Tuesday, June 4, 2019

For the Record: June 4

Image by vienman.com via Taiwan News and an excellent discussion of George H.W. Bush's failure to respond to the Tiananmen killings.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, I got embroiled in an idiotic Twitter war discussing the Chinese president with a transatlantic mob of conservatives who have recently found that they object to the treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang province being forcibly "re-educated" into Xi Jinping Thought and the decisions of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, after being completely indifferent to it for years, and my tweet went a little viral:

An awful lot of people decided I was trying to say that Xi Jinping was a nicer person than Trump, and haughtily informed me that Xi is in fact a bad man.

That was fun. During Xi's state visit to Britain in 2015, Boris Johnson was the mayor of London. Of course he didn't protest against the visit. Some folks tried to suggest that Khan ought to have protested against it anyway, as MP for Tooting, but it was getting silly.

The thing about the Duchess of Suffolk (she'd made some remarks about Trump some time ago, when she was an American actress, and Trump, asked how he felt about this, responded with some typically deniable Trump slime), is a distraction.

Obama certainly did campaign against Brexit, which I think is justifiable as a matter of considerable importance to the United States; not the trivial issue of who the Tories should nominate to succeed May as the next failed prime minister (Trump endorsed Johnson, via tweet, before flying to Britain), but the overturning of an international economic order in which the US is intensely involved. Somebody said Obama "threatened" Britain against voting to Leave, but I think what Obama actually said, that Leaving would put Britain at the end of the queue in trade negotiations with the US, was simply true, and still is; we now have a Brexit-friendly administration in Washington, but they still can't start negotiating a trade deal with UK until the terms of the Brexit (if it takes place at all) become clear, while US trade negotiations with the EU are still at the (advanced) stage where they were at the end of 2016.

And so on and so on. But there's an actual point I got around to that may have been worth making:

There's really no point in having Trump over for a state visit, because it's not going to get anything done that's worth doing.

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