The China syndrome


Michael Raffety


“First thing let’s kill all the lawyers.”

—Henry the Sixth, Part 2

That was a statement by Dick the butcher. “Dick’s Utopian idea to kill all England’s lawyers is his addition to the promises of the traitorous Jack Cade, who envisions a quasi-communistic social revolution, with himself installed as autocrat,” according to e-notes.

Speaking of quasi-communist autocrats, China has detained and interrogated about 200 lawyers and activists since July 2015, and arrested about two dozen lawyers and activists.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party’s maximum leader, seems to be taking Shakespeare’s Dick the butcher to heart.

Aug. 2 the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Chin reported that a human rights lawyer essentially imprisoned for a year was reported in a video “confession” to have disavowed her work as a human rights lawyer and, according to the reporter, “accused her boss of trying to foment revolution.”

Those commies don’t like historians any better than lawyers. Josh Chin had another article in the same edition in which a historian did some revision of an heroic mythological incident of the communist struggle against the Japanese invasion.

The incident, elements of which are being questioned, featured 700 farmers and one 1930s officer wiping out 3,500 Japanese soldiers. Another incident is the Five Heroes about five soldiers who jumped off a cliff after diverting a Japanese force to save their battalion and a nearby village. The village is now called Five Heroes Village. Two of the soldiers survived by landing on trees. Uh huh.

One history writer questioned how five soldiers killed large numbers of Japanese troops. This historian actually made the four-hour hike up the mountain to the spot where the Five Heroes were said to be and had his photo taken for court.

China has a syndrome of attacking truth seekers.

In the Western society historians reinvestigate historical events, frequently using newly revealed information. History is being revised all the time. But In Xi Jinping’s communist country historical revisionism is called “historical nihilism.” And questioning the “Five Heroes of Langya Mountain” is damaging the “heroic image and spiritual value” of the soldiers. A court called it libel and ordered him to apologize. The writer is appealing, though, arguing, according to WSJwriter Josh Chin, that the court didn’t identify any factual errors in his articles.

This writer, Hong Zhenkuai, is being sued by retired army officers on behalf of he surviving soldiers’ relatives.

Of course, in America you can libel the dead, though it’s unwise to speak ill of the dead. That doesn’t mean that history can’t change and people’s roles in history can change as well. The most famous change of names happened only a few months ago when the Marine Corps announced results of an investigation of who actually was in Joe Rosenthal’s famous photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima’s Mount Surabachi.

The Marine Corps “determined that Harold Henry Schultz was among the six in the famous photograph of the 2nd flag raising instead of John Bradley.” Bradley died in 1994. A Navy corpsman, he had stayed silent about his service in the war.

The flag-raising photo Rosenthal took on Feb. 23, 1945, was turned into an impressive statue near Arlington National Cemetery in 1954.

Only in America can an almost mythic image of the Marine Corps be subject to historical revision. What a great country.

China not so great. In fact, it is an oppressive government.


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