Thursday, July 31, 2008

Olympic run-up? More like a run-down.

The Communist regime spent years looking forward to these weeks before the Olympics, what with the reports highlights the China it wants the world to see in the build-up to the propaganda bonanza - at least, that was their fervent hope. As it turns out, though, August 8 can't come fast enough.

The pre-Olympic problems are getting so bad they're even staining people and institutions outside the CCP. The cadres' determination to block the "wrong" internet sites - even from foreign journalists - has thoroughly discredited the weak-kneed International Olympic Committee (Boycott 2008, CTV, NRO - The Corner, and the Washington Post). Meanwhile, President Bush is trying to make the Communists and the anti-Communists happy (Epoch Times and the Washington Post). Then there are the usual problems: pollution (CNN and the Washington Post) and human rights (BBC, Boycott 2008, and CNN).

On the plus side for the Communists (and the minus side for the rest of us), the Olympic brouhaha has shoved the turn-off of NTDTV (Epoch Times), Beijing's increasing role in Africa (BBC), and the starving of northern Korea (London Telegraph and the Washington Post) off the front page, just like it was supposed to do.

When the Games actually start, they will likely move all of the bad news off the front page; but the post-Olympic hangover is something else again.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We have our Olympic symbol: the mask

We all knew the Communists would try to mask the reality of China - such as state-sponsored murder (Between Heaven and Earth) and labor camps full of picture takers (BBC) - to hide it from outsiders. We knew the mask the cadres use to deceive the Chinese people would be so invasive (Epoch Times) that those very outsiders would be affected (AFP via Breitbart, BBC, BBC again, and Boycott 2008). They've even reached beyond their borders to silence exiles who could disturb the masks (The Epoch Times).

Now, however, the mask is sure to become the unintended Olympic icon - the athletes are bringing them:

"Concerned about the pollution, the U.S. Olympic Committee is distributing a high-tech mask, developed in secrecy, to its more than 600 Olympians." - Wall Street Journal

"Japan's Olympic delegation will carry 500 dust masks for industrial use to guard against the notorious air pollution in Beijing, a corporate official said Monday." - Boycott 2008, see alsop The Morning Call

Australian track-and-field athletes will "hold its pre-Olympic training camp in Hong Kong, and athletes will then fly to Beijing a few days before their events, the minimum exposure possible."

Naturally, the Communists will move heaven and earth to ensure none of these masks get inside Beijing's Olympic palaces. These are the same people who have taken it upon themselves to ban blacks from night clubs (Washington Post). Still, the symbolism is unavoidable.

Meanwhile, the cadres are dealing with accusations of cyberspying (CQ Politics, Newsmax, and Washington Times), run-of-the-mill spying (CQ Politics), cheating (Toronto Star), and luring dissidents into the open - and later prison (Epoch Times). Then there are the usual flare-ups over human rights (Boycott 2008 and Washington Post) and Darfur (World Net Daily).

None of that won't stop the propaganda machine already in full swing (Weekly Standard), neither will Beijing's increasing grip on Costa Rica (Epoch Times) or its colony's return to famine (BBC and Washington Post). Odds are the Communists' masks will have more staying power than anyone else's. What happens when the masks fall is another matter entirely.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nothing to see her . . . move along

The cadres have returned to a tried-and-true method for dealing with any hiccups on the way to the Olympic propaganda bonanza: deny they exist.

Concerns over human rights and broken promises to improve them before the Games (The Epoch Times and First Post)? Launch ad hominem attacks against the authors (BBC and CNN). Pollution still choking the capital city (International Herald Tribune)? Just call it something else (Boycott 2008). A new book out on Mao and the CCP? Try to strong-arm the publisher into editing it (Epoch Times).

With a little overseas intimidation to keep the exiles quiet (Epoch Times) and some more mischief by the Korean colony (One Free Korea) thrown in, the regime is hoping to keep everyone confused enough to simply be blown away by the August festivities.

It just might work - at least as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Once the Chinese people see the inevitable post-Olympics corruption scandals, it could be a very different story.

Monday, July 28, 2008

John Pomfret tries to pierce the bubble

What bubble do I mean? I'll let him explain (Washington Post):

Nikita Khrushchev said the Soviet Union would bury us, but these days, everybody seems to think that China is the one wielding the shovel. The People's Republic is on the march -- economically, militarily, even ideologically. Economists expect its GDP to surpass America's by 2025; its submarine fleet is reportedly growing five times faster than Washington's; even its capitalist authoritarianism is called a real alternative to the West's liberal democracy. China, the drumbeat goes, is poised to become the 800-pound gorilla of the international system, ready to dominate the 21st century the way the United States dominated the 20th.

Except that it's not.

