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Tuesday, April 22

The Empire Barely Needs to Strike Back: Rupert Murdoch as this era's Edgar Snow, and 'anticipatory compliance' with Saudi billionaires

"And their global reach extends a little further day by day, inch by inch, in the lengthening shadows, as the lights go out one by one around the world."
-- Mark Steyn, from The vanishing jihad exposés

From Fjordman's The Muslim Brotherhood's Infiltration of the West:
"Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family, is an international investor ranked among the ten richest persons in the world. In 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp, the parent of Fox News.

In December 2005 he boasted about his ability to change what viewers see. Covering the Jihad riots in France that fall, Fox ran a banner saying: "Muslim riots."

According to Talal, "I picked up the phone and called [Rupert] Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty. Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots."
From George Monbiot's review of Bruce Dover's Rupert Murdoch's Adventures in China
[Rupert] Murdoch ... began his assault on China with two strategic mistakes. The first was to pay a staggering price - $525m - for a majority stake in Star TV, a failing satellite broadcaster based in Hong Kong. The second was to make a speech in September 1993, a few months after he had bought the business, which he had neither written nor read very carefully.

New telecommunications, he said, "have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere ... satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels".

The Chinese leaders were furious. The prime minister, Li Peng, issued a decree banning satellite dishes from China. Murdoch spent the next 10 years grovelling. In the interests of business the great capitalist became the communist government's most powerful supporter.

Within six months of Li Peng's ban, Murdoch dropped the BBC from Star's China signal. His publishing company, HarperCollins, paid a fortune for a tedious biography of the paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, written by Deng's daughter.

He built a website for the regime's propaganda sheet, the People's Daily. In 1997 he made another speech in which he tried to undo the damage he had caused four years before. "China," he said, "is a distinctive market with distinctive social and moral values that western companies must learn to abide by."

His minions ensured, Dover reveals, that "every relevant Chinese government official received a copy".

But the satellite dishes remained banned, so he grovelled even more. He described the Dalai Lama as "a very political old monk shuffling around in Gucci shoes".

His son James claimed that the western media were "painting a falsely negative portrayal of China through their focus on controversial issues such as human rights".

Rupert employed his unsalaried gopher Tony Blair to give him special access: in 1999 Blair placed him next to then Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, at a Downing Street lunch.

To secure some limited cable rights in southern China, News Corporation agreed to carry a Chinese government channel - CCTV-9 - on Fox and Sky. Murdoch promised to "further strengthen cooperative ties with the Chinese media, and explore new areas with an even more positive attitude".

Most notoriously, he instructed HarperCollins not to publish the book that it had bought from the former governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten. Dover reveals that Murdoch was forced to intervene directly (he instructed the publishers to "kill the f**king book") because his usual system of control had broken down.

"Murdoch very rarely issued directives or instructions to his senior executives or editors." Instead he expected "a sort of 'anticipatory compliance'. One didn't need to be instructed about what to do, one simply knew what was in one's long-term interests."

In this case HarperCollins executives had failed to understand that when the boss objected to Patten's views on China, it meant that the book was dead.

Anticipatory compliance also describes Murdoch's approach to Beijing. Dover shows that the Chinese leadership never asked for Chris Patten's book to be banned: they didn't even know it existed. But when Murdoch killed it, "our Beijing minders were impressed and the Patten incident marked a distinct warming in the relationship".[...]
From Paris mounts diplomatic charm offensive to mollify China, IHT April 21:
French officials played down the risks of a Chinese boycott of French goods, arguing that Beijing depended more on French consumers than France depended on Chinese consumers. China's exports to France are worth four times as much as French exports to China.

But the concern in the business community was plain. The chief executive of Carrefour, José Luis Durán, told the weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that China was of "strategic importance" to his company. Carrefour has 112 hypermarkets and more than two million customers in China.

Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods group, which has been the target of boycott calls, said last week that France should stop trying to teach China lessons.

[...]

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier of Germany, a Social Democrat, apparently also moved swiftly to avert any awkwardness. He let it be known that he was on the phone with his Chinese counterpart for a full hour the day after the protests in Lhasa. The contents of that conversation have not been disclosed.

Steinmeier, who was chief of staff when Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, was chancellor, deflected criticism that he was pushing business interests with China rather than addressing human rights concerns by initiating a program to enroll hundreds of Chinese students to study law in Germany.
From What is the secret of the Chinese economy?
Often when we try to understand the reason why Chinese goods (shoes, clothes, toys, gadgets…) cost so little, the answers we are given by newspapers and television shows are always the same: incredibly long work hours, child labor, the low salaries paid to the local work force.

But what they don’t talk about ... are the tortures, the killings, the illegal traffic of organs, the abuse and the horrors that millions of people are subjected to every day.

In China the abundant work force often costs nothing: they are prisoners condemned to hard labor.

Further, the raw materials are sometimes the prisoners themselves: their dead bodies are used for the cosmetic industry and the illegal traffic of organs.

We are referring to are the Laogai, which in Chinese means “reform, reeducation through work.”

These are the concentration camps which are the foundation of the Chinese prison system as well as its “economic” system.

This is where toys, clothes, mineral products, etc., are produced, the fruit of the 18-20 hours of daily labor of prisoners, mostly political dissidents, in their daily efforts to complete the “rehabilitation process” they were sentenced to by the representatives of the Chinese Communist Party. [...]
From Unmasking Mao by Ronald Radosh
Not only did Mao [Zedong] not suffer on the [Long] March, he was carried the entire thousands of miles on a litter, with porters assigned to carry all his luggage, books and belongings.

In all details Mao was a new Emperor, who in practice never allowed egalitarianism to enter his private domain. Mao read as his carriers trekked up mountains, with their skin and flesh rubbed raw, as they sweated and shed much blood.

As for the reported critical battle at a bridge over the Dadu river, a suspension bridge between two cliffs, Edgar Snow had reported that the wooden panels had been removed and Mao’s troops crossed on bare iron chains, facing machine gun fire as the remaining planks were burning.

“Who would have thought,” Snow wrote, “that the Reds would insanely try to cross on the chains alone?”

The truth is that the story is false. No battle took place at the bridge – a site picked by Mao to portray heroic deeds to the gullible Snow because it looked like a good place for them to have occurred.

Later, a phony propaganda film was made in which a mock battle was filmed and offered as evidence.

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