“Careless” Carrie Lam’s effectiveness in Hong Kong is in the red. After banning masks at public gatherings, more people are wearing masks at gatherings than in the past. She bans an assembly, but people assemble anyway. Protests are so bad, police hit some people guarding a mosque with a water cannon and had to apologize to the imam. Lam was heckled by legislators during her annual policy speech and had to leave the chamber twice, finally delivering her speech on television. A government so defied and can’t govern. But, the need for public trust isn’t understood by Confucianism nor Communism nor especially Confucian Communism.
Beyond loss of control, the West gets the message loud and clear: China won’t back down on its forced expansionism. US Congress continues to pass laws favoring freedom in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. The TAIPEI act is largely symbolic, but still meaningful inasmuch as it gauges China’s response. Evaluating Hong Kong’s level of autonomy to be treated as a separate territory from China makes sense. Still, China considers the US formulating its own international policy a form of “interference”. Think about that…
US international policy must be what China wants it to be, otherwise China labels this as “interference”. This can only mean that China considers the US already under Chinese rule. It’s no longer about whether or to what extent China can boss Hong Kong and Taiwan. Now, the question is whether China should be allowed to dictate another country’s foreign policy.
Another factor is corporate. Gaming companies oust gamers who make “political” statements to defend freedom and human rights, but then Dior gets political by apologizing to China for not putting Taiwan in its map of China. If companies were consistent about being so-called “non-political”, then Dior would have refused to agree or disagree with China. But, this isn’t about being non-political; it’s about agreeing with whatever China demands.
Trump is set to redefine historical trends. Every thumbscrew play from the political playbook has been tried on him and every single one has failed except the impeachment in progress, which hasn’t failed or succeeded yet. The very impeachment process will only boost his support as already seen in Texas. It’s all based on results.
Trump supporters and Conservatives—not necessarily one in the same—respond to and respond with results.
Divisions are solidifying along every line—religion, politics, social justice wars. Two people with opposing views can’t reason with each other. Those on the Conservative side tend to be quiet and work and vote. Those on the Liberal side are loud and make anyone who dissents regret it.
The more these divisions and assaults build, the more we see rhetoric face off against results. Loud Liberals in America think they identify with the protesters in Hong Kong. But, it’s not being outspoken that makes a protest work, it’s the resolve to be left alone.
Many Conservatives would be glad to lift laws that make life difficult for the LGBTQ community. But, the social justice war now seeks to punish people for pronouns. That social justice war will likely lead to a backlash from the Conservatives who could eventually place more restrictions on the LGBTQ community than ever before. Overplaying is a danger for everyone. But, no one can be reasoned with these days.
With Senator Romney pushing against the president in his own party, a president popular among Conservatives and many Democrats, he could be paving the way for a third party two presidents after Trump.
You can’t bring a pot to boil forever. While the conventional narrative for Hong Kong warns, “Retribution is coming,” a better understanding would be, “The Chinese are coming if Hong Kong doesn’t level up.” The protests must either “level up” or otherwise change, or else the PLA will indeed march and smash.
While the situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating into a cultural war—a defense against an invasive culture of Sinicization—talks between the US and China took a similar cultural detour for the worst. China doesn’t want so-called “interference” with kidnapping 1.5 million Muslims in Xinjiang, in Beijing’s view “internal matters”. By that definition, “internal matters” violate international Human Rights laws.
Trump’s words, that all is well in Hong Kong, elude Hong Kongers and Chinese as much as the American media. On the surface Trump appeared to praise the doctored press reports coming out of Hong Kong. He also praised Supreme Justice Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Ford, days before mocking her. Not one main news agency reported Hong Kong’s October 4 de facto declaration of independence with plans for rebellion elections. Praising evidentially censored reports from Hong Kong surmounts to little.
Still, Trump knows the ramifications of his words. By playing along with propaganda China would normally get resistance from, and by staying hands-off, Trump was indirectly telling Beijing that he knows Hong Kong is worse than reported while also letting Hong Kong learn the hard lesson that independence starts with expecting no help from the outside. Over the weekend we saw just that, including smaller flash-protests and perching the Hong Kong “Goddess of Democracy” atop Lion Rock in Kowloon. “Careless Carrie” Lam even cancelled a meeting with Senator Ted Cruz—after his 10+ hour overnight flight landed.
