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Cry for Tibet

by FarEasterner Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 10:22:29 AM EST

I took some time from my busy schedule to write a little about Tibet as Dharamsala where I live witnessed growing unrest among exile Tibetan community.



Graphic images, photographs about Chinese atrocities started to leak out of Tibet and exiles reacted strongly, in McLeod Ganj where Tibetan government-in-exile is located demonstrations are held every day, some even started hunger strike.

As Tibetan question is so politically charged it's not easy to see what can be added to continuing coverage of this theme in the world media. So far as I noticed in media the only serious opinion about possible results expressed by some American Tibetologists is that harsh crackdown on protesters is expected.

I also share this view, the only difference is that China needs desperately Olympics in august and does not need PR catastrophe in Tibet. There were minor changes on other fronts so far - Chinese and Dharamsala authorities exchanged the same old accusations while internationally Gordon Brown decided symbolically to meet Dala lama in May when he visits London, without substantially changing British policy towards Tibetan issue.

Situation in Tibet however may change substantially in case of very severe Chinese brutalities and world economical crisis - high inflation was cited as the main reason behind growing dissatisfaction with Communist government among wider circles in Chinese society.

Of course Tibetan independence is not viable in near future, but hopes of exiles for substantial and meaningful autonomy have no chance whatsoever under the current regime in Beijing. That's why all this frustration and anger.

Display:
Each time I hear of Tibet in the Western press, and its relationship to Beijing, I wonder what an autonomous or an independent Tibet would look like. Or in particular, would have looked like had it not been liberated by the People's Liberation Army shortly after the revolution.

I'm strongly suspecting it would have looked a lot like neighboring Bhutan; just now creeping out of the middle ages, a feudal kingdom, social relations largely in the same place they were hundreds of years ago. (Note taken of recent moves, tops down of course, in Bhutan to bring it to the modern world...) Or perhaps neighboring Nepal, where a similar kingdom held sway until quite recently, suffering from severe unrest which makes Tibet's recent troubles look pretty tame in comparison; funny thing is, Nepal's troubles are never pitched, in the Western press, in quite the same politicized way as Tibet's minor troubles. I wonder why that might be ;-)

I also note that Tibet, unlike Bhutan or Nepal, doesn't have a heritary king, but rather, a spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, quite popular in many parts of the West and in south asia as well. It is hard not to avoid wondering, at least for me, why it is that theocracy is somehow not okay when it involves mullahs in Iran, but is perfectly acceptable when it involves a Buddhist who competes with one of our rivals on the world stage. I suppose it helps to be popular with Richard Gere as well...

One final note - the exile community is India is not all on board with the Dalai Lama's scaled back autonomy plans. I wonder if the folks doing the rioting in Lhasa are associated with the more hardline elements in Dharamsala and not the Dalai Lama himself. That would explain a lot. Any thoughts?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 01:16:02 PM EST
I recently read this:

China Matters: Black Days for the Dalai Lama

Black Days for the Dalai Lama ...courtesy of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement

Amidst the horrific violence of the last few days, somebody's been working overtime to marginalize the Dalai Lama and undercut him as the leader of the worldwide Tibetan movement.

Not just the Chinese.

I'm talking to you, Tsewang Rigzin.

Tibetan unrest in China is not just a problem for the PRC. It's a major problem for the Tibetan emigre movement, which is threatening to fissure because of conflicts between moderates and militants.

And from it (as I understood it) the short answer would be that the protests on the ground is local and not that associated with either part of the exile movements.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 02:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that, as usual.

Did you notice something in the first photo? The "English Wine" sign?

Hilarious...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 02:52:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree.. completely.

I would say that Saudia Araia is also liked in Europe and the US (while is worst than Iran). But still, that was not the point of my comment. I wanted to point out that Sauid Arabia and Buthan are not, even remotely, similar stuff..(neither Iran -Nepal) it is like comparing eggs and a pineapple. You name it, political, social, structural, symbolic (and so on), almost nothing in common.

So I put fault on your basic structural reasoning, sorry :) Saying that Nepal without comunism would be something as distateful as Saudi Arabia is completely incorrect (by comparing it with Buthan, which I alsto think is not quite like Nepal but I have no background on it since never read anything about it). A basic symbolic analysis of the works of the anthropologists in the field explains it in detail. Clearly Nepal is not like the australian aborigens (which also have a non-democratic structure but frankly they are more democratic that anything one can reproduce in the west) but it is not Saudi Arabia either.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 05:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Bhutan the country counting Gross National Happiness? They might be doing not so bad, after all. What is fatally wrong with social relations largely in the same place they were hundreds of years ago? Most African tribes might be doing much better till now in they were not had been forced out of their feudal kingdoms by colonizations.

As for theocracy selection, I formed an opinion that it is chiefly Abrahamic theocracies (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that are running the problems of the world since ages. They militant resolution for "one God" is not necessarily the norm in spiritual traditions. Yeah, you have the example of purely non-Abrahamic conflict in Sri Lanka, and more demanding Buddhists in Thailand - but that idea of fighting specifically for your faith might had come there fairly recently. For what I know about spread of Buddhism, it does not fit into the frame of fervent persuasion and even political abuse. Say, in Japan two religions - Buddhism and 'pagan' Shintoism - coexist for more than a millennium without visible tension. Persons profess both traditions, as if religion is not about specifically about believing something but knowing how to live. Buddhist theocracies might not be very attractive political forms, but are modern hyped democracies unquestionably better?

by das monde on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 09:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been trying to find a longish text I read some time ago about the situation in Tibet priorto 1950. It was quite good. Anyway it described Tibet as rather medieval feudalism with peasants hands cut of if they tried to espace the land they were bound to.

