Washington Times

                     By Arnold Beichman

     Not only has Harry Wu, the human rights crusader, made the

Chinese Communists unhappy but, Newsweek reported August 7, he

has made  American business unhappy, too. According to Newsweek's

Carroll Bogert, Harry Wu may have made "many friends on Capitol

Hill but precious few in the business community." An unnamed

executive of a major sports manufacturing company is quoted as

saying that "Harry Wu gives us real cause for concern."

     V.I. Lenin once said that when the last capitalists are

being marched to the gallows, two capitalists will be standing at

the foot of the gallows haggling over the price of the hemp.

Well, despite Lenin's misprophecy about the future of capitalism,

it turned out that the haggling "capitalists" are still with us,

annoyed at the likes of Harry Wu and other human rights


     Reading about business unhappiness with Harry Wu gave me a

sense of deja vu. I was reminded of how American business behaved

towards critics of the Soviet Union, especially during the

Brezhnev era from 1964 to 1982.

     In his book, /set ital/A Hymnal--The Controversial Arts/end

ital/, William Buckley describes how after Henry Ford in 1970

declined to built a truck plant for the Soviet Union, other major

U.S. companies--Pullman, IBM, Westinghouse and others-- built a

38-square mile plant on the Kama River. Keep in mind, as Buckley

points out, that there was "lots of Russian truck traffic from

North Vietnam to South Vietnam for use against American


     The pro-Communist rhetoric of American capitalists ought not

to be forgotten. After his ten-day visit to Mao's China David

Rockefeller wrote that "the social experiment in China under

Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and

successful in human history..whatever the price of the Chinese

Revolution, it has obviously succeeded [in] fostering high morale

and community of purpose."

     Just as bad was former Senator Charles Percy who said that

"Mao is the George Washington of his country." Or these words of

praise for Leonid Brezhnev for his "candor and sincerity...and by

his clear commitment to pursue not only peace, but also...the

enrichment of life in his country." Take a bow, Donald Kendall,

ex-president of Pepsi-Cola.

     Probably one of the most disgusting displays of truckling to

Communist dictators appeared as a full-page advertisement in the

Wall Street Journal for April 12, 1970. It was signed by 35

executives of major U.S. companies and was headed by these words:

"Welcome, President and Mrs. Ceausescu." Along with their

photographs, the ad hailed "their official visit to the United

States of America." At the time, Romania was one of the worst of

repressive Communist regimes with the lowest living standards in

Eastern Europe.

     To understand the full meaning of such an ad, imagine what

public reaction would have been if this ad had been signed by the

30-odd members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, headed by then

George Meany?

     Long before the fall of the Soviet Union, the Bankers Trust

Co. took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting

its excellent contacts in the USSR and declaiming: "After twelve

years of Bankers Trust-Soviet Union relations, we can assure you

that mutual interest can overcome divergent ideology."

     President Jimmy Carter caused  business some anxious moments

as described by this Wall Street Journal headline, April 1, 1977:

                  Human-Rights Stand

                  By Carter Disturbs

                  Companies in the U.S.

     Victor Gold, Barry Goldwater's press secretary in the 1964

presidential campaign once wrote:

     "...[I]n their thundering about moral principle, America's

conservative leaders, when their big-business constituency's

interest requires, can be as hypocritical as the pottage

politicians they profess to despise."

     Perhaps Harry Wu isn't popular with American businessmen.

But then neither was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, another trouble-

maker, who on his visit to the U.S. following his expulsion from

his native land, was formally barred in 1975 from any recognition

by then President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger.

     And we should always remember the words of former Secretary

of State Vance, whose law firm represents major U.S. corportions:

     "Leonid Brezhnev is a man who shares our dreams and



Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is

a Washington Times columnist.