Thursday, June 21, 2007

From Froomkin:
Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak writes: "On May 31, President Bush met for 35 minutes in the private living quarters of the White House with Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Hong Kong, in an event that was not announced and did not appear on his official schedule. Their meeting did not please the State Department, elements of the Catholic hierarchy and certainly not the Chinese government. But it signifies what George W. Bush is really about."

What he's really about ... pissing people off, with no apparent benefits? Is that it?


Anonymous Tom - Daai Tou Laam said...

As one of the Eschaton's overnight commenters from Hong Kong, this column by Novak is interesting.

I don't think Novak or Dumbya really knows what they've got in Cardinal Zen.

Zen is clearly a fighter for democracy in Hong Kong (a good thing) and a fighter for religious freedom on the mainland (another good thing), but if Novak and Dumbya equate these views with conservatism and expecting an Opus Dei guy hating on gays and abortion, I've never heard Zen speak ill of either in 3 and a half years here. (part of why elements of the Catholic hierarchy, especially the US hierarchy, would prefer to shun him)

As for pissing off the old China hands in Beijing, who are afraid of rocking the boat, by meeting someone willing to point out that the Chinese record on the freedoms granted in their constitution is pathetic is something I hope a Democratic President can do without having to hide it as an unofficial secret visit (which sounds more like an alcoholic sneaking another drink than it does someone who has deep convictions about religious freedom).

Thu Jun 21, 04:17:00 PM EDT  

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