UK, US Complicity in Indonesian Military’s Mass Murder of Hundreds of Thousands while Suppressing Communists, 1965-66

(Caption for photo at top of the post: “In this Oct. 30, 1965, file photo, members of the Youth Wing of the Indonesian Communist Party (Pemuda Rakjat) are watched by soldiers as they are taken to prison in Jakarta following a crackdown on communists. AP Photo/File)

The British at least could tell themselves that they were fighting a nasty, defensive undeclared jungle war on Borneo against President Sukarno’s neutralist government of Indonesia.

First from the British National Army Museum:

Indonesian Confrontation

Between 1963 and 1966, British Commonwealth forces fought against Indonesia in a conflict that focused on the future of Brunei and North Borneo. The fighting consisted of small-scale jungle clashes in the border areas, and ended in a victory for the Commonwealth.

In 1962, northern Borneo consisted of the British protectorate of Brunei and the colonies of Sarawak and North Borneo (later known as Sabah). The rest of the island was made up of the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan.

Map of the island of Borneo, 1962

Britain hoped to incorporate Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo – all close to independence at that time – into the Federation of Malaysia, along with Singapore and the states of the Malayan Peninsula.

However, President Sukarno of Indonesia was wary of continued British influence in the region. He wanted to extend Indonesian control on the island by adding these territories to the rest of Kalimantan…

Now a story at the Guardian:

Slaughter in Indonesia: Britain’s secret propaganda war

Declassified documents reveal how in 1965 a shadowy dirty tricks arm of the Foreign Office incited anti-communist massacres that left hundreds of thousands dead

In early 1965 Ed Wynne, an official from the Foreign Office in London in his late 40s, arrived at the door of a two-storey villa set in the discreet calm of a genteel housing estate in colonial Singapore.

But Wynne was no ordinary official. A specialist from the Foreign Office’s cold war propaganda arm, the Information Research Department (IRD), he had been assigned to lead a small team. A junior official, four local people and two “IRD ladies”, seconded to the unit from London, would join him.

The arrival of Wynne and his colleagues in the Winchester Road cul-de-sac marked the beginning of what would later be claimed, by those who led it, as one of the most successful propaganda operations in postwar British history. A top secret operation that helped overthrow the leader of the fourth most populous country in the world and contributed to the mass murder of more than half a million of its citizens.The proof of Britain’s role in inciting what the CIA later described as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century” lies in another leafy suburb. In declassified Foreign Office documents – held far beyond the 20-year rule – in Kew in London.Recently released in Britain’s National Archives are pamphlets purporting to be written by Indonesian patriots, but in fact written by British propagandists, calling on Indonesians to eliminate the PKI, then the biggest communist party in the non-communist world.

The outcome of the turmoil was a brutal and corrupt 32-year military dictatorship whose legacy shapes Indonesia to this day…[Read on.]

As for the Americans, keep in mind that Communism was seen as an existential threat and they were already fighting what was becoming a major war against them in Vietnam–from a 2017 AP story, the US then under President Johnson::

Files reveal details of US support for Indonesian massacre

Declassified files have revealed new details of U.S. government knowledge and support of an Indonesian army extermination campaign that killed several hundred thousand civilians during anti-communist hysteria in the mid-1960s.The thousands of files from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta covering 1963-66 were made public Tuesday after a declassification review that began under the Obama administration. The Associated Press reviewed key documents in the collection in advance of their release.

The files fill out the picture of a devastating reign of terror by the Indonesian army and Muslim groups that has been sketched by historians and in a U.S. State Department volume that was declassified in 2001 despite a last-minute CIA effort to block its distribution.

In 1965, Indonesia had the world’s third-largest communist party after China and the Soviet Union, with several million members, and the country’s president, the charismatic Sukarno, was vociferously socialist and anti-American.

U.S. officials despaired of Indonesia’s apparently unstoppable drift into the communist fold and were ecstatic when conservative generals imposed martial law in Jakarta, seized state radio and set out to annihilate the country’s communist party on the pretext that it had tried to overthrow the government. Within months, the army would prevail in its power struggle with Sukarno, shifting Indonesia’s political orientation to the U.S. and opening its huge market to American companies.

The newly released files underline the U.S. Embassy’s and State Department’s early, detailed and ongoing knowledge of the killings and eagerness to avoid doing anything that would hinder the Indonesian army. Historians had already established that the U.S. provided lists of senior communist party officials, radio equipment and money as part of active support for the army…[Read on.]

