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Belmont Club

The Central African Republic

February 18th, 2014 - 1:53 pm

The press reports that thousands of Muslims are fleeing killings in Central African Republic, hunted by Christians.

Thousands of threatened Muslims have fled the capital of civil-war ravaged Central African Republic among “jeering crowds,” according to Al Jazeera. More than 2,000 peacekeepers from Europe and Africa proved powerless to prevent the sectarian flight from the city of Bangui—and so has the international community at large.

“We had no possibility to stay on because we had no protection,” one refugee is quoted as saying…

Almost a million people have fled their homes in Central African Republic. That’s 20 percent of the population, making the crisis in CAR comparable to the civil war in Syria.

With more and more mass graves being uncovered, the International Criminal Court in The Hague has opened preliminary investigations into atrocities that have taken place since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2013.

The Guardian reports how one convoy of refugees failed to make it out of the capital, Bangui. They were turned back by menacing crowds.

Thousands of Muslims tried to flee the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Friday, only for their mass convoy of cars and trucks to be turned back as crowds of angry Christians taunted: “We’re going to kill you all.”

The drama unfolded as Amnesty International said it had uncovered evidence of a fresh massacre in a village where the sole surviving Muslim was an orphaned girl aged about 11, and France said it would send an extra 400 peacekeeping troops.

The background to this behavior is not conveniently stated. But William Saletan provides us with a lesson: “how do you end up slaughtering Muslims? By blaming Muslims for Religious Violence”.  But it’s easy to see that “blaming Muslims” — as if people in CAR watched Fox News or listened to Rush Limbaugh — could not have played much of a role. The dirt-poor people in CAR have never heard of them.

Saletan himself quotes Amnesty International to explain how things got started.  It began when the something called the Seleka coalition declared tried to take over a population five and half times to nine times larger than their own.

Since the mostly Muslim Seleka coalition seized power in March 2013, the country has been shattered by violence, much of it against members of the Christian community. The Seleka, which left power in mid-January 2014, killed thousands of Christian civilians, and looted and burned thousands of Christian homes. The lawless and abusive nature of their rule gave rise to unprecedented sectarian violence and hatred, with many Christians attributing responsibility for the Seleka’s abuses to the country’s Muslim minority as a whole. Their fear, anger, and desire for revenge spurred the development of the predominantly Christian anti-balaka. … In town after town, as soon as the Seleka left, the anti-balaka moved in and launched violent attacks on the Muslim minority.

The Atlantic recounts essentially the same narrative.

One year ago, an alliance of Muslim rebel groups within Central African Republic (CAR), calling itself Seleka, launched an effort to overthrow the government. The majority of the country’s population is Christian, with only 10 to 15 percent identifying as Muslim, but Seleka’s campaign was successful. The rebels began by capturing small towns, and by March, they had seized the capital, Bangui. Throughout 2013, members of the Muslim Seleka groups reportedly launched waves of attacks on civilians in Christian areas, looting, raping, and and killing at will. In the past few months, Christian militias have emerged, calling themselves “anti-balaka,” or anti-machete. Their actions have gone beyond self-defense, spilling into vicious reprisals against Muslim neighbors and others they view as complicit. More than a thousand people in CAR have been killed in the past month alone. Foreign soldiers form the African Union and France have quickly built up a presence, hoping to fend off a feared genocide.

The obvious question to ask is why Seleka should try and take over a country that may be up to 90% Christian.  Did they watch a video? Did they take a walk one night and decide to kill some Christians? The answer of course comes from previous events: the Central African Republic conflict is an invasion superimposed on a previous unrest. The formula is an old one: take one dictator, François Bozizé, add a rebel minister educated in the Soviet Union, Michel Djotodia, add rebels left over from previous conflict, add Islamism and voila! — Seleka.

Did I say Islamism? Actually that idea comes from the UN. “According to a senior U.N. official, the militant Islamist group Boko Haram — which has instigated much of the anti-Christian violence in Nigeria — already has a presence in the Central African Republic, where the lack of government authority, porous borders and a ready supply of weapons provide the perfect incubator for such groups.”

