The Evisceration of the Uighurs

The thing that bothers me more than anything else, these last few years, is the question of how to respond to matters like these.
A small medical team and a young doctor starting a practice in internal medicine had driven up from Sun Yat-sen Medical University in a van modified for surgery. Pulling in on bulldozed earth, they found a small fleet of similar vehicles—clean, white, with smoked glass windows and prominent red crosses on the side. The police had ordered the medical team to stay inside for their safety. Indeed, the view from the side window of lines of ditches—some filled in, others freshly dug—suggested that the hilltop had served as a killing ground for years.

Thirty-six scheduled executions would translate into 72 kidneys and corneas divided among the regional hospitals. Every van contained surgeons who could work fast: 15-30 minutes to extract.
That is only to set the stage. We understand about harvesting organs from executed prisoners, yes, but what about people who were never prisoners -- who were summarily executed by China's armed police?
[T]he armed police saw the ambulance and waved him over.
“This one. It’s this one.”
Sprawled on the blood-soaked ground was a man, around 30, dressed in navy blue overalls. All convicts were shaved, but this one had long hair.
“That’s him. We’ll operate on him.”
“Why are we operating?” Enver protested, feeling for the artery in the man’s neck. “Come on. This man is dead.”

Enver stiffened and corrected himself. “No. He’s not dead.”

“Operate then. Remove the liver and the kidneys. Now! Quick! Be quick!”... As Enver’s scalpel went in, the man’s chest heaved spasmodically and then curled back again....  Enver worked fast, not bothering with clamps, cutting with his right hand, moving muscle and soft tissue aside with his left, slowing down only to make sure he excised the kidneys and liver cleanly. 
What about the ones who were butchered alive?
[I]t took years for him to understand that live organs had lower rejection rates in the new host, or that the bullet to the chest had—other than that first sickening lurch—acted like some sort of magical anaesthesia.... 
Nijat finally understood. The anticoagulant. The expensive “execution meals” for the regiment following a trip to the killing ground. The plainclothes agents in the cells who persuaded the prisoners to sign statements donating their organs to the state. And now the medical director was confirming it all: Those statements were real. They just didn’t take account of the fact that the prisoners would still be alive when they were cut up.
What about ethnic cleansing via the murder of babies?
If a Uighur couple had a second child, even if the birth was legally sanctioned, Chinese maternity doctors, she observed, administered an injection (described as an antibiotic) to the infant. The nurse could not recall a single instance of the same injection given to a Chinese baby. Within three days the infant would turn blue and die. Chinese staffers offered a rote explanation to Uighur mothers: Your baby was too weak, your baby could not handle the drug.
What bothers me isn't the existence of evil:  the structure of the world is not our fault.  What bothers me is the lack of a way to respond to it without creating a worse evil:  economic sanctions could collapse China, leading to millions of innocent deaths and civil war; smiting the wicked with the sword would lead to an international war.  This is what bothers me about the world.

26 comments:

bthun said...

"This is what bothers me about the world. "

Aye.

Without trying to reconcile the merits of actions against inactions, I will suggest some small comfort can be found, at least in my estimation, occasional observation, and belief, in that a reckoning awaits the evil.

E Hines said...

I will suggest some small comfort can be found, at least in my estimation, occasional observation, and belief, in that a reckoning awaits the evil.

The problem I have with this is that it's little different from the truism that for evil to triumph, all that's required is for good men to do nothing. The rationale for doing nothing is irrelevant.

Unfortunately, so far, like Grim, I have no good ideas on a something to do.

...economic sanctions could collapse China, leading to millions of innocent deaths and civil war....

But perhaps a civil war is what is needed: Uighurs fighting for their freedom from the Chinese. Would we be remiss to incite one? Maybe. But if they start, we'd be entirely right to support it. Certainly such support would bring its own complications. I have a Chinese friend who gets quite irate with me over my view that the RoC is a sovereign nation, as is Tibet, and that Tibet should be rid of Chinese occupation. She considers both to be a desire to dismantle China.

But I think, given such evil, the complications are small price to pay for justice.

