Mike Pompeo Tear-Gasses Irony, Rolls Over It With A Tank
Some days the irony is just too much. Too bitter, too stinging, too piercingly obvious, and all you can do is cover your ears and wait for the klaxons to stop, for the love of God.
Today is (yet another) one of those days.
After the military descended on the nation's capital last night and gassed Americans peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights so the president could foist himself on an unwilling church for a photo op, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is cosplaying as a moral avatar for the world.
Secretary Pompeo announces 2:30 meeting with survivors of Tiananmen Square Massacre.
It starts; so soon. For the first time in 30 years, Hong Kong authorities denied permission to hold the #TiananmenVigil. If there is any doubt about Beijing's intent, it is to deny Hong Kongers a voice and a choice, making them the same as mainlanders. So much for two systems.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 2, 2020
That's right, the secretary of State is commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, when the Chinese government declared martial law and gunned down students protesting corruption, hours after the US military was deployed in our streets to beat protestors.
After a night where DC residents opened their homes to shelter hundreds of kids being chased by police lobbing teargas canisters, the secretary will be meeting with Tiananmen Square survivors to demonstrate the US government's commitment to democracy and free expression.
But wait, there's more! Pompeo, who learned from his boss that the cure for clanging moral inconsistency is to just tweet through it, is now tut-tutting at China for its ban on protests in Hong Kong commemorating the Tiananmen Square anniversary. As if any member of the current United States government retains the moral authority to shame another nation for suppressing free speech.
As if he himself didn't just announce that the United States has abandoned the people of Hong Kong to whatever fate mainland China has in store for them by revoking Hong Kong's special trade status.
See, in 1997, Britain surrendered control of Hong Kong, which became a "semi-autonomous region" of China. For decades the city functioned as an economic middleman between the economically underdeveloped mainland and the rest of the world. Foreign investors felt comfortable setting up shop in Hong Kong, with its modern economy and independent legal system, and Hong Kong was a goose laying golden eggs to fuel China's rise.
But now China is a superpower that can lay its own golden eggs, and Hong Kong's autonomy is a less valuable commodity. Hong Kong made up 18.4 percent of China's economy in 1997, but it constitutes just 2.7 percent today. Most recently, China forced through the "Security Law," allowing it to extradite Hong Kong citizens to face justice in Chinese courts, which is widely seen as destroying the city's legal independence and imposing the same censorship restraints as on the mainland. That's the reason the country was engulfed in protest for months — protests that Republican politicians supported, even passing a bill requiring Trump to sanction Chinese officials who cracked down on the protestors.
It's powerful to stand with the protestors in Hong Kong and to say the American people support you! #StandWithHongKong#StandForFreedom#StandWithHK
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 22, 2019
But as the world has discovered over the past three years, there is no global crisis that the Trump administration can't make worse, usually by dint of shouting and threatening to rain down economic ruin and/or nukes if the world doesn't buckle under to our demands.
Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020
That would be Mike Pompeo shooting the hostage. If China doesn't value Hong Kong enough to protect its legal independence, we'll show them by destroying the city's economic value to the mainland. So there! As for the 7.5 million Hong Kongers we just abandoned, well, sorry guys. Pompeo is currently mumbling some bullshit about offering special visas for Chinese entrepreneurs, so look for the Trump administration to greenlight thousands of ethnic Chinese people US residency .... NEVER.
The American government is far too busy at the moment lobbing teargas grenades at our own citizens and rolling military equipment through the streets to terrorize civilians.
Oh, and pretending that we somehow still possess the economic and moral clout to try to shame other countries for suppressing dissent. Mike Pompeo's got a lot of tweets to send about that!
As for invoking the nuclear option on Hong Kong's economic status, it turns out that two can play that game. China has just ordered its state-owned firms to cease purchases of US soybeans and pork, effectively blowing up Phase 1 of Trump's vaunted trade deal, and eliminating the possibility of a Phase 2 agreement before the election. Which is probably not a coincidence.
Karma's a bitch, and so is our whinyass, bunkerbaby president.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.