Complicating the picture, many of the Seleka are from outside the Central African Republic — from neighboring Chad and Sudan. Some of the Sudanese were allegedly members of the militant Muslim Janjaweed militia, which killed thousands during the conflict in Darfur in western Sudan. Victims of Seleka attacks told Human Rights Watch that their assailants often spoke Arabic. Others in the Seleka had no ideology or political agenda: They just wanted power and wealth. The Central African Republic’s northeast is rich in diamonds. …

Militant Islamist groups do have a growing presence elsewhere in West Africa, from Mauritania in the north to Cameroon in the south. Moderate Muslim leaders in Cameroon allege that Boko Haram has begun recruiting there. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks, Cameroon President Paul Biya told the U.S. ambassador in 2010 that he “was concerned about the threat of Islamic extremism (and) beginning to worry about Islamic extremists infiltrating Cameroon from Nigeria and making inroads through Cameroonian mosques.”

The motives are not just diamonds, but possibly oil. Global Voices, which is far from right-wing, noted that Chinese and South African oil exploration was under way in the area. With such riches at stake and so little governance in the area, the CAR was ripe for a takeover. Common sense suggests that Seleka wouldn’t try to conquer a country with a hostile population 5 to 10 times greater than itself without foreign support.

And indeed it does have foreign links. Politics Web described who’s involved:

The alliance started with about 5,000 members, but quickly grew to about 25,000, swollen with an influx of rebel fighters from Chad and Sudan. …

Despite Mr Djotodia’s denials, extensive proof exists that a large percentage of Seleka membership is not from the CAR. Arabic is the lingua franca of Seleka, a language spoken only by a small minority in the north-east. Linguistic differences contribute to the perception that Seleka is a foreign invading force.

Most Central Africans believe Seleka and its violent chaos serve the interests of Chadian president Idriss Déby. Although he of-ficially denies supporting the rebels, Mr Déby has always played a prominent role in the politics of his southern neighbour. Ten years ago he helped Mr Bozizé topple Mr Patassé and then propped him up with soldiers for his presidential guard.

Saletan’s conclusion looks more and more irrelevant. He says that “the lesson here isn’t that all Muslims are innocent, or that Christians and Buddhists are dangerous, or that one religion is worse than another. The lesson is that the more you fixate on blaming one religion, the more you sink into the cycle of sectarian hatred. And when restraint and self-restraint give way, you end up with sectarian violence.”  It’s utterly beside the point, but you can see how he got there.

That’s the same line that Joanne Mariner of Amnesty International, writing in the Huffington Post takes. “One of the most depressing aspects of the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic is its symmetry. Christian and Muslim militia alike are carrying out equally vicious attacks. And members of both communities, while denouncing each other’s crimes, will tell you that their own people are acting in self defense. With each new outrage, the pattern of tit-for-tat atrocities becomes harder to break.”

And not surprisingly the theme of ‘people who have not learned to live together’ is the one Barack Obama has chosen to advance.

President Barack Obama took the time while traveling to Nelson Mandela’s funeral on Monday to record a message to the people of the Central African Republic, calling for calm even as French and African soldiers struggle to restore peace to the chaotic country.

In the months since the government fell to an alliance of rebel factions, the Central African Republic has been wracked with violence that has wavered between indiscriminate looting and pillaging and targeted sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian armed groups. “I know that in your lives you have faced great hardship,” Obama said in the message, recorded in Senegal. “But I also know that you’ve lived together in peace — as diverse and vibrant communities, Christian and Muslim.”

Listing off some of the atrocities that have taken place at the hands of both the Seleka alliance of former rebels — who include many Muslims within their ranks — and the Christian militia known as the anti-balaka, the president urged his listeners to show restraint. “Today, my message to you is simple: it doesn’t have to be this way,” Obama said. “You — the proud citizens of the Central African Republic — have the power to choose a different path.”

Obama insisted that “every citizen of the Central African Republic can show the courage that’s needed right now,” calling on Central Africans to “show your love for your country by rejecting the violence that would tear it apart.”

It’s nonsense. The whole conflict in CAR is being explained away as if the participants were merely Americans with depleted EBT cards and exotic names; domestic political stereotypes instead of Africans with a distinct history and deeply held beliefs. Their differences are explained away in terms straight out of Oprah: ‘religious bigotry’, ‘lack of understanding’, insufficient ‘love for your country’ etc, instead of what they really are: the vicissitudes of conquest, the maintenance of identity, the lure of greed and the imperatives of survival.

