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The New Unholy Alliance By: Anthony Gancarski
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 12, 2005

After years of well-earned negative publicity for its manifold human rights abuses, China has begun trying to clear its name by issuing a counter-report on the “abuses” of the United States. China’s report is little more than a transparent piece of propaganda, an artless rehashing of some of the most virulent criticisms of the Bush administration’s critics and a propaganda tool used to cover China's own vile human rights record. However, American leftists, fresh from their Unholy Alliance with radical Islam, have begun to form a burgeoning alliance with China in their quest to vanquish the capitalist West.

These leftists claim the Chinese report is perhaps too kind to the Great Satan. Among other things, China’s ridiculous dossier decries the “atrocity of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi POWs expos[ing] the dark side of human rights performance of the United States” and claims “at a jail in New York City, some guards bump prisoners against the walls, pinch their arms and wrists, and force them to receive insulting checks nakedly.”

These lurid descriptions were noticed by an unusually responsible New York Times. Reporter Peter Edidim noted that “China's assessment, unlike the sober State Department tome, is a frank indictment” which “approaches caricature.” He quickly added, “But that doesn't mean it won't buttress the negative image of the United States held by its critics around the world.” What Edidim didn’t count on was that so many of those critics reside on the American Left, and that they would turn their guns on him – and even claim the Chinese “indictment” didn’t go far enough.


Alex Cockburn’s online leftist journal Counterpunch furnishes a prime example. Dave Lindorff authored “Human Rights in the U.S. – China’s Report No Caricature” for its March 29 edition. Lindorff is a far-left journalist, whose ties to China are part of the public record. A two-time Fulbright Scholar (Shanghai, China and Kaohsiung, Taiwan), Lindorff has also worked the China beat for Business Week.


The helpful Chinese report “called attention to a number of areas where the U.S. is in violation of universally accepted norms of behavior,” begins Lindorff, as he lets his own country have it. He acknowledged the People’s Republic China is “a fascist-style military dictatorship…where people are routinely locked up, tortured, deprived of their livelihood and even their lives for such transgressions as posting comments on a website, protesting a corrupt boss or conducting prayer services in a private home.” However, “putting aside whom it was doing the talking, the report was pretty damned accurate, and devastating.”


Lindorff goes on to offer supplementary support for Beijing’s claims. He supports China’s assertion that “American democracy is manipulated by the rich and malpractice is common,” and then goes on to quibble with China’s claim that the U.S. is haunted by poverty: “it is hardly a condition that ‘haunts’ the majority living above the poverty line, since our derelict corporate media don't cover the poverty beat, and our economically segregated communities make it easy for people to ignore the suffering in the midst of plenty.” Lindorff echoes Chinese claims that “racial discrimination is rampant” and that “400,000 children are forced into rapes and sexual abuse.”


Worse: “American society is characterized by rampant violent crimes, severe infringement of people's rights by law enforcement departments and lack of guarantee of the right to life, liberty and security, the Chinese report said, noting that in addition to the threats from uniformed law enforcement, some 31,000 Americans were killed by firearms.” In other words, Lindorff weighs American handgun accidents against Chinese government-sponsored mass graves and shrugs, What’s the difference?


These pro forma concerns about racial discrimination, firearms deaths, and the haunting specter of poverty should sound familiar to American university students: they mirror the rhetorical and thematic concerns of “Peace Studies” programs in universities nationwide. Bucknell University’s program aptly describes the discipline:


Peace studies is an interdisciplinary field of study housed primarily in the social sciences. Other labels for peace studies include “peace and conflict studies,” “peace and justice studies,” and “conflict analysis and resolution.” Peace studies explores the causes and nature of human conflict from the interpersonal to the global level. Historically, peace studies programs concentrated on “negative peace” or absence of war. Today, more attention is devoted to the concept of “positive peace” promoting social, political, and economic justice. A partial list of topics under peace studies includes violence, war, ethnic conflict, conflict management, conflict resolution, peace making, law, human rights, values, justice, environment, racism, sexism, and nonviolence. Normatively, the goal of peace studies is to promote a more just and peaceful world.


Thinking “normatively,” Lindorff chides China for not going further in its investigative efforts. The Chinese report is criticized for not recognizing the “failure of the U.S. to abide by international law in allowing foreigners arrested on serious criminal charges in the U.S…the shameful inadequacy of funding for schools in poor communities, the dumping of toxic waste and the siting of pollution-causing power plants in low-income communities…the theft of private property through improper use of eminent domain and draconian drug laws, as well as other abuses.” “Other abuses” – a nice, all-purpose statistic inflator.


Naturally, one should not put aside who “was doing the talking. Each year, the U.S. State Department issues a report taking China to task for its systemic shortcomings, which reveals China’s continual abuse of the most basic human rights." The report notes Chinese authorities “were quick to suppress religious, political, and social groups that they perceived as threatening to government authority or national stability, especially before sensitive dates such as the 15th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and other significant political and religious occasions.” Regarding China’s early participation in the War on Terror, the State Department line is that it merely was “a pretext for cracking down harshly on suspected Uighur separatists expressing peaceful political dissent and on independent Muslim religious leaders.” Although China recently amended its constitution to protect human rights, the report noted that “it is unclear how or to what extent the constitutional amendment and other legal reforms will be enforced.” China is, in Foggy Bottom’s words:


[A]n authoritarian state in which, as specified in its Constitution, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP or Party) is the paramount source of power. Party members hold almost all top government, police, and military positions. Ultimate authority rests with the 24-member political bureau (Politburo) of the CCP and its 9-member standing committee. Leaders made a top priority of maintaining stability and social order and were committed to perpetuating the rule of the CCP. Citizens lacked the freedom to express opposition to the Party-led political system and the right to change their national leaders or form of government…The Party's authority rested primarily on…appeals to nationalism and patriotism; Party control of personnel, media, and the security apparatus…The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary; however, in practice, the Government and the CCP, at both the central and local levels, frequently interfered in the judicial process and directed verdicts in many cases.


These are Alex Cockburn’s new allies in the war against capitalist America. That the Left would make common cause with totalitarianism should not be surprising; both believe they are fighting a great evil in the person of George W. Bush. Recall that Lindorff, in the heat of the 2004 Presidential campaign, lauded ads put forth by MoveOn.Org that compared Bush to Hitler as “pretty darned good.” In 2003, he wrote that the principal difference between Bush and Hitler was that “Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was.” In this piece, Lindorff claims to demonstrate the sickness of the United States, but what he actually reveals is the depravity of the modern American Left: it is so desperate for allies that the morally bankrupt and discredited movement is willing to get in bed with even the darkest of foreign powers.

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