No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 5/5

September 26, 2011

In conclusion, I ask this question of the Kiers of the world.

Do we blame China’s central government when the manufacturing sector (many of the private companies in China are controlled by Western corporations) hasn’t cooperated regarding environmental laws in China designed to clean the air and water?

To cooperate would mean raising prices and Western/American consumers refuse to pay more so violations of these new environmental laws often go unpunished due to the sheer numbers of Chinese that do not want to see their source of income flow to Vietnam or another country willing to ignore environmental disasters.

Talking about Vietnam—during the Vietnam War, America sprayed a defoliant called Agent Orange, which led to generations of birth defects and health problems among Vietnam’s people and American veterans.

In fact, since I served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange, the VA added my name to the Agent Orange watch list. I read recently that two-thirds of US servicemen that served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange are now dead.

In 1990, Time Magazine wrote, “Critics charge that the agency (CDC) and one of its senior officials, Dr. Vernon Houk, helped scuttle a $63 million study that might have determined once and for all whether U.S. troops exposed to Agent Orange suffered serious damage to their health.”

Then in 2009, Time World said,, “Agent Orange Poisons New Generations in Vietnam.”

Do we blame that on China and/or Mao too?

In addition, have we forgotten Erin Brockovich (2000) starring Julia Roberts, where she plays an unemployed single mother that becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

Erin Brokovich was based on a true story, and recently in the news, it was revealed that another cover up may be happening with the  same company in the same location, and this is not the only time cover-ups have been attempted in the West/America by government agencies or private sector corporations.

Another example would be The Ford Pinto Conspiracy, a deliberate cover up of the danger of fires being caused by rear end collisions of its Pinto car. I had a close friend whose daughter burned up in the back seat of a Pinto after a rear end collision.  Ford fought long and hard in the courts to avoid responsibility for that failed conspiracy until a memo was leaked that revealed the facts.

The same could be said of America’s tobacco industry, which knew tobacco was addictive and caused cancer and emphysema and covered that up as long as possible until another leaked memo revealed the truth.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users—nearly six million people each year and tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. My dad died ten to fifteen years early because he started smoking when he was 14. It was a horrible death.

Tobacco executives know their product causes people to suffer and die but they keep growing and selling it. How many of these executives have gone to jail?

I could probably spend a long week researching and writing about similar cover-ups in the Untied States and Europe—the ones that were caught that is. Remember Enron and how many lives were ruined?

The environmental pollution in China is a fact since China joined the World Trade Organization and allowed Western companies to manufacture products there to boost corporate profits, but all of China’s pollution since the early 1980s does not compare to the pollution from the West’s Industrial Revolution which started in the later 18th century in England, and then spread to Europe and the United States.

It is convenient for the Kiers of the world to forget two centuries of pollution in the West while blaming China for three decades of pollution and ignoring the fact that in the last few years China has emerged as the largest manufacture of alternative forms of solar and wind energy in the world, while replacing its old coal burning power plants with modern cleaner ones.

However, in the United States, not one coal burning power plant has been replaced with a modern one. The old ones are still spewing pollution into the air.

One last question — Does patriotism mean ignoring the facts and supporting lies?

Return to No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 4 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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POW Deaths During the Korean War

February 28, 2011

I planned another post for this spot but decided to write about UN POW deaths during the Korean War since that topic came up at the end of Part 7 of this documentary summarizing the Korean War.

It mentions how 87% of POW’s captured by the People’s Liberation Army and/or North Korean troops during the war died in captivity.  It doesn’t explain how.

The lack of context may provide Sinophobes with ammunition to criticize China for the behavior of its troops during the Korean War.

In fact, while there was strong evidence that North Korean Troops executed UN POWs, “the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their Korean counterparts (since) mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese POW camps during the winter of 1950-51. About 43 percent of all US POWs died during this period. The Chinese defended their actions by stating that all Chinese soldiers during this period were also suffering mass starvation and diseases due to the lack of competent logistics system.” Source: Wikipedia

Surviving UN POWs, however, dispute this claim. Click on the link to see what the POWs had to say but know that Mao ruled China from 1949 to 1976. Revolutionary Maoism died with him.

In 1951, the Western rules of war did not apply to China or North Korea. China wouldn’t join the United Nations until October 25, 1971 — twenty years later.  North Korea would become a member of the UN September 1991.

If you were to study the International Treaties on the Laws of War, you would discover that most were written in Geneva and the Hague. Source: Wikipedia

What I found interesting in this list was the 1938 League of Nations declaration for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing from the Air in Case of War.”

During World War II, the US air forces killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. Many of the bombs dropped were napalm (jellied gasoline) and the innocent were roasted including the elderly, women and children.

The Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War was written in 1949, the year the Chinese Communists won the Civil War in China.

There is an old saying — the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

The United States has been an ally of the Nationalist Chinese since well before World War II and protected Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Taiwan after 1949.

However, Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator that ruled Taiwan with martial law and is responsible for the deaths of more than thirty thousand civilians there. Learn of the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan.

Chinese history shows that since the time of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor (221 – 207 B.C.), the standard practice in war was to execute POWs because they were a burden that might lead to defeat.  An army that doesn’t’ have to feed and/or guard POWs is more effective at fighting and winning.  Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan knew this too.

While the behavior of PLA and North Korean troops when it came to POW’s was unacceptable by Western humanitarian standards, US forces are just as guilty when it came to killing innocent civilians. There are estimates that the US killed about two million civilians in Vietnam and left behind a horrible legacy due to the use of Agent Orange.

When it comes to war, both combatants are usually guilty of atrocities against POWs and/or civilians. However, the victor decides who is guilty of those crimes and the punishment.

The rules of war to use are Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.