And a few years later the US, now under President Nixon, turning a blind eye to another massacre–a post:

Nixon, Kissinger and the Birth of Bangladesh: Blood on Their Hands

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

Hypersonics, or, PRC pulls a very fast one, FOBS-ing off US (note UPDATE)

This came rather out of the, er, black for most of us though the Pentagon has given hints–at the most valuable “The War Zone” from The Drive:

China Tested A Fractional Orbital Bombardment System That Uses A Hypersonic Glide Vehicle: Report

Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

By Tyler Rogoway

A report from Financial Times’ Demetri Sevastopulo and Kathrin Hille states that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that goes into space and traverses the globe in an orbital-like fashion before making its run through the atmosphere toward its target. There would be huge implications if such a system were to be operationalized, and according to this story, which says it talked to five officials confirming the test, the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.

The trial flight is said to have occurred around August, with the boost-glide vehicle being lifted into space by a Long March 2C rocket. The launch of the rocket, the 77th of its kind, was undisclosed by Beijing, while the 76th and 78th were—the latter of which occurred in late August. The Financial Times says that the tested hypersonic glide vehicle missed its target by a couple of dozen miles, but that is hardly reassuring considering the capabilities that are apparently in development here.

The foundation of this Cold War-era concept is commonly referred to as a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, or FOBS, but instead of carrying a traditional nuclear-armed reentry vehicle, this Chinese system would carry a hypersonic glide vehicle that would possess immense kinetic energy upon reentry. As such, it could make a very long maneuvering flight through the atmosphere at very high speeds to its target.

The FOBS concept has long been a concern because of its potential to bypass not just missile defenses, but even many early warning capabilities. Compared to a traditional intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a FOBS can execute the same strikes but from highly unpredictable vectors. Range limitations also become a non-factor and the timing of an inbound strike is also far less predictable [emphasis added]. But at least with a traditional FOBS ballistic missile system, some sort of projections could be made if the mid-course “orbital” vehicle can be tracked, although that could still be a real challenge.

That is not the case at all with a hybrid design like the one being claimed to have been tested here, which would be totally unpredictable.

The maneuvering hypersonic glide vehicle, descending from high-altitude at extreme speed, could travel thousands of miles to its target, which can be totally offset from a normal ballistic track. Complicating things more, these systems can attack from the south pole, not just the north where most of America’s ballistic missile early warning, tracking, and defensive apparatus is focused. Intercepting such a system would also be very challenging [emphasis added], especially considering U.S. mid-course intercept capabilities are focused on traditional ballistic missile flight profiles, which fly more of a parabolic trajectory and have generally known ranges of each stage of flight. 

With a glide vehicle end-game delivery system paired with a FOBS, its vehicles can enter the atmosphere beyond the range of an interceptor’s exo-atmospheric mid-course kill envelope, with the glide vehicle weaving its way through the atmosphere to its final target. Traditional surface-based radar systems’ line of sight is also significantly reduced as the hypersonic glide vehicle travels in the atmosphere. Paired with the extreme speeds involved, this can make these systems nearly useless at providing any details regarding the impending attack. 

Hypersonic glide vehicles themselves are also very tough to kill with no real defense against them available at this time [emphasis added, that applies to all boost-glide systems, not just a FOBS]. Elaborate defensive concepts are in the works, but their effectiveness will depend on just how fast these vehicles are traveling, their maneuverability, density in numbers, what third-party sensors are available to help in generating an engagement solution, and more. A hypersonic glide vehicle with the kinetic energy in its favor from an orbital-like delivery would likely be the very hardest to kill.

As we have repeatedly noted, the Financial Times also recognized the eyebrow-raising comments by U.S. Department of Defense officials recently on potential “non-traditional” delivery systems that could bypass America’s strategic defenses:

Last month, Frank Kendall, US air force secretary, hinted that Beijing was developing a new weapon. He said China had made huge advances, including the “potential for global strikes . . . from space”. He declined to provide details, but suggested that China was developing something akin to the “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” that the USSR deployed for part of the Cold War, before abandoning it.“ If you use that kind of an approach, you don’t have to use a traditional ICBM trajectory. It’s a way to avoid defenses and missile warning systems,” said Kendall.

In August, General Glen VanHerck, head of North American Aerospace Defense Command, told a conference that China had “recently demonstrated very advanced hypersonic glide vehicle capabilities”. He warned that the Chinese capability would “provide significant challenges to my Norad capability to provide threat warning and attack assessment [emphasis added, the actual missile defence vehicles are also under the General wearing his US NORTHCOM hat]”.

