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Opinion: A response to China's Lincoln comparisons

November 18, 2009

"Hey, PRC, you don't know Lincoln from sh*t"
By Josh Schrei
November 16, 2009

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not
for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
-- Abraham Lincoln

The Chinese Government’s most recent abomination
-- comparing Abraham Lincoln’s war on slavery to
the PRC’s brutal invasion and occupation of Tibet
(and wrapping it all up with a
message to President Obama) — is only worth
commenting on because there may be those
uninformed unfortunates that actually give pause to the PRC’s stance.

Fundamentally, there is no comparison. Yes,
President Lincoln declared war on secessionists.
He also strongly championed the values of
individual liberty and freedom and took
considerable political risks to ensure that all
people were entitled to these freedoms. None of
the freedoms that Lincoln championed are on
display in Tibet or China. And drawing reference
to one of the great champions of individual
liberty from a government that has no interest in
such liberty is — to any student of American
history — insulting. Lincoln’s name should not
even be mentioned in the same sentence as
Beijing’s current cronies. Luckily, most thinking people know this.

President Obama, we will not insult your
intelligence -- as your current hosts have -- by
explaining to you why it is racist, colonialist,
and utterly unfounded to make comparisons between
the Confederate South and Tibet. I’m sure you are
as shocked and outraged as we are, as is the entire world community.

What we do question is why the world community
continues to legitimize, fund, and coddle a
dictatorship that is so dangerously out of touch
with the norms of modern society. The Chinese
government is positioning itself as — and quickly
becoming — the next great world superpower, and
we are busily helping them. It is high time this
stopped. You did not meet with the Dalai Lama
before you left for China. But you can make a
difference now. We urge you to publicly distance
yourself from the Chinese Government’s recent
statements and to push for immediate improvements
in Tibet, where the people enjoy no freedom of
speech and are still suffering the results of a
brutal crackdown after last year’s March
protests. As someone who respects Lincoln’s name
and has an understanding of his politics, this is the least you can do.

The simple truth is that the people of China and
Tibet have no freedom, and the fundamental issue
is the right of people to determine their own
future, which our President Lincoln was a
champion of to the end. In the absence of that
right — and in defense of the repression of it —
mad minds make ludicrous claims. Comparing
Lincoln to the current leadership in Beijing is a
violation of all that we as Americans value. We
trust that — as our President — you will respond accordingly.

Josh Schrei may be contacted at
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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