Stephen Walt doesn’t know who Hu Jintao is!

I’m sure you’ve heard of Stephen Walt, dear readers. He’s the author of the Israel Lobby, a liberal blogger at, and the man whom libertarian liar Jack Hunter (Ron Paul’s Official Propagandist) considers a credible source on foreign and defense issues. Recently, Professor Walt showed how ignorant he is by calling Chinese President (and party chief and CMC chairman) Hu Jintao “Chinese Premier” and referring to him by his given name, Jintao, instead of his surname, Hu:

“Chinese Premier Hu Jintao waded into the culture wars yesterday, but not the same culture war that has distorted American politics. No, Hu’s worried that Western powers are waging a cultural war against China, and that advanced Western weaponry like Lady Gaga, Harry Potter, and theTransformers franchise are eating away at the cultural foundations of Chinese unity. According tovarious news sources, he has called upon Communist Party leaders to expand China’s own cultural output and achieve a global cultural influence “commensurate with its international status.”

Forgive me, but China’s leader sounds a lot like a stodgy high school principal trying to stop teenagers from wearing gangsta rap T-shirts, and telling the Music Department to get more kids into the marching band instead. More importantly, this campaign is a losing game. It’s not that I think the Chinese people couldn’t cast a larger cultural shadow both at home and abroad, it’s that this goal is not something that a bunch of middle-aged Communist Party (CCP) bureaucrats can mandate and control, especially in an era where culture spreads via decentralized mechanisms like YouTube and file-sharing software.   Government leaders don’t create new and innovative art; it springs up from unfettered human beings, and often from fringe elements in society. And as Jintao surely knows, some of the most creative artists are dissidents. Oops.

What Hu doesn’t understand is that you can’t just order creativity up by fiat or by making a cheerleading speech.”

The problem is that Hu Jintao is NOT China’s premier, he’s China’s President, General Secretary of the CPC, and Chairman of the country’s two CMCs (the party and the state CMC, albeit both consist of the same members).

Of course, after someone pointed this mistake out to him, Walt corrected it… but issued no clarification (as is customary) and did not admit he had made mistakes. He’s too much of a coward to admit it.

This is the guy that Jack Hunter and other Paulbots rely on for information and judgment: an ignorant guy who is also too much of a coward to admit making a mistake.


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