Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Facts are facts, aren't they?

The circle goes around.

While driving 12 straight hours by myself from Albuquerque to Austin today, I listened to a lot of radio.

One thing of interest was the NPR Morning Edition story about John Rabe, a German member of the Nazi party in China during World War II who was responsible for saving many Chinese during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanjing. Essentially, like
Oskar Schindler, he used his position and house to shelter 600 from the Japanese soldiers.

What was odd to me is that this is being made into a very big deal by the Chinese not because he did this wonderful thing, but because a small number of Japanese Ultra-Nationalists are denying that the "Rape of Nanjing" happened or that the numbers were a "few thousand," not the 300,000 civillians estimated killed.

Why did I find this odd? Because the Chinese are busy doing "denials" about current practices in China. From CNET (via Boing Boing):

"While many countries block off some Web sites, China has long drawn heightened scrutiny because of the breadth and sophistication of its Internet censorship.

Which is why it came as a surprise on Tuesday when a Chinese government official claimed at a United Nations summit here that no Net censorship existed at all."

And what about Tiananmen Square?
"It is common for Chinese, especially younger Chinese who live far from Beijing, to be entirely unaware of the Tiananmen protests."

The Rape of Nanjing happened. The Chinese currently censor the internet. An unnamed Chinese Red Cross official at the time reported that 2,600 people were killed and 30,000 were injured during the Tiananmen Square crackdown (reports vary quite a bit and this may be high.)

But these things still happened.

Don't get me started on people denying the Holocaust.


Laura J Mixon said...

Oceana has always has been at war with Eurasia.

Rory Harper said...

And the victors write the histories...

This would explain why so few people today know much about the conflict that sank Atlantis and Lemuria.