To get an idea what Pomfret means by "the breathless way we talk about that country," all one really has to do is look at how Eutelsat folded like a cheap suit (Epoch Times), or how the Bush Administration is backpedaling on its commitments to help Taiwan defend itself (Weekly Standard). Clearly, the rest of the world is as convinced as the Democratic staffer Pomfret mentions at the end of his piece (Page 2):
One recent evening, I was at a party where a senior aide to a Democratic senator was discussing the business deal earlier this year in which a Chinese state-owned investment company had bought a big chunk of the Blackstone Group, a U.S. investment firm. The Chinese company has lost more than $1 billion, but the aide wouldn't believe that it was just a bum investment. "It's got to be part of a broader plan," she insisted. "It's China."
So what does Pomfret cite as his reasons to challenge this notion? He actually has four good ones:
For four big reasons -- dire demographics, an overrated economy, an environment under siege and an ideology that doesn't travel well -- China is more likely to remain the muscle-bound adolescent of the international system than to become the master of the world.
Pomfret's detailed analysis of the first three really need to be read in full. He's surprisingly more spare with his words in the last one (the ideology), but to be fair to him, that's the most obvious problem, and the evidence of it is all over the place. Whether it's their crackdown against free press (BBC), free speech (Far Eastern Economic Review), freedom of religion (Between Heaven and Earth), and even free nations (Epoch Times and Asia News), the ideology is clearly visible for all to see, and loathe (its Korean colony does them no favors in this regard - One Free Korea and Weekly Standard). This is, of course, even before the Olympic Games; not that the run-up to the Games themselves have improved the cadres image much (Asia News, BBC, Boycott 2008, Epoch Times, Globe and Mail, and the Washington Post).

When will the regime's facade fall? Pomfret doesn't answer that (and truth be told, with one major variable - American determination to help the Chinese people take their country back - still unknown, he really couldn't answer), but calling it out for what it is certainly helps. Pomfret is one of the very few expatriates who did not allow the Communists to delude him about their creaking regime. With luck, he can help many more of his fellow Americans break free of their delusions.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In the year of the tyrant's Olympics, freedom is on the retreat

I can't remember the number of times I heard "engagement" folks insist that the Communists would be forced to behave as the Olympics approached. Ollie North even insisted the Olympics could convince Beijing to get its Korean colony to behave in the six-party talks on its nuclear arsenal.

Well, we're two weeks away, and the cadres haven't budged on repression (Asia News, Epoch Times, and Washington Post), and the Chinese people's sufferings have, if anything, been made worse by the Communists' lust for Olympic glory (Epoch Times).

As for North Korea, contrary to the retired colonel's assertions, The Stalinists are not budging on their nuclear arsenal (One Free Korea), while the United States is making concession (OFK) after concession (Washington Times). Pyongyang can even kill their fellow Koreans in broad daylight without consequences (BBC).

I still see the Olympics causing headaches for the Communists after they're over, but anyone who thought they would see a change in Beijing's behavior from this should at least admit they were spectacularly wrong.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The cadres are getting touchy

With just over two weeks until the opening ceremonies of the Communist Propaganda Extravaganza (a.k.a. the Olympic Games), the regime is cracking down on . . . boycott opponents!

That's right; Kendra Zanotto - 2004 bronze medalist and would-be 2008 Olympic News synchronized swimming reporter - had her visa application denied because of her membership in Team Darfur (San Jose Mercury-News). This comes despite the fact that Team Darfur, while certainly trying to bring attention to the Communist-aided Darfurian outrage, opposes an Olympic boycott.

So, despite getting a de facto endorsement from the Obama campaign (a $5 million ad buy, according to NRO Media Blog), the cadres are determined to rid the games of all "unstable elements," be they local dissidents (Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times), or foreign reporters who join an organization even mildly criticizing them.

To understand why, one has to look beyond the Games, which are rapidly becoming the regime's harbor ina sea of troubles. A new agreement with Russia engendered angry reaction over the surrender of Heixiazi Island (Epoch Times). A real estate crisis that at best resembles our own (and more likely makes ours look like a Sunday School picnic) is rocking average mainlanders (Epoch Times). The Communist espionage-intimidation effort in New York City has been exposed to the world (Epoch Times). Even the Communist-backed Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe has created serious PR blowback - to say nothing of Darfur itself (Weekly Standard). All in all, the Communists can't afford to have anything go wrong during the Olympics - especially given the long memories and easy MSM access of the Darfur activists.

One question remains unanswered, however: what happens when the Olympics end? What will the cadres do when the propaganda exercise is replaced by more mundane stories of espionage (Washington Times), bad behavior by satellite states (CNN), and the massive corruption that made the Games possible?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Memo to Congress: Do your job and pass the US-India nuclear deal

July 22 may soon go down as the day the world shifted. Even if I am being overly dramatic, yesterday was a very good day; it was the day India effectively ratified the nuclear deal with the United States. Now it's up to Congress to do its part; sadly, it only seems determined to justify its abysmal approval ratings.

