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Wikileaks Cables Say No Bloodshed Inside Tiananmen Square

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the bloodshed-all-confined-to-freedom-square dept.

China 235

netchaos writes "Secret cables from the United States embassy in Beijing have shown there was no bloodshed inside Tiananmen Square when China put down student pro-democracy demonstrations 22 years ago." Which is not to say that everything was flowers and wine: "Instead, the cables show that Chinese soldiers opened fire on protesters outside the centre of Beijing, as they fought their way towards the square from the west of the city."

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No big secret here (5, Insightful)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343002)

They waited until people were located outside the square itself before the slaughter began.

Re:No big secret here (4, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343054)

... and remember, Li Peng's still alive. There's still time for a trial in the Hague...

Oh, haha, I forgot, he has power and influence.

Re:No big secret here (1, Troll)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343400)

... and remember, Li Peng's still alive. There's still time for a trial in the Hague...

Oh, haha, I forgot, he has power and influence.

Yeah. Same like Clinton, Blair, Bush, ...

Re:No big secret here (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344150)

Didn't see folks who ordered nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or carpet bombing Drezden's housing areas on trial either. Winners are exempt from war crime trials.

Re:No big secret here (2)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343062)

not a "big secret?" Everything I've ever read about it was that students were run over by tanks, inside the square. That's pretty contrary to this.

Re:No big secret here (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343084)

Does it make that much of a difference if the students were slaughtered in the squares, or just round the corner?

Re:No big secret here (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343124)

Yes, it means that the number of protesters killed is a more certain number than previously believed. Meaning that the death toll has almost certainly been exaggerated on the assumption that there were protesters killed where nobody was looking. If they were all killed in places where the world had some means of observing it means that the crimes committed by the Chinese government in this instance were less severe than previously believed.

Re:No big secret here (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343156)

does it make that much of a difference if, instead of being run over by tanks in the square, they may have been shot with guns a few blocks over? Yes, in fact, it does. Tanks running over protestors is substantially different, one; two, I tend to notice that when a false story crumbles, you admit X didn't happen but then say Y happened instead. The gov has been lying quite handily for a while now, we're more and more turning into a police state ourselves, so indeed - it most certainly matters that everything that was ever reported about the incident was incorrect. And what, you think the US government doesn't shoot protestors here? That's a laugh.

Re:No big secret here (1, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343304)

If you said the first happened and then deny it. How must I know if the second happened, but now for real.

Or perhaps you lie about it not happening?

Re:No big secret here (3, Informative)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343136)

> "Everything I've ever read about it was that students were run over by tanks, inside the square."
I don't remember the "run over by tanks" part, although I do remember a man standing in front of the tanks, not getting run over.

Re:No big secret here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343150)

That may be your own memory at play. Nobody ever claimed there were tanks running lose in the square, "just" indiscriminate firing on the crowd.

Re:No big secret here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343302)

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0604.html

When troops finally seized Tiananmen Square early Sunday morning, they allowed the student occupiers who held on to the center of the square for three weeks to leave and then sent tanks to run over the tents and makeshift encampment that demonstrators had set up. Unconfirmed reports rapidly spread that some students had remained in the tents and were crushed to death.

No, Nicholas Kristof just included "unconfirmed reports" in his coverage and let the reader draw his own conclusion.

Re:No big secret here (1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343200)

Link to something that says protesters were run over by tanks inside the square. I want to see the quality of such sources that you're willing to believe.

Because I don't remember ever reading or hearing any such thing from anyone credible. What I remember is the video of a protester standing down a column of tanks inside the square [youtube.com] . Which tried to go around him. So he stepped to the side back in front of the tank. Which did not run him over.

If what you believe is contrary to what you had good reason to believe, that's your fault.

Re:No big secret here (5, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343490)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4313282.stm [bbc.co.uk]
At the top of the square just in front of the Forbidden City, an APC got separated from its column, and in its panic to get out of the crowd area, ran over several demonstrators. This, in turn, caused the crowd to grow violent.

Yes, technicaly an APC is not a tank. So we look further.

At about four or five in the morning, tank columns raced into the square smashing buses, bicycles and humans under their treads.

Clearly talking about tanks and not an accident.

You can decide for yourself the quality of said source. His name is Charlie Cole and he is the winner of the 1989 World Press Photo of a man standing in front of a tank in China. The URL above tells what happened that day. Sounds like a pretty good quality source to me.

