Pro-life dissident’s great escape

Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese lawyer who has been battling China’s forced abortion policy.  For his efforts, he has been in and out of prison since 2005.  After his last release in 2010, Mr. Chen has been under house arrest even though he has not been charged with a crime.  That means that his home is surrounded by armed plain-clothed guards who prevent him and his wife from leaving and from receiving any visitors.

Last week Mr. Chen somehow escaped and made his way 300 miles to Beijing.  Oh, yes.  Mr. Chen is  totally blind.

He has reportedly taken refuge in the U. S. Embassy.  American diplomats are saying that this comes at the worse possible time because Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner are coming to Beijing this week for high-level talks and they fear the incident may harm  relations between the two countries.

via Chen Guangcheng, blind Chinese lawyer-activist, escapes house arrest – The Washington Post.

So why are we worried about how this makes China feel?  Shouldn’t China be embarrassed, at the very least, about its brutal treatment of Mr. Chen and, much more importantly, the untold numbers of women whom it forces to get abortions after they have the allotted one child?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    A blind man doesn’t get out of a house surrounded by guards, travel three hundred miles to Beijing, and then make his way through Beijing to the American embassy on his own.

    He has to have, shall we say, “special help.”

    I mean, if you’re China, and you’re having high-level talks with visiting American officials, and you want to come out on top in those talks, you need an ace in the hole – or a dissident in the American embassy.

    You know the Americans won’t be able to give up Mr. Chen. So they’ll have to give up something else.

  • Tom Hering

    A blind man doesn’t get out of a house surrounded by guards, travel three hundred miles to Beijing, and then make his way through Beijing to the American embassy on his own.

    He has to have, shall we say, “special help.”

    I mean, if you’re China, and you’re having high-level talks with visiting American officials, and you want to come out on top in those talks, you need an ace in the hole – or a dissident in the American embassy.

    You know the Americans won’t be able to give up Mr. Chen. So they’ll have to give up something else.

  • SKPeterson

    It also helps if you’re not in hock to the tune of a cool trillion or so.

  • SKPeterson

    It also helps if you’re not in hock to the tune of a cool trillion or so.

  • LCMSChaps

    “Shouldn’t China be embarrassed?”
    Of course. But they are not and won’t be because as a totalitarian state, they don’t care about their people which are merely a resource to be leveraged in their bid to extend their power and influence. Sadly, Tom’s point about the Chinese wanting some leverage is most likely correct. And given the circumstances, that leverage is likely to work.

    But the real embarrassment should be from our side because we won’t do anything about China’s one-child (mostly female) genocide. And we won’t for a couple of reasons:

    First, if you have ever been to a State Department briefing on China, what you will discover is that the DoS is philosophically pre-disposed toward China. They generally don’t view China as a threat to U.S. interests, and don’t appear to be much bothered by China’s expansion of power militarily and financially. They like China’s centrally controlled economy and ability to “get things done.” The left-of-center view that is rampant within DoS is perfectly reflected by that of NYT columnist Thomas Friedman who considers China’s leadership, “a reasonably enlightened group of people.” Secretary Clinton is cut from the same cloth. Leftist Americans who like Socialism are not going to be bothered by a few minor human rights problems in the Socialist utopia of China. Besides, they don’t care about the slaughter of innocents here in the U.S.; they certainly won’t care about it in China!

    Secondly, Secretary Clinton, like other U.S. officials before her cannot do anything that might upset “China’s feelings” because when you are a slave, you don’t upset your master. Thanks to the crushing burden of our nation’s entitlement programs, we are slaves to China who owns our debt. Until we do something to change the course of our nation’s debt problem, we can’t do squat in China except beg for their continued purchase of our debt. So U.S. officials go to China and continue their part of the drama – they express “concern” about human rights in a statement for public consumption in the U.S., while simultaneously giving China whatever they want as long as they buy our Treasuries.

    This cycle will not stop until we stop stealing money from our great-grandchildren. Some will argue that the problem is spending too much money on the military. But you could stop all DoD spending today and still not get rid of the deficit which now adds over 1 Trillion to the debt each year. Some will argue that taxes need to be raised on the rich. But you could take all the money from “the rich” and it wouldn’t even cover one year’s deficit, much less pay off the 16 Trillion in debt. The problem is entitlements. The problem is we spend too much. As much as I am not a fan of ADM Mullen, he had it right – our debt is a national security issue.