This fairytale stuff is peddled because nobody wants to open the real can of worms:  regional rivalries, the spread of al-Qaeda in Africa, the collapse of African states or the sordid competition by great powers for diamonds, money and oil. The international community’s suggested actions: truces and ceasefires and UN Peacekeeping forces, may not only work to the advantage of the invaders, but what is worse leave the victims without justice and thereby increase the pressure of hatred. The sheer backlog of unserved justice will inevitably be directed against the innocent Muslims who had nothing to do with Seleka, yet who have the misfortune of being within easy machete reach of Seleka’s disconsolate victims.

Saletan’s got it backwards. It isn’t religious intolerance that breeds injustice. It’s injustice which breeds religious intolerance.

If the past is any guide, no cures will be applied.  The UN is designed to do precisely nothing. Only band-aids of the most insulting kind will be applied. Only the drab recitation of politically correct formulas will be offered up: a desecration of the graves of the past dead and an epitaph of the dead to come.

The innocent Muslim refugees, as the Christian victims before them, will join the long list of the collaterally damaged.  They will be a price paid to the noble cause of ignoring radical Islamism because it is too hard to solve.  For at all costs the story must be maintained that all is well. But all is not well, for when the King’s justice fails, private justice — sometimes known as revenge — returns. As WH Auden observed:

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return


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Top Rated Comments   
I'm not sure Islam is the problem. We -- the West -- are. Every scam and doge that Islamists practice has been around since the dawn of time. Ecclesiastes was right when it says "there is nothing new under the sun." Muslims did not invent grifting nor much else; and Islam has been around a long time: about 1,200 years or so. Toward the last they were in decline. As recently as the last century Ataturk thought Islam was on its last legs.

What changed? Well we did; we forgot how to take care of ourselves.

The West started acting crazy. It began to reward bad behavior sometime after the Second World War. Not surprisingly the West got more of from the worst of Islam. The decent guys proved of no interest to the elite; it was the bearded men all redolent of gunpowder and testosterone that excited the intellectuals. We gave them chairs in universities, places of honor on our public lecterns. For the truth is that the leftist harridans always liked the brute with the machine gun -- Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. It was the mild preachers who advocated buying the world a Coke who they really despised.

This must have left the Muslims puzzled, for why we should like their shennanigans so much, and they would try none of the same tricks on their bretheren noting they only worked against us, or to be more precise, against the P.C. elites of the West.

So you don't actually see Muslims trying to set up victory mosques in rival Islamic capitals: they would be burned down. You don't see them sailing boatloads of refugees toward other Muslim countries. They would be sunk. That kind of stuff has no effect on among them, but it works amazingly well on us and since the West rewards them for it they provide ever more of it.

They must think we're crazy and indeed, we are.

Unfortunately this can only go on for so long, and as with a brown bear who, lured ever closer by food a stupid camper leavs out, and gradually loses his fear of man and comes closer and closer, tragedy impends.

Because let's face it. Deep down we're no different from the Central African Republic people. We bleed. And on the day we get hurt hard enough or reach our limit, the PC spell will break. Just as one day the bear gets a .45-70 in the chest, one day the West will tear up the stage act punish Islam for responding -- rationally I might add -- to all the crazy signals we've been sending them.

We'll hurt them, perhaps destroy them for doing all the stuff the PC people said was OK; punish them for believing us; hurt them for crediting our madness. And I don't think we will be forgiven for that. If there's a God on high then his harshest judgment for us; for we know what we do. At least those poor black Africans were driven to revenge by their unbearable hurt. In the case of the West our revenge will have been caused entirely by our damned vanity.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent topical review, Wretchard. And a difficult one, as well. However, I find myself in fundamental disagreement with your conclusions.

This is not intended to be a pejorative observation, but your analysis views the conflict in Africa through Marxist-rose colored glasses. In the view of a Marxist, the cause of all conflict is ultimately economic. Solving economic disparities will not mitigate Muslim militancy, nor has a rise in deprivation been the root cause of the Islamic barbarism of the past 30-40 years. It is the Islamic world view itself that inspires murder and genocide.

