The U.S. State Department needs to get its head examined. Who in their right mind would say that China has turned the corner and become a state that has respect for human rights? The brutality of the Chinese government towards the people of Tibet, the massacre of its people and the total indignity with which it conducts it affairs on the issue of Tibet is nothing but a reflection of its sad and dismal track record. It’s no surprise that the U.S. State Department has been soft on China for decades, given the need to uphold business interests there. The U.S. government honors the Honorable Dalai Lama on one hand, and on the other hand turns a blind eye to the way the Chinese government conducts itself in Tibet.
Less than three decades ago the U.S. led a successful boycott of the Moscow Olympics when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Today the U.S. is nowhere near the moral high ground of even suggesting a boycott of the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Of course, the U.S. itself is an aggressor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. If the moral reasoning there is that the U.S. was attacked (though not by Iraqis) and therefore has the moral high ground, then what about the moral equivalent in the case of Tibet? It will remain a mystery why the U.S. calls for democracy in Russia (fair elections) and in the Middle East, but when it comes to China it’s as if the U.S. State Department has amnesia. Come on – impose some sanctions, move the world opinion, claim the elusive moral high ground!
Of course, it’s more complicated that that, since taking on military power like China can have serious consequences. I am not advocating an Iraq-style invasion, but if nothing else the least we should expect is a boycott of China and its commercial interests. This is a test of the moral fiber of U.S. foreign policy, and so far it is failing miserably. Before even suggesting that China has corrected its human rights record, look at the news headlines this week and have the courage to say you got this one wrong.
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