Re:Not inside the square. (4, Informative)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343800)

> What I remember is the video of a protester standing down a column of tanks inside the square.

Actually the "tank man" footage was shot from the Beijing Hotel, looking WSW down Changan E. Rd.. The vantage point is (IIRC) a few hundred yards east of the square.

Re:No big secret here (1, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344000)

The tanks may not have run over him, would be very bad propaganda because foreign reporters were filming from hotel windows. however no one ever knew what became of that man, not even his identity has been divulged.

Re:No big secret here (1, Interesting)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343366)

No one was run over by tanks.

Also many forget that this wasn't just a few thousand idle students peacefully hanging out in the square. There were about a *million* disaffected students and unemployed workers camping out wherever they could, demanding free food from vendors, and harassing the general public. This went on for almost a month before the government took action.

Think about how long a million people would be allowed to camp outside the US capitol buildings, especially if they were harassing and looting.

Re:No big secret here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343418)

In defence of the US, they wouldn't try to pretend it had never happened.

Re:No big secret here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344210)

How would you know?

Re:No big secret here (2)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343428)

don't be silly - of course we'd be allowed to protest in such numbers. Assuming we stayed in the "free speech zones" and filed the proper permits...

Re:No big secret here (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343442)

People have been arrested for *dancing* in the Jefferson Memorial, so, no I don't think the US would put up with millions camping outside the Capitol.

Re:No big secret here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343600)

Seriously? ROFL, grow up, Not allowing people to be asses in one small area of one monument does not equal what happened in China.

Re:No big secret here (3, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343664)

Think about how long a million people would be allowed to camp outside the US capitol buildings, especially if they were harassing and looting.

It happened, recall the Bonus Army. *four* people died. Not hundreds (or possibly thousands, accounts vary) like in or around Tiananmen Square.

Re:No big secret here (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343444)

First of all this news in no way lightens the cruel brutality through which the PRC government dealt with their citizens that day, but I want to make a point on a possible explanation for the "tanks crushing people" claim. I'm not saying it's false, since we'll never know the truth having not been there, but consider this: The Chinese word for "suppress" is "ya", which is the same exact word for "to physically crush underneath" -- to put suppress an idea or to crush grapes underfoot for juice, it's the same word. So the phrase "they're using tanks to suppress people in the square" and "they're using tanks to physically crush people in the square" are the same in Chinese. Perhaps the real meaning was lost in the moment, then even more so in translation.

Re:No big secret here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344186)

The problem is we didn't expect the journalists to simply translate things from Chinese. Most of the readers would assume they were actually there, witnessed what's going on first-hand and reported back accurately.

" I'm not saying it's false, since we'll never know the truth having not been there"

You also cannot assume it has happened, unless there is some solid evidence to back it up, right? Unfortunately, most people who read those stories (now suggested not to be so true) would have been misled and made comments and conclusions based on them. Some other people would have also made different kind of assumptions and "intelligent" guesses and things would get much worse than actually have been.

Re:No big secret here (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343694)

I was working for CTV news in Toronto at the time and I saw the raw footage of a protester getting run over by a tank and squashed like a bug. It's not something you forget. The footage was edited down to make it look like the tank had stopped, which it did, hesitating for a few seconds.

Two weeks later we were visited by the Chinese head of media and they were given a full tour of the facility.

Re:No big secret here (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344250)

Does it really matter if they were run over outside or inside the square?

Re:No big secret here (3, Interesting)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343886)

This should have been in the summary, then I wouldn't have wasted my time thinking the Chinese military peacefully put down the protest, an the US government lied to us about it, and then for a few moments afterwards that Slashdot is controlled by the Chinese trying to put a different face on it.

Slashdot you're beginning to really suck.

News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343030)

That's no news is it?