There is no shortage of concerns about China’s nuclear buildup within the DoD, and like Moscow, it’s only logical that Beijing would invest in delivery systems that circumvent U.S. early warning and defensive capabilities. The idea that at least some of the hundreds of supposed silos out in the Chinese desert being built to house new ballistic missiles could one day be armed with a weapon like this is very concerning. It also could be yet another major driver behind the Pentagon’s push to deploy a whole new space-based early warning and tracking system for hypersonic and ballistic missiles, including one capable of “cold layer” tracking of missiles in their midcourse stage of flight…

…if this report ends up being fully accurate, one thing is likely: New calls for hugely expensive missile defense capabilities will be ringing loud and often on Capitol Hill, as well as demands to do whatever possible to bring China to the bargaining table in hopes of obtaining some type of strategic arms limitation treaty. 

We will continue to update this story as more emerges, but for now, make sure you read theFinancial Times’ excellent original report here.

Plus a quite sarcastic tweet by an American arms control expert:

And this tweet from anothe arms control specialist:

Plus from a RAND man:

UPDATE: Now this from Beijing:

China denies report claiming it launched hypersonic missile

Beijing says FT report was inaccurate and that exercise was merely a test of reusable technology

Meanwhile, US Air Force hypersonics, er, challenges:

US Air Force Hypersonics Programs not Manoeuvering very Rapidly or Purposefully, or, Missiles Looking for Missions (video UPDATE)

And one on NORAD and another kind of threat that is of direct concern to Canada and the RCAF (we have chosen so far not to take an active part in ballistic missile defence), note other posts at bottom:

NORAD Chief Wants Defence (of what sort?) “Left of Launch” Focus, Russian Cruise Missiles (air- and sub-launched) Big Threat

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

The Algerians who Fought with the French: ‘”It’s all France’s fault. France abandoned its children. And by abandoning them, it sentenced them to death,” he said’

(Caption for photo at top of the post: “Harkis are Muslim Algerians who fought on the side of France during the Algerian war of independence”.)

Further to this post on what the French did to those seeking independence from France,

France still trying to come to Grips, almost 60 Years later, with its “Savage War of Peace” in Algeria

now this on those Algerians who helped them a got left behind. Not pleasant. Exceprts from an article at Deutsche Welle (the title of the post contains the final two sentences):

Confronting France’s colonial past: Harkis eye reparations

President Emmanuel Macron has apologized to the tens of thousands of French loyalist fighters whom France left behind when it exited Algeria in 1962. But some of the fighters, known as Harkis, say more needs to be done.

When Algerian-born Serge Carel joined the army of colonial power France during the Algerian war of independence in 1957, he felt incredibly proud.

“My whole family was working with the French — we’ve always loved France,” Carel told DW, while sitting in an armchair in his home 50 kilometers south of Paris. 

Joining the Algerian National Liberation Front, known as FLN, would have been a “betrayal,” he said, “as I’d have had to shoot at my own family.”

By turning his back on his Algerian roots, he had hoped to adopt a new, French identity. He became a so-called “Harki” (Arabic for “movement”), an Algerian auxiliary in the French army.

But little did he know of the pain that this decision would entail throughout his life.

In Algeria, the French army employed the 20-year-old as a translator and intelligence advisor…

Many ‘Harkis’ left behind — at the mercy of the nationalists

The war ended over seven years later, in 1962, when France exited its colony in North Africa — after more than 130 years of colonial rule. It also left behind most of its Algerian army’s auxiliaries like Carel. Only about 40,000 of them were brought to France, and another 40,000 made it across the Mediterranean Sea on their own account.

Up to 400,000 auxiliaries worked for France [emphasis added] during the war, according to historians.

Most of them were left deeply traumatized by what happened next. A trauma that even a recent apology from Emmanuel Macron — he’s the first French president to say sorry to the Harkis — won’t heal.

Those who were taken to France were interned in camps with poor living and sanitary conditions. Many of them would later struggle to build a normal life [emphasis added].

In 2018, the country’s highest court of appeal condemned France for the first time in history to pay €15,000 in compensation to the son of a Harki who had grown up in such a camp, as compensation for the psychological after-effects of the “appalling conditions.”

Many of those left behind in Algeria were tortured and killed by the nationalists [emphasis added]

Macron apologizes, vows recognition

President Macron’s words at a recent ceremony at the Elysée were to soothe some of Carel’s and other Harkis’ pain.

“To the combatants we abandoned. To their families who were sent to camps or prison. Given our denial, I am asking you for forgiveness. We shall not forget,” Macron said.

The French leader then promised a law of “recognition and reparation.” The legislation is to reach Parliament in December and be rubber-stamped before February.

But details of the new rules are not yet known [emphasis added–on verra, eh?]...

“It’s all France’s fault. France abandoned its children. And by abandoning them, it sentenced them to death,” he [Serge Carel] said.

That “Savage War of Peace” was indeed savage. Misery for Muslim Algerians. From both sides.

