David Cole’s new column has something to annoy everyone:
But that’s completely, one-hundred-percent beside the point. His crime was publishing a pamphlet containing dissident views. He was imprisoned for speech. Nothing should matter beyond that. (…)
As Rudolf attempted to fight deportation, I covered his case for a documentary film I was producing (the movie also included footage of Zundel from inside his Canadian maximum-security home). At the time, I received only scorn and criticism from the U.S. and Canadian “human rights” advocates I approached for comment. Oh, sure, I tried my best to explain that the Rudolf and Zundel cases had an importance beyond the fate of those two men, that a precedent was being set, and that other governments would take advantage of it and demand the return of other dissidents who had escaped prison sentences for other thought crimes, but my “Jewsplaining” fell on deaf ears.
Even now, as China is going to town on escaped dissidents, there is a reluctance by pretty much everyone in the North American “mainstream” (left, right, and center) to acknowledge the precedents set by the Zundel and Rudolf cases, or even to acknowledge that the cases existed. But the fact remains, all this bellyaching about “global dissident pursuits” is bunk. The U.S. and Canada have no problem at all with cross-border critic-grabbing and critic-deporting. And while the North American press may be deaf, dumb, and blind to the hypocrisy emanating from Ottawa and D.C., one suspects that the Chinese are all too keenly aware of it.