Tags: President | Bush's | Bipolar | Human | Rights | Policy

President Bush's Bipolar Human Rights Policy

Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM

Last Friday morning I saw something terrible on C-SPAN: Chinese "President" Jiang Zemin speaking at the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.

After his speech, Jiang answered puffball questions about pandas and basketball. The event ended with a standing ovation.

Outside, individuals peacefully protested the tyrant.

Under Jiang's one-party regime, assemblies and publications that criticize him or the Communist Party remain forbidden. In January, historian Xu Zerong was sentenced to 13 years in prison for research critical of China's foreign policy. The same month, journalist Jiang Weiping was sentenced to eight years for exposing corrupt functionaries like Bo Xilai, governor of Liaoning province and son of Communist Party elite Bo Yibo.

Jiang is also an enthusiastic persecutor of religious and spiritual groups, especially the meditation movement Falun Gong. Banned as an "evil cult" in July 1999, over 500 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death and tens of thousands sent to labor camps and mental institutions.

China is truculent abroad as well as domestically. Jiang maintains a genocidal occupation of Tibet perpetrated since 1950.

China's war against human rights has been denounced across the political spectrum, from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., to former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Charles Hermann, associate dean of Texas A&M's Bush School of Government and Public Service, commented, "Students should have the opportunity to hear different points of view, including those that may be repugnant to many people."

Will Osama bin Laden be invited to Texas A&M next? How about Ugandan mass murderer Idi Amin? After all, these individuals also have "different points of view" to share with the Texas A&M community.

In addition to the Texas A&M speech, Jiang visited President Bush at his Crawford ranch, where they ate fried catfish and ribs. A photograph showed the two smiling, with Bush's hand on Jiang's shoulder.

This is the same Jiang who, according to the recently released "

Bush has previously soft-pedaled China's systemic brutality. At Beijing's Tsinghua University on Feb. 22 he asserted that "China has made amazing progress in openness" and referred to "a China that is becoming one of the most dynamic and creative societies in the world."

I wonder how Xu Zerong, Jiang Weiping, and Falun Gong members would respond to that.

Jiang isn't the only tyrant Bush has hung out with at the ranch. In April he welcomed Saudi "Crown Prince" Abdullah to Crawford and "established a strong personal bond" with him. Saudi Arabia's policies include execution for those who convert from Islam to Judaism or Christianity. (The royal family has also sheltered Idi Amin since he fled Uganda in 1979.)

In his speeches on Iraq, Bush has framed intervention as a humanitarian measure. He said on Oct. 7:

During his presidency, Jimmy Carter declared human rights to be "the soul of our foreign policy." He also declared solidarity with tyrants like Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu.

President Bush's human rights policy, too, has this bipolar malady. Without an ethical alignment, his rhetoric about Iraq invites dismissal as opportunism.

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Last Friday morning I saw something terrible on C-SPAN: Chinese President Jiang Zemin speaking at the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. After his speech, Jiang answered puffball questions about pandas and basketball.The event ended with a standing...
President,Bush's,Bipolar,Human,Rights,Policy
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2002-00-04
Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM
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