Thursday, March 30, 2006

My, but we're all feeling sanctimonious, aren't we?

Well, aren't we all just puffed up with moralistic pride this morning, patting ourselves on the back that the Canadian government showed the principle to cut aid to the new Palestinian government due to its terrorist history. Turning our back on them -- that'll show them. A little international isolationism is the best medicine, isn't it? Damn right. Teach those murderous little fuckers a lesson, we will.

Of course, it's a different story when it comes to associating with, say, countries with horrific records of human rights violations. In cases like that, why, walking away would be a terrible idea. No, the best way to deal with ruthless, oppressive regimes like that is to continue to "engage" them since, as we all know, that's the best way to effect a change. The fact that those countries might be valuable trading partners has nothing whatsoever to do with it and perish the thought that you'd even consider such a thing.

The poster child for this sort of fake sanctimonious bullshit these days is, of course, Google who, being fully aware of China's record on human rights (somewhat less than stellar), have nonetheless decided to stay in the game:

We believe that our continued engagement with China is the best (and perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there.

Of course, it's not clear how they plan on doing that when part of their arrangement is to suck up to the Chinese government:

GOOGLE will today cave in to pressure from the Chinese Government by launching a local website that strips out information not approved by the Communist authorities.

The company, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”, is launching a version of its site that restricts Chinese people from searching for information about Tibetan independence or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

“In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on, in response to local law, regulation or policy,” the internet company said in a statement issued yesterday.

In any event, it doesn't seem that that whole idea of continued "engagement" makes much of a difference in the end, human rights-wise:

Appeasing another is not really engaging them. This form of 'engagement' has not worked to improve human rights conditions in China or Tibet. Since Western governments began expanding trade relations with China while de-linking the issue of human rights from trade, religious repression has drastically worsened and China has refused all request to negotiate with the Dalai Lama.

Whoops, that's not the way it's supposed to work, is it?

So, sure, let's all stroke ourselves with the way we've shown those uppity Palestinians who's in charge here. Fuckin' A. And in the meantime, let's keep doing business with China 'cuz that's like, a totally different situation. I think it has something to do with cheap goods and sweatshops, but I could be wrong.

P.S. It's outrageous -- outrageous, I tell you -- that the new Palestinian government refuses to acknowledge even the very existence of Israel. Now, China refusing to acknowledge the existence of Tibet -- totally, totally a different thing. Totally.

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