Wow.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343068)

I head this in high school history (mid 90's).

why did you post this? (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343132)

there was no bloodshed inside the square, the bloodshed happened around the square. but it's called the tiananmen square massacre, because that was the focal point of the conflict. duh

furthermore, there never was any contention about what happened and where. this "shocking discovery" is mundane fact universally understood and agreed upon by anyone who has seriously looked at the massacre, or actually been there

so to post this cable, as if it is shocking to discover that which has always been known, has the appearance of a cover up or a smear against china, in the eyes of your average idiot reading this post who's knows nothing about tiananmen square

so why post this ignorant crap? there's no discovery in this "secret cable". there is only a factoid which agrees with what everyone has known about the massacre since day 1

this is fucking pathetic of you slashdot, to pass this on. you are spreading ignorance. watch all the fucking conspiracy morons get in a tizzy that this proves some hollywood style line of thought. pathetic. and you support morons by posting this "shocking discovery" slashdot

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343202)

Slashdot likes to pass along articles like this because they know that what happened isn't what's important. It's what you can get others to believe what happened.

We have that a lot in partisan politics as well. Party X says Party Y did or said something and the other followers of Party X repeat it and the followers of Party Y deny it regardless of the truth. The same will happen here and those who hate The States will use this as a debating point and about 98% of people who want to agree with it will never bother to look into the truth of the matter and the other 2% will know the truth but let it slide as a good selling point even if it is a lie.

Welcome to the enlightened future.

Re:why did you post this? (4, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343208)

The average mundane "idiot" doesn't have the time to be a subject matter expert on every single event in history, every single peice of technology, so on so forth, all at once. Most of us "idiots" base our perceptions on that which we're told in shortened recounts of such things. And for my idiotic experiences, that was that tanks ran over students, in the square. If you knew this to not be true, yet let it remain generally believed, then it is you to blame - not wikileaks or slashdot.

Re:why did you post this? (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343330)

"If you knew this to not be true, yet let it remain generally believed, then it is you to blame"

interesting. i am to blame what hordes of idiots believe, who couldn't care to know what actually happened

that's quite a burden i bear. but i'm glad you see i have this power. let me start by waving my magic wand and getting creationists to believe in evolution, and truthers to believe osama bin laden bought down the world trade center, and birthers to believe barack obama is a christian who was born in hawaii

hey, i don't think i have this power to dispel what idiots believe. you do

Re:why did you post this? (2, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343590)

yes. If you are truly a historian, and know for a fact that a widely-held belief is incorrect, and can also easily prove this to be true - then you are, in fact, to blame for this widely held belief still being perpetuated.

Re:why did you post this? (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343752)

are you a well-crafted troll, or a genuine fucktard?

i'm to blame for idiots believing what idiots believe? or forget about me: you are saying that anyone with knowledge is to blame for what the hordes of ignorants believe?

is that your thesis? is that an actual belief of yours or are you sir a well-crafted troll who got me to bite?

i can't believe anyone is that genuinely fucking retarded, you have to be a troll. for the sake of humanity, i hope you are a troll

who is to blame for the ignorance of those who can't be bothered to find easily discovered truth?

i'll tell you who is to blame: THE IGNORANTS THEMSELVES

Re:why did you post this? (4, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343786)

knowledge flows from those who have it, to those who do not. If those who have it do not share it, then they are to blame for it not being widely known. By the by, your continued insistence upon attempting to insult doesn't help your argument in the least. Oh, and as another side note - very credible sources do indeed say tanks ran over protestors in the square - such as the person who took the iconic photograph. Also, this might come as a surprise to you, but some of us learned things before we could "link" our sources; what I know on the subject, I learned in textbooks that I read long before most had even heard of the internet.

Re:why did you post this? (2)

bye (87770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343994)

knowledge flows from those who have it, to those who do not. If those who have it do not share it, then they are to blame for it not being widely known.

How do you know he didn't share it? Maybe he shared it and people still believed in the simpler story.

This happens all the time.

  • - Did you know that medieval people thought that the earth was flat? (It's common knowledge and it's wrong.)
  • - Did you know that there's nothing faster than the speed of light? (It's common knowledge and it's wrong.)
  • - Did you know that hackers were always criminals? (It's common knowledge still it's wrong.)

Fact is, 75% of people have around average or worse intelligence and they prefer to simplify what they know about the world they live in. Do you belong to that group?

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344020)

Did you know that medieval people thought that the earth was flat?

No, they didn't [wikipedia.org] .

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344214)

What's faster than the speed of light?

(Other then the hypothesized expansion of the early universe as current theory stands.)

Re:why did you post this? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344286)

If those who have it do not share it, then they are to blame for it not being widely known.

Your implication is that he knew this, yet kept it secret or did not share it.