And all of this ignores the shortsightedness of such cleansing: the Chinese are facing their own demographic implosion within a couple of generations. They'll need people soon.

Eric Hines

bthun said...

Howdy Eric,

Yup, doing nothing is often the worst of options. Failing to come up with any other bright ideas is why I only dared to offer the small comfort of the potential for a reckoning.

If I were to be in a position to make real a decisive act, forcefully addressing the matter, or supporting internal forces, I too do not know exactly what call I would make, much less how I would begin to weigh the consequences of U.S. actions against inactions.

Even if I had a copy of The Idiots Guide to Grand Strategies For A Better World, my aged carcass has learned the best of intentions too often pave the Express lanes to H3!!, lesson, many times over, and usually the hard way.

Regardless, I'm open to new ideas but embracing those new ideas, well, that's another matter. =;^}

Tom said...

The problem I have with this is that it's little different from the truism that for evil to triumph, all that's required is for good men to do nothing. The rationale for doing nothing is irrelevant.

How silly. The belief in a final reckoning does nothing to absolve one of one's moral duty.

As to what we can do, we can prepare for when things might change. For example, we can work to put people in office who would do something about this if the opportunity arose, and we can make sure those people are informed and understand the arguments for doing something. We can also inform others in order to build social and cultural support for acting if the opportunity arises. There are other actions we can take as well.

Alas, none of them would be as satisfying as buying the perpetrators and their masters quick and violent tickets to Hell.

bthun said...

Howdy Tom,

"The belief in a final reckoning does nothing to absolve one of one's moral duty."

Not knowing if you intended to address this to me since I'm the one who mentioned reckoning in the first place, even though you quoted Eric, I'll add a couple of thoughts.

I'll certainly agree that believing most evil will eventually have to settle the books does not absolve anyone from their sense of duty to live and act morally, ethically, and in general, honorably. I have been known to miss points here and there, but in reviewing the post and the comments, I do not see anyone saying anything that would stake out a claim to being relieved of the need to live and act morally.

"As to what we can do, we can prepare for when things might change. For example, we can work to put people in office who would do something about this if the opportunity arose, and we can make sure those people are informed and understand the arguments for doing something."

Unfortunately, at least for me, it is defining that something that stops me in my tracks. Or, as Grim noted, ”What bothers me is the lack of a way to respond to it without creating a worse evil:”

Now, I'd be willing to wager that the host and readers at The Hall are as, if not more aware of the politics and events happening around the world than most. Why, even I frequently write my Congressman and Senators about various matters and I never miss an opportunity to vote. That necessitates an expenditure of time/effort to be informed on and prioritize the issues, at least to the best of my ability. Additionally, I try to avoid spending my scratch on anything from China. Conversely, I give what I can, when I can, to support things in which I believe. I imagine that my actions/attributes distinguish me from my fellow humans, at least those in circles such as the ones the fine folk who frequent The Hall's orbit, in no particularly meaningful way.

"We can also inform others in order to build social and cultural support for acting if the opportunity arises. There are other actions we can take as well."

Tell me more. As I mentioned above, I'm open to ideas and I'll commit to spread the good ones.

"Alas, none of them would be as satisfying as buying the perpetrators and their masters quick and violent tickets to Hell."

True that, which makes me wish that I could have been present when MacArthur and Truman argued the matter.

Cheers to you and yours on this fine Christmas eve.

E Hines said...

As to what we can do, we can prepare for when things might change.

As has been pointed out, already--including by you--the waiting is the killer. Literally.

But the problem with acting now is that without a useful something to do, we're too likely only to make things worse. Run in circles, scream and shout really isn't much of a solution. Neither is firing our guns without an identified target.

All of your suggested actions are good for the future--but they're only good for the future. Like Bthun (and I suspect Grim, and other frequenters of the Hall), I'm open to suggestions.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

I agree with Tom. If there's nothing in our power to do immediately, we can at least always be doing our best to influence the world around us to be as ready as possible when an opportunity does arise. There are more ways to do that than we could ever find the time and resources to pursue.

By the way, I think it's always morally perilous even to consider harvesting organs from executed prisoners even in the context of a fairly trustworthy justice system (which the Uighurs obviously don't enjoy). We'd have to be saints not to find that situation a temptation into gross evil, no matter how pure our initial motives might be.

bthun said...

