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Have you ever started to say a word only to change your mind mid-way and end up uttering something that was neither intelligible nor actually in the English vocabulary?  Here’s a quick example: as a child I was fighting with my sister and started to call her a “jerk.”  However, mid-stream, I decided she was really more of a “dork” than a jerk so I switched insults and ended up calling her a “jork.”  Got the idea? 

Good, because when it comes to China and the Olympics I’m frustrated and all I can say is – President Bush is acting like a royal jork!  I’m coming down on him instead of China for one simple reason – The President knows better.  It’s the same reason I reprimanded my three-year-old instead of my one-year-old when they playfully dumped Gatorade on my laptop: the eldest knows better and so I expect more of her. 

Is China a big jork too?  Sure, but because we’ve never taken them to task on much of anything, it hardly seems right to lash out now for continuing to act like a spoiled brat on Red Bull.  Think about it.  China takes swings at its neighbors, its citizens, and the U.S. like Kid Rock in a Waffle House and we respond by issuing hollow statements to express our “deep disappointment.”  Wow!  Don’t be too hard on them Mr. President!

As conditions of hosting the Olympic games, China promised to (among other things) decrease its human rights violations; reduce the nation’s air pollution; and provide international media correspondents with unfettered access to the Internet.  Wondering how things have turned out?  Let’s check the headlines:

  • Police arrest 200 protesters in Guizhou revolt(6/30/08)
  • Olympics triggering human rights violations in China (3/10/08)
  • Pollution in China’s Air Creates Concern About Beijing Olympic Games (6/24/08)
  • URI researcher: China can’t fully fix air quality problem for Olympics (7/14/08)
  • China Blocks Internet Sites for Foreign Journalists Covering Olympics (7/30/08)
  • China breaks word, censors world media at Olympics (7/31/08)

Wow!  Now that is the Olympic spirit!  But that’s not the worst of it.  The headlines that REALLY bother me are the ones that relate to how China is launching cyber attacks on America’s most sensitive security systems like a fat kid on a mission for doughnuts:

  • U.S. Air Force sets up cyberspace command against continuing China attacks 4/10/08
  • Chinese hacked computers, U.S. lawmakers say 6/12/08
  • Chinese Hackers: We Tapped Into Pentagon 3/08/08

It boggles my mind that China can beat down monks like rented mules, rack up enough air pollution to choke an elephant, restrict the “free” press without batting an eye, and attack our nation’s networks through repeated cyber attacks without suffering any consequences.  How is it that they get a free ride where other  countries wouldn’t? 

Is it because of our trade deficit, the fact that they manufacture everything, or the bummer of a truth that they have over a trillion U.S. dollars stored in their national treasury?  Maybe, but either way, I’m sick of it.  How about we actually grow some “Texas size” cajones and demand to trade on equal terms, stop importing lead-lined Barbie dolls, and stop depending on them to finance our debt and our wars!  Take a step back and ask yourself whether Reagan, Kennedy, or Roosevelt would have put up with this – somehow, I doubt they would.

What happened to the good old days when America was a global leader, both economically and morally?  We used to feel compelled to flex the national muscle of our economic prosperity to leverage our status as world leader and hold nations like China accountable for their actions.  We did it through sanctions, harsh statements, and taking symbolic stands (like boycotting the Olympics). 

Today we seem to have adopted a different, and in my view a less sound, approach.  This go around, our President will fly half-way across the globe to shake hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao and smile for pictures while the idea and ideals of America fade into the thick polluted air of a nation that wreaks of human rights violations, free speech oppression, environmental disregard, and national security concerns.  Way to go for the Gold, Mr. President! 

Incidentally, if you want to know who else has earned a spot on the medal stand of apathy here goes:

Silver medal: This is a tie between John McCain and Barack Obama who collectively have managed to take a firm stance on every issue under the sun except China or the Olympics.  Hey fellas, what ever happened to “out with the old and in with the new?”

Bronze medal: This is a tie between Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Thanks for not passing a single resolution to express the opinion of Congress that this is a bad/disappointing/concerning/mildly troubling/terrible situation.  These two “winners” throw rocks at the President and the GOP for a million different reasons, yet happen to be completely off the radar when it comes to addressing Beijing.  Weird, huh?

I guess the only real question now relates to which anthem will play when these “medalists” line up to receive their honors…? Wanna take a guess?

Read L. Vance Taylor’s biography here.

L. Vance Taylor has worked to advance the mission of homeland security on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. One of only approximately 250 people in the nation with a Master’s degree in Homeland Security, Mr. Taylor combines specialized educational training with real-world experience to leverage successful outcomes for clients and stakeholders. Read More