I first read about The State Dinner Incident at Power Line over the weekend when Scott Johnson quoted this report from the Epoch Times:
Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it. Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it. Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online. Early morning TV viewers in China knew it would be played an hour or two beforehand. At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set,< v="kroEprEpvtA"> Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie "Battle on Shangganling Mountain."< v="2-aTpkd6-P8">
The film depicts a group of "People's Volunteer Army" soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military "jackals."
The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. CCP propaganda has always referred to the Korean War as the "movement to resist America and help [North] Korea." The message of the propaganda is that the United States is an enemy—in fighting in the Korean War the United States' real goal was said to be to invade and conquer China. The victory at Triangle Hill was promoted as a victory over imperialists.
The song Lang Lang played describes how beautiful China is and then near the end has this verse, "When friends are here, there is fine wine /But if the jackal comes /What greets it is the hunting rifle." The "jackal" in the song is the United States.
Very nice. So glad we could throw a State Dinner for these charming people.
Today, though, Power Line's John Hinderaker followed up with this, quoting from Jay Nordlinger's post at The Corner providing a fuller descripton of the insult to America:
Last week, I had a note in this space about Lang Lang, who has become a kind of court pianist for President Obama and the Chinese leadership -- the Chinese dictatorship, to put it more bluntly.
He played at the Beijing Olympics. He played at Obama's Nobel ceremony. He played at the White House event for Paul McCartney -- the one at which McCartney made a ridiculous anti-Bush crack, which caused Lang Lang and the Obama crowd to laugh like hyenas. And he played at Obama's state dinner last week for Hu Jintao.
What did he play? Most notably and significantly, he played a famous anti-American propaganda song. Famous in China, that is. Wei Jingsheng, the great Chinese democracy leader, exiled in the United States since 1997, wrote a letter to Congress and Secretary of State Clinton. He said, "I listened to that music with a big shock." Wei explained that the song, "My Country," or "My Motherland," comes from "the best-known Communist propaganda movie about the Korean War," depicting the Chinese army's fight with the Americans. The movie is called The Battle of Triangle Hill. Wei said that the movie is as well-known in China as Gone with the Wind is here.
The song refers to the Americans as "wolves" or "jackals," and says that the Chinese will use weapons to deal with them. Wei commented, "Is that not an insult to the USA to play such . . . music at a state dinner hosted by the US President? No wonder it made Hu Jintao really happy." Yes, no wonder. As Wei pointed out, Hu is not ordinarily given to public emotion, but he emotionally embraced Lang Lang. ...
The Epoch Times quotes a Chinese psychiatrist living in Philadelphia, Yang Jingduan: "In the eyes of all Chinese, this will not be seen as anything other than a big insult to the U.S. It's like insulting you in your face and you don't know it, it's humiliating." In his letter, Wei said that so-called patriotic Chinese -- supporters of the Communist party and the dictatorship -- were ecstatic over "My Motherland" at the White House. One such "patriotic Chinese" exclaimed, "The right place, right time, right song!" (This is a phrase with roots in CCP propaganda, as the Epoch Times article explains.)
Either President Obama knew about the insult and approved - how could he, really, unless some Chinese person told him? - or he sat there and enjoyed the music, oblivious to the import of its meaning. Neither possibility speaks well for our president, his State Department, his advisors, or our nation.
The honor shown to the leader of a human-rights violating, oppressive, communist dictatorship by throwing him a State Dinner is bad enough, but to have that dictator and his loyalists insult our country in the process is beyond the pale. I'm not holding my breath, however, that President Obama will have any response at all. Just more of the same kowtowing to countries that want to destroy us.
Heaven help us all.
The White House did respond. They "insist[ed]
the song, 'My Motherland,' was no insult to the United States."
Oh. If they say so.
Think about it. When you hear the melody of "America the Beautiful," the lyrics never start running through your head. No. Not at all. And Sunday during communion, when the pianist started playing, "I Stand in Awe of You," my friend sitting next to me and I didn't start singing very softly with the music. No, that was just random squeaking we were doing, not singing the words!
The White House is either stupidly clueless or lying because their lips are moving. This was an insult to America, Hu enjoyed it, the White House is trying to cover it up, and there's no escaping any of that.