The reasons for the deal should be self-evident, but the editors of the Washington Post do an excellent job of spelling it out (emphasis added):
U.S. nuclear cooperation with India ceased when India, which had refused to sign the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, exploded a nuclear "device" in 1974. The sanctions were intended to show India, and the world, that there was a price to be paid for flouting the treaty. Times change, though, and the Bush administration's logic is that the benefits of a "strategic partnership" with
India outweigh the risks of waiving the old rules. If booming India uses more nuclear energy, it will emit less in greenhouse gases. Unlike Pakistan, India has developed its nuclear arsenal without leaking materials or know-how to others. Perhaps the fact that India is a democracy that shares not only values but interests -- checking China, fighting Islamist terrorism -- with the United States matters more than its signature on a treaty. It's a bet worth making, especially since the agreement creates more international supervision of India's nuclear fuel cycle than there would be without it.

The deal requires Congressional approval after being "in session continuously for 30 days." This being Congress, though, August recess, partisan politics, fear of anything supported by the Bush Administration, mindless protectionism that treats India and Communist China as identical evil twins could bring the whole thing crashing down (to say nothing of the "engagement" folly of never doing anything to upset Beijing).

I know it's far easier politically to attack this Administration than to defend it - especially on foreign policy - but it would be far better to save criticism of the President for matters where it is justified (say, North Korea - BBC and the Washington Times). On this issue, by contrast, Bush et al have shown vision, foresight, and a keen understanding of American interests.

There is no better time to make it clear to Beijing that the free world will not fall for its divide-and-conquer strategy that subdues the barbarians of old. It is easy to rail against unsafe exports (Times of London), Communist persecution (Epoch Times), or even the upcoming propaganda exercise known as the Olympic Games (BBC, CBC, and the Epoch Times). It is far harder to put American credibility and power on the line by building anti-Communist alliances and holding the free world together. For American anti-Communists, this is the acid test.

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are serious about building America's image around the world, they will understand that cementing a deal with one of the most pro-American nations on Earth is more important than a little extra vacation. If they're serious about the threat from Beijing, they'll realize that this deal is more important than keeping Congress out of session in supposed deference to Barack Obama.

As for the rest of us, we have to watch Congress closely. Pelosi likes to call herself a leading critic of the Communist regime - and until her ascension to Speaker, she earned that right. However, if she lets this deal go down, she and the party she leads will forfeit those claims.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What awaits in January

In about four and a half months, the American people will choose a new President. In just under six months, that new President will take office. What he will face across the Pacific could have greater impact on his legacy than even the current war.

That Communist China persecutes its own people (Epoch Times) is nothing new. More unprecedented could be the regime precarious economic situation (Epoch Times). Add to it what is sure to be a serious post-Olympic hangover and you have all the makings of a desperate regime looking to distract their own people with a military conflict (with Taiwan still the leading candidate).

Even worse, whoever inherits the reins of power will succeed an exhausted Administration no longer looking out for its friends (Washington Times) nor keeping a watchful eye on its enemies (One Free Korea), even as Communist China continues to build ties with its largest arms supplier (Russia - BBC).

It may seem that all of this is secondary, given the war against Wahhabists, Ba'athists, and Khomeinists. Don't' be so sure of that. Communist China has a long record of aiding and abetting terrorists, a record that continues to this very day (Washington Times). The question is this: will the next president be prepared to defend the free world against Beijing? Will he realize that American can never be secure until China is free?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The egdes are fraying

With less than three weeks to go until the Propaganda Exhibit begins, the cadres are hard at work making sure the tapestry of the nation is on perfect display, but there is still some significant fraying at the edges - largely due to the Communists' efforts themselves, much like repeated vacuuming can damage a carpet (OK, maybe that's just my carpet, but I digress.

The Harmonious Society Department has been hard at work repressing media (Boycott 2008, Epoch Times, and the Washington Times), but as one would expect, the media is making their unhappiness plain, defeating the purpose of the initial restrictions. Meanwhile, a slew of arrests have turned the pre-Olympic buildup into ongoing accounts of the police state (Between Heaven and Earth, Epoch Times, Washington Post, and the Weekly Standard). All of this was before the embarrassing order barring Mongolians and Africans from Beijing bars during the Games (Asia News and World Net Daily) - perhaps Robert Mugabe is exempted (London Telegraph). Then there are the land seizures (BBC) and the bans on foreign entertainers (Int'l Herald Tribune).

Even the "normal" parts of the Olympics (athletics, commerce, and the notion of worldly reconciliation) are hitting snags. The cadres are being exposed as medal-hungry brutes (BBC), commerce-killing paranoids (Washington Times), and Taiwan-hating radicals who have even managed to alienate their friends in Kuomintang (Taipei Times).

Still, as much trouble as the Olympics have been, it's nothing compared to non-Olympic issues.

The cadres are resorting to outright bribes to quite parents of earthquake victims (Epoch Times). The people of Macau and Hong Kong continue to resist one-country, one-and-a-half-systems (Epoch Times). The World Trade Organization (of all people) insists that globalization be a two-way street (BBC and Washington Post).

Even foreign policy issues - long the crutch upon which cadres and appeasers have leaned - are turning on the regime. An espionage scandal straight out of a bad spy novel hits Britain (Times of London); the Long Arm of Lawlessness continues to alienate New Yorkers (Epoch Times); and even the Korean colony is getting serious blowback (One Free Korea).

Whether or not these will all combine to disrupt or detract from the Olympics is unclear (not that I'd bet on it), but it is fairly certain that these will continue to give the cadres headaches long after the "triumphant" Games turn into an avalanche of corruption.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Communists vs. the truth

Three weeks from the opening ceremonies, the battle between the cadres and the truth intensifies.

Inside Communist China and the occupied nations, the regime seems to be winning (Times of London, Washington Post, and Washington Times), helped in no small part by obsequious outsiders willing to do their bidding (Epoch Times).

Things are going better for the truth on the outside, as Communist malfeasance in Zimbabwe (Heritage Foundation), India (UPI Asia), and even the United States (Epoch Times) is getting more attention and scrutiny. Meanwhile, attempts to recruit Japan into the repression crowd have gone nowhere (Between Heaven and Earth); Americans are growing more concerned about the cyberspy threat from the Games (Wall Street Journal); and another boycott call was aired, this time from Israel (Ynet News).

It was not all perfect: an American judge appears to be more interested in the exposure of Communist Chinese espionage than the espionage itself (Washington Post), and we must remain leery about the Beijing-Taipei "thaw" (BBC). However, the Communists' hope for a reality-free Olympics is already dashed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Olympics approach with boycott calls, silly statements, and a surprise from Taiwan

Twenty-two days from the opening ceremony, we have two new calls for a boycott. Expert analyst Stephen Mosher (Boycott 2008) and blogger Caroline County, VA Justice (h/t Boycott 2008) bring badly needed realism to this discussion.

Not that anyone in Beijing will notice. The cadres are so determined to prevent any interference with their little show (Epoch Times) that they have now declared rain clouds and other languages as dissidents (Toronto Star). The cadres have the added advantage of dealing with sports media, which has a tendency to be less-informed and more prone to political propaganda (to see what I mean, check out the CBC correspondent's silliness in the Toronto Sun).

The real news, however, came from nowhere on the mainland. In the island democrcacy of Taiwan (or for those who prefer it, the Republic of China) - President Ma Ying-jeou publicly apologized for his Kuomintang party's "white terror" atrocities in the 1950s and 1960s (BBC). While we have seen post-tyrannical nations address their bloody past many, many times, it is exceedingly rare to see the ex-tyrannical organization itself make such a move (the Kuomintang ruled Taiwan with an iron fist from 1949 until the then-President Lee Teng-hui democratized it in the 1990s). How many Communist Parties in Europe have apologized to their victims in such a fashion?

There is a lesson for the Communist regime, once the Olympics are in the past and the corruption that helped build them becomes more common knowledge. Kuomintang was once just as tyrannical, bloodthirsty, and as Leninist as the CCP. Yet unlike the CCP, the KMT saw the error of its ways, acknowledged them publicly, and began to correct them. The KMT still has a long way to go (and their foreign policy has progressed in the wrong direction), but they are already miles ahead of nearly every other former tyrannical regime trying to survive in a democracy.

The trouble is, the CCP has no interest in ever trusting the Chinese people in the way KMT has done. For that reasons, the lesson will go unlearned, and when the Chinese people take their country back, the CCP will be left in the dustbin of history (and unlamented at that).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What the Communists want out of the Olympics

Human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng best explained the Olympic objectives for the Chinese Communist Party (Epoch Times):
The Chinese population recognizes only too well that the regime wants to achieve two goals with a successful Olympic event—first, to prove to the Chinese people that the world still considers the Party a legitimate regime, in spite of the tyranny and all their horrid crimes against humanity, that cost more than 80 million people their lives during the last few decades. Second, to show the
world that the Party is still all-powerful over China and enjoys the full support of her people.

The latter of these goals may be a bit difficult now (Epoch Times and the Times of London), but what's more important to the cadres is the former. The more outsiders come to Beijing and look at the CCP as "a legitimate regime," the happier the regime is.