Maybe someone else remembers that text and can give a link?

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 10:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please find it then find who wrote it.

That part may be interesting too.

by Francois in Paris on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 11:24:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Found it!

Just had to remember some key words and then it became googlable.

It is not very long, and worth reading in full, but here is some paragraphs:

Swans Commentary: Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti - mparen01

Throughout the ages there has prevailed a distressing symbiosis between religion and violence. The histories of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam are heavily laced with internecine vendettas, inquisitions, and wars. Again and again, religionists have claimed a divine mandate to terrorize and massacre heretics, infidels, and other sinners.

...

In 1953, the greater part of the rural population -- some 700,000 of an estimated total population of 1,250,000 -- were serfs. Tied to the land, they were allotted only a small parcel to grow their own food. Serfs and other peasants generally went without schooling or medical care. They spent most of their time laboring for the monasteries and individual high-ranking lamas, or for a secular aristocracy that numbered not more than 200 wealthy families. In effect, they were owned by their masters who told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. A serf might easily be separated from his family should the owner send him to work in a distant location. Serfs could be sold by their masters, or subjected to torture and death.

...

The Chinese Communists occupied Tibet in 1951, claiming suzerainty over that country. The 1951 treaty provided for ostensible self-government under the Dalai Lama's rule but gave China military control and exclusive right to conduct foreign relations. The Chinese were also granted a direct role in internal administration "to promote social reforms." At first, they moved slowly, relying mostly on persuasion in an attempt to effect change. Among the earliest reforms they wrought was to reduce usurious interest rates, and build some hospitals and roads.

...

Many of the Tibetan commandos and agents whom the CIA dropped into the country were chiefs of aristocratic clans or the sons of chiefs. Ninety percent of them were never heard from again, according to a report from the CIA itself. (30) The small and thinly spread PLA garrisons in Tibet could not have captured them all. The PLA must have received support from Tibetans who did not sympathize with the uprising. This suggests that the resistance had a rather narrow base within Tibet. "Many lamas and lay members of the elite and much of the Tibetan army joined the uprising, but in the main the populace did not, assuring its failure," writes Hugh Deane. (31) In their book on Tibet, Ginsburg and Mathos reach a similar conclusion: "The Tibetan insurgents never succeeded in mustering into their ranks even a large fraction of the population at hand, to say nothing of a majority. As far as can be ascertained, the great bulk of the common people of Lhasa and of the adjoining countryside failed to join in the fighting against the Chinese both when it first began and as it progressed." (32) Eventually the resistance crumbled.

...

The émigrés' plight received fulsome play in the West and substantial support from U.S. agencies dedicated to making the world safe for economic inequality. Throughout the 1960s the Tibetan exile community secretly received $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama's organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama's annual share was $186,000, making him a paid agent of the CIA. Indian intelligence also financed him and other Tibetan exiles.

...

It might be said that we denizens of the modern secular world cannot grasp the equations of happiness and pain, contentment and custom, that characterize more "spiritual" and "traditional" societies. This may be true, and it may explain why some of us idealize such societies. But still, a gouged eye is a gouged eye; a flogging is a flogging; and the grinding exploitation of serfs and slaves is still a brutal class injustice whatever its cultural embellishments. There is a difference between a spiritual bond and human bondage, even when both exist side by side.

To be sure, there is much about the Chinese intervention that is to be deplored. In the 1990s, the Han, the largest ethnic group comprising over 95 percent of China's vast population, began moving in substantial numbers into Tibet and various western provinces. (48) These resettlements have had an effect on the indigenous cultures of western China and Tibet. On the streets of Lhasa and Shigatse, signs of Chinese preeminence are readily visible. Chinese run the factories and many of the shops and vending stalls. Tall office buildings and large shopping centers have been built with funds that might have been better spent on water treatment plants and housing.

...

In a book published in 1996, the Dalai Lama proffered a remarkable statement that must have sent shudders through the exile community. It reads in part as follows:

Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes-that is the majority -- as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. For those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair. . . .

The failure of the regime in the Soviet Union was, for me not the failure of Marxism but the failure of totalitarianism. For this reason I think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist.

Ok, that became many paragraphs, so read it in full.

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 01:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, point made.

Parenti is not neutral. He's a hardcore ideologue, the kind the left could do without.

by Francois in Paris on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 03:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In his country, the "left" hasn't accomplished anything for working people in nearly four decades and his government has developed into the biggest machine this side of the fall of Rome for wars of aggression in all corners of the planer.

I'd say, on the contrary, we are woefully short of rigorous thinkers and polemicists like Valenti.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 03:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Jaw drops six feet. Hurts]

Parenti is not a rigorous thinker.

He's a cheap polemicist, a lazy, pompous, self-indulgent bottom feeder and an ideological wanker of the first order. Not an ounce of rigor and nothing original to say. He just rehashes what has been thought and said much better by others. He happens to be a very successful beneficiary of one of the many denunciatory, pseudo-radical jerk circles that exist here and there in the academic poli-sci left.

Contrast with people like Altmeyer.

by Francois in Paris on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 10:20:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
serious hacks. Can't see here what the problem is, is there some discussion of Valenti which leads you to call him this? For me, the biggest hacks write airport best-sellers and get their columns published twice weekly, they don't get published in the New Left Review.

I forwarded this to my da, former political science prof, first thing he said was he taught out of the guy's textbook. I see his bibliography, and note he is well published, and anybody on the Verso Press list gets an automatic pass from me for life.

We talking about the same guy? I mean, I know we're not exactly ideologically compatible a lot of the time, but we're still broadly on the same side...

