March 11, 2009

Charles Freeman Rejection as Much About China as Israel

Charles (Chas) Freeman withdrew his candidacy to head President Obama's National Intelligence Council after intense objections from Congress including entire Democratic Party members of relevant committees. The line is that Freeman was not sufficiently subservient to the Israel lobby. But just as important is his connections with China through his son. Critics questioned his "ties" to China but being on an advisory board of a huge mulitnational company such as CNOOC is hardly a tie. Also at issue were comments made about Tiananmen Square --is American political discourse really this petty?

More significantly, Freeman's son Charles W. Freeman III was assistant US Trade Representative for China trade under President Bush and as such shepherded China into the WTO under the US China Trade Relations Act signed by President Clinton just prior to the 2000 election. Freeman handled a politically charged envirnoment for years with pragmatism and realism and helped W enlarge and improve USA-China relations, perhaps the only positive legacy of President Bush.

There was no way anti-China trade Democrats, chief among them tariff king Charles Schumer (D - NY), could tolerate such world views.

The move to reject Freeman is a direct win for the Pentagon and all its allies who are beating the war drums at Beijing.

So much for "change" in Washington...

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