?
3) why were they able to put the barbed wire up?
4) what is the cuban or venezuelan analogue of the answer to (1), if any?
5) would barbed wire be effective for this analogue problem in cuba or venezuela?
6) does cuba or venezuela have the same capacity to emplace the barbed wire?
...

until we have the answer to (1) we can't even continue. as previously stated here, (1) wasn't even answered by vice. actually they didn't even bother asking the question. and so it was deliberately left up to your interpretation. sure they took the time to water the ideological garden so to speak, but then they left the questions of the specifics ("barbed wire" here) up to your extrapolating imagination. replace "barbed wire" with whatever you want: "surveillance cameras", "facial recognition", "security checkpoints", "police drills"... the reason you can't take any of this for granted has been repeated like 20 times in this thread.

#322

Synergy posted:

"Pol Pot Did Nothing Wrong" takes



*rising out of the crypt with a Crypt Keeper voice* this, but unironically

#323

cars posted:

Synergy posted:


"Pol Pot Did Nothing Wrong" takes




*rising out of the crypt with a Crypt Keeper voice* this, but unironically


one time when i was searching for cambodia stuff i found this really weird site that claimed to be a cambodian group who were pro pol pot but it was like a skeleton of a geocities website written in broken english and when i tried to email them it said the email wasn't valid. i was really hyped to possibly talk to an insane polpotist using google translate but i guess it wasn't meant to be

#324

Synergy posted:

marlax78 posted:

You know the reason you feel like you need to have a "balanced" view of China is because, even if you think this vice video is stupid, you add up the video times a million and you get an ideology that makes you think there has to be something to it. Why are you even honing in on barbed wire around a school for instance? It's an unconscious bias (totalitarian evil dictatorship, mindless brainwashed slaves) that you're refusing to cast aside.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe Cuba or Venezuela feels it necessary to resort to these kinds of measures despite also being constantly attacked by imperialism. It's easy to get stuck in an ideological bubble where you refuse to believe anything coming out of western media. Maybe only 10% of it is accurate but if you choose to throw out the plausible parts you're going to end up with blindspots. That's how you get "Pol Pot Did Nothing Wrong" takes.


this is the definition of bad faith argument. feel free to argue whatever you like about china or any country but if you want to be taken seriously you would do well to back your statements with more than a vice video and a shitty attitude

#325

nearlyoctober posted:

replace "barbed wire" with whatever you want: "surveillance cameras", "facial recognition", "security checkpoints", "police drills"... the reason you can't take any of this for granted has been repeated like 20 times in this thread.



i think you're missing the point. remove the journalists, remove the "scary" music and you still have footage of a security state (excessive police, cameras, etc). whether this is justified or not is the real discussion. there was also an article posted here a few months ago, written by someone who seemed pretty level headed (despite maybe a couple of mild racist comments). i think it's worth reexamining for those that forgot or didn't read much of it:

I must admit that I was completely paranoid about this trip. I tend to be paranoid in general, and the stories I was getting from Xinjiang weren’t helping my condition. The stories tell of widespread surveillance, foreigners being followed constantly, checkpoints everywhere, and most importantly, smartphones being checked for subversive apps. Well, I do have a lot of stuff on my smartphone, let alone my computer. So I bought a new phone just for the occasion, and used all manner of opsec best practices.
Getting In

All prepared and in good (if somewhat uneasy) spirits, we arrived at Urumqi airport. I had mentally prepared myself for an entire police department waiting for us and rummaging through all our luggage, phones, and computers. I didn’t care. I Was Prepared. I was all pumped up for the occasion, rehearsing all the stories I had prepared to tell the local police.

And nothing happened. Nothing. Not even a miserly checkpoint in the whole airport. We just left the plane, got to domestic arrivals, picked up our luggage, and off we went. Just like any other airport in the free world. What the hell?



Then we got into the city and reality started to set in. The reports aren’t fake news. It’s all quite true.

The first thing that strikes you on arrival to Xinjiang, driving from the airport into the city, is the propaganda. It’s everywhere...

