Talking points for 21 April

A few things to wet the appetite this morning. One issue we are likely to discuss on today’s programme is whether we understand the psychological toll of war. Nearly a fifth of American troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, with many finding inadequate support to help them. Is there enough support for troops returning from conflict, or are mental health problems for soldiers returning from war just a sad consequence that we have to accept? What about civilians caught up in wars? If you’ve been affected by this issue get in touch.

Over the weekend demonstrators in China have hit back at the Olympic torch protests. Yesterday thousands of people targeted the French supermarket chain Carrefour over the west’s stance on Tibet. Abroad, expat Chinese rallied in Paris as well as outside CNN’S offices in California and the BBC in Manchester – which are also accused of alleged media bias over Tibet. Is this evidence that the Chinese diaspora are starting to take their own actions? Ahead of the Olympics are foreign businesses going to become the target of pro Chinese demonstrators?

A story which has dominated the British newspapers is that former Deputy Prime Minster John Prescott says he suffered with the eating disorder Bulimia. It started in the 1980’s and he put it down to the stress of the job. Some experts believe he is highlighting a hidden problem amongst men, especially older men (he’s 69). So are men increasingly feeling the pressure over the way they look? Are concerns that were once regarded as female problems now becoming concerns for men?

And as we become increasingly impressed by how you, the loyal WHYS listeners and bloggers, find us ….an interesting piece by John Kelly in the UK’s Guardian newspaper about how people find a blog.

And a final thought for now ….The survey that told you what you already knew?


6 Responses to “Talking points for 21 April”

  1. April 21, 2008 at 10:08

    Whatever you do, the society makes pressure on you to do otherwise.

    If you have a relaxed lifestyle, the society will always make you feel guilty of not caring anough for your health.

    If you however do care about your fitness and how you look, then you is automatically disgosed as suffering from anorexia or some other disorder.

    The society will always try to make you feel guilty and excert pressure on you to do otherwise, whatever you do.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:45

    I strongly believe the soldiers suffer after war trauma due to what they do and see at the battle front during thier duties.
    The civilians are vonurable since they either die or abused sexually or otherwise used as shield.such treatment remains in the mind for life.
    With terrorists around as in Iraq,the soldier will be fearful even after duty.
    But trauma healing will be of aid.

  3. 3 VictorK
    April 21, 2008 at 11:34

    The Chinese who never demonstrate about anything in or out of China are now spontaneously demonstrating about Tibet and the Olympic torch? Really? Obediently following the orders of their Communist Party masters would be more like it.

    And as for attacking Western business interests, that’s just fine. A country whose prosperity depends on trade with the outside world will quickly see the light when it finds itself subjected to economic sanctions by a trading bloc like the EU (of which France just happens to be a leading member).

    The Beijing dictatorship should bring it on.

  4. 4 Katharina in Ghent
    April 21, 2008 at 12:06

    I agree with what Tamba said: The civilians are the really vulnerable ones here. Soldiers come and go, but civilians stay and may still face more repressions once the soldiers left. The stories that my mother told me about the Russian occupation in Austria after WWII are legendary.

    It’s not that I don’t empathize with the soldiers, but they signed up for it, so they should have seen it coming. The army though should provide counselling and support for them once they’re back from duty, after all it has the money for everything else, otherwise you only get a big bunch of highly disturbed men on your streets who know how to use weapons…

    About the survey that you linked: it reminded me very much of that Saudi woman who was on the show somewhen last winter and tried to convince us that she leads a perfectly nomal life, thank you very much. And yet she didn’t want to say a word about allegations of human rights abuses in her country, because she wasn’t there when they happened so she doesn’t know anything. It seemed to me that she worried about her privileged position if she took position. I’m sure she know why…

  5. April 21, 2008 at 12:16

    I think that there is a possibility that the Chinese people are protesting without some central order from the communist HQ.

    Unfortunatly i can’t see britian agreeing to a mass china block in the EU. Everything we have seems to be ‘made in china’ these days.

  6. 6 Xie_Ming
    April 21, 2008 at 13:33


    Central “orders” are probably not involved. I would speculate that it is a matter of the police not being told to intervene.

    Regulars may recall CHEN’s prediction of the reaction to the seemingly orchestrated Tibet/Olympic protests. He appears to have known the psychology quite well.

    My hypothesis is that those who join the “cause of the week” join in media-potentiated psychic inflation from predisposing personal factors.

    One requirement is that the target (like the pillar of the Devil in Mecca at which one may throw stones) is not in a position to strike back. When there is a counter-reaction, the whole process of psychological release is thrown into confusion.

    We have seen, on the China thread, references to published materials linking the CIA to the Dalai Lama and to the fomenting of dissent in Tibet. This would make a good exploration for an honest news organization.

    On its program THE FORUM, the BBC brought briefly together some real China experts. Perhaps they could do the same for the history of Tibet and the current demos.

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