The first of the New Year. Here's an article from the Boston Globe reminding us "China's beleaguered dissidents still don't get a serious hearing in Washington or other centers of power. Their message is too important to ignore."
When the Soviet Union was still there, apologetics for Moscow's politics were not uncommon among foreign experts -- but the Soviets never got such an easy ride as the Chinese are getting now. Dissidents from the Soviet empire were always taken seriously; some became famous. Human rights abuses weren't routinely explained away with appeals to "different cultural traditions.'' Enthusiasm for the Soviet Union, though by no means unknown, was still a bit eccentric -- but praising the People's Republic of China is entirely respectable.Indeed.