Of course, there are ALWAYS economic considerations in all human conflict, including war. There are ALWAYS opportunists joining in for power, money, property, prestige, and so forth. True, Islamic militancy could be hijacked for these benefits, but they are not root cause of the militancy. Nor is it, I should quickly add in this case, simply the nature of tribal Africa to commit murder and genocide.

Unlike most religions of the world, Islam has always been not primarily a spiritual religion, but an economic, political, and militant religion all rolled into one, operating under the religious mask of "the religion of peace". Any place that ends up with a large enough Muslim minority faces "Borg like" (pop reference, Star Trek) assimilation, or conflict and death. Muslims are geared towards conquest by force, with Machiavellian "ends justifies the means" moral justification. The core of Islam is the cause of radical Islamism. Islamic "values" are derived from Satan himself in the pit of hell.

Islam poses a dilemma for Christians and the Christian church worldwide. Do we work to love, educate, and convert Muslims spiritually in accord with Christ's great commission? Do we work politically to diminish their influence to avoid Sharia domination (in contrast to the Biblically inspired U.S. Bill of Rights)? Or, must we work to defeat Muslims militarily, to "kill them before they kill us"? I would maintain that failing in the first two options, the third option is the only viable one left for survival.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that a 90% majority "Christian" population experiencing genocidal attack by a Muslim minority would respond with purges. That is not a response to economic conditions; it's a fight for human survival. Such a response is particularly likely if most of the minority Muslims either endorsed or passively accepted the Islamic militants assaults on Christians.

That is the key, i.e. collaboration between "militant" and non-militant Muslims. If peaceful, devout Muslims stand in the breech shoulder to shoulder with Christians and the secular non-religious against the militant's assault, then they are all brothers in the fight for freedom and against tyranny. Otherwise, then all Muslims become the "enemy" by default. Islam itself allows no middle ground as a faithful interpretation of Islam sides with the worst of the militants. While Christ came in peace and submission, a sacrifice for the sin of the world, militant Mohammed came with war, murder, and the religious banner of "submit!". There are nearly a billion Muslims in the world, yet their opposition to the various Muslim militancies around the world is nearly non-existent. Trust me: If for example, the American Baptist convention were sending armed "missionaries" to murder and subdue the world in the name of Christ, a clear majority of Christians world wide would be both condemning these pseudo Christians murdering in the name of our Lord. Likewise, a mainly secularist movement using Christ's name to justify genocide would inspire similar Christian opposition.

Islam must be contested, fought, and defeated by all means necessary. As hard as this sounds and is in actual reality, this probably requires purging entire Muslim communities where they are complicit in genocide. Victorious Islam kills Christians and secularists alike. Historically, (as far as I can determine, anyway), that has always be the case. While victorious Christian movements may indeed misbehave, spiritual Christians have consistently promoted Christ's love, building schools, hospitals, and churches rather than supporting murder and genocide.

My sympathies for the Muslim civilians suffering in the C.A.R.. Innocents suffer in war regardless of the protagonists. However, the C.A.R.'s best hope is for a Christian victory, and any action by secular human rights groups or governments to intervene increases the likelihood of genocidal conflict. Genuine Christian victory will result in Christian charity, while the secularists will demand permanent legal opposition to Islam going forward.

(Note, I interpret "Christian" as used Wretchard's commentary and quotes to be nominally or culturally Christian, but more than likely, predominantly secular and mostly just "not-Muslim". Biblically inspired and believing Christians rarely commit murder a
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look at North Korea. They're not Muslim or anything. They're probably not even atheists. The biggest source of food for North Korea is the United States. America actually feeds them. Every now and again an American president will help them build a new nuclear reactor.

And what does America get in return? Bupkis. BC Alexis talks about the ingratitude of the Islamic world. But I'm not so sure it has anything to do with gratitude. It's all to do with the fact that the Western elites are idiots and the Islamists, being no fools, realize how easy it is to lead them around by the nose.

If you try stopping the food aid to Pyongyang then the whole Left will collectively wail "we're using food as a weapon!!!"