Still, even on that front, it could be a mixed bag. More political turmoil in Taiwan will help (Washington Post), and the Battle of Flushing seems to be winding down (Epoch Times), but the Sudan issue certainly isn't (Washington Post). As hard as this is to believe, the "success" of the Games (from the Communists' perspective) is growing more uncertain.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A well-timed "anomaly"

The Olympics are less than a month away. For all the trouble the cadres are facing over it, they feel like they have things under control internally, while Taiwan is in friendly hands (CNN). The outside world continues to complain (BBC, Boycott 2008 and the Epoch Times), but for the most part, none of that will make it into the hinterlands - home of the one thing the Communists fear: the Chinese people who haven't been bought off by regime-sponsored wealth.

The only thing that had a shot of getting the anti-Communist message there was New Tang Dynasty Television. Suddenly the firm signed to transmit NTDTV's signal - Eutelsat - suffers an "anomaly" that makes sending the signal impossible (the Epoch Times).

What's wrong, cadres? Did you decide a malfunctioning laser test wiping out the satellite was too bold? Or would that have eroded confidence in the space program (BBC)?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Could the Communist Olympiad actually fail?

I must confess that I never thought I would actually ask that question. For years, it seemed silly to even consider it. Not even the revulsion over the Tibet crackdown in the spring led me to believe the Beijing Olympics would be anything but the propaganda bonanza the Communists wish it to be (the aftermath is another matter). Now, suddenly, with the news that Communist China is directly helping the Sudanese regime's mass killing spree in Darfur (BBC), I'm not so sure.

Lest anyone forget, it was the Darfur issue that first made an Olympic boycott an acceptable conversation in the mainstream. It has been the Darfur activists who (prior to the Tibet crackdown) caught the attention on MSM and first put meaningful Olympic pressure on the Communists. It was on the Darfur issue that the Communists began making symbolic gestures to appease critics in the hope of silencing them for the Games.

Well, those of us who have watched the Chinese Communist Party knew this was bunk, much as their claims of moderation on Tibet was bunk (Times of London), and their claims of lightening up on the hideous "one child" policy were bunk (World Net Daily), and their supposed willingness to help the rest of the world deal with Robert Mugabe was bunk (Washington Post), and their claims of a harmonious China awaiting the Olympics with joy was bunk (BBC, Between Heaven and Earth, Boycott 2008, Epoch Times, and the Washington Post). For the Darfur folks, however, this is a new and fresh outrage. They won't take this lying down.

When Tibet was bleeding in March, there was still enough time for people to forget and for the "engagement" crowd to rationalize. Four weeks out is not enough time for that. This all but guarantees that Darfur activists will be demanding attention during the Games themselves, and as past history has shown, when they demand attention, they get it. In other words, every moment of Olympic triumph will be countered by the Darfur tragedy. The regime that wanted the world to see them as wonderful Olympic hosts will instead see them as war-mongering merchants of death in Africa - and that's if the Communists are lucky.

If the cadres are unlucky, Darfur will become a political nexus for things like spying on politicians in the free world (Canberra Times via BH&E), intimidating exiles overseas (The Epoch Times), traditional espionage (BBC), muscling in on NTDTV broadcasters (Rapid TV News via Boycott 2008), propping up the bloodthirsty and dishonest Korean tyrant Kim Jong-il (BBC, CNN, CNN again, Washington Post, and the Washington Times), and of course, how the CCP treats the Chinese people (Epoch Times).

The odds of all of these cans of worms opening up on the Communist Olympiad is fairly small. Then again, the odds of the Darfur issue crashing the Games seemed small, too, until this past weekend. For the moment, anything is possible.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The ugliness of naked force . . .

. . . was on full display both in Communist China and it's Korean colony today.

The countdown to the Beijing Games continues with more nail biting (Boycott 2008) - and deportations of anyone the Communists think might cause a problem (Washington Post). Communist interference with dissidents and opponents extends from Hong Kong (Epoch Times) to New York (Epoch Times) and even into orbit (well, sort of - Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times). Meanwhile the Stalinist regime shot and killed a tourist from South Korea (BBC, CNN, and One Free Korea), even as the democratic South softened its policies toward it (BBC and CNN).

What brings this all together is the context. Communist China is preparing for a propaganda bonanza courtesy of the Games, but it can't seem to stop its repressive and criminal behavior. Its Korean colony, albeit for different reasons, has a similar opportunity with the world community - and it chose to shoot dead one of the very people who represents that opportunity.

Thus the basic nature of these regimes are on display for the rest of the world to see. Who will open their eyes? Who will keep them closed?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are the post-Bush Republicans becoming the anti-Communist party?

Two interesting events are giving hope to the anti-Communist community that it may finally find a political home, in this case, with the Republicans - after President Bush leaves office. Of course, the plural of anecdote is not data, but what we've seen is certainly encouraging.

The first comes from One Free Korea, and it deals with the Republican reaction to the Administration's abysmal policy on North Korea. Suffice to say, the GOP Congressmen are not happy - and neither is John McCain. So far, McCain has kept his objections to press releases, and couched them as if-then statements, but given that the Stalinists are hell-bent on triggering those conditions (BBC and CNN), this could very well become McCain's most dramatic departure from President Bush.

The other, and easily more definitive, break came from Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf on the 2008 Olympics (Bearing Drift):

When President Bush expressed concern that boycotting the games would offend the Chinese, Wolf responded sharply. He called on the President to express the moral courage that Reagan did in speaking out against communism.

Wolf said that if Bush attended the games “it will be an affront to the Catholic bishops, protestant pastors” and others who have been persecuted and murdered under the PRC.

It's not like the Communists have even been subtle in their attempts to silence any discordant voices in preparation for the Games (Boycott 2008, Epoch Times, and the Washington Post); they've even resorted to the usual "terrorist" line on East Turkestan (BBC and CNN). Nor has any of this gone unnoticed by the rest of the world (Boycott 2008).

However, here in the United States, the leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties have been drinking the "engagement" Kool-Aid for some time. It just may be the continuing unpopularity of President Bush (which I would say is only partially justified), has led his own party to consider moving in a different direction on everything, including "engagement." This could have immediate and surprising dividends here at home - especially in places where Democratic politicians seem overly eager to maintain "engagement" long beyond the point where it mutates into obsequiousness (Epoch Times).

I don't want to read too much into this. I still do not know which political party will seize the anti-Communist mantle, but it looks more likely today that elements in the Republican Party will at least try to seize it - and that is a very good thing.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How refusing to acknowledge an enemy spills over into other foreign policy errors

The fact that so many democratic leaders refuse to see Communist China for the enemy that it is became old news long ago for readers of this space. More evidence of that was apparent today regarding the reaction of most (but not all) world leaders to the Communist Olympiad (Epoch Times and the Washington Post), despite what the damage cadres themselves are doing to their own country due to the Games (Epoch Times and Boycott 2008), and I've already commented repeatedly on the shockingly ignored Battle of Flushing (Epoch Times). However, the one area where this myopic and Pollyannaish view of the CCP has done the most damage is in foreign policy, and not just vis a vis Communist China.

Because the leaders of the democratic world don't see the danger up front, they can't see it lurking in the shadows of other issues either. The embarrassing situation in North Korea (One Free Korea) could have easily been avoided had Washington understood the true role between Beijing and its Korean colony. The current unrest in Mongolia is seen as just another unfortunate incident, whereas the closeness between the Communist regime in Beijing and the ex-Communist government in Ulan Bator (Weekly Standard) should have given some leaders pause about ignoring (as they have so far) the opposition claims of recent election fraud. The insistence that Communist China's economy will zoom past ours within a generation (AFP) should be a cause for great concern (although given the cadres' history with numbers one has to be careful making projections); instead it has been met with largely a yawn.

However, the biggest victim, by far, of the view-the-CCP-with-colored-glasses syndrome has been India. Ever since he took office, President Bush (to his credit) has been trying to forge an alliance with India. That culminated in the US-India nuclear deal of 2006. After two years of trying to hold his shaky coalition together, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has finally been able to get Parliament behind the deal, but suddenly the U.S. Congress looks like it might balk (Washington Post).

There are a bunch of reasons for this: the Congressional recess, presidential politics, and partisan bickering in Washington that might preclude a post-election special session to name a few. None of them, however, hold a candle to what this deal means for US-India relations, and for building a democratic bloc to counter the Communist regime. If the folks in Washington understood that, there would be no argument about the need to ensure this deal becomes law - no matter the calendar or petty political ambitions. Yet no one seems perceptive enough to act (except, ironically enough, the Administration). The behavior of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who as Minority Leader seemed to hold so much promise on the Communist China fie - is an especially painful disappointment.

I have repeatedly said that the political party who recognizes, understands, and articulates to the American people the danger Communist China poses to the real world will become the majority party for the next generation. Unfortunately, over a half-dozen years after I first said, I still don't know who it is. Even worse, both parties seem determined to ensure it is not themselves.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

T-Minus One Month

In thirty-one days, the Communist Olympic propaganda bonanza will begin, and already the regime is reaping dividends. Columns like this from the Washington Times - by mentioning everything about the Olympics except where it will be held - are all but certain to dazzle the eyes of billions and let the cadres show off their ersatz paradise (for those interested in reality, see the BBC, the Epoch Times, and Boycott 2008).

