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Head Rush

I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, but apparently he made an observation the other day that struck a lot of people as quite profound. At this week's state dinner, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize (Barack Obama) was joined by the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize (Jimmy Carter to honor not the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize (Liu Xiaobo), but his jailer (Chinese Premier Hu Jintao).

What an astonishing event.

I honestly don't know what to make of that.

In one way, it's a stunning acknowledgement of just how useless and pointless and downright wrong-headed the Peace Prize is, when it's awarded to worthless clots like Carter and "thank you for showing up and not being George W. Bush" Obama. There is apparently no sense of brotherhood and solidarity among the winners.

In another way, it's a demonstration of realpolitik and dealing with the world the way it is. As vile and contemptible as China is, we need to maintain a cordial relationship with them -- and vice versa. Picking a fight with Hu over this, at an event like this, would not do any good. In fact, it might actually do some harm -- Liu could develop a terrible medical condition while in jail.

In yet another, it shows that just when you think you can utterly write off the Nobel Peace Prize, they go and do something worthwhile and honor a genuinely good person or group. They did that in 2006, 2003. and 1999, just to name a few recent ones.

Should Obama have honored Hu with a state dinner? That was pretty much a given. Should he have brought up his fellow award winner? That's debatable. Should he have excluded Carter? Absolutely, just on general principles. "Ignore Jimmy Carter" is almost always the right answer. Hell, I once put it on an algebra test, and got partial credit.

China doesn't like to have its human rights record questioned. In fact, it gets downright touchy when it does, insisting that it is purely an internal matter (something common of most Communist regimes and other dictatorships -- they see their citizens as property). And when China gets testy, it tends to react in unpleasant ways -- diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.

This is not to say we should walk on eggshells around China, but to choose our fights carefully -- in topic, manner, timing, and location. A state dinner would probably not be the best venue to remind the rest of the world that the average Chinese citizen is little more than a slave of the state, and those who try to improve that from within tend to get stomped down hard.

Finally, Obama must remember at all times that he is the President of the United States. He is OUR president, answerable first to us. He should not let his natural deference for thuggish foreign heads of state overshadow his duty to us (even those who, to put it mildly, don't always agree with him) and our national principles. High up on that list is a respect for certain fundamental human rights, such as "don't lock up people who peacefully call for governmental reform."

Plus, he blew a perfectly good opportunity to ignore Jimmy Carter. And that is darned near unforgivable.

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Comments (15)

Barry never misses a chance... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry never misses a chance to embarrass the U.S. and make an ass of himself at the same time.

Actually, I'm laughing my a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Actually, I'm laughing my ass off as Barry goes about inviting Hu to dinner.

Let's see, Barry believes in "social justice". So the Chinese government pays it's workers LESS than a comparable US company would to produce the same products - products which it sells to the US. China then turns around and uses those same dollars to buy our debt.

AND then throw in the liberal talking heads that say we 'should be more like China'. Now let's go downtown and protest the opening of another Walmart.

Comedy GOLD!

Sometimes there are extraor... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Sometimes there are extraordinary conditions that make it acceptable/necessary to violate the human rights of others. For instance we had to do it to prevent more terrorists attacks. China may have similar reasons.

State Visit for China? - Ye... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

State Visit for China? - Yes, they are a major country and our relations are, well if not completely friendly, we are not enemies right now.

State Luncheon (like Bush did for the last State Visit)? - Yes, Appropriate for a major head of state.

State Dinner? - Hell no. Reserve that honor for Allies and truly worthy individuals.

"For instance we had to do ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"For instance we had to do it to prevent more terrorists attacks. China may have similar reasons."

Yeah - I seem to recall the Dali Lama flying a fully loaded 747 into the Forbidden City.

Guess that explains the Dal... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Guess that explains the Dali Lama's recent visit to the White House. No State Dinner, but he did get to leave by the back door.

Barry's all about 'social justice'.

One power-hungry communist ... (Below threshold)
Pile of Pooh:

One power-hungry communist pig entertaining another. As for Jimmy, he's just happy to be sniffing their asses.

Yeah - I seem to recall ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Yeah - I seem to recall the Dali Lama flying a fully loaded 747 into the Forbidden City.

None of the people whose rights we violated used a 747 as a WMD either(everyone who did died when it crashed).

Saudi Arabia has a record o... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Saudi Arabia has a record of human rights violations similar to China. Was it any less wrong for Bush to host dinners with the Saudi royal family?

Yeah Tina, I'm certain that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yeah Tina, I'm certain that all those killed at Tiananmen square (the unreported death toll could have been in thousands) were all some serious threat to the lives and safety of the rest of China. I'm sure that violating their rights was totally legit.

Do you bother to read the crap you write before hitting the submit button? You would be foaming at the mouth if a Republican did anything remotely close to what China does to their people, yet you don't think twice about backing the Chinese unconditionally.

#7You said it best... (Below threshold)
mag:

#7

You said it best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tina, I think you need to t... (Below threshold)
epador:

Tina, I think you need to take a look at what the human right violations in China are, and then kick yourself for having the stupidity to try to compare them to US "human rights violations."

I agree, #7 says it all. Obama likely admires this man for what he continues to do and get away with. Can't you see the envy disdain in his eyes on the Wizbang Caption contest picture?

Tina,Please do you... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Tina,

Please do yourself a favor and stop trying to draw moral equivalences with the US and China. There simply are none.

As for the Saudi's they are at least nominally our allies. They do not have the world's largest standing army training to go to war with us or a corps of generals that advocate going to war against the US.

obama entertained the leader of a nation that would go to war with us if their leaders listened to the military and that has a long history of human rights abuses and aggression toward their neighbors. And in doing so he never mentioned any of those things. He has turned our nation into a supplicant and has gravely weakened our position internationally. He has done so intentionally.

Of course Obama should have... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Of course Obama should have brought up the imprisoned dissident - and used the threat of making a major public stink over it as bargaining leverage.

But this would have necessitated a President with spine enough to stand up to our adversaries, and it seems too much to hope for sudden growth at this late date, so he got nothing from the summit. Nothing - all of the "trade contracts" announced were done deals which had nothing to do with the summit.

Hu, on the other hand, got precisely what he needed: a summit where he gave up nothing and suffered no embarassments, and even appeared the stronger leader (not that it is so difficult). This enhances his stature at home, and may strengthen his hand in reining in the PLA's excesses and surviving the coming inflation crisis.

Another missed opportunity. At least this time the buffoon-in-chief didn't give away the farm for nothing, as he did with Russia.

Jim, it was no missed oppor... (Below threshold)
epador:

Jim, it was no missed opportunity for Obama to yet again reduce our prestige and power while legitimizing a communist/fascist dictator.




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