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

The Mind of a British Officer very much of the Old School–in World War I and after in Poland

Brief excerpts below from Happy Odyssey, the memoirs of Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, who finished his career as a Lieutenant-General. He loved being a simple soldier and fighting. He had a most eventful career, including being a PoW in Italy 1941-43; managed, with another officer, to escape for a while from a castle prison. His final posting, strangely, was from 1943-47 as the British prime minister’s personal representative to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, the head of Nationalist China (a story on Carton de Wiart here and a photo below).

De Wiart

These excerpts are from this edition:

1) As a brigade commander on the Western Front 1917 (p. 90);

I had known very little of the happenings on the other sectors of the front, and as for technical inventions I knew nothing and was never in the least interested. Tanks had no doubt been the greatest invention of the war, but I had never been lucky with those allotted to me…

Also, at p. 89:

Frankly, I had enjoyed the war…

Despite, amongst other wounds, losing an eye and a hand. Some chap. Got the VC.

2) As head of the British Military Mission to Poland immediately after the war–before he went (p. 92),

I had only a hazy idea as the the whereabouts of Poland [the fellow was quite cosmopolitan, had lived in Belgium as a child, also spent some time in Cairo, and had briefly been at Oxford], but I knew that it was somewhere near Russia and the Bolsheviks were fighting there.

Remember Chamberlain on the 1938 Sudeten Crisis, just before the Munich Conference? A “quarrel in a far away country, between people of whom we know nothing”. Plus ça change, what?

Ironically Carton de Wiart, who left the British Army between the two world wars, lived for the interwar period on an estate in the countryside of eastern Poland in the area of the Pripyat Marshes–now in Belarus/Ukraine; he loved the bird shooting (as a young officer in India he had loathed the country but loved the pig sticking). From July through September 1939 he was again head of the British Military Mission to Poland.

The quote at 1) really does seem to typify the narrow mental view of a great many British Army officers (to the advantage of the Germans in World War II especially). No wonder Montgomery had little faith in the military capacities of many of those he commanded–see the latter part of this earlier post:

How a Good Army Leadership is Created and Works…

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

German Automakers and the PRC, or, That’s the Way the Mercedes-Benz

Further to this post,

Making Autos in Xinjiang, or, Nothing to See Here, Volks

now the high-end side of game–will the new Germany government, whatever the shape/colours of the coalition, dare take any steps to limit their auto sector’s growing dependency on the PRC as a market, as a manufacturing base and as a research centre? If not the Dragon’s economic grip on Berlin will only tighten. And note the scary surveillance state aspects at the end. Excerpts from a story at Reuters:

Home from home: Mercedes-Benz doubles down on China 

Mercedes-Benz, the German company founded by the inventors of the motor car, is pouring more resources into its cutting-edge research and design capabilities in China as the center of gravity of the new auto world shifts eastwards.  

In a drive to create a “home away from home,” Mercedes-Benz is doubling down on bases in Beijing and Shanghai to stay ahead of regulations and consumer trends in a car market that outstrips the United States and Germany combined.  

Three years after initially announcing plans to strengthen its research and development (R&D) in the country, the luxury car brand owned by Daimler will unveil its new Tech Center China in Beijing this month…  

With 1,000 engineers, the new tech center is more than three times the size of the one Mercedes-Benz opened in 2014 and the first outside Germany that can test “everything,” putting it more “on par” technically with the far bigger R&D headquarters near Stuttgart [emphasis added], a person close to the center said.  

Mercedes-Benz has also invested significantly in upgrading its Chinese design studio and has moved the whole team from Beijing to Shanghai…

Mercedes-Benz has good reason to elevate its Chinese operations.  

Its car sales in China jumped 12% last year to a record 774,000 despite the pandemic, streets ahead of its next two markets, Germany on 286,000 and the United States with 275,000 [emphasis added, talk about dependency].  

About 80% of the cars it sold in China were also made there, typically with an array of China-only features and models, and Asia overall accounted for almost half its global sales in 2021.  

…Mercedes-Benz, like all foreign automakers in China, is under growing pressure from local EV (electric vehicle) startups such as Xpeng , Li Auto, and Nio and their stylish vehicles with high-tech features tailored to Chinese consumers.  

That’s why the German carmaker’s “second home” strategy for China is focused on making its design and technology more agile, to respond quickly to the ever-shifting landscape and to firmly entrench the Mercedes-Benz brand, the four sources said…

Mercedes-Benz customers in China are 36 years old on average — roughly 20 years younger than in Germany [emphasis added] — and are more tech-savvy, but they are also notoriously disloyal, hopping from brand to brand as trends shift…  

A drive to create China-only colors led to research into the preferences of younger luxury goods buyers. While sensitive to being seen as hip and tech-savvy, there has been a revived interest in styles inspired by China’s ancient dynasties.  