It didn't have to be this way. The Communists knew that themselves; they've left nothing to chance, not even the possibility of bad publicity from exiles in America (Epoch Times). This regime craves respectability so much that they're prepared to do anything to get it - which is deeply ironic in two ways.

First, they didn't need the Olympics for that. Whit the job the Communists have done manipulating that situation in their Korean colony (BBC, CNN, and the Washington Post), they have already hoodwinked much of the world's leaders into accepting their "peaceful rise" nonsense. If anything, the "engagement" crowd has more at stake with these Olympics than the Communists themselves (who by now must be at least dimly aware that the memories of these Games will vanish quickly when angry factions through corruption charges - most of which will be true - at each other).

The deeper irony, however, is this: with these Olympic Games, the xenophobic regime is telling the Chinese people that its rule has been ratified by foreigners. Sure, they've dressed it all up as a terrific event for China, but they have refused to answer the simple question: why?

Why does a two-week sporting event that will be forgotten within a decade (at most) matter so much? Why are the opinions of foreign guests more important than those of the Chinese people? Why is the regime that supposedly stands up for China demanding China stand down and accept a regime endorsed by outsiders?

Of course, no one can even begin to come close to these questions without getting whisked away to a jail cell, but in time, the questions will arise nonetheless - and I can't see sufficient answers coming from the Communists. Once that reality sinks in, anything can happen. The one thing the Communists cannot afford is the undermining of their radical nationalist mantra. It is literally the last political refuge for these scoundrels. Without it, they have nothing but naked force, and the last century already has two examples of naked force falling flat in China.

As for the Games themselves, I have decided I will not be watching them. The far better, more entertaining, and more important contest will come after the closing ceremony.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Donald Rumsfeld: the best friend we never knew we had

The President is in Tokyo for the G-8 summit this week. While he was there - and it hurts to say this, as I voted and volunteered for his re-election - he embarrassed himself and the rest of us in discussing North Korea and Communist China.

I'll start with the latter. President Bush insisted on going to the Olympics in Beijing next month, and defended his decision with the old "engagement" shibboleth that to do anything else "would be an affront to the Chinese people" (CNN). I wonder if the President has taken into account what the Communist regime thinks of the American people, in particular, the Americans they are trying to silence in New York City (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times). Is their safety less important than the oft-bruised egos of the cadres in Beijing?

Moreover, the President implies that the Chinese Communist regime and the Chinese people are one and the same. Perhaps if he paid more attention to the measures the Communists are using to stifle any dissent (Asianews), the rampant fleecing of the people by the regime (Asian-Pacific Post), the Weng'an outrage (CNN and Epoch Times), the earthquake aftermath (Epoch Times), the persecution of Falun Gong (Epoch Times), and the slow erosion of freedom in Hong Kong (Epoch Times), he might be more careful with his words.

Sadly, the President seem uninterested even by his own standards from the recent past. His policy on North Korea continues to react like a fungus (the more light shone upon it, it shrivels up and dies - BBC and One Free Korea). As Eutelsat tries to silence the dissident NTDTV once more (see also Epoch Times), the Administration, which came to the network's rescue three years ago, has been silent. Even the efforts to move closer to India were left for dead until India itself revived them (Washington Post).

So what happened? Those with long enough memories will remember that this is what we initially expected from the President. "Engagement" was clearly Bush's policy during the 2000 campaign. Yet for many years, the Administration shifted back and forth between that policy and a surprisingly robust anti-C0mmunism - until just after the November 2006 elections.

What was the major change in the Administration at time? The departure of Donald Rumsfeld.

I think, in time, history will look far more kindly on Rumsfeld than his contemporaries have. He was arguably the most anti-CCP Defense Secretary in sixty years. It was his Pentagon that presented the only reports on the Communist military that focused on the actual threat (despite the efforts of many within the Department to thwart him), and it was under his tenure that the Pentagon stuck its neck out for NTDTV. I'm also starting to wonder how much of a coincidence it was that the most dramatic and unjustifiable concessions to the Communists' Korean colony came after Rumsfeld was replaced by Robert Gates.

Many defense analysts will tell you that Rumsfeld had flaws (particularly those who focus on Iraq), but for anti-Communists, it has become clear - if only in hindsight - that he was our guy in the Administration. In many respects, Donald Rumsfeld was the best friend we never knew we had. May we be more aware, and more supportive, of our future friends.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Communist duplicity

When it comes to dealing with Communist China, one must always remember that the face the regime puts out to the rest of the world when it wants something and its true face are two very different things. Sadly, that reality is being ignored. The latest victims of this are the people of Taiwan.

To be fair, the Taiwanese aren't alone. The Communist propaganda show that is the Olympic Games has still managed to dazzle President Bush (BBC and CNN), their brutal determination to stamp out any dissonant internal chords not withstanding (Boycott 2008). Nor has the Communists' efforts to silence opposition to them in the United States (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times) moved the President to steer clear of the propaganda exercise. Of course, the Communists' Korean colony has played this game exceptionally well (CNN, National Review Online, and One Free Korea).

