We’re in a new Cold War. Hong Kong, like Berlin before it, is the first battlePosted: August 17, 2019
Continued American silence will convince China that it can advance on other fronts. We must show Beijing that Hong Kong’s freedom isn’t up for grabs.
Marion Smith writes: Would the United States have let the Soviet Union invade West Berlin? Never. Yet America is on the verge of allowing Communist China to enslave the free city of Hong Kong. If this happens, it will be one of the greatest abdications of U.S. moral leadership in history.
Right now, Communist China is massing paramilitary forces on its border with Hong Kong. The purpose appears obvious: Intimidate the pro-freedom movement that has brought parts of the city to a standstill in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Beijing’s rulers have labeled Hong Kong’s protesters “terrorists,” while stating that “those who play with fire will perish by it.” The echoes of the Tiananmen Square massacre 30 years ago are unmistakable.
These developments are eerily familiar to the Soviet Union’s attempts to dominate West Berlin. Yet the United States always made it clear that we would defend the city. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan even traveled there personally, proving by their presence that America stood with its residents.
Compare that with today. The best President Donald Trump can muster is a tweet: “Everyone should be calm and safe!”
A new Cold War
It’s time to admit that we’re in a new Cold War. The blockade of Berlin in 1948 was widely seen as the opening salvo of the decades-long struggle between freedom and communism. With Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong already well underway, maybe now we’ll admit that another struggle has arrived. The Soviet Union is gone, and America’s new adversary is the Chinese Communist Party.
Yet unlike the first Cold War, this time it’s unclear whether America has the will to win.
When we were up against the Soviet Union, we stood without apology for our civilization and for freedom. For nearly half a century, we made it clear that our way of life was superior, that liberty was everyone’s birthright, and that we would support free people, wherever they were. By holding aloft the torch of freedom, we illuminated the monstrous evil of communism.
No longer. The United States is apparently unwilling to make the case for freedom — or even to publicly say a free city like Hong Kong even deserves to stay free. America having put down the torch of freedom, communist tyranny is on the march, no longer content to gather strength in the shadows.
Worse, while we have forgotten the lessons of the first Cold War … (read more)