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Stairway to Heaven?

Stairway to Heaven?
Ronald Roy — Oct. 9, 2014

I haven’t seen the video yet but, reportedly, a Chinese consul, whom US Pres. Barack Obama had invited to the White House for a diplomatic chat, had other things in mind. The meeting had been arranged before the pro-democracy “umbrella” revolution in Hong Kong was suspended last Oct. 7 to give way for conciliation talks between authorities and student leaders. But what started in the White House as a dialogue turned into an undiplomatic monologue, with the Chinese diplomat accusing America of human rights violations, then punctuating his discourse by blurting out “Back off!” before staging a walkout.
Reportedly, the brilliantly eloquent US President was this time stunned glassy-eyed, as if ready to slump to the canvass from a heavyweight’s punch; and the Sino official, ostensibly directed by Beijing to confront his host with fangs flashing, was gone before Obama could utter a word. While political pundits generally agree that the incident was a first of more rounds to come between America and China, some think that the US President’s equanimity proved himself a high-level master diplomat.
At my end, I wish to react to a Fil-Sino friend’s constant needling by saying that Obama got the better of the episode. In the search for ways of preventing a cataclysmic world war where everybody loses, there is no room for hotheads and childish oneupmanship; and I would call Obama’s seeming lack of composure a blessing in disguise.
In politics, I’ve never really been a big fan of any particular politician, foreigner or Filipino (except for my late father), but this time I stay behind the US president as he stands on the UN platform for world peace. He should enjoy unqualified support not only from his usual domestic bashers, but also from free world allies, if only in light of the biblical prophesy that the forces of Good and Evil would square off in a final confrontation during our lifetime, as calculated by the Holy Book’s citation of certain climate-change signs. Indeed, it’s time we knuckled down to prevent this ultimate conflict.
No thanks to present-day realities, enfeebled peoples must now summon the strength and courage to fight for those basic freedoms that have come under coercive restraints from their own leaders. In the larger scheme of things between peace and war, the times call upon us to choose between sobriety and violence, compassion and apathy, love and hatred. Putting in focus the issue at hand, the denial of the right of suffrage in Hong Kong is ungodly because it unabashedly debases the God-given human attribute of willpower or, specifically, the free will of people to chart their destiny as a people, a part of which is the freedom to elect their leaders.
We can only therefore pray that Beijing and Hong Kong officials will eventually honor the mainland’s obligations under the deed of cession it signed with England in 1997, and respect universal suffrage not only as a divine requirement but also as a high-priority policy of the United Nations. It is worrisome that China, a leading member of the UN Security Council, remains recalcitrant.
In my view, Obama was a bit “slow on the draw” in what he should’ve anticipated as a possible verbal shootout with his Chinese visitor. Would that he had snapped back: “Sir, no democracy on the planet is perfect, and yes, we’ve had our share of human rights abuses. But we could never even think of murdering our own children Tiananmen-style or otherwise, or killing over 20 innocent passengers and crewmen of a Vietnamese civilian fishing boat, like a fully armed Chinese military vessel did in the early 60’s.
“Let me also give the reminder that no less than the venerable Deng Xiaoping had once predicted in a speech before the UN General Assembly that: China’s rise to the pinnacle of power would only be a question of time, and it would then take the combined efforts of her own citizens and those from America and her allies to subdue a fully awakened China run by leaders gone ruthless and power-mad.”
Hmmm…doesn’t “power-mad” ring a bell? It should, given that the yellow camp has ignored a recent survey showing that over 62% of respondents reject any idea of the current leadership’s stay in power being extended beyond 2016. The new recipe showcases the next government with Mar Roxas as President and Noynoy Aquino as his Vice President. If you think I’m kidding, think again. Would there be a better way of beating the raps for Plunder, Malversation and Technical Malversation than by holding on to power? Fools! They may not be so lucky to be allowed entry by St. Peter!


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