How come this image of that crushed Chilean isn’t everywhere we look, like that “iconic” photo of “tank man” after the (imaginary) “massacre in Tiananmen Square”?
That’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer: Some protesters are worthier than others, even—or especially—if their protests have the backing of the US government. Thus any protesters beat up or hauled away (or who appear to be)in China, or in Russia, Venezuela or Iran, are worthy of “our” sympathetic outrage, while those in, say, Chile, Honduras, Haiti, Argentina, France, Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon and Lebanon are not, as their demonstrations are at odds with US foreign policy and/or the interests of Western capital.
As for apparent brutal crackdowns by the state—the sort obsessively “reported”by the Western media—”the massacre in Tienanmen Square” is certainly the best example, as millions of smart, “educated” people still believe it really happened (as I did, before looking into it), the various disproofs all having been ignored, and buried very deep, so that, if you don’t know enough to seek them out, they might as well have been erased.
Here are links to some invaluable correctives:
First—and most astounding—is Nicholas Kristof’s belated follow-up (in January, 1990) for the New York Times, reporting the experience of Chinese pop star Hou Dejian, who was in the Square that night, and negotiated with the troops to allow the students to leave peacefully: https://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/16/world/beijing-journal-stilled-by-the-unthinkable-a-singer-tries-his-voice.html?searchResultPosition=1
What makes this a jaw-dropping piece (for anybody who was paying attention) is its tacit contradiction of Kristof’s own screaming, pseudo-firsthand “coverage” of the heinous slaughter carried out by China’s soldiers in the Square that night—a bogus story that, in spite of Kristof’s own report on Hou’s experience, he told yet again last June to mark the 30th anniversary of the “massacre”:
The mundane truth made news (in the UK) in 2011, when the Telegraph reported Wikileaks’ release of secret cables from the US embassy, quoting a Chilean diplomat who was in the Square that night, and noted that there was “no mass firing” on the students:
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; they were backed up by armed soldiers,” a cable from July 1989 said.
The diplomat, who was positioned next to a Red Cross station inside Tiananmen Square, said a line of troops surrounded him and “panicked” medical staff into fleeing. However, he said that there was “no mass firing into the crowd of students at the monument”.
Jay Mathews, who was in Beijing reporting for the Washington Post, wrote this indictment of the Western press for its unfounded stories of a “massacre”—apiece that ran in the Columbia Journalism Review: “[A]s far as can be determined, no one died that night in Tienanmen Square.“
For a thorough overview of more Western reportage that (quietly) debunked the Standard Narrative, see World Affairs, Chris Kanthan’s blog, which offers visual evidence (some of it harrowing) that the Chinese police were mostly unarmed that night, as the Chilean diplomat reported, and that many of them, too, perished in the violence:
Finally, Gregory Clark’s thorough retrospective, in Japan Times, notes a number of eyewitnesses who reconfirm the fact that there was no “massacre in Tienanmen Square.” Clark’s piece notes the experiences of a TV crew from Spain’s TVE channel, and Reuters correspondent Graham Earnshaw, all of whom were in the Square that night, and none of whom saw any violence as the students all departed peacefully. Clark also mentions a piece in Asia Timesby Chinese dissident Xiaopijng Li, who quotes Hou Dejian:
“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.”
But were there massacres outside the Square that night? The evidence—including the reports of many soldiers killed, as well as protesters—suggests that what occurred were not one-sided slaughters by the government, but pitched battles in the streets, as certain Chinese people fought the troops, and slaughtered some of them. That possibility is by no means far-fetched, considering how long and ardently “our” covert warriors have labored to bring down the Chinese government(as they’ve been doing for decades with the Uighurs, and, lately, in Hong Kong).
And as those covert warriors have interfered in the affairs of (many) other states, they’ve also vigorously interfered in our affairs of state—and turned “our free press” into one gigantic propaganda mill. And so the lesson here, as ever, is that we should not believe a word of what “our” press reports to us, without checking it, and thinking very carefully about it.