Global Times: This is Unfair!

[Bin Laden] “defied the most unconquerable country and military with his thin and weak body, continuously embarrassed and defeated them, played a drama that was the most magnificent and respectable in human history.”

The – unverified – Chinese version, from


If Hou Ning (侯宁) really wrote that, he should stand by it, or offer a new version, after spending some thought on it. One could say, for example, that bin-Laden stood out among the lot of “holy warriors”, after all – there was only one 9-11 (and not every mujaheddin inherited millions of dollars at an early age).  As I wrote on Wednesday, bin-Laden’s fan club went somewhat beyond the Islamist quarter, as his fan club seemed to include some rather secular do-gooders, too.

Do-gooders like Hou, who is no affiliate of a political party, but a patriot (爱国人士). The words he is quoted with can’t be found on his blog, and maybe only the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or Hou himself could shed more light into the issue. Either way, the Global Times (GT) suggests that Hou had in fact  used some unfortunate words. They had, however, been meant as a perhaps mistimed joke, writes the columnist, and:

It’s unfair to associate a whole country with sympathy for terrorism because of a few sporadic online posts.

I don’t doubt that Hou is indeed against terrorism, as the GT quotes him. He only admired bin-Laden – that doesn’t mean that he would have wanted to watch the man’s magnificient workings from one of the WTC twin towers on 9-11, not at all. And of course, the WSJ reporter who had contacted him concerning his bin-Laden obituary was not very good Putonghua. Just another one of those bad guys who don’t understand China.

But the Global Times understands the world:

With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq not yet over, and a new war in Libya, many Muslims still see the US as an essentially hostile force. Commentators generally agreed that the death of Bin Laden won’t mean the easy demise of terrorist movements.

Chinese people treasure a peaceful and secure environment, and they are alert against factors that may jeopardize this.

The US should mull on the fundamental reasons behind radical Islamist terror movements.

If the war in Afghanistan is the issue here, let’s expand the discussion to Xinjiang, just to make sure that it all becomes even more nebulous.

But 说真话的中国才是有希望的中国 (only a China that speaks the truth is a China of hope) it is not.


» The Reporter in the Rye, March 25, 2011
» Wu Sike corrects biased Views, Aug 17, 2009


7 Comments to “Global Times: This is Unfair!”

  1. This whole OBL thing has just exposed that, yes, there are at least a few people who hate the US and are willing to support anyone who does it harm. However, I remember some conversations in the days immediately after 11/9/2001 which showed the same thing.


  2. Me too… zha de hao, zha de hao! on internet forums, right after the news broke. In personal conversations, it became a bit more sophisticated – stuff like this should be a wake-up call to America (to reconsider its policies) – pretty much what the Global Times suggests in its article cited above, almost ten years later.


  3. @JR – Yeah, a friend of mine was in Nanjing at the time. He was on Hunan Lu (one of the main shopping streets in NJ) when he found out, which at least when I arrived in NJ in 2003 had a huge display screen although I don’t know whether it did in 2001. He described the atmosphere in the square there as having a party atmosphere, people laughing and chatting about the spectacle.

    At the time having just finished university I was working for the local council as a temp labourer in the area around my home town whilst waiting for my job in Taiwan to start. I was mostly partnered with a driver who cared as much for the work we were doing as I did (i.e., not much) so we spent an awful lot of time in cafes and stopping off at the driver’s friend’s places. I remember we stopped off at one particularly left-wing guy’s place a few days after the 11th of September. No sooner had the event been mentioned than he cut into a five-minute rant about how the US “deserved” the attacks because of its policies in Southern and Central America and how he would “laugh” if it came out that the attacks were carried out by Americans.

    I’m inclined to put all this “should be a wake-up call”, “bringing their policies home to them” rhetoric in the same bracket as basically blaming the US for the attacks. True, there were definite elements of US policy before 9/11 which I disagreed with (particularly on the Israel/Palestine issue and Cuba), but nothing which these attacks actually served to highlight, since the main reason for the attacks was the stationing of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia.


  4. @FOARP – I’d agree that the “wake-up call” stuff is only a more tea-house style version of more basic mob expressions.

    Do you have any idea what pug_ster thought he was doing when he suggested that merely self-censorship motivated platforms in China to delete comments on their threads? It was probably the strangest discussion I’ve had online so far.


  5. @JR – Pugster’s having a bit of breakdown right now. Maybe, just maybe, he’s beginning to see just how stupid it is for a married man to spend so much time trolling websites discussing subjects which, when it comes right down to it, he is not actually that interested in.


  6. Maybe that’s true. But he’s still busy enough.

    Any objection to Custer’s post I might have is that his previous post’s headline – Most Chinese Net Users Sad Bin Laden is Dead isn’t accurate. But it’s catchy, and I wouldn’t hesitate to place such an eye-catcher myself.


  7. @FAORP. Pugster has such a diverse range of interests. A veritable renaissance man. Mental implosion. Hope so. After just reading the latest piece on CMP, he, ChasL etc can’t be paid up members of the 5 centers as virtually everything they write alienates everybody including readers with no particular axe to grind. Quite the opposite effect of opinion channeling.

    Don’t mind a bit of HH trolling myself, but ultimately it is a very unsatisfying fast food exercise. Always the best part of the comment is the invective and sarcasm, but that bit gets moderated. As long as things don’t get reduced to potty humour, all forms of muscular comment should be acceptable. Unfortunately, we live in an inperfect blogosphere. The patience you, SKC and others display in breaking down their points and addressing each in turn is beyond me. Must be the resilience of relative youth. Cheers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: