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  • Embarrassment in Beijing

    On her first visit to China in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Chinese leaders that she considered human rights secondary to other, greater issues. “Our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,” she said. Have those words ever come back to bite her!

    Over the past week, the case of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has exposed the Clinton–Obama foreign policy as few events ever have, and it has exposed it as either spineless or callous. The proud American legacy as a beacon of freedom has been shot through and through by the Obama Administration’s handling of Chen. After six days in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Chen was returned to Chinese authorities, who even had the nerve to demand a U.S. apology. Returning Chen was necessary to smooth the path for Clinton’s visit Thursday and Friday.

    The resolution of the case, announced proudly by the State Department today, has to be taken with a large dose of skepticism. Reportedly, Cheng has been offered a fellowship at New York University. According to State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, Chinese authorities have agreed to consider an application for him and his family to travel. “The Chinese Government stated today that Mr. Chen Guangcheng has the same right to travel abroad as any other citizen of China. Mr. Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children,” she stated.

    Not so fast. Having the “right” to travel and actually getting permission are two very different things. ”This matter has been handled in the spirit of a cooperative U.S.–China partnership,” Nuland said. Not reassuring.

    Unfortunately, Chen is not the first activist to be downgraded by the Obama Administration in favor of state-to-state relations and alleged cooperation on larger global issues. Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets of Tehran in June of 2009 looked in vain for support from Washington. So did Syrians, under daily attack by their own regime. It is a sad day when human rights defenders cannot look to the United States for protection, but that day has indeed arrived. Even if Cheng and his family arrive safely in New York (a very big if), the next Administration will have a lot of repair work to do on America’s standing in the world.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Embarrassment in Beijing

    1. Don Setay says:

      And this everyone, is why academic circles don't take what the Heritage Foundation says seriously.

    2. Marty Roppelt says:

      What a sad commentary. I wonder whether the current admin.'s balky policy comes from past failures (Ms. Clinton's hubby's debacle in Africa) and fear of a repeat, albeit a political and not military one — or if it's an extension of a less than Christian ideology overall. Based on everything that's going on domestically, though, I don't wonder all that much…

      • Helle Dale helledale says:

        Firstly, their priorities are clearly not focussed on invidiual liberty, but on state-to-state relations. And secondly, right to life is obviously not one of their causes. It's a very troubling state of affairs,

    3. The Diplomad says:

      Please the post on this topic at The Diplomad 2.0 http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/2012/05/professio

    4. Pingback: Sunday Morning Grumpy Daily Headline News | Grumpy Opinions

    5. crooked wren says:

      Reading "None Dare Call It Treason" (thirty-some years too late) has been breaking my heart. The Congo. Hungary. Cuba (though we've made some reparations there by giving the Cuban people a way to escape Fidel — in spite of how "wonderful" Michael Moore and Sean Penn think it would be to live in Socialist/Communist Cuba).

      But at least we had a POTUS who spoke out against Communism (while infiltrating Marxists and their fellow travelers were establishing policies inside the State Dept. and other Fed. agencies).

      Now? This Obama Administration has openly slighted all of our allies and is busy "talking" with the Taliban.

      And the Obama Administration has been busy telling us that "Julia" NEEDS a socialist government because she's too inept to handle life without it. Liberty means little to Obama's "Julia."

      Economic weakness might be the only excuse, if we didn't have an entire pattern of policy behaviors to tell us otherwise.

      And I wonder what would have happened if Chen's complaint hadn't centered upon abortion/right to life issues.

      • Helle Dale helledale says:

        You hit the nail on the head with your last comment. I have wondered, too, if Chen's right to life activism did not cool the Obama administration's interest in helping him.

    6. Let's wait until 2013 to get Chen out. Asking this President to reflect any honest heart-attachment to the core of American values is asking too much. Chen can hang on 7 more months.

      • Helle Dale helledale says:

        One thing is for sure — George W. Bush would have handled this case very differently.

    7. Stirling says:

      It's really a reflection of the past 3+ years.. When our government is "disconnected" from the will of the people human rights and Liberties are squashed. China (due to the communist government) will never be a people's government, but for America to be as "cold" should alarm everone.

    8. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Again, it's all a set up. Obama will send Hillary on her white hourse to save the day when she returns with Chen and his family. Strange that this entire Chen affare would take place in an elections year, or is it?

    9. RGP says:

      Obama lacks the heart of Judao-Christian morality. Romney is a Christian….with a belief in Christ that while different than that of standard Christian mainstream thought, still exhibits the same moral standards. He also has the moral track record to establish his credibility in that area. I won't have to worry he will make a deal with the Devil behind the scenes. His administration will be an open record of honesty and political appointments beyond reproach. I will not lie awake at night wondering whose side he is on.

    10. allen says:

      If she would spend more time doing her job instead of tracking down "BILL", She should have more time to do her job.

    11. JustDamnMad says:

      While we are focused on this man who was betrayed by our country, what is the OTHER hand doing?? Look at the UN, or Afghanistan, or Iran . . . . don't get so focused on this issue that you miss the rest!

    12. Tom says:

      I'm sure there will be no retractions of any comments in this hit piece now that Chen is in the States. Just like always, you conservatives will forget that it ever happened and look for the next thing to bash the President and the country on.

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