The following article is being reprinted with permission of the author, Douglas Turner. Mr. Turner is a journalist for the Buffalo (N.Y.) News in the Washington, D.C. bureau. This article was dated June 15, 1998. It was passed to me by a staff member of a Congress person.
I think it is appropriate to consider with upcoming elections in several states this summer and for the upcoming presidential election in 1999. Perhaps we should all consider that Human Rights is an important issue and with the coming of the millenium, it should be a mandatory platform issue and we all should look hard at those women and men running for office, as well as to what and to whom we make contributions.
[FYI, since I live in the D.C. metro area, I think I see some things that don't get out to the general public. When China's Jiang visited the White House this spring a Save Tibet/Save Tibetan Buddhism rally was being held across the street from the White House. The White House constructed screens along the drive to the front door so that Jiang could not see (or hear?) the demonstrators. I feel that this effectively took away our rights to demonstration and speech, and protected Jiang from our constitutional freedom. Remember Tiananmen Square, will Clinton see demonstrators or soldiers when he visits there?]
FORMER CLINTON SUPPORTER FEELS BETRAYED BY ACTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT TOWARD CHINA
- by Douglas Turner
Washington - Mario Cuomo had the right idea when he suggested that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco be Bill Clinton's vice presidential candidate in 1992. Cuomo had earlier proposed Mrs. Pelosi, who had been California's State Democratic chair, for national Democratic chair. Clinton's current multiple predicaments show clearly that it's much easier to get out of the trouble you don't get into.
Think of the headaches Clinton would have avoided if he had taken Cuomo's advice and had this dynamic mother of five looking over his shoulder at the White House or minding the store at the Democratic National Committee. There would have been no Al Gore compliantly taking laundered Chinese campaign contributions at a Buddhist Temple. There would have been no Johnny Chung slipping thousands to White House employees in behalf of the People's Liberation Army. There would have been nobody at the DNC setting John Huang in motion as a fixer there, the White House and the Commerce Department. And with Vice President Pelosi as a member of the National Security Council, instead of Gore, there would have been no chance of a scandal involving the transfer of this country's satellite and ballistic missile technology to the People's Liberation Army of China.
The reason Clinton bypassed her is why Clinton seemed almost fore-doomed to walk on hot coals for the rest of his days as president. As far as tis White House is concerned, Mrs. Pelosi has an integrity problem. She has character and guts. She has been the leading critic of the practice of looking the other way in Washington at China's manifold crimes against its own people and its neighbors for the sake of campaign money. For a decade she has tried to get the White House to tie China's favorable trade status to progress in human rights. And with the president getting ready to do the traditional kow-tow in bloody Tiananmen Square, she is turning up the volume.
On human rights, she said the other day, Clinton is "either in denial or badly misinformed." Since Tiananmen Square, she said, the U.S. trade deficit with China has been a cumulative quarter of a trillion dollars. She notes that China still has 250 people in jail from the 1989 Beijing massacre, and is holding 2,000 political prisoners, including Protestants and Vatican-loyal Catholics, Tibetan Buddhist monks and Muslims. In addition, 230,000 more prisoners - against whom no charges have been filed - are being held in "re-education - through - labor" camps.
She didn't say this, but China - with its apparent booming economy, its new party elite, its infatuation with strategic weapons and its insistence on state-controlled religion - resembles in many ways Hitler's Germany in 1938. And our president mirrors the unquestioning admiration that the Duke of Windsor lavished on National Socialism during the former king's ill-advised tour of Germany.
American trade and other policies toward China, she said, are controlled by multinational corporations that she described as "the exporting elite - Boeing, Motorola, and Westinghouse." "They call the shots on this," she said. Mrs. Pelosi said former White House national security advisers Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Alexander Haig were the mouthpieces for those firms. Clinton is under that influence, she said, "without any question."
Most American exports are still barred from China, she said. "The president is rationalizing because he can't possibly have serious reason to believe that China will level the trade playing field. "He has bowed to them," she said. "He has catered to them in every way. He has bought into this program."
"For many people." she said, "this whole (pro-China) thing has been nothing but (political) fund-raising." This is not about contributions from the Chinese government, she said, but from the big corporations that want to do business, no questions asked. "I cannot tell you," said this loyal Democrat, "that money has not been a part of the courtship between the administration" and those companies doing business with China.
Part of the fallout, she fears, is that China's ballistic missile "capability has been illegally improved" as a result of the permits the White House has given to Loral Corp. and other technology companies doing business over there.
She supported Clinton in 1992, Mrs. Pelosi said, in part because he
charged President Bush with "coddling tyrants" in his dealings with China.
"I made an error," she said, "when I trusted the president."
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I am sending copies of this to Amnesty International, various Save Tibet groups and Buddhist web sites; as well as to all the Senate and House members.
Please feel free to distribute, discuss with community groups, and educate the general public. Question any politicians up for election and make them commit to Human Rights before you give them your vote or your cash.
Now is the time to be watchful of all the people suffering around the world because of politcal actions and see which countries are supporting those in power. Everyone looks to America for assistance and peace. Each of us can help and make a difference. There is trouble on every continent (except Antartica). Wherever your heart is, whatever your motives are, you can help support freedom actively or with contributions to various peace organizations.
This has been freely written and disseminated by myself. I have never met Mrs. Pelosi, nor have I been encouraged or paid by anyone to write and distribute this. I can be reached by e-mail: Busterbaby@aol.com.