    Should China be embarrassed? Yes. But they won’t be. And while I don’t think the U.S. will give up Mr. Chen, they won’t do anything about China’s genocide either. But we are the ones who really should be embarrassed. We not only lack the ability to confront the Chinese because of our fiscal irresponsibility, even worse we lack the moral standing to do anything about the slaughter of the unborn.

  • LCMSChaps

    “Shouldn’t China be embarrassed?”
    Of course. But they are not and won’t be because as a totalitarian state, they don’t care about their people which are merely a resource to be leveraged in their bid to extend their power and influence. Sadly, Tom’s point about the Chinese wanting some leverage is most likely correct. And given the circumstances, that leverage is likely to work.

    But the real embarrassment should be from our side because we won’t do anything about China’s one-child (mostly female) genocide. And we won’t for a couple of reasons:

    First, if you have ever been to a State Department briefing on China, what you will discover is that the DoS is philosophically pre-disposed toward China. They generally don’t view China as a threat to U.S. interests, and don’t appear to be much bothered by China’s expansion of power militarily and financially. They like China’s centrally controlled economy and ability to “get things done.” The left-of-center view that is rampant within DoS is perfectly reflected by that of NYT columnist Thomas Friedman who considers China’s leadership, “a reasonably enlightened group of people.” Secretary Clinton is cut from the same cloth. Leftist Americans who like Socialism are not going to be bothered by a few minor human rights problems in the Socialist utopia of China. Besides, they don’t care about the slaughter of innocents here in the U.S.; they certainly won’t care about it in China!

    Secondly, Secretary Clinton, like other U.S. officials before her cannot do anything that might upset “China’s feelings” because when you are a slave, you don’t upset your master. Thanks to the crushing burden of our nation’s entitlement programs, we are slaves to China who owns our debt. Until we do something to change the course of our nation’s debt problem, we can’t do squat in China except beg for their continued purchase of our debt. So U.S. officials go to China and continue their part of the drama – they express “concern” about human rights in a statement for public consumption in the U.S., while simultaneously giving China whatever they want as long as they buy our Treasuries.

    This cycle will not stop until we stop stealing money from our great-grandchildren. Some will argue that the problem is spending too much money on the military. But you could stop all DoD spending today and still not get rid of the deficit which now adds over 1 Trillion to the debt each year. Some will argue that taxes need to be raised on the rich. But you could take all the money from “the rich” and it wouldn’t even cover one year’s deficit, much less pay off the 16 Trillion in debt. The problem is entitlements. The problem is we spend too much. As much as I am not a fan of ADM Mullen, he had it right – our debt is a national security issue.

    Should China be embarrassed? Yes. But they won’t be. And while I don’t think the U.S. will give up Mr. Chen, they won’t do anything about China’s genocide either. But we are the ones who really should be embarrassed. We not only lack the ability to confront the Chinese because of our fiscal irresponsibility, even worse we lack the moral standing to do anything about the slaughter of the unborn.

  • Tom Hering

    So, when you get right down to it, abortion is the fault of the old, the poor, and the disadvantaged. Who knew?

  • Tom Hering

    So, when you get right down to it, abortion is the fault of the old, the poor, and the disadvantaged. Who knew?

  • http://drhambrick.com drhambrick

    Note to all foreign pro-lifers: The U.S. is not your friend. Next time find the Irish embassy.

  • http://drhambrick.com drhambrick

    Note to all foreign pro-lifers: The U.S. is not your friend. Next time find the Irish embassy.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Veith you are looking at it through American eyes or more importantly Christian eyes. China though very much secular governmentally is heavily influenced by Buddhism and at the heart of that religion is the idea life is suffering and the end goal is non-existence. If people are suffering so what?

    When you removed Jesus from the picture the value of an individual life changes.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Veith you are looking at it through American eyes or more importantly Christian eyes. China though very much secular governmentally is heavily influenced by Buddhism and at the heart of that religion is the idea life is suffering and the end goal is non-existence. If people are suffering so what?

    When you removed Jesus from the picture the value of an individual life changes.

