The Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 was never an "incident". Nor was it "tragic", as some leftists in the West and America often refer to it as such. If you have just a little sense of human decency and an iota of moral clarity, you should conclude that Tiananmen Square Massacre was an atrocity committed by the anti-humanity communist authority in China.
In Impromptus today, I express a little disgust at something I found in Encyclopedia Britannica. I was needing some information about the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 — how many were killed, etc. And the relevant entry was headed “Tiananmen Square incident.” I found that word “incident” a little . . . weak. And a little outrageous. How dainty we are, when speaking of ChiCom mass murder!
I have some follow-up thoughts. Should we refer to that event in 1770 as the “Boston incident” — you know, the one in which Crispus Attucks died? (As massacres go, of course, the Boston one was pretty small beer: five dead.) How about what the Soviets did to the Poles in the “Katyn incident”? And here I walk a little down Memory Lane.
In fact, let me quote from a speech I gave — okay, have found it, thanks to Mr. Google. This was a speech given for the 20th anniversary of the Harvard Salient, the conservative newspaper at . . . well, you know.
I had a class here on the history of post-war foreign policy, taught by a nice ADA liberal — a Kennedy-Johnson liberal, a solid academic citizen, a good guy. We had in that class a German — a West German, no doubt — who was more or less a communist. I once heard him speak of the “Katyn accident,” referring to the massacre committed by Soviet troops in Poland. One day — after we’d written some papers, I guess — the professor called both of us up to the front of the class to speak, in opposition to each other. We were to debate the origins of the Cold War: Who was responsible? Uncle Sam or Uncle Joe? I realized we were being posited as extremes. One fellow was speaking for — and here I am only being honest — the communist lie; the other fellow, me, was speaking for what was only the clear truth of the matter, nothing fancy.
In other words, nothing “conservative,” nothing “interpretive” — just the plain facts, which everyone used to know. At any rate, I found “Tiananmen Square incident,” in the Encyclopedia Britannica, irksome. Almost unjust. Maybe one day, when China’s one-party dictatorship, to which everyone bows, is on the ash heap of history, the Britannica people will find it safe and natural to change the heading.
P.S. That German kid, from school daze? Probably a big businessman now, the owner of five factories. Alternatively, he is plotting the reconstitution of the Stasi. Hard to say.
P.P.S. Reading over this here Corner entry, I noticed that I have “Encyclopedia Britannica” — no “the” — in one place, and “the Encyclopedia Britannica” in another. Why the inconsistency? I don’t know. Ear, I guess. (Or sloppiness.) As the girl with the gun sang, “doin’ what comes natur’lly.”