Just checking.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 11:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Parenti, not Valenti.

He's highly praised in some academic circles but he's still a vacuous hack.

by Francois in Paris on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 11:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oops, that's what i meant.

well, everyone has their taste in writers, there's no explaining it.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 11:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's a hack.

It's not even that I necessarily disagree with some of the positions he embraces. It's more that I find him utterly banal when he's correct and completely loopy and discredited otherwise. Racism in the US is a decoy issue to control the white lower class? Well, yeah, duh. Rich people like power and use it to consolidate their positions at the expense of everybody else? Wow, now that's a profound truth that needed to revealed for all to know! Thanks you, Michael! How courageous! And for the rest, barf: barely disguised apologetics of communist totalitarians, open support for conspiracy cranks, knee-jerk victim-sucking for any "struggle" out there, etc.

The last I paid attention to that idiot was "Against Empire". I found that book atrocious. He manages to be at the same time hectoring and whiny, zero useful information and an inordinate amount of BS and highly selective fact dropping. All in one Noam Chomsky without the brains and Ann Coulter without the legs.

On that article Sven quoted, there was something I found very amusing:

Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the Chinese in Tibet after 1959, they did abolish slavery and the serfdom system of unpaid labor. They eliminated the many crushing taxes, started work projects, and greatly reduced unemployment and beggary. They built the only hospitals that exist in the country, and established secular education, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the monasteries. They constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa.

First, I wouldn't trust any of that at face value given the BS that precedes. He's pretty much spewing Chinese propaganda, the Maoist-Marxist correct version of our own western pro-colonial literature a century ago.

But more importantly: So what? Close to the same could be said of Israel when it took over the occupied territories from Egypt and Jordan who had grossly mismanaged Gaza and Cisjordan. Under Israeli occupation in the 70s and early 80s, Palestinians had one of the highest living standards in the Arab world. Not difficult given how disastrous the rest of the region was at that time. It didn't prevent Palestinians from really resenting the occupation :)

I just find Parenti profoundly useless and unremarkable at his least offensive and grossly hackish and dishonest otherwise.

by Francois in Paris on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 09:53:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if you´d rephrase this without the deeply sexist message, regardless of views on the topic, or the people.

All in one Noam Chomsky without the brains and Ann Coulter without the legs.

Thank you.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 10:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the US context and regarding Ann Coulter, it's not sexist to say that. It's plainly, factually accurate. Ann Coulter's legs are the only asset that carried her in politics. Ann Coulter, with others like Laura Ingraham, was a forerunner of a deliberate strategy by the right wing noise machine and in particular Fox News to play on the sex appeal of a handful of somewhat cute women, with no other value but their good looks, as mouthpieces to spew the most reactionary crap. It was meant 1) to attract their mostly male and frustrated audience and 2) to disarm the other side by eliciting the kind of defensive/solidary reactions like yours.

You should watch that, posted by bluegal at C&L and be edified. I'm not the crass one in that issue.

That being said, I think that strategy is thankfully well past its sell-by date.

It'd be sexist if I made the same remark on, say, Rachel Maddow or Keli Goff, here both of them demolishing Pat Buchanan, who have their seat as political commentators on their own merits from the trenches (and Maddow as a pretty witty humorist on Air America Radio), independent of their (very) good looks.

by Francois in Paris on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 07:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I repeat:  comparing yourself to others who use  insulting sexism, does not stop it from being sexism, regardless of opinions.  No need for long and overworked excuses.

The more it is practiced and accepted as normal, the more it spreads and harms social behavior.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Mar 24th, 2008 at 05:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In 1953, the greater part of the rural population -- some 700,000 of an estimated total population of 1,250,000 -- were serfs. Tied to the land, they were allotted only a small parcel to grow their own food. Serfs and other peasants generally went without schooling or medical care. They spent most of their time laboring for the monasteries and individual high-ranking lamas, or for a secular aristocracy that numbered not more than 200 wealthy families. In effect, they were owned by their masters who told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. A serf might easily be separated from his family should the owner send him to work in a distant location. Serfs could be sold by their masters, or subjected to torture and death.

This text is full of blatant lies, just check serious academic books I recommended earlier. Especially this paragraph is outrageous.

Why, I can explain - in pre-Chinese invasion Tibet there was staggering amount of monks. Of course monks did not produce food or cloth or whatever they need for life. Monasteries were biggest feudals (according to Marxist and European point of view) having lots of so-called serfs. Yet these serfs had to provide food, tea, cloth and other items for special religious ceremonies mainly.

Monasteries paid their monks meagre sums which were not sufficient for their survival but monks could participate in as many as possible religious ceremonies where they could eat and drink tea. Thus monasteries managed to oblige monks to perform their duties otherwise there were no ways to do this and to get rid of useless or lazy monks (monks could be expelled from monasteries only if they committed murder or had sex).

Of course there were rich bureaucratic or aristocratic families but their holdings were much smaller than monasteries and in stead they had to work for state for free (without salary). If aristocratic family failed to produce clerks their holdings were forfeited and confiscated.

It's just amazing how much lies about Tibet Chinese dessiminated while more amazing is readiness to absorb these lies.

by FarEasterner on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 08:15:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This text is full of blatant lies, just check serious academic books I recommended earlier. Especially this paragraph is outrageous.

I freely admit to knowing very little about Tibet, so I would be glad to have errors in Parentis text pointed out.

I will try to pick up Goldsteins book at the library after easter. I have not found it online.

Why, I can explain - in pre-Chinese invasion Tibet there was staggering amount of monks. Of course monks did not produce food or cloth or whatever they need for life. Monasteries were biggest feudals (according to Marxist and European point of view) having lots of so-called serfs. Yet these serfs had to provide food, tea, cloth and other items for special religious ceremonies mainly.