No. We're using stupidity as a weapon. Against ourselves.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The closest the left can ever come to criticizing one of their favored groups is to say "both sides are doing it and need to stop". Hogwash.

In this case both the Christians and Muslims are likely only nominally so but the fact remains that Muslims are commanded by their prophet to do evil and Christians are commanded to "love your neighbor as yourself".

It is also appears to be true that the Christians in CAR have experienced atrocities at the hands of Muslims and they are also likely aware of the atrocities committed by Muslims throughout Africa, so it should come as no surprise that they want the Muslims out of their country.

I usually agree with Wretchard but I really can't see how this crisis has any relevance to North Korea. North Korea is an example of the triumph of Evil over good but doesn't let Islam off the hook.

Islam isn't necessary for the triumph of Evil but wherever Islam goes Evil goes with it.


43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
the anti-seleka like seleka aren't what you could label as devouts, they rather are thugs and thiefs that opportunely benefit of the Chaos for pillaging whatever s possible

the problem is a policing problem, one must disarm these gangs, it's not a easy job, since it's all intermixed among the population

CAR security needs a sustainable government, and it's not going to happen soon, it will need years of assistance and of troops on the ground.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Correct. I don't think they are "devout Christians", but a type of thug. Still, people identify by symbols, even though they are both thugs.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
also the anti seleka are Bozizé supporters

So the conflict looks much like a remake of Rwanda unrests

in facts the populations look more like rwandan's, and are fighting each others in the name of their leaders

Kagame isn't imune of interferring in CAR too

like we say, it's a "gros bordel", the French soldiers number isn't big enough, and it seems that CAR's fate doesn't interest much of the western nations, that just give us a nod of "good chance"
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
itellu3: "It is the Islamic side that has the tradition, history, liturgy, dogma, web sites, and current practice of killing non-Muslims (and even other Muslims), in the name of their religion."

Agreed that barbaric behaviour in the name or religion is more popular with Moslems than other religions. Christian history also records displays of barbarism in the name of religion - in particular the form of barbarism called eating your own.

Witness the massacre of the Albigensians (Cathars) that was prosecuted over a 20 year period (1209 - 1229) by the Pope and named by the church "The Albigensian Crusade". The French Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestant Huguenots (1562–98) were not a civilized exercise either.

But, as wretchard's "bullseye" comment points out, this is not a case of who's laundry is dirtiest. It is something completely different - a refusal of the West to rise to the challenge that Islamicists have so knowingly made.

When an animal, or a nation, or a civilization becomes so weak that it can no longer meet challenges to its existence, or overcome obstacles in its path then it becomes entrapped by those very challenges and obstacles and it perishes.

The solution lies in vigourously rising to meet those challenges.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment

"Agreed that barbaric behaviour in the name or religion is more popular with Moslems than other religions. Christian history also records displays of barbarism in the name of religion..."

Statements like this are like fingernails on the chalk board to my ears.

Doesn't it occur to you that when you try to compare Christian misbehavior to Muslim misbehavior and you to have to go back to the 1200's or the 1500's for examples of Christian "displays of barbarism" that you are reaching just a bit?

Do you realize that you are trying to compare what happened on one side five to seven hundred years ago to what is happening on the other side as we speak?

The truth is there is no comparison between Islam and Christianity or for that matter any other religion widely practiced today.

No other religion is making trouble and spreading Evil the way Islam is.

No more excuses for Islam.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Been skiing for a couple of days so I didn't see your comment.

I think that you have missed my point, which is simply that barbarians have used Christianity as a cover for their barbarism as other barbarians have used other religions. Both examples that I cited had political undercurrents. A more recent example is the troubles in N. Ireland - late 1960's to 1998 - where barbaric behavior in a political conflict was often carried out in the guise of a sectarian conflict between Protestants and Catholics.

I think that one of wretchard's points is that Islamacists in general are baiting the West with their thuggish attacks, knowing that we are incapable of responding with strength. In the Central African Republic it is thugs who use religion as a cover for their barbarism who are the problem. Another of wretchard's points is that when people are attacked and killed they seek revenge, regardless of what label may be hanging round their necks.

