Monday, August 03, 2009

"Birth of a massacre myth" by Gregory Clark

Here's Gregory Clar's 2008 oped on Japan Times titled "Birth of a massacre myth":

Earnshaw confirms that most of the students had left peacefully much earlier and that the remaining few hundred were persuaded by the troops to do likewise.

His account is confirmed by Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident, now resident in Canada, writing recently in Asia Sentinel and quoting Taiwan-born Hou Dejian who had been on a hunger strike on the square to show solidarity with the students: "Some people said 200 died in the square and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning."

True, much that happened elsewhere in Beijing that night was ugly. The regime had allowed prodemocracy student demonstrators to occupy its historic Tiananmen Square for almost three weeks, despite the harm and inconvenience caused. Twice, senior members of Deng Xiaoping's regime had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate compromises with the students. Unarmed troops sent in to clear the square had been turned back by angry crowds of Beijing civilians.

When armed troops were finally sent in, they too met hostile crowds, but they kept advancing. Dozens of buses and troop-carrying vehicles were torched by the crowds, some with their crews trapped inside. In the panicky fighting afterward, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of civilians and students were killed. But that was a riot, not a deliberate massacre. And it did not happen in Tiananmen Square. So why all the reports of a "massacre"?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eye Witness On The Ground: Graham Earnshaw

Here's Journalist Graham Earnshaw's eye witness account of what happened that evening:

By somewhere around 2am, things on were Square were getting pretty desperate. Beijing residents and most of the students had filtered away. The tent city was largely empty. Those remaining on the square had gravitated towards one of two points -- the north of the square where the confrontation with the military was in progress, and the Monument, the heart of the insurrection.
...
I stayed. I moved at some point over to the kerb on the side of the Square, under the trees. The students remaining had grouped themselves around the Monument. Elizabeth left and went back to the Peking Hotel to get word of what was happening on the Square through to Reuters office and the world -- the battery on our pioneering mobile phone had basically given. So I sat alone on the side of the Square, watching the sky slowly betray the first hints of light

[Note: Reuter journalist Elisabeth Pisani later reported shooting on TAM grounds, however according Earnshaw Pisani had left the square hours before.]

It gradually became light, a mid-summer dawn, cloudless but gray nonetheless. The tattered tent city stretched out over the expanse of square over on my right. The mobile phone battery had died. And then everything happened at once. I don't remember seeing the students leave the monument, although they did -- filing off to the south as a result of an agreement with the PLA commanders while the tanks and troops entered the square from the north. But I remember clearly watching the tanks and armored cars move in orderly columns down the square, riding over the tents and the debris. It was later said by some that they bulldozed through sleeping students, but I don't believe it. No one could still have been asleep in those tents after that night.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

On "Pack Journalism"

Former Canadian embassador to Japan, Gregory Clark, had a similiar take on the subject:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CLA20060410&articleId=2245
One example is the pack journalistic myth of a Tiananmen Square massacre of students in 1989. All one needs to do to get the true story is insert "Tiananmen" into Google and read the reports at the time from none other than the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

You will discover that the so-called massacre was in fact a mini civil war as irate Beijing citizens sought to stop initially unarmed soldiers sent to remove students who had been demonstrating freely in the square for weeks. When the soldiers finally reached the square there was no massacre. There were in fact almost no students.

Mr. Clark's OpEd was originally published on the Japan Times:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20040915gc.html

UPDATE:

Declassified document from the NSA backed up Clark's assertion the troops were initially unarmed:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Myth of Tiananmen Square Massacre

Most of us probably comfortably sat at home that night, watching the events unfold on TV. Very few people knew what really happened, as this event in America was spinned and twisted into the usual "hate-China" propaganda for mass comsumption.

However, our media made up for it recently. PBS aired a documentary titled The Tank Man.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/

The Frontline segment presented the Chinese government's casualty figure of 250 dead. I don't know if you ever researched this, but this figure is actually in-line with our NSA estimate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989

The PBS documentary also dispelled the myth that students were "massacred" on TAM square grounds. If you haven't seen this you should. The documentary interviewed Journalists who were on the ground, as well as footages of thousands of students leaving the TAM square.

Actually, I have read this from another source years ago, from Columbia Univ. School of Journalism:

http://archives.cjr.org/year/98/5/tiananmen.asp

"as far as can be determined from the available evidence, no one died that night in Tiananmen Square.

A few people may have been killed by random shooting on streets near the square, but all verified eyewitness accounts say that the students who remained in the square when troops arrived were allowed to leave peacefully.

Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances."

[Just for reference, throwing molotov cocktail at riot police is a crime in US.]

And Jay Mathews’ intention is clear:

“Journalists have to be precise about where it happened and who were its victims, or readers and viewers will never be able to understand what it meant.”