Sometimes it’s a tough call to judge whether someone is being Hypocritical or Ironic.
The same can often be said of situations. What we have below is one such situation. A simple confluence of world events that illustrates the absudity of….well….those same events and sometimes, the lack thereof (see #3).
The storyline goes as follows….
1) China hits back at Bush after Bush says…
At a press conference after the meeting, a reporter brought up China’s human rights record and asked Bush for his thoughts on China’s treatment of its people. Bush’s response, below, focused more on religion rather than broad rights issues:
I’ve been meeting with Chinese leaders now for seven and a half years; my message has been the same: You should not fear religious people in your society — as a matter of fact, religious people will make your society a better place — that you ought to welcome people being able to express their minds. And to the extent that people aren’t able to do that and people aren’t able to worship freely is — you know, I think is a mistake. And I explained it to him every single time.
…and then shows up for the Olympics the next day. Note, this is a day after…you guessed it…religious fanatics blew up a bunch of people in China and released a videotape warning their own brand of cool aid drinkers to avoid the Olympics.
It’s not that I have anything against religion, or religious freedom, it’s that China does. And their response was as follows.
BEIJING, Aug. 7 (AP) – (Kyodo)—China on Thursday objected to criticisms made by U.S. President George W. Bush earlier in the day on the country’s human rights record and lack of religious freedom, calling it interference in its internal affairs.
“We have consistently said that the two sides should increase understanding, lessen differences and expand agreements through dialogue based on equality and mutual respect,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.
“We are firmly against the use of issues such as human rights and religion to interfere in…other countries’ domestic politics,” said the statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Which is pretty much standard Mandarin for “Butt out.”
So then Bush gets over his deep distrust of the Godless Communists to be the first President to hang out at the Games. Deeply ironic in and of itself, but then we get to #2.
2) “U.S. puts violent Iraqi prisoners in crates”
Nothing really new here. Sadly. Very, very sadly. It’s basically isolation on the cheap, which can be pretty brutal. So we get a heaping of hypocrisy to go on top of this. It’s come out over the years that Bush his own self advocated the policies that led to torture. When you do that, anything else you say about human rights is bogus.
Which brings us to #3.
3) “Pakistan: Musharraf faces impeachment fight”
After his main opponent was assassinated on his watch and his party lost an election, ole Pervez is in some dire straits. I can only imagine what kind of political shape he would be in if he ran up records deficits, wasted billions of dollars and layed down thousands of lives for foolish wars, lied openly to his people, ordered people to be tortured, watched one of his own cities drown and mucked with the justice department (oh wait, that’s one of the main reasons he is in trouble).
I wonder if he might get impeached then.
There is also one more story on there that is important and doesn’t really fit in with the “Irony vs Hypocris/Bush Sucks” theme…well…maybe a litte.
“Driver: I didn’t know bin Laden was a terrorist”
That one has to do with the trial, the first trial, of a person we snatched from Afghanistan 5 years ago. HIs name was Salim Hamdan and he drove Osama bin Laden’s car. It turned out that even with coerced information, it turned out he was…actually… bin Laden’s driver. That’s it. I mean really, you think Hitler’s driver was a psychotic asshat as well?
Regardless of your opinions regarding the mental state of the fuhrer’s chaffeur, Hamdan got five and half-years for his driving violations. He’s been in our custody for 7 years, but throug the wonders of Bush Justice, he’s got another 6-months to spend in Gitmo on a fabulous, all-expense-paid Caribbean vacation.