I don't believe that comparisons of Christianity and Islam as religions is the point here. I think that is a different conversation.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I think that you have missed my point, which is simply that barbarians have used Christianity as a cover for their barbarism as other barbarians have used other religions"

I think you have missed my point.
I agree Christianity has been used as cover for barbarism, but my point is that barbarism is what Islam IS; not what it is used as a cover for.
"Islamacist" is a made up word that seems to be trying to excuse Islam for what it is.

Of course the "Islamacists" are baiting us. That's what Islam does. That's who they are. Any who believes anything else is fooling himself.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Difference is that Christ commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to forgive those who wrong us: so when Christians burn other Christians at the stake, like the Roman Catholics did to the Protestants (hey, there were serious reasons for the Protestants to be leery of Catholics), they were defying Jesus' orders.

Mohammed, by contrast, Ordered his followers to kill and rape non-Muslims. So the Muslims who wage religious war are actually being "good Muslims." Orthodox, if you will.

That's all the difference in the world -- the two moral codes are Night and Day.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mehitabel33, you have summed it up pretty good, Mohammed was all about the sword and War Booty, as time went on Mohammed’s soul only became darker and deeper in the Shadows of his false God, reaching the depths of Pedophilia for his unquenchable thirst to demonstrate his Power over his enslaved lands (Sex with Children was more of a “Taboo” then than they are now in America (the New Babylon)). Mohammedanism is as dark a twilight as the earth has known. Christ does teach loving thy neighbor and turning the other cheek But Christ does not want you to turn a blind eye to Evil and Sin, In fact he so instructs (Paraphrasing) “No greater Love is there when a man lays down his life for another” (John 15:13), Jesus did teach us earthly wrath Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-46; and John 2:13-17 and the numerous demons he both expelled and destroyed. Hate the Sin Love the Man (person) Stop the Evil! (Matthew 5:29, 30; Mark 9:43)
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
OldSaltUSN:

You are quite correct about the importance of assimilation and you are also quite right that American history should not be oversimplified.

Suffice it to say that racism is hardly a monolith – there has historically been more than one variety. That said, the “American Party” of the “Know Nothings” may have couched its opposition to immigration on the basis of “nativism”, but its animus was specifically anti-Catholic. As such, so-called “nativism” was an emphatically Protestant movement that had merely transplanted a centuries-old confessional antagonism from Europe.

I am not even saying that all socialist ideas are necessarily bad. Many are, but not all. However, I am hostile toward socialists who argue on the basis that the United States should follow Europe simply because Europe is doing it. If there is a good rational basis for doing something that France, Britain, or Germany is doing, I am far from averse to borrowing ideas – but there must be a good reason for it.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Double post -- oops!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is sad that calls for Chinese exclusion in the 1880's were couched in racial terms. There were valid reasons to limit Chinese immigration, but those reasons took a back seat to racial demagoguery.

Those valid reasons are symbolized by the queue. Not only did the queue make Chinamen look strange, but it was an expression of loyalty to the Manchu emperor – the Manchu Empire treated cutting off the queue as treason. So, a Chinaman who wore the queue was expressing his loyalty (or fear, and in tyrannical states there is no effective difference between fear and loyalty) to the Emperor – and, ipso facto, his disloyalty to the United States of America if he were an American citizen.

Chinese culture was distinctive, and was not only not assimilating, but was expanding its cultural reach. Prostitutes routinely set up shop in Chinatown, with the effect that Chinatown's cultural norms (such as opium) rubbed off on the prostitutes. Given the power that prostitutes routinely hold over women's fashion and social trends, the cultural power of Chinatown upon brothels was an important consideration. Thankfully, the power of the queue has been broken for the past century.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just in passing, the queue was not a sign of loyalty, but of submission to the foreign Manchu's. If you removed it and word got back to China, your family would suffer. Their army had conquered China. In areas of Asia where Chinese were allowed to assimilate, they adopted the local customs to a certain extent, and the queue went by the wayside. Before the Chinese Exclusion movement arose here, America forbid assimilation.

In the wake of the Sino-British Opium Wars [historical note, Britain was pushing opium on China as a matter of state policy, look it up] as part of the treaties ending the wars the concept of "Extraterritoriality" was imposed on China. It was invented by the American diplomat Caleb Cushing, who suggested it to the British. He later incorporated it into the first US-Chinese treaty, [cannot put the name of the treaty, because part of the Chinese name triggers the PJM censor], and it became a standard part of all Chinese treaties with the western powers.

