My social media notifications have been lighting up the last few days with virulent Chinagaters sharing a video which purports to show Uighur Muslims being loaded onto a train to be taken to concentration camps. It’s actually an old video that had already surfaced last year, but it is magically making the rounds again as a new and shocking revelation in 2020 now that western China hysteria has been officially kicked into high gear, at exactly the same time the US enacts one of the most dangerous and incendiary escalations of recent years in the South China Sea.

Everyone tagging me in this video presents it as a self-evident “gotcha” moment, in exactly the same way Russiagaters spent years tagging me in every HUGE BOMBSHELL WALLS ARE CLOSING IN item of thinly sourced narrative fluff in their debunked conspiracy theory that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.

They are one hundred percent certain that the video shows Uighurs being loaded onto a train to go to a concentration camp, solely because that is what the bit of text over the video tells them they are seeing. They aren’t looking at the actual data and thinking critically about it, they’re looking at the narrative and believing it on blind faith. Which, in a post-Iraq invasion world, is an absolutely insane thing to do when presented with information about a nation that is targeted by the US-centralized empire.

In reality there’s nothing in the video which tells us that these are Uighur people being sent to a “re-education camp” and not merely a conventional prison transfer of convicted criminals, the likes of which take place in the far more populous US prison system all the time. It’s an unknown. We are told by the BBC’s Andrew Marr (the same Andrew Marr whose phony journalism Noam Chomsky derided years ago) that it has been “authenticated by western intelligence agencies and by Australian experts”, which in practice are the same thing, and that’s really the extent of the evidence. Again, this is an insane source to take on faith in a post-Iraq invasion world.

There are in fact an abundance of reasons to be highly skeptical of the establishment narrative about what is happening to Uighurs in Xinjiang. But that isn’t the point that I am trying to make here.

The point I am trying to make here is that the only sane response to any narrative that is being promoted by western intelligence agencies and their media stenographers about governments which have resisted absorption into the imperial blob is intense and unrelenting skepticism. These organizations have such an extensive and well-known history of lying about exactly this sort of thing that they have left us no choice but to withhold belief from anything they say absent a mountain of independently verifiable evidence if we want to have a fact-based relationship with reality.

None of this means that China has a wonderful government. It doesn’t even mean that all the bad things we’re being told about what the Chinese government is doing are false. It’s entirely possible that that video shows exactly what we’re being urgently told to believe it shows. There’s simply no way to be sure one way or the other in an information ecosystem that is so severely tainted by propagandistic narrative manipulation.

Surely the Chinese government is far from sinless. It seems to be a constant that power structures which keep secrets and use propaganda will always wind up doing ugly things. But this doesn’t mean you go believing whatever cold war-facilitating story we are fed by western power structures about it. Not if we want to avoid being duped into serving as pro bono CIA propagandists, unwitting tools of a murderous war machine.

There is a slow-motion third world war underway between the US-centralized power alliance and the nations like China which have resisted being absorbed into it, and that war is being largely facilitated by propaganda. If one doesn’t wish to become a propagandist themselves, one ought to withhold belief from the stories they are told about the terrible, awful things the unabsorbed nations are doing which require extensive sanctions, subversion and interventionism in response.

This doesn’t mean you believe the opposite of what you’re told, it simply means you refrain from believing either way and remain agnostic until presented with hard verifiable proof. Believing damaging narratives about US-targeted governments is exactly as stupid as believing the words of a known compulsive liar about someone you know he hates.

China is such a curious anomaly in the narrative matrix. Many who are normally skeptical of claims by western governments immediately swallow anything they’re told about China. They not only believe all such claims, it never even occurs to them to seriously question them. Like they seem to be genuinely unaware that skepticism of establishment China narratives is even an option. The claims just slide right into the “believe” file in their mind, completely unchecked by anything resembling critical thought.

I argue with people all over the political spectrum about China online, and an astonishing percentage of them have clearly put exactly zero research into critically examining these claims, even if they’re people who are normally relatively critical of western foreign policy. They’re often completely unaware that whatever claims they’re advancing are not just disputed but have large amounts of evidence against them. This is because they’ve done no research whatsoever into finding out what they were told is even true. They’ll do that research on Iran, they’ll do it about Russia, they’ll do it about Syria, but with China all skepticism immediately goes right out the window. It’s the weirdest thing.

