by "Mickey Pro"
trans. Dino Zapataria
A warm welcome to our guest contributor, who goes by the Internet handle Mickey Pro. Mickey is a contributor to anti-CNN.com and has kindly agreed to write a little advice for people who want to talk about the Tiananmen Square Incident of 1989 in a fair, balanced, and respectful way.
I am sure you love China as much as I do. And if you do, you want to protect China from its enemies, especially people who say bad things about it, whether in real life or offline. This week is the 20th anniversary of the protests, thankfully suppressed, in which pro-Western self-hating Chinese tried to mount a coup against the wishes of the Chinese people. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think it wasn't as simple as that. So here are some tips on 'spinning' the Incident into the direction of the truth, i.e. what the government says.
A common mistake I see defenders of China make is to point out that the estimates of dead and wounded by anti-Chinese racist groups such as Amnesty International are only guesswork and very probably inflated. No one really knows what happened. Unfortunately, the reason no one knows this is because our government, for very good reasons, stops anyone from finding out. This is a weak point, so steer clear.
This may seem contradictory, because it is the opposite of what I just said. However, what we don't know can help us. At the same time as the attempted coup and mob rampage in Beijing, mass group incidents had sprung up all over China. China-haters say this is evidence that the people, and even the Army, supported the students. But maybe the mass group incidents were in protest at local cadres' failure to properly support and implement the directives of the Party! Since we don't know what their motivations were, we can only suppose that they were in support of the government. Pure, mechanical logic.
I have saved the best till last. Sure, we could go round all day arguing about facts. But what are facts? If I steal a piece of cake, once I've eaten it and digested it and refused to countenance any discussion of the matter for two decades, can anyone really say I took it? Even if my grandfather smuggles an audio recording out of his nursing home on a cassette labelled "Chinese Classic Songs", which says 'I saw Mickey take the cake', why would anyone believe that old man? And probably someone just impersonated his voice anyway.
The point is, let's take this down to the basic level of language. We express what we mean with words, and words mean what we say, so the debate is really a question of what words mean. This tack has worked very well for our fellow PRC-defending patriots in Hong Kong in recent years. So let's look at some of the terms of the debate and how we can work with them.
Tiananmen: "Actually the killing took place mostly on nearby roads such as Chang'an Jie."
Square: "It's more of a rectangle."
Massacre: "Come on, it was only a few people killed, maybe."
Army: "Actually, most were very poorly trained and could hardly be referred to as an 'army'."
Students: "Not every single one of the people there were students, so you can't call them that."
Crackdown: "A crackdown is a systematic repression or tightening of control, whereas this was more arbitrary and reflexive."
It's as simple as that. Well, I'm afraid that's all I have time for. Good luck defending China, and I'll see you in the chat rooms!