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Bush’s Rebuke in Beijing

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While criticizing Chinese authorities for lack of religious and political freedom, President Bush was caught flat-footed by the rebuke issued by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who responded, “We firmly oppose any words or acts that interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, using human rights and religion and other issues.”

What could Bush say? Here was a Chinese communist essentially enunciating the founding foreign policy of the United States of America, leaving Bush speechless on the issue.

Bush couldn’t say “I agree — it is wrong to interfere in the affairs of other countries” because he knew that the Chinese would simply point out that he was lying. After all, meddling in the internal affairs of other countries is the primary mission of U.S. foreign policy. That’s what the invasion of Iraq was all about, along with the indefinite occupation of the country. It’s what CIA and Pentagon assassinations, coups, foreign aid, regime change, and other such things are all about—interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

Bush also couldn’t say, “I disagree—it is right and proper to interfere in the affairs of other countries” because that would have opened the door to the Chinese officials’ asking Bush to abandon the U.S. government’s commitment to torture, sex abuse, kidnapping, warrantless searches, illegally spying on Americans, waging wars of aggression, the enemy-combatant doctrine, rendition, kangaroo tribunals, and denial of due process of law.

It is both interesting and revealing that Bush chose to criticize the Chinese on religious and political liberty rather than on economic liberty. Undoubtedly, the reason is that Bush and his conservative cohorts, along with American liberals, share the same socialist and paternalist philosophy and programs that the Chinese communists embrace — e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public (i.e., government) schooling, income taxation, occupational licensure, economic regulation, paper money, central banking (i.e., Federal Reserve), gun control, drug laws, trade restrictions, and immigration controls.

Despite China’s massive socialistic welfare state, economic activity continues to soar, unlike here in the United States. Part of the reason for this is that not only does the U.S. government have the burden of financing its enormous welfare state, it also has the burden of financing its imperial warfare state — i.e., troops in more than 100 countries, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and military bases all across the United States.

The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries is a sound one, which is why our American ancestors embraced it. What a shame that it has to be enunciated by Chinese communists to a U.S. president who believes otherwise.

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.