Monday, March 14, 2016

BBC: Ok to whack dissidents if they are commies? + forwarding the propaganda under the guise of "balance" *sigh*

Study carefully all the things in this picture. Then: don't.

BBC writes on the White Terror -- no kidding, BBC feels it needs to publish "the other side" of a government program of mass murder, torture, intimidation, censorship, and colonial control of food, energy, education, the economy, and finance. Sick:
While victims' families label Chiang "the murderer", others, especially those whose families fled with him from communist China, credit him with liberating Taiwan from Japanese colonial rule.

They argue he had to consolidate control over the island and keep it from descending into chaos and falling under communist rule.

But most agree his methods were excessive.

Some of those arrested did support communism but only because they were repulsed by Chiang's harsh suppression of dissent.
"liberating Taiwan from colonial rule". That was the US, BBC, that liberated Taiwan, by defeating Japan. It's irrelevant what Chiang's supporters think because what they think is bullshit on every level, and shouldn't be reported as if it were balancing" information. Instead, BBC should have identified it as propaganda. BBC even identifies Chiang Kai-shek as "who [the victims' families] see as the biggest culprit" as if it were possible for someone else to be the culprit, thus softening his role.

The chaos and colonialism were the direction result of Chiang's murderous, loot-driven, income-reducing rule. Chiang could have "consolidated control" in any number of non-murderous ways, for example, by erecting something like a functioning democracy, as the US more or less did in Japan. BBC gives no hint of the actual history, nor does it provide any disclaimer warning that such claims are nonsense.

Never has there been a better illustration of the way false "balance" functions as a way to forward anti-democracy, anti-Taiwan, pro-China propaganda. Shame on you, BBC.

As I have often noted, in the western media, eastern European states resisting Russian expansion are portrayed as plucky little democracies and the history is correctly represented, while Taiwanese resisting Chinese expansionism and colonialism are treated as provocative children who get what they deserve. Articles illustrating this double standard are not difficult to find. Consider this BBC report of a statue being pulled down in Estonia:
Russia, and many ethnic Russians in Estonia, consider the monument commemorates those who died to liberate Estonia from the Nazis.

However, the Soviet Union had occupied Estonia before the Second World War, and annexed it again in 1945, and so many Estonians regard the statue as a symbol of the country's occupation.
Note that the first paragraph gives the Russian propaganda line. But, BBC then correctly and ethically signals that this is propaganda by giving the actual history. Taiwan never gets this kind of service. Imagine if BBC had written of Estonia:
While Estonian families label Russians "the murderers", ethnic Russians, especially those whose families came in with the Russian occupation, credit Russia with liberating Estonia from German colonial rule.

They argue the Russians had to consolidate control over the Baltic state and keep it from descending into chaos and falling under Fascist rule.

But most agree Russian methods were excessive.
Everyone would say "those weren't excesses, they were deliberate policy." Ditto for Taiwan.

But if those two vile paragraphs weren't enough, BBC then contends that "some who were arrested did support Communism" as if that made it ok to arrest and kill them. Hey, it's excusable to tie them up with wires, drag them down to the race course, put a bullet through their heads, and toss them in the river, because, well, some really were Communists. The "but only" excuses the Communists from believing in Communism, while the fact that they "did support Communism" appears to excuse the KMT from killing them. What if BBC had written:
The KMT murdered thousands of people, many by falsely accusing them of supporting Communism. Others were arrested and executed for the "crime" of being without ID cards, or because someone wanted revenge, or coveted their property.
That would be history. BBC gets within shouting distance by noting that some were killed for wanting a more democratic society, or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (what does that mean? "Oops, sorry we made a mistake"). But then, BBC only does concrete history if you're a plucky Baltic democracy resisting Russian expansion. If you're a Taiwanese being executed by the Chiangs, some of you probably deserved it somehow.
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11 comments:

Bakarrik Azeri said...

Checked BBC News (from the all great and joyful PRC) this morning, read that article, and swiftly came over here to see if you'd followed up. I was also quite baffled by the BBC's confused sense of positioning on Taiwan and Taiwanese issues in general. Perhaps Cindy Sui isn't as qualified to provide journalistic work on these subjects as BBC seems to grant? Great work as always.

Anonymous said...

A good writer researches history (not from one source, but many) and gives a written account of actually what happened along with giving the positives and the negative, never taking sides.
This is not the case with the BBC, they always take a side and try to justify there thinking by giving only there point of view of history. Not good journalism.
Always try to listen or research a subject with an open mind. Listen or read many different points of views. This is normally not the case in Taiwan, where people listen to only one source and believe what is said.

Brian Castle said...

Comparing articles is excellent and certainly show a double standard. However in regard to communists, the BBC is a European outfit and they consider laws that punish political points of view to be ok. On the eastern side of the channel they have laws against promoting Nazism. If it is ok to punish people for promoting Nazism how much more so should it be ok to punish people for promoting communism? And let's not forget the horrible acts the British committed to end a radical ideology. They bombed Dresden. As in every war there countless small war crimes committed by individual troops and small groups of troops.

I'm not saying the 228 massacre was ok, but there is certainly reason to understand why a government would go to extraordinary, even brutal, lengths to suppress an ideology that had already killed millions of people in other countries and would go on to kill tens of millions of people in China.

Tim Maddog said...

Goddam Mrs. Ralph Jennings, Cindy Sui, KMT stenographer…

Tim Maddog

Anonymous said...

Lame, offensive, pisspoor journalism - and another lowlight in the United Front operation that passes for BBC coverage of Taiwan.

Michael Turton said...

I'm not saying the 228 massacre was ok, but there is certainly reason to understand why a government would go to extraordinary, even brutal, lengths to suppress an ideology that had already killed millions of people in other countries and would go on to kill tens of millions of people in China.

Except 2-28 wasn't about Communism. That was just the excuse to kill people opposed to the regime.

Anonymous said...

The BBC has become known for backing what used to be a minor far-right party, UKIP, to the point where it is dragging English politics to the (extremist, xenophobic) right.

The BBC's coverage of political matters has possibly reached its nadir in coverage of the Scottish independence question and in particular the Scottish Independence Referendum, in relation to which the former BBC correspondent Paul Mason, by then Economics Editor at Channel 4 News, stated, "Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I’m out of there."

Studies led by Dr John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland came to the same conclusion: "[O]n the objective evidence presented here, the mainstream TV coverage of the first year of the independence referendum campaigns has not been fair or balanced. Taken together, we have evidence of coverage which seems likely to have damaged the Yes [pro-independence] campaign."

The KMT is in a similar position to unionism in Scotland: it is the Establishment, it is unlikely that BBC news outlets will challenge that - or even challenge the cognitive dysfunction that maintains China can be absorbed into the shadow state of the Republic of China.

Anonymous said...

by erecting something like a functioning democracy, as the US more or less did in Japan. ?!?!?!?!

Brian Castle said...

I was responding to the comment "Ok to whack dissidents if they are commies?" Just prior to the 228 massacre Britain whacked a lot of people supporting a similarly murderous ideology. Sometimes there is a lesser of two evils. Communism was so bad it make people like Chiang and Franco look good by comparison. (It may surprise you to realize that when choosing the lesser of two evils (Nazism or Communism) to support in WWII America chose to support the country with a record of genocide).

Seamus said...

@ Anonymous: The BBC backs UKIP? Utter nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I am skeptical of portraying the US as a "liberator" when it backed CKC's authoritarian regime to further its own agenda in the region. Thoughts?