  • Abby

    “He has reportedly taken refuge in the U. S. Embassy. American diplomats are saying that this comes at the worse possible time because Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner are coming to Beijing this week for high-level talks and they fear the incident may harm relations between the two countries.”

    Bad timing for sure. I hope and pray we will help him. But it sure doesn’t look hopeful. Isn’t Hillary pro-choice? As well as the current administration?

    As a blind man (with help or not — in his heart he has hope) he makes his way to the U.S. Embassy. A place, in the past, he thought could be a safe refuge for him and a strong country who would NOT be embarrassed to stand with such a man. How far we have fallen already.

  • Abby

    “He has reportedly taken refuge in the U. S. Embassy. American diplomats are saying that this comes at the worse possible time because Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner are coming to Beijing this week for high-level talks and they fear the incident may harm relations between the two countries.”

    Bad timing for sure. I hope and pray we will help him. But it sure doesn’t look hopeful. Isn’t Hillary pro-choice? As well as the current administration?

    As a blind man (with help or not — in his heart he has hope) he makes his way to the U.S. Embassy. A place, in the past, he thought could be a safe refuge for him and a strong country who would NOT be embarrassed to stand with such a man. How far we have fallen already.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, we’ll stand by Mr. Chen. Not because of the abortion issue, but because he’s a dissident, and the political fallout back here if we give him up would be tremendous – especially in an election year. So we’ll give the Chinese something they really want, and the Chinese will allow us to take Mr. Chen and his family out of China. In short, the Chinese have played us just right. They concocted his escape, and they’ll come out on top in their talks with us.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, we’ll stand by Mr. Chen. Not because of the abortion issue, but because he’s a dissident, and the political fallout back here if we give him up would be tremendous – especially in an election year. So we’ll give the Chinese something they really want, and the Chinese will allow us to take Mr. Chen and his family out of China. In short, the Chinese have played us just right. They concocted his escape, and they’ll come out on top in their talks with us.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, the abortion issue does play a role. For the administration to surrender not just a dissident, but an anti-abortion dissident, would give Obama’s conservative opponents a huge amount of ammunition in this election year. And the administration knows it.

    The plot was more clever than I thought.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, the abortion issue does play a role. For the administration to surrender not just a dissident, but an anti-abortion dissident, would give Obama’s conservative opponents a huge amount of ammunition in this election year. And the administration knows it.

    The plot was more clever than I thought.

  • DonS

    Tom, your cynicism reflects your poor esteem of the current Administration. And a great weakness in this administration which the Chinese also obviously sense.

    They wouldn’t have tried this with Reagan. He would have eaten their rhetorical lunch, and made them look to the world like the bullying child-hating godless totalitarians they are.

  • DonS

    Tom, your cynicism reflects your poor esteem of the current Administration. And a great weakness in this administration which the Chinese also obviously sense.

    They wouldn’t have tried this with Reagan. He would have eaten their rhetorical lunch, and made them look to the world like the bullying child-hating godless totalitarians they are.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, if I’m being cynical about anyone, it’s the Chinese. As for Reagan, are you telling me he wouldn’t have been willing to do whatever it takes to get an anti-abortion dissident and his family out of China? Seriously? (I’m sure he would have kept whatever trade-off he made with the Chinese hush-hush. Just as I’m sure Obama will try to keep it hush-hush.)

  • Tom Hering

    Don, if I’m being cynical about anyone, it’s the Chinese. As for Reagan, are you telling me he wouldn’t have been willing to do whatever it takes to get an anti-abortion dissident and his family out of China? Seriously? (I’m sure he would have kept whatever trade-off he made with the Chinese hush-hush. Just as I’m sure Obama will try to keep it hush-hush.)

  • DonS

    Tom, this dissident is in the world spotlight. If a president ever has the opportunity to shame the Chinese government in the light of world attention it is right now. Without having to make a deal.

  • DonS

    Tom, this dissident is in the world spotlight. If a president ever has the opportunity to shame the Chinese government in the light of world attention it is right now. Without having to make a deal.

