Thursday, September 17, 2009

President Obama Delays Visit with the Dalai Lama

You know, I understand that people often allow politics to get in the way of treating each other with respect and dignity. And it's very true that no matter how you slice it, politics will always be attached to the current Dalai Lama. However, it's rather disappointing that U.S. President Obama, who was elected primarily as a "change agent," has chosen to delay a meeting with the Dalai Lama (Obama Postpones Meeting). The President had no trouble meeting with Pope Benedict in July, even though the Pope is controversial in the Muslim world for questionable comments he has made in the past, and also is stirring up dissent in his own church for his ultra conservative approach and leadership appointments.

One of the major disappointments of the many with this current administration is their failure to stand up and denounce human rights abuses in countries like China. If the President hadn't campaigned on these issues, maybe it wouldn't be such a disappointment. For example, in late 2007, candidate Obama said the following:

It is illegal and unwise for the President to disregard international human rights treaties that have been ratified by the United States Senate, including and especially the Geneva Conventions. The Commander-in-Chief power does not allow the President to defy those treaties. (Obama On the Issues)

Now, for those who are regular readers of this blog, you'll know that I didn't vote for our current President, nor have I ever believed that his administration was really going to attempt to make the major changes this nation needs. However, you would think that the President could, out of basic respect and kindness, have a short meeting with the Dalai Lama, and then deal with the inevitable grumbling and fussing that will come from the Chinese government. Even President George W. Bush (who I consider the worst U.S. President in modern history) met with the Dalai Lama during the first six months of his administration. There's something very sad going on when economic power brokering (the Obama administration recently slapped a 35% income duty on Chinese made tires) triumphs over human connection and community building.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Yes, something very sad indeed.