China left the propaganda field wide open to their opponents and failed to exploit the political opportunities the Uyghur tribunal presented.
As the opening of the Olympic games in Beijing was approaching, some of the propaganda projects begun months and even years earlier came into sharper focus. We are alluding in particular to the Uyghur genocide farce and the bogus London proceedings under the auspices of former ICTY prosecutor Geoffrey Nice, staged to give the farce an aura of quasi-judicial sobriety.
It is, of course, not difficult to offer an analysis that turns out to be fundamentally correct whenever you are dealing with unimaginative people who are either incapable of originality or are simply too insecure to abandon the safe precincts of their overused playbook.
In this particular case, the analogy they are straining to produce between the 1980 Moscow Olympics and this year’s Beijing event is rather glaring. In both instances, an international incident is being co-opted to generate massive no-shows and thus wreck the games, inflicting severe PR damage and embarrassment on the host country. Forty years ago, it was the Afghanistan incursion, today it is the concocted “genocide” of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
Never mind that the Uyghur “victims of genocide” seem to be remarkably alive and well, to the extent of popping up as proxy foot soldiers in imperial interventions all over the map, from Syria to the latest color revolution attempt in Kazakhstan. Well-funded and with ample logistical support, Uyghur émigrés and radicalised elements within Xinjiang itself are making just enough sound and fury to be weaponised by Western masters in their anti-China propaganda offensives.
So the “verdict” of Nice’s phony “tribunal,” actually an ad hoc private association created specifically for the purpose, astonished no one, just as the “verdicts” of the Hague Tribunal, where earlier Nice had honed his persecutorial skills, caused no surprise. China was duly found guilty on all counts of “genocide” against the Uyghur minority in its Xinjiang province. The stage was thus set for the vilification of China by imputing to it the most heinous crime known in international law.
Unfortunately, the Chinese inexplicably left the propaganda field wide open to their perfidious opponents and failed completely to exploit the political opportunities the Uyghur tribunal presented to them. Instead of calling their detractors’ bluff and dispatching competent barristers and credible witnesses to vigorously challenge the flimsy proceeding on its own turf, as initially and for form’s sake the “tribunal” had invited them to do while fully counting on their refusal, the Chinese chose to stand back and nurse their offended dignity. It was an error of tactical judgment which greatly facilitated the phony “tribunal’s” corrupt task by creating the convenient illusion that the accused party was given the opportunity but had nothing pertinent to say.
China’s clumsy response is water under the bridge. The question before us now is what move are the uncreative stage managers next likely to make?
That is not a complicated question precisely because they are imagination-challenged and playbook-bound. Their search for a comfortable old paradigm that, with a few adjustments and little creative effort they can apply to a new factual situation has apparently led to conjuring up a plan. It is to reframe Xinjiang, now in the Black Sea basin, with Crimean Tatars assigned the Uyghur role of genocide victims. With tensions rising around the Black Sea, another splendid little genocide to stoke the public’s fervour would indeed be just what Dr. Goebbels ordered.
So, again predictably, the propaganda drumbeat about Crimean Tatar oppression, abuse and discrimination by Russia is gathering momentum and just by pressing a few additional buttons it can easily be upgraded to the level of “genocide,” should political exigencies so dictate.
The internet accordingly is overflowing with Tatar sob stories. The leitmotiv of the fraudulent new genocide campaign is the assertion that within its vast territory Russia is literally “hiding” captive nations (“Why Russia Hides Countries Inside Its Borders?”) viciously depriving them of their language and culture just for sadistic pleasure. And, of course, as trusted “Radio Liberty” reports, arrests of “Tatar activists” are ongoing, promising to yield a rich crop of new ethnic martyrs. It is apparently yielding already a respectable number of “Tatar refugees” who will be welcomed by Western services as were their Uyghur counterparts, to form the nucleus of the “Tatar Liberation Movement” which is no doubt in the works as this is being written.
Following the tested pattern set previously for the creation of the Uyghur saga, the public are now bombarded with “webinars” and pseudo-scholarly conferences purporting to depict the dire condition of the Tatar minority in Russia. Where this propaganda blitz will ultimately go remains to be seen, but the general contours of the thinking that inspires it are unmistakably visible.
It is now Russia’s turn, after China, to be tarred and put on the defensive as a potentially genocidal oppressor of ethnic minorities which dot the vast expanse of its territory. It is of no importance whatsoever that from the Tsarist period to the present day no minority in Russia has been exterminated or deprived of its cultural identity, in sharp contrast to the numerous nations, ruined and left on the verge of extinction, which had the misfortune of being in the path of Western colonizers. Those nations have no “activists” to advocate for them and their martyrs will never be Western media poster boys.
Should the moribund empire find the audacity to again project its sins onto others by shamelessly setting up a “Tatar Tribunal” as a sequel to the Uyghur charade, hopefully Russia will show itself more savvy than China and will conduct a vigorous and proactive counteroffensive, pour écraser l’infâme.