The other thing that is always in your field of sight is the police. Oh, the police. They are literally (literally) everywhere. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s a law that mandates a police station every 250 meters. The sheer amount of policemen, police cars, police checkpoints, police stations, and security guards of all sorts is completely overwhelming. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t believe there is or ever has been. Xinjiang is a police state, and it’s open about it. Blatant. This is not a place where you worry about being watched. They watch you all the time, and they want you to know it.



While our taxi driver was cheerful, we were getting uneasy just looking through the windows. On arriving at our hotel, we stumbled upon another Xinjiang Characteristic. Shop checkpoints. The hotel had a small checkpoint with a metal detector, shields, and wooden bats in the floor. Two old men with police jackets were standing watch. They asked for our passports, took a clueless look, and waved us through. Check-in at the hotel was uneventful, the same procedure as everywhere in China.

We got our belongings ready and proceeded to go out for dinner, where we were to meet a local. One guy in our team had a business contact in Urumqi, and he offered to buy us a good Xinjiang dinner. We got in a taxi and arrived at the restaurant, where he was waiting for us in one of these booths with a couple of his friends. After the typical greetings and rounds of toasting (Chinese dinners are really tiresome), we ordered some food, and when the waiter left, he dropped this bomb on us:

“Do not, I repeat, do not talk politics, or ethnic relations stuff, or anything sensitive on the phone. Police know you’re here, your conversations are being listened to, your GPS is being recorded. If you do anything stupid on the phone, police will come in less than 30 minutes and take you away,” he said while looking me straight in the eye.

“What?”

“You heard me. Watch what you do on the phone.”

“Has this ever happened around you? You’ve seen this? Police taking people away because of what they said on the phone?”

“Oh, yes.”

I took a deep breath.

“How long has this been going on for?”

“A couple years, since the new guy came here.”

A waitress came in bringing our food. We all smiled and started eating, awkwardly changing the topic to sports. The food was great, we ate a lot, thanked our hosts profusely, and each went our own ways.



The first thing we realized is that Urumqi is actually pretty nice. It has any amenity you could wish for: coffee shops, restaurants, stores and shopping malls housing all manner of local and international chains. The people dress in stylish clothes and seem to be enjoying themselves. The city is clean and well-maintained, and the traffic, if a bit dense, is quite orderly. Far better than most provincial cities in China.

The second thing we realized is that the surveillance apparatus is hardcore. As I mentioned, there are police everywhere; standing, walking, and driving. They’re not aggressive, or intimidating, or stopping people at random. They’re just there making themselves present. They didn’t have guns; some had wooden bats, while others had fancy metal bats. There were tons of shields, too. This is the sort of anti-riot gear you see in a Western city when there’s any major gathering, or antifa are running one of their regular rituals.



Another striking element is how they control the movement of people. Entry to any public place is strictly controlled. Residential compounds, markets, mosques, hospitals, and other wider spaces all have separate entries and exits. Inside both entries and exits, there is a metal scanner, an ID card reader, and in some (not many) places a facial recognition camera. Places which expect foreigners also have more advanced passport scanners. All places have a computer and a small box which is reportedly used to download all information from smartphones, which the protocol mandates if someone can’t produce their ID card. We were never asked to produce our phones, nor did we see it done to anyone else, but we did listen to many others saying that was the case, before and during the trip.

Every entrance also had two or three security guards, again with anti-riot gear. The Xinjiang authorities want to control who gets in and out of every place at every time. The assumption seems to be that a knife-wielding terrorist may come at any time, so everyone must be ready with shields and bats, which should be enough to handle a guy with a knife until the police can bring in more serious equipment.



After too many beers, I point blank asked if it was true that police would come in 30 minutes if I talked about politics on the phone.

I got weird looks after that, but the consensus seemed to be: “Nah, never heard of anything like it. Why would you do that anyway?” The conversation turned awkward, as people perhaps thought we were asking too many questions. But the general mood was pleasant.