Monasteries paid their monks meagre sums which were not sufficient for their survival but monks could participate in as many as possible religious ceremonies where they could eat and drink tea. Thus monasteries managed to oblige monks to perform their duties otherwise there were no ways to do this and to get rid of useless or lazy monks (monks could be expelled from monasteries only if they committed murder or had sex).

Of course there were rich bureaucratic or aristocratic families but their holdings were much smaller than monasteries and in stead they had to work for state for free (without salary). If aristocratic family failed to produce clerks their holdings were forfeited and confiscated.

This description would suit many parts of medieval Europe (except the details of how food is distributed to monks within the temples). I do not see it contradicting Parentis description, rather complementing it by adding the functions of the feudalism. Yet it is obvious that you find Parentis text wrong, so was it (according to you) that tax rates were pretty low or was the peasants not bound to the soil? (Or both?)

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 05:28:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Feudalism is European concept, don't forget. There are so many things here in Asia which you cannot describe using European terms, because these words have different meanings and history here.

This maybe a problem when one tries to explain some things to European audience and stuck as our terms are unknown there.

Chinese no doubt are (and were) very clever using negative European-style cliches and terms to justify their imperialist policies.

by FarEasterner on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 12:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The best description is in History of Modern Tibet 1913-1951 by Melvin Goldstein. He is very knowledgeable and unbiased.

First of all when you try to make judgement on society that you don't know try to collect all information available. Beginning with harsh high altitude climate and low fertility of soils and proceeding further.

Goldstein in details describe "exploitation", "serfdom" and monastic system existed in Tibet before Chinese invasion. It was not an ideal society but it was distinctive society which majority (I can say overwhelming majority) of people found satisfactory.

Tragedy of Tibet was its location between geopolitical giants and decline of Mongol power in Central Asia and of course Tibet had no chances to preserve its unique culture in the same way as indigenous American civilizations could not preserve their culture and freedom under European onslaught.
 

by FarEasterner on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 11:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I appreciate your involvement in this discussion I do not agree with your points, smelling more of hasty judgments and colonial arrogance. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

First of all I see no point of speculating what Tibet would look like - you ask this question to draw negative opinion in minds of readers. Because most of them think that theocracy is bad. This question very often not only Chinese nationalists ask, when they try to justify unjustifiable but also all European colonialists asked - what indigenous American societies would look like if noble Europeans did not come and rescued victims of barbaric human sacrifices.

Secondly you're wrong in your description of Bhutan and your comparison with Nepal is not justified here - Nepal is not under occupation and nobody suppress culture of Nepalis.

Thirdly theocracy in Tibet was absolutely different from what we can see in Iran.

You can recommend two very good books on Tibet: The Dragon in the land of snow. A history of Modern Tibet 1947-1999 by Tsering Shakya and Melvin Goldstein's Demise of the lamaist state, History of modern Tibet 1913-1951.  

by FarEasterner on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 12:09:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I respectfully disagree. Tibet has been part of China since before the white man came to North America. It is not under occupation, though I do understand some ethnic Tibetans (like some ethnic Basques in Spain, ethnic Corsicans in France, ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka or ethnic Pathans in Pakistan) think it is, as does Richard Gere. And whatever India and the US say about the subject, their views are not to be taken at face value, there are other geopolitical and self-interest reasons for their respective views, and in the case of the former, this includes a territorial dispute which very arguably should go the way of the PRC.

In fact, that the country exists as an entity with national aspirations has far more to do with British colonialism of the 19th century, which is why your ascribing some sort of colonialist agenda to my statement here is somewhat ironic in my view. Especially since, if I understand things correctly, you are writing from India, which has taken up the same geopolitically interested position today as did India of  the British Raj of yesterday...and I don't think I have to go over what China's experience with British colonialism actually was; this was but one aspect of it, but the history is sordid, very very sordid, and goes far to explain properly nationalist views in China in this regard (and again, to reiterate, I'm not Chinese).

As for the rest of it, and again I respectfully disagree. In my view progress by definition moves forward. The 1949 revolution did this, in the long view of history. Countries without radio, television, an absolutist king, et c., until this decade (like Bhutan) do not. Again, this "national happiness" stuff look great on paper but I want to see poverty reduction and moving the ball forward for all of us, and the PRC is delivering.

Quite frankly I don't buy the fact that there are  Tibetan national aspirations, felt by a groundswell of Tibetans, any more than I buy that there are Cubans in Cuba who think that the Cubans in Miami should just show up tomorrow in Havana, take over everything and run the country, or that if you poll Corsicans they actually want autonomy (which, by the way, we tried...and they didn't..some would say quite convincingly that this was unfortunate).

Of course I am willing to be proven wrong but until I see a poll of all Tibetans (including Han who live in Tibet) who want independance, autonomy or some other, I'm having a hard time with this.

Again, respectfully and fully understanding this is an unpopular view around here.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 01:58:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tibet has been part of China since before the white man came to North America.

That's official Chinese state ideology today. However, whether an autonomous but tribute-paying region is part of a country is in the eye of the beholder (see f.e. the fiefdoms not directly under Ottoman control in Europe, or Korea for long periods of China's history). What's more, Tibet was not the only region getting free during the Chinese imerium's 20th century weakness: there's Taiwan (overtly threatened by One China ideology) and Mongolia (covertly threatened), too.

It is not under occupation, though I do understand some ethnic Tibetans (like some ethnic Basques in Spain, ethnic Corsicans in France, ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka or ethnic Pathans in Pakistan) think it is

The only reason I haven't told you are channelling official Chinese state ideology is that I think you are channelling French national state ideology.