In the case of Taiwan, the newly elected government was hoping that reaching out to the cadres would ensure a reduction in tensions. Yet on the very day direct fights from the mainland to Taiwan began (BBC), the Communist military announced that the missile buildup against Taiwan (roughly 100 missiles added to the arsenal every year) would not be stopped (NHK, Japan).

In other words, the Communists get what they want, and the appeasers have nothing to show for their efforts.

This wouldn't surprise dissidents like the executed Lin Zhao (Washington Post). Nor would has such duplicity shocked the Dalai Lama, which may be why he can endure talks with the Communists that go nowhere (BBC and the Washington Post), because he no longer expects anything else from them.

It is a lesson that the rest of the world had best learn quickly, lest they find themselves repeatedly handing over concession after concession for promises that are worth less than the bandwith on which their delivered. It is yet another reason why American and her democratic allies will never be secure until China is free.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The bitter fruits of appeasement

In time, history may remember President Bush far more for his weaknesses in foreign policy than for his strengths. While most Americans focus on Afghanistan and Iraq, the President's terrible policies on Communist China and its satellites continue to have profound effects around the globe.

Out attempt to placate North Korea has left the people of Japan confused and deeply angry (One Free Korea - excellent headline, BTW), while getting almost nothing of value in return from the Communist Chinese colony (Washington Post). The Long Arm of Lawlessness has spread from New York to Paris (Epoch Times). Yet world leaders, following the President's example, continue to treat Communist China with kid gloves (Washington Times).

Of course, the Communists have problems of their own, be it with the Olympics (BBC, NRO - Media Blog) or the political aftermath of the Sichuan quake (Weekly Standard). Yet it was precisely at the moment of its greatest domestic weakness in sixty years (the late 1970s) that the Soviets began their greatest advancement on the world stage. The reason was simple: the free world let them.

Likewise today, the free world is allowing a badly weakened Communist Chinese regime to take the initiative in geopolitics and silence its critics wherever they may be found. Too many democratic leaders have deluded themselves into believing someday, somehow, the Chinese Communist Party will behave differently.

It just isn't so. America and her democratic allies will never be secure until China is free.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The three phases of appeasement

Many of us view the Bush Administration's appalling denoument regarding North Korea as John Bolton does (Wall Street Journal, h/t David Frum and Andy McCarthy of NRO):
The only good news is that there is little opportunity for the Bush administration to make any further concessions in its waning days in office. But for many erstwhile administration supporters, this is a moment of genuine political poignancy. Nothing can erase the ineffable sadness of an American presidency, like this one, in total intellectual collapse.

Bolton isn't alone either (One Free Korea and the Washington Times). In fact, one could easily believe that the Administration has hit rock bottom. Sadly, others are doing far worse. To understand why, we have to remember that North Korea is not an independent actor; it is a Communist Chinese colony (to the point of shooting its own citizens on Beijing's orders - OFK), and when it comes to Communist China, making nice with its satellites on worthless agreements is just the first phase of appeasement.

Regimes like Communist China see the United States as a threat by example more than a threat through policy. Our refusal to silence dissent - and the national strength we gain from that - is a terrible embarrassment to the cadres, who must rely on the iron fist to maintain power (Boycott 2008, CNN, Epoch Times, Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, and the Weekly Standard). While the Communist regime certainly sees the free world as an obstacle to its geopolitical goals (themselves driven by the regime's reliance on radical nationalism), they see as much risk in the internal mechanisms of democratic nations. Thus, appeasement of the Communist regime and its satellites requires far more than honoring useless treaties and taking diplomatic lies at face value.

The second phase of appeasement can best be described as "self-censorhsip abroad," i.e., putting an end to things like reaching out to dissidents in Communist China (Washington Post), hearing out the internal critics of the Communists (Voice of America via Epoch Times), and criticizing the appalling practices of said satellites (such as Sudan - Washington Times - or Zimbabwe - Epoch Times). So far, the free world already has a checkered history, one that will likely get worse when the Stalinist North makes clear just what htey mean by "security guarantees."

The third phase of appeasement is "self-censorhsip at home," at which point, people cease being independent actors and become enablers of the regime. Sadly, this is also getting traction, in Nepal (Washington Times), in Europe (Epoch Times), and even in New York's City Council (Epoch Times).

This could be our future with North Korea as well (in fact, until South Korea's new President changed tack, it was that nation's present). The events in Flushing in particularly should remind us that totalitarian regimes accept no neutrality or non-interventionist policy. One must confront, or one must submit. The next President must decide which.