We got a taxi to the new Urumqi station, about 30 minutes from the city center. About 500 meters before the station itself there was a police checkpoint with a small building attached. Most people were waved through; some were made to open their car trunks and had their luggage inspected. We were completely stopped and told to get out of the car and into the building. The taxi driver looked half annoyed, half scared. Inside the buildings, police asked for our passports, took pictures of all relevant pages, and asked us, rather abruptly, what our business was. We explained, put our luggage through a scanner, and they let us go. We then got back on our taxi and went on to the station.



The same security apparatus we saw in Urumqi was there in Turpan, perhaps a bit more so. Police stations every 200 meters or so, police cars patrolling all the time, and metal scanners at every shop, manned by security guards armed with wooden bats and plastic shields. Cameras everywhere. Markets and other large venues had separate entries and exits with ID controls, etc. Same thing. All large compounds also had barbed wire above the walls to stop people from jumping in or out. No funny business in Xinjiang.

One big difference with Urumqi was that, again, most people were Uyghur. But the police were Uyghur, too. The people manning the checkpoints and the “convenience police stations,” and driving the patrol cars were all Uyghur. It’s worth emphasizing that whatever is happening in Xinjiang is not just an invasion by a foreign army hell-bent on annoying the locals. The locals are quite annoyed, indeed, but it’s their fellow tribesmen doing the grunt work. Or most of it, anyway. I must say that the Uyghur police we saw were more easy-going than the Han police we saw in Urumqi. More chill. Less zealous, you could say. At any rate, they never gave us a hard time, and we got plenty of smiles and easy treatment. We also got the feeling that most “police” were just hired weeks ago. There are just too many of them to be properly trained. It’s just a job, and most of them don’t really appear to like it. But they’ll go through the motions. That’s very Chinese, too.



We did get a chance to stroll around some residential compounds. We saw the same security controls, barbed wire, and strict controls of entry and exit, in addition to lots and lots of propaganda banners and documents, announcing this or that campaign against “evil elements” which threatened the security of the people. One document cautioned against “village bullies” and “two-faced people,” among other examples of bad apples that the security apparatus has identified for capture.

We saw a Han (maybe Hui?) policeman doing guard time in front of a residential compound. A bunch of middle-aged Uyghur men were chatting with him, in bad Mandarin, but in a cordial way, laughing and all. We didn’t catch the whole conversation, but it seemed the locals were trying to tell the guy to cut them some slack, while the policeman, with a big smile, told them he was just following orders and working for the security of everyone.

We walked into a more rural area in the outskirts of the city. A big white wall was painted with scenes of ethnic harmony. One scene said in very clear terms: No Illegal Religious Activities Allowed. No religious activities at all allowed in public places. Do not interfere with marriage, family planning, or education in the name of religion. Speaking of religion, we saw a few mosques, but many looked abandoned, or taken over by “local committees,” or Communist Party branches. No call to prayer. Certainly nobody praying. Islam has been extirpated from the public space. It’s hardly visible at all.



We also saw “special police,” basically police officers who get to carry guns. All of them Uyghurs. China has no problem arming Uyghurs, or even getting them into the military. They trust their loyalty, or at the very least they trust the mechanisms they have in place to ensure their loyalty.



And so our trip ended; we all flew away from Kashgar back to our respective homes. We weren’t stopped before leaving. We had been expecting some police visit to our hotels for the whole trip; but nothing happened. Then again, we didn’t do anything suspicious, either. We did not try to explore the deepest countryside, or take pictures of the reeducation camps, or seek politically active people. The sole purpose of our trip was to visit Xinjiang, and if possible to get a feel of how it is like to live in Xinjiang today for your average person, of any ethnicity. It goes without saying that we left with mixed feelings. We saw life under a complete, multi-layered surveillance system that has basically no blind spots at all. A system which has dialed back the clock in most non-urban areas, bringing back old-school Soviet practices of social control. It is jarring and oppressive in many ways; and as foreigners we surely didn’t get to experience most of it.