More to the point, China's settlement policies (which didn't 'finish off the job' so far only because a lot of settlers can't stand the climate and move back East after a few years) and the behaviour of the settlers cannot be called other than occupation. To not rely on Western media, I tell what a friend told who travelled from Beijing to Bombay as backback tourist. For example, every village is 'doubled': the original village of the native ethnics is sided with a Han Chinese quarter, and power is held by the latter. The problem is not just the regime, it's Han Chinese nationalism, as evidenced by tourists: the most disrestpectful in Buddhist temples weren't from Texas but from Shanghai & environs.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 04:28:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As bit of a counter-point, to avoid the simplest mis-readings of the above.

The above is no advocacy of Tibetan separatism. In general, I don't think in drawing borders as a solution to anything. For the population of Tibet, I think the best would be more cultural autonomy, more local government, and an end to settlement policies while infrastructure and other projects of the Chinese central government would continue.

Of course all of this is predicated upon the issue of democracy, which the PRC is not (it is a hyper-capitalist worker-exploiting state and a centralised-top-down-bureaucratic imperium in one), not anymore than the old feudal government of Tibet. Which makes me wince at both you (redstar) speaking about opinion polls to 'believe' that there is popular resentment and FarEasterner claiming wide satisfaction pre-PRC-occupation.

I haven't attacked your (redstar's) point about the economic benefits the PRC brought because even if I am not unreservedly enthusiastic about the changes and less willing to blanket equate them with progress, just these are the reasons I don't think the Tibet case is as clear-cut as in the eye of most Western Free Tibet! campaigners.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 07:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well said DoDo.

I myself find redstar's attitude rather interesting. After all, I could equally have said some short years ago "I have no evidence for national aspirations in Ukraine" etc. etc."

Or, one can easily say "I see no reason to believe that the people of Burma are unhappy with their present government, in the absence of a poll that talks to all the people in the country."

And yet, redstar claims to unabashedly believe in "progress." But only economic it seems, not in terms of people's lived political lives...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 08:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
can say there are nationalist aspirations in Eastern Ukraine for reattachment to Russia, which would also have the advantage of historical arguments on its side as well. Ukrianian history didn't stop with that turquoise revolution or whatever the American PR firms came up with for Ukraine here, Georgia there et c.

Burma did have a poll, and the Burmese people did speak overwhelmingly against the military regime currently occupying the couutry. That one is pretty clear.

But you are absolutely correct in your take on my view that economic progress and above all equality are far better guideposts to human rights and human gain than simply installing a liberal democracy which can be gamed by the wealthy to their advantage, a regime I lie under (for now) in Amerika.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 09:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see I forgot to address this point. To justify the Chinese takeover with economic improvements assumes that an autonomous Tibet would have stayed static.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 01:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And given how they select their leader, it can just as easily go backwards as go forwards, can't it?

I wouldn't want the pope running the EU.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who said internal revolution or less violent change is not a possibility?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 04:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
discontent in Tibet regarding rule from Beijing. I just don't have any verifiable way of determining its extent and I just don't trust the Western press on this one, not by a long shot. And I certainly won't take Richard Gere's word for it. I also note that the Chinese press tends to play up the PRC's support for ethnic minorities in the PRC and have no way to evaluate that claim either, really. Surely the truth lies somewhere, but where exactly does it lie? (And my general operating principle - if the originating press is english-language, it almost certainly lies to some extent...)

I also recognize this may be attacked as naive, but as far as I know, the operating governing principle in Beiing is still Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and, if emphasis on markets rather than command and control has taken place, it's also a fact that the Beijing government actively governs with a view towards not just social stability, but also equality and fairness. Whereas in the west discussions of gini coefficients and growing income disparities make the glibertarian elites roll their eyes, these considerations are taken very very seriously, still, in Beijing.

As long as the party hasn't changed its name and the army is still called the People's Liberation Army, I'm going to err on the side of naivete and continue to believe that they are, in the large survey of history, on our side.

That, anyhow, explains what might appear to some to be my apparently curious position here.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 09:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your assumptions seem contrary to my own experiences in the region.

Your "naive faith" in the nature of the PLA as a non-imperial instrument seems contrary to a history of a thousand years of popular revolts against "Imperial rule" in many regions of what is now China.

Your assumptions about how seriously the "Gini coefficient" is taken in governing circles in China seems not only contradictory to the experiences of the people I know living there, but also the outcomes of government policies we can see in action.

Distrusting the Western press is a good thing, but you might consider being less certain about "the realities on the ground" if you are claiming a position of "generalised distrust of the propaganda we're being fed."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 09:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
many friends from (and in) the PRC, and in particular the view of Tibet as integral part of China is of a pair with the general view of Chinese people living in the PRC. It's not just the official line.

I am wondering, do you have any numbers, information on the PRC and income inequality that would suggest the Beijing government and the Party do not take this seriously? China is a big place, a bigger place, by most meaningful demographic measures far more socio-economically diverse, to begin with, than Europe is, and so you need to take these differences into consideration. Comparing gini's to Europe's individual nations, or even the US, is therefore not appropriate, as the rapid gains the PRC has made economically are regionally uneven, something the Beijing government actively tries to manage. Rural poverty is quite high, but let's remember that China is still going through the stage of rural to urban migration which largely ended in Europe two or three generations ago, and this process creates havoc in creating income disparities in the short term all the while eventually, if managed well, creating conditions for much greater equality in the medium- and long view. Put another way, I have no doubt the PRC will be a much more equal place than it is today when my grandchildren finish school; as for the "West" (tm), I'm not so sure. That might be an article of faith, but there it is.