  • Tom Hering

    How could Obama do that, exactly? The Chinese lose nothing by letting Mr. Chen spend the rest of his life in our embassy. He went there by choice, after all. (Even if he was maneuvered into making that choice.) So I don’t see where Obama has one up on the Chinese. But do you mean Obama has the opportunity to make a stink on the world stage about China’s abortion policy? Where’s that going to play well? In Europe? Come on. The only place it would play well is here. Mostly among Republicans.

  • Tom Hering

    How could Obama do that, exactly? The Chinese lose nothing by letting Mr. Chen spend the rest of his life in our embassy. He went there by choice, after all. (Even if he was maneuvered into making that choice.) So I don’t see where Obama has one up on the Chinese. But do you mean Obama has the opportunity to make a stink on the world stage about China’s abortion policy? Where’s that going to play well? In Europe? Come on. The only place it would play well is here. Mostly among Republicans.

  • DonS

    Well, he’s surely not going to do that by appeasing the Chinese and by essentially whining that it is “bad timing” for this poor persecuted man to show up at our doorstep now.

    Listen to yourself. Only Republicans, in the whole world, care about freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of conscience? Everyone else in the whole world, cares more about getting a free lunch from government than for basic notions of human rights and liberty? I think a president like Reagan could have at least made a case for freedom, for the sake of freedom, and against tyranny.

    But, I guess in your mind that time has passed.

  • DonS

    Well, he’s surely not going to do that by appeasing the Chinese and by essentially whining that it is “bad timing” for this poor persecuted man to show up at our doorstep now.

    Listen to yourself. Only Republicans, in the whole world, care about freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of conscience? Everyone else in the whole world, cares more about getting a free lunch from government than for basic notions of human rights and liberty? I think a president like Reagan could have at least made a case for freedom, for the sake of freedom, and against tyranny.

    But, I guess in your mind that time has passed.

  • Patrick Kyle

    Why should they be embarrassed when they can turn the tables on us and with a few comments about racism, and our human rights record they can get our media to load all the shame on the backs of the American people?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t quietly hand this guy back to the Chinese

  • Patrick Kyle

    Why should they be embarrassed when they can turn the tables on us and with a few comments about racism, and our human rights record they can get our media to load all the shame on the backs of the American people?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t quietly hand this guy back to the Chinese

  • DonS

    Yes, Patrick. And the sad thing is that our illustrious president would join right in, condemning our past sins, which we are working beyond hard to rectify, and equating us morally to the evil regime that is China. And then, he would hand Chen over to his doom.

  • DonS

    Yes, Patrick. And the sad thing is that our illustrious president would join right in, condemning our past sins, which we are working beyond hard to rectify, and equating us morally to the evil regime that is China. And then, he would hand Chen over to his doom.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked:

    So why are we worried about how this makes China feel?

    Really? Because they inhabit the same world as us, and are a significant economic and military power, maybe? That doesn’t mean we agree with them on any/everything, but it certainly means we aren’t indifferent to what happens to them.

    Especially when we’re engaged in negotiations on some topic. Which, pretty much by definition, is exactly when you care about what’s going on in another country.

    Tom’s conspiracy theory certainly is interesting — tidy even, but aren’t they always? — but it remains a conspiracy theory.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked:

    So why are we worried about how this makes China feel?

    Really? Because they inhabit the same world as us, and are a significant economic and military power, maybe? That doesn’t mean we agree with them on any/everything, but it certainly means we aren’t indifferent to what happens to them.

    Especially when we’re engaged in negotiations on some topic. Which, pretty much by definition, is exactly when you care about what’s going on in another country.

    Tom’s conspiracy theory certainly is interesting — tidy even, but aren’t they always? — but it remains a conspiracy theory.

  • Tom Hering

    Freedom, Don? Free lunch? What’s any of that got to do with it? I’m thinking a largely pro-choice world isn’t going to be terribly sympathetic to pro-life grandstanding. I mean, I’ve heard you complain about how the majority of people in this and other nations are godlessly pro-abortion. Now all of a sudden they’re going to have a change of heart? Because – what? – Obama is a moral giant and can be a great orator? Your opinions seem kind of, uh, adaptable to me.