Yet again, the Chinese government congratulates itself in having solved terrorism without war, and credit where it’s due, it has. Xinjiang appears to have no criminality whatsoever, and the police in the streets are unarmed. Meanwhile France has soldiers, not police, patrolling the streets of Paris. Considering his recent post-resignation declaration about radical Islam replacing the Republic, I have to wonder what the former French Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, would make of Xinjiang.



notice how this person is able to document what they're seeing without reverting to the "oh they must be hiding dead bodies in that locked room" take that fills the imagination. looking back over this thread i forgot that blinkandwheeze did a much better job of getting this point across.

blinkandwheeze posted:

huey's point is outlining a total impossibility of retrieving any undistorted facts from bourgeois reporting, if we accept that then the conclusion is certainly that there is no such national oppression or chauvinism occurring. his latest post denies that we can take a critical perspective on this issue at all without simply being passive adherents to bourgeois propagandists



blinkandwheeze posted:

demands for these kinds of endless rhetorical concessions before we can have a serious discussion about anything, on an irrelevant stalinist irony message board, are insufferable. it goes without saying that people here are inclined to think the prc is generally more humane and socially invested than any representatives of the vast Nazi empire we live under. that we need to explicitly declare and confess this every time we engage in any kind of critical discussion, lest we betray our hidden allegiance to imperialism, is f*cking absurd. this message board has no impact on the wider world whatsoever, there is no need to pretend we are engaging on some grand political battlefield at every moment here




Edited by Synergy ()

#326

Synergy posted:

i think you're missing the point. remove the journalists, remove the "scary" music and you still have footage of a security state (excessive police, cameras, etc). whether this is justified or not is the real discussion.


indeed, and i put it to you that block quoting blog posts or otherwise linking to third party reports about spooky stuff outsiders have seen while visiting xinjiang does not constitute a 'discussion'.

xinjiang is a security state - so, to a lesser extent, is greater china. okay, and so what? we are not libertarians or anarchists. a state under attack from without and within must take steps to secure itself. the security concerns in xinjiang are both genuine and unique thanks to its geopolitical importance and a legacy of decades of unrest and proxy wars in central asia. there is a persistent separatist terrorist threat in the region that has attempted to embed itself within the uyghur identity. at the same time, the response has been at times as clumsy as it is heavy. many uyghurs are at best subject to discrimination and lack of opportunity, as worst detained without cause. the situation is opaque and the state is defensive, a stance worsened by disgusting western propaganda efforts to cast this as a modern holocaust of muslims for the crime of being muslim (oh, the irony). and that's the rub: the politicisation of human rights is entirely counterproductive to resolving genuine human rights problems.

and you have the gall to come in here, post a bunch of inflammatory nonsense with zero original, productive discussion, and sneer that anyone dismissing the literal CIA propaganda machine that is vice is a hop skip and jump away from defending pol pot. your posts are bad and you should feel bad.

#327
i'm not really following this discussion nor will i watch the vice video but i'm certain some vice guy making a concerned face to the camera about barbed wire & security cameras isn't what i was talking about.
#328

Petrol posted:

xinjiang is a security state - so, to a lesser extent, is greater china. okay, and so what?



your position is loud and clear. i didn't expect to see support for a developing police state but here we are. hopefully some of you will have the decency to reexamine this topic when enough time passes.

#329
there's a goddam security camera in every goddam alley in every goddam first-world city

Edited by karphead ()

#330
i daydream about making a public google earth map where people could map security cameras in their vicinity and then using that to destroy a good many of them
#331

Synergy posted:

Petrol posted:

xinjiang is a security state - so, to a lesser extent, is greater china. okay, and so what?

your position is loud and clear. i didn't expect to see support for a developing police state but here we are. hopefully some of you will have the decency to reexamine this topic when enough time passes.


throwing around meaningless catchphrases like "police state" and huffing about "decency" might pass for political discussion in an american high school but it won't fly with me, pal.

#332

Synergy posted:

Petrol posted:

xinjiang is a security state - so, to a lesser extent, is greater china. okay, and so what?

your position is loud and clear. i didn't expect to see support for a developing police state but here we are. hopefully some of you will have the decency to reexamine this topic when enough time passes.



You have to be trolling at this point.

#333
I hate to invoke poe's law, but aren't trolls meant to be funny?
#334

Petrol posted:

I hate to invoke poe's law, but aren't trolls meant to be funny?



