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Friday, June 04, 2004

Comments

KimcheeGI

Andy,
Great job again. Thanks for reminding us.

Charlie

Mrhapy

The Korean people dont care about other cultures. Also, they really dont care unless they can blame the usa. Therefore Tiananmen Square Massacre is a nonstarter.

The Yangban

Actually, I would have forgotten also if the Infidel (he of the mysterious disappearing blog) hadn't reminded me.

Sugar Shin

I have waited for a Tianamen-post by some of the Korea-bloggers (IKK). The connections between the Kwangju Massacre and the Tianamen Massacre in Beijing are so obvious. Hopefully, some day in the future the Chinese people will be free at last and make their own judgements about the crimes against humanity of the CCP and the People's Lynching Army.

Chun Doo-Hwan and Roh Tae-Woo are on the golf course and enjoying their comfortable lives. The Chinese should have a better suiting treatment for their perpetrators.

Infidel

Aside from beijing's good graces, perhaps the reason Seoul does not want to learn from Tiananmen is that, without America to blame, Tiananmen is one example of the depravity of the Asian soul.

Sugar Shin

Tiananmen is one example of the depravity of the Asian soul. - Infidel

Oh my... and My Lai is one example of the depravity of the American soul?

corsair the rational pirate

Where Sugar isn't able to make a rational argument is that Tianamen Square was directed by the government against its own people while My Lai was done without government approval or direction (I know, I know, the mere fact that the US was in Vietnam inculcated thoughts of "gooks" and "yellow peril" and lead directly to US soldiers treating the Vietnamese like blah blah blah).

It is real easy. The sovereign government of the Republic of China thought that protesters in Tianamen Square were worth less than the cost of the bullets used to kill them. So they sent in the Army and killed them. And no one has been help to account for it.

Same as in Kwangju. Same as in Phnom Penh. Same as in Tibet. Same as in Indonesia. Same as in Nanjing. Etc. Etc.

Deflet

Same as when some guys (ex-servicemen maybe?) were cleared away from in front of some government building in Washington D.C. with many deaths in the 1930s(?). Could anyone offer more info on that one?

And lets not forget Mexico City '68.

Eric Lien

deflet: I think you're talking about the Bonus Army. Short version: a bunch of vets wanted their pensions. Set up camp in Washington and held protests. Hoover sent in tanks and shot up the place, killing a few and wounding around 100.

Major differences to Tiananmen:
1) Hoover lost his job as president soon later.
2) He lost that job cuz the people voted him out of office.
3) Newspaper editors pointed out in print that attacking the Bonus Army was a violation of the law (Posse Comitatus Act) without getting arrested and beaten up.
4) The Bonus Army regrouped a few years later during FDR's presidency, went back in to DC. Didn't get shot up. Instead, Eleanor Roosevelt came out to have a chat with them.

Fatmarley

MrHappy got it on the head. Koreans are extremely Xenophobic towards all cultures. It took until this year for the Gov't to allow Japanese music to be sold in Korea.

Any hoo I think the Gwang-ju massacre sparked a majority of the US hatred in Korea, which has only been fueled over and over since then.

kimchipig

I was in university, actually on summer vacation, at the time. I clearly remember it and I remember fellow students claiming that real reform was in the cards for China. I never for one second doubted that this atrocity would happen as sure as the sun rises every day.

Whenever my students in Korea got into a Hate America-Love China mood, I would remind them of Tianenmen Square. Most knew nothing about it.

Sugar Shin

corsair,

oh, I know the differences of My Lai (free fire-zone policy in foreign coubntry, presidental pardon after a few years of house arrest for the responsible officer of the perpetrators) and Tianamen. I couldn't understand Infidel's broad brush stroke about the "depravity of the Asian soul". Any government and any armed force could have done these criminal massacres, it does not depend on nationality or race, it depends on the system of a society. And it takes a good dose of hubris to point fingers at others and feel superior, because there's no weakness or any sign of depravity in the political actions of the USA of today or yesterday.

A depravity of Asian, European, African, South American soul? But never a depravity of a North American soul? Or is solely the Asian soul depraved? Fisk the South Koreans, fisk the Chinese, but do it in a way that a depraved person like me could take it serious.

jtb

Sugar,

There's actually no way anyone with more than two brain-cells to call their own could take *you* seriously...

The Tiananmen Square Massacre was obviously a plot inspired by the vicious American Hegemonists. It was never Asian-on-Asian violence, a concept unknown in the world. In fact, the nose-tombs in Japan are a figment of imagination. The Great Wall of China is an early attempt at building a super-highway. And no one is starving in North Korea.

Asians are so far above North Americans that we cannot understand their ways.

/sarcasm

Well, ok, my wife is smarter than me. But that's the way it ought to be...

The Marmot

I have to confess, the "depravity of the Asian soul" thing has me a bit confused. I'll assume Infidel meant that Asian can be as cruel as anyone else. That I can buy. But even a cursory glance at Western history reveals that while we might arguably have equals, we are surpassed by none in the depravity department.

Paul H.

I think there is a legal phrase in various US law codes -- "Depraved indifference to human life".

Perhaps this use of the word as an adjective is what the infidel had in mind.

I agree the use of the word "depraved" by itself is wrong, since it has an "active" connotation of moral degeneracy. Whereas the use of "depraved" as an adjective, modifying "indifference", merely connotes "complete" indifference. One cannot be "actively indifferent", as that is an oxymoron.

Depraved is not too strong an adjective to describe South Korean indifference to the plight of the average North Korean. Seems to me that the citizens of the ROK should be the ones to care about the situation there -- more so than anyone else on this earth.

