Monday, October 05, 2009

Questionnable Presidential Priorities

I haven’t questioned a thing President Obama has done since taking office until today when I read in the Washington Post about his treatment of the Dalai Lama. Shame on Obama for politicizing a meeting with this universally-recognized emissary of peace.

It would seem gaining favor with the Chinese is a higher priority for the current administration than continuing a long-standing tradition (even adhered to by Bush) of giving the Dalai Lama an audience when he comes to town.

Granted he isn’t being told he will never be invited to the White House. He’s just being told that several things have to be sorted out with China first, so as not to give the impression that Obama and company are soft on Tibet. Sheesh!

I’m also not pleased with the fact that we are suddenly downplaying human rights issues and financial policies in China in order to curry the favor of the Chinese. (Of course I continue to wonder how we can legitimately question anyone else’s human rights behavior when we have so many Guantanamo skeletons in our closet.)

It’s unclear as to whether the postponement of the Dalai Lama’s visit is in response to Chinese pressure or the brainchild of some Obama advisor who wants to impress the Chinese. But whatever the reason, I’m disappointed that politics are infringing on territory that should be free of such “strategic thinking.”

I hope we’re not losing our backbone when it comes to doing the RIGHT THING in the world.


Blogger Merle Sneed said...

We seem to have taken a road toward appeasing the tyrants.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Hi Barbara- you are a runner up winner of one of my glass coasters in my 800th post giveaway. Email me with your snail mail address and I will send it off to you! Thanks for commenting.

6:27 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Sad to read something like this. No doubt you heard that a few months back, South Africa actually went as far as denying the Dalai Lama a visitor's visa for the same reason!! Sometimes it all just makes me so depressed.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous constant gina said...

China is the next world power..hell yeah keep them happy Obama!

11:10 AM  
Blogger media concepts said...

A few things to keep in context:

1. I don't know all the facts in this case, and you didn't include a link, so I don't know where you got the facts here either. Many of the stories about this today are coming from right wing blogs and publications. In fact, the same story with the same headline and words, and which emanated from the right wing, seems to be getting syndicated over and over.

2. George W. Bush repeatedly kowtowed to China, especially regarding Taiwan.

3. China owns and keeps buying by far most of the U.S.'s trillions of dollars of debt, to the tune, I think, of over $1 billion a day. Most of this debt was incurred under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Unfortunately, that often puts the U.S. in a position of having to bend over backwards (some might say forwards) to keep China happy.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gina -- My good friend M, who is infinitely wise and a consummate Obama supporter, said simply today, "China is the next world power. We have no choice but to kiss ass." How sad that it's come to this.

MC -- Here is the link to the WaPost article. I should have included it initially knowing how you feel about citing references and you are right, by the way!

Unfortunately our efforts to please the Chinese, to not ruffle any feathers (even of sick birds), to overlook China's treatment of dissidents, and on and on and on, are escalating as we increasingly rely on the Chinese to save the world's economy. My friend M, who is a big fan of the Dalai Lama, agreed that he must take a back seat to these necessary policies.

It would seem we have seen our day in the sun...

5:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Merle -- We are no longer in the driver's seat.

Terry -- I am delighted. Can't wait to see my prize!

Karen -- I'm not sure I feel any better knowing the US isn't alone in this type of behavior. It's all rather sad.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not president. It just seems so hard.

8:42 AM  

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