Gullibility and Poor Sportsmanship

Fool me once, shame on the trickster for resorting to trickery. Fool me twice, shame on me. When someone has earned the reputation of a trickster, one ought to be very skeptical of that trickster. Thus, to be fooled twice by the same trickster brings shame on the gullible person.

The United States has been duping the gullible among its citizenry and also gullible people in the world for quite a while. Near the end of WWII, there was the lie that the US had to drop nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to get Japan to surrender. There was the American deception surrounding the Gulf of Tonkin incident that served as a pretext to deepen American militarism in Viet Nam. There was the twisting of facts about Iraq’s possessing weapons of mass destruction that resulted in over a million Iraqis being killed, the country’s infrastructure being destroyed, and Iraq being occupied by US military to this day. The US lied to USSR/Russia about no eastward NATO expansion; the US lied about Syria using chemical weapons. Why would anyone continue to believe the word of a serial, unrepentant liar?

Nowadays, the US barks that Russia is about to invade Ukraine. Then there is the allegation that China is committing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Considering the US involvement in the oppression and killing of Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, and Iranians — the notion that the US would shed a tear for Muslims is sadly risible.

Scads of disinformation have been revealed about a purported genocide of Uyghurs.

With the outrageous claims against China dismissed as flimsy artifices, the US seized upon an interpersonal altercation: an alleged sexual assault of a Chinese female tennis player by a retired former high-ranking Communist Party official.

There was a deleted post on Weibo, a Chinese social media site, by the player, Peng Shuai. The post purportedly contained the allegation of sexual assault. Then she became a meme: #Where is Peng Shuai. Western media implied the Chinese state had deleted the post, scrubbed the net of references, and disappeared Peng.

I wrote an article with the commonsense title “Jumping to China-bashing Conclusions: Due process calls demands waiting for the facts.” In any justice-based system, people must not be tried in media; they must be tried in a functioning court of law by a preponderance of the evidence. That is why one must scrutinize the information and evidence before jumping to conclusions.

Yet, the WTA, a professional body overseeing professional women’s tennis, had already deemed China to be guilty by suspending its tournaments in that country.

Recently, on 19 December, Peng was approached by a reporter from the Singaporean Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao. Peng looks genuinely surprised by the encounter, like a deer in the headlights, but knowing that she has to get this over with. (See the interview here.)

Peng emphatically states, “First, I would like to emphasize a very important point: I have never said nor written about anyone sexually assaulting me. This point must be very clearly emphasized.”

Whether a post on social media is a personal matter or not, people can debate, but Peng maintains it is. Peng also affirmed that an earlier email to the WTA denying a sexual assault was hers.

Unanswered in the interview was why the wording in the Weibo post seems to allege a sexual assault.

The WTA remains unsatisfied. It issued a statement: “We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.” The tennis body headquartered in the US is, in effect, demanding that a powerful country of 1.4 billion people with a 5000-year history should submit a domestic crime allegation to its dictate. This demand presented to a country that rues its century of humiliation by outside powers will curry as much influence as an ant to a hungry aardvark.

Peng said she has no travel plans now. It seems the WTA ought to do its due diligence and visit Peng in China.

Not too quickly though, as Sinophobes in the West see a need to keep the heat turned up to try and spoil the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Talk about being a bad sport.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer and former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.