Hong Kong, Updated

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and in fact increase, the airport was shut down by them earlier this week, even as Chinese forces gather on the border. It is a dangerous time to be a Hong Konger. They fight for the same thing we fought Britain for long ago, and the same things that have underlaid almost every one of our wars. The Star-Spangled Banner and our anthem have joined with the flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong and the British Union Flag to mark the protestors. It is something we should be proud of.

I suspect most of us are, this is the sign of the world the Anglosphere has built. Not all that long ago, in 1941, if you were free, English was your native language, and yes, Hong Kong was amongst us, although they would soon be occupied by Imperial Japan. I think they learned the lesson.

But we were the first, the original revolutionaries, who continue the revolution, the keepers of the flame that illuminate the City on the Hill, and guides all who would be free. But as we have learned that doesn’t mean that the US can make everyone free, we have certainly learned that lesson to our cost in the last twenty years. It truly is as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said back in 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

But still, our sympathy and perhaps some measure of our nonmilitary power should be engaged here. These people understand the dream, from its founding. Their original cause was an extradition treaty that would have found them in front of Chinese kangaroo courts. How different from that is this:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.


For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Or even this:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

That is article 39 of Magna Charta, dating from 1215, part of the ultimate bedrock of individual freedom for America as it is for all Anglophone countries

So yes, we should be supporting the Hong Kongers, although I do not think we should get ourselves into a war with China over it. There are, of course, other means. And we should use them. Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel writes in Law and Liberty:

But this afternoon, things are different.  I’m joining my former student and her friends for a protest in support of liberty in Hong Kong.  When I first heard of the troubles in Hong Kong, I initially thought I’d play it safe. This was not my fight, and there wasn’t much I could do.  I would teach my classes and stay away from demonstrations.  But I was faced with a moral choice. Hong Kong has a tradition of rule of law, Hong Kong is a land of liberty, Hong Kong has become a second home.

I had reached out to my former student for our annual dinner in the Fragrant Harbor – we’ll call her V (for obvious reasons, I will not share her identity).  We made dinner plans. She also invited me to a protest.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  What if facial recognition technology led to a lost work visa for next year’s class?  What if I found myself detained during the march, and missed my class the next day?  I was embarrassed at my first reaction.  I have been teaching liberty and preaching the gospel according to Hayek for the past decade.  Yet, presented with an opportunity to support true freedom fighters, I found myself balking, and thinking of admittedly bourgeois consideration. However, these are the very same bourgeois considerations Hong Kongers want to defend:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So what if I lose my visa for next year.  So what if I miss a class because I am briefly detained by the police.  These people are fighting – desperately – for their lost liberties.  So I decided to march, and set aside my petty worries.

When Hong Kong was handed from the UK to China in 1997, the agreement included basic legal and political guarantees.  First, Hong Kong would not be swallowed into the People’s Republic of China, but administered as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), under the policy of “one country, two systems.”  Second, the rights of the people of Hong Kong would be guaranteed under a Basic Law, which includes democracy, rule of law, and individual rights.

Keep reading, and yes, I admire him. It takes guts to put our butts where our mouth is, and more of us should be making noise about this. The Hong Kongers are right to use American and British symbols in their fight. As we have seen this has been our battle since before the days of King John.

And you know, we hear much about the evils of British and US colonialism, here is portrayed the other side, that you will not hear in the media or the schools, or from the Democrats (or Labour), this is also about how we taught the world what it is to be a free man, and many of them learned the lesson well.

God bless and keep Hong Kong free.

About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

24 Responses to Hong Kong, Updated

  1. audremyers says:

    Again, an excellent read. While the American in me supports their efforts to be free, I don’t want war or ‘police action’; I don’t imagine the UK will step forward, either. In the end, they will have to get it done themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. audremyers says:

    Excellent point and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, Neo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jonathan Strange says:

    Why do you always say “we” when talking about fighting for freedom, when you never served? You do this all over your blog, lumping yourself into the same category as the Minutemen, but when you had the opportunity you dropped out?


  4. Jonathan Strange says:

    Interesting side note, I asked you this maybe 4 years ago, and you banned my IP address. Funny story…it was the Blue Cafe at Resolute Support HQ in Kabul that you banned. I was in a war zone, and you made snide comments and blocked me…. True story, cannot make it up.

    I’m asking, because my DD-214 came in today. When I went to the Academy my dad bought me a bottle of single malt Scotch. From one of the Islay distilleries. Scotch does not age once in the bottle, but I kept it in for this occasion, when I was finally done. And it is so odd that so many in your generation went so far out of their way NOT to serve, but are so faux patriotic and freedom loving now, when they were so cowardly then.


    • Scoop says:

      Hi Jonathan, as a sporadic commenter here I would like to first thank you for your service to this great nation. My father was also a 30 year Naval Officer and graduate from the Academy in the class of 1943 (which actually graduated a year earlier due to the war and going to school year round).

      I assume from your DD-214 that you either spent 20, 25 or 30 years in the service? If so, that places you in a different dynamic than most of those who preceded you in age. Your’s was a volunteer generation (which allows some degree of freedom in whether or not the choices made were thought out carefully and then chosen due to your own evaluation of the necessity for war) . . . and it was, a ‘better’ judgment than was given to the 2 preceding generations. After all, we had been attacked on our own soil and this is always a provocation to stand up against enemies both foreign and domestic.

      I still have reservations about the Vietnam era (non-declared war) which I continue to have reservations about the motives and what we would determine to be what we would call victory. And our resolution was not a resolution at all . . . and the draft forced those who disagreed with the govt. reasons for this conflict.

