Clinton puts American values up for sale

(U-WIRE) AUSTIN, Texas — Associated Press news reports about Clinton’s trip to China predicted that the symbolism of the trip would outweigh its substance. That symbolism, however, will lead to a more dangerous world and give other nations reason to question U.S. leadership.
One of the visit’s most problematic aspects is Clinton’s stop in Tiananmen Square, where hundreds — if not thousands — were massacred in 1989 by Chinese troops as they participated in student-led demonstrations for democracy. This visit makes us look like fools to the entire world. If we, whose founding document states “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” do not stand up for these principles, we show we do not believe them. We instead send a message that our values are for sale.
Placing trade above human rights and past aggression has generated, according to The New York Times, a “sense (in Washington D.C.) that Clinton is damaging national security in his eagerness to promote relations with Beijing.” This sense is confirmed by Johnny Chung’s statement that the Clinton administration received money for his re-election campaign from the Chinese military.
The Times also reported that China has used the money they get via their large trade imbalance with the U.S. to give Pakistan materials for a nuclear weapon and the blueprints to make it, and to ship missiles to the Middle East. China’s neighbors who have experienced its aggression, most notably India, Tibet, and Taiwan, are watching this trip most carefully. Some of these nations, which have historically looked to the United States for protection, have now decided they must protect themselves. Our continued, unqualified support of China will only lead to greater proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Matters in our own country — where cities are already targeted by Chinese Long March missiles — are also complicated by Clinton’s visit. He is already under a cloud of suspicion for his dealings with the Chinese and, importantly, also for his lying — demonstrated by his public statements about Gennifer Flowers and his deposition in the Paula Jones case — and for his questionable private conduct.
It is not possible for Clinton to honestly represent us abroad when he brings disgrace in his own country and when we are not sure whether he is working for us or for them. We know not what mischief he might accomplish there. We may not find out what he has done until long afterward. The members of Congress are the only ones who are constitutionally charged with finding out the answers to these questions. With 105 visits to China in the last 20 months, they and their staff, like the president, seem to have little interest in the welfare and safety of their fellow citizens.
Instead of “gently lecturing” the Chinese, Clinton should hold in highest regard both the sovereignty of the United States and the memory of those who gave their lives in Tiananmen Square. He should be constantly aware that he is dealing with a dangerous government, with officials who have no regard for others, and who only want to use us. He should condition our dealings with the Chinese upon their giving people true religious and civil freedom, upon their stopping their use of slave labor, forced abortion, forced sterilization, killing unwanted female infants and upon their stopping export of plans and materials for weapons of mass destruction. He should then back this up by denying them most favored nation status, blocking any further technology exports to China, preventing them from using the Long Beach Naval Yard and George Air Force Base as uncontrolled free entry points into the U.S. for their goods (and possibly AK-47s), and seek to balance our trade with them.
If Clinton does not do these things, his trip to China will only raise more questions and bring disgrace to the United States. It will make this world an even more dangerous place, increasing the likelihood that American lives will be lost in a military conflict with China.

Craig McCluskey’s column originally ran Tuesday in the Daily Texan (University of Texas–Austin).