Last week’s lighting of the Empire State Building to commemorate 60 years of Chinese communist rule drew some questions from across the nation. After all, what business do we have in celebrating communism in any shape or form?
But this week, courtesy of Jim Geraghty, 3BP learned of some all too convenient timing.
Barack Obama, in a letter to the Dalai Lama, July 28, 2008:
“I regret that our respective travel schedules will prevent us from meeting during your visit to the United States this month, but I wanted to take the opportunity to reassure you of my highest respect and support for you, your mission and your people at this critical time. I hope that this letter and your meeting with Senator McCain will make clear that American attention to and backing for the people of Tibet is widespread and transcends the divisions of our politicla contest in this important election year…
People of all faiths can admire what you are doing and what you stand for, and I look forward to meeting you at another time.”
Apparently, another time is not now…
In an attempt to gain favor with China, the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama until after Obama’s summit with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, scheduled for next month, according to diplomats, government officials and other sources familiar with the talks.
For the first time since 1991, the Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Washington this week and not meet with the president. Since 1991, he has been here 10 times. Most times the meetings have been “drop-in” visits at the White House. The last time he was here, in 2007, however, George W. Bush became the first sitting president to meet with him publicly, at a ceremony at the Capitol in which he awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’s highest civilian award.
Giant spectacles atop a great symbol in our nation’s largest city. A Heisman-worthy stiff arm of the Dalai Lama.
It brings to question how far we are willing to go as a country to improve relations with China. Is our usual unbreakable support for freedom something we are willing to forgo?