Thursday, April 20, 2006


It's so thoughtful of the President, who himself never faces unvetted crowds of American citizens, lest they pose uncomfortable questions, criticize him or make clear just why his poll numbers have become so low, to apologize for the accredited journalist who today criticized the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, in a joint appearance during his official visit to the US, for the numerous human rights abuses of the Chinese government. One might have thought that the appropriate response would have been to explain that this is part of what occurs in a free society--especially since part of Bush's speech was about the need for freedom of expression in China--but maybe the irony would have been too much even for our insulated leadership. In any case, it's hard to see how one older woman criticizing the leader of the largest and probably most powerful nation in the world in a setting surrounded by hundreds of American and Chinese security can honestly be said to have intimidated Mr Hu, the crime with which she has been charged. So much for that freedom of expression we are supposed to be exporting.

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