John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Liu Xiaobo Plaza and the loss of our national will

Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese writer, intellectual, democracy activist, literary critic, writer, professor, human rights, past President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, and past President of Minzhu Zhongguo (Democratic China) magazine and because of being all of those things he has also been imprisoned by the Chinese government since 2008. His specific crime was to call for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. So the Godless bastards jailed him on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power". They sentenced him to eleven years' imprisonment.

Everything was going along as usual for the Chinese until 2010 when Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

In the meantime, Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, who has not committed a crime, has been under house arrest for the same amount of time and is completely locked out of the outside world.  No television or Internet and goons are posted at her door 24 hours a day seven days a week. The imprisonment has taken its effect on her physical and mental health.

In this the face of this low life behavior by the Chinese, the US Senate did the right thing, it passed a bill to name the area outside the Chinese embassy “Liu Xiaobo Plaza” just as President Reagan renamed the area outside the Soviet embassy in Washington “Andrei Sakharov Plaza” in honor of the Russian scientist and dissident, also a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

What good will it do? A lot. With China, it’s all about saving face, especially where the Americans are concerned. In fact, I’d call it a national obsession. Rename the tiny patch of grass outside their embassy Liu Xiaobo Plaza, have the Chinese lose face in the eyes of the world and watch how quickly they get reasonable on the subject.

But right now that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The bill it died in the House at the hands of Jason Chaffetz of Utah and the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan has refused to bring the bill back from the dead.

Neither Ryan nor Chaffetz, or anyone else for that matter has offered an explanation as to why their doing this favor for the grunts who run the Chinese Thugocracy.

This ain’t China. They owe the American public an answer on this.

Barrack Obama, the 2009 Nobel peace laureate has never done anything to help free Mr. Liu.

This ain’t China. He owes the American public an answer an answer on this.

If the reason Obama, Ryan and Chaffetz are sitting silent is because they believe that honoring a dissident writer will endanger commercial relations then that’s just cowardly, in fact silence when occasion demands speaking out for the truth defines cowardice.
And why are we even dealing with people like this? Kow-towing to a government that oppresses writers is beneath the integrity of the people of the United States. Let’s ship our business over to Latin America who are a lot less crazy than the Chinese government. What are they going to do it?

Still, you have to ask the question; what the hell happened to us?

We, the Americans, used to have guts. We had a passion against injustice. The little guys all over the globe looked to us to find courage and hope to stand up against certain death. Now we’re afraid to raise our voice because some mega corporation could lose a few bucks and it would upset a bunch goons in government.

Screw em and the great white horse they rode in on.   

Let’s strike a blow for the little guy. Let’s do the right thing. Rename the tiny patch of grass on Connecticut Avenue Liu Xiaobo plaza because it tells that punks in Peking.

Send them the message that we the Americans, as divided as we sometimes are, truly believe that it is the responsibility of every citizen of the earth to question unjust authority because the demand for blind belief is the enemy of the truth.

Let them know that we Americans have never been cowards and we will not remain silent or neutral in this injustice because to do that is place a great nation and a great people on the side of the Chinese oppressors because, like I said, screw them and the great white horse they rode in on.   

                                                                       John William Tuohy. Writer

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