Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mordor where the Shadows lie.

I was less than enthusiastic about visiting Tiananmen Square. It is the scene of a great evil, a dual reminder of the barbarism of imperialism and the barbarism of communism. Biblo wore mithral chain; I slip on my Amnesty International t-shirt.

There is no sign that anything took place in this area, any battle was fought. It was not, of course, a battle. It was a slaughter. But still, no plaque, no memorial, not even a sign exists to say of what took place here.

At least not what took place in June of 1989. There are several references to what took place in 1949 and 1919, though those events have a different interpretation than I would give them. What is most striking, however, is that the people who walk the Square itself do not seem to know its story.

As Mu Zhou begins to explain the various happenings of Tiananmen, Andrea asks her. “Shall we talk about 1989?” Zhou replies in the negative and smiles. She knows, I think. We might get her into trouble? Perhaps. I say nothing.

Andrea comments on the difference with Soviet Russia. “There are no soldiers goose-stepping around,” she notes. I see a column of five or so troops marching.

“There’s some.”

“Not really,” she says. “They’re not goose-stepping. They’re barely enthusiastic.”

“They’re not Marines,” says Dave, himself a former Marine.

“Not Jarheads.” Then Andrea thinks twice about her choice of verbiage. “Sorry, dear.”

But they are jar heads. The soldiers, the tourists, even our guide. They are empty, and the Communists have filled them, not with lies, but with ever more emptiness.

I contemplate this idea as we walk across the Square. Zhou asks me why I look so serious. “You don’t know, do you?” I reply. She looks at me quizzically. “You really don’t know what happened here?” She shakes her head.

I cannot restrain myself. I tell her of the students who protested, of how the Communist government sent not just soldiers but tanks to quash them. I tell her of the everyday people who gave their lives to delay those tanks and those soldiers. I tell her of the famous pictures that the West has seen and she has not. Of a student holding his hand up to a tank, of a woman, back from shopping, standing before a column of mechanized death to give the students more time to flee.

She stares at me blankly. It appears she does not believe me. “Google it,” I say. “You won’t be able to read any articles, but you can see the pictures.” I say this because I checked before leaving the hotel that morning. I know what is available, and what is hidden.

I know she has no reason to believe me, as no other tour group has ever mentioned this to her. And yes, I asked her. Not one ever brought it up. Andrea said it would be the politically correct thing to do, to remain silent. I disagree. It is not politically correct to ignore the wanton execution of hundreds of protesters yearning for liberty. It is shameful.

1 comment:

Cy said...

Well,there are young people in big amount knowing that event,like me.

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