Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Legacy of Communism on Display in China

On May 12 a powerful 7.9 earthquake rocked the Sichuan province of China. Over sixty thousand people have been confirmed dead in what many officials and seismologists call the strongest quake to hit China in over a decade. But the true tragedy is the fact that almost ten thousand schoolchildren lost their lives in the quake. Parents, rightly so, are demanding answers and assigning blame to the Chinese government:

The earthquake’s destruction of Xinjian Primary School was swift and complete. Hundreds of children were crushed as the floors collapsed in a deluge of falling bricks and concrete. Days later, as curiosity seekers came with video cameras and as parents came to grieve, the four-story school was no more than rubble.

In contrast, none of the nearby buildings were badly damaged. A separate kindergarten less than 20 feet away survived with barely a crack. An adjacent 10-story hotel stood largely undisturbed. And another local primary school, Beijie, catering to children of the elite, was in such good condition that local officials were using it as a refugee center.

“This is not a natural disaster,” said Ren Yongchang, whose 9-year-old son died inside the destroyed school. His hands were covered in plaster dust as he stood beside the rubble, shouting and weeping as he grabbed the exposed steel rebar of a broken concrete column. “This is not good steel. It doesn’t meet standards. They stole our children.”

There is no official figure on how many children died at Xinjian Primary School, nor on how many died at scores of other schools that collapsed in the powerful May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. But the number of student deaths seems likely to exceed 10,000, and possibly go much higher, a staggering figure that has become a simmering controversy in China as grieving parents say their children might have lived had the schools been better built.

This is the legacy of Communism. While so many may extol the "virtues" of such a totalitarian system, when disasters like this strike the government's shoddy work is laid bare for all to see. The Chinese government was so excited to be awarded the Olympics that on the day the quake occurred, Chinese news services assured everyone that the Olympic stadium was unharmed before continuing on with the news.

The children have become the victims in this tragedy. Seven thousand schools collapsed. Four thousand children orphaned. Five million people are homeless. The shoddy workmanship is exposed for all of those in China, and around the world, which is the "best" anyone could expect from a Communist regime.

Our hearts go out to those in China that have suffered through this catastrophe. They are in our prayers. For those that wish to help, you can do so by contributing to the American Red Cross's efforts here and you can contribute to Caring For China here.

For as the legacy of Communism is exposed for the world, the West's efforts to help those in need, in a time of crisis, crushes that image. This tragedy shows exactly who those are that care, and are doing what they can to help. On the flip side is the Chinese government who is giving no answers to the parents that lost children and loved ones in this quake.



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