Monday, April 04, 2011

CHINESE IN INDONESIA: HEFTY DOLLOP OF BILE FROM THE NATIONAL REVIEW

Recently a friend brought an article in the National Review to my attention. The article makes clear that the National Review has relaxed its previously not-too rock-bottom standards, and now caters to a more rabid crowd than ever before.
Possibly even Teapartiers, definitely ignorant swine.

The article in question:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260288/who-attacked-lara-logan-and-why-andrew-c-mccarthy


There are a number of things wrong with the article, which seeks to establish a case for religiously sanctioned rape of non-Muslims, and quotes from both the Koran and the Hadiths to prove that Muslims who rape are doing so as part of their religious tradition.

Quoting from holy books to prove what a bunch of right bastards those other people are, now where have we seen THAT before?

Oh yeah, the Christians have been doing that for hundreds of years!

Citing the epidemic of rape by immigrants in Sweden as a paradigm is also suspect - brutality is what one should always expected of the European lower classes, irrespective of their skin hue. Europeans complaining about sexual violence is, a priori, suspect in any case, considering the sexual assault on the third world by Europeans in the past generation.
The world should rather fear the raging hormones of Western Europeans. The Thais, Philippinos, and Cambodians, who see vast swarms of European sex-tourists, would probably agree.
As would the trafficked women in the brothels of Hamburg, Rotterdam, and London.

Europeans and sex are, conceivably, an unharmonious combination. Certainly there's plenty of evidence that their societies are dysfunctional on that score.


QUESTION: WHO ATTACKED AND WHY

But what particularly caught my ire was this:
"It happened in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, in the riots that led to Suharto’s fall — as Sharon Lapkin recounts, human-rights groups interviewed more than 100 women who had been captured and gang raped, including many Chinese women, who were told this was their fate as non-Muslims."

Right off the top, that’s horsepucky. The animosity towards Chinese in Indonesia is because the Chinese are seen as the business class, the wealthy stratum of society, and the money-lenders by whom the poor peasants and urban labourers feel exploited.
That is also their role in the Philippines, though to a somewhat lesser extent.
Malaysians have similar attitudes towards the Chinese, as do many other South-East Asian societies.

In most of those countries there are Chinese businessmen who are hand-in-glove with corrupt politicians, managing their investments and enterprises, helping them launder the siphoned public funds.

Blaming violence against the Chinese on Islam is ridiculous.
Hatred for Chinese in South-East Asia has to do with perceived wealth, irrespective of religious community and often irrespective of any reality too, as many of the Chinese in those countries are barely able to keep their heads above water even in the best of times.

Not all South-East Asian Chinese are well off. But the idea that they are drives men mad.

The Hindu Balinese were more savage in their slaughter of ethnic Chinese during the late sixties than even the Javanese. So were several tribal groupings in Borneo, Celebes, and the easternmost Islands. We need not even mention the Dayaks, as among them any excuse to revert to tribal warfare is avidly welcomed.

And it's not just the Malayo-Polynesian part of South-east Asia.
Remember the boat people? They were primarily ethnic Chinese who were driven out of Vietnam, then raped by Thais and tossed overboard to drown, or had their throats slit.
The perpetrators were NOT Muslims.

Violence against Chinese in the post-colonialized societies of South East Asia is NOT a religious issue, it's ethnic hatred, pure and simple.

That turgid propaganda piece was particularly offensive in its attempt to ascribe what happened in the Chinese districts of Jakarta when Suharto lost power to Islamic attitudes.


"It happened in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, in the riots that led to Suharto’s fall — as Sharon Lapkin recounts, human-rights groups interviewed more than 100 women who had been captured and gang raped, including many Chinese women, who were told this was their fate as non-Muslims."


At that time, Islamic influence was still held in check AND at arms length by the authorities.

Racial hatred of the Chinese, already part of the divide and rule programme under the Dutch, had flourished and been encouraged by the Indonesian government, and that hatred was never more rampant than during the Suharto years.
It was a fundament of the political strategy to keep all groups under control.
The Chinese were the designated victim in case majority groups got too feisty.

That hatred had earlier come to a head during the months immediately following the Lubang Buaya killings (1965), in which communists were hunted down and slaughtered. What was truly AMAZING at that time was that the VAST MAJORITY of those alleged communists were, in fact, members of the Chinese community, followed closely by members of certain other "business" communities.

[Note, for instance, that the Arab money lender class also largely disappeared.]

Nevertheless, most of the dead were ethnically Chinese - probably about two million people, though some estimates range as high as five million.
Their commercial acumen, and their race, were their death warrants.


INDONESIAN APARTHEID

Since the late sixties, Chinese in Indonesia were classified as foreigners (many had been there for several generations, some Chinese communities in the Dutch East Indies had existed for centuries), required to take Indonesian surnames in lieu of anything that sounded too Chinese, required to profess a religion, excluded from government employ and the military, legally discriminated against both as a matter of public policy and widely encouraged practice, forbidden to use the Chinese written language in any public context whatsoever - contrast that with the shop signs in our Chinatowns and the Chinese newspapers commonly available in the Bay Area - and legally excluded from residence in several districts, attending certain universities or limited to a rigid quota, and kept out of the army.

The army was the road to political power for many Indonesians during the Suharto years, and Suharto, like most Indonesian military men, had a few pet Chinese businessmen who ran his financial empire. They were very visible, and despite their Indonesianized surnames and pretenses, they were very clearly Chinese, known to be Chinese, identified as such, and thoroughly hated because of it.


WHO WAS ATTACKED AND WHY

It was that long-standing and virulent tradition of anti-Chinese venom that, combined with mass rage at Suharto, erupted in 1998.
The destruction of Chinese neighborhoods, looting of Chinese shops, and mass rape of Chinese women, had NOTHING to do with Islamic attitudes about females.

It was aimed SPECIFICALLY at the Chinese in Jakarta and other cities.

And there is evidence that certain elements in the government and military at that time encouraged it.

So, to have that author opportunistically snatch events which most Americans do not understand and have probably never heard of, and use them to bolster his own rather breathless and foaming at the mouth propaganda tract, was not only appalling, it was sickening.
It was, to put it bluntly, loathsome.
Disgusting.
Foul, bestial, odious, and depraved.

And, in that it overlooked the real motivations, and the background of those events, flagrantly racist.

It was racist toward the Chinese, most particularly racist towards the Indonesian Chinese.

Frankly, I am incredibly offended by both the National Review for running that trash, as well as Andrew C. McCarthy for writing it.


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