The concept was this. 1) Chinese law, being so dissimilar to western law, would be unfair to any westerner. So, no westerner could be charged or sued in any Chinese criminal or civil court for any act committed in China. It would be an act of war to try any Westerner under Chinese law, and it was left for their home country to charge them with any crimes when they went home. There were western military forces and navies in China to enforce this. 2) To "even it out", Chinese in western countries were barred access, appeal, or recourse to the law in any form. They had no status as human beings under American law. They could not be murdered, robbed, or any crime committed against them under American law, because they did not exist under American law and had no standing. There were no troops here to protect Chinese in this country. This from the very get-go of US-Chinese relationships, before Chinese Exclusion.

The population of Chinese in the US were overwhelmingly male, coming here for jobs. Chinese women were, for all legal purposes, banned by the US government. Because there was the legal conumdrum of what to do with children born here, who by the Constitution would be both citizens and people.

So yes, there were prostitutes, and yes there were drugs. As they exist in any isolated population of males forcefully denied normal life. By the way, for the record; Tongs are accused of criminal activity here, especially in Chinatowns. Tongs are fraternal organizations based on geographic locations of origin, extended family connections, or sometimes occupations. Triads are the criminal organizations. Most are descended from ancient resistance groups fighting foreign dynasties, are a thousand+ years old, and make the Chicago mob look like an episode of the Smurfs.

Chinese could not assimilate [the way they were able to throughout S. E. Asia] because from the beginning they were not allowed to by US government policy.

[Continued]
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
[Continued from above]

My father was born in China just after the fall of the Empire. The queue was gone as soon as the Manchu government was not there to enforce it. He came here, 12 years old, and alone, in the late 1920's. By American law, he had no rights nor legal status. There were enough Chinese here that we became somewhat tolerated, in between occasional riots. For example, Denver's Chinatown was burned down by the Klan and the surviving Chinese fled.

My dad learned the restaurant business, and by WW-II was working for the US Army Air Forces at old Lowry AAF Base [the one in the Park Hill neighborhood before they moved it out to by Aurora] as a food service supervisor, even though he was not considered legally a person by his employer. It was not until 1943, due to events in Pueblo, Colorado, that the United States became the very last of the western powers to give up Extraterritoriality. At that moment, we became human under American law. My dad immediately enlisted. 30 years old is awful old to start being a soldier. He was not alone. I have been researching his old unit [71st Infantry Division], which was being formed about the time the law changed. Looking at the pictures of the troops, there are an awful lot of people there who share my epicanthic folds. Looks like assimilation to me, as soon as it was possible, and many like my dad earned their citizenship in Patton's Third Army. For the record, the 71st went through the same Camp Hale the 10th Mountain Division went through, and although they did not ski, they were trained mountain troops. And they went farther east in Europe than any other American unit.

We have been here a lot longer than many immigrant groups, assimilated as soon as we could [my dad would not let me learn Cantonese as a child, because he wanted me to be American]; and I think it can be argued that as a group have been a pretty good deal for this country.

Subotai Bahadur
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Socialists could have argued in favor of state control over strategic industries based upon the writings of Alexander Hamilton. They didn't, they haven't, and they won't, and that is because they exalt internationalist trendiness over rationality. Their use of the bandwagon effect is unconvincing.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Socialists could have argued in favor of state control over strategic industries based upon the writings of Alexander Hamilton. They didn't, they haven't, and they won't, and that is because they exalt internationalist trendiness over rationality. Their use of the bandwagon effect is unconvincing.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Much of the problem is expecting politicians to do a statesmen's job.

Politicians are a dime a dozen, and they 'lead from behind". What a place like the CAR needs is for someone to say, "Wait until your Father gets home!" with an appropriately menacing tone to her voice.

