March 08, 2007

China: Abandon All Hope

When China is criticizing your human rights record, you have a problem.

I know how China has treated the Tibetans, the Falun Gong, lone dissidents, democracy activists, etc. I know that they're supporting the Maoist rebellion that's been tearing the nation of Nepal apart for years. Their own human rights record is appalling and no one who wasn't working for or beholden to the Chinese government would say otherwise.

So it isn't that their criticism gains any traction because of their innate credibility; it will resonate because it stands on its own.

It's the ultimate insult to the cause of human rights, that a country like China can now hold this up to its citizens as a black mark against a country that many of them may have looked to as a symbol of hope. They can say that even in a democracy, even in a country that once was known as a champion of human rights, terrible abuses can occur. They can tell people to abandon all hope of ever having better governments, because this is as good as it gets:

... The Chinese report cites U.S. news stories estimating that more than 655,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq since war started in March 2003, and repeats charges of atrocities carried out by U.S. forces there.

It said the United States has "a flagrant record" of violating the Geneva Convention by systematically abusing prisoners in Iraq and in Afghanistan, citing the mistreatment of prisoners in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. ...

Just your friendly, neighborhood Bush administration, doing what it does best: destroying America's credibility and ethical record.

Posted by natasha at March 8, 2007 09:44 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |

NO country is perfect thats for sure but you have truly nailed the argument here in that when a terrorist state like China can openly criticize any democratic country the we have problem.

The failure of the Bush administration at this time was to fall down to a regimes level by torturing the prisoners ofwar.

The war was necessary but not for the reason originally called for. But is was necessary to liberate a suppressed people from barbarianism.

I wish that the rest of the democratic countries would speak up and condemn and fully expose the communist regime human rights atrocities.

The latest atrocity of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioner's is new form of evil on the planet.

See report at

NO doubt the Chinese internet spies will refute this comment and spread their filthy lies , lets wait and see.

Posted by: Jana at March 8, 2007 04:26 PM

"The war was necessary but not for the reason originally called for. But is was necessary to liberate a suppressed people from barbarianism."

One person's war of liberation is another person's war of oppression. And who is so wise as to be able to restructure a complex society, yet so unwise as to think that a violent overthrow of the existing social order will miraculously result in peace and prosperity for three groups competing for resources?

Michael Walzer states in "Just and Unjust Wars" that "for as long as men and women have talked about war, they have talked about it in terms of right and wrong..." For it to be morally acceptable to go to war, high standards must be met for a pre-emptive strike. The concept of self-defense and humanitarian intervention does not apply to Iraq. A review of "jus ad bellum" would indicate there was no morally acceptable reason to attack Iraq. What oppressed group that was in immediate danger was the United States protecting and how is the current situation in their interest?

Dr. Nafie Abtan, and nearly two million other Iraqis like him, probably has a very different idea about being liberated:

The 655,000 dead in Iraq would probably also have a different idea of liberation -- if they were still here to enjoy the fruits of freedom the United States government so generously provided.

To call the Iraq war anything other than a tragic and shortsighted mistake, one which resulted in the sacrifice of American and Iraqi lives to no recognizable goal, is an attempt to escape the issue -- the United States was morally wrong. A "bad government" is not enough reason to go to war. There are many "bad governments" in the world -- and more than a few of them consider the United States to be a bad government.

Yet, now that the United States has created the environment in Iraq, does it have a responsibility? Yes. The United States created the situation, it has a moral obligation leave things no worse than it found them. The question, however, is how to best accomplish that in the current environment? There is no military solution:

The Bush administration did not start its moral failure in using torture -- it started by attacking a sovereign country without just cause. And for that, the United States has abdicated any moral authority it might have had. The Chinese are only pointing out what the rest of the world is too afraid to say.

Posted by: Herr Affe at March 8, 2007 07:11 PM

I would argue that the Iraq War was not a mistake in that the Bush Administration, Congress and Senate initiated the war with full knowledge that it was done under false premise and with full acceptance of the motives that they had (destabilization, military/industrial plunder, occupation, etc.). You can't ascribe actions taken with full attention and intention to a mistake.

Posted by: wizardbill at March 9, 2007 06:31 AM

A matter of semantics:

Mistake, to be in error; error, a moral offense.

Further, "a mistake, grave or trivial, is caused by bad judgment or a disregard of rule or principle." The principle of just cause was disregarded. It's difficult to say where the exact culpability lies in the lack of personal responsibility associated with groupthink. It could be theorized that the Bush administration decided on what is euphemistically called "regime change" (as has been alleged and stated in the Wiki on the 2003 Iraq war), gathered a set of facts to support it under some theory of war, and presented it to Congress and the world. Once the words "weapons of mass destruction" and "Iraq" were in the same sentence, all sense of reason seemed to have drained away.

Yet, can ultimate responsibility assigned? It can be argued it lies with the person who has the power to commit forces and decided to do so. That decision clearly rests with the President. This from a man who stated in the second presidential debate of 2000 election, "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building...." Clearly, he changed his mind -- or lied in the first place.

Bad judgment. Disregarding principles. Moral offense. An overall failure to consider natural consequences. No need to refer to intent, these are the makings of a mistake. And the root of it is that there was no just cause for war in Iraq.

Posted by: Herr Affe at March 9, 2007 12:34 PM

Well, I would argue that the principle of just cause wasn't considered even for a minute, by Bush or by Congress. They wanted War and War they had. There was no bad judgment. The facts were well known at the time and decisions were taken with full knowledge.

What I am saying is that YOU may consider the Iraq war to be a mistake, an exercise in poor judgment, or whatever, but the perpetrators of the war from Bush, to Rumsfeld, Rice, Clinton, Kerry, etc. intentionally declared war because that is what they wanted to do. Some of them are now regret that the war is poorly managed, but all remain enthusiastic supporters of the war none the less.

Posted by: wizardbill at March 9, 2007 09:07 PM

When China is *justified* in criticizing your human rights record, and China is speaking truth when it does so, the problem has become worse than we ever imagined it might become.

Posted by: Scorpio at March 10, 2007 11:01 AM

Now lets put things into perspective can we please?

If you had to make a choice to live in one of 2 countries which one would it be if they were America or China?

The communist regime is only trying to throw the spotlight off themselves and their heinous worsening human rights atrocities by attacking a legitimate and God protected democratic country who is trying to spare the rest of humanity from terrorism and the Chinese communist regime marching on the rest of the world. And every one who is intelligent will understand this and know where the real villain and the huge threat is.

Posted by: Jana at March 10, 2007 07:53 PM

Jana - Ooc, are you saying that China isn't a legitimate country? Just because we don't care for their politics (though can they really be said to be "marching" on the world?), doesn't mean they aren't a legitimate nation.

No one here is saying they'd rather live in China. In fact, the whole argument that goes 'Dear God, what have we come to when China can criticize us on human rights,' falls apart and makes absolutely no sense if it were simultaneously being charged that China would be a great place to imitate.

And seriously, "God protected" country? Why should God love or protect this country more than the countries of any of the other people on the planet? Aren't they filled with God's children, too?

Posted by: natasha at March 18, 2007 12:10 AM