Questions, questions…

Glenn Greenwald asks a very good question about the situation in western China: What if the Uighurs were Christian rather than Muslim?

Just imagine if the Uighurs were a Christian — rather than Muslim — minority, battling against the tyrannical Communist regime in Beijing, resisting various types of persecution, and demanding religious freedom.  They would be lionized by America’s Right, as similar Christian minorities, oppressed by tyrannical regimes, automatically are.  Episodes like these — where a declared Tyranny like China violently acts against citizens with whom we empathize — are ones about which, in general, the American political class loves to sermonize.

But the Uighurs are Muslim, not Christian, and hostility towards them thus easily outweighs the opportunity they present to undermine the Chinese Government.

Amy Siskind has another question:

. . . with all the crises going on around the world, do we even hear Hillary’s name? Obama and Biden are off globetrotting and where is Hillary? What have they done with her?

I was wondering  the same thing as I was reading the transcript of the  Stephanopolous/Biden interview.  Why isn’t  Hillary out front and center discussing the situation in Iran, North Korea, and western China?  Good gawd, we couldn’t get Condi’s mug off the teevee when matters of foreign policy came up during the Bush years. An honestly, do you think Hillary would say something as dumb as this about Israel on the one hand and North Korea on the other?

BIDEN: Look, Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether we agree or not?

BIDEN: Whether we agree or not. They’re entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation [unless they are someone WE don't like] is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that’s going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed. What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world.  [Wow. Breathtaking claim regarding our national interest and the rest of the world's, no?] And so there are separate issues.

If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way?

BIDEN: Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do [unless they are someone WE don't like] when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they’re existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.

[...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, North Korea…

BIDEN: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … seven missile launches in the last 24 hours, 11 this week. Anything the United States can do about it?

BIDEN: The question is, is there anything that we should do about it? Look, this has almost become predictable behavior. Some of it seems like almost attention-seeking behavior.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you don’t want to give the attention?

BIDEN: And — no, I don’t want to give the attention

Sooo….Our BFF, Israel, is a sovereign nation who can do no wrong and can do whatever it wants. North Korea, on the other hand, is a temper-tantrum throwing child who should just be ignored. It could not possibly be that they are feeling “existentially threatened and [that] their survival is threatened by another country,” right?

All in all, I found the interview depressing. A lot of pass the buck or taking credit for stuff that hasn’t happened yet. The whole interview was typical Joe Biden, right down to this:

Look, I think the right approach is one we have chosen, the Obama/Biden administration.

At least I can him props for not joining in the Palin Pile-On and (gasp) taking her at her word.

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5 thoughts on “Questions, questions…

  1. So, Israel can attack Iran because it’s a sovereign nation, but Iran (also assumedly a sovereign nation) isn’t allowed to build a nuclear reactor, even if they promise to use it for energy only and agree to IAEA inspectors to ensure it – inspectors that Israel has never allowed to inspect their supposedly nonexistent nuclear weapons.

    No endorsement here of the Iranian government, by the way, with its theocracy and entrenched misogyny (a description that unfortunately increasingly fits Israel). As you put it, they’re sovereign unless they’re someone we don’t like. Such deliberate inconsistency is not only offensive on principle, it makes for muddled, ineffective foreign policy.

    Tom Lehrer voiced something similar in his song “Send in the Marines” (1965), demonstrating that this is nothing new in U.S. policy:

    Theyve got to be protected,
    All their rights respected,
    till somebody we like can be elected.

    BTW, I don’t think any nations should be pursuing and stockpiling nuclear weapons – including us. Maintaining a huge war machine was not something intended by the Founders, but that’s another rant.

    • BTW, I don’t think any nations should be pursuing and stockpiling nuclear weapons – including us. Maintaining a huge war machine was not something intended by the Founders, but that’s another rant

      Don’t even get me started…

  2. Oddly enough, the State Department has a website, and on this website is the Secretary’s daily appointment schedule. Today, Secretary Clinton is meeting with ousted Honduran president Zelaya, which strikes me a something of a big deal.

    Just because Amy Siskind hasn’t been paying attention and doesn’t have rudimentary Google skills doesn’t mean the SoS is being marginalized.

    • Thanks for the link John. As you can see, I do have the SoS web site linked to the right. Yes, SoS has been on the Honduras situation. I, personally, would like to see a bit more “visibility” for HRC. This is not to say that she has been marginalized, I don’t think there is anyone on the face of the earth that thinks she CAN be. However, she is the face of our foreign policy, and I’d like to see her more visible to the American people, rather than so “behind the scenes” so-to-speak. Just my 2¢.

      • Well, that’s not always the SoS’s job though, right? Sometimes her diplomacy’s going to be intentionally hidden from the press, especially if you’re talking about very sensitive situations. I don’t think it’s right to equate a lack of press with a lack of influence or action, especially in this job. That kind of thought sells Hillary short.

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