China is the new Soviet Union
Speech from joint rally for Human Rights Torch Relay;
Boston Massachusetts, March 30 2008
By John Kusumi
Thank you Boston; you are wonderful. And thank you to the organizers; today’s event needed your great work to come into being.
Chinese Communism is killing people today. This simple statement is obvious to those who have watched the news out of Tibet during this month, which has been quite intense as for issues of China, human rights abuse, and the summer Olympic Games, which must not take place in Beijing, beginning August 8th.
America used to know that a nuclear-armed, communist superpower is a bad thing. But, especially for our young people, it has become important to have a refresher. Younger folks may not remember when the Soviet Union was America’s enemy, and when certain things were widely and consistently upheld in America: national security, American values, and fundamental principles took precedence, and were more important than free trade. There was no free trade with the Soviet Union, and when they held Olympics in 1980, America boycotted the Games. America’s media was “with the program, on the same page;” between America and the Soviet Union, the was no question and no doubt: They were on America’s side.
We all were. There are always some in opposite positions politically, but Americans by and large were united in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. We all did -- what was best for national security -- which included no free trade with a nuclear-armed, communist superpower. As an aside, why is free trade bad with such a regime? –Because it enriches the dictators, and all parts of their regime. When Tibetans have been shot this month, the bullets are financed by such money, as you yourself may have spent in Wal*Mart. When free trade means a free lunch for communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs – that is a flawed and faulty policy. And indeed, this is why Tibetans are telling us to boycott products that are Made in China. The China Support Network, my group, agrees and stands with the Tibetans in the Boycott Made In China Coalition.
Dictatorships are only maintained by hurting people. There is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship, although in Chinese history the Tang Dynasty is remembered like it was the good old days of just and fair rulers. Some Chinese would be happy to turn back the clock to the Tang Dynasty; but leading Chinese dissidents actually have the year 1947 on their minds. It is not literally possible to turn back the hands of time, but it would be possible to have a rollback of China’s situation to 1947. That was two years before Communists came to power, and Chinese parties had conferred after the Second World War. They drew up a new Constitution to guide the new Republic of China, or ROC. That was a democratic Constitution; China did arrive at democracy in 1947. The entire reign of the Communist Party has been a rude interruption to Chinese democracy.
And that Constitution served to guide and govern Taiwan, a remnant of the ROC, for the past 61 years. Taiwan just had a presidential election last week. Taiwan is a splendid example of Chinese democracy, and congratulations are in order for the winner, Ma Ying-jeou.
I am also happy to greet a campaigner who is with us on today’s program. Yang Jianli, the Boston-based Chinese dissident, recently spent five years as a prisoner in China. Yang Jianli, welcome home to freedom, and may freedom go with you on your next trip to China. Congratulations on one victory, and may more success come your way in the future.
I’d say that America’s young people already know that a nuclear-armed, communist superpower is a bad thing. It’s a dictatorship that is hurting and killing people. That’s easy to learn, and it’s plain to see. Who needs a reminder might be Washington, DC. They have been absolutely remiss about Communist China, its abuses, its spying, and its threats to national security. Washington simply likes to keep up appearances while the free trade goes on and on, building up a nuclear-armed, communist superpower.
The very least that America’s politicians could do is to get behind a boycott or a change of venue for the Olympics. That’s the least they can do, short of economic sanctions, which may be preferred by some Chinese dissidents. They understand that a regime of cunning, conniving, and treachery will only respect pressure and strength. To stop the killing in China, every kind of pressure is in order.
The West should pressure China – the world’s leading abuser of human rights – and all of us, from the grass roots to the politicians, should pressure the IOC, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, to change the venue of these Olympics. Once again, I feel it is the least they can do in the West’s halls of power.
Alright then, what is the least that Chinese politicians could do? China’s politicians are now using Cultural Revolution rhetoric against the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans. Propaganda such as that is a laughable throwback to the Cultural Revolution, the time in China between 1966 and 1976.
I may feel that China’s leaders should simply surrender to a regime change. However, short of that, there are other steps, and I’ll name three: Stop the killing; release the prisoners; and talk to the Dalai Lama. It is the very least that Chinese leaders can do, and this is a call that is echoing all around the Western world, and from Chinese dissidents.
The intransigence of Beijing’s top Communists is hardening the hard line attitudes of Beijing’s opponents. I have worked to assemble the Freedom First, Olympics Second Coalition, and I bet that it will continue to grow, based on Beijing’s embrace of evil.
My group, the China Support Network, is still here in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. That is when we began to assist Chinese dissidents. When you are on the web, surf on over to http://www.chinasupport.net/. And in this year’s campaign, at the bottom line, our proposition is simple: Let’s pressure the IOC to pressure China to stop the killing. –This campaign has its own web site: NoOlympics.org.
At this time, I want to present you with our next act: The band called Light Club is newly formed and making a debut appearance here. They have written a new song for our human rights situation, and so here and now, we are being treated to the first performance of the Freedom First, Olympics Second theme song. There may be one song or two which follow, and I thank them for being here. I thank the organizers once again, and please help me welcome – Light Club.
[Ed. Note--] More joint rallies are upcoming, each with many additional speakers representing persecuted groups, or U.S. officialdom. You are invited to join in support of the Human Rights Torch Relay. Come out for the cause!
- Providence RI, April 5 at Roger Williams State Park Carousel / 1000 Elmwood Ave (runners at 10am, rally ~11:30-1:30)
- Washington DC, April 6 at Freedom Plaza / 14th and Pennsylvania Ave
- Portsmouth NH, April 12 at Market Square (9am-noon)
- New York City, April 13 at Union Square (Manhattan)
- Portland ME, April 19 (torch walk at noon at Congress Square; rally 1pm-3pm at City Hall Plaza / 389 Congress St)
- Princeton NJ, April 24 at Tiger Park, downtown Princeton (noon-2pm)
- New Haven CT, April 26 at New Haven Green (rally at 1pm followed by torch walk ~3pm)
CSN is participating in the above events. Light Club music will be performed at the New York and New Haven events. There are more events and details at HumanRightsTorch.org.