You have to be producing excrement with your mouth

#335
i also wanted to say that despite disagreeing with the majority of Zoners on this issue, i'm not the type of person to hold a grudge over anyone just because of one topic. i probably agree with 95% of the positions that are held here and i would imagine everyone has their own contrarian topics. moreover, i respect the in-depth knowledge of a lot of people on this forum (especially the people posting above me) even when things get silly like hurling insults or calling each other fascists (lol). i'd rather move on to other discussions and avoid further infighting which is so common on the left. anyway, that's my plan, you guys/gals can do what you want.
#336
My problem isn't that you disagree. I think this particular issue is one of the most hotly contested in all the time I've been posting here, there really isn't a rhizzone consensus on this. The issue is that you opened a new round of xinjiang discussion by sharing some pretty bald anti-chinese propaganda and reacted poorly when it was criticised. You essentially said defending china is a slippery slope to pol pot apologism. That wasn't cool.

Now I'm happy to engage you on this issue that you raised, to that end I've been sharing my thoughts hoping to prompt you or anyone else interested to have an actual discussion. You've studiously ignored all of that apart from cherry picking a line to be outraged by. Now you want to stop talking about it, which is fine too, nobody is obliged to post! But it's a bit rich to act like you're backing off for the sake of left unity, being the bigger person and all that. If you don't know how to express your opinion productively or no longer want to try that's fine, but acting like you've been bullied out of the conversation for having the temerity to disagree is churlish.
#337

Synergy posted:

i also wanted to say that despite disagreeing with the majority of Zoners on this issue, i'm not the type of person to hold a grudge over anyone just because of one topic. i probably agree with 95% of the positions that are held here and i would imagine everyone has their own contrarian topics. moreover, i respect the in-depth knowledge of a lot of people on this forum (especially the people posting above me) even when things get silly like hurling insults or calling each other fascists (lol). i'd rather move on to other discussions and avoid further infighting which is so common on the left. anyway, that's my plan, you guys/gals can do what you want.



lurk more

#338

cars posted:

Synergy posted:

"Pol Pot Did Nothing Wrong" takes

*rising out of the crypt with a Crypt Keeper voice* this, but unironically



why would anyone downvote this?? this world is so corrupt

#339
#340

Synergy posted:

babyhueypnewton posted:


I only went to China briefly but all the security she went through is no different than Tiananmen square or Beijing airport, both of which were much less intrusive and obviously racist than Ronald Reagan National Airport (a name we are free to protest and yet still persists). Meanwhile in Manila they don't only have cameras, there are private security with shotguns at every entrance to a place not made of scrap metal...
Like, go to anywhere in the third world, you will find that there is far more security everywhere but it is privatized and heavily armed.

"it's actually pretty normal and worse in other areas" is not a great argument, it's just moving the goalposts because apparently this is the best we can do



what's remarkable about that video is that city doesn't look anything like the slums of Rio nor is it a paradise for western pedophiles like Bangkok.



I'm glad it doesn't look like Rio, and it's nice to see a reduction in poverty throughout China, a turn towards energy efficiency, and other positive developments, but that doesn't mean I'm just going to ignore revisionism like billionaires existing. I've said this many times before and I'll say it again, it's possible to have a balanced view of a socialist/hybrid country. You don't need to have rose tinted glasses to be a supporter of a country's overall trajectory. When I watch videos on the DPRK I can see that the people are happy, they have their needs meet, they have control over their lives, etc. But I also recognize that there's an unhealthy emphasis on the Kim family and on Pyongyang. Amazingly I am able to have criticism while also supporting the country. What a wild position! Likewise I can see that VICE video is filled with spooky music and anti-China propaganda, however I also see lots of security everywhere including barbed wire fence around a school. Is this really necessary? I don't think so and it sends us into the "can do no wrong" mindset that some communists fall into.



wow you're like super nuanced. how does he do it?

#341
glad to see there's some sort of weird psychotic intellectualization of all the possible different reasons why there's barbed wire around a school in a country which has not been unclear about their commitment to regimenting sectors of the population.
#342
i have often not been unclear
#343

serafiym posted:

glad to see there's some sort of weird psychotic intellectualization of all the possible different reasons why there's barbed wire around a school in a country which has not been unclear about their commitment to regimenting sectors of the population.


go on..

