Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is in trouble. He escaped captivity and fled to the U.S. Embassy, only to leave the U.S. Embassy after a U.S. official either encouraged him to do so or “made him feel he was being [such] a huge burden to the U.S.” that he left on his own.
Obama is treating Chen the way he treated Iranians who yearned for freedom in 2009. After Ahmadinejad stole that presidential election, protesting Iranians were gunned down in the street, and Obama responded by setting tee times. Chen knows exactly how those freedom-thirsty Iranians felt, and since Obama couldn’t care less, he’s actually begging the U.S. Congress to orchestrate a meeting between himself and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And of course, the whole truth, now emerging, is that the pressure placed on Chen to the leave embassy and the cold shoulder he received from Obama are all part of the Obama administration’s attempt to kiss up to China before our upcoming talks with them. In other words, Chen is being sacrificed on the altar of U.S./Chi-Com relations.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is rightly outraged over this:
Mr. Chen has sought freedom in a bastion of freedom, an embassy of the United States of America. Aren’t we proud of the fact that people seeking freedom come to our embassy to find it? The reports are… that our own government… sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy because they wanted to move to a series of discussions Mr. Geithner and our Secretary of State are going to have with China. If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it is a day of shame for the Obama administration.
Key in Romney’s comments is the implication that a U.S. embassy has long been considered an outpost where the freedom we enjoy here in the continental U.S. is extended to others. Under Obama, such freedom takes a backseat to business as usual.