Hillary Clinton’s invocation of ‘our values’ in Chen Guangcheng case highlights total abdication of that policy in Palestine

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 14 Comments
Chen Guangcheng
Chen Guangcheng photo at State Department site

We all cheer Hillary’s statement this morning on the release of Chen Guangcheng:

I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values.

It is a statement that in this case the U.S. chose its “values” over its “interests”–that the U.S. took on a putative ally, China.

It reminds us that we have never chosen values over purported interests in Palestine by bucking Israel. It reminds us what former State Dept officials Anne-Marie Slaughter said earlier this spring:

Whenever I send out a [twitter] message about the suffering, the detention without trial, civilian deaths by armed force in all these countries, I now get messages back that say to me, What about the Palestinians?

It reminds us that there are scores of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike now without a peep from our embassy, and that Anne-Marie Slaughter can only be eloquent about the rights of a Palestinian prisoner after she leaves the State Department.

It reminds us that Israel has slammed the door on an investigation of the massacre of 21 members of the al-Samouni family in Gaza, and the U.S. helped to slam the door by quashing the U.N.’s Goldstone Report, which described the attack on that family as a war crime. It reminds us that as the onslaught on Gaza proceeded over the three weeks before he was inaugurated, President-elect Obama said NOTHING against it.

It reminds us what Mustapha Barghouti said about freedom at the J Street conference in Washington:

The Arab revolutions are making an important impact. There is now no way that one can have peace without democracy.

Those are universalist values: You cannot have peace without freedom.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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14 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 2, 2012, 10:41 am

    The very talented and eclectic USA, taking its cue from Zen Buddhism, practices support for no-peace and no-freedom in Israel/Palestine. For Madame Clinton’s pretended declaration of the triumph of American values over American interests, please hear the sound of no-hand-clapping.

  2. stevieb
    May 2, 2012, 11:48 am

    Well written, Mr.Weiss…

  3. piotr
    May 2, 2012, 12:17 pm

    “Meanwhile, Chinese officials agreed to investigate Chen’s extralegal detention in his village of Dongshigu, where he was held without charge under house arrest for 19 months. During that time, he and his family were reportedly regularly beaten, harassed and denied medical attention.

    Promises were also made not to punish supporters who helped Chen escape to the embassy.”

    Nice to see that government of People’s Republic agrees that this treatment is an aberration, as opposed to detention without trial by Israel which is a norm.

    • Hostage
      May 2, 2012, 9:12 pm

      Nice to see that government of People’s Republic agrees that this treatment is an aberration, as opposed to detention without trial by Israel which is a norm.

      Hardly. They’ve been guilty of “sharing our values” by blocking investigations into people who are born, live, and die in the prisons of their North Korean client state. See the reference to the “International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea” in “Put North Korea on Trial” link to nytimes.com

      • piotr
        May 2, 2012, 11:07 pm

        I would quibble that North Korea is not a client state but a buffer state. Maintaining a client state is very valuable strategically so the dependency is not one sided.

  4. Annie Robbins
    May 2, 2012, 1:55 pm

    the hypocrisy of our state department is mindnumbing/staggering.

  5. optimax
    May 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    It’s naive to think the US government values the lives of its own citizens let alone the lives of foreigners. This story about a guy picked up in a drug sweep by the DEA–a guy who was not arrested or was even going to be charged with a crime and was supposed to be released. He was placed in a holding cell for “several days” and forgotten. He had to drink his own urine to survive. People that think we can torture, mistakenly kill or abuse foreigners and remain safe from such abusive treatment because we are citizens of a constitutional republic are fooling themselves.

    The US government and the world’s financial institutions have become outright criminal enterprises that are turning us into “slave ships in shoes.”

    link to apnews.myway.com

  6. American
    May 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    The hypocrisy in relation to Palestine is enough to gag a horse…indescribable.

  7. atime forpeace
    May 2, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Well done Phil.

  8. atime forpeace
    May 2, 2012, 10:03 pm

    I find this entire story of his escape so damn hard to buy into, the idea of a blind man pulling something like this off without the aid of his captors defies credulity.

  9. yourstruly
    May 3, 2012, 7:19 am

    no peace without freedom, no freedom without justice, no justice without equality

  10. kissmila
    May 3, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Members of al-Samouni family should rent themselves out to hire for diplomatic delegations of countries (China/Egypt/..) when they interact with the US.
    As a visible reminder of ‘our values’ on-site and when identified in press reports.

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