  • Tom Hering

    Freedom, Don? Free lunch? What’s any of that got to do with it? I’m thinking a largely pro-choice world isn’t going to be terribly sympathetic to pro-life grandstanding. I mean, I’ve heard you complain about how the majority of people in this and other nations are godlessly pro-abortion. Now all of a sudden they’re going to have a change of heart? Because – what? – Obama is a moral giant and can be a great orator? Your opinions seem kind of, uh, adaptable to me.

  • DonS

    Tom! Are you missing the point that a man has been imprisoned in his own home because of his views, and activism? It’s not just the issue of abortion. It’s the issue of liberty, and free speech, and ability to speak out against great evils in your own government. Even so-called “pro-choice” people should care about freedom, shouldn’t they? Or do they really believe all people defending pre-born life and the rights of families to have more than one child should be imprisoned….or worse?

  • DonS

    Tom! Are you missing the point that a man has been imprisoned in his own home because of his views, and activism? It’s not just the issue of abortion. It’s the issue of liberty, and free speech, and ability to speak out against great evils in your own government. Even so-called “pro-choice” people should care about freedom, shouldn’t they? Or do they really believe all people defending pre-born life and the rights of families to have more than one child should be imprisoned….or worse?

  • Tom Hering

    Thank you, Todd, for complimenting me on my tidyness. :-D You’re right that my speculation is just a conspiracy theory. But wait. I haven’t yet revealed how aliens play a part in it …

  • Tom Hering

    Thank you, Todd, for complimenting me on my tidyness. :-D You’re right that my speculation is just a conspiracy theory. But wait. I haven’t yet revealed how aliens play a part in it …

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said:

    They wouldn’t have tried this with Reagan. He would have eaten their rhetorical lunch, and made them look to the world like the bullying child-hating godless totalitarians they are. (@10) …

    I think a president like Reagan could have at least made a case for freedom, for the sake of freedom, and against tyranny. (@14)

    Of course. Because Reagan was single-mindedly focused on the topic of freedom, and staunchly opposed to tyranny anywhere and everywhere … in Republican Fairyland, that is.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there was Ronald “Iran-Contra” Reagan. To say nothing of the many other totalitarian or otherwise murderous regimes that we supported — primarily in Central and South America — merely because they weren’t communists.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said:

    They wouldn’t have tried this with Reagan. He would have eaten their rhetorical lunch, and made them look to the world like the bullying child-hating godless totalitarians they are. (@10) …

    I think a president like Reagan could have at least made a case for freedom, for the sake of freedom, and against tyranny. (@14)

    Of course. Because Reagan was single-mindedly focused on the topic of freedom, and staunchly opposed to tyranny anywhere and everywhere … in Republican Fairyland, that is.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there was Ronald “Iran-Contra” Reagan. To say nothing of the many other totalitarian or otherwise murderous regimes that we supported — primarily in Central and South America — merely because they weren’t communists.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, we’re kind of past the house arrest issue at this point. Don’t you think?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, we’re kind of past the house arrest issue at this point. Don’t you think?

  • DonS

    Tom, how, exactly, are we past that? The man is stuck in the embassy, not because of China’s abortion policies, but because of its broader policy of eliminating dissent. Rather than being “past the house arrest issue”, it is, in fact, the whole issue. Otherwise, Chen would be free to go.

  • DonS

    Tom, how, exactly, are we past that? The man is stuck in the embassy, not because of China’s abortion policies, but because of its broader policy of eliminating dissent. Rather than being “past the house arrest issue”, it is, in fact, the whole issue. Otherwise, Chen would be free to go.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I think the current administration can easily make lemonade from this situation. We help this guy out, and the administration can talk about free speech and women’s rights, etc., without having to advance the guy’s anti forced abortion agenda there or pro lifer’s agenda here.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I think the current administration can easily make lemonade from this situation. We help this guy out, and the administration can talk about free speech and women’s rights, etc., without having to advance the guy’s anti forced abortion agenda there or pro lifer’s agenda here.

  • Med Student

    If pro-choicers are genuinely pro-choice and not actually pro-abortion, then they should have serious issues with China’s one child policy as well. Not much choice involved if there’s severe punishment for having more than 1 child, is there? I suppose there are people in the U.S. and Europe who believe that forced abortion as a means of population control is an okay policy, but it’s not a terribly popular view. Chen should have widespread support for opposing the one-child policy, not just with conservative Americans.

