Harry Wu

* Jonathan Clarke's view ("To Become an American Is a 100% Deal," Column Right, Sept. 26) is unfair to Harry Wu, because Wu's activities truly reflect a long-held American principle. America stands for freedom and human rights everywhere, not only within the United States. That's why we have intervened in other parts of the world. Wu, as an American citizen, has a right to be vocal about civil rights violations anywhere.


Monterey Park

* Let me get this straight. Despite the fact that "Wu's central complaint about the lamentable state of Chinese political culture is legitimate," he is supposed to keep his mouth shut about massive human rights abuses simply because he was not born on American soil? Had his parents or grandparents been naturalized American citizens would he then have the right to act with "sincerity and personal bravery," or are we merely to assume that this would naturally have led to his being jingoistic and unconcerned about the human rights of nearly one-fifth of the world's population? The greatest obligation Americans have, native-born or naturalized, is to fight for the human rights of all people.



* While I feel for Wu as a person, I cannot agree with his tactics. The fact that his personal war might have triggered very negative results for what is arguably the most important relationship of the 21st Century was of no concern to him.

If he wanted to help the Chinese people, he should have realized that true freedom is only possible with economic freedom. Grandstanding to the detriment of a valued relationship--on which global peace and economic progress rest--that took decades to cultivate was irresponsible, and counterproductive.



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