Posts Tagged ‘China’

A Coming Permanent State of War?

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Statist elites who are pushing for war may have more than geopolitical purposes for their actions, but also a domestic agenda, for it is historically through a militarized society that cultural change can be guided and enforced by the state.

It would extremely naive to assume that radical statist elites wishing to reshape society would settle for a limited war without an enforced militarization of youth that would then form future generations.

As the present US administration nears its final years, I continue to look for statist attempts to lock societal cultural change into stone. What better way to do that than to put a country on a permanent war footing, and to militarize and manipulate younger generations through forms of conscription and enforced public service.

But the cost may be too high, and the result too unpredictable: At least four forces of power stand against the United States in the Syria conflict: Iran and its client radicalized Shiite forces, radicalized Sunni forces backed by petrodollars, the Russian federation, and China. Each is capable not only of expanding the scope of conflict geopolitically, but also of disrupting the infrastructure and trade in the developed world through Internet weapons and through both conventional force and asymmetrical terror and disruption. Each of these four forces has a vested interest in toppling the United States from a dominant world position. The situation is unpredictably complex, and therefore, predictably unmanageable. To attempt a “manageable” war at this point may well be folly.

As Iran nears completion of its nuclear apprenticeship, the world also stumbles toward war. I pray that we find a way to remain at peace.

Here is the video for the 9/7/13 Vigil of Prayer for Peace at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The homily of Pope Francis begins at minute 1:17:40 —

Here is the complete English text of his impassioned call for peace..

© Copyright 2013, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Clouds of War

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

For a while I’ve been considering whether the President’s decision to run for election from the Left, rather than the Center, didn’t forbode a major military event being a high probability prior to the November, 2012 election.

A wartime President garners wide support. Running from the Left doesn’t. This is not to say that this President would precipitate a war in order to win an election like the petty dictators who manipulate by alternatively declaring wars against internal and then external enemies as described in Natan Sharansky’s book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror. But with a conflict with Iran being an anticipated probability, it may be a safer environment politically to run from the far Left or the far Right if one were to assume that such a confrontation or conflict prior to the election would be inevitable.

I pray that an international military confrontation with Iran can be avoided. I’m concerned that such a confrontation could unleash geopolitical gambits by either or both China and Russia over long-standing grievances or goals in other parts of the world, and generate a highly-charged and dangerously unstable international environment.

Were some of the circumstances mentioned above to come about, I fear that the lives of young people in particular would be changed forever, and their liberties reduced. Recent youthful American generations have grown to expect a prolonged adolescence into their young 30s. Compulsory national service was discussed by the President during the 2008 debates. This idea could come roaring back due to an international crisis.

But if a shooting war or an Internet war broke out, the very existence of liberty in the world would be at stake.

Every administration has within its domain radicals who wish to remake the entire society to suit their own designs. I wouldn’t doubt that there aren’t a few fanatics who would risk even a war to win an election and to thereby empower themselves to sustain a radical agenda. I also trust and pray that our President isn’t one of these fanatics.

A divided society in the midst of war is a toxic and dangerous environment, and could hurt our beloved nation, the United States of America, greatly.

I pray that if there is an international crisis prior to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections, that the President would then turn to the Center, and unite the country, rather than keep veering more Left, and bitterly divide it.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Senator Durbin’s Uncharacteristic Silence

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The usually prolix US Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has been strangely silent over his reported and unacknowledged single-handed blocking of the re-funding of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) according to persecution.org.

The USCIRF has according to christianpost.com been given a “stay of execution” for a few weeks.

Religious persecution is a world-wide problem, and the USCIRF has made this problem very visible, to the chagrin of those who persecute others for their religious beliefs, such as the governments of China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Vietnam, and several others. What could possibly be Senator Durbin’s interest in silencing USCIRF? I do hope this isn’t a case of killing the messenger, or of valuing the influence of persecuting governments more than a fundamental human freedom.

While naturally the religious press has covered this story, very few non-religious media sources have: a sad commentary on how religious freedom apparently doesn’t matter any more to the Fourth Estate. One would never guess that the First Amendment provides freedom for both the press and religion, for assembly and speech, and that somehow all these might be fundamentally linked.

