By dismissing the Chinese regime’s atrocities against the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority that predominantly live in Xinjiang in northwest China, as part of “different norms,” Biden could be plunging the world into an international crisis sooner than any of us could have imagined.
In the 1968 book “The Lessons of History,” historian Will Durant wrote: “War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war.” Sadly, there has been a war somewhere in the world every year since.
Regardless of the luxuries in which Americans live, it remains true that, in every era, there are regimes that are barbaric or seek domination of their people and often the regions around them, if not more.
China is one such country. Recently, it was reported by the New York Post that “the State Department said it was ‘deeply disturbed’ by a report that claims Muslim women being held in Chinese re-education camps detaining millions of Uyghurs are being systematically raped, sexually abused and tortured.”
While not every atrocity can be remedied by the United States, none of them should be tolerated. All of them should be met by statements from our commander-in-chief that the United States aspires for freedom for everyone and that no atrocity can be justified or tolerated.
Beyond that, an administration should use diplomacy and economic sanctions at a minimum to confront the atrocities. Military intervention, while a last resort, should never be taken off the table.
With respect to China, a country that permits live organ harvesting, military intervention isn't an option for those atrocities. Clear-eyed resolve, diplomacy, and sanctions, however, are a must.
All of which brings us to Biden’s statement related to China and the Uyghurs. In a rambling response on national television, Biden first justified China’s abuses by saying:
“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. ... So the central—well, vastly overstated—the central principle of [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.
“Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Atrocities aren't justifiable norms and prior wrongs don’t justify current atrocities.
Not long after, the world was plunged into the Korean War, after North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950. Many reasonably believe that Acheson’s statement that the United States’ sphere of concern, i.e., its defense perimeter, didn’t include what is South Korea today was a green light for North Korea, with the support of China and Russia, to invade South Korea.
Biden’s comments just gave comfort to China that the United States won’t interfere in its domestic atrocities. The same words shall give comfort to Iran, Russia, and every dictator around the world—regardless of whether clarifying statements are made by the administration in the days and weeks ahead.
God only knows what they will do with Biden’s green light.
The world, on the other hand, now knows just how weak Biden is.
One lesson of history is that wars are started based on an adversary’s weakness, and that is why the world will be living dangerously under Biden.