Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 27, 2020

Trying to be polite or indirect while not taking no for an answer does not give anyone a right to make trouble. When someone gives a decisive, "No," decent people accept that answer, then move on somehow. But, China doesn't seem able to do that. In Beijing's thought, relentlessly pushing forward, no matter how many more thousands hate them by the day, China is being polite to Hong Kong. They are being indirect. By not giving up, the Chinese Communists believe they have very politely told Hong Kongers how things will be, thereby justifying whatever manslaughter China chooses to invoke.

It's not as if China has a lot of time to worry about telling other people what to do. Hong Kong was designed in its Basic Law to be largely autonomous. That means that Hong Kong can take care of itself, should China need to put energies into other matters—such as stopping the African swing flu or the Wuhan coronavirus.

China's choices led to a landslide re-election for the de facto independence president of Taiwan. She says there is no independence to declare because Taiwan can't possibly be any more independent than it already is. Some in Beijing might think that means Taiwan has reached its limit; but anyone in the West knows that means Taiwan already has the fullest measure of independence as defined. Yes, many in Beijing might not know that.

Vietnam reached a similar vague point in gearing up for military strength in ASEAN. Buying boats from India is also on Vietnam's agenda—yes, India is another country China has managed to aggravate.

Why do things unfold this way in China's back yard? It's not that China is so much evil as it is immature. But, we tend to stay immature when we age, if we won't open up to the outside world. Rather than helping China learn, the West just dumped money and emboldened a brat, all so we could save a few pennies on our stuff. Who is really being the most unfair to who? Friends know when to accept a no because friends know when to say, "No."

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, January 13, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1mYwT8NUFk

The Iranian government's alibi—or "explanation", rather—of how it shot down a passenger jet from Ukraine is entirely believable. Barring some grandiose conspiracy, there would be no imaginable motive for any government—friend or foe, even a terrorist sponsor like Iran—to use government assets to kill civilians.

The Iranian military's story is believable to any Westerner who has spend more than three years in a first-world or second-world country. Sadly, poorer parts of America have similar cultures, poorer White communities as well as minorities. Any autocratic, bossy, domineering culture can easily make severe miscalculations. They do it in Sunday morning congregations all the time.

According to CNN, according to Iran, their government was on high alert, then misidentified a plane from Ukraine as it turned toward a Revolutionary Guard base. In sum, that led to a snap judgment, what Iran calls "human error". The Iranian government wants to put systems in place to avoid such miscalculations in the future. In the West, we call that "growing up"—learning how to not make rush judgements.

While Iran's story is believable to any Western expat with experience in a developing country, most Americans don't know the degree to which immature people run many governments of the world. Part of being a first-world nation means that people in the government need to be mature.

Iran learning from its mistake could be the most significant turning point where Iran's government learns the "confident humility" needed to govern with maturity. If that happens, Sec. Mike Pompeo's goal of Iran behaving "like a normal country" will come true. Iran claimed that their military was on high alert in the first place because of tensions surrounding the strike in Iraq. In short, killing Qassem Soleimani helped Iran.

Now, the task is for Americans to understand other people enough to understand why being immature cost the lives of 176 people. Whether at home, the office, or in government, immaturity is the source of much injustice—a lesson which Americans will learn, eventually.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 30, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=604GfnuPNGg

We are headed toward a massive inquisition of police. It could be known as the "Hong Kong Trials", where each police officer who served since June is combed over and evaluated for every step taken at every single protest, then tried under international law. It's not immediately around the corner, but the current powers governing Hong Kong are doing everything they can to make that day inevitable.

Over the holidays, neither protestors nor police took a break, except for a brief moment on Christmas at midnight, when protestors were the adults in the room to pause for a moment in honor of something greater. Many had Christmas dinner away from their families, largely due to East Asian culture's dogma toward older family members. Authoritarianism generally drives away people who are self-motivated and take initiative, family being a least exception. Older generations in Hong Kong don't understand that. Neither does Beijing. This Christmas, many middle aged and elderly parents faced the question posed by empty seats at many a dinner table: Do you love your children more than your desire for compliance? To some extent, families will be reconciled in due course; parents who refuse will lose even more.

Taiwan had its own drama over the holidays. An accused Chinese mole, formerly in Taiwan's military, is being hung out to dry for purportedly recruiting more moles. Former president Ma is accusing the Control Yuan of interfering by questioning the judge who let him off scot-free. That stands to reason since the Control Yuan was effectively shut down during his tenure, which, unbeknownst to most, gave even greater rise the Sunflower Movement of 2014. As if Taiwan hadn't its fill of holiday joy, US Congress is now working on a bill that will formalize the US envoy to Taiwan as a full ambassador—requiring presidential appointment and Senate approval. That is about as close to recognizing Taiwan as a country without recognizing Taiwan as a country as a country can get. China won't be happy, but the Taiwanese sure thought it was a very Merry Christmas!

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