When I began writing political essays to distribute to my friends in the spring of 2009 they were initially quite different from the essays that I would later post after starting Throne, Altar, Liberty. I do not mean different in terms of positions taken and ideas expressed. I mean that they were shorter essays and that they focused upon topics that were in the news at the time. When I started Throne, Altar, Liberty, I decided to write essays that were less a commentary on the news than an exploration and expounding of basic conservative political, philosophical, ethical, and theological concepts. This meant that I would abandon the self-imposed page limit that I had more or less stuck to n my 2009 essays.
I did intend to eventually re-post most of my 2009 essays here but the following essay but I did not think the following essay would be one of them for the simple reason that the subject matter is quite dated. The essay comments on two stories that were in the news in early 2009 – South Africa’s refusal to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama and our own government’s decision to ban British MP George Galloway from the country.
The reason I have decided to repost this essay, commenting on a couple of three-year old news stories, is because the question of who the government lets into the country is back in the news. Of course the issues and individuals are quite different than in 2009. In this essay, I expressed contempt for the decisions made by our own government and that of South Africa to exclude Galloway and the Dalai Lama, but also expressed contempt for the nonsense being spouted by self-righteous pundits around the globe that these decisions were violations of rights. A country has the right to deny entry to people. That does not always mean that it uses that right in a wise manner.
Today, the question of who the government lets in is back in the news in a rather different way. Thomas Mulcair, who has recently taken over leadership of the New Democratic Party, has been quite vocal in his opposition to the government’s decision to allow Conrad Black to return to Canada. Yet the NDP have also loudly insisted that Omar Khadr be allowed to return to Canada. Black and Khadr were both born in Canada. Both were imprisoned by the Americans. Black verbally renounced his citizenship in 2001, when, after he was offered the title of baron by the Queen, the humunculus who was our Prime Minister at the time declared that as a Canadian citizen, Black could not accept the honour. He was charged with “fraud” in the United States because he accepted large payments from Hollinger, at the time the company was falling apart, in return for non-compete agreements with the companies who were buying up Hollinger’s assets, and with “obstruction of justice” because he cleaned out his office after being told by the company to do so. Khadr did not verbally renounce his citizenship. He was captured by the Americans in Afghanistan, where he had taken up arms against the Americans and their allies, including Canada, on behalf of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, was put in Guantanamo Bay and was tried and convicted for war crimes.
How would a normal, sane Canadian, answer the question which of the two should be re-admitted to Canada? He would say that there is simply no contest. Black was born here, raised here, and lived here most of his life. Khadr was born here, but was largely raised in Pakistan. Black verbally renounced his citizenship but Khadr took up arms against our country and its allies in war, in acts which speak much louder than Black’s words. Black’s business ethics may be highly questionable, but even if his actions did cross the line from unethical over to criminal, it was fraud at the worst, which is hardly comparable to Khadr’s violent actions.
Yet the party which is now Her Majesty’s “Loyal” Opposition in Ottawa would appear to be giving the exact opposite of the normal, sane, answer to the question.
Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have made stupid decisions in the past as to who they should let into the country. It was foolish to ban George Galloway and, more recently, it was foolish to ban Srdja Trifkovic.
Their foolishness, however, pales in comparison to that of the socialist opposition.
To Admit or Not To Admit: Who is the Hypocrite?
By Gerry T. Neal,
March 27, 2009
The Republic of South Africa is in the news again and just like in the good old days it is inflaming world opinion against itself. What is it all about this time? Have the nationalists returned to power? Have they brought back apartheid? Have they thrown Nelson Mandela back in prison? No, no, and no. The source of the outrage this time around, is the decision of the South African government to deny a visa to the Dalai Lama who had been invited to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg.
It is difficult to decide, after reviewing the uproar, who appears the more foolish. Is it the South African government, which recently admitted that its decision was made in an attempt to please the Communist government of China, after initially giving the amusing excuse that they did not want the Dalai Lama to take attention away from the World Cup which is scheduled to take place in South Africa next summer? Or is it the countless self-righteous opinion-makers, in newspapers and on the internet, the world over who are decrying the Republic's decision as a "violation of human rights"?
Lets make the erroneous assumption, for the sake of discussion, that there are such things as "human rights", i.e., rights that belong to every human being by virtue of their humanity, rather than from prescription via membership in a particular society. Whose rights have been violated here? The Dalai Lama's? Does he have an unlimited right to visit South Africa whenever he wishes regardless of whether the South Africans want him there or not? If he has such a right, and that right is a "human right", does that not mean that the same right is also possessed by every other human being on the planet? Would there be such an outcry if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been the one denied entrance? How about Osama Bin Laden?
