Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Thursday, February 03, 2005

US, EU and China

Somehow or another, the Bush administration expects us to believe that it is concerned with human rights in China. The EU wants to lift the arms embargo on China in exchange for China signing on to arms sales limitations. Condi Rice says that this will "send the wrong signal about human rights." Now, in case the Bush administration has not noticed, it has no credibility to talk about China and human rights. The fact that it is sending up Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General is abhorrent enough, given his involvement in interpretations of the law that Bush is somehow above the law and can authorize torture, and discredits its claims that it is concerned about human rights. The fact that the Bush administration needs China to buy up the debt that its irresponsible, runaway spending and unecessary war require means that it has little, very little, leverage with what China does or does not want. Of course, China needs America to keep buying its slave-labor goods so can't really complain too much about America but there are other markets for Chinese goods than America so we need them more than they need us. In the end, having squandered moral authority by lying to Americans, as well as the rest of the world, about the reasons for war in Iraq and by endorsing torture at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and in Afghanistan, we have little room to talk about human rights. Having squandered economic authority by swinging a surplus to a massive debt which Bush only wants to make bigger by making the tax cuts permanent and privatizing Social Security, we have little room to negotiate economically on human rights issues.

Bush has run out of cards so he has pulled out the pistol in his boot again and is waving it around in an attempt to threaten everyone at the table. Unfortunately, the others at the table have more than just their hidden pistol with which to defend themselves. We're a spent deck thanks to the impudence and incompetence of Bush and his people.