Always be intensely skeptical of claims made about governments targeted by the known liars who run the US-centralized empire. Always, always, always, always. If you advance imperialist propaganda, then you are just as culpable for the bloodshed and suffering they help facilitate as the people who are actually launching the missiles.

Stay skeptical, my friends.


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39 responses to “I Don’t Always Believe CIA Narratives. But When I Do, I Believe Them About China.”

  1. Christian J. Chuba Avatar
    Christian J. Chuba

    Another observation, all of them are YOUNG MEN, typical of a prison population. There were no woman, or woman with children. Give them orange jumpsuits, have them coming off a bus in a compound w/barbed wire and it would look like a U.S. prison.

  2. RE: I Don’t Always Believe CIA Narratives. But When I Do, I Believe Them About China.

    I love this piece. Very rational.

    I worked in China recently – wasn’t sure what to expect, but China exceeded any expectation or preconceived notion I held before. I got back in January, and couldn’t return there because of the virus, but I find myself extremely nostalgic for China, and so so so wanting to go back when we are permitted to do so.

    I do not believe in absolutes except a few, and this is one of them: Since war always affects the innocent, warmongers are ALWAYS evil and NEVER justified. Anyone that accepts war as a “solution” is either stupid or evil, take your pick… and Karma exists.

  3. peter mcloughlin Avatar
    peter mcloughlin

    All wars in history have been about power. But the narrative always spins a tale of noble principle.

  4. OK, interesting. Now could you explain your view on Tiananmen Square, Taiwan, what’s going on in Hong Kong and China’s claim to islands in the South China Sea – also claimed by I believe six other countries?

    1. Where do you live, David, and what’s going on in YOUR country? Why are Westerners always so obsessed with what’s going on elsewhere and seemingly unconcerned about the abuses, oppression, and exploitation in their own nations? I think we can leave it up to the Chinese people, the Indian people, the people in Latin America [sic], etc, to stand for themselves and their rights, and keep ugly Western noses out of their business.

      1. hell yea. i love the people on this site. my kind of people. im American, but am disgusted. they indulge in torture, murder, disappear people w/out charge, indefinite detention w/out charge, starve entire nations, steal, lie, peddle drugs, extort, blackmail, bomb (especially brown people), and outright support genocide. propaganda in America is potent. this is why i’ve thrown out my TV 20 years ago. cheers to everyone here 🙂

  5. I’m so skeptical these days that the only things I believe are new posts reiterating things I’ve researched on my own and found to be true.
    Otherwise, my credo is ‘Prove it. or get it out of my face.’ And any proof offered, is also addressed skeptically until I can confirm it through other sources.

    1. I don’t believe you’re that skeptical. I’ll need someone to substantiate that for me.

      1. An anonymous source knowledgeable of such matters has, indeed, confirmed it.

  6. “Always be intensely skeptical of claims made about governments targeted by the known liars who run the US-centralized empire.”
    Exactly! Do not believe them. They are habitual liars, because they are skilled sociopaths. They rose to the top of the hierarchy by deceiving and manipulating others in their own selfish pursuit of power and control. If their lips are moving, they are conning us. If their lips are not moving, they are still conning us. Even after they are dead, their con-games live on. There is no more dangerous or damaging human being than the sociopath. They should never be allowed into any position of power and control.

  7. “you refrain from believing either way and remain agnostic until presented with hard verifiable proof.” Like the info from Colin Powell where the evidence was irrefutable.

  8. Naked Capitalism has an article today about the arrest of some politicians for taking bribes:

    Part of the story includes a media campaign using made up accusations against China. Accusations against Russia and China seem to be the current propaganda du jour for American and British politicians. Anti-Russian calumnies were deployed against Corbin.

    The U.S. has been involved with these dirty tricks forever, and unfortunately the public hasn’t developed an immune system to the propaganda. After the Panama invasion, the U.S. presented a photo alleging to show Noriega’s Cocaine and porn stash, which used the same props that appeared in a similar photo about another leader deposed by a CIA coup; I think it was Allende.

  9. I viewed an Internet article last month that purported to show refrigerated trucks loaded with dead covid victims in New York that , mostly women and children , were actually Iraqi war dead after Bush2s shock and awe adventure ? File footage is a wonderful thing for propagandists globally.

  10. Social media’s problem is only individuals can be intelligent, perceptive, and exercise good judgment. People are ill-informed, narrow minded, and generally benumbed.

  11. Considering who is disputing the Uighyur (sp?) persecution claims, i.e., Blumenthal and Mate, I can see discounting them. On the other hand, China’s destruction of Tibet is indisputable. I’m going to have to remain agnostic on this question.

  12. I am not believing or endorsing anything. Nor am I condemning China. Fact however is that many Muslims do not assimilate well into another culture. China has none of that. Assimilate or else is their policy. Thus if western China was at total peace they probably would be left alone. Peace equals assimilation. However if they start causing problems then this means crackdown and reeducation camps. The opposite would be chaos and culture wars like the west. China has too many people for that.

  13. Sage advice from my father, “Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half what you see”.

    China bears guilt for an abundance of atrocity without any “genocidal concentration camp” narrative. Beginning with the very foundation of the Chinese Communist government. In the name of “cultural adjustment” it murdered 40-60 million of its own people. The west is likewise guilty of the same crimes, just in a smaller quantity. The Chinese have a culture of submission, while the west retains a small portion of its culture of resistance. In China, Caitlin would have long since disappeared. The Snow Flake SJW Wokester paradigm is leading us ever closer to submission.

    1. China is leading the worldwide resistance against the killer Empire. Like the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion of 1941, they do not have to be saints in order to root for them.

      1. Tell it to Hong Kong and the Uigers.

    2. Johny Conspiranoid Avatar
      Johny Conspiranoid

      Perhaps the “cultural adjustment” story is just some previous propaganda.

      1. Sure, propaganda espoused by thousands who escaped.

  14. The US Government has no interest in the truth whatever.

  15. I figure maybe the worst lie I was told growing up in the Cold War era was that the US was not against the Russian or Chinese people, it was just against Communism. So the Russians threw out Communism and China went CINO and now Russia and China are hated more than ever. In the case of China, the hatred explicitly extends to the people or anyone who looks like them, with a token exception made for “pro-democracy” rioters in Hong Kong who are useful as (probably CIA-manipulated) martyrs. Good job to keep hammering on this, Caitlin, and thanks for the term “media stenographers”. I don’t know anyone else who uses this.

  16. Thank you Caitlin, and further to comments by Stephen Morrell (and others):

    The following is a segment from a personal compilation:

    When a topic like this comes to our attention, I like to research from both sides. With the Uyghurs, all what I discovered was a people whose culture and their own heritage and history is to be celebrated, just like any other around group the globe.

    I found the musical tradition of the Twelve Muqam most interesting. I have various links describing its role in Uyghur culture. I found it particularly interesting that

    *China officially regards and preserves the music in Xinjiang as a “living fossil”*

    From the question of propaganda, here are some relevant videos. I like to hear all sides.

    *True story in Xinjiang: alleged ‘missing’ people found safe and sound* (2:45)

    *CGTN’s exclusive interview with reportedly missing Uygur* (2:59)

    *CGTN Exclusive: Western propaganda on Xinjiang ‘camps’ rebutted* (4:02)

    *Fighting terrorism in Xinjiang* (50-minute special production)

    More articles on topic:

    *Xinjiang and Uyghurs — What You’re Not Being Told (by The Corporate/Corrupt Western Media) – – World Affairs via Worldtruth blog*

    “Now, let’s break down the facts. There are four types of Uyghur Muslims:
    1. Well-educated Uyghurs who are moderate/secular Muslims
    2. Poor and lower middle-class Uyghurs
    3. Nomads
    4. Separatists and terrorists”

    *China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part – F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook *

    *China and the Uyghurs – Godfree Roberts – The Unz Review*

  17. Evil wears a suit, a SMUG smile and comes in all colours, shapes and sizes.

  18. Dear Caitlin,
    You’d words reflect my thinking and I only would like to add, that several years ago (5,6?) there was a small announcement of the exile-government of uigurs to be established. The ceremony was held in Washington at, if I remember correctly, the White House.
    Already at that time the intentions were clear as to use it as a leverage against China. That was not for the minorities of the Uigurs but for the benefit of Washington.

    Please keep up your work! I enjoy following it!

  19. Thank you Caitlin – it needed saying – even the naive NZ TV Newshub portrayed the pictures as gospel authentic – but there was no actual indication that they were not made in a Hollywood studio.

  20. Our United States government just continues to ” oppress and oppose ” most of humanity with absolutely no thought of the consequences such actions cause to others. Bullies always continue to batter others until the bully is himself beaten up by someone with better fighting skills. The hole our government is putting us into is going to eventually just cave in on itself and destroy this country. 2020 may be our last year!

  21. It is the US empire and its lackeys that we should be scared of first and foremost. You don’t have to do extensive research to determine the degree of falsehood of a particular story or narrative. Looking at different media sources usually reveals discrepancies, as does a lack of factual evidence. Even when there is supposed factual evidence, it should be viewed with scepticism if it only comes from a single source that cannot prove its independence and impartiality.

    Being told that Western intelligence agencies have determined something, or agree on something isn’t enough because they are known to be a) wrong (think Iraq & WMDs), and b) biased (think Huawei and the recent evidence-free bans).

    These propaganda wars aren’t convincing, they are only mind-numbing because of the relentless bombardment. One of the side effects is that people turn off, another is that they automatically take the opposite view just out of frustration / annoyance. And better still, the constant bombardment forces some people to actually think about what they are being told to believe – partly because they quite rightly feel that something is not right, and partly because they feel they ought to find out a bit more before mindlessly repeating the story.

    As the line attributed to Abraham Lincoln goes ‘you can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time’.

  22. Most of us have almost zero *knowledge* about what’s going on in our world. We have *beliefs* We are told things by people who are presented to us as “authorities” in their field, and we *believe* them. We don’t *know*. The Mockingbird Media has less than zero credibility. I believe nothing from them.

    1. What thinking person wouldn’t agree with everything in Caitlin’s post…with the following exception: ‘If you advance imperialist propaganda, then you are just as culpable for the bloodshed and suffering they help facilitate as the people who are actually launching the missiles.” I get the point about those into whom official propaganda has seeped, but the equivalency of them to the bastards who do the propagandizing and the killing is debatable. Complacent and complicit to some extent, yes. But not necessarily IMHO as culpable. Truth abounds in the old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. But that truth depends upon the distinction between the evil people who do evil, and the “good” people–or, should we say, “somewhat better” people–who fail to stop the truly evil ones.

  23. Sheep spend their whole lives in fear of the wolf, only to be eaten by the shepherd.
    We have been sheared repeatedly by the medical mafia, now we are being skinned by the monopolists.
    It is time for the SHEEPDOGS to rise up and save the humanity herd.

  24. It’s like the end of America! The end of the Bill of Rights. Remember Freedom of Speech and Assembly and Seeking Redress of Grievances? Remember the right to face one’s accuser? Remember no arrest and detention without charge, No unreasonable arrest? All gone.—Pffft!
    This fine article can be read here:
    Defending the US Against Looming Presidential Dictatorship by Dave LIndorff

    1. I prefer to think of it as the end of the end of America, the culmination of a slow national death set in motion, in modern times, by the murder of JFK.

  25. And they could have been terrorists previously arrested and being routinely transferred as you say. There seems to be orderly control, certainly no abuse.

    *Fighting terrorism in Xinjiang* (50-minute special production)

  26. Xinjiang religious leader: U.S. should get facts straight

    *“We in Xinjiang live as freely as fish in the sea. We see our livelihood improve in every way. What US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of Xinjiang was far from fact. […] We wrote a letter to him explaining the truth on all his claims … We got no reply.“*

  27. The cold war keeps enough people scared that the empire will be safe from it’s own people for a time. Republicans get scared of China, Democrats get scared of Russia, and the environmental disasters on the horizon get ignored for a while longer.

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