      Much could also be said about the generation that faced the Korean ‘police action’ which has left us over there forever and never had a true workable resolution. In fact it is possible that all we did was invite the Communists to arm and aid the North to pursue a predominantly military nation rather than going back to their old ways prior to the atrocities of the Japanese during the Second WW.

      So I think it a bit harsh to try to conflate these responses. NEO, a bit younger than I, may not have agreed with Vietnam and its handling but please be honest that we still supported the troops and their valor. I thought the response of the ‘true cowards’ of spitting on our warriors on their return as shameful to the extreme. I’m sure that NEO did as well.

      I think that I can at least say this about what I know of NEO. . . neither of us were young enough to take part in the gulf wars. We supported you as we supported our military even in this newest paradoxical way that we fight our wars: we stay for ever and try to turn the “untenable” into democracy loving people. It didn’t work in Korea, Vietnam nor today. What we did with Japan and Germany no longer apply in the dynamics of this present world.

      So I would think that calling these preceding generations as ‘cowards’ as a. bit extreme to say the least. Again I think NEO and I would both thank you for your service as I said in the beginning. As to why we didn’t fight in our ‘opportunity’ to ‘defend’ American freedom would be a long story indeed. But we did support those who decided differently. God bless America. Our biggest problem lies in the politics of war and not in defending our freedom and our liberties . . . as there are many of us who would fight, should we see the danger to those freedoms though we are not sure that such a clear and present danger existed. In your case, yes. In ours not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        I recall when he got blocked. Glad then, may get glad again if he keeps it going. Maybe false valor on his claims? New rule by left as to allegations …prove your innocence or you’re guilty.
        His blocking…just a punch in the jaw he had/has coming, not limiting his free speech. 🙂
        Better yet, post your DD-256.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jonathan Strange says:

        Is it extreme? Not really. David did once say he was scared to go to Vietnam. Is it nice? Not really either, but it is accurate. Particularly in light of someone who says “This is the navy that once executed an admiral for not engaging aggressively enough but now sold to middle management who only know how to tick the boxes” WRT to the Royal Navy in this article he posted a little less than a month ago…


        David, who has not a single day in uniform, still feels fit to criticize those who do serve, often disparagingly. Is he entitled to his opinion, absolutely, but he is also open to criticism of said opinion, starting with the fact that he does not know the first thing about service? It is not as if he is a noted military thinker such as John Keegan or Don Kagan, either. David holds no educational credentials at all.

        In fact, David has largely failed at almost everything in his life.

        Marriage and relationships? Nope, his ex is happily married to, and I cannot make this up, a yoga instructor from Portland.

        Education? No, David had the opporutnity to attend Purdue, a phenomenal opportunity, but failed out.

        Parenting? No, his kids want nothing to do with him.

        Career? No, relatively lackluster work on the fringes of the economy without noticeable impact or memory.

        Military service? Pontificates on it daily, but was too scared to serve.

        In almost all aspects of his life, David is a sad failure, and is slowly dying from his nicotine addiction, relatively alone and friendless. This small forum constitutes, almost, the entirety of his circle of friends, and even it continues to shrink. Even Jessica Hof left him.

        David’s main legacy to the world is that this blog is currently immortalized in the annals of education as an example of “the American idiot”. Students of political science, worldwide, actually read portions of this blog as part of an effort to understand the stupidity of the American electorate the current dysfunction. Freshman political science student dissect David’s thoughts and ask “but didn’t he consider…?” and “doesn’t he know…?” and discuss why David thinks and does the things he does. That’s really it.

        And none of this is particularly nice, but it is all true.

        So, why point it out?

        David is part of what has been the worst generation in American history. The Baby Boomers were given almost everything. A wonderful economy. A nation at the pinnacle of world power. Ease and comfort that were never experienced before, and they completely squandered it. My generation, and David is the same rough age as my father, is slowly assuming the reins of American leadership, and we are trying to correct the cornucopia of mistakes and selfish plunder of the national landscape that occurred by our predecessors.

        So, it is important to point out, how absurd David’s positions are, but I know David will not permit it. He was a coward then, he is still a coward. He will not face criticism, he will delete it and hide. And here he has that power. And, honestly, I could not really care less about David, but it is the principle of the thing. When David says that the Royal Navy suffers from mediocrity, someone should point out that a coward who never served has no business involved in the subject at all, and that the Royal Navy, and other services, are dedicated men and women who do a phenomenal job. I am in a position to do since I both served in the military, period, and served with Royal men and women, in extremely difficult circumstances. But David only wants sycophants, people like “The unit” who I am guessing is an old HT2…? And you can see. He will ban me, delete this, but it is all relatively impotent. His real critics are the young men and women reading his blog and asking “how could someone be this stupid…?” which is the real legacy he is leaving behind.


        • Scoop says:

          Sorry Jonathan, but since this is social media I have no way of knowing if you are a man of honor or a liar or slanderer. So there is not much that I can say to your litany of grievances aired here. I do think it is good, however, that the people decide, by what they write and how they react, as to which side of the spectrum they might fall.

          Success and or failure in life’s goals are of little consequence if one is aware of what the true purpose of life is: “God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” Outside of this, everything we do here on earth and all our failures or sufferings amount to nothing. Best to get the beam from our own eyes before taking a speck out from the eye of one of our neighbors.

          Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Enjoy the Scotch, and your retirement. Too bad you were misusing government assets to troll me. You are still unwelcome here, by the way. I simply have no reason to tolerate you.


      • Jonathan Strange says:

        The Blue Cafe is a civilian establishment, run by a very nice Afghani family. Their free Wifi is not a government. How is this misusing government assets? And do you really feel like you have a right or entitlement to criticize how I spent my very limited off-duty time while in a war zone?

        Please explain.


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