Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blind Man’s Bluff.

Or how to have people forget about Osama Bin Laden in one easy step.

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng says he gave up his refuge in the US embassy in Beijing after Chinese authorities made threats to family members.

He initially appeared to accept assurances of a safe future with his family, but later said he feared for them and now wanted to leave China.

The US said it had no knowledge of Chinese threats and that Mr Chen had at no point asked for asylum.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Beijing for high-level talks.


Well, Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are neck deep in it now. Leave it to the Middle Kingdom to utterly screw up your day.

It all began less than a week ago when Chen Guangcheng managed to escape from house arrest in China. How does a legally blind man manage to evade the security state that is modern day China? Well gentle reader, that is the question now racking great minds in both Beijing and Washington. There have been some very odd and extremely murky goings on in the People’s Republic of late.

Take for instance the precipitous fall of Bo Xilai in Chongqing. (Older individuals may remember this city as Chungking, the WWII capital of China) God knows the leaders of China would love you to take Mr Bo far, far, far away and perhaps bury him with Jimmy Hoffa. The tangled tale of Bo Xilai, his wife, the murder of a British business man, and some high level phone tapping reads like the bastard child of a  Charley Chan movie and a John le Carré novel.


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This has much to do about the ten year refresh the CPC is about to undergo. Being China, and China still being a Communist State, there are many guesses about who is doing what to whom plus where the “real” power lays. Somewhere in Foggy Bottom, some poor, benighted souls are trying to unravel that mystery on way too much coffee and far too little sleep.

Enter our blind protagonist escaping under the watchful gaze of Chinese State security. He had help from friends of course; but still, somewhere in the corridors of power in China, heads are rolling.

So where else would this epic mess finally end up than the confines of the U.S. Consulate? You just knew that once Chen Guangcheng had flown the coop, he would end up in the lap of Barack Obama. Extra bonus for this happen right during some very critical, and very dicy negotiations, by Team Obama with Team Middle Kingdom. Nothing quite like a very large box of agitated, extremely poisonous, scorpions and pit vipers dumped in one’s lap in the middle of tense negotiations to queer the “No Drama Obama” presidential meme is there?

Neither Obama nor Clinton have exactly covered themselves with glory in this exercise. At day six it clearly looks like Obama and his SoS tried a quick and dirty solution that then exploded in their faces like a trick cigar.

We now have Chen Guangcheng making some serious allegations about how the deal was done, and State playing defense on those charges. Obama does not need this one day after his Afghanistan announcement. As Mitt Romney would say “I’m trying to get reelected here, for Pete’s sake!”

Did Team Obama sell out the Chinese dissident so they could then move on to “the real business at hand” ? The answer depends how you feel about Obama. My bias toward Obama makes me say “yes, it is entirely possible Obama shafted / pressured Chen Guangcheng.”  It’s not like Obama is some great Civil Libertarian. It is not like Obama is going to stand on principle. No Drama Obama is going to find a compromise that gets the negotiations back on track with China; business is business,  there are “big” issues of trade, and security arrangements, that need to be resolved.

I am being cynical here? Of course I am. My opinion about Obama, ever since his FISA cave all the way back in 2008, is that he is just another soulless, hack politician. My opinion is that Obama is a empty suite with no real agenda other than his political aggrandizement. Obama won’t even protect the human rights of his own citizens, why the hell would he give a tinker’s damn about some blind dissident in China?

Thanks to that attitude Obama is up against it now. His cynical treatment of Chen Guangcheng has just boomeranged badly. If Obama folds on the Chinese dissident now, he raises the old canard of Democrats being “weak” on National Security. One year and a day after OBL became fish bait; Obama has managed to look feckless and weak with the Chinese; Mission Accomplished?

Obama now has to find a way to get Chen Guangcheng and family out of China; this is the only way this incident goes away. This is no longer about Human Rights, nor any other high minded considerations. No gentle reader, this about Obama getting reelected. Chen and company come to the U.S.A. or Obama and family go back to Chicago; no middle ground. Tawdry stuff I know, but politics is always about tawdry considerations.
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