Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Monday, October 14, 2019
ISSUE #989
Columbus (Indigenous) Day; Red China and Hong Kong; Turkey and Kurds

Columbus: Yes, I’m in Columbus, and it’s Columbus Day. Unless you’re an Indian, then it’s Indigenous People Day. And yes, I know, “Indian” is a word stuck on us by Columbus. But it is easier to spell than Indigenous. And about the only people celebrating today are Federal government workers and Italians.

Meanwhile, between Red China and Turkey, we’ve got ourselves in enough of a pinch to almost take your mind off Impeachment.

You’ll notice I said Red China, not China. That’s what we called it fifty or sixty years ago when we knew it was run by Communists. And Nationalist China was on the island of Formosa, now Taiwan. Hong Kong was part of the British Empire, although no one here paid any attention to Hong Kong.

Over the years, beginning with President Nixon’s visit in 1972, we have forgotten that mainland China is still Communist. Oh, they “make nice” with our businesses and politicians, and pro basketball players. We see a country with 1.3 billion people that provides cheap labor for manufacturing our imported goods yet has more “middle class” consumers than we have. One example: the Chinese buy more Buicks that we do.

Then along comes Hong Kong.  When Britain decided to let go of the territory they reached a 50-year agreement with Red China in 1997 that Hong Kong would continue to operate fairly independently. Of course the British, not to mention Nixon and most Americans since 1972, have assumed that the leaders in Red China would eventually see the light and adopt our democratic principles. Well, the 50-year deal lasted 22 years. Xi Jinping took over in 2012 and has declared he is President for life. Nowhere close to democratic.

Why didn’t Britain turn Hong Kong over to Taiwan, or give its 7 million residents complete independence?

And then Erdogan of Turkey pops up. He was elected President, but runs the country like a dictatorship. It used to be a democratic nation and is part of NATO. The Turks hate the part of their population who are the Kurds. We like the Kurds because they are good fighters and helped us defeat (or control) the ISIS Islamic terrorists. But there are Kurds that hate the Turks and keep terrorizing them. Kurds want their own country, Kurdistan, formed mainly from parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

So what happened? Turkey ignored threats from President Trump and attacked the Kurds in northern Syria. In China, Xi Jinping celebrates 70 years of Communist rule and ignores tariffs and pleas from Trump concerning Hong Kong.

Question: has the USA lost its clout? Also, are we better off to remove ourselves from internal conflicts in the Middle East and Southeast Asia?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “Christopher Columbus landed on some islands, but they always stretched a point and give him the best of it and said he landed in America… Being an Indian, I don’t mind telling you that personally I am sorry he ever found us. The discovery of America has been of no material benefit to us, outside of losing all our land. I am proud to say that I have never yet seen a statue to him in Oklahoma.” WA #190, Aug. 1, 1926

“Turkey has been laying off three months now without any war, and Peace is just about killing them.” Letters of a Self-Made Diplomat to his President, Aug. 26, 1926

“Turkey likes to end one war on Friday, and start another one on Monday.” (Paraphrased from a recorded speech)

“We are always hearing about the Chinese Problem.  To the Chinese it’s no Problem; it’s just another Fact.  We dident find that they had a Problem till we found they had some money to buy something we had.  Then we found they had some things to sell cheaper than the rest of the world, so that, naturally, made them a Problem.” Saturday Evening Post, Apr. 2, 1932

“We will stop those Chinese from fighting among themselves even if we have to kill them to do it.” DT #160, Feb. 4, 1927


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