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Friday, April 25, 2008

China 'gaffe' was all Rae

Its human rights record is awful and new Liberal MP should not appease tyranny


Toronto Sun: By PETER WORTHINGTON

It's widely conceded that when he was premier of Ontario, Bob Rae screwed up his mandate, his legacy, the province and his party.

After doing penance (sort of) for a decade after the NDP was voted out of office, Rae returned to politics, this time as a federal Liberal to challenge (and fail) for the leadership of the party.

He's since been elected MP in Rosedale, previously the riding of Bill Graham, who, when Paul Martin began to unravel as PM, picked up the pieces and became the Liberals' all-purpose cabinet minister, giving the party what little credibility it had at the time.

Rae was quickly appointed Liberal foreign affairs critic. For all his experience (elected eight times federally and provincially prior to 1996), Rae didn't waste much time in proving himself a catastrophe.

He took it upon himself to slam Tory loudmouth Bob Anders (Calgary West) for "further damaging our already strained relationship with China by comparing its government to Nazis."

The "gaffe" Rae thinks Anders made was to note that the Chinese regime "has one of the worst human rights records on the face of the planet," and awarding it the 2008 Olympic Summer Games was similar to awarding the 1936 Games to Nazi Germany.

Who can argue that Anders is wrong?

What Rae is saying (if one is generous) is that no matter how despicable China's record of abusing its own people, of killing its own citizens, of harvesting the organs of dissidents for sale to rich foreigners, and its continued abuse of minorities, we shouldn't say so because the Chinese might not like it and might not buy our natural resources.

Bunk, of course, but that's the socialist mind-set of people who think like Bob Rae, and who want him to replace Stephane Dion as Liberal leader.

At the same time, Rae panders to Jews by suggesting that comparing the Chinese Communist Party to Nazis "trivializes" the Holocaust.

It does no such thing. China's record of killing up to 80 million of its own people (under Mao Zedong, whom Pierre Trudeau once mindlessly admired) is as horrific as any crime against humanity of the 20th century.

David Matas, human rights lawyer and legal counsel for B'nai Brith, told the newspaper Epoch Times that it's Rae, not Anders, who should reconsider his comments.

Rabbi Ruevan Bulka of the Canadian Jewish Congress has also drawn parallels between the Nazis and Beijing's persecution of Falun Gong members and harvesting their vital organs for sale.

Where has Rae been hiding to avoid the truth about China?

Anyone following the progress of the Olympic torch's "Journey of Harmony" around the world must be aware of the demonstrations that are erupting because of China's continuing cultural rape of Tibet and other minorities.

Demonstrations in Britain, France and San Francisco are one thing. Similar outbursts have been quelled in Indonesia, India and Australia. Japan has cancelled the run. Very possibly China itself will have outbursts when the flame arrives. If so, participants will indeed be risking their lives.

As for relations and trade with China that Rae seems to fear will be damaged, forget it. China trades with us, and the U.S., and with any country, because it is of benefit to China, not because it helps us.

By standing up to tyranny, we gain respect. There is no respect given to those who grovel, or make excuses for tyranny or who compromise principles for money.

Rae is the one who committed a "gaffe" by his attempted defence of China's credibility and humanity.

Most contemptuous will likely be the Beijing rulers themselves, who well know what they do, and why.

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