The only apparent reason I can see for you believing this is that- if I read you correctly- you seem to think that if anyone in possession of the truth tells other people, then all inaccuracies and incorrectly-held beliefs will be dispelled. [slashdot.org] Thus the fact that this isn't the case *must* be clear evidence that circletimessquare is to blame for withholding the information.....?!!!

Regardless of who is correct about the tanks, your apparent expectation that such people can- and should- be solely responsible for the failure of such information to be disseminated is a ludicrously unreasonable burden to place on them for reasons I already described in the linked post.

Re:why did you post this? (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344178)

If you are truly a historian, and know for a fact that a widely-held belief is incorrect, and can also easily prove this to be true - then you are, in fact, to blame for this widely held belief still being perpetuated.

If that's what you truly think, then you are grossly, *grossly* naive about how the world works.

There are countless historical, political, scientific, etc. etc. etc. inaccuracies out there that experts can- and do- authoritatively and comprehensively dispel until they're blue in the face, yet are still propagated. Propogated because people pass on what they "know" to be true as the "truth", or because it suits large vested interests to have people believe that, or simply because people don't like having their existing beliefs challenged and will frequently rationalise their dismissal of what would seem to be incontrovertible proof that they are wrong.

Honestly, your belief otherwise suggests either the naivity of a sheltered youth or that you are one of the ignorant "idiots"- and your low ID number suggests that you're probably too old to be excused as the former.

Re:why did you post this? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344208)

The average mundane "idiot" doesn't have the time to be a subject matter expert on every single event in history, every single peice of technology, so on so forth, all at once

And on that assumption, you would think we would have far fewer people posting about such things that they havent researched; sadly, thats not the case.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343224)

It's funny that you put "shocking discovery" in quotes a few times, as though anybody here (or in the news article, or in the cables) was claiming that it's a "shocking discovery". Looks like it's just you.

As for it being "what everyone has known...since day 1", I guess you're not counting the reporter who reported indiscriminate shooting within the square?

The spin here is incredible. Is it really your position that the release of historical information is "spreading ignorance"?

Re:why did you post this? (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343296)

It's funny that you put "shocking discovery" in quotes a few times, as though anybody here (or in the news article, or in the cables) was claiming that it's a "shocking discovery". Looks like it's just you.

then why post the story at all? what is the reason for putting this on the front page of slashdot on june 5, 2011?

i don't see evil at work hear. i see stupidity. "omg, look what they found in wikileaks!" (and what they found is mundane)

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343392)

Why post the story? Presumably, for the same reason they posted they posted the one right before this one, on the Collatz conjecture. That story is about a paper recently released which claims to prove something that for a long time had been generally assumed to be true.

A proof of the Collatz conjecture is not shocking. Nobody's going to jail over it. No textbooks need to be rewritten. We were pretty much all already assuming that the Collatz conjecture is true, after all. Nevertheless, the discovery of confirming information is notable, to us. We're geeks. We like information, even non-shocking information. Knowing that the Collatz conjecture is true is interesting, and it's not going to spread ignorance to anyone.

Any of this sounding familiar?

Re:why did you post this? (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343530)

"That story is about a paper recently released which claims to prove something that for a long time had been generally assumed to be true."

ok, so why don't you involve yourself with the Collatz conjecture and stay out of this story, because this story is actually

"story is about a wikileak recently released which repeats facts that have been known for a long time, but trumpeted in such a way as to be an amazing discovery"

get it yet?

Re:why did you post this? (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343628)

I kinda haveta agree with GP. I have no objection to posting this as a matter of fact, but it kinda feels like its posted as if the US set out to smear China. That's not what happened. Yes, many people's understanding of what happened in Tianamen is highly garbled (in no small part, I feel obliged to point out, because China went to a GREAT DEAL of effort to prevent accurate reporting, which not only reduced the number of facts but is also precisely the wrong way to handle the sensationalist western media) but there's nothing in this cable that's a particularly stunning revelation . . . I think what bothers people about much of the reporting surrounding wikileaks is that people act like we're getting all these stunning revelations of facts that were, for the most part, public already, and nobody paid much attention to them (and the important policy implications) until wikileaks came along. What's worse, the attention being paid seems to focus on the presumption that these facts WEREN'T publicly available information in some form before, which distorts the argument from a rational discussion of what impact the facts should have on policy, to "OMG coverup!". (and I'm not denying that the US Government certainly hasn't gone out of its way to clear up the misconceptions its citizens have on this subject.) Finally, on those occasions when wikileaks truly DOES reveal something new or surprising, that gets lost in all the noise. Come to think of it, conspiracy theorists, you might want to think about that last point...