  • Med Student

    If pro-choicers are genuinely pro-choice and not actually pro-abortion, then they should have serious issues with China’s one child policy as well. Not much choice involved if there’s severe punishment for having more than 1 child, is there? I suppose there are people in the U.S. and Europe who believe that forced abortion as a means of population control is an okay policy, but it’s not a terribly popular view. Chen should have widespread support for opposing the one-child policy, not just with conservative Americans.

  • Tom Hering

    The attitude I’ve seen among pro-choice advocates, Med Student, is if you surrender an inch you surrender a mile. So, they might find the forced part of forced abortion reprehensible, but I don’t see them wanting to help anyone with an argument against abortion itself.

  • Tom Hering

    The attitude I’ve seen among pro-choice advocates, Med Student, is if you surrender an inch you surrender a mile. So, they might find the forced part of forced abortion reprehensible, but I don’t see them wanting to help anyone with an argument against abortion itself.

  • SKPeterson

    How exactly did we handle Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov? While the situations are not entirely exact, could we expect Chen to act like a Solzhenitsyn if we took him in, or not? Or would he (and we) be better off if we treated him like Sakharov – a guy who stayed inside, but one who was watched by the West, especially the U.S., for any abuses by the Soviet government. And when the Soviets did attempt to quiet him, or restrict him, we called the Russians on the carpet. It may be better for us and for the Chinese in the long run for us to encourage Mr. Chen to return the custody of the Chinese government, all the while telling Chinese officials that the United States is particularly interested in how he is treated and what liberties he will be granted, and that the status of Mr. Chen and other dissidents can be expected to be a regular topic of discussion whenever we meet with Chinese officials there or here. And if they cut off our funding, it would be in our best interests in the medium to long term as well, as it would provide additional incentive for us to get our own fiscal house in order.

  • SKPeterson

    How exactly did we handle Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov? While the situations are not entirely exact, could we expect Chen to act like a Solzhenitsyn if we took him in, or not? Or would he (and we) be better off if we treated him like Sakharov – a guy who stayed inside, but one who was watched by the West, especially the U.S., for any abuses by the Soviet government. And when the Soviets did attempt to quiet him, or restrict him, we called the Russians on the carpet. It may be better for us and for the Chinese in the long run for us to encourage Mr. Chen to return the custody of the Chinese government, all the while telling Chinese officials that the United States is particularly interested in how he is treated and what liberties he will be granted, and that the status of Mr. Chen and other dissidents can be expected to be a regular topic of discussion whenever we meet with Chinese officials there or here. And if they cut off our funding, it would be in our best interests in the medium to long term as well, as it would provide additional incentive for us to get our own fiscal house in order.

  • formerly just steve

    I’m inclined to agree with Tom’s “conspiracy theory”, viz. #9. Considering China’s softening on the One Child policy in recent years, this is not so much an ace in the hole for the Chinese as a distraction from the issues that are more important to both governments and a win-win for the Chinese and the US.

  • formerly just steve

    I’m inclined to agree with Tom’s “conspiracy theory”, viz. #9. Considering China’s softening on the One Child policy in recent years, this is not so much an ace in the hole for the Chinese as a distraction from the issues that are more important to both governments and a win-win for the Chinese and the US.

  • Tom Hering

    … could we expect Chen to act like a Solzhenitsyn if we took him in …

    Would he be an outspoken critic of moral decline in the West? I doubt it. I even doubt he would be a pro-life activist. His concern in China seems to be with “excessive enforcement” by local authorities of that nation’s one-child policy, in violation of national standards. I can’t find anything stating he’s opposed to abortion itself.

  • Tom Hering

    … could we expect Chen to act like a Solzhenitsyn if we took him in …

    Would he be an outspoken critic of moral decline in the West? I doubt it. I even doubt he would be a pro-life activist. His concern in China seems to be with “excessive enforcement” by local authorities of that nation’s one-child policy, in violation of national standards. I can’t find anything stating he’s opposed to abortion itself.

  • SKPeterson

    Solzhenitsyn was a scold, but he directed his ire more to the failures of the Soviet Union than he did to the West. With Chen, I’m not so sure what we get. Sorry I’m being a little too realpolitik here.