Trump’s words could lead to the very “level-up” game-changer the Hong Kong protesters must make in order to survive. One should guess that Trump doesn’t want Hong Kong to “just be okay”, but to earn whatever independence they get on their own. It feels like rejection at first, but being abandoned to earn one’s own victory—and the spoils with it—is the greater gift of a friend. Trump never said he would squash Hong Kongers’ call for independence; he simply refused to steal their thunder.
The Chinese probably won’t pick up on Trump’s subtlety because Confucianism—especially Communist Confucianism—doesn’t believe anything can happen without outside “help”. This is the only reason Beijing suspects supposed “Western interference” without a shred of evidence.
So, the trade agreement seems to be okay, this week. But, China doesn’t want to be told to let its economy play by the same rules as ours because that too is “internal”. There is one key flaw with China’s thinking: entitlement.
Of course, America should not dictate what type of economy is best for China or any other nation. At the same time, trade is a privilege not a right. By America requiring a free market as a condition for trade with another free market, America is not interfering, but refusing to be interfered with.
Just the same, Beijing claims to reject a “zero-sum game” deal. What they mean is that they want a zero-sum game in China’s favor because they believe being better than everyone else is their right. If America doesn’t lose so that China can gain, China will reject the deal as unfair, just as they did with Britain in the “silver-for-leaves” trade that led to the Opium Wars. Nothing has changed.
The virtue of compromise doesn’t work in dealing with China, whether as an American trade negotiator or as a citizen of Hong Kong. When China demands 100, then we compromise at 50, China will demand another 100 again tomorrow. If we compromise again, it would be 100-0, and it would happen all over again the next day and the next. China will keep demanding to expand and overrun everyone else. By China’s China-favoring standards, the only compromise stands on how fast China takes you over, either ultra fast or slowly. For Beijing, there is no room for the words in the Book of Job where God told the ocean, “Here, and no farther.”
Who does Pat Roberson think he is? Who gets to say whether or what America’s “mandate from Heaven” is? We can talk about Kurds and allies and defending the defenseless. But, once we start using grandiose terms like “Heaven’s mandate”, that opens a whole new discussion.
If we’re going to go all Bible-thumping Bible-happy about America and Heaven, we need to look at what John saw in Heaven in Revelation 12, where a woman and her newborn baby are given eagle’s wings and saved from a dragon. The woman giving birth is Israel. The eagle’s wings could only be America. If anyone is going to argue that America even has a mandate from Heaven—which may or may not be true—it would be to protect 1. Israel and 2. the unborn. But, that’s assuming that America even has such a mandate. Syria, as much as we all should love all people, is not part of Revelation 12 and should be left out of this melodramatic “mandate from Heaven” freak talk.
Yes, America—and every other country—should all look after human rights and the good of all people—not only Christians, but non-Christians as well. Pat Robertson presumes the old, classic, “us four and no more” thinking we have come to sadly expect from Sunday morning culture. As for Syria, Russia is there and should be able to police wild stuff. America is spread too thin. And, the world would be safer if more nations hunkered down and stayed home. Scary and unpopular as it sounds, America needs to pull out of Syria because we don’t have the unlimited resources of God and because we are indeed needed elsewhere.
Who should look after the Christians in Syria? The Christians should. Rather than playing on old superstitions, such as that America exists to favor Christians or that “good Christians” squabble over petty differences, Christians should act like the family they are. Jesus told Peter, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” Military might is not how God works with Christians. He uses military to direct global politics, but shooting enemies of the Sunday crowd is not God’s mode of operation, no matter how much Mr. Robertson thinks so. Heaven cares about Christians, but its strategy for Christians is to love each other and spread love—that is Heaven’s mandate for how Christians should be looked after.
When we face our challenges, some leaders cower in fear, too scared to give an answer that should seem obvious. When asked the trap-question, “Should the president ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival?” the obvious answer is, “If the rival broke the laws of that government, of course! Otherwise no Republican or Democrat would be able to enforce laws against the other.” Why can’t Republicans say that? When one finds oneself with power one didn’t earn, one won’t know how to beat the toughest problems, no matter how obvious things may seem to everyone else. Congressional Republicans will either level-up their game or pack up and go home. This isn’t pee-wee politics anymore.
Democrats in Congress seem to have forgotten all about looking after Americans, though. The House is trying to impeach a president who won’t be removed by the Senate—it’s pointless. But, to understand Democrats, one must understand the Democratic voters. They might not know that impeachment is pointless, just how Mr. Robertson doesn’t know that a “mandate from Heaven” comes from Heaven, not sensationalist TV. But, sensationalism is the trend, for now.
