By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
Remember when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to China and human rights was not on the agenda? I said then that ignoring China's human rights violations in order to gain cooperation on other matters represented a weakness in U.S. foreign policy.
Now the Obama administration demonstrates that failing again by snubbing the Dalai Lama on his current trip to the United States.
For the first time, the president is not welcoming the Dalai Lama into the White House upon his arrival in Washington - postponing extending the expected hospitality to him until after Obama returns from a scheduled trip to China. Better to offend a man of peace who is fighting for the freedoms of Tibetans rather than offend China at a time when the United States wants to improve relations for a number of good reasons.
The problem with this policy is, of course, that as the leader of the free world, the president should be championing the rights of all oppressed people. This nation, and its government, has the moral and ethical responsibility to do so. Yet, this administration has been frustratingly silent - not only toward China's transgressions in Tibet - but in other areas of the world where it should be speaking out.
For example, the president pretty much sat on the sidelines during the government's violent response to mainly peaceful demonstrations against an obvious fraudulent vote in Iran. Worse yet, the United States actually is supporting a corrupt and equally illegitimate government in Afghanistan - a nation where the mistreatment of women - much of by the hand of government officials - is horrific.
Almost anything the president does is going to offend someone and strain relations with some government someplace. It comes with the territory. The least we can expect is that, when he does, he's at least on the right side. His snubbing of the Dalai Lama shows that, for reasons of international political expediency, he is not.