One of the more delightful and disturbing things I have learned in recent years is how the use of pleasant sounding words of the english language mask often hideous and immoral acts. We have all gotten used to it really, as this has been happening for centuries.
In times past, the British Empire would report back on their “Expeditions” abroad. Of course, expeditions were often more like “unprovoked and violent military invasions of small and unweary nations”, but that is too big a mouthful to say and it is a bit too harsh sounding. “Expeditions” are much nicer sounding right?
Like the 1903 British expedition to Tibet.
In modern times America uses one its “nice” phrases quite alot in public – “routine patrol.” Once again, this sounds fairly harmless right? Almost routine, unsurprisingly.
President Ronald Reagan used this phrase when communicating to the world as he attempted to explain how and why the American military shot down an Iranian civilian airliner full of people in 1988.
Almost nothing in the details of Reagan’s global press conference was true. And rather than admitting that the American warship was operating illegally within Iranian waters during the period of the 8 years long Iraqi invasion of Iran, a war supported by America and the west, Reagan simply spat out the phrase, “whilst on routine patrol.…”
“Routine Patrols” are very commonplace. It bascially means, “operating anywhere, anytime, doing anything.” Legally or not. Much less controversial than “illegal activities in other nations exclusive maritime zones.”
Another great euphemism is that which was applied by westerners to old Hong Kong and Shanghai after the defeat of China in the Opium War.
After China was defeated, Hong Kong was taken at gunpoint by western powers in order to profit from the misery of their newly created drug addicts in China. The forced western sales of drugs into China exploded and this made the “westernized” Hong Kong one of the most corrupt places on earth. It was soon riddled with drugs, criminal gangs, spies, prostitution and vice. Shanghai shared a similar fate.
And all of these appalling things – imposed on China by the West – were hidden and excused under the guise that Hong Kong and Shanghai, were simply “exotic”. They were places rich people went to enjoy women, drugs and other pleasures not so easily available in the prudish and respectible western nations that had created them.
In fact, so much money was made from these “exotic” attractions and their activities of vice, that a new bank was required to finance the now very lucrative western drug dealing industry in China. No respectible bank wanted to be associated with the profits from such “exotic” activites in China and so a new bank was created, named after the locations where such illicit activites went on – The Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation or HSBC.
This new bank – handling much of the international drug trades finances – opened in the two most “exotic” Chinese cities in 1865 and today is one of the biggest banks in the world.
I wonder how many people know the original business model of HSBC? Or know where today’s utterly terrible and violent international drug trade actually started and which western nations started it? What did this drug trade do to human rights?
It makes the western moral pronouncements and blatant interference in the internal affairs of China in recent years quite sickening when the full context of these same nations previous activities in China are known. It seems that blatant interference in the affairs of other nations is just in the DNA of some western nations. It seems like an entitlement. That they see themselves as superior and it is therefore justified to interfere.
When British and American governments talk of the necessity of China to their improve human rights one only needs to think back to the history of Hong Kong in order to dismiss these nations’ sickening moralizing and hypocrisy.
But western propaganda is really too powerful to see through in many global issues today. Like “John from Dorset” in a previous post, most westerners now know something is wrong with their societies, but they just can’t see or connect the dots. Sadly, many people don’t even see the dots, let alone realize that they still need to be connected. So in this confusion, it is easy for western governments to deflect the frustration of their citizens away from their leaders and project their anger onto unrelated parties, like China for example. There must always be someone to blame right?
Euphemisms like “expeditions”, “routine patrols” and “exotic” are all dots in the picture of today’s reality. There are thousands more dots. We have to work hard at seeing these dots and the picture they create once they are connected.
Help others see the dots by sharing non-mainstream media information. There are some excellent citizen media outlets on my twitter and facebook pages. Have a look at them and judge for yourself. Become a snow flake at the start of an avalanche.
One person really can make a difference.