Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fighting Terror: Bush vs. Mao


In 2007, I published a book on 9/11: The Impact of USA Patriot Act on American Society: An Evidence Based Assessment. One of the major findings of the book is that after 9/11 and under the leadership of President Bush, the US has been transformed from a constitutional democracy to a national security state.

In the new national security state, the TSA is searching everyone at the airport without suspicion or justification. NSA is reading all our e-mails without judicial process or any reason. (FISA) The FBI is collecting “intelligence” without warrants or probable cause (National Security Letter). The CIA is holding people in secret prisons without due process and reasonableness (black ops).

Finally and most tellingly, the American public is now openly and comfortably discussing torturing of people, without any soul-searching reflection.

President Bush can be rightfully proud to claim his legacy: - in ushering in the national security state to one of the freest nation in the world, he single handedly destroyed the Constitution of the United States, with God (always) on his side. (Bush, Decision Points (2010).
One question remains troubling, where did President Bush get his counter-terrorism ideas from?


In fighting terror Bush and Mao share much in common

(1) Mao and Bush are both patriots. (“My country right or wrong.”)
(1) Mao and Bush are both zealots. (“George Bush is a right-wing zealot” Mirror, Dec. , 2008).
(2) Mao and Bush are both visionaries (ideologues). (For Mao, it is achieving a utopian state, with communism for all. With Bush, it is the export of the American dream to every land.)
(3) Mao and Bush both believe in might make right. (For Mao, in building a new China, capitalists must be purged. For Bush, in the fight against terror “you're either with us, or against us.")
(4) Mao and Bush both believe that the end justifies the mean. ("A revolution is not a dinner party.”)
(5) Mao and Bush both believe that the security of the nation trumps the rights of individual citizens. (The cultural-revolution killed millions. The war on terror killed and maimed tens of thousands, if not million.)

In fighting terror Bush and Mao both think and act alike:

First, both terrorists are counter-revolutionaries are treated as enemy of the state.

Second, US do not negotiate with terrorists.

Third, as enemy of the state they must be hunted down and exterminated.

Fourth, as enemy of state, terrorists and counter-revolutionaries enjoy no human rights, nor deserve compassion.

While Bush has not written any coherent theory on his counter-terrorism program, Mao did.


In 1957, Mao wrote: ON THE CORRECT HANDLING OF CONTRADICTIONS AMONG THE PEOPLE (February 27, 1957) (“On Contradiction”) [Speech at the Eleventh Session (Enlarged) of the Supreme State Conference. People's Daily on June 19, 1957.].

In “On Contradictions” Mao observed that contradictions (conflicts) in society, like sickness of the body, is normal and perpetual. “There have always been contradictions among the people, but they are different in content in each period of the revolution and in the period of building socialism.”

The different is in how we deal with contradictions – conflicts of all kinds.

In how to deal with contradictions, Mao informed us that we must first separate contradictions into two main kinds:

One is called contradictions between the people (in the US citizens, including criminals).

The other is called contradictions with the enemies (in the US terrorists, by extension chronic – serious criminals).


In dealing with contradictions between the people. We must use the democratic methods, ways and means, i.e., no dictatorship, no torture, no elimination.

“Dictatorship does not apply within the ranks of the people. The people cannot exercise dictatorship over themselves, nor must one section of the people oppress another. Law-breakers among the people will be punished according to law, but this is different in principle from the exercise of dictatorship to suppress enemies of the people.”

So how does democratic social control deals with contradictions between the people? “Communists must use the democratic method of persuasion and education when working among the labouring people and must on no account resort to commandism or coercion.”

Furthermore, in dealing with the people, the state must follow democratic principles set forth in the constitution: “Our Constitution lays it down that citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, procession, demonstration, religious belief, and so on. Our Constitution also provides that the organs of state must practice democratic centralism, that they must rely on the masses and that their personnel must serve the people….That is to say, democracy operates within the ranks of the people, while the working class, uniting with all others enjoying civil rights … By civil rights, we mean, politically, the rights of freedom and democracy.”

Simply put, when people deal with people, they must abide by constitution, rights and law.


“Towards the enemy, it uses the method of dictatorship, that is, for as long a period of time as is necessary it does not permit them to take part in political activity and compels them to obey the law of the People's Government, to engage in labour and, through such labour, be transformed into new men… The elimination of counter-revolutionaries is a struggle of opposites as between ourselves and the enemy.”

In dealing with enemy of the state, because they are not part of the people, they have no rights and enjoy few protection of the law, the constitution included.

The reason why Mao treated the enemy of the state differently is because Mao believe that while the people accept the legitimacy of the state, the enemy of the state does not. If that should be the case, since the enemy of the state (terrorists in the US and counter-revolutionaries is China) have no intention to play by society’s rules, such rules, including due process of law, they should not be made to apply to them. (Much like the felon of old.)

Terrorists and counter-revolutionaries only understand language of terror – that is what Mao instructed and Bush preached in the war on terror.


If Mao (and Bush) is correct, we should now separate the people who violate state rules into two groups, those who are for the state (non-antagonistic contradictions) vs. those who are against the state (antagonistic contradictions). With the first group we use persuasion and education to make them abide by social norm. With the second group we deal with them with harsh punishment to exact vengeance and extermination to secure ourselves.

The only issue left is whether Mao's two contradictions are only two kinds we need to think about, or are there more shades and hues in between?



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