Russia

Dana Rohrabacher Doesn't Want a Cold War With Russia—He Wants One With China

Secretary of state hopeful also slams Yahoo! reporter for being anti-Russia because she's from the former Soviet Union

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Yahoo! screencap

Potential Trump Secretary of State nominee and California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's interview with Yahoo!'s Bianna Golodryga went viral after Rohrabacher called Russia's human rights abuses "baloney" and questioned the reporter's motives, asking where she was from. When Golodryga said she came from Moldova, a former Soviet republic, Rohrabacher answered that that was good because "the audience knows you're biased." Rohrabacher, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, also compared Vladimir Putin to Mikhail Gorbachev, because both were both powerful leaders of countries the U.S. needed to be friends with.

Golodryga had compared Russia's human rights abuses to those of China, a country Rohrabacher insisted was not America's "friend," and later suggested was one of the reasons a closer U.S.-Russia relationship made sense. "I said they are both human-rights abusers. How am I wrong?" Golodryga asked Rohrabacher. "How are you wrong? In China they don't have an opposition party," he answered. While Russia is no longer officially a one-party state, more than a decade of rule by Putin and the concomitant crackdown on opposition has made those forces weaker than they've been since the fall of the Soviet Union. Rohrabacher dismissed allegations Russia had interfered with elections in the U.S., saying such things happened around the world and that the U.S. did it as well.

Rohrabacher called China the world's "largest human rights abuser." With a population of 1.2 billion, there isn't a larger anything than China. But the U.S. has allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia that are vicious human rights abusers as well. Not only does the U.S. decline to take an antagonistic position toward those countries—it sends them billions of dollars in military and other aid every year. Saudi Arabia has been dropping U.S.-made bombs in Yemen for the last year and a half.

"We don't need China," Rohrabacher insisted, "China is against us no matter, the Chinese are not our friends." He suggested the country of 1.2 billion people had become the world's second largest economy because the United States had "acted like fools," building up China's economy, and bemoaned the normalization of U.S.-Chinese trade relations. "We have transferred wealth, we have transferred technology," Rohrabacher said. "We have opened our markets to them while they have controlled everything on that side."

Golodryga asked about whether it was wise for President-elect Donald Trump to "provoke" China by talking to the president of Taiwan, given China's potential role in keeping North Korea and its nuclear aspirations in check. "The last thing that's going to motivate the Chinese is that they want to do favors for us, because we're kowtowing to them, we're telling them how sincere friends we want to be," Rohrabacher said. He's not wrong there, but would eventually be.

"If the Chinese are ever going to intercede for us," Rohrabacher continued, "it's going to be based on that we have a strong leader who is not a push over, and a strong leader who will actually threaten them, not military action, threaten them with consequences if they're supporting the military dictatorship attaining nuclear weapons power in Korea." But what's going to motivate China to curb North Korea is the threat North Korea presents for regional stability, unless Chinese leadership are led to believe the U.S. was willing to take up the costs of dealing with North Korea instead.

Rohrabacher claimed that China's military build-up in the South China Sea (he called it "the middle of the Pacific"—it is not), its threats to shoot down planes over territory it claims, its "territorial claims all over the world," and its human rights abuses, all meant that the Chinese were "not our friends." He did not explain why Russia's human rights abuses precluded it from being America's "friend," choosing instead to question Golodryga's motives in bringing that up. As for the assertion that China has made territorial claims around the world, it's unclear where that came from. China is involved in several territorial disputes in Eastern Asia and the surrounding waters, but those can hardly be characterized as being "all over the world." On the other hand, the U.S. has military installations all over the world while China does not.

"Russia is no longer the Soviet Union," Rohrabacher explained, "there's a bunch of people here who want to treat it like it's still the Soviet Union and get into cold war, that's not what Donald Trump wants, it's not good for America, and it's better to cooperate with them to take on our real enemies."

Unfortunately, Rohrabacher appears to view China as one of those enemies. A cold war with China would be as inadvisable as one with Russia. U.S. national security interests in the South China Sea are as murky as those in Crimea. If Trump wants the U.S. to be friendly with any country willing to be friendly with it, he should avoid not just bellicose rhetoric toward Russia, but toward China as well. Friendly relations with Russia, or China or any other country, however, do not require a whitewash of human rights abuses.

Watch the whole interview below:

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  1. Reading that your first name is Dana I bet you are a pretty girl.

  2. “We have transferred wealth, we have transferred technology,” Rohrabacher said. “We have opened our markets to them while they have controlled everything on that side.”

    what a god damned idiot.

    1. Look that’s how the economy works okay? America sends them wealth and technology, which means we have less of both while they laugh and laugh and breed pandas and stroke their long Fu Man Chu mustaches.

      1. But, but, imagine how wealthy we’d be if we hadn’t sent it to china!

        /A ‘man’ named Dana.