Re:why did you post this? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343228)

this is fucking pathetic of you slashdot, to pass this on. you are spreading ignorance

Totally. No one ever contradicts the premise of a story on slashdot. That just isn't the slashdot way. If the slashdot editors really cared about readers getting a more accurate understanding of a story, they would have some sort of way for other people to provide contrary evidence and opinions. Too bad slashdot is so totalitarian.

Re:why did you post this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343260)

Fuck you nigger.

Re:why did you post this? (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343356)

Totally. Slashdot clearly puts incendiary articles up just to garner loads of comments and make Slashdot a more active place.

Manipulative, yes. But, it makes for controversial and lively debate.

Re:why did you post this? (2)

Freultwah (739055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343270)

You do talk a lot in absolutes (never any contention, universally understood and agreed upon), but I do think this deserved to be posted at least for informing those who *haven't* seriously looked into the topic, which would be the overwhelming majority of people. Even on /.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343346)

i'm not talking in absolutes. i'm talking about what is universally understood by all parties

although, for the sake of truth, universal agreement by all witnesses is as close as you get to an absolute in reality

Re:why did you post this? (2)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343750)

Suppose I (just one person without any particular personal connection) did not "understand" what you claim to be "universally understood".

Then your assertion is *false*. That's the danger of making absolute claims like the one that you just made *again*; you undermined and invalidated all the rest of your argument/rant.

Please at least use the words "absolute" and "universal" correctly in a forum with a high-ish proportion of readers who care about accuracy and precision.

Rgds

Damon

Re:You're arguing over a rhetorical artifact... (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343864)

Since it's called the "Tiananmen Massacre" everybody assumes it happened in Tiananmen Square, when really this was just an easy shorthand, since it was a response to the Tiananmen Protest, which had been going on for several weeks by then.

I know several people who were there that night, and this "new revelation" is nothing new, as you said.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343298)

Agreed. Simply looking at the Wikipedia [wikimedia.org] page will provide this information, with many more sources than one leaked cable.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343360)

Did you really just accuse slashdot of spreading ignorance when this story is actually a big clarification for the vast majority of the world (such as myself) who have been ignorant of these facts up until this point? Sure, maybe it wasn't a huge secret, but you must realize that most people haven't looked into every controversial event in history and so we didn't know before. And it's worth noting that you seem to think quite highly of yourself despite your inability to form your thoughts into a sensible paragraph or even a single well-written sentence. BTW, who says "duh" when trying to make other people look stupid? It sort of has the opposite effect.

Re:why did you post this? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343378)

there is bringing out all the facts, then there is a headline that points to one factoid in the events that implies, years later, that the massacre didn't happen

that's spreading ignorance. duh

Re:why did you post this? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343394)

Most of the time you call people like that shills or propagandists.

Re:why did you post this? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343498)

no, there's no evil at work here on slashdot's part, only stupidity:

  "omg, look what they found in wikileaks!"

(and what they found is mundane)

Factoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343484)

A "factoid" is not a "small fact", its something that is incorrect, but repeated often enough that most assume its true.

Re:Factoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343670)

See also: truthiness

Re:Factoid (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344006)

I've never heard it used that way. I have, however, heard "truism" used that way, and I'm not sure it really means that either.

Re:why did you post this? (4, Insightful)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343510)

>> has the appearance of a cover up or a smear against china, in the eyes of your average idiot reading this post who's knows nothing about tiananmen square

Or to be fair, in the eyes of the intellegent reader who happens to not know the details of what is referred to as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Don't be so dramatic. Not everyone knows everything and we all take accounts of some events for granted. You rant has some good points, but my eyes glazed over at your egotistical attitude. You've got something to contribute, clearly. Why not let people take you more seriously?

Re:why did you post this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343512)

From TFA:

"In 2009, James Miles, who was the BBC correspondent in Beijing at the time, admitted that he had "conveyed the wrong impression" and that "there was no massacre on Tiananmen Square. Protesters who were still in the square when the army reached it were allowed to leave after negotiations with martial law troops [ ...] There was no Tiananmen Square massacre, but there was a Beijing massacre". "

Unless 2009 is somehow day 1, there was contention.

