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Apparently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken doesn’t mind playing the chump for Xi Jinping. He humiliated himself by getting slapped by the Chinese delegation in his first high diplomatic meeting in Alaska. Blinken let the government that holds Uighur Muslims in concentrations camps (where they harvest organs, forcibly sterilize women, and force people to work in slave labor situations) make a fool of him. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has destroyed the environment in Tibet and ruined the native culture. The CCP is also diverting water from southeast Asia; this will have horrific impacts on the people living there.
The CCP is raiding news organizations in Hong Kong and has disappeared dissidents from the city. The Wuhan lab has never been forthcoming about the origins of COVID-19, which has ruined lives and sent vast numbers of people into abject poverty around the world. Yet, when Blinken timidly mentioned the Communist regime’s human rights record, the delegation was having none of it. Somehow, the CCP suggested, the United States is far worse because Democrat mayors let people riot all summer. It was unbelievable.
Then Blinken chose to tell Americans that he is bringing in the United Nations to audit America’s record on human rights. The same international organization lets some of the most notorious authoritarian regimes sit on the Human Rights Commission and sanctions the Middle East’s only democracy with impunity. As my colleague Bryan Preston wrote when Blinken announced this ridiculous audit:
The Special Rapporteur is Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume of Zambia. She’s part of the UN High Commission on Human Rights, a farcical committee whose current membership includes China, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Now, Blinken has instructed U.S. foreign diplomats to grovel and acknowledge how flawed America is. According to Politico, Blinken sent a lengthy cable to embassies around the world that told diplomats it is acceptable to admit America’s own struggles with human rights:
In promoting human rights and democracy abroad, U.S. diplomats should make “clear that we ask no more of other countries than we ask of ourselves,” Blinken states. “That means we acknowledge our imperfections. We don’t sweep them under the rug. We confront them openly and transparently.”
It might be “painful, even ugly,” but Blinken argues that such honesty “helps disarm critics and skeptics who would use our imperfect record at home to undercut our global leadership on these issues.” While he does not mention any specific critics, the governments of Russia and China frequently point to American struggles on racial and other fronts to question U.S. credibility in promoting human rights.
Blinken’s call for such admission of American imperfections could face some blowback. Republicans have in the past slammed Democrats — including then-President Barack Obama, a former Blinken boss — for going on “apology tours” and being too quick to self-flagellate.
Maybe Republicans attacked Obama because those apology tours lit the Middle East on fire and ended with our sailors kneeling for the Iranians? There’s not a chance the mullahs would have pulled that during the Trump administration. Now, China may be bold enough to give it a try. Heck, the Iranians reportedly decided to grab a journalist here in the U.S. How did the Biden administration respond? By telling members of Congress that we would release the funds related to the oil embargo to the globe’s number one sponsor of terror.
Additionally, Russia and China have been using our history to attack America for decades. Our enemies realized long ago that America’s robust middle class was a barrier to revolution or significant change. Fomenting racial divisions is part of China’s philosophy of Unrestricted Warfare. It was also part of the Facebook activity attributed to Russia in 2016. Ceding the point is precisely what our enemies want, and they will just beat us like a drum with it rhetorically on the world stage.
America is back to leading from behind. However, it’s no big surprise. Blinken worked for John Kerry, the worst secretary of state in my lifetime. Here is Kerry, now Biden’s climate envoy, this week trying to make Americans believe that China has any interest in cooperating with America to reduce its carbon footprint:
“It is not a mystery that China and the U.S. have many differences. But on climate, cooperation is the only way to break free from the world’s current mutual suicide pact,” he said. “President Biden and President Xi have both stated unequivocally that each will cooperate on climate despite other consequential differences. America needs China to succeed in slashing emissions. China needs America to do the same.”
As Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, notes, China uses five times the industrial electricity of the United States. The vast majority of this energy production comes from coal. Last year, China reached a five-year high in coal production and imported record levels of oil. And the CCP is still building coal-fired power plants:
A total of 247 gigawatts of coal power is now in planning or development, nearly six times Germany’s entire coal-fired capacity. China has also proposed additional new coal plants that, if built, would generate 73.5 gigawatts of power, more than five times the 13.9 gigawatts proposed in the rest of the world combined. Last year, Chinese provinces granted construction approval to 47 gigawatts of coal power projects, more than three times the capacity permitted in 2019.
We can either choose to believe that stupid people are leading us or we can accept that this is a deliberate attempt to weaken America and participate in the World Economic Forum’s vision of a world without America as a superpower. Neither option is comforting if you care about the safety, security, and prosperity of Americans.