The little guy with a white plastic shopping bag in each hand stopping a line of tanks made you think that China was really going to change. Even the people in Tiananmen Square didn’t believe that the Army was firing real bullets at them. Instead of running, they turned and charged at the troops.
They had been told for decades that the Peoples Army loved the people and would never hurt them. In fact the crack down had to be delayed for days as the government brought in troops from a remote province that didn’t have any affinity to the people of Beijing.
Do we as Americans have any right to criticize China for that massacre after the atrocities of the last eight years? We do if we face up to and demand justice for the crimes of our "leaders" or rather "rulers" since they weren’t elected.
How close did we come to having Blackwater troops massacring protesters here? Far closer than most people want to believe. If our past rulers hadn’t been incipient cowards, almost certainly that would have happened here. The far right has fully embraced the idea and has been doing it on a individual basis, doing it as a mob isn’t that far away and they would put on the Brown Shirts in a heartbeat. (in hushed tones) "Remember the massacre on the Washington Mall" or maybe it would be shouted as a battle cry. Is that the difference between us and China? Or is there any difference?