Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chinese reaction to Libya, Wuxi Photos, et cetera

Thinking what to put in the blog today, I had the idea to take some photos.  Wuxi is rapidly changing because of all the construction.  So I should do my best to try to chronicle this, because otherwise, I will be doing nothing but doing Wuxi China Expatdom or Wuxi China Expatdom blogging.

  • Here are photos taken in late March 2011 on Zhongshan Road and at Nanchang Temple Market.
  • The student reaction to the intervention in Libya is interesting.  Last night, I asked if the students if they had heard about it, and they all seemed to indicate that they had.  Asking if the intervention was necessary, I got the general impression that the students were thinking "America is in another war for oil!"  I next asked the students if they thought Qaddafi was a good man, and I heard a wide range of reactions.  The first student said Qaddafi was a great man for his people, comparable to Chairman Mao.  I didn't know how to take it that -- was he serious or being sarcastic?  The next student then said Qaddafi was a bad man.  The other students talked about him being a good man for his people, mixed in with a few "so-so" opinions about him.
  • My two cents worth, for what it's worth, about Libya is that foreign policy pronouncements can be tricky.  I have yet to see what I see as a consistent rationale for all America has done through its history, foreign-policy wise.  But then America has had different presidents who have had different takes on what their foreign policy should be.  I will say that America's foreign policy, more than any other nations who have had the power, has had a humanitarian aspect to it.  For instance, George W. Bush, despite many who would say otherwise, had a big humanitarian element to his foreign policy.  Obama, no doubt, has decided to employ U.S. forces in Libya for humanitarian concerns, though I have Chinese students telling me he is doing so for oil.  And it is easy to find previous Obama statements on foreign policy that are inconsistent with what he has decided to do in Libya.  The one rationale, I have heard from Obama supporters for what he has done in Libya, is that he is not Bush in how he is doing it, or more simply he is not Bush.  Obama is probably closer to Bush on foreign policy than many would care to admit.  (Ralph Nader, strangely enough, is now saying both Bush and Obama have committed war crimes.)
  • What's happening in the world of TKIC?  Visit here or here to find out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting times here in the states. For the first time in years both liberals and conservatives seem conflicted about what to think over our actions in Libya. That has me believing that this might be the right approach. Polls on both sides show a near 50/50 split for and against the actions. i can't remember the last time I saw a lot of conservatives actually approving of something Obama did or the last time I saw so many liberals attacking him.

It would certainly be a much different story if Qaddafi had been allowed to wage genocide in Eastern Libya this past week. Despite a lot of us being against the war in Iraq, anyone who thinks George didn't truly believe he was doing the humanitarian thing, isn't giving him a fair shake. I personally think history has shown it was a mistake. Yes, overthrowing an evil dictator will be good in the long run, but our credibility was severely hurt by the false case made for the war and will only hamper our ability to take 'the lead' in future efforts like the one in Libya.

Its got to be incredibly frustrating trying to overcome the biases and preconceptions that your students seem to have toward the states, about Mao, the Japanese, etc... But its good to hear that someone is posing questions that at least get them thinking about other possibilities than the ones they surely get at home from parents who were victims of decades of an educational system that was less than objective.