I'm going by what I read in these blogs and in the news, of course. But if you differ with my take, how else would you describe the failure of South Korea to take active diplomatic measures to extract all the North Korean refugees from mainland China that it can? (I'm talking large quantities -- thousands, rather than a few dozen here and there). Or perhaps more realistically, to attempt to get the PRC to set up refugee camps for them, funded by the ROK?

I'll bet that if the ROK really wanted to, it could even get the US Congress to provide some funding for such camps. The UN won't touch this issue of course, as they are afraid of the PRC
(though it's perfectly safe to tweak Uncle Sam's nose as often as possible). North Korea would be infuriated also by such a measure, which I presume is why ROK is not undertaking it and minimizing/ignoring the issue.

So -- only God can help these people. Who do you suppose He will judge more harshly -- the depraved, or those who merely show "depraved indifference"?

Sugar Shin

Hm, in my standard Langenscheidt's English-German dictionary the adjective "depraved" is defined as quote: "sittlich verdorben, verkommen" = "morally corrupt, ethically decayed" - so, this was the basis how I understood the expression "depraved".

Anyway, with my "My Lai"-reference I just wnated to show, that to speak of "Tiananmen as an example of the depravity of the Asian soul" is a generalization. Anybody can take a deep dive in the political & historical dustbin of nations from one special continent and declare it as an example of depravity of a whole continent or cultural sphere like I did it accordingly for the USA. The reaction from many you was telling.
If you read my first comment about the tragedy of the Tiananmen Massacre, you can see, that I've not intended to draw connections to the USA. I was glad, that Yangbang as one of the K-bloggers posted about the Beijing Massacre of 15 years ago, due to the fact, that it was a documented crime of state arbitrariness before the world public, how ruthless suppressive, authoritarian and despotically ruled states can treat their citizens - like Korea has bitterly witnessed for itself in Kwangju. Sorry, I'm Asian and my soul is not morally corrupt.

Zdunk

"depravity of the Asian soul" is just bigoted. If you are non-Asian, just ask yourself this simple question: if you logged onto a Korean site that declared the "depravity of the white soul", wouldn't you be outraged? Sure we would!

Trying to give some "evidence" for this by citing various Asian atrocities isn't very convincing. One could point to modern-day Yugoslavia, Aushwitz, the cossack pogroms, the vicious persecution of the Heugenots in France, god, you could even point out the Vikings long period of appalling savagry. And then you could move on to other continents/races and point out the atrocities there. What it proves and 2000 won will buy me a coffee at Kangnam Starbucks, you know?

Following this line of argument, you could also just as easily cite Buddism as "proof of the nobility of the Asian soul".

And both statements would be rubbish. There are no souls, fellow mammals.

The Marmot

Zdunk, I'm not sure if there is no soul, but you're perfectly correct here. Coming from a civilization that brought you -- in just the last couple of centuries alone -- two world wars, the Holocaust, the colonial division of about 90 percent of the global landmass and the near extermination of the indigenous population of much of the New World, Westerners are in no real position to call any other civilizational group "depraved." Now, I'm not saying that Westerners were culturally predetermined to carry out such acts -- certainly, other civilizations have enacted pretty atrocious acts of cruelty upon their own people and others (ask my wife), and I'm sure that if socio-economic and geopolitical factors had been different, things could have worked the other way around (Western Europe was, after all, pretty much the Third World between the fall of Rome and the 15th century). But history is what it is, and you're right -- trying to draw conclusion concerning relative levels of "depravity" is pointless.

Infidel

"The history of the world," says Hegel, "is the progress of the consciousness of Freedom"

For Hegel, human nature is not fixed, but always developing into new forms. These forms are embodied in peoples, broad social groups such as the "Oriental," the "Greek," the "Roman," and the "German." According to Hegel, peoples have attained their own levels of freedom: for the Oriental, one is free; for the Greek and Roman some are free, and for the German, all are free.

The Oriental people are typified by the Chinese, whose society has the structure of an extended family, with the emporer (the one who is free) at the head. Subjective freedom is missing here..."

http://www-philosophy.ucdavis.edu/phi151/OCT24LEC.HTM

jtb

We'll each and every one of us find out when we die if there is an "afterlife", a "God", and whether we have a "soul".

Hey, I defended your right to believe and say anything you please without getting arrested and thrown into an *American* pokey... but none of the Constitution says I have to swallow that hogwash.

;-)

Sugar Shin

Well, Hegel (1770~1831) lived and worked in the environment of the late 18th and early 19th century, during this time Germany ("Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation") was a "formal" state entity consisting of roughly 37 independent principalities and two free cities of the "Reich" (Reichfreie Städte"). Then later Germany was occupied by the Napoleonic France. Germans considered themselves as weak and suppressed by the absolutely, despotically ruling nobility. Hegel's "idealistic" philosophy was highly speculative and during his time, the concept of "freedom" was an ideal not reality. Between Hegel and the 20th century lies Verdun and Ausschwitz - I would never use these low points of Western history as a proof of a speculative "depravity of the European soul". But I've said enough, all I wanted to comment about Tiananmen Massacre is written in my first post above.

Sugar Shin

Typos: freie Reichsstädte instead of "Reichfreie Städte" and Auschwitz instead of "Ausschwitz". Sorry.

The Yangban

Sugar,

If you do't watch it with theis tyypos, I'm going to bann you from my blpg.

Sugar Shin

Aye aye Sir!

china

what were the causes of tianamen square massacre

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