February 8, 2016

Happy Accidents: US Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade

My favorite newspaper published an article recently about the use of the phrase "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people" and its various forms in the Chinese press. While the phrase and the article were locked in relentless competition over which is more useless, my attention was drawn to something entirely tangential: a reference to the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.  

Here is the actual sentence:
Albanian insults aimed at Mao Zedong in the 1970s; the defection of a tennis player to America in 1982; the accidental bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade in 1999: all have caused emotional scarring. 
That the bombing was accidental is stated as a fiat accompli - as if it was a well-known fact beyond doubt and the simplest thing on earth.

The Country Who Cried Wolf

A schoolchild Google search would've revealed that the actual facts of the event are far more complicated. After NATO had bombed Milosevic's own transmitters - much like parts of the city itself - into oblivion, the Chinese embassy was apparently found acting as a rebroadcasting station for the Yugoslav army. This apparently irked the Americans, and - as confirmed by several sources - they decided to teach China a lesson

An analysis of US actions globally reveal that the most violent nation on earth wouldn't mind engaging in one of the most disgraceful military acts ever performed. Imagine the opposite event: if China "accidentally" attacked a US frigate as it conducted "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China sea?

Happy Accidents

Killing innocent people has always been America's second-favorite national pastime. But while US generals prefer killing with bombs, Chinese generals prefer sarcasm instead

The excuse this time was that the coordinates were based on an outdated map. The US apologized and apparently promised to "prevent mistakes such as this from occurring in the future". And it has honored that promise by "accidentally" killing even more innocent people