olio

"How long do you have to get hit in the head before you start asking who's hitting you in the head?"

Friday, April 21, 2006

Freedom Space Exploration is on the March!

Protester Wenyi Wang has been charged with disorderly conduct, and an additional charge of “intimidating or disrupting foreign officials” may be forthcoming.

I don’t want to be paranoid or to think that my right to protest would ever be taken away, so I’m going to try to put a positive spin on the whole unfortunate incident. Perhaps the White House was motivated by pure altruism: We’ve arrested her here so she won’t be arrested over there, see? One of China’s alleged human rights abuses, after all, is its harvesting of organs for transplant from its prison population. In that light, George done a good thing! Why, he practically saved that woman’s life!

Ever the statesman, Bush apologized to Hu for the outburst, but apparently his apology has upset some people. In all fairness, though, maybe Bush simply doesn’t know the reasons behind Wang’s protest. Heck, his administration doesn’t even know the difference between Taiwan and Mainland China—so cut him some f*#king slack, Christian Defense Coalition!

Seriously, though, something good did come from Hu’s visit: The US and China have agreed to cooperate on space exploration—probably because in space, no one can hear you dissent.


I hope that those of you who stop by this weekend will scroll down and take part in the olio poll-io. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday!

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4 Comments:

At 4:00 AM, Blogger rwilymz said...

I love diplomatic dilletantes explaining diplomacy.

If you want to piss off a nation of 1.3 BILLion people, then, by all means, have your meetings, on your home turf, interrupted by people backbiting the leader of that nation of 1.3 BILLion people.

You catch more flies with honey ... etc

And don't look now ... but the subsummationg of Tiawan into mainland China and termed "semi-autonomous province" was done long before Bush.

Please, if you have time in your busy schedule, would you mind learning what you're talking about before you talk any more?

Thanks in advance.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger lee said...

Do you truly think a lone woman’s protest overshadows the Bush administration’s major diplomatic blunders, rwilymz?

It’s appalling that a member of the administration publicly referred to China as “The Republic of China”—which incredibly, shockingly dim-witted faux pas has nothing whatsoever to do with Taiwan’s subsumption.

Also, Chinese officials called the meeting a “state visit,” but the White house did not, calling it instead a mere “visit.” And Hu had requested a formal state dinner but was instead given a “working lunch”—don’t you think those slights may have “pissed him off” just a little?

Honestly, it doesn’t take a diplomat to see the egregiousness of these errors—they’re glaring enough for any dilettante to see.

So I guess I agree that “you catch more flies with honey.” I strongly disagree with you on one point, though: I don’t think that the US should model itself after oppressive regimes (by stifling the right to free speech, for instance) in order to suck up to those regimes.

And, since we’re asking favors of each other, would you mind spell-checking your comments before you publish them?

Thanks in advance.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger rwilymz said...

Do you truly think a lone woman’s protest overshadows the Bush administration’s major diplomatic blunders, rwilymz?

Do you truly think that all subjects are able to be shoved into a political cuisinart and whipped up to a frothy sluice and poured out in equivocable substitution for everything else?

You were whining and mewling about how horrible it was that Bush had the critic the Chinese Premier escorted away.

What does that have to do with ... Iran and its nukes? with ... Canada and beef imports?

Are you seriously trying to equivocate that badly? Do you not have the capacity [or intellectual honesty] to stick with one subject without freely substituting your preconceived biases for all others?

Also, Chinese officials called the meeting a “state visit,” but the White house did not, calling it instead a mere “visit.”

And? These things are worked out beforehand, and if the US position was that it was going to be termed a "visit" and the Chinese wanted something else ... well, Mr Hu, decide which you want more? a visit? or to stay in China?

You're now quibbledicking just to quibbledick.

it doesn’t take a diplomat to see the egregiousness of these errors—they’re glaring enough for any dilettante to see

And you're the dilettante to see them, is that what you're saying?

If Bush were to say the sky is blue, would you argue it was pink just out of principle?

What gives you the ability or authority to declare what is and isn't a diplomatic faux pas?

I strongly disagree with you on one point, though: I don’t think that the US should model itself after oppressive regimes (by stifling the right to free speech, for instance) in order to suck up to those regimes.

In what way is the US "modeling itself after oppressive regimes" by preventing a woman from randomly embarrassing the Chinese Premiere? Has anyone ever said "Miss Chinese Dissenter, you may not criticize Chinese policies at all"? Or was it simply not when it could cause an international incident?

"Hello, Mr Hu ... George Bush ... howdy. Yeah, I was wondering ... we don't like each other very much, so I was wondering if you'd like to do the foreign travel thing and come over here so some of your ex-patriate people, like, could call you names on live international television and embarrass the hell out of you...?"

"Waddaya say...?"

Such a deal. How could he turn it down?

And by the way, since 90% of the world is run by tyrants, and the US doesn't need to become deliberately clueless in world affairs [even moreso than we are], that sorta requires sucking up to tyrants if only to keep up with what's going on in the rest of the world. Not to mention being invited to the really cool diplomatic parties.

And sucking up to tyrants means that when they come to the US we don't allow them to get insulted by random strangers on the street exercising their free speech. They can exercise it all they want tomorrow, or two blocks away.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger lee said...

You’re right, rwilymz: My topics do vary day to day. That’s why I named the site olio. Like many, I read the news, find random things I want to write about, and post. C’est la blog.

But to the point: Your original comment was to decry the fact that protocol was breached during Hu’s visit. I simply pointed out other, and I think more significant, breaches. One country’s confusing another country’s name with that of its archrival is, I contend, a pretty big slap in the face, and therefore more likely to have caused an “international incident” than a woman’s shouting. Good grief: Imagine if, during another country’s ceremony honoring the US, we were mistakenly referred to as Iran!

I am biased concerning our right to free speech, and I’m sure that bias does inform most of my opinions. You’ve probably been to DC: There, every day, people of all stripes condemn or celebrate almost anything under the sun, come rain, shine, or official ceremony—it’s colorful, it’s wonderful, and it’s wholly American. So I’m upset not that the protester was merely “escorted away” but that she faced charges of “intimidating” a foreign official. We are known and envied around the world as a nation that allows free expression of opinions—no matter how unpopular (or peculiar) they may seem to others. This woman chose to voice hers at the time and place most likely for it to be heard, and I think her arrest mars our reputation.

And, finally, if any contemporary politician told me the sky was blue, I’d look out the window in order to see for myself.

 

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