Recently, the Canadian government received a lot of flak over a decision to deny access to British MP George Galloway. Now, I don't like Galloway and his socialist politics very much. Nevertheless, I found the reason for his being denied entrance to be imbecilic. Galloway, had following the latest Israeli-Gaza conflict, raised humanitarian relief for the Palestinians, and delivered this relief in the form of ambulances and medical supplies to Gaza a few weeks ago. A couple of years ago, however, the terrorist organization Hamas was elected to form the government in Gaza. Thus, the Canadian government reasoned, Galloway, in bringing these supplies to Gaza, was providing support for Hamas a terrorist organization, making him a security risk for this country. The idiocy of that conclusion should be obvious to everyone. If we denied visas to everyone who provided financial and humanitarian relief to governments headed by terrorists, we would pretty much have to issue a blanket visa denial to all Western politicians. For that matter, we would have to deny access to quite a few rock stars and Hollywood actors as well. That, I suppose, is the bright side. We have set a precedent for banning Bono and Bob Geldof from Canada.
No, George Galloway is an obnoxious, left-wing nutter, but he is no threat to Canadian security, and we should have admitted him if for no other reason than that that is the proper respect officials of Her Majesty's government in Ottawa ought to show for someone serving their Queen in Her Majesty's Westminster Parliament. However, that decision as to who gets a visa and who doesn’t, lies in the hands of the Canadian government, and it should be made on the basis of what is in Canada’s interests, not on the basis of world opinion.
Likewise, South Africa's decision to grant or deny a visa to the Dalai Lama, is South Africa's decision. If they prefer to kiss the arse of Red China and keep the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and head of Tibet's government-in-exile out, that is their prerogative, and it is nobody's business but their own. It is certainly not a matter of "human rights".
But, someone might say, human rights enters the question in another way. By siding with the government of China against the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan separatists is the South African government not siding with an oppressor against the oppressed? Yes. And is that not hypocritical in the extreme, on the part of an ANC government, which fought against oppression themselves for so many years?
The outraged commentators who are asking the latter question are ill-informed as to the true nature of the ANC. The African National Congress, was and is, a Communist party. That it would side with Red China against the Tibetan separatists is natural. Prior to its 1994 rise to power, the ANC waged a terrorist war against the government of South Africa for 30 years, with their military wing the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). The Mk (as it is usually abbreviated) started out by sabotaging infrastructure and progressed into car bombings and other acts of urban violence. It committed numerous gruesome executions (often of South African blacks that refused to jump on the ANC bandwagon). The commander of the Mk was Nelson Mandela. He was responsible for the early sabotages and for the long term plan that produced the bombings and executions. It was for the sabotages he was responsible for that he was justly arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. He was not a political prisoner like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, imprisoned only for his words or beliefs. Just because the World Council of Churches, Joe Clark, and countless Hollywood celebrities and humanitarian organizations claimed he was, does not make it so. Following the ANC's 1994 rise to power, the Republic of South Africa was transformed from a prosperous, self-sufficient nation, into a country that can no longer feed its own people, where violent crime runs rampant in the streets of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and where guerilla armies roam the countryside waging war on Afrikaner farmers, the new government of South Africa being unable or unwilling to stop them.
No, hypocrisy does not lie in one Communist government supporting the oppression of another Communist government. The hypocrisy lies in the self-righteous outrage of liberal commentators who allowed themselves to be blinded to the true nature of the ANC by the fact that it was fighting apartheid. While injustices and repression were undoubtedly committed by the old Nationalist government of South Africa, it was the least oppressive government in Africa at the time, apart from Ian Smith’s government in Rhodesia. Black Africans were fleeing to South Africa from all over the continent. In contrast, for the past 15 years since the ANC took control, Afrikaners have been fleeing South Africa in droves. As Ronald Reagan pointed out to Mikhail Gorbachev over 20 years ago, the oppressive country, is the one people are trying to get out of, not the one people are trying to get into.
The facts about the ANC, both during the apartheid era and today, are there for anyone to look at. Liberals have no excuse for not knowing them. Further, they have no reason to be indignant that a Marxist party whose rise to power they demanded the world force upon South Africa 15 years ago, is acting like the Marxist party it is, today. Particularly when that indignation is expressed only about the relatively minor matter of the refusal of a visa to the Dalai Lama, and not about the way the ANC has withdrawn the protection of the rule of law from citizens of South Africa.
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