As part of that research, the studio came up with “rose gold metallic,” a variation on rose gold tones adjusted for cars first used as an exterior color for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class L sedan in 2018. New EVs such as the EQA and EQB [SUV, image at the top of the post] now come in rose gold, and it’s also an interior tone in the EQC.  

“Global ideas, inspired by China,” said one source close to the studio, adding that while Mercedes needs to cater to its China customers first, some China-grown ideas will go global. 


…the tech center works closely with the brand’s external affairs team which keeps its finger on the regulatory pulse — and that has proved key when it comes to so-called vehicle-to-everything, or V2X, technology.  

V2X controls communications between a car and “everything” outside, from 5G cellular signals to low-earth-orbit satellites to smart traffic lights and cameras on the road [emphasis added].  

In China, vehicles will soon have to come with full-fledged V2X capabilities to achieve a top safety ranking under a new version of its vehicle safety evaluation system, or New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which is expected in 2025.  

“We knew this regulation was going to be implemented. We started developing those self-drive technologies including V2X to be in compliance with the new law and did so well before new regulation kicks in,” one of the tech center sources said

Some scary stuff at the end–what if export models have even somewhat similar equipment?

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

Why is Canada’s Capital, Ottawa, still a “Sister City” of Beijing?

First a bit of background to explain the image at the top of the post–from sunnier days, a 2011 piece at the website of Ottawa’s seemingly mayor eternal, Jim Watson (earlier a Liberal Ontario cabinet minister; by the way I live in Ottawa):

The Chinatown Gateway Arch on Somerset Street, a unique “twin-city” project with Beijing, China, was recently named Public Works 2011 Project of the Year in the Structures category by the American Public Works Association (APWA). This project was completed in October 2010 with funding from three levels of government and the strong support of the local community, individuals and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association (BIA)…

The Gateway, at the corner of Somerset Street and Cambridge Avenue just west of Bronson Avenue, was opened on October 7, 2010 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations. The City of Beijing contributed the concept design and finishing and decorative materials. A team of traditional artisans and technicians from China assembled the decorative panels, the roof sections, and painted the gateway [i.e. almost nothing for Ottawa workers]

Now a minister at an Ottawa church calls the city out on that “special relationship” with the PRC’s capital:

Ottawa should cancel its twin-city relationship with Beijing

In maintaining our sister-city agreement, we are lending a sense of legitimacy to one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

Author of the article: Rev. Andrew Love

June 17, 2011: Mayor Jim Watson with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong in the Chinese capital.

June 17, 2011: Mayor Jim Watson with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong in the Chinese capital. Photo by Xinhua News Agency /SunMedia

Given everything we now know about the belligerent and deceitful practices of the Chinese Communist Party, why does the City of Ottawa maintain its formal twinned relationship with the City of Beijing? In fact, why do 32 municipalities and eight provinces in Canada have twinned relationships with cities and regions in China?

In 2009, Ottawa and Beijing entered into a sister-city agreement that was to focus on environmental protection, municipal administration, technology and tourism. It quickly blossomed into an economic and cultural trade relationship that involved delegates from Ottawa, including Mayor Jim Watson, travelling to Beijing, and groups of Chinese tourists coming to Ottawa. The elaborate arch on Somerset Street, in the heart of Chinatown, was another by-product of this twinned status.

…In twinning with the capital city of China, the city of Ottawa is lending a sense of legitimacy to one of the most repressive regimes in the world — a threat to our national security and global peace and prosperity…

Canadians are waking up to the changing geo-political landscape. What may have appeared to be a mutually beneficial exercise back in 2009 is now fraught with problems. There are far too many questions swirling around these days about how China is insinuating itself into Canada, even at the local level.

It may be argued that ending our sister-city agreement with the city
of Beijing would be just a meaningless symbolic act. But that is not the case. China understands and exploits propaganda. It leverages public relations activities such as sister-city agreements to burnish its public image.

[See this story from 2019: “Prague ditches Beijing for Taipei in new sister city deal“. Such guts from our mayor/city council are inconceivable; moreover I’m certain PM Trudeau’s government would lobby quietly but furiously to prevent a sharp public rebuke to the PRC from Canada’s capital city by our cutting that sister-city link (twinning with Taipei is simply inconceivable).]

If the city of Ottawa were to stand up for human rights and global
security by cancelling this agreement, it is precisely the kind of
action that would be noticed in Beijing. Imagine what kind of message we could send if the other 31 municipalities and eight
provinces followed suit.

