Rick Day (rick_day) wrote in talk_politics,
Rick Day

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Obama is up to his Chen: a blind date gone horribly wrong

From an opinion piece Did Obama betray a Chinese Hero? 

I am sure most of you have been following the story of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist served up as the current victim du jour in the Human Rights Wars™.

not the Chin we are talking about, Sir.
Um, sorry sir, this is not the Chen we are talking about

Here is the basic liberal's point:
Frankly, I was not surprised that the US would turn him over to the Chinese and then lie about him wanting to go back. After all, the ChiComs practically own us. Who wants to piss off the Landlord?
Obama has forgotten his grass roots as an activist. He now plays with his children on a well manicured lawn.
I am too old to learn Mandarin. Our hearts bleed! We are the 99, etc...

Conservatives: Let's look at the reality.  We had Chen, but had no way to get his family.  Chen probably asked about that, and the embassy staff probably told him the truth--that his family was on its own, that there was little the US could do about them.  Chen made the decision to leave to reunite with his family--and once he left the embassy, he was on his own.  I'm not sure what promises the embassy staff could have made about keeping him safe if he left--US authority ends at the embassy gate, and you can bet that China told any embassy staff to get the hell out even if they did accompany Chen to the hospital.  I'm also not sure what exactly Chen thought the embassy staff /could/ do once he left the grounds--as an educated man he must know as well as anyone how little power the US officials would have had once they were back on Chinese soil.

Bottom line: Chen had a chance to escape, but it would have meant leaving his family.  He made his choice, and now he has to accept the consequences.  It sucks, but there is precious little the US can do about it except keep asking nicely for China to do the right thing. 

The bigger issue here is that we are allies--or at least do business--with countries that do this to their citizens.  Short of military action or severing all ties--neither of which we're going to do for one man and his family--there is nothing we can do that's not already being done.  All we can do is say "please."  That doesn't make us weak--that's just acknowledging that we can't do whatever the hell we want in someone else's country, no matter what we think of how they run things.[random comment]

Should the POTUS personally apologize to the Chinese government for giving a blind guy some shelter? Or should we give him and his family a ride to The Land of The Free™ on Hillary's jetplane? What did we do anyway that deserves a forced bow to Zog?

This is Chin Chin. It has nothing to do with this post.
cross posted from conservatalk at the suggestion of a person I really respect.

Tags: china, diplomacy, obama
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