Hong Kong has declared independence! On Friday, October 4, thousands peacefully gathered in Ma On Shan at New Hong Kong City Centre and read aloud a manifesto. This manifesto included basic arguments similar to the US Declaration of Independence, along with basic steps for a provisional government until the new government takes over. In the eyes of China, this will be treason, just as the US Declaration of Independence was treason in the eyes of Britain.
There has been no bigger news in almost 200 years. No nation has stood up to a world superpower so great since the American Colonies defied the world-dominating British Empire in 1776. Suspiciously, mainstream news agencies were utterly silent about this all weekend.
The next question is whether Hong Kong will be able to resist China’s military. That question can only be answered by historians who have studied asymmetric warfare, such as the First War of Scottish Independence in 1270, the American Revolutionary War of 1775, or Vietnam’s August Revolution of 1945.
Britain would be wise to help because that might allow the Crown to hold Hong Kong among the Commonwealth afterward. The UN is calling for an investigation into how China has handled the four months of protest, so it would seem that the world is on Hong Kong’s side. But, investigations always follow long after a crime, even against Human Rights, while the people are left to defend themselves until help arrives. Can Hong Kong join the successful revolutionaries of history?
The string of anti-extradition protests began March 31, this year, 190 days ago. The protests have been in a state of ongoing outbreak since June 9. Hong Kongers have lived and fought in unrest in their own home for 120 days straight. They have overpowered a 32,000 troupe police force the entire time. Hong Kongers have thus become formidable and battle-tested with inferior weaponry. The impossible odds—fighting with bamboo sticks against guns—make the typical Jackie Chan movie prophetic. If China’s PLA soldiers think they will have an easy time suppressing Hong Kong, they have news in store. It’s not impossible. Only history will tell.
Unrest turned to turmoil on October 2, when China held its 70th Anniversary parade for the Communist Party. America will soon join Hong Kong’s objection to China in its own way.
In Beijing, showing off the old-news, well-known DF-41 hypersonic, “can-hit-America-in-30-minutes” 10-nuke-warhead missiles was a miscalculation. America is not afraid because we don’t expose the limits of our tech in parades. Most of our most-advanced military tech isn’t known to the general public, which is somewhat how the American people want it to be, kind of. Seeing this flagrant, open threat will motivate the inventors and businesses in the wealthier, higher-tech America to neutralize China’s open threats ASAP. Some are calling it a “Sputnik moment”.
China is a nation that thinks itself to be stronger than it actually is. If it rises to even a quarter of the world domination it hopes, it would be the first time a superpower rose from a nation so ancient. Since Persia, all world superpowers of history rose from new nations built on the encouragement of new ideas, legal limits of government, and rights for citizens. China is not on a quest to defy the world; it is on a quest to defy history. Hong Kong has history on its side.
President Trump has been a role model for America’s place in the world: non-interference. Fighting revolutionary wars for others is a bad idea. It has only backfired. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq are just a few examples. Hong Kong’s October 4 declaration of a provisional government is a model of what should be done to help another democratic revolution: nothing. Real democratic revolutions must happen on their own and Trump knows that. He might be the only president in our time to know that.
Even though he does not interfere as presidents before him have, the non-interference fans among Democrats continue to attack him. That, too, is backfiring.
The president has an obligation to investigate criminals. Joe Biden and his son have extremely dubious financial entanglements and possible connection to elements Robert Mueller investigated. If the Mueller investigation was so important, then President Trump ought to pursue loose ends that Mueller and Congressional Democrats didn’t. When a foreign country is party to elements of such a serious investigation as Mueller’s, as well as extremely dubious dealings of the Bidens, the Attorney General of the United States ought to cooperate with the government of that country through official channels.
Trump asked for just that and no more.
Trump did not ask to connect secret attorneys or organizations. He did not request back door channels. He did not ask for unofficial cooperation. And, the people he wanted to investigate were not without serious suspicions.
Had President Trump not asked Ukrainian President Zelensky for the official cooperation he did, Trump would not have been doing his job as president. As for Biden and the supposed “political campaign rivals” accusation Congressional Democrats conjured, Joe Biden should be aware that running for president doesn’t allow a candidate to break the law without being investigated. Biden started his dubious dealings long before he was a presidential hopeful. If claiming “for political purposes” is granted to every candidate under investigation, Democrats could make crime vanish merely by declaring the entire population to be political candidates.