Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today -100, November 27, 1909: Of Chinese loans, opium, delicious dogs, and gunboat diplomacy

The US will participate, along with Britain, France and Germany, in a $30m loan to China to build a railroad. See, in those quaint old days of yore, the United States made loans to China in order to be able to exercise indirect imperialist control over its government and economy, instead of the other way around.

Britain may agree to an international conference on the opium trade, but will not agree to stop forcing China to accept opium (hell, they fought a war for the right) or to confine the trade to medicinal uses. Britain says that while there is growing opium abuse in the US, Canada and China, the people of India are perfectly okay using it recreationally.

The authorities in Paris are considering applications for the establishment of slaughter houses for dogs, for human consumption.

The NYT reports rumors that the US has approached Mexico about it possibly cooperating in overthrowing the Zelaya government in Nicaragua. The US has ordered a gunboat to the region – ships are being sent from both coasts – but would prefer that Zelaya be overthrown “without the semblance of aid from this country.” Which looks increasingly likely. For this reason, the US is dragging its feet on formally recognizing the rebels.

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