Or perhaps the problem is that USCIRF Commissioner Nina Shea has courageously been doing her job for the past several years, and has been letting the chips fall where they may in terms of revealing religious persecution. Or maybe the vexation is about Ms. Shea’s recent book co-authored with Paul Marshall, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide. Since people in several countries are facing the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy, such as Asia Bibi in Pakistan, does Senator Durbin fear revealing these offenses against human freedom? Why his reported weeks of secrecy on this issue?

So it mystifies me why the press isn’t covering this story. Senator Durbin’s silence is like unto “man bites dog.”

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Blind Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng May Be Dead

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

LifeNews is reporting that the noted the the blind Chinese forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng may be dead.

Gao Zhisheng, another human rights lawyer, also cannot be located.

China, like Iran, appears to be one of the most dangerous places on earth for human rights lawyers.

Please contact your Congressional representative on behalf of these two courageous men.

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The Torture of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng and His Family

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

CHINAaid has published a terrifying account of the torture of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, his wife, and five year-old child by Chinese government agents.

A government that permits such an egregious abuse of human rights will stand shamed for all of history.

Here is an update with a report from Bob Fu as of 7/14/11.

Here is a video from Women’s Rights Without Frontiers as of 7/12/11.

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The President left out the T word

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Sitting at my desk at work I listened to President Obama’s very fine 2/11/11 speech on the dramatic spread of freedom in Egypt. The video of his speech is here.

After sounding ringing notes of human freedom, of social change based upon non-violence, of military restraint, of inter-religious cooperation, and of democracy, the President then began a short recollection:

“And while the sights and sound that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history, echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice. . . .”

“Say it!” I said aloud, then thought, “Please say ‘Tiananmen Square.’ Say ‘Iran;’ say ‘Cuba;’ say ‘Eritrea;’ say ‘North Korea.'”

For a few seconds, the President had the live, uncensored attention of the world. The slightest move, the faintest indication on his part of where democracy and freedom might move next, and his words would have given people there courage.

The President’s one word–even a veiled reference–could have replaced costly decades of containment and diplomacy and gamesmanship and engagement–and may have avoided more decades of human suffering in a given time and place. His one feint toward the events of 1989 in Tiananmen Square would have undone two decades of careful Chinese propaganda, which has left a Chinese generation barely knowing such an event even happened, or that people died in large numbers in Tiananmen Square for human freedom. His 2/11/11 statement was therefore one of the President’s greatest moments of moral, if not spiritual, opportunity.

I remembered the Tank Man, and those students who shaped the statue of the Goddess of Democracy. “Speak of them,” I thought.

But the President went prudently on. His list of references had stopped with Gandhi.

My hand–Aarrgh!–hit the desk in disappointment.

The diplomats must have been happy, as may have been the President’s political base. But so were the governments of China, Iran, Eritrea, and North Korea.

I waited for the inevitable reference to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to human freedom, and to an echo of King’s line about the “arc of the moral universe” being “long.” It came, because it was clear the President was thinking long-term.

The President has learned more about the power of the presidency, but he chose, in this instance, to use only a portion of it.

The President is apparently still too much the leader of his own faction, and not the universal leader who speaks of democracy to all peoples and to human history, despite the fact that this time he really appeared to reach for it. He is not yet the “leader of the Free World,” a potential presidential appellation that must be earned by action.

How close he came. But he did not call the scoundrels out. Not even a hint. Therefore, the President does not yet belong “to the ages.”

“Admirable restraint,” I thought. “But will such an opportunity come again?”

Some among the great learn to walk through the open door the very first time it opens. In this case, he did not.

“OK, move to the peroration and get this speech over with,” I thought. And mentally I predicted the next, and the next fine phrase the President spoke.

This speech did move the cause of freedom forward. It was, again, a fine speech, and one for the history books. The enemies of freedom will still fear his words.

But this was not the speech for the making of history.

The President’s 2/11/11 speech will not stand with Pericles, with Lincoln’s Gettysburg, with Churchill’s Iron Curtain, with Dr. King’s “drum major,” with Reagan’s “Tear down this wall.”

The President’s 2/11/11 statement on Egypt was not the speech that knows and combines the opportunity and the moment and the broad horizon of public attention, and draws every ounce of precious meaning out to seize it. For 2/11/11 was such a moment and opportunity, and it was missed. Not completely missed, but still missed.