And anyhow, the most comprehensive measure of human rights and human gain, produced annually by the UN, has the PRC climbing steadily where it will soon enter the top tier in the UN's Human Development Index's annual rankings. Compare to the other places we are talking about - India, Bhutan, Nepal. Way, way down. For me, it's simply not even controversial to say that the PRC is mankind's most successful poverty alleviation program in history.  

And I do distrust propaganda and take official PRC statements like this one with perhaps less a skeptical eye  as I do the anglo-american press, but a skeptical eye nonetheless. But I will say one thing, and this too may be taken by some as an article of faith and if so, so be it: socialist imperialism is an oxymoron. I don't see the PLA in this sense the same way as you.

All this being said, I suppose we could give Brittany back to the Bretons, it's been part of France for about as long as Tibet has been part of China, and there is a separatist movement there as well, at times in history quite strong.

Plus they have a really cool flag.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 11:38:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I do not agree with everything you write (especially your esthetic opinion of the Chinese flag design, but that may simply be a question of fashion), I find myself nodding along with most of what you have to say in this comment and much of what you write elsewhere in the thread, albeit I have only been in China for nine months and in the extremely affluent, very sheltered east coastal town of Hangzhou.

There are still things to be very concerned about with respect to China, perhaps even afraid of, including Han nationalism which DoDo (or was it Metatone?) mentioned, corruption, the precarious state of internalized social controls, and a historical self-image which is shockingly grandiose (not to mention favorite Western targets like natural resource consumption, socioeconomic inequality, human rights abuses, information control, pollution, etc.)  But -- and like you, maybe I am being naïve -- overall I am impressed by and optimistic about China's progress.

Oh, reading Western coverage of these riots has been disappointing to say the least -- and in some ways even more instructive about Western media bias than the pre-Iraq war insanity.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 01:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that I am daily reevaluating and revising my thoughts and feelings about China, based on personal experiences, observations, readings, conversations, etc.  Who knows, one trip to Tibet and what I see and hear there may completely change my views -- and another trip may do so again.  It's happened before, both here and in other places, as it must happen to many people living overseas, or even within their own countries.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 01:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a good point, a very good one.

And perhaps my perceptions are colored by my own experiences, which is far more PRC-oriented (I've probably exchanged 50 ims with one of my best friends from university...her da is a PRC (now retired) diplomat who spent a long time at the UN.) But while dated, I did have contacts on the other side of this argument we are having here as well, not Tibetan, but Bhutanese, also from university days, a woman from my circle of friends who was a daughter of an adviser to the king and also posted for a time at the UN. She went to Scarsdale for high school in America, then the same international university as I (Kofi Annan, among others, was a graduate) at the same time and again in the same circle of friends.

The things she told about Bhutan, and what she would be doing when she graduated, and the typical life of a Bhutanese back then (ie, not going abroad for school in rizty highschools and so on), boggled my mind. I immediately thought of peasant life back in the days of the Shogunate.

I mean, I understand people romanticise this stuff, and I understand also the romanstic appeal of this "national happiness" measure the king of Bhutan has come up with (funny - that's not PR, but "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" somehow is!). But sorry, for me, progress ain't the past, it's now and in the future. Great leaps forward, great enough so that the inevitable steps backward in reaction don't retract the whole of the steps leaped.

   

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 04:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about piles of bodies of killed monks shown on CNN yesterday? Were these photos fabricated, it's also anti-Chinese bias? In fact if Western media is biased it's unabashedly pro-Chinese (savouring how barbarous Tibetans attacked innocent Han settlers) and especially CNN which invested heavily in China and coverage of upcoming Olympics.
by FarEasterner on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 07:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not have access to CNN TV here, and I have not been able to find the pictures on their website.  If you have links to those pictures, could you post them here?

I may be naïve and gullible, but I do not believe the weeping Han civilians who were interviewed on Chinese TV news were actors making up stories about how their daughters and sisters were burned to death in stores which were impossible to escape from which were set on fire by Tibetan mobs from which they were hiding.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 12:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, the Chinese news keep on reiterating that they have "definite evidence" that the "Dalai clique" was behind all the riots, in Lhasa as well as Sichuan, without bothering to tell us what the evidence consists of.

Of course, one cannot buy the Chinese version wholesale.  But one should not buy the foreign version wholesale either.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 12:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PRC flag (which is fine by me anyhow, I like the dominant color!) but the Bretagne flag:



The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read of widespread worker and peasant revolts in Eastern China over the past five years on (leftist, Mandarin-speaker) blogs before the Western MSM took notice.

The PLA was used to crush the people's uprising in 1989 all across the country (this is not commonly known, the revolt then did not consist of TV-cameraed Beijing students on Tiennanmen Square only).

As an internationalist, I take expressions like "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" as PR hogwash to cloud over the abandonment of real Marxist ideals. (I contend BTW that rejecting internationalism was crucial in the initial split-off of Social Democrats from Marxist socialism, and a similar rejection by Lenin sealed the fate of the Soviet Union.)

In my view, the PRC central government considers social stability a power issue, exploitation of migrant workers is OK as long as discontent doesn't concentrate in a major region. Ths what it does is less programmes for social equality rather than regional equality.

