US Politics

George Bush: Defending Our Freedom at Home

This article about the response to Wenyi Wang, the woman who heckled President Hu, is too depressing to even write about. Shouldn’t we applaud free speech, instead of being embarrased by it?

President Bush expressed personal regret to Chinese President Hu Jintao for a protest during an elaborate welcoming ceremony on the White House lawn Thursday.

“It’s hugely embarrassing,” said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at the Pentagon and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China “must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn’t control this is going to play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust about American intentions toward China.”

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  • It’s especially sad, given Bush’s statements regarding freedom for the Chinese people. He said to Wu, “China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship.” Then, on the heels of that statement, Wenyi Wang is arrested for fighting for and exercising one of those freedoms.

  • This is part of a pattern of hypocrisy, of course. (Like how we simultaneously love and hate dissent as our legislature has endeavored to show by passing the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Espionage Act and the Patriot Act, then we turn around and talk about freedom of speech.) President Hu is probably thinking “See, this is why you can’t Google “tiananmen square” in my country. Heee he.”

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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