Andrew Love is clergy minister at Dominion-Chalmers United Church in Ottawa. Twitter: @andrewlovetweet

Great idea. Meanwhile some usual suspects have been hard at it earlie .

1) At the magazine Ottawa Life, a pretty reliable friend of the PRC, in 2019:

Despite Stormy Waters, the Canada-China Friendship is in Full Bloom at the Canadian Tulip Festival

To honour the 20th anniversary of the Beijing-Ottawa Sister City agreement, festival organizers set up the Beijing Ottawa Tulip Friendship Garden at Commissioners Park. They made the festival’s official tulip a glorious red and yellow flower by twinning the maple leaf red of Canada’s flag with the bold red field of the Chinese Flag and then paired it with golden yellow. The result is a beautiful tulip representing the strong local bonds and warmth of the Canada-China friendship. To highlight the significance of the relationship, Canadian Tulip Festival President Grant Hooker joined Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa, Laura Dudas, at a watering and gift exchange ceremony for the friendship garden.

Ambassador Lu thanked Canadians for their hard work in promoting the Canada-China friendship. Grant Hooker spoke of the warm friendship between Beijing and China as sister cities and thanked Ambassador Lu, his staff and all of the people who came together to make the China Day event a success. Hooker noted that the Chinese dragon dancers who performed at the event had created quite a stir and some excitement in the crowd as hundreds of people gathered to watch them perform. Deputy Mayor Dudas said that it was a great privilege for her to be speaking on behalf of Mayor Jim Watson and thanked China, Ambassador Lu, the embassy staff and the city of Beijing for their longstanding and ongoing friendship with Ottawa. The most colourful displays of the Canada-China friendship tulip can be found next to Dow’s Lake, amongst the more than 250,000 tulips that fill the park’s 30 flower beds.

By: Dan Donovan [Publisher and Managing Editor]

By the way see this story from 2019 about the loveable ambassador:

Hard-nosed’ Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye leaving Ottawa post for ‘promotion’ to Paris

Lu has made a series of damning remarks about Canada-China relations in recent months, recently saying the relationship had hit ‘rock bottom’

In January, Lu penned an explosive op-ed in the Hill Times after Canada recruited its Western allies to join in its calls for the release of the two Canadian detainees, whose arrests are widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s detention of Meng. Lu claimed Western countries like the U.S. and Britain were adopting a double standard in their support for Canada. “The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy,” Lu wrote…

Delightfully charming chap, what? What a, er, diplomat, eh?

2) From the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 2020:

Reimagining Canada-China Twinning Amidst Diplomatic Tensions

Author: Yiwei Jin

…Scaling down twining activities, however, is not necessarily the answer to these challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that sister city connections can be utilized for essential supply procurement during crises. In late June, Oshawa received 30,000 masks and 500 protective gowns from its sister city of Xinwu District, Wuxi, adding to the growing list of Canadian cities that have received similar donations from Chinese twinning partners. Twinning programs, managed by municipal officials and civilians with little role in foreign policy, can also be vital channels of educational, cultural, and business engagement when relations between central governments sour…

And of course the CCP and the government of the PRC will do nothing to direct how those programs are managed by Chinese municipalities. Sure. And I’ve got an archway on Somerset Street to sell you (the street is Ottawa’s dim sum HQ, btw).

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

Drang nach Westen: The American Revolution, or, what about Native Americans?

(Note the size of Quebec in 1774!)

The cost of the creation of the United States–peoples dispossessed of land, terribly de-populated, almost destroyed; Further to this post,

Ethnic Cleansing, or, Hitler and Native Americans, Slavs and Jews, the Mississippi and the Volga

this is amazing but not unexpected these days–a review at the NY Times Book Review of two books on the American Revolution that pays considerable attention to slavery and makes not a mention of Native Americans. Even though colonists’ lust for Indian lands beyond the Appalachians, which the British were trying to prevent the colonists from settling, was a major underlying motivation for seeking independence from Britain so that land could be seized, As it was after the war, one way or another.

Recall the British Proclamation Line of 1763 (image at the top of the post), issued following the defeat of France in the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War). France had given up Quebec and any other claims to the territory of what had been New France; the line was intended to keep the colonists east, away from Indian territories. Then the Quebec Act of 1774 expanded the borders of the province to the Ohio River (see here and here, and the second para. here for the borders). After the Revolution most of that western territory was ceded to the United States, which gave its inhabitants the freedom to go west. And boy they sure did, with Native Americans paying the price.

A very relevant earlier tweet;

And my goodness Quebec was briefly a monster province, extending to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Then, after the loss of territory in the Revolutionary War, and the influx of Loyalist refugees from the US to what is now Ontario, the northern parts of the province were severed in 1791 into Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec).

