Friday, April 21, 2006

Shame on Bush: U.S. President Apologizes for Chinese Protester

No, President Bush; Hu Jintao is not OK!

...CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reports the woman was a protester with the Falun Gong movement, a group that says it is persecuted in China for its religious beliefs. She yelled at President Bush, "Stop him from killing. Stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong."

Wilder said Hu was gracious in accepting Mr. Bush's apology. The two leaders moved on in their talks and it was not mentioned again in several hours of meetings. Hu and Mr. Bush sat next to each other at an elaborate luncheon, a departure from traditional protocol, which would have them at different tables...

...She shouted in Chinese and in heavily accented English: "President Bush, stop him from killing" and "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong."

Mr. Bush, standing next to Hu, leaned over and whispered to him,"
You're OK," indicating the Chinese leader should proceed with his opening remarks. Hu, who had paused briefly when the shouting began, resumed speaking.

The protester was waving a banner with the red and yellow colors used by Falun Gong, a banned religious movement in China. She kept shouting for several minutes before Secret Service agents were able to make their way to her position at the top of the camera stand. They led her off the stand.

A photographer who was standing next to the protester tried momentarily to quiet her by putting his hand in front of her mouth.

"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."

What is actually the cause for embarassment here is that China's atrocious accumulation of human rights abuses is seemingly no big deal to President Bush and to almost all of the U.S. Congress.

"You're OK," indeed! This is shameful and it certainly makes Bush's remarks about human rights and "exporting democracy" in other parts of the world ring very hollow.

Furthermore, the Western press must also be blamed for their part in ignoring China's record of repression, incarceration and torture of innocents, forced abortion and mutilation, dire actions taken against free republics, including the United States, etc.

Note even in this article how the reporter frames the issue. The protester from Falun Gong "says it is peresecuted." Well, is it or isn't it? The facts are abundantly clear and readily available so why does the CBS News reporter so obviously duck what should be a central part of the news story?

And the photographer who tried to physically cover Wenyi Wang's mouth? Could there be a more graphic, more memorable metaphor for the way the press has collaborated in the coverup of China's injustice?