Evening Tex,

..."we can at least always be doing our best to influence the world around us to be as ready as possible when an opportunity does arise."

Don't we as a nation already expend much that is precious in order to try to influence the rest of the world to adopt our principles and stand with us against oppression, injustice, and evil?

"I think it's always morally perilous even to consider harvesting organs from executed prisoners even in the context of a fairly trustworthy justice system"

Agreed. Perilous, tilting heavily towards immoral/criminal, depending on the nation.

Regarding a means to address the harvested organs particular, a vociferous boycott of PRC sourced, harvested, human organs, in a blood diamonds sort of way, might be just the ticket. In that vein, my question is, would the US, the EU as currently constituted, and any other collection of peoples with a conscience, boycott PRC sourced, human organs?

The problem, as my limited perception sees it, is the old spheres of influence from the US versus USSR/PRC days of the Cold War are not as spherically exclusive and air-tight as they once were. Forget Latin America for a moment, even our Western/NATO allies sell technology they shouldn't to those who would bisect our quarks, should they have an opportunity. Money/wealth does not just talk, it seduces the weak and sings the Song of the Siren to those who worship nothing so much as wealth and/or power.

That said, who and how could we seek to influence those that we do not already, in ways that we do not already employ?

Who, among our legislators, would revoke the PRC's most favored nation status and impose trade duties for the less than free and open trade practices and currency manipulations employed by the PRK? And if we, the U.S., did choose to take the principled stand and throw away any opportunity to influence by way of trade partnerships, who else in the world would stand with us? Would such a stand alter the PRC's, much less any other nations behaviors?

I hope the hastily typed yapping made sense, but I'll confess that my spine may or may not allow me to sit at the PC much longer this evening, so I'll end my most recent blather with a Merry Christmas wish Tex!

Texan99 said...

bthun -- I was just thinking of doing our best to elect sane leaders here. I'm far from having any good ideas about what they can do now or any time soon about situations like the Uighurs.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Bthun's right on track. What's the difference between buying the PRC's harvested organs and buying soap and lampshades from Dr. Mengele? Boycotting this evil is the only honorable course regardless the consequences. The consequences of being an accessory to these crimes is worse.

As Bthun points out though there is no outrage in any quarter. Why? The great democracies today, like Ebenezer Scrooge, measure all good by material gain. The root of all evil is quite evident in our current age.

Grim's question should be discussed prominently in government and the public square starting ASAP. If powerful voices were raised against this wicked regime it would not immediately bring about policy revisions in the USA but it would immediately reinforce the dissidents working to reform China.

Ymar Sakar said...

Find a way to make better use of war and economic sanctions then.

Anonymous said...

Dear Christ have mercy!

I always considered China as an enemy, either immediate or potential, but I never saw them as Evil. Until now.

Texan99, that's why abortion is evil, IMO. There's lots of MONEY in it, and not just fetal stem cells.

Grim said...

Only some of them, my friend. It is the system they have erected that is evil; and it is driving some of them, some men who ought to know better, to evils they should have had the strength to avoid.

This was the problem in Germany, once. When all the powerful speak evil, many follow; and when many follow, and all the powerful speak so, it is the rare man who can remember why he ever thought a different way was right.

To judge that requires a test, outside the law and the structures of power, that shows you the true way. That is the function of natural law. It is unfortunate that, in this era that began with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, we have lost faith in the one thing that might tame them.

Perhaps we may rediscover that faith; but if we do, it will send not peace but a sword.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree, brother. Every Chinese person is not our enemy, nor is every Chinese evil.

But, as Eric alluded to Edmund Burke's famous quote, all it takes for a people or nation to become evil is for the good men of that society to turn a blind eye.

Don't mean to be alarmist, or overly negative but, we appear to be headed in the same direction,as you seem to indicate you also see.

I hope not but, being the praying kind, by faith we lay our petitions before Him to save the Republic from the consequences of our own folly.

douglas said...

