As TC mentioned in one of his articles a few months ago, The West Wing was once a utterly brilliant TV series that one could simply not miss. Truly a liberal’s wet dream. Since Aaron Sorkin left, though, it has become mostly mediocre ?- but, still there are some pearls here and there that are worthy of mention. Like this one, from yesterday’s episode:
CONTEXT: CJ (the White House Chief of Staff) is asking the Chinese Ambassador to the US to not veto a UN Security Council Resolution to impose sanctions on Sudan, blocking them from exporting oil, in light of ongoing brutal Human Rights violations in the country, including, but not limited to, genocide. She feels that Sudan needs to receive a clear message that what they are doing is not acceptable ?- and hit them where it hurts.
The dilemma is that Sudan is a big source of oil to oil-thirsty China, and, hence, those sanctions would not be in China?s best economic interest ? limiting their choices in oil sources.
Nothing new there; honestly this whole story is less than imaginative, and somewhat simplistic. I was mostly yawning at the time, itching to switch to 24, but, at the tail end of the dialogue between CJ and the Chinese Ambassador there’s a shiny little pearl I simply had to share with you:
CJ is trying to convince the Ambassador, unsuccessfully; he will not budge and is hinting that he will veto the resolution. Before he leaves, he says:
Chinese Ambassador: “You know what I think about a lot, when I’m having this kind of discussions?”
CJ: “What, sir?”
Chinese Ambassador: “Capitalism vanquished Communism; obliterated it; and here we are having a discussion where you are trying to restrict our market.”
CJ: “We’re trying to address a humanitarian situation in the Sudan.”
Chinese Ambassador: “Exactly. But you have always taught us that liberty is the same thing as Capitalism. As if life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness cannot be crushed by greed. Your American Dream is financial, not ethical.”
CJ: “I hope you will still consider our proposal carefully.”
Chinese Ambassador: “Of course.”
CJ: “Thank you.”
Chinese Ambassador: “No, thank you. You have taught us well.”