The appeasement of authoritarian regimes is not measured in degrees of scale, nor does it have a final depth to which ethical values sink, collaborating with those who inflict genocide, in all its forms, upon peoples demands one payment only, the abandonment of any moral and political responsibility towards human freedom and rights. Within the so-called big picture of geo-politics and economic relations governments remain more than willing to propitiate states guilty of the vicious excesses of human behaviour. It operates under the banner of diplomacy and excuses itself by asserting national interests, yet such duplicitous reasoning does not absolve nations, who placate the oppressors of this world, of the charge of complicity and responsibility in aiding tyranny. Driven however by commercial and political considerations those in authority are contemptuous of such criticism, and utterly indifferent to the grim consequences of cooperating with regimes that inflict misery and suffering upon humanity.
Nowhere is this sad state-of-affairs more troublingly demonstrated than in the collective international scramble to appease communist China. Despite an acute awareness of the atrocities, injustice, censorship, oppression and brutal occupation of Tibet and East Turkestan, governments are anxious to demonstrate an unhealthy accommodation of China’s regime. Such shameless mollification is a grim reminder of the dark days of Pol Pot’s Khymer Rouge, during which an estimated 21% of Cambodia’s population were killed through slave labor, malnutrition, poor medical care, and executions between 1975 and 1979. At that time western nations, ever mindful of treading upon communist China’s sensitivities (and smarting from the obvious defeat of the United States in Vietnam) were openly supportive of Pol Pot and his blood-soaked psychopaths.
Then as now matters of so-called realpolitik took precedence over the slaughter of and oppression of people and the Khymer Rouge were appeased:
“Given our vote in favour of Pol Pot’s credentials at the UNGA (UN General Assembly on September 21, 1979), we can see no advantage, indeed serious drawbacks in modifying at this stage our recognition of DK (Khmer Rouge). Any change would undermine our credibility with the ASEANs, offend China unnecessarily and make little useful contribution towards paving the way for a major relief operation.” (Extracted From Australian Government Cabinet Papers (1979)
Other nations went further and provided direct and indirect political, military and diplomatic support for Pol Pot, most actively, the United States and Britain, who knew all too well of the bloody nightmare being waged by the Khymer Rouge, yet for reasons of political interest supported them. As noted by the journalist John Pilger:
“The media relish Pol Pot as a unique monster. That is too easy and too dangerous. It is his Faustian partners in Washington, Beijing, London, Bangkok, Singapore, and elsewhere who deserve proper recognition. The Khmer Rouge have been useful to all their converging aims in the region.” (Source: Covert Action Quarterly Fall 1997).
That genocidal regime has now past into uneasy history, yet China continues to violently suppress the peoples of Tibet and East Turkestan denying political, civil, religious and national freedom by force of arms and a highly oppressive machinery of state-engineered terror. It acts with impunity, confident that international opinion will at worst extend to a mild rebuke, and knowing that countries are desperate to maintain positive relations, no matter the odious excesses of its rule. No humiliation is too much for those seeking to promote and sustain economic ties with China, as evidenced most recently by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, apologizing to a visiting Chinese delegation during which Green Party co-leader Mr. Russel Norman’s staged a protest in support of Tibet at the Parliament.
Displaying the banned Tibetan national flag, he called for democracy as Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping’s delegation arrived, fellow politicians tried to smother his protest and he was jostled and abused, with the flag being torn from his hands. What can we say at such determined concern not to offend China, within a supposedly liberal and democratic nation, that free expression should be crushed, so as not to upset the political representatives of a violently oppressive regime. There is a perverse irony at play there, one which no doubt amused the Chinese delegation. Yet the supine grovelling to China did not stop at that, later on New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Murray McCully revealed that that Prime Minister Key had communicated an apology the most senior minister in the visiting Chinese delegation. Quoted in a local New Zealand paper the New Zealand leader had “conveyed his regret that there had been this encounter and expressed the hope that it had not unduly affected what has been a very positive visit,”.
Appeasement is made up of such acts, each consolidating and supporting injustice and tyranny, the Government of New Zealand clearly has its priorities on trade, and like those who collaborated and supported the Khymer Rouge, is willing to ignore the suffering and violence such regimes generate to satisfy its political and economic needs.
If you find this post of interest it will be most helpful if you would kindly share on any social network/s which you may subscribe to. Use the buttons below to add the post so others may become aware of this issue. Many thanks