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Jewish World Review April 16, 2001 / 23 Nissan, 5761

David Limbaugh

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Consumer Reports


Bush passes first test


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- PRESIDENT BUSH'S handling of the standoff with China reveals that he is going to approach foreign policy with the strategic interests of the United States as his foremost priority, a welcome improvement from the previous administration.

The clearest sign we have on this is that a senior U.S. official said the United States will refuse to discontinue reconnaissance flights like the one involved in the incident over the South China Sea. Bush won't even consider negotiating the frequency or routes of surveillance flights. In fact, the United States is already preparing to send another Navy EP-3E Aries spy plane down the China coast "within the next week."

Bush revealed during the presidential campaign that he suffers from no illusions of the sort promoted by the Clinton administration that Red China is our strategic partner. Unlike Clinton, he has a sober awareness of the nature of Communist tyrannies. He knows their ideology is based on lies and their power is sustained by governmental coercion and suppression of personal liberties. Such lawless regimes must be distrusted and their activities closely monitored, especially the production and deployment of weapons of mass destruction.

From the very onset of the incident we knew that a rational, prudent and calm adult was acting as our commander in chief. We were further comforted by the knowledge that he has surrounded himself with the finest foreign policy experts on the planet.

Bush deliberately downplayed the conflict with China from the moment the news of the aerial mishap broke. He remained unflappable as the days elapsed and tension mounted. He did not allow criticism from either side of the political aisle to alter his course of bringing home our troops while preserving inviolate the strategic interests of the United States.

Some are maintaining that Bush blinked by expressing an apology to the Chinese and thereby compromised our strategic interests. I disagree.

Let's consider the language of the letter the United States delivered to the Chicoms to bring this ordeal to a happy conclusion. First, it declared that President Bush and Secretary Powell felt "sincere regret" over the death of a Chinese fighter pilot. "Please convey to the Chinese people and to the family of Pilot Wang Wei," the letter continued, "that we were very sorry for their loss." What's wrong with that? I, too, sincerely regret that a Chinese pilot who was probably ordered by his government to harass our aircraft with dangerous cowboy maneuvers had to die. I also feel sorry for his family and for the Chinese people, who are continually misled by their repressive leaders.

"We are very sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal clearance, but very pleased the crew landed safely." That statement doesn't bother me either. Not a syllable of contrition can be inferred. We are very sorry that China unreasonably refused to grant us clearance to land.

If the Chicoms leveled with their people, they wouldn't be so outraged, just like they were when they were told that the United States deliberately bombed their embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict. The people have no idea that there is a debate over who caused the collision, let alone that America believes that it was not to blame. They are led to believe that American arrogance has been behind its reluctance to formally apologize. Further, the Chinese people are doubtlessly unaware that their government operates the biggest electronic spying network in the Asia-Pacific region, eavesdropping on Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and India, in addition to many smaller countries.

Despite the Chinese government's virtual enslavement of its people, this event illustrates that public opinion is far from irrelevant. Why else would the government engage in such propaganda and deny basic freedoms of expression? In fact, public opinion is what compelled the Chinese to insist on a semantic rendering of the letter to the effect that the United States had apologized.

Our awareness of the importance of Chinese public opinion -- both in reality and in the eyes of the Chinese leaders -- militates in favor of our continued efforts to promote openness and democracy for the Chinese mainland.

President Bush navigated through his first foreign policy challenge with sophistication and aplomb. He threaded the diplomatic needle by securing the release of our airmen with language that allowed China to save face with its people, but did not express contrition for the manifestly legal actions of the United States.

Hopefully, the president's future actions will put China on notice that they no longer have a license to engage in unbridled aggression in East Asia.



David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney apracticing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of the just-released exposť about corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department, "Absolute Power." Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

04/12/01: 'Courting' politics
04/10/01: The anti-growth club
04/04/01: Campaign finance reform fallacies
04/02/01: How to destroy a nation
03/28/01: Double trouble for Dubya
03/26/01: Bush seeks Israeli security, not a peace prize
03/21/01: Bush tax cuts and Dem distortions
03/19/01: Celebrating disbarment
03/14/01: Campaign cold feet and Democratic hypocrisy
03/12/01: Missiles, berets, morale and diplomacy
03/07/01: The GOP and race revisited
03/05/01: Dems and the ghost of 2002
02/28/01: Common threads in Clinton pardons
02/26/01: Clinton defenders should apologize
02/22/01: Clinton woos media as Bush governs
02/20/01: Liberal idealism: Where have all the flowers gone?
02/14/01: The Clintons and selective media outrage
02/12/01: Bush's tax cut challenge: A historical view
02/07/01: Democrats' Dubya dilemma
02/05/01: Dubya is confounding the media
01/29/01: The Teamsters, the DNC and the reformers
01/29/01: The Old Limey
01/25/01: Clintonís disgraceful departure
01/22/01: Ashcroft: Principle above self
01/17/01: Justice for Riady?
01/15/01: Ashcroft: A hill to die on
01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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