Hu's (g)on(e) first -- why only Bush can't go to China

Does anybody really think that Bush should travel halfway around the world to clap for this thug regime?

Activist Hu Jia was on Thursday jailed for three years and six months for subversion, his lawyer said, amid what rights groups charge is a campaign by China to silence dissent before the Olympics.

The United States and the European Union immediately spoke out in defence of Hu, who became the second Chinese dissident in less than two weeks to be jailed after using the Beijing Olympics to highlight human rights problems in China.

Hu, for many years one of China's highest-profile human rights campaigners, was found guilty at a Beijing court of "incitement to subvert state power" following a one-day trial last month, lawyer Li Fangping said.

Li said the subversion charge had related to the 34-year-old Hu posting articles on the Internet about human rights issues and speaking with foreign reporters.

 

Our president -- who insists that appearing at the Olympics in August has nothing to do with politics -- should be urged to read the writing (co-authored) that cost Hu his freedom:

"You will see skyscrapers, spacious streets, modern stadiums and enthusiastic people. You will see the truth, but not the whole truth, just as you see only the tip of an iceberg," the pair wrote.

"You may not know that the flowers, smiles, harmony and prosperity are built on a base of grievances, tears, imprisonment, torture and blood."

 

It's time for Bush to pull a Merkel, as in German leader Angela Merkel, who cancelled her planned trip to the Olympics because of China's human rights abuses in Tibet and elsewhere. Instead, the president is pulling a Merkle, as in Fred Merkle, whose famous baserunning error in 1908 not only helped give the Chicago Cubs their final world championship but earned Merkle the nickname "Bonehead."

If the hat fits....