You forget the enemy (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343860)

Lets take another event in history, the holocaust. Everyone knows Anne Frank but where did she die? Now lets assume that the average person answers Auschwitz. You would the argue, let it be. Since the horror of that place is well known it can't hurt in convincing people how horrible it was right by giving the millions a human face in the form of a young girl?

But there are evil people in this world who would use your convenient lie to cast doubt on everything. Holocaust deniers take any tiny little detail they can and manipulate it until it fits their twisted agenda.

The truth of the tianamen square masacre is that violence happened but not a mass killing on the square itself (the article says no bloodshed wrongly, no bloodshed means not a single drop of blood was shed) but rather outside it once the students had started to flee and afterwards as countless disappeared.

If the lie becomes truth then it can be disproven and with it ALL the facts brought into doubt. ONLY the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth can set you free.

Your feelings are dead on, the evil will use this to cast doubt on what happened but you can't fight their lies with more lies.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343938)

A person is an idiot because they haven't been educated about something? No, that doesn't constitute to the word, "idiot."

What an idiot is, is someone who thinks everyone else should know what they know and thinks they can get away with generally insulting everyone with crass comments and words. "Jackass" is also an acceptable word to be used in it's place.

If you're so smart, go educate others instead of ranting on /. with your obviously superior intellect and misspelled words, such as "who's."

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344024)

"so to post this cable, as if it is shocking to discover that which has always been known, has the appearance of a cover up or a smear against china, in the eyes of your average idiot reading this post who's knows nothing about tiananmen square"

Sounds more like a vindication of China to me, since their version of events was more accurate than what we heard from Western media.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344130)

FUCK you FFUUUUCK IDIOTS... ahem* I'm sorry, I have rage issuFUCKes, let me start agaiFUUUn.

The fucking stupid moron jerks that release historical data, evidence, and goddamn documents that fucking corroborate accounts of known and reported historical views are FUCKING PATHETIC yellowbelly whoremongers because I ALREADY KNEW THAT SHIT. I could have written the entire fucking FIELD of history in one fell swoop because A) people write history and B) I'm smart people without having to discover and weigh every account and bit of historical minutia to creat a fuller picture of what actually happened beyond second hand twice translated heresay.

Stupid wikileaks/slashdot/historians/logic.

Re:why did you post this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344158)

Oh and by the way, hope you are enjoying the fruits of the "Glorious Revolution", too, tongzhi. Nice Try PRCBot.

Tomato Tomato (4, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343162)

I just want to point out as these threads get started that everything is relative. There are fine lines between terrorists, rebels, rioters and demonstrators and typically that line is determined by the winners and which side you're on. So, before we deride the Chinese government we should remember the workers riots at the turn of the century in the U.S. where many were killed by authorities, or the race riots of the 60s, again where many died, the following war demonstrators where again authority put them down, the Chicago riots, the L.A. riots and all the other riots that we call riots because they were put down and we live here.

I'm not saying any of it is right or siding with any side but the Chinese authority protect that authority just like authority in any other country, including whichever one you happen to live in.

Re:Tomato Tomato (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343268)

The difference is that in this country such things were reported on the news, you can read reports about what happened, and many laws were changed as a result.

Turn of that other century [was: Re:Tomato Tomato] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343278)

...before we deride the Chinese government we should remember the workers riots at the turn of the century in the U.S. where many were killed by authorities...

By which you mean, the turn of the century before last .

Re:Turn of that other century [was: Re:Tomato Toma (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343984)

Yes, I meant to put 20th in between the and century. Thanks for clearing that up though, I'm sure it caused great confusion.

Re:Turn of that other century [was: Re:Tomato Toma (2)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343992)

Also by 60s I meant 1960s.

Re:Tomato Tomato (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343454)

There are fine lines between terrorists, rebels, rioters and demonstrators

It's true! Ordinary man, waving a placard and shouting slogans - demonstrator. Exact same man, waving a machine gun and slaughtering bystanders - terrorist. Given that the differences can be as fine as that, how can we judge anyone? I say that anyone should be able to kill anyone, because after all it's all relative.

