« Chen Guangcheng 2 | Main | Bad Jobs »

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Donald Pay

You now call Chen a hero, because it now suits your anti-American attempts to blame America first for everything. Before this you had reduced Chen to being a pawn that we should have kept in the embassy, despite Chen's heroic desire to leave the embassy and continue his work in China.

By the way, you forgot to quote this (from the London Telegraph article), which indicates Chen is still at this time not certain whether he wants to come to the United States:

"I think Chen is still weighing his options," said Nicholas Bequelin, the senior Asia researcher at the Hong Kong office of Human Rights Watch. "If he gets the necessary reassurances about his safety and his relocation away from Shandong, and mindful of the fact that his trip to the US might be one-way, you can understand why he might prefer to stay in China."


I did not intend my "baffle em with bullshit" description of your previous Chen post to be "witty repartee". Rather, I considered it trite and crude--but accurate. I did think the "selective response syndrome" reference was rather witty though.

I think I do detect some progress on your part. You have gone from accusations of bungling and incompetence to saying maybe the administration is promising more than it can deliver. As usual, you portray this in as negative a light as you seem able to muster. None the less, you at least imply they are trying under what are extremely difficult circumstances.

It's a start. I won't count on much more.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: I concede that incompetence was an unfair charge. Entirely competent people can be foolish. The way that the State Department handled this business displays all the pathologies that have long been part of its institutional culture.

I have presented overwhelming evidence from a wide range of sources, none of them part of the conservative press, that the affair has been bungled. I note that when the engagement began on this blog, you and Bill were telling me that a deal had already been made to get Chen out of China. You guys thought the thing was over. Is it over? When will Chen be able to leave? Has Beijing agreed that he can leave?

I am sorry that I do not endorse your wishful thinking. I hope that Chen will be released, but I know the difference between "good-faith assurances" and a genuine agreement. Apparently you do not.

I criticize the President most of the time. What do you expect? I also defend him when I think that is in order. You, by contrast, cannot abide the slightest criticism of your hero. That would be the difference between us.

Bill Fleming

All any of us know is what we read we or hear in the media. That includes you, Mr. Blanchard. ;^)

The Chen incident of of course not over, either way it turns out.

I keep thinking of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag Archipelago. There are times when a key person's energy and just the right story sticks in the collective mind and signals imminent social change. In China, it was perhaps seen as the lone, unknown protester standing down a military tank, and now years later this blind intellectual's daring escape signaling that the rebellion of the human spirit and the sacrifices we are willing to make to obtain liberty and justice are indeed still present in China.

IThese are snapshots of a work in progress, KB, something we can notice and rally around, but hardly something we need to tear at each other about. If we are to stand in solidarity in defense of others, we first have to know how to do it among ourselves.

Bill Fleming

(Sometimes I think KB is just channelling his inner Chris Hitchens. It's a tough gig for neo-cons. They are a conflicted sort from the git-go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pkWQ-DwgmA)


Perhaps it would be appropriate to ask what the alternative may be when describing agreements between the State Department and Chinese officials. U.S. officials express optimism that agreements will be honored and you characterize that as "wishful thinking and imagination" KB. What then should they say: We have commitments from the Chinese, but of course they won't honor them--they never do."?

As for all your great evidence of bungling, I don't recall any of the reports you cited using that word. It seems you read negativity into reports including the Post's article cited in your latest screed. The Post doesn't "blame" Chen, it simply explains that his apparent ambivalence over whether to stay or leave has complicated negotiations. It also explains the reasons for his ambivalence. And, there have been numerous comments from embassy personnel and Secretary Clinton expressing sympathy for Chen and understanding of his conflicting motivations.

What Chen really seems to want is to be able to stay in China and continue his protests without retribution. Promising that would make us damn fools.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: I have come to the rescue of your memory by highlighting words in the second post quotes.


Thank you for the clarification KB. Now would you please highlight the equivocations in the NY Times and Economist articles. There were a lot of 'ifs' in those excerpts from their full reports--perhaps as a hedge against the Right's accusations in the midst of an evolving story.

The LA Times piece (in its entirety) seemed more in tune with your meme, though I haven't read any other reports they may have done on the story. Meatloaf's standard was "two out-a-three ain't bad", which is to say, one out of three is a fail. Or make that one out of centrist media outlets.

Ken Blanchard

A.I. I think we have about beat this one into the ground. I think that the initial deal was a deeply embarrassing bungle, and I have shown that I am not alone. You keep trying to defend it. I think that this is ludicrous. Do you really believe that there was any possibility that Chen would have been allowed to relocate and start a new life, protected by the Chinese government and monitored by the US?

You say "What Chen really seems to want is to be able to stay in China and continue his protests without retribution. Promising that would make us damn fools." Well, isn't that exactly what we promised him when he left the embassy? Was it part of the agreement that after he completed law school he would confine his work to divorce court?

I have posted again on this topic, with my transcript of a conversation on the New Yorker podcast. Pundit Ryan Lizza and China correspondent Evan Osnos agree with me. That isn't dispositive, but it does absolve me of your complaint. Everyone can see what this was, except for you.


Since you are an seo expert, you sholud have no problem finding work. Set up your own business doing seo. You sholud not have a problem marketing your services since you are an seo expert. Get a domain name, website/ and set it up. market your services. Also, I am looking for someone in your area of the world to start a team for my online business that I am in. It is a global company that operates in several different languages. Chinees, japanees, korean, german, spanish. Very small start up cost. I need to create a team in several countries. Very profitable business from home.Email me


Without knowing all the facts on this and given the lietmid info provided, I would like to point out a couple items:1. Most members of the press are idiots. I've personally seen press members take pics of confidential reinforced emplacements to be published. If they fell into the wrong hands, those Marines would be toast. The reporter lost his camera and was booted out of the country.2. Terrorists wear bogus badges/uniforms all the time. Maybe he wasn't a member of the press.3. You don't know if he gave something to the terrorists in exchange for a story. Think I'm silly? Think again. It happens.4. Maybe he violated security protocol. Did he text info containing secured data on operations that could harm our troops?The issue should have read, What did this idiot press member do? not, Why the U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months? They wouldn't be holding him/her if he wasn't a screw up.


Oh the outrage and indgination. Did you even stop for a moment to consider that perhaps, just perhaps in your wildest dreams, he is a terrorist. Putting on a press badge does not make you immune from being a terrorist. I too am upset he has been held so long, he should have been shot immediately.

The comments to this entry are closed.