After these critical notes, I submit it may be that, as it often happens in top-down hierarchical systems, the majority may believe that the central government is all good for them, and blame local officials for problems (not recognising this is a systemic problem, and strikers and uprisers against a bad local official who appeal to the central government are in for a rude surprise when armed forces are sent in in support of that official). The example that sruck most in me comes from a source you may term MSM, National Geographic: Northeast of Bejing, a local official embezzled the funds for the big tree-planting project, by sending people to dig the holes but not buying any trees. The author seemed to expect anti-regime feelings, but the locals told him about it all in the explicit hope that he'll relay it into the ears of the top in Beijing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 01:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I contend BTW that rejecting internationalism was crucial in the initial split-off of Social Democrats from Marxist socialism, and a similar rejection by Lenin sealed the fate of the Soviet Union

I'd really like it if you developed this thought into a longer post.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh... I'm supposed to do that about since I wrote this... I shall, eventually :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:40:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think I have to go over what China's experience with British colonialism actually was; this was but one aspect of it, but the history is sordid, very very sordid, and goes far to explain properly nationalist views in China in this regard (and again, to reiterate, I'm not Chinese).

Ah please, one can be a victim of imperialism and imperialist at the same time. There have been rebellions against China's own colonialism throughout its history of over two millennia, some successful (Vietnam) some not (Miao-Yao rebellions).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 04:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Redstar,

China is an imperialist power like any other. It has "historical" claims on all of its neighbours: Tibet, Indochina, Eastern Siberia, etc. The fact that it's not a European power doesn't make any difference.

by Francois in Paris on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 03:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Culturally different.  Linguistically different.  Ethnically different.  

Commonalities in traditional world views are real--resulting from intellectual and trade ties over many centuries.  

This is a case where facts exist.  Opinion alone not acceptable.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 08:31:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything you said is obvious lie as Chinese themselves were under the rule of foreign Manchu dynasty till 1911. Only in the last period Manchus tried to assimilate themselves into Chinese mainstream, but were not fully accepted (just read about Boxer rebellion and their slogans and derogatory songs).

Tibetans do not owe their civilisation, religion and culture to China in any way, and their country was occupied and their culture, religion and way of life were brutally suppressed since 1950. More astonishing that China still continue to claim some Indian territories like Arunachal Pradesh claiming these lands once belonged to Tibet - no surprise how locals think of such horrible perspective. Sheer hypocrisy, callous and imperialist designs - that's how inhabitants of these Buddhist regions think of Chinese policies.

If some did not know here I am neither Tibetan nor Indian to be biased by origin. I know and can speak about many negative features of Tibetans and Indians and their policies, but these do not overshadow the clear picture of atrocities committed by China in Tibet. In my view you just try to justify unjustifiable.

by FarEasterner on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 07:56:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don't appreciate being called a liar.

Especially given that I've been more than respectful in presenting the counterpoint, and that at root, the source of dissension is as much one of interpretation of fact as it is one of ideological beliefs. We've had similar discussions on Afghanistan (where I've actually been at) and held the undoubtedly just as unpopular view on this matter that Afghanistan would have been far better off if the Saudi Americans and their mujahideen proxies had been defeated by the Soviets and Najibullah, while bad, was far better than who (and what) came thanks to the Saudi Americans.

For me, this is a very similar discussion at the ideological level. Same part of the world, too, buffer areas of hardscrabble between very large and competing regional imperial powers (one of which you current reside in). And, while the Dalai Lama presents an admirable, sympathetic, noble face for his people and his cause, I think you know that as he has moved more and more towards inclusionary, progressive views of the future and of relations with Beijing and the Han people who live in Tibet, the exile community has in inverse proportion gotten quite nervous about him. This brings to the fore the obvious question of who succeeds the Dalai Lama after his death, and what all of this means to future progress, plurality human rights and human gains not in this decade, but in future decades as well.

Again, I really do not appreciate being called a liar.    

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I wanted to say un-truth but later realized that un-truth and lie are the same.

Didn't you say that "Tibet has been part of China since before the white man..." - you do feel comfortable with such distortion of history?

And yet you proceed to invoke some long-overdue sympathy for treatment China suffered at the hands of European powers and Japan then spinning into what real aspirations of Tibetans are (surprise, surprise in one-party state).

If you don't appreciate to be called a liar, you had better to think whether your statements are independently verifyable or not in advance.

by FarEasterner on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 10:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lie carries an intentional distortion, "You know that this is not true, but you are saying it anyway".

If it is untrue this can either be becuase it is a lie or because it is factually incorrect and the other person is unaware of it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 24th, 2008 at 10:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FarEasterner:
Everything you said is obvious lie

I'm not an FP'er, but there was no need for saying that, FarEasterner.

It only diminishes your point.

Which is a shame, because this has been an interesting thread and Diary.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 04:08:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may not be personal, I read it as "lie [of the PRC]". It may also be a poorly picked word (i.e. instead of "falsehood") from someone not with English as first languege like you and redstar. So I won't flag it as FP.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 04:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd buy that if anything I said in the comment he was responding to in any way made referenced to, or was sourced from, PRC press, government statements and whatnot.

Understood english as second language, something i deal with all the time, but i don't think that's what was going on here.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 06:26:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't and won't be shy when some shamelessly spread false information espcially here, right beneath my diary.

If you feel comfortable with lies it's up to you.

by FarEasterner on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 05:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know too much about the history of China and Tibet, but I seem to recall that the relationship is much more complicated than "Tibet has been part of China for hundreds of years". The Mongol empire is not China just like the Ottoman empire is not Turkey. It doesn't look like the Ming Dynasty controlled Tibet, and the Qing Dynasty was Manchu, not Han. In addition, in 1912 the Chinese army detachments in Tibet simply left and went back to China. The fact that China (and Britain) didn't recognize the independence of Tibet doesn't mean that China did anything to assert authority over it until it got into Mao's head.