  • SKPeterson

    Solzhenitsyn was a scold, but he directed his ire more to the failures of the Soviet Union than he did to the West. With Chen, I’m not so sure what we get. Sorry I’m being a little too realpolitik here.

  • Gary

    Not very familiar with Mr. Chen’s story before now. One question: At home, in China, among the people, is he a martyr for liberty and a hero? Or is he just an odd crank? I don’t know which, but it could easily make a difference. Clearly he’s attaining celebrity and hero status among Republicans, but so what?

    Tom’s insight on this has been very keen all along that I can tell.

  • Gary

    Not very familiar with Mr. Chen’s story before now. One question: At home, in China, among the people, is he a martyr for liberty and a hero? Or is he just an odd crank? I don’t know which, but it could easily make a difference. Clearly he’s attaining celebrity and hero status among Republicans, but so what?

    Tom’s insight on this has been very keen all along that I can tell.

  • DonS

    Yeah, I guess if he’s just an old crank it’s OK to lock him up.

    Your insight is very keen as well, Gary.

  • DonS

    Yeah, I guess if he’s just an old crank it’s OK to lock him up.

    Your insight is very keen as well, Gary.

  • Tom Hering

    Gary, thanks, but you shouldn’t feed my “rank godlessness” (SKPeterson). :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Gary, thanks, but you shouldn’t feed my “rank godlessness” (SKPeterson). :-D

  • Tom Hering

    But Gary does raise good questions. Do most Chinese see Mr. Chen as a hero, or as someone causing trouble for a national government they support? As an issue of freedom, or of reforming abuses in a national policy they support?

  • Tom Hering

    But Gary does raise good questions. Do most Chinese see Mr. Chen as a hero, or as someone causing trouble for a national government they support? As an issue of freedom, or of reforming abuses in a national policy they support?

  • DonS

    They may be good questions, but they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the U.S. still sees itself as a country that will speak up and stand for human rights.

  • DonS

    They may be good questions, but they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the U.S. still sees itself as a country that will speak up and stand for human rights.

  • Gary

    DonS @ 32, I really wasn’t thinking AT ALL about the _morality_ of locking up old cranks, I was think purely about political repercussions and what or how much China might have to lose. A great deal of sympathy AT HOME for Mr. Chen might, indeed, be cause for political embarrassment.

    As far as how leadership in China sizes up American hubris, I’m sure they didn’t have much regard for what Washington said when Clinton was in office, or when W. was in office, nor do they take seriously President Obama, and neither will they suddenly hearken to U. S. concerns should Gov. Romney be elected to office.

    Don, is Mr. Chen some kind of hero to you?

  • Gary

    DonS @ 32, I really wasn’t thinking AT ALL about the _morality_ of locking up old cranks, I was think purely about political repercussions and what or how much China might have to lose. A great deal of sympathy AT HOME for Mr. Chen might, indeed, be cause for political embarrassment.

    As far as how leadership in China sizes up American hubris, I’m sure they didn’t have much regard for what Washington said when Clinton was in office, or when W. was in office, nor do they take seriously President Obama, and neither will they suddenly hearken to U. S. concerns should Gov. Romney be elected to office.

    Don, is Mr. Chen some kind of hero to you?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, as a nation I think we stand up for human rights as much as anybody. But if you mean our politicians, they’re only going to do it when it’s in our national interest – or during campaigns, when trying to make their opponents look bad.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, as a nation I think we stand up for human rights as much as anybody. But if you mean our politicians, they’re only going to do it when it’s in our national interest – or during campaigns, when trying to make their opponents look bad.

  • DonS

    Gary & Tom:

    Actually, Tom, I disagree with you. I don’t think we stand up for human rights much any more. Gary, the issue of human rights has nothing to do with whether or not a particular oppressed person is a hero, although from what I have read I think Mr. Chen may well qualify. Rather, it has to do with the very fact that they are oppressed. Here, we have a man who has made his way to U.S. soil, looking for freedom. What are we going to do about that? For what do we really stand? This is a rare chance to make a clear statement on the issue of human rights, but all we can do is wring our hands that we might miss an opportunity to make some kind of a political deal with an evil government.

    That’s sad.