Sweetness and light with MOM or the strap from DAD. Take your pick.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Per Robert Heinlien:

Statesman = Dead Politician

So if you say that we have too many politicians and too few statesmen, I agree.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard’s post about us “not being forgiven” for what we do to the Islamofascists when we finally have had enough leads me to recall something form the novel Starship Troopers,

A teacher asks a student how you train a puppy to not poop in the house and posits not doing anything all to correct the dog and then killing the dog the first time he poops in the house after he becomes an adult. The student he is talking to says that’s crazy, that’s not how you train a puppy. The teacher responds that is indeed true but the method he described is how young human beings used to be taught before a bunch of vets from WWIII took over the government and imposed rationality.

Human beings teach each other all the time. The USA did not do that much teaching outside its borders until starting in 1942, after which it became the world’s foremost educator. Even then, the Japanese and Germans taught us for 3 more years until we delivered some telling lessons for them; the way they absorbed that information is to be admired.

But we are being stupid and neither learning from the Islamofascists nor teaching them very effectively. On the day when we decide the dog will never learn about pooping in the house and we shoot him, the blame for that stupidity and the atrocity associated with correcting it will be on us, not them.

Bob Bechel, the Leftist on FNC’s “The Five” upon being presented with yet another atrocity against Christians in some foreign land, always says. “We need to DO something! How can we let this sort of thing go on?”

Time was, The Great and Powerful OZ could speak and people listened. If someone looked behind the curtain to see the trick they saw an Iowa class battleship, Gen Ripper’s 843ed Bomb Wing, and the 101st Airborne. Now they see only a skinny black man with a teleprompter, a man who has proved time and again that he can be scammed, rolled, controlled, robbed, threatened, and lied to with no consequences. The 843rd is still back there, but it will have to execute Wing Attack Plan R before people notice.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Skinny MULLATO man. Technically Obama is not Muslim because his father was atheist, BTW. Obama's stepfather Lolo Soetoro was a Muslim from Indonesia.

Lots of disinformation out there on Right side of political spectrum as well.

Best regards, Marzouq
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
We must preserve our Purity of Essence, Mandrake.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know any more about the facts on the ground than I read here, but I wonder if this statement is inaccurate and unfair to Christians:

The press reports that thousands of Muslims are fleeing killings in Central African Republic, hunted by Christians.

It is the Islamic side that has the tradition, history, liturgy, dogma, web sites, and current practice of killing non-Muslims (and even other Muslims), in the name of their religion. The other side is non-Muslim, but it doesn't have to be anything further than that, just the *victims* of the Muslims, fighting back. That they are described as Christians is then a slur on Christianity.

Muslims did not invent grifting nor much else.

But they put grifting and murder into their holy book and practice it widely to this day, in the name of their religion, and even if those who actively practice it are small in number, others wishing to support their friends, relatives, and co-religionists either support the activists, or at worst tolerate them, if only out of a quite reasonable fear that they would become targets themselves if they spoke up. Islam has a long history of being run by the most lunatic amongst them, so saying that only a few are lunatics does not carry the weight it does in other contexts.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the forces of Mordor to the east are gunning down the locals. I can't wait to read what Equis, our favorite Russian shill and fake American, aka the Mouth of Sauron, has to say on that subject.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard said "No. We're using stupidity as a weapon. Against ourselves."

We have a whole generation of leftists who grew up Spock-marked. We no longer watched Father Knows Best, it was Gary Coleman and Punky Brewster know best.

On the previous thread there was a mention of smart parents being terrorized by a three year old. We are paying the price for "permissive parenthood". I've got kids in my sailing class going on to do great things. They appointed me as their "honorary uncle". My job is to be their guardrails along the road of life. I encourage them, boys and girls, to do new things. And I am there to catch them when they fall.

Have you seen the P&G commercials during the Olympics celebrating MOM?

The radical feminists spend decades downgrading motherhood in the eyes of women. But every kid in my class has a mother. They and their offspring own the future. That is basic demographics. Remember back in the day when it was de rigeur for anyone appearing on live TV to say "HI MOM!"? The feminists are ruing the day they threw MOM under the bus.

Those kids are amazing. They are even Chubby Checker fans. They love to limbo. And you can hear them sing..

Come on everybody,
clap your hands.
Ah you're looking good.
I'm going sing my song,
it won't take long.
We're going to do the twist,
and it goes like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjQwfkQj6e4
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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