Sunday, May 12, 2019

Now, China

At the last presidential debate in 2012, President Barack Obama actually stated

Gov. Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia ... the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years.

Barack Obama is no fool, was no fool, and got elected. The fools were those of us who defended Obama's remark, who didn't realize that when he stated "you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years," he was being either disingenuous or dangerously wrong.

When the in 1989 the KGB compound in Dresden, Germany was in danger of being overrun, lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin

felt he was watching one of the largest and most powerful empires the world had ever seen unravel in the most pathetic and humiliating way. “I had the feeling that the country was no more,” he recalled later in a series of interviews published in 2000. “It had disappeared."

On the verge of becoming President of Russia in 1999, Putin warned

For the first time in the past 200–300 years, Russia faces the real danger that it could be relegated to the second, or even the third tier of global powers.. He called on Russians to unite to make sure that the country remained what he called a “first-tier” nation.

Now that President Trump, as Dana Milbank noted in December, "is handing Moscow the Cold War victory it could never win," it is clear that President Obama was either conned by the Russians or conned the American people. He made a major error which President Trump (intentionally or not) is exacerbating. And if we're not careful as a nation, we are likely to make a similar mistake with another world power: mainland China.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post's Philip Bump addressed the massive increase in military spending undertaken by the (Communist) regime in mainland China, as well as the massive Belt and Road initiative, undertaken to position the nation as a global power, and not only an economic one.

From its own perspective, human rights activist Amnesty International earlier this year began

mobilizing its two million members and supporters behind two key pieces of human rights legislation — S. 178, the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, and the UIGHUR Act. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and 20 other Senators introduced the Act of 2019. The UIGHUR Act of 2018 (H.R.7384) was initiated by Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and four other legislators. Up to one million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are being arbitrarily detained in so-called “re-education camps” –an affront to international human rights law. The new Congress needs to assert its leadership on this key human rights issue and swiftly pass legislation without haste.

The organization became another victim of the totalitarian regime as

Amnesty International was excited to move to a new headquarters location in New York. Today, however we were notified that a Chinese SoE had purchased the building and unfortunately due to our work on human rights in China can no longer move there. Bc of our work on human rights in China.

Negotiating a trade deal, President Trump has said nothing about human rights abuses in China, the police state in which surveillance of residents is significantly expanding and Uighurs continue to be herded into concentration camps. That's of little discomfort to America's would-be authoritarian. Matt Stoller finds

it’s weird to watch him pose as the defender of liberal internationalism against the Chinese. It’s even weirder that he’s kind of right. We can do better than let Trump claim this mantle....I’m also personally frightened by the many Dem candidates who don’t see the threat or actively dismiss it. The amount of Chinese $$$ in DC and Western politics is astoundingly large.

It's a little bit like 2012 all over again. Many "coastal Democrats," Stoller recognizes, see the Chinese as merely "a peaceful trading partner" while the party's presidential field is led by the man who served under President Obama and says the (mainland) Chinese are "not bad folks, folks." Through an extraordinary sequence of events, Russia has gained, at least temporarily, the upper hand on the USA. Increasingly, it appears that Communist China also is doing so.

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