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Battle On Shangganling Mountain

During the big White House state dinner for China last Wednesday, a Chinese pianist named Lang Lang was invited to serenade the assembled dignitaries.  One of the songs he played, unknown to Western audiences but instantly recognizable to the Chinese, was “My Motherland,” the theme from a movie called Battle On Shangganling Mountain.

Where’s Shangganling Mountain, you ask?  Why, it’s in Korea.  It was the site of a bloody battle, fought in late 1952 during the Korean War, in which Chinese forces repulsed a sustained attack from American and South Korean troops.  The movie whose theme Lang tickled out of those ivories is an anti-American propaganda film.  An article in the The Epoch Times points out that the lyrics to its theme song describe American soldiers as “jackals.”

Playing this song at a White House state dinner is the rough equivalent of an American president providing music from Rambo II during a state visit to Vietnam.  It’s impossible to imagine the current President doing anything like that, but you could almost see George Bush screening the entire movie for his hosts while waiting for the bun cha to be served.  “This here’s my favorite part, where the guy gets shot right in the chest with an exploding arrow.  POW! “

China’s choice of piano music for the dinner held in their honor has not gone unnoticed.  Asia One News reports Chinese websites are on fire, hailing Lang Lang as a “true patriot.”  “It’s deeply meaningful to play this in the United States,” said one forum post, “but I don’t know if the Americans can understand? Ha ha.”

This ROFLMAO moment was brought to you by the continuing incompetence of this President on foreign policy, which flows from his invincible belief in the power of his messianic charisma.  There’s no way Lang Lang just belted out that tune on his own.  He either acted at the request, or with the indulgence, of the Chinese government.  Didn’t anyone at the White House review the musical program for the evening?  Were they simply ignorant of the song’s meaning, and too inept to use Google to check it out?  Did they foolishly trust the Chinese to choose only music that would flatter the Global Messiah, whose mere presence in the Oval Office heals the divisions between men and nations?  Or, worst of all, did the President and his staff know this song would be played, and understood its meaning, but let it happen anyway?

Of course, if the Chinese insisted on the song, it’s unlikely the entire dinner would have been sacrificed to defy them.  If the White House was taken by surprise when those “patriotic” notes floated from the piano, they couldn’t very well have jumped up and ordered Lang Lang to stop.  There is only one solution: don’t invite nations like China to state dinners.  Those should be reserved for countries that don’t enjoy songs about killing the “jackals” of America’s armed forces.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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