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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Calls for Immediate Release of Liu Xiaobo

October 8, 2010

This is an update to this post from earlier today.

I’ve been waiting all day for this and I am so glad Secretary Clinton has spoken out about the continued repression of democracy activists in China:

I applaud the Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Throughout its history, the Peace Prize has often been used to recognize the heroism of those who have, through persistent and peaceful efforts, sought to build a world that is more fair and free.

Mr. Liu has been a consistent advocate for fundamental freedoms and human rights for his fellow citizens and for peaceful political reform. Mr. Liu’s work, including his role in the drafting of Charter ’08, and his receipt of this honor highlight the fact that while China has made tremendous economic progress in the last three decades, political reform has lagged behind. As I said in Krakow this summer, governments should recognize the constructive role that citizens such as Liu Xiaobo play. We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens. We reiterate our call for Liu Xiaobo’s immediate release from prison.

I can imagine that Secretary Clinton’s statement must be a source of hope for Liu Xiaobo’s wife and family, and all the thousands of political/religious prisoners being held by the regime in China.

Will this upset China? Of course it will. But honestly, what doesn’t? China is not a democracy and we should never forget that. Just because their ruling elite have traded in their olive-drab military garb for $10,000 suits doesn’t change the fact they imprison and torture nonviolent activists with impunity. And the fact that we have become economically beholden to them jeopardizes not only our economic future, but our national security.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Thain permalink
    October 8, 2010 5:52 pm

    Awesome! When she talks people listen! It’s not ok to go “oh, well China buys are debt so we shouldn’t criticize them” We send people off to die for democracy.

    China’s government are a bunch of rich old men – do you ever see women in those photos of them?- they will do anything to stay in power. We criticize Cuba all the time. Hell, we can’t even get Cuban cigars! We gave China all our jobs and they give us computer viruses/cyber attacks, manipulated currency, trade violations, censorship, headaches at the UN and a whole lot of attitude. Screw ’em. It’s time for the democracies of the world to band together and start criticizing them. Aren’t there some kind of laws in international trade that require adherence to international laws?

  2. theprosecutrix permalink
    October 8, 2010 6:53 pm

    I truly hope he’s released soon.

    Not to change the subject, but have you seen this article, Stacy?

    What do you think? Is this just another author expecting her to be Henry Kissinger?

    My thinking on this might be wrong because I’m not clear on who all had a say in deciding that there should be special ambassadors and appointing them, but wasn’t that Obama’s choice? If this is correct, I don’t see the logic in blaming Hillary for not having more direct involvement with countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, because she wasn’t the one who deiced she would receive help in dealing with them in the first place. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing her more directly involved with them. I think if anyone could influence the leaders of those countries to change, it would be her.

    • October 8, 2010 7:34 pm

      No, I hadn’t seen that article but after reading it I could feel my blood pressure going up, then I reminded myself that a) it’s published in Real Clear Politics, which speaks volumes, so consider the source and b) it’s written by one of George H.W. Bush’s defense lackeys.

      The whole article is unadulterated, politically-motivated, factually-impaired, right wing BS. And notice that he doesn’t fault Republican Defense Secy Gates for anything. Apparently hillary is supposed to solve all the Defense Department’s problems too.

      That this guy has the audacity to criticize Hillary Clinton’s performance as SOS, when George W. Bush’s Secretary of States (Rice and Powell) were reduced to being put out on Sunday Talk shows to tell Dick Cheney’s lies (and probably make his coffee), all the while the Bush White House National Security team were imploding with infighting, is truly incredible- did he criticize them at the time? I haven’t googled that but I bet not since he worked for W’s father.

      He just throws out the usual right wing red herrings- special envoys, blah, blah, blah, Hillary isn’t Henry Kissinger or James Baker, blah, blah, blah. But the worst part is he makes no damn sense- she’s spent more time schlepping across the globe to deal with all the BS the Bush administration left her to clean up, but he thinks she should what? Set up a pop-tent outside NATO headquarters?

      I really don’t see the problem with the envoys, regardless of whose ideas they were- she can’t be in 10 places at once and it’s not like she doesn’t have constant contact with all the leaders in Pakistan, etc. In fact, they say that Hillary is really the only one that is able to really work with/talk to/understand Karzai and apparently she is one of the few he trusts. She has traveled to ALL of these countries, meets with their leaders when they come to this country, talks to them on the phone. If she didn’t have the envoys her critics would be saying she’s spread too thin…

      The author complains that she’s not doing behind the scenes diplomacy- how the heck does he know what she is and isn’t doing behind the scenes?

      I will say this- what in God’s name were Obama’s top advisers and Cabinet officials doing telling every bit of gossip and every bit of confidential information, to Bob Woodward? Jesus! What the hell did they think he was, their therapist? He’s a journalist!

      How’s that for an answer 🙂

      • October 8, 2010 7:50 pm

        One more thing- I just went back to Real Clear Politics and looked at the last 5 or so articles written by Jed Baben (who wrote the article you linked-to above) and they all are incredibly critical of Obama. I am not saying that he has no right to criticize or disagree with the admin. but he sounds very hyper-partisan to me. I still want to look up some of his other past articles and see what he was writing during the GWB years to see if he was as critical of their disastrous foreign policy.

      • SpfcMarcus permalink
        October 8, 2010 7:56 pm

        LOL- man Stacy, Hillary should hire you to write media rebuttals or something like that! You shot him down quick!

        Seriously though I agree. That guy isn’t even objective. His complaints are silly. She’s the top diplomat and can’t just focus on 3 or 4 pet issues- she has to deal with big huge issues and also just basic day to day diplomacy. The funny thing is, while he criticizes the whole idea of envoys at the same time he sort of makes an argument for why they are needed.

  3. Thain permalink
    October 9, 2010 11:10 am

    The whole article is cancelled out by his last paragraph where he gives he real objective- he talks about how this is the same old selfish, ambitious Hillary. In other words, he’s just another Hillary-hater with CDS. He could have saved everyone a lot of time by making that last paragraph the first paragraph then we would have known to not read any further!

    I also agree with everything Stacy said above. What’s the big deal about Special Envoys? Because of them she can better juggle a bunch of balls at once. It doesn’t really matter whose idea it was because the people criticizing it don’t make sense. They are just trying to argue she has no power and that she’s not like Kissinger because HE never had special envoys. It also happens to be a slightly different world we live in then when Kissinger was SOS, or so I am told given I wasn’t alive when he was SOS 🙂

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