Friday, June 01, 2018

American Citizens for Taiwan #2: Know Your Weaponized Narratives

That guy waited so long, he turned into a statue

My second installment for American Citizens for Taiwan: Know Your Weaponized Narratives. An excerpt:
Another way that Beijing attacks its critics is “whataboutism”? China invaded Tibet? Well, what about the US attack on Iraq, and Libya, and support of Israel, and so on. What about US racism, and America’s decimation of its aboriginal population? A variant on this is to sniff at critics and dismiss Taiwan as just a pawn of US imperialism, a form of whataboutism common on the Left.

This has two important functions. It appears to prevent the critic from asserting criticisms, since his own society is just as bad (Isn’t China behaving like any Great Power in history? goes a more cynical version of this, with a knowing wink). It also diverts the conversation to a discussion of western imperialism. Scholars of Beijing’s influence operations know that distractions are more effective in stopping discussions of what Beijing is doing than straight-up denials.

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