  • DonS

    Gary & Tom:

    Actually, Tom, I disagree with you. I don’t think we stand up for human rights much any more. Gary, the issue of human rights has nothing to do with whether or not a particular oppressed person is a hero, although from what I have read I think Mr. Chen may well qualify. Rather, it has to do with the very fact that they are oppressed. Here, we have a man who has made his way to U.S. soil, looking for freedom. What are we going to do about that? For what do we really stand? This is a rare chance to make a clear statement on the issue of human rights, but all we can do is wring our hands that we might miss an opportunity to make some kind of a political deal with an evil government.

    That’s sad.

  • Grace

    Go back and read what LCMSChaps posted @ 3.

    “So U.S. officials go to China and continue their part of the drama – they express “concern” about human rights in a statement for public consumption in the U.S., while simultaneously giving China whatever they want as long as they buy our Treasuries.”

    It is a “drama” – there are many “parts” within the “drama” – just who is one of the main script writers? – Obama, directed by China -

    The next point he made which ties this together, and the reason we are even talking about it is:

    “Some will argue that taxes need to be raised on the rich. But you could take all the money from “the rich” and it wouldn’t even cover one year’s deficit, much less pay off the 16 Trillion in debt. The problem is entitlements. The problem is we spend too much. As much as I am not a fan of ADM Mullen, he had it right – our debt is a national security issue.

    “Our debt is a national security issue” – - a president who doesn’t give one damn. Why is spending money, on most anything his goal?

    This isn’t ALL ABOUT Chen Guangcheng holed up in the U.S. Embassy, or Ms. Clinton coming to visit (what a coincidence) Just happens Hillary is going to Beijing this week.

    Does Obama hate America?

  • Grace

    Go back and read what LCMSChaps posted @ 3.

    “So U.S. officials go to China and continue their part of the drama – they express “concern” about human rights in a statement for public consumption in the U.S., while simultaneously giving China whatever they want as long as they buy our Treasuries.”

    It is a “drama” – there are many “parts” within the “drama” – just who is one of the main script writers? – Obama, directed by China -

    The next point he made which ties this together, and the reason we are even talking about it is:

    “Some will argue that taxes need to be raised on the rich. But you could take all the money from “the rich” and it wouldn’t even cover one year’s deficit, much less pay off the 16 Trillion in debt. The problem is entitlements. The problem is we spend too much. As much as I am not a fan of ADM Mullen, he had it right – our debt is a national security issue.

    “Our debt is a national security issue” – - a president who doesn’t give one damn. Why is spending money, on most anything his goal?

    This isn’t ALL ABOUT Chen Guangcheng holed up in the U.S. Embassy, or Ms. Clinton coming to visit (what a coincidence) Just happens Hillary is going to Beijing this week.

    Does Obama hate America?

  • Kirk

    @39

    I’m guessing your answer is “yes” which you arrived at through the following brilliant logic deduction:

    A.) Obama is orchestrating all of this

    B.) the debt is bad

    C.) Hillary Clinton is going to China next week.

    Therefore: Obama hates America.

    obvs

  • Kirk

    @39

    I’m guessing your answer is “yes” which you arrived at through the following brilliant logic deduction:

    A.) Obama is orchestrating all of this

    B.) the debt is bad

    C.) Hillary Clinton is going to China next week.

    Therefore: Obama hates America.

    obvs

  • helen

    Even so-called “pro-choice” people should care about freedom, shouldn’t they?

    Only their own. Those who feel entitled to murder their own children aren’t the people to look to for sympathy/empathy for the troubles of someone else’s life.

    [They might belong to PETA.]

  • helen

    Even so-called “pro-choice” people should care about freedom, shouldn’t they?

    Only their own. Those who feel entitled to murder their own children aren’t the people to look to for sympathy/empathy for the troubles of someone else’s life.

    [They might belong to PETA.]

  • Gary

    helen, that was totally cheap and untrue. Many pro-choice people are deeply sympathetic to the suffering of others. And many of them work hard to alleviate suffering. Your judgmental remark was uncalled for.

  • Gary

    helen, that was totally cheap and untrue. Many pro-choice people are deeply sympathetic to the suffering of others. And many of them work hard to alleviate suffering. Your judgmental remark was uncalled for.


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