Culturally, Tibet has features both from the Hindu and Chinese cultural matrices - like (the perhaps aptly named) Indochina, it's a buffer state between India and China. It is probably not properly part of neither. Someone mentioned the fact that the 3 great Chinese rivers start in Tibet. In fact, they start in the provinces of Amdo and Kham to the Northeast, which China annexed around 1928 leaving the region around Lhasa (what is now the Tibet Autonomous Region) alone. The region around Lhasa is an endorheic basin with no ecoregion-level connection to China proper. Someone mentioned the sources of the Brahmaputra but that's just on the southernmost edge of the Tibetan plateau. Were it not for the buffer state location between China and India it would have no strategic value to China. Well, maybe there are some mineral deposits there. At the rate they're going China can rape those resources in 5 years and move on to greener pastures leaving a bunch of smoking holes in the mountains. Which brings me to the PRC as "history's most successful poverty reduction program" to quote another comment of yours in this thread. Is that sustainable? It's being done at an appalling environmental price, and it is doubtful that the Chinese people in the hinterland are benefitting at all from it, not to speak of the fact that the Cultural Revolution was a cultural suicide to follow the physical suicide that was the Great Leap Forward. Wasn't there some story about all metal objects being confiscated in order to help the industrial production, but for instance the many, many tons of steel produced to match the insane targets of the central planners were brittle and effectively crap steel? What a waste.

Tibet fun fact of the day: the game of Go (WeiQi in Chinese, quite possibly also the game referred to as Qi in ancient texts) probably originated in Tibet. We know this because an archaic version of the game is played there. Maybe we could have a case of "our national game originated in Tibet therefore Tibet is China".

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 06:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
Each time I hear of Tibet in the Western press, and its relationship to Beijing, I wonder what an autonomous or an independent Tibet would look like. Or in particular, would have looked like had it not been liberated by the People's Liberation Army shortly after the revolution.
Looking into this a bit it appears that the annexation of Tibet occurred in two stages. One in 1950/51 which was essentially "peaceful" but which it is a little strange to describe as "liberation" since it left the Dalai Lama in place as an authority in what is now the Tibet Autonomous Region. Then in 1958/59 there was a revolt in the provinces of Kham and Amdo in Northeastern Tibet outside the TAR which spread to Lhasa and resulted in a heavy-handed crackdown by China and the exile of the Dalai Lama. This second stage may have been a "liberation" but it wasn't "peaceful".

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 05:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankly, I like very much (love?) that this diary is here.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 05:17:34 PM EST
Me Too! Also notice that in this discussion several seldom mentioned society models are referred. It is a issue of uncommon vastness, and the real measure of our concerns towards mankind.
by findmeaDoorIntoSummer on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 07:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This image is more symbolic than revealing, but surely strong:


by das monde on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 09:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 09:11:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you so much, kcurie
by FarEasterner on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 11:54:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not sure if this was already posted elsewhere, but i was just able to view it and while not directly related to the riots in Tibet/China, it has some bearing:



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 05:10:07 AM EST
to current coverage of Tibet unrest in world media which China called "biased" you can get here as probably in many other places.

One typical piece:

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Dharamsala became the epicenter of lies.
The northern Indian resort unfortunately has become a site from which the government-in-exile churned out groundless fabrications since the riot in Lhasa.

From flat denials to completely false accusations, Dalai tried to wash itself of the brutal violence, which was his orchestration, now he is ready to quit. What a drama!

Repeated inconsistencies between what Dalai says and what he does ended up leaving all in disbelief. Dalai claimed "non-violence", but furtively stoked bloodshed in Lhasa, he claimed "culture genocide" in the face of a thriving Tibet with a well-protected culture, and he even claimed to "serve" the Tibetan people whom his clique have chosen to victimize.

When a fox tries to play angel, its tail will eventually stick out.

Hard evidence, mounted by the Chinese government, tells that the Dalai clique was the hand behind the bloody Lhasa riot.

On the same day that 300 invective and aggressive monks from the Zhaibung Monastery ventured into downtown Lhasa, groups of monks started "Marching to Tibet" across the border in India. Since then, batons held by the Dalai clique have presented a chorus of brutality.

The Dalai clique maintained real-time contacts, sources say, through varied channels with the rioters in Lhasa, and dictated instructions to his hard core devotees and synchronized their moves.

Rioters came with backpack full of stones and inflammable liquids. They were well-organized, not out of spontaneity, as the Dalai clique claimed.

Innocent people were burnt to horrid piles of scorched flesh and skeletons by the mob, who resorted to nothing near peaceful protests, as the Dalai clique asserted.

Sources told Xinhua that rogues and ruffians were even paid to join the riot, and rewarded upon the degree of destruction they inflicted.

Of course, the maroon-cassocked monk seized every chance to deny link to these all, and blatantly called for investigations into his own drama. But how could such senseless calls sound right to any sensible member of the international community?

Even to such a man who spewed many baseless remarks, the Chinese government didn't shut the door of dialogue.

"We have made it clear that as long as the Dalai is willing to give up his propositions for so-called Tibetan independence, and as long as the Dalai recognizes that Tibet is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, our door for dialogue with him is wide open," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday.

"We need to watch what the Dalai Lama does. It is up to his actions," Wen said.

So a word for Dharamsala: no more lies.

Copyright: Xinhua

It seems some here are too eager to believe in such nonsense.

by FarEasterner on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 12:04:32 PM EST
It's hard to take an article with such loaded language at face value.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 05:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Cry for Tibet
As Tibetan question is so politically charged it's not easy to see what can be added to continuing coverage of this theme in the world media.
Well, on the contrary. Because the question is so politically charged it is necessary to pick apart the coverage, the arguments, the assumptions and the facts or alleged facts.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 07:58:59 AM EST


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