After three years seeking the extradition from Canada of Chinese business executive Meng Wanzhou, the Justice Department has thrown in the towel by agreeing to a deal that enabled Meng to return freely to China. Meng had been under three years of house arrest in Canada, as the Justice Department ferociously sought her extradition.
Upon her return to China, Meng was given a hero’s welcome. According to CNN, “tens of millions of people tuned in to watch state media’s online livestream of her arrival.” The Communist Party’s People’s Daily hailed Meng’s return as “a major victory of the Chinese people.”
And there is no question but that Meng and China ended up victorious in this fight. Meng’s release without a guilty plea and a conviction constitutes an implicit acknowledgement that U.S. officials should never have brought the prosecution in the first place. They took three years out of this person’s life, not to mention saddling American taxpayers with an idiotic and ultimately failed extradition attempt.
Meng’s purported crime? That she and her company Huawei had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran!
Yes, you read that right. The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Iran, which target the Iranian people with death and suffering as a way to force their governmental officials to comply with the dictates of U.S. officials.
What do U.S. sanctions on Iran have to do with China? Or to put it another way, why should China or any other country have to comply with deadly sanctions that the U.S. government has imposed on the Iranian people?
But in the minds of U.S. officials, every country in the world is required to obey any sanctions that the U.S. Empire decides to impose on foreigners. If a citizen of any country dares to violate such sanctions, he will be taken captive and held for extradition back to the United States to stand trial for this heinous offense.
In his July 1821 address to Congress extolling America’s founding foreign policy of non-interventionism, John Quincy Adams said that if America were ever to abandon its founding foreign policy, the U.S. government would begin behaving like the dictator of the world.
The U.S. prosecution of Meng is a perfect example of what Adams was talking about. The U.S. Empire expects everyone in the world to comply with its immoral and evil policy of sanctions, which, like terrorism, targets innocent people with death and suffering as a way to achieve a political goal.
U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream press are making a big deal out of a statement that Meng made as part of the plea bargain in which she acknowledged that her company violated the U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Big deal! Why should Huawei, Meng, or any other foreign person or entity be forced to comply with an evil and immoral policy of the U.S. government? Indeed, why should any American citizen have to comply with an evil and immoral policy of their own government?
Immediately after Canada’s arrest of Meng, China arrested two Canadian men and kept them incarcerated while the Meng extradition proceedings were pending. While China steadfastly maintained that these arrests and incarcerations were unrelated to Meng’s arrest, as soon as Meng was released so were the two Canadian men.
The U.S. mainstream press is condemning China’s “hostage diplomacy.” But in their unswerving allegiance to the U.S. national-security state, they are unable to see that it is the U.S. government’s evil and immoral system of sanctions that is the root of the problem. Moreover, they cannot see how foreign interventionism actually makes American citizens less safe.
After all, China is a communist regime — a brutal communist regime. There is no such thing as due process of law in China. If officials wish to take someone into custody, torture him, and incarcerate him indefinitely, they can do it. The entire country is run on the same principles that the Pentagon and the CIA run their torture and prison center in Cuba.
So, why should anyone be surprised when the Chinese communists conduct themselves like communists? When a foreign regime takes a prominent Chinese citizen into custody on ludicrous criminal charges, it is as certain as thunder following lightning that China will do the same to citizens of that country.
In fact, if Canada had ultimately shipped Meng to the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there would have been some American businessmen taken into custody in China on bogus charges and kept in jail for as long as Meng was kept in jail. It’s just the way life works. It’s a perfect example of how the U.S. Empire makes American travelers unsafe with its policy of foreign interventionism.
In the wake of the Afghanistan debacle and, now, the implicit acknowledgement of the wrongful prosecution of Meng Wanzhou, it’s time for Americans to do some serious soul-searching about U.S. foreign policy. Is interventionism worth it? Do Americans really want to risk being incarcerated in foreign countries because U.S. officials have imposed a worldwide prohibition against violating sanctions on other countries? More important, should our government be targeting innocent people with death and suffering as a way to achieve a political goal?
I say: Let’s restore our nation’s founding system of non-interventionism. And let’s do it now, not later.
For more on Meng Wanzhou’s wrongful prosecution, see:
Free Meng Wanzhou by Jacob Hornberger (March 2021)
The Absurdity of the U.S. Prosecution of Meng Wanzhou by Jacob Hornberger (January 2020)
Dismiss the Sanctions Charges Against Meng Wanzhou by Jacob Hornberger (December 2018)
Empire Is the Root of U.S.-China Hostilities by Jacob Hornberger (August 2020)
Trump Punishes China by Hurting Hong Kong by Jacob Hornberger (June 2020)
New York Times Obtuseness on China by Jacob Hornberger (March 2020)
Washington Post Obtuseness on the Deep State by Jacob Hornberger (November 2019)