Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!
The last time out, I explained to America why China is such a swell new Canadian ‘Best Forever Friend’. The former Mao men have no compunctions about buying up other countries national resources, whether farm land in Africa or scoring an ever-greater stake in the gift that keeps in giving, the Alberta Oil Sands. Niggling little problems like regional environmental destruction, the ruination of downstream Athabasca River aboriginal communities, or jacking the planet’s GHG rate quicker than Kobe pulling the trigger on an in yer face three-ball? Like a billionaire codger who espies a well-endowed potential fourth bride, the PRC are relentless, rich, needy, and selfish – global economic supremacy, one foreign acquisition at a time.
The US liberal wing has rallied opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline that would run Oil Sands synthetic crude 2000 miles south to theTexas Gulf refineries. Let us put to one side patent moral relativism (yer sometimes belligerent scribe’s code word for searing American hypocrisy), the Great Republic gang that screams foul at Keystone while its federal government and oil industry cozy up to human rights heroes like Venezuelan loony Chavez and Saudi King Abdullah in the name of energy security. The American silk stocking socialists talk a great environmental game – and the broken windows of its own glass house are there for the world to see.
I am troubled by the recent Chinese incursions into the Canadian petroleum industry for the same reasons. Hypocrisy is the bitterest pill. When we take Beijing money, Canada becomes a fellow traveler apologist for its BFF’s sins, and our deep thinkers will see no evil so long as the cheques are coming. The Chinese have it all figured out. Theirs is a political system determined to resist all liberal influences associated with human rights and democratic principles that globalization might otherwise encourage – except the unimpeded flow of international capital.
The recent murder trial of Gu Kailai, wife of now disgraced PRC politician Bo Xilai (a year ago a Central Committee rising star) is our current Exhibit A. Gu was alleged to have lured a British businessman into a Beijing hotel, where she proceeded to ply him with drink and ultimately old school cyanide to finish him off. Gu’s four hour trial was longer than most Chinese prosecutions, with testimony based entirely on written statements. Guilty or not, this stuff might not pass muster in any civilized country where the rule of law and its presumption of innocence, with all warts exposed, is intended to seek justice, not a set piece. No cross-examination is permitted in a Chinese murder trial, the instrument that the great American jurist Wigmore called the “engine of the truth” – nah, we don’t need it. We have this guilt thing all figured out before the trial starts.
The Chinese are pretty good at executions, too – 10,000 or more a year, an achievement that makes Governor Rick Perry’s 253 Texas death warrants pure pantywaist material, a paltry effort some Tea Party boners seized on to challenge the Gov’s ‘tough on crime’ credentials in the late lamented (if you love absurdist humour) Republican primaries. The bottom line? When the Chinese buy Canadian oil, we will inevitably turn a blind eye to the foulness hidden by the cheerful face of the new PRC. It is frightening to think that expediency trumps all – but America is past master of this game, as the millions of barrels of OPEC oil sold Stateside every month by its various autocrats attests. Canada has now entered the global hypocrisy big leagues.