    2. Ask a few people doing business in China about intellectual property protection and Chinese treatment of foreign business owners before you call somebody an idiot.

    3. Free Trade with a country that doesn’t recognize patent or trademark law that also doesn’t particularly recognize human beings as autonomous has certainly paid off for us, and for China, but not necessarily in equal measures or for the average guy in the street over in China.

      Not that I agree with this bulbous-headed talking point, but being wary of a Communist country that has no issues with stealing technology, making in their own factories as knock offs, and selling them to their own people as well as using them in their military equipment isn’t exactly a ‘friend’. Tie that in with their human rights violations, it’s kind of surprising that people aren’t biting at the bit to go to war with them. Oh, but then the price of an iPhone would go up so now it makes sense why we don’t. Cool.

  3. american socialist is Dana Rohrabacher?

  4. They have Republicans in California?

    “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.”

  5. He suggested the country of 1.2 billion people had become the world’s second largest economy because the United States had “acted like fools,” building up China’s economy, and bemoaned the normalization of U.S.-Chinese trade relations. “We have transferred wealth, we have transferred technology,” Rohrabacher said. “We have opened our markets to them while they have controlled everything on that side.”

    Okay, then. Sign him up.

  6. “Russia is no longer the Soviet Union,” Rohrabacher explained, “there’s a bunch of people here who want to treat it like it’s still the Soviet Union and get into cold war, that’s not what Donald Trump wants, it’s not good for America, and it’s better to cooperate with them to take on our real enemies.”

    Unfortunately, Rohrabacher appears to view China as one of those enemies. A cold war with China would be as inadvisable as one with Russia. U.S. national security interests in the South China Sea are as murky as those in Crimea. If Trump wants the U.S. to be friendly with any country willing to be friendly with it, he should avoid not just bellicose rhetoric toward Russia, but toward China as well. Friendly relations with Russia, or China or any other country, however, do not require a whitewash of human rights abuses.

    Rohrabacher’s views are not merely animated by some sort of geopolitically-based animus towards our inscrutable China-men rivals. He has long campaigned against the PRC’s practice of on-demand organ harvesting of religious and political dissidents. If Russia were harvesting the organs of Chechens, I’d support Rohrabacher’s calls for a chilling of relations with them as well.

    1. Oh come now, what are dissidants but walking spare part incubators?

      1. So the Chinese are the Vodyani.

        Got it.

    2. Common sense population control.

      progs approve this message

    3. So, a Gift From Earth?

      1. I had a pithy comment to make, but then you looked at me with those eyes and I forgot

    4. Thanks for making this point. If I’m forced to chose my close relationships on a moral spectrum, based on their current incarnation, I’ll take Russia over China. If I’m choosing on an economic basis, China has deeper markets.

    5. Because chilled relations have done so much to reform abusive governments already. Just look at how far Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Cuba have come.

      1. Juche has done wonders for their domestic industry.

      2. Would a more healthy population and economy be better for us when they declare war on us?

    6. on-demand organ harvesting?

    7. Reason Mag thinks that selling body parts of Chinese Communist Political prisoners is free trade as long as they don’t have a tariff or quotas

      1. Free trade – profit off human rights abuses abroad. But it’s ok, because it has “free” in the name.

  7. I watched the “interview” and now have a healthy dislike of both the interviewer and interviewee.

    1. Seth Rogan is adorable, what’s to dislike?

  8. Speaking of Donald Trump’s crimes against humanity

    President-elect Donald J. Trump is expected to name Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of the company that operates the fast food outlets Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration, to be secretary of labor, people close to the transition said on Thursday.

    Mr. Puzder has spent his career in the private sector and has opposed efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay, arguing that large minimum wage increases hurt small businesses and lead to job loss among low-skilled workers.

    Imagine the horrific results of putting somebody who has seen the actual effects of regulation in charge. The mind reels.

    And those Carl’s Jr ads- so sexisty!

    1. Almost all of his picks have seemed to be better than the usual slate of political hacks.

  9. Rohrabacher used to be a libertarian – an honest-to-God, no foolin’, supported-by-Charles Koch libertarian, I mean – but after 40 years or so in DC I think he’s kinda forgotten anything he used to know about principles and now he’s a straight-up Team player and a Trump fanboy. Trump likes Putin, Dana likes Putin. Trump snarls at China, Dana yaps right along.

    1. But he (“Individual Man”) starts w the same assumptions, so if he says this is a good idea, then we should take him seriously. & then rip him to shreds as over abortion, pizza, etc. as we all do to each other.

    2. I worked on Capitol Hill in 1996, and Dana was something of a outlier. I remember the staff in his office had guitars, and they’d sit around in Hawaiian shirts and play guitar. He should limit his opinions to weed, which he supports.