Constitutional Act, 1791

Happy Columbus Day–or this one:

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

The Jewish Blood Libel, or, Printing Playing the Role of the Internet in Diffusing Hate

(Caption for image at top of the post: “‘Tobias the Jew snatches the boy and furtively leads him to the synagogue’; painting from St. Paul’s Church, Sandomierz, Poland, eighteenth century”.)

Excerpts from an article at the NY Review of Books–how advances in media may also spread harm:

Seven Centuries of Slander

Sara Lipton


Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth by Magda Teter Harvard University Press, 539 pp., $41.00

How can educated, functional adults swallow venomous and fantastical narratives about their neighbors and compatriots? Five years ago that question might have seemed quaint; widespread belief in demon-worshiping sects or malevolent secret societies presumably belonged to the pre-Enlightenment past. Today many of us are asking it on a regular basis. A daunting number of people living otherwise seemingly normal lives, including public figures in positions of power, are embracing toxic and bizarre claims—that political elites are members of a satanic pedophile cult; that cabals employ space lasers to spark fires; that a coalition of Jews, feminists, and minorities is seeking to “replace” white populations through immigration or manipulated birth rates; even that lizard people are taking over the planet…

Blood Libel opens with the earliest recorded ritual murder accusation against Jews, in twelfth-century England. Teter draws from her examination of this and subsequent medieval and early modern episodes an important, and to many readers likely surprising, conclusion: though the blood libel and ritual murder charges were born in the Middle Ages, they did not flourish until after the period had ended. The myth spread not in spite of modern “progress” but because of it: the dominant themes of Blood Libel are the parts played in the deployment of the libel by print technology, new forms of archival and legal “evidence,” and political transformations that eroded Jews’ traditional protections.

The first ritual murder charge was spurred by the death of a twelve-year-old boy named William in Norwich, England, in the week before Easter, 1144. Making use of the best recent scholarship, Teter, a professor of history and Judaic studies at Fordham University, provides a clear and persuasive account of this complex and often misunderstood affair….There was no popular anti-Jewish outcry, and no actions of any kind, legal or extralegal, were taken against Norwich Jews. This may be because, like all English Jewish settlements, the small but commercially important Norwich community enjoyed a special relationship with the king, paying him direct taxes in exchange for a degree of legal autonomy, royal enforcement of Jews’ business contracts, and physical protection.

But it is also possible that Norwich Christians simply did not find the charge convincing. There was no prior history of anti-Jewish hostilities in Norwich (or anywhere in England, for that matter), and Jewish-Christian relations seemed to be civil and even on occasion cordial, if not intimate. Jews, who constituted perhaps 4 percent of Norwich’s population of about five thousand, lived in the center of town, sharing streets and apartment buildings with Christians, with whom they inevitably had many business and presumably personal contacts……The outcomes of the dozen-plus medieval ritual murder charges varied widely, from disbelief or indifference to an expulsion (from the Île-de-France in 1182) to massacres, both judicial and extrajudicial (in Blois in 1171, in the central German town of Fulda in 1235, in Lincoln in 1255, and in the Rhineland in 1287).Though the recurrence of such charges across England and the Continent provides obvious evidence that rumors of Jewish ritual murder traveled widely, and though they undoubtedly caused many Jews considerable suffering, Teter argues that the libels did not significantly alter the balance of Jewish existence in medieval Christendom. Christian theology, which enjoined the toleration of Jews within Christendom, and medieval political traditions, whereby Jewish communities were directly subject to and safeguarded (as well as exploited) by rulers, held firm….

The event that would fatally rock this equilibrium was the first blood libel to transcend local importance—the alleged murder of a three-year-old boy named Simon in the northern Italian city of Trent in 1475. Anti-Jewish rumors circulated as soon as the toddler was reported missing (on the Thursday before Easter) and even before a body had been found. When Simon’s body was discovered on Easter Sunday in the water conduit underneath the house of one of Trent’s three Jewish families, eight Jewish men were immediately arrested; more arrests ensued. Had the episode followed the pattern established in the preceding centuries, Simon’s death could have ended with the quashing of the charges, the acquittal of the Jews, or the execution of some or even most Jewish community members, but it would have remained a painful but obscure affair without further repercussions.The prince-bishop of Trent, however, a man named Johannes Hinderbach, had both motive and means to turn the episode into a cause célèbre. Hinderbach was a newcomer to Trent, a German-speaking subject of the Holy Roman emperor whose election to the bishopric had been opposed by the Italian pope. Realizing the boost to Trent’s stature and his own influence that a successful cult of Simonino (“Little Simon”) could provide (and perhaps relishing the problems it would cause the pope, given the traditional papal protection of the Jews), Hinderbach lost no time in inflaming passions. He ordered his substantial staff to collect, document, and notarize reports of “miracles” worked by Simon, and he commissioned his physician to write an account of the “murder” even before the interrogation of the Jews had ended. This account, whose stated goal was to eliminate Jews “from the whole Christian world,” constructed a highly imaginative report of the kidnapping, circumcision, and crucifixion of Simon. It also included descriptions of the torture sessions to which the Jews were subjected, in which they begged to be told what they should confess to.

