4.21.2006

Protecting our Guests

I just read this news report online today:

Federal charges were filed Friday against a heckler who interrupted an otherwise highly scripted ceremony welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House the day before, berating him for the persecution of the Chinese religious sect Falun Gong. Wen Yi Wang, 47, was charged with harassing a foreign official, a federal misdemeanor punishable by six months in prison and a fine of $5,000. The federal law is designed to protect foreign dignitaries and official guests, and prohibits attempts to "intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass a foreign official or an official guest or obstruct a foreign official in the performance of his duties."

Further proof that "freedom of speech" does not really exist in the USA. It's also obvious that China (an important US trade partner) and top Chinese officials such as Hu Jintao, are exempt from the same criticism that so-called "Evil Empires" such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Myanmar (Burma) are subjected to. As long as the USA is doing business with your country, you can get away with as many human rights violations as you wish.

7 comments:

KoalaBear said...

The blurb you quoted seems pretty straight-forward, and I do not see how it constitutes any "proof that 'freedom of speech' does not really exist in the USA." Wen Yi Wang has every right to speak or publish her opinion, and in the United States that right is protected. She has no right to the audience of an official of a foreign nation, and she has no right to be heard. If she's a Chinese "citizen", she should go through the proper channels to petition her government. Oh, I forgot: the People's Republic of China doesn't listen to its people.

To be clear, she was not charged for what she said. She was charged for interfering with a government function involving a foreign official. The fact that she still draws breath is a testament to the sanctity of her rights within the United States. The fact that her life is not in jeopardy as punishment for her misdemeanor is a testament to the folly of your statement. If there were no "freedom of speech" in the United States, she would be dead or queued for execution. I do not like the fact that she was charged, but if that's what it takes to prevent a diplomatic incident, then so be it. Where is the link to the donation site that's raising the money to pay her fine? Or are you only interested in bashing the USA?

I'm not sure I've ever heard Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Myanmar referred to as "Evil Empires". I've heard "Axis of Evil" applied to Iran, North Korea, and pre-liberation Iraq. All of these nations, along with China, and lets not forget France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, routinely violate human rights as a matter of policy and they "get away with" it. To use the United States as an example, however you think we rate in terms of human rights violations, the nations I've listed are orders of magnitude worse. "Criticism" will not save the people whose rights are being violated in these nations, and if the United States only did business with nations that did not have policies of human rights violations, we would have absolutely no influence (or interest) to try and stop the violations at all.

John in Atlanta said...

Koalabear, get off your high horse. I have three words for you: "Abu Ghraib" and "Guantanamo". Those are shining examples of our human rights policies.

With all due respect she WAS arrested for what she said. They were forced to call it "interfering with a government function". Otherwise it would have been an even bigger embarrasment than it already is.

Furthermore, please don't confuse Bush administration bashing with USA bashing. Some of us still love our country and are heartbroken because of what is being done to it.

KoalaBear said...

I googled for "us human rights abuses" and "Abu Ghraib" and "Guantanamo" were the most prominent two examples cited, with the Japanese internment during WWII pulling a distant third place. "Abu Ghraib" does not represent the policy, past or present, of the United States (or of the Bush Administration), and to claim otherwise is indeed "USA bashing". The citations of the "Guantanamo" example only reference the detainment of Haitians and others found in US-controlled coastal waters until the mid 90's, and the detainment of prisoners captured in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq since 2001. Those prisoners, who have all violated the laws of war, have been treated better than most of our domestic prison population. I do not believe that violators of the laws of war, which are the final line between civilization and barbarism, have any human rights, and any of them who are prisoners are alive at the mercy and leisure of their lawful captors. The United States should have executed the lot of them, and the fact that they have recieved due process (albeit militarily, as opposed to that prescribed by our Constitution) is a shining example of how our human rights policies are the best in the world. We give human rights to those who deserve none.

John in Atlanta said...

Your response is so full of bull that I don't quite know where to begin but I'll give it a go.

"Abu Ghraib" does not represent the policy, past or present, of the United States (or of the Bush Administration)

When the treatment of prisoners is sanctioned by Rumsfeld it becomes the policy of the administration.

"Those prisoners, who have all violated the laws of war"

How do we know they've violated laws of war? They were never tried and convicted. Just tortured.

"I do not believe that violators of the laws of war, which are the final line between civilization and barbarism, have any human rights"

EVERY human deserves human rights. What totalitarian rock did you crawl out from under?

"The United States should have executed the lot of them"

Well they did manage to execute a few during torture. Does that tickle your sick fancy?

John in Atlanta said...

This just in:
The Pentagon plans to release nearly a third of those held at Guantanamo because they pose no threat to U.S. security.

So either they never broke the "laws of war" or they were being held for no reason for all this time. I choose to believe the latter.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gitmo25apr25,0,1113317.story

John in Atlanta said...

Sorry - the url was truncated. Here is the complete url:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/
nation/la-na-gitmo25apr25,0,1113317.
story

Tom said...

Wow.. you've got yourself a freeper that can actually form coherent sentences. I'm shocked.

Of course what's he's writing is complete bullshit, but it's well constructed bullshit.

I always find it amusing that some American's think we should sink to the tactics of those we despise. They can't even see the irony in that.