I: The Kun Ming attack, 1 March 2014 as in Wikipedia
The 2014 Kunming attack (also called the Kunming massacre) was a terrorist attack in the Chinese city of Kunming, Yunnan, on 1 March 2014. The incident, targeted against civilians, left 29 civilians and 4 perpetrators dead with more than 140 others injured. At around 9:20 pm local time, a group of eight knife-wielding men and women attacked passengers at the city’s railway station. Both male and female attackers were seen to pull out long-bladed knives and proceed to stab and slash passengers. At the scene, police killed four assailants and captured one injured female. In the afternoon of 3 March, police announced that the six-man two-woman group had been neutralized after the arrest of three remaining suspects. No group or individual stepped forward to claim responsibility for the attack. China’s official news service, Xinhua, announced within hours of the incident that it was carried out by Xinjiang separatist terrorists. The government of Kunming also said the attack had been linked to Xinjiang militants. Police said they had confiscated a black, hand-painted East Turkestan flag at the scene.
II: A Comment, by Michael Roberts, 13 March 2014
By chance my chain mail circuit brought the exchange between Michael Tan and LSL into my orbit (see below). Having met Michael Tan briefly when I was on a research spell in Singapore way back I weigh his thoughts seriously. They indicate that this has not been the first such venture into terror attacks by Xinjiang zealots, while placing them within the machinations of power politics — more specifically the dirty wars promoted by USA. While wary of conspiracy theories targeting the CIA and USA in this instance I believe we must give serious consideration to this allegation as a probability.
As insightful here is Tan’s thrust at USA for lecturing to China after one of the early attacks by the Xinjiang zealots in Beijing and the startling contrast with the Chinese response to the terrorism at the Boston Marathon. USA’s dubious politics is highlighted here.
Michael Tan, however, also joins the world-at-large in failing to note an outstanding silence vis-a-vis the Kunming attack. No one as far as I know, has deemed it a suicide mission. But given their distance from north western China the Xinjiang zealots were making their “statement” without an exit strategy. A few of them, including two of the women assailants, were in fact killed or wounded by police.
In the circumstances I hold that these Xinjiang assailants were proclaiming their dedication to their cause, the independence of east Turkestan. They were displaying what Sri Lankan and other Tamils will now call uyirāyutham — an innovation in Tamil thought created by the LTTE, albeit building on southern Indian cultural and political currents. They were displaying what I have termed “sacrificial devotion.”
This conceptualization can be extended even to, say, the mission of Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi. In a context where a death penalty was a standard punishment, such a high-profile assassination without an exit strategy in place was in act a suicide mission pursued consciously and willingly. … and quite happily insofar as he could use his trial as platform to argue his rationale. [i]
Having immersed myself in the study of war as a juvenile, I have NEVER responded in horror to suicide attacks per se — certainly not where their targets were military establishments or personnel. Many commandoes participated in wartime missions where they were fully alive to the fact that 90 per cent of them would die. So these were suicide missions for most. Thus, to my thinking suicide attacks by walking bombs are an intelligent, low-cost precision weapon. It is only when they embrace targets with a civilian component that, in my perspective, they become illegitimate.
However, this is not the reigning perspective in the Western world — not only among goodie-goodie liberals hostile to war crimes but as a dominant current in all media circuits and in state pronouncements. To most people suffused within this brand of thinking, a suicide attack is horrible, ipso facto a BAD.
YET few in the West have deemed the Kunming attackers to be suicidal attackers … individually and collectively dedicated to killing work that would also be their end. WHY? It is this thought, a sideline issue to be sure, that I leave with you.
[i] “Suicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30(10), 857-887.
III: Letter from Michael Tan to Hi Hun Hock, Sunday, March 02, 2014 4:31 PM
I have just flown into Kunming about 3 hours ago from Kuala Lumpur where I had spent a few days arranging for student exchange programmes between Yunnan University of Finance & Economics and TAR University. On arrival at Kunming airport this morning, I was told by my professor colleagues meeting me at the airport about the attack. It happened late Saturday night when about 10 balaclava clad men in black wearing long robes typical of Middle Eastern Muslims attacked at random pedestrians and passers-by at the main Kunming station with long knives. Those knives were hidden in the long robes they wore which they ripped off once they attacked the innocent people. Both adults and children were killed in the wanton attack – especially those unfortunately caught in the way and those unable to flee or those who were too slow to flee. At least 30 were killed and over 130 injured many seriously. Policemen fired and killed 4 of them and have mounted an intensive search.
Policed believe these terrorists are from Xinjiang — the restive Muslim province in North West China which has in recent months witnessed a number of similar attacks on innocent civilians. But for them to mount an attack on Kunming in the far South West is proof of their determination to show that no place in China is safe from them. In January this year, terrorists from Xinjiang also mounted a similar attack in Tien An Men Square in Beijing — killing about 5 innocent people. In response to the Beijing attack, the USA government instead of condemning the attack, called for better human rights in China. Last year when two Chechchian terrorists set off two bombs during the Boston Marathon and killed some innocent bystanders, China immediately condemned the incident as a terrorist act. How would the USA respond if China had instead called for better human rights in the USA? It would be interesting to see the US government’s response to this terrorist act, this time.
So what do these terrorists want? They want a separate East Turkestan nation. The East Turkestan independent movement was nurtured and funded by the CIA and congressional allocations from the 1980’s when the funding was very substantial until today. They are pawns in a game of chess, used by the Americans to provoke unrest in China to slow down China’s economic, political and military development. Why do the Americans do that? So that they can remain on top.
This attack is not linked to the Tibetans who by the way were also supported and funded by the CIA from 1959 to this present day. But they are both similar in the sense that both are pawns used by Western powers to hinder progress and cause unrest in China.
I enjoy teaching in Kunming. The students appreciate me and my colleagues respect me for my teaching skills. They have offered me a permanent full time position and I am considering it. It is good to share my views on life, the world and the universe not only with my colleagues, but more importantly with young people whose minds are more open and malleable than adults.
Professor Michael N T Tan,
B.Com (Hons), FCA, CFP, PhD (UNSW),
Yunnan University of Finance & Economics,
II: A Response from LSL to Michael Tan, Monday 3 March 2014
Thanks for giving us an insight on the tragic event in Kunming. As one who is working there in an intellectual capacity, you would the know the truth. Since the days of the cold war, the CIA has been the trouble maker worldwide inciting unrest and fermenting revolution for the indirect benefit of the US. They planned the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in the 1960 but failed. They tried to assassinate Fidel Castro several times but failed as well.
Nowadays, they turned their attention to Asia, in particular China whose rising economy offers a serious challenge to the US as the world’s No. 1 economic power which will likely be achieved in my lifetime.
You are right to say that such brazen attack on unharmed civilians cannot happen without the support of a big brother. It would be interesting to see what loud mouth Obama has to say…if any.
Also it aches to see so many Asians are being indoctrinated by the Western press on the Dalai Lama issue without realizing that he has become a truly CIA agent. It has been reported that the CIA financed him & even trained his men to create unrest in Tibet.
Just about everyone who has visited Tibet has reported that China has done much to upgrade the lives of the average Tibetan. Tibetan kids can now go school like any kid in the civilised world, and not spend a lifetime chanting prayers and be a slave to senior monks like what happened there in medieval times. If that is the culture of Tibet
then it should be destroyed. Similarly, the British removed the Indian cruel tradition of Sati in 1829 whereby when the husband dies, his widow must be burned alive beside him.