"Bthun's right on track. What's the difference between buying the PRC's harvested organs and buying soap and lampshades from Dr. Mengele? Boycotting this evil is the only honorable course regardless the consequences."

Sharing the disgust with what is happening with you all, I'm not sure this is the right course. First, I think the analogy is weak, as there are a billion+ Chinese, and most of them aren't Dr. Mengele, but are who we buy stuff from, and who work in those factories.

As bad as things are in China, they've been known to be worse- much worse. Ever hear of death by a thousand cuts? Know anything about it? Not so long ago, it was a common practice in China. We see evil such as this, and particularly men of action wish to see something done, and done soon. There is a personal satisfaction in that, as has been noted, but this isn't about satisfying our desires, it's about the greater good, wasn't that what Grim's original question was about?

Cultural change occurs in decades at best, more often in generations, or even centuries. Our task is to promote, protect, and develop the best, most just system extant- fortunately for us, ours, and let the course of things be steered by the natural tendency of man to desire the best things for himself and his kin. Great strides have been made in spreading the benefits of a morally rooted capitalist system, and I'm fairly confident more are to come, but they may not be in my lifetime even. My grandparents, who saw the evils of the Japanese, fortunately from distance, and who fled them and the communists ultimately came to the conclusion (by the 90's) that capitalism would be the undoing of the Chinese communists, and so were against boycotts. I have to agree with them at this point, especially as we've already pointed out that there doesn't seem to be an alternative that doesn't bring even greater evils into the world.

Keep in mind that the generation of Chinese who are growing up and coming to power in the new communist/capitalist era are seeing the world in a rather different light than Mao envisioned, and it would seem, for all the backwards tugging we see in things like what it happening to the Uighurs, motion in the right direction, albeit haltingly slow in the view from our mortal temporality.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't be dropping snowflakes at the 5-side about 'what to do if China (fill in the blank)?' perpetually. Be prepared. Don't strike prematurely and make yourself vulnerable, nor should you be unprepared and act too late.

On the side, but related, I'm not sure we should want to severely hurt the oil business in the Middle East, as what happens to those populations if the oil money dries up? Would it be a good thing for us?

E Hines said...

I tend to agree with Douglas vis-a-vis China (though not so much on Middle Eastern oil). We should continue and expand interaction with the Chinese, continue and expand the exchange of ideas with them, continue and expand our contamination of them with American concepts of individual liberty, primacy of individual over state, long-run superiority of free market capitalism over centrally directed economics. We'll win the exchange. None of this means that we shouldn't be prepared to apply the sword, but it's not necessary to draw it, yet. And at whom would we strike, anyway? Specific targets might seem clear, but for now, striking seems counterproductive.

Wrt Middle Eastern oil, I think the situation is reversed. Where the Chinese--including the government, and government functionaries (and their lackies) who do these things to the Uighurs, prisoners, et al.--are, in the main, interested in peace and in getting along with their neighbors, the same does not obtain with Iran, Syria, and the non-national entities that have only mayhem and extermination at heart, and see their own deaths in service to those endeavors not only as necessary, but as actively to be desired.

There's no persuasion possible here. Indeed, what happens to those populations if the oil money dries up? But what happens to us, if we continue to limit ourselves to exchanges of ideas? With these folks, such attempts are no more than Anonymous' mouse: trying to argue with owls. The mouse think their ways are wrong. They think the mouse is dinner.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I think Douglas is on to something. Engagement and cultural change are long-range ways of turning the evils without creating greater evils in the short run.

The problem I see with that is this: we haven't really had a good run at changing our own culture in a positive direction. If anything, it seems to be dissolving outside the bounds of our immediate families (and sometimes, given the strength of the acid, even within them).

So, if this is an important part of the right approach, how do we make it work?

bthun said...

I hate to yap so much on this topic, as if I have any answers. Oh well, after talking this over with the walkin' horse this afternoon, and realizing that knowing what I'm talking about has rarely stopped me in the past, here goes...

Douglas is indeed right to point out the time scale factor, which depending on the object of change, can come over such a great period of time, that the pace or degree of change will not be satisfactory for any involved.

When I first started yapping on this thread, I though of the criminal/dangerous/dysfunctional/[self-]destructive acquaintance, friend, and/or relative some of us have had the experience to know.

