Clinton to China

March 27, 2009

A note from a friend:

I found this to be an interesting take on the administration’s China position. I look forward to seeing you next week. Best, Jeff

Is it really possible that in a Democratic administration the championship of human rights and the promotion of democracy will no longer figure conspicuously in the foreign policy of the United States? It is really possible. Oh, the stirring words will be spoken;the stirring words are always spoken. But in the absence of policies
one may be forgiven for not being stirred by words.

And so far even the language has been wanting in ardor. Idealism in foreign policy is so 2003. After all, the opposite of everything that George W. Bush believed must be true. He overreached abroad and underreached at home, so we will underreach abroad and overreach at home. Myself, I am for overreaching and overreaching. And so I remain chilled by Hillary Clinton’s froideur in Beijing, by her artful impersonation of Brent Scowcroft. “We pretty much know what they are going to say,” she offered in defense of her ritualistic syllables about China’s persecution of its dissidents. She is right, of course. The regime in Beijing is singularly immune to moral appeals.

They do not do ethical critique. It is also true that they are our creditors, though I do not see their hoard of T-bills invoked to thwart the discussion of our other demands of them. And I hear stranger excuses for the new hard-heartedness: a friend of mine, a smart and fervent liberal, chastised me for my disappointment in Clinton by reminding me sardonically that the Chinese “have only raised a hundred million people out of poverty.” Not a word about health and literacy in Cuba, though. I thought that the question of the relation between political progress and economic progress–the priority, philosophical and political, of freedom to development–was long ago settled, and not in favor of early profits.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) My somewhat crazy thoughts:

It’s amazing to me that no one ties this to the strange fondness for Chinese nationals to try to funnel money to Clinton campaign coffers. Why? My unwritten theory (until now) is that the Clintons believe it wasteful for America to play the role it does in the world stage. We spend money on things like ships they would rather spend on things like healthcare.

Thus, their unstated goal is to reduce the international influence of the United States. One way of doing this is to expand the influence of China. The Chinese wish to help them.

I’ve held this view for a while and it’s the sole reason I didn’t feel too badly about the impeach Clinton effort during his administration, even though I thought it was bad (no, stupid) politics.


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