  10. We have transferred wealth, we have transferred technology

    Wealth is NOT a zero sum game. Increasing their wealth also increases ours and everybody else’s and is a damned good thing. He’s as economically illiterate as most politicians.
    As for transferring technology, again a great thing, because now there are 1.2 billion more people advancing all technology which increases everybody’s wealth.

    I hate goddammed illiterate politicians with a passion.

    1. Eh, wealth is a zero sum game when the government tries to manage it, but otherwise, you’re quite right.

    2. “Increasing their wealth also increases ours and everybody else’s and is a damned good thing.”

      Dependence on foreign manufacturing is not a good thing. Especially a communist regime who’s been repeatedly denounced by Trump.

      “because now there are 1.2 billion more people advancing all technology which increases everybody’s wealth”

      You must be thrilled with North Korea’s nuclear and space program. Too bad, you may be the only one.

  11. No would for Biannya, gentlemen?

    Fine, I’ll got it: would.

  12. He suggested the country of 1.2 billion people had become the world’s second largest economy because the United States had “acted like fools,” building up China’s economy, and bemoaned the normalization of U.S.-Chinese trade relations.

    It always makes me laugh when people think that a country with 4 times our population and a huge wealth of natural resources wouldn’t naturally grow to a bigger economy than ours if not completely mismanaged. Besides, GDP/pop is a more meaningful stat when looking at a country’s wealth.

    1. They were poor before Nixon changed policy.

      1. That was towad the end of the Cultural Revolution. The internal changes going on then were more important than external ones.

      2. If not for Great Leader, there would also be a whole lot more Chinese people today. Their central planning is responsible for killing off more Chinese people than any other nation on Earth.

        1. “Their central planning is responsible for killing off more Chinese people than any other nation on Earth.”

          But surprisingly modest by Chinese standards.

  13. overall, still like him: Rohrabacher Amendment

    1. That’s what I’m saying. His domestic policies are stronger than his international opinions.

  14. wasn’t Moldova featured heavily in Ghostbusters II?

  15. “But what’s going to motivate China to curb North Korea is the threat North Korea presents for regional stability”

    No, it won’t because what the American concept of ‘stability’ in the region is maintaining 10s of 1000s of US troops scattered throughout the region. The Chinese and North Koreans have no stake in this.

  16. What if we also abuse human rights, at home as well as abroad? To be great again to me means to lead again and the easiest way is to set an example.

    1. Abolishing the death penalty?

  17. Meh, so he’s rude. He’s right that China is probably a bigger threat than Russia, but that in itself doesn’t mean we should ignore human rights violations by the Russian government. On the other hand, the U.S. seems to get into the biggest foreign policy messes when they try to do the “right” thing and interfere with other countries. But that’s mainly because the politicians seem to have no real idea what the “right” thing is, or the right way to go about doing the right thing. Embargos and tariffs and trade restrictions hurt Americans as much, if not more, than the countries they’re applied to.

    1. “Embargos and tariffs and trade restrictions hurt Americans as much, if not more, than the countries they’re applied to.”

      You want a conflict with China? Just few hurt Americans might be necessary. It’s all for a good cause, though.

  18. If Dana Rohrabacher is so concerned about human rights, why not start in the USA?

    I have a natural and a US Constitutional right to own, control, and defend my own body, and yet I am obstructed at every turn to exercise those rights by the central planners and their numerous policing agencies.

  19. Dana is right about the relative human right’s abuses and inherent long term threat to the US and the world. China is a bigger problem than Russia.

    No need to be bellicose with either, but I’d be lining up allies to counter balance China, not Russia.

    Dana for Sec of State!

    1. we, the U.S., has been playing China against Russia and vice a versa since WWII in an attempt to keep them both at bay. so far it has worked most of the time but sometimes they fuck with us as well as in Vietnam and Korea. Hopefully they don’t both someday say fuck you were tired of your games.

  20. til I looked at the receipt four $6371, I didnt believe that…my… mom in-law could trully receiving money in there spare time at their computer.. there friends cousin has done this for under 15 months and as of now paid the morgage on their mini mansion and got a new Infiniti. navigate to this site

    ????????> http://www.homejobs7.com

  21. my friend’s ex-wife makes $79/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her payment was $13079 just working on the internet for a few hours. check

    ==================================> http://www.homejobs7.com

  22. Brianna. true that Kathryn`s st0rry is impressive… I just received themselves a Jaguar E-type from bringing in $5324 recently and-over, ten-k this past-munth. it’s definitly the coolest work Ive ever done. I started this 3 months ago and straight away started to bring home minimum $81.. per/hr. straight from the source

    ==============> http://www.homejobs7.com

  23. Liam. I agree that Carl`s bl0g is cool… I just got a great new Honda since getting a cheque for $9458 thiss month and just a little over 10/k this past-munth. without a doubt its the most financially rewarding I’ve ever had. I started this six months/ago and almost immediately started earning at least $75, per hour. go now

    =====================> http://www.homejobs7.com

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