16 August 2013

Oh, sure, Egypt’s military crackdown is exactly like Tian’anmen 1989

Because, as we all know, the demonstrators in Tian’anmen all carried and used automatic weapons in clashes with the residents of Beijing. The students in Tian’anmen were members of the CCP and enthusiastic, loyal supporters of democratically-elected then-President Deng Xiaoping before he and the entire CCP political structure were overthrown in a coup d’etat by the PLA, supported by democrats and CCP dissenters, for abrogating the freedoms guaranteed by the Chinese constitution and calling for an invasion of Afghanistan against the Soviets. And when the PLA rode in with the tanks against the pro-Deng demonstrators in Beijing, the demonstrators then went on a massive nation-wide pogrom against China’s Buddhists, beat them, shot them and torched their homes, temples and businesses, all of which both Western news media and the PLA then studiously ignored until the wildly popular and politically-successful Soviet then-leader Mikhail Gorbachev told them he would support them if they stepped in to help. And of course both sides were from the very beginning already being generously armed and financially supported by then-President Reagan and the American military-industrial complex, who merely gave the PLA a slap on the wrist and a mildly-worded speech for orchestrating the coup against Deng and cracking down on the protests, and kept on arming and funding them all the same.

But that doesn’t seem to stop people as far-flung politically as Gilman Grundy, Justin Raimondo and the op-ed page of The Guardian from making the same lazy, historically-illiterate comparison. Dr Sam Crane is completely right on this one: the situation in Egypt is vastly different from that in China twenty-four years ago – though I would go one step further than he does and say that the entire geopolitics of the situation are different than the ones surrounding this situation in Egypt.

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