#344

Synergy posted:

your position is loud and clear. i didn't expect to see support for a developing police state but here we are. hopefully some of you will have the decency to reexamine this topic when enough time passes.


smh infantile disorder

#345
the rage, it's palpable.
#346

serafiym posted:

a country which has not been unclear about their commitment to regimenting sectors of the population.


???

quick to call fellow posters weird and psychotic, slow to explain your own position. guess i'll keep waiting!

#347
hong kong rioters are waving american flags and singing the u.s national anthem
#348
yeah that's because, uhh, democracy? and um. freedom.
#349
dumbcracy and freedoom.
#350
i was intellectually sparring w someone IRL and i was like "okay it all comes down to whether you want to see a US airbase in hong kong or not" and they were all spluttering like "they have them in japan and taiwan already what difference will it make" good times
#351
Anyone got sources elaborating on this connection between State Department and “student protesters”?
https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1UZ2HK

It’d be great to see the exploited and abused Filipino et al. domestic workers, sex workers, and others protest the barbaric Hong Kong neocolonial caste society rather than these reactionary neocolonialists waving American flags. Maybe there’s a way for the Hong Kong proles to subvert or hijack this obvious US machination?
#352

codywilson posted:

It’d be great to see the exploited and abused Filipino et al. domestic workers, sex workers, and others protest the barbaric Hong Kong neocolonial caste society rather than these reactionary neocolonialists waving American flags. Maybe there’s a way for the Hong Kong proles to subvert or hijack this obvious US machination?


This is unfortunately a perennial problem whenever there's political conflict in Hong Kong. If you're a precarious or itinerant worker trying to join up or protest alongside State Department colour revolution projects you will get you none of the press, sympathy, resources or protection afforded to middle class students by State Department hustlers, and a disproportionate amount of backlash, some of it from the students. And if a riot or scuffle kicks off they're the ones most likely to get hurt. The US knows their target demographic and can be incredibly callous about pruning out elements that threaten to dilute or derail their message. This is all hearsay I guess but last time around a few years ago I heard bits and pieces about this stuff from a daisy chain of contacts, they made it very clear that the student movement (particularly leadership and organizers) absolutely did not give a single shit about helping marginalized labour and didn't want them around. It sucks!

#353
This is unfortunately also a perennial problem whenever there's political conflict anywhere in the world where a lone CIA agent sits at a desk playing Oceanhorn
#354
Seriously, just grab any given public face of the moment of any street protest movement of the moment against any government less than perfectly obedient to Washington. Check out their LinkedIn and find the USAID money. It won’t be hidden, because that’s how the person has built their resume: using funds allocated by the U.S. Congress to build a “local” organization that applies for and receives additional grants allocated by the same Congressional spending bill, or some similar form of legal laundering that turns U.S. government money into “local” unrest.

That doesn’t make every such protest a creature of the U.S. State Department (though some are). It just means the message that reaches global news outlets is usually written, boosted and finessed after the fact by agents of the United States government and its allies.

The “cleaner” recipients of their aid are quick to capitalize on local dissatisfaction and will redirect the aim of the protests within weeks or even days, while their grungier counterparts do things like import foreign fighters and carry out assassinations during an early period of “peaceful” protest. Then the U.S. condemns the local government for the state of emergency it creates itself and calls for intervention, as was done in Syria.

The second part is unlikely to emerge in China right now, so for whatever it’s worth, I think U.S. provocation in Hong Kong is probably just another fire-and-forget stage in a program aiming at constant low-level instability. Soon enough, the Western operatives involved will pose the multi-million-dollar funding question in Foreign Policy and The Economist: Why Did We Abandon Hong Kong? And no one writing those articles will mention that just a few months earlier, they’d denounced the entire idea of U.S. involvement as baseless conspiracy theory.
#355
havent read through this but posting here for reference, https://bitbucket.org/TheCrypticMan/hong-kong-protests/wiki/2019%20attempted%20'Black%20Revolution'