Re:Tomato Tomato (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343754)

I didn't say anyone should be able to kill anyone, I only wanted to point out that it is what it is. It's still wrong.

waving a machine gun and slaughtering bystanders - terrorist

They may not have had machine guns back then but I believe many founding fathers of the United States where called terrorists by the British. It all has to do with who won and which side you are supporting.

Re:Tomato Tomato (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343794)

The "terrorists" then fought for secular freedom for everyone. The terrorists now fight for religious oppression of those who are not Muslim or male.

Re:Tomato Tomato (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343966)

The "terrorists" then fought for secular freedom for everyone

hmmm, except black people. I'm pretty sure there were many slaves that were not Christian (and certainly not Western Christians) but were then forced to become so. For there own good of course, savages that they were /sarcasm.

The terrorists now fight for religious oppression of those who are not Muslim or male.

Many of them would argue they fight for there way of life (that we don't agree with) and against what they see as oppression by a foreign government. I believe there may even be some females taking up that fight.

Again, I'm not siding with them. I'm merely pointing out that the word terrorist is a very subjective one and has hardly any objective meaning. A terrorist is simply 1. Someone fighting a force much larger than themselves and thus has to fight 'dirty'. and 2. Someone who is fighting for a cause you don't believe in.

I just find words like terrorist serving no purpose other than emotional.

Why would the American's be right about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343164)

They've missed or misinterpreted so many other key developments. What makes anyone believe the American's have an accurate picture of developments in the square 22 years ago?

Re:Why would the American's be right about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343204)

What makes anyone believe the American's have an accurate picture of developments in the square 22 years ago?

Spy satellites.

Missing the point (2)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343182)

I don't think the main issue with Tiananmen Square was that there was bloodshed but instead it was the oppression of freedom of speech, which is something that most certainly DID happen.

TFS is pretty vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343236)

Highlights from TFA:

Tiananmen square protesters were not assaulted with live ammunition. They were allowed safe passage to exit the protest upon the arrival of the army after negotiations with martial law troops.

Instead, 3 miles west in a place called Muxidi, protesters were fired upon with live ammunition after exhausting other efforts of dispersal which were ineffective, other efforts include tear gas and rubber bullets.

The leak suggests that the death toll in the square itself was relatively low, contrary to common belief. However, it does not suggest what the death toll was for Muxidi.

Interestingly, it is suggested by an anonymous caller to a US consulate that a leader of a powerful labor party, Ni Zhifu, said that he would lead a worker strike that would cripple China if the protesters were not treated with more respect.

***What's not mentioned in the TFA that might be in the cables / leaks from wikileaks themselves, not sure, but I'd like to know:

Were protesters in the square treated better because of the threat made by Ni Zhifu? Was his threat real?

The protesters in Muxidi were acting as road blocks to prevent the army from reaching the square to stop the heart of the protest, so they seem to me like they don't deserve any worse treatment than those at the square. Were they victims of the unfortunate circumstance simply because covering up the violence committed against them was feasible where as the government / army thought they could not get away with the same at the square? What would be the death toll in Muxidi?

What exactly was negotiated between the protesters and the "martial law troops"? Was it simply that if they dispersed they would be allowed to return home? Were they all forced to be identify themselves with martial law troops upon exiting the square in order to avoid immediate punishment? Did leaders have to turn themselves over to military custody?

I feel like TFA, a "telegraph exclusive" really dropped the ball in providing meaningful coverage of the leaks, unless wikileaks themselves just don't have this information yet. Without answering any of my questions it just seems to boil down to: Tianenmen Square didn't happen how you were told, but people participating in the protest in a nearby area may have faced the massacre you heard about. If these protesters were indeed coordinating with the ones physically in the square, I would still consider them to be a part of the Tiananmen Square protests, and if they faced a massacre by roadblocking in Muxidi, then I still feel that the protest can be considered a massacre as a whole. So, it doesn't sit right with me when the only base the article tried to cover is that the massacre didn't happen where we thought it did.

It's worth knowing, but it's just not a complete article.

Re:TFS is pretty vague. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343334)

I hate to reply to myself, but I forgot to mention one thing.

