Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Americans Who Support Totalitarianism, or The Friend of My Enemy...
I couldn't help but notice the big news today; Google has agreed to censor the internet, restricting Chinese users from thousands of websites and search terms. Funny, but if you Google google you'll find that it's currently being sued by the U.S. government because the U.S. wants to 'make more use of internet data for fighting crime and terrorism.' In other words, Google won't release search data to the U.S. government to help it track down crooks, perverts, and terrorists, yet it's more than happy to support the Chinese government's brutal squashing of human rights and free speech.
Google isn't the only company that has voluntarily agreed to suppress freedom and democracy in China. Microsoft willingly turned a blind eye to China's request that the company censor blogs, websites and key search words such as 'Democracy' and 'Freedom of Speech.' When asked why it caved in Microsoft said, "the company abided by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates."
Yahoo is also guilty of dancing the Chinese two-step, self-censoring it's services and the internet. "Yahoo! has censored its China search engine for many years, according to Reporters Without Borders. A search for "Radio Free Asia" on Yahoo! China yielded an error message, as did a search for "Taiwan Independence." Even worse, Yahoo has been accused of helping the Chinese government to imprison a Journalist for sending out an email discussing the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Yahoo gave the Chinese government open access to the Journalist's email account, providing them with enough evidence to send the reporter to jail for 10 years for simply discussing how the government was going to handle the anniversary of one of the worst atrocities against humanity committed in the 20th century.
Why did Yahoo ignore its own statement of privacy to help imprison a journalist? What is so important to Microsoft, Google, and dozens of other information-based American companies to make them readily give up the freedom of speech and privacy rights they continue to fight for in the United States? Are they caving in simply for profits and market share, or is there something much bigger taking place around the world?
China of course is not the only socialist/communist/totalitarian/anti-democratic state in the world. One of the up-and-coming socialist regimes in the world today is Venezuela. Hugo Chavez has been successful in strong-arming his nation into a quasi-dictatorship, fueled by anti-Americanism and oil. This man has done everything in his power to crush civil liberties, imprison or exile political opponents, and militarize the region to help bolster his power and create opposition to U.S. influence in South America.
Hugo Chavez is undoubtedly a bad ruler who wants nothing more than to subjugate and oppress his people for power. He is everything Stalin, Saddam, Pol Pot, and Mao were when they started acquiring power and enslaving their citizens, yet some of the United States' biggest leftwing celebrities are lining up to stand next to Chavez and denounce the United States.
The latest liberal celebrity to stand hand in hand with Chavez to denounce the U.S. is Cindy Sheehan, the poster girl for the anti-war movement. Sheehan was quoted saying "I admire (Chavez) for his resolve against my government and its meddling." She was firm in her belief that the United States "should not meddle anywhere." Of course there was no follow up question by the press asking if she thought the U.S. should not have meddled in World Wars I and II. Any Venezuelan journalist asking such a question would have been jailed by the man she admires so much.
Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson, dictator Fidel Castro, and many many others have praised Hugo Chavez's stance against the United States government. Whenever many of the American celebrities are asked about Venezuela's harsh treatment and imprisonment of journalists and citizens who speak out against the Chavez government, nearly every celebrity has stated that such stories are just false rumors and propaganda created by the U.S./CIA/Bush to control the Venezuelan people.
Even Amnesty International, certainly no friend to the United States, has documented the human rights abuses taking place in Venezuela, yet Sheehan, Belafonte, Jackson and others would rather align themselves with a brutal socialist dictator than with the United States.
China, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and many other anti-democratic/anti-human rights/anti-west regimes have done everything in their power to oppress their own citizens, yet American companies and American citizens have chosen to make a profit or make a name for themselves by supporting these nations. The only thing worse than these folks supporting nations that seek our destruction are the organizations, media outlets, and citizens in the United States that bolster or applaud their actions.
Of course we live in a free society that allows for free speech and dissent, but dissent is not the issue at hand. The long-term survival and success of our nation and the rights that it guarantees us are in danger. By supporting those who wish to take away the freedom, liberty and the human rights of others, you are in fact supporting the types of regimes you claim to stand against. You are using your freedom to befriend the enemy that would take those freedoms from you the first opportunity they had.
When did supporting and approving of your enemy become chic in the U.S.? Yes, throughout the 20th century many actors, elites, and left wing politicians loved the mythical Soviet Utopia even though it imprisoned and enslaved millions and was responsible for the deaths of 40+ million more of its own citizens. It was hell on earth, yet it was considered a socialist heaven to the liberals in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Ronald Reagan is still hated by many to this day for destroying that perfect world.
China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and now Venezuela are all beacons of hope and promise to many in this country who despise the U.S. government and dream of a socialist revolution. This sentiment is nothing new, but it's nothing to dismiss or ignore either. A re-familiarization of sorts needs to take place throughout the U.S. in order to remind us all what it was like to live each day during the Cold War, when the socialist utopias of the world had nuclear weapons pointed at our cities and their finger over the button. Americans need to see images and watch news footage of what happens to people in China, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela when they declare their rights to free speech, freedom of expression, and desire to vote democratically.
The executives of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and countless other business, along with Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, and Danny Glover need to walk in the shoes of the average Chinese factory worker, housewife or college student for a week to see what happens when no human rights exist. Let them experience what happens when they walk into a library or computer cafe and look for a book on Democracy, Islam, Christianity, or Human Rights. Let Sheehan and Glover stand in a town center in Venezuela or China with a megaphone and protest government censorship or the lack of civil liberties. Let Belafonte experience Communism at its finest by standing on a Cuban stage and singing a protest song about the oppression of Cuban banana farmers. Only after living under the regimes they admire and support will these businessmen, celebrities, and anti-war activists how truly ignorant, narrow-minded and selfish they really are.
To support and embrace dictators and regimes that kill, oppress, subjugate their own people and want nothing more than to destroy your country is treasonous. The friend of my enemy is my enemy, and I refuse to continue working with and supporting companies, organizations, and people who support my enemy.
The slogan 'Buy American' is meaningless in today's world. The new slogan should be 'Buy Democratic.' Every American company should be required to disclose if they work with, or adhere to, the strict censorship and anti-democratic laws of other nations. If they're not making an effort to expand freedom and democracy, I'm not making an effort to buy their products or services. If an actor or politician aligns themself with someone who enslaves or imprisons their own citizens, I want the rest of the nation to know about it. This is a free market, democratic society. The consumers and voters will decide.
posted by El Capitan at 9:30 AM
"Buy Democratic" - I couldn't agree more. I'm sick of American companies kowtowing to countries like China because they want a piece of the economic pie. I was really disappointed in both Yahoo's and Google's actions...especially Yahoo, giving evidence to China that lands a man in jail for sending a freakin email! Ridiculous.1:39 PM
Right on! Stuff like this just confuses the hell out of older folks like me. "Our side" used to really be "our" side. Instead of a straight line in the sand, nowadays it seems to be all over the place. Freaks!9:54 PM