I thought of the ones that I've known and how some did change and some did not, no matter the time and effort put into the attempt.
Governments with their own unique notions regarding self-interest, be they contrary to any others, strike me as the same animal in principle.

IMHO, all we, the U.S., can do is to try to organize and lead a boycott of PRC harvested human organs.

We can also engage in negotiations with the PRC, backed up by the implied threat of sanctions like a repeal of MFN status and imposing trade duties on PRC imports to attempt to nudge their government to change, etc... All of which, to my limited knowledge, we now do. This includes trying to persuade friends and others to take a stand with us.

As far as I know, the exception being the human organ boycott. I was only vaguely aware of this activity as it occurs globally, and did not have an idea that it tied directly to the PRC.

Anywho, regarding our own culture? Oh boy... My default position on that topic always starts with the care, feeding, education, and active engagement in general, of the young by the parents/grandparents/extended-family.

Like a person on the wrong path, others must consistently nudge the stray to try to get 'em [back] on track. The effort placed in the attempt to consistently nudge seems to be inversely proportional to the requirement of effort, orders of magnitude greater, being brought to bear, and often turned to when there is no other option.

Apologies to all for the excessive windiness in putting forward my 5¢ worth, from the cheap seats.

bthun said...

Allow me to change the second sentence above to read ", and realizing that not knowing what I'm talking about has rarely stopped me in the past,.

Sheesh. Drinking beer with your horse then commenting in public is probably not the best thing to do. Darned animal, drinks like a horse, which makes it right difficult to keep up...

Cheers! =;^}

E Hines said...

Darned animal, drinks like a horse, which makes it right difficult to keep up...

That just means you need a head start.

Eric Hines

bthun said...

"That just means you need a head start."

I'd need to continue downing the suds tonight and all day tomorrow just to have a fair chance at breaking even at the tomorrow evening brew set-to.

Now why does an image of the besotted Kid Shelleen come to mind?

BillT said...

But perhaps a civil war is what is needed: Uighurs fighting for their freedom from the Chinese.

The Chinese would pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening -- they're living atop a *huge* portion of China's mineral resources, to include oil.

The Chinese have been systematically destroying Uighur towns under the pretense of replacing them with "earthquake-proof" structures for a decade. Essentially, the PRC's been herding them into a single, more easily-controlled region.

douglas said...

"The problem I see with that is this: we haven't really had a good run at changing our own culture in a positive direction. If anything, it seems to be dissolving outside the bounds of our immediate families (and sometimes, given the strength of the acid, even within them).

So, if this is an important part of the right approach, how do we make it work?"


I think this is the task that is set before us, in two parts-

First, there is the issue of the constant struggle simply to maintain against corrosion, and we've fallen behind since the 60's.

Then there's the issue of making more right in the world. - you might even say that this is how to save the Uighurs of the future:
You need to start here at home, reaching out to those around you to think about the importance of the American experiment (as the latest installment of the Western Civilization project) and why freedom is more important than equality, why a moral basis for society matters, and why we need to elect people who will live up to their sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. If we can't convince our families, friends and neighbors in this most important of arguments, what makes us think we're ready to take on the Chinese? The fight is here before us- let us step forth and meet it.

E Hines said...

bthun: Can I conclude, then, that you've begun?

BillT: The Chinese would pull out all the stops.... I agree with your description. What have the Uighurs to lose, then, with a civil war?

Douglas: We've been losing the corrosion battle since the early '30s. Maybe the 2010 mid-terms were a step of correction, but it will take a generational struggle, and include lots of election cycles. We can't rest on those 2010 laurels.

Certainly we do need to get ourselves back up to snuff. I am making progress with my extended family and my small circle of friends. I suspect the rest of the Hall's denizens are as well. Fundamentally, I'm optimistic; although it's an optimism similar to having successfully captured a bunch of Hessians and absconded with them. Little more than counting coup in the coming struggle.

Eric Hines

bthun said...

"bthun: Can I conclude, then, that you've begun?"

Heck no! My age and the economy are pretty good arguments against testing that tactic.

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