A few of the leaks discussed mentioned that this information was shared with the US. I am from the US. This happened the year I was born. I did not know any of this, I only knew what I was taught in school, which was just the purpose of the protest and that the army dealt with it quite violently. So it leads me to one last big question that I'd like to know, who was sitting there at the top on this information letting the lies of bad journalism be circulated through public schools? I'm not asking because I'm shocked that someone would do that, but I just wonder who and why. I guess I expect it was just to let US citizens continue thinking the Chinese government was evil, in case our government wanted our support in a war against them, but that just pisses me off.

You would be shockingly naÃve.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343840)

.. to believe that all data that is provided to the US government and the press is handed on to you as voter-in-the-street.

I thus note you're being pissed off, which is good. Now apply this knowledge to everything else you hear/see on the media, including but not limited to "the US economy is recovering"..

Not that China is whiter than white - only that it is probably just as dirty at government level as any other nation, including the US..

Osama (3)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343238)

Remember when at first the news said that he had hostages, was armed, and the marines had to kill him, and then the truth slowly come out, still leaving the 1st impression?

Re:Osama (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343306)

To be fair, my average fellow American didn't stick around to listen long enough to updated reports. At "Osama was killed", they spent the next week flopping their dicks in the air and smashing beer cans on their heads while running around in public with giant foam fingers chanting "USA USA USA" like retards.

Re:Osama (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343608)

You have a gift for descriptive writing.

Re:Osama (0)

doug (926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343626)

Marines? I thought it was the Navy.

Re:Osama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344036)

It was Santa Claus and the Pope, who flew in on Alladin's magic carpet. Osama shot himself in a kinky bondage sex game by accident, and then Jesus came down from heaven and sawed his head off with his mind powers and banished him to the Rings of Saturn (as is Islamic law, of course), before pulling out his pocket Obama figurine and saying "Heavenly father, we have done it. Ye shall surely be re-elected now, thus sayeth me." .. Didn't you hear the last news report?

Bullshit (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343288)

My wife was in Tiananmen.

Re:Bullshit (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343300)

My wife shot bin Laden in the left eye. What's your point?

Re:Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344128)

No. That was the story 15 minutes ago. They've since revised it. The new story is that Bin Laden fell off the Empire State Building after injecting too much heroin into himself during a garden party, some rabid wolves with AIDS who happened to be roaming the block tore him apart limb from limb, simultaniously giving him AIDS and killing him (as is Islamic tradition) revealing nefarious handwritten plans that he had sewn to the inside of his spleen. Then Obama parachuted on the scene and ate Bin Laden's liver with a bottle of Chianti and some Fava Beans while children saved by ObamaCare chanted USA USA USA and Japanese tourists took pictures with the corpse.

Get your story straight. Ah crap. I just read the news report. It changed again.

Aparently Bin Laden was actually Elvis, who had faked his death because he hates us for our freedoms and "in the ghetto" wasn't quite the attack he had hoped for. Obama went back in time in a time machine that he built with nothing but his own sweat and a roll of duct tape and made sure to eliminate Elvis before that fateful pelvis shaking attack on America all those years ago, and then the space time continuum destroyed the universe, but then Obama figured out a way to unkill Elvis and shape shift him into the Easter Bunny (as is Islamic tradition), saving America from certain peril. USA! USA! USA! USA!

Re:Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343320)

I knew someone who was there as well 'Yeah it got pretty bad. It is why I left and came here."

I also guess all that news footage of guns being shot and tanks rolling around were bs too..

Re:Bullshit (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343666)

Fuck you! My friend died hacking Windows 98!

Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343362)

But I don't think I see the point? Isn't it sort of like saying the Kent State victims were off-campus when they got shot to death?

For more: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343618)

As everyone has said, this was already known. You can see more here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/
much of the violence occurred in the night, so no one knows. I don't know why the telegraph is acting like there was some cover up. There is video explicitly showing the soldiers firing into a crowd of parents trying to come find their kids, every 15 minutes or so when the parents got up the courage to move in. There is also video of soldiers shooting a ambulance.

Now I feel like an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344226)

The most confusing part for me is WHY NO JOURNALIST EVER STOOD UP and TOLD US WHAT'S ON THE NEWS WAS NOT WHAT HE SAW.
The US government and the media clearly knew what's going on, but decided to let the rumor go on (or even hyped it more) to benefit themselves as much as possible. It's sad that this has to be leaked from a source the US government has tried so hard to suppress, after more than 20 years.

The End Of An Era (1)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344248)

...G...

rule # (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344262)

pics or it didnt happen

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