History gave the President a fast ball down the middle of the plate on 2/11/11, and he fouled it straight back: meaning, he missed it by a mere fraction of an inch. But what a difference that fraction of an inch–the mention of the T word, the Tiananmen Square word–would have made. Instead of being heard once on the evening news, this speech would have been replayed for decades.

The once and future speech, the one that actually may inspire universal, world-wide action toward human freedom and non-violence in service of democracy across whatever political boundary, the President has yet to give. I hope, if he ever gets another such chance, that the President takes the chance next time to the full.

I also hope this isn’t getting too cute with the baseball metaphors: The President has to level his political swing, since he is still pulling off to the left.

How much more powerful than any censorship is the power of self-censorship! Whatever the Chinese government has done to teach the world that the words Tiananmen Square are to them the political N-word, has apparently worked. But the words Tiananmen Square must continue to be spoken, and not forgotten, if almost one third of humanity are to gain the freedom they deserve.

The President of the United States is the one person on earth who must continue to say Tiananmen Square, for then all others will be able to speak it, and undo the injustice done there.

We owe it to the Tank Man, and to those who died that day in 1989, and on the next, and on the many days going forward.

The President and his speechwriters have still not learned the difference between an idol and an icon. More on this topic at another time. . .

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Crimes Against Music, Some Partially Redressed

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Back in 2008, according to the Telegraph, China restricted performances of the Christian musical classics Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.

The Chinese government has joined a long line of offenders against St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. The Protestant Reformation, like many other religious upheavals before and since, also destroyed not only statues, windows, and other works of religious art, but musical documents hundreds of years old.

On rare occasions, lost works of liturgical music are happily recovered. Recently, and quite providentially, a wonderful collection of 13th-century liturgical music for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, thought destroyed by the 1537 Reformation in Norway, was rediscovered and performed under the title “In Nativitate Beatae Mariae Virginis,” by the Norwegian vocalists Schola Sanctae Sunnivae.

The website for Millennium of Music, an NPR and Sirius Radio program, quoted from the CD release:

“From an Antiphonarium, a liturgical choir book for office chanting written for the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim in the 3rd quarter of the XIIIth Century, ten folios survived. Schola Sanctae Sunnivae has worked extensively with this material and focused on the surviving parts of the magnificent music in honor of the birth of the Holy Virgin Mary – Music of breathtaking spiritual and musical beauty.”

These folios were cut into strips and used sometime between 1624-30 as ledger covers for the accounts of the hostelry for the students of the University of Copenhagen. Scholars were able to reassemble enough of the folios to reveal a cultural and religious treasure.

This beautiful music is now available from the European publisher 2L, from a US distributor, and from iTunes.

Another liturgical masterpiece, also thought lost, in this case after the Russian Revolution, is the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by Rachmaninoff. Amazingly, enough of this work was somehow retained on microfilm in the Library of Congress in order to restore the manuscript.

By the way, the radio program Millennium of Music, hosted by Robert Aubry Davis, is a significant cultural treasure.

© Copyright 2010, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Video — a Forced Abortion in China

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

If you don’t think government-forced abortions happen, think again.

Please take a look at this video report from Al-Jazeera, which interviewed the father, construction worker Luo Yanquan, and mother, Xiao Aiying, who, while 8 months pregnant, was kicked and dragged screaming from her home near Siming, China by a dozen people to a forced abortion by injection. Xiao Aiying reportedly delivered a still-born baby on 10/14/10, 40 hours after the attack.

More details can be found at the following news story.

When Paul VI in his 1968 Humanae Vitae urged governments to respect the rights of families–

Appeal to Public Authorities

23. And now We wish to speak to rulers of nations. To you most of all is committed the responsibility of safeguarding the common good. You can contribute so much to the preservation of morals. We beg of you, never allow the morals of your peoples to be undermined. The family is the primary unit in the state; do not tolerate any legislation which would introduce into the family those practices which are opposed to the natural law of God. For there are other ways by which a government can and should solve the population problem—that is to say by enacting laws which will assist families and by educating the people wisely so that the moral law and the freedom of the citizens are both safeguarded.

–sophisticated critics scoffed at predictions of government-forced abortions.

For further documentation of the scope of forced abortions in China, please see the book Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits, by Steven W. Mosher.

As recently as 2009, according to Chinese news sources, UN, Planned Parenthood, and other officials heaped praise on China’s family-planning policies.

If you’d like a different perspective on overpopulation, please see Overpopulation is a Myth.

© Copyright 2010, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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