The physician’s work became the foundation for a “multimedia campaign” orchestrated by Bishop Hinderbach, which included poems about and woodcuts of the ostensible torture and crucifixion of Little Simon. This campaign had considerable success. Challenges to the legality of the trial lodged by the duke of Tyrol (the overlord of both Bishop Hinderbach and the small Trent Jewish community) and by Pope Sixtus IV met resistance from Hinderbach’s allies and the residents of Trent. Trentine authorities produced a voluminous documentary record, tailored (in some cases forged) to defend Hinderbach’s actions and show that the trial satisfied exacting legal requirements. The Jewish men were executed, the women and children coerced into converting to Christianity. The pope was eventually forced to clear the bishop of wrongdoing and concede the legitimacy of the legal proceedings against the Jews.

Most importantly, as a result of Hinderbach’s propaganda almost all of Europe heard about the “martyrdom” of Simonino. Blood Libel is largely devoted to tracking the tale’s spread; its signal achievement is to explain how a rapidly modernizing Europe came to accept a horrific medieval fantasy. With the dogged persistence of a detective committed to seeing justice done, Teter painstakingly follows what she calls the libel’s “memory trail” across the Continent over the next three centuries.

This trail was chiefly paved with books [emphasis added]. The Trent case occurred just a few decades after the invention of printing, and the medium was fully exploited by promoters of Simonino’s cult. The boy’s “martyrdom” made its way into a late-medieval best seller, a World Chronicle, published in Nuremberg in 1493 and reprinted many times in both Latin and German. By Teter’s count, no fewer than thirty-three published versions of the Trent case were in circulation by 1500, as well as innumerable printed images of the “martyred” boy, most based on Bishop Hinderbach’s broadsheets.The authority accorded the new technology was such that, as Teter puts it, “rumors and lore became ‘facts’ once they entered reputable printed books.” Simon’s fame, moreover, stimulated interest in earlier presumed ritual murder victims (including William of Norwich), whose long-forgotten stories were exhumed and published, and whose images were remade in Simonino’s likeness…In Eastern Europe, however, the revival of Simon’s cult had pernicious effects. Because the Reformation did not take hold, Teter notes, there was less debate about Church ritual and so no flowering of Christian Hebraism in Catholic Poland. Polish scholars seeking to learn about Judeo-Christian history consulted neither Hebrew books nor the substantial Jewish communities in their midst. Rather, they translated recently published Latin and German chronicles, many of which recorded the blood libel. These sources were supplemented with “information” about and images of Simonino brought home from Italy by Polish pilgrims who passed through Trent on their way to Rome. Polish clerics found they could discourage Jewish-Christian contacts—and rally popular support for the Church—by employing anti-Jewish rhetoric and highlighting tales of Jewish cruelties, including ritual murder.

Little wonder that accusations followed. Ritual murder charges would plague Jews in Poland-Lithuania for more than two hundred years. In what Teter calls a “feedback loop,” prosecutors cited medieval chronicle narratives of alleged ritual murders as proof that Jews did commit such crimes; these early modern prosecutions were then cited as evidence in later accusations…

Although Teter ends her account with the Polish reforms, this was not, as she notes, the end of the ritual murder charge or the blood libel…Indeed, it persists to this day. In April 2019 the manifesto of the gunman who attacked a synagogue in Poway, California, killing one person and injuring several more, declared, “You are not forgotten Simon of Trent, the horror that you and countless children have endured at the hands of the Jews will never be forgiven.”..

A most relevant earlier post:

Hitler Frozen, or, Conspiracy Theories have been around quite a while (and the Internet sure helps spread the manure)

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

Canada and the PRC, or, whither Justin Trudeau and the Compradors? (note UPDATE)

Further to this post,

Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Compradors just Can’t Stop Loving the Chicoms

excerpts from a piece at the Globe and Mail by the estimable Charles Burton:


“Two, four, six, eight,

Let’s all capitulate!”

UPDATE: Three tweets from a former Canadian ambassador to the PRC

Here’s a very relevant earlier post:

Canadian Sinologist Charles Burton on PM Trudeau and PRC: “C’mon Man!” (note UPPERDATE)

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds