Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google's Spell-Binding Arrogance Points to the Opening Of Yet Another War Front - Cyber War With China

In one of the most arrogant, childish and reckless games of one-upmanship, Google decided to take on the Chinese government by stopping censorship of its web search results and redirecting visits to its uncensored Chinese language site in Hong Kong. While Google may claim to be the new self-anointed democracy sheriff, its move reeks of thoughtlessness and will contribute to the further escalation of already boiling tensions between the U.S. and China.
Of course the point to note here is that Google - a mere corporation is now dictating U.S. foreign policy - something that in itself is highly undemocratic. Did U.S. citizens elect Google to start a new dangerous escalation with the Chinese government? What have they elected the President and Congress for? What if the Chinese government decides to retaliate by dumping U.S. Treasuries or closing off its markets? Will Google take responsibility for the U.S. economy rolling off the cliff?
Now we by no means support the Chinese government, and yes many of their policies are highly repressive, but democracy is not a light switch that can simply be turned on one day, at whim. It needs years of work and a progressive easing into. If a stable democracy is the end goal, the transition process should be a peaceful one. We no longer live in the age of barbarism, where all conflicts are resolved by war and bloodshed. The lives of the innocent civilians needs to be protected at all cost.
Imagine for a minute if China were to listen to Google and free up information overnight. In a nation of 1 billion people, there would be widespread civil unrest and ethnic wars, millions would die and the process would culminate in the Chinese government falling. All this at a time when the world economy is on a tenuous foot and can ill afford more conflict and instability. Chaos in China will benefit no one.
Does Google want democracy in China at the cost of the blood of millions of people? Judging by their reckless antics the answer seems yes. When it is someone else's life on the line, when it is not your children that are going be be maimed or orphaned, of course that is a price Google and the American government seem willing to bear.
The American experiment of bringing democracy through violent upheaval (war, creating civil unrest) as we have seen in Iraq and during the Iranian revolution is one of abject failure. The movements that have been successful are the non-violent and peaceful ones. The world's most populous democracy India was born through a non-violent and peaceful revolution (although the subsequent partition of India and Pakistan along religious lines led to the bloodshed of millions of innocent civilians).
Google cannot simply wake up one day and decide that what would go perfectly with their morning coffee would be more democracy in China. Only a full blow retard would throw a fit of childish rage and decree that China free up its Internet search. Anyone with a more evolved thought process would learn a lesson from their history books and take a more measured and planned approach of encouragement and engagement, rather than confrontation.
Which brings us to our final point - Google's real beef if any with the Chinese government should be over the hacking of the gmail accounts of Chinese dissidents. If Google was so upset over the hacking why is it not taking up that issue with the Chinese government? What steps has it taken to beef up cyber-security? Why is it throwing a hissy-fit over democracy and freedom of information? How is hacking a gmail account connected with uncensored searches in China? If someone stole from you, would you report the incident to the police or would you retaliate by complaining that the thief's telephone is not working? The whole thing makes very little sense.

No comments: