International Politics Tibet

Tibet Watching


For those of you who want to take your minds off Baer Stearns and the fact that 2 million Americans will likely lose their homes before this mess is over, there’s always…..Tibet.

With China doing its best to keep any and all outsiders out of Tibet
, emails from worried Tibetan expatriots and human rights activists familiar with the area are flying around the Web in an attempt to balance the highly controlled news flow skewed to present only the view China wishes to be seen. To combat the skewing, videos showing huge but peaceful protests are being spirited out via cell phone and posted" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> on YouTube. (China has since cut access to YouTube.)

There are also the inevitable blogs and websites—all, of necessity, run by outsiders. Two of the newsiest sites that are drawing Tibet watchers are called Tibet Uprising and Students for a Free Tibet.

Here’s a snippet from one of the forwarded emails I’ve gotten on the issue. It’s written by Lhadon Tethong, a Tibetan and human rights activist who is presently living, like many exiled Tibetans, in Northern India:

My dear family and friends,

I’m not sure what to say to you right now.

Part of me wants to talk about the good side
of all that is
happening, the bravery and the courage of the Tibetan people….

But then the other part of me is full of dread
and fear for what will
happen now, for what is happening now. Will they smash the monasteries
as they again see the monks in the lead? Will they destroy the Bharkor
because it’s again a lightning rod for protest? Will they move all the
Tibetans out of Lhasa because they are in the way? Will they turn the
countryside into killing fields because nobody will know what happens
out there?

Here in Dharamsala we try to assure ourselves this won’t happen
. That
the Chinese leadership won’t dare do this now. But I don’t trust them. I
will never trust them. All my life I’ve heard the stories of what the
Chinese government does to Tibetans who are too strong, too proud. They
try to break their spirit and take away their dignity. In the darkness
of the prisons and the jails they inflict such pain and
suffering…there is no way to comprehend it from this place.

China’s deadline for protesters to “surrender”
has now expired. But it
was all a farce. Another carefully scripted ploy to make it look like
Tibetans had their chance before the Chinese authorities were forced to
take the most extreme measures.

Now all the foreigners are leaving. Soon, only the Tibetans will remain.
And, once again, it will be our people defenseless and alone left at
the mercy of one of the most deadly military forces on earth.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Dalai Lama held a news conference to express his concerns: “Please investigate…” he said, “if possible some respected organization, international organization carry entirely what is the condition, what is the situation in Tibet.”

(Is it just me, or does His Holiness look unusually buff in the above photo?)


  • Bear Stearns has 14,000 employees. Screw them, huh? And, where do you come up with two million people losing their homes, presumably because of the bad guys in business and government rather than personal decisions? Always playing the victim.

    Regarding Tibet, the Chinese will do as they please and the world will sit back and do nothing. The Chinese have too much power militarily and economically, and they don’t care what it takes or how many people they kill to get what they want. (They must have their own Hillary Clinton running things. And, China sure has formed a cozy alliance with the Clinton’s with their cash contributions to them.)

    Then, the IOC is telling people not to penalize athletes over Tibet. That’s some spirit for peace. Thanks, IOC. Government murders and loss of freedom is a small price to pay for your racket that pays your leadership huge salaries. Where’s Jimmy Carter, who blocked our athletes from going to the Soviet Union’s Olympics?

    With no international response, China will know that no one will stand up to them, so “watch out, Taiwan.”

    This great communist experiment is working just like people like me who opposed it said that it would.

    China can never be defeated directly. I don’t think that it can even fall as did the Soviet Union. We can’t even boycott them or cut off their exports to us, because of our dollars that the country owns and the threat that brings.

    I guess we need to secretly arm the people of Tibet like we did the freedom loving people of Afghanistan in their fight against communists. But, you can’t expect a non-violent protest to win if they won’t pull triggers. So, forget that.

    Hey! Maybe the United Nations can pass resolutions! We’ve seen how that works. Or, Al Gore could go there and convince them to back off of Tibet at the same time that he makes them shut down coal burning factories and unblocks their internet that he invented.

    But, China will do as it wants. I’m out of ideas other than prayer.

  • And your plan is what? Lots of hot air as usual but no recognmition of the plain fact that China (along with India, the Euro-Zone, and – possibly – Brazil) is a rising power that will dominate the coming century. For China this will be nothing new of course. Historians of the Middle Kingdom know that for most of its history it was the richest, most technologically advanced and most powerful nation on earth. It was the past two centuries that were the anomoly and things are just returning to the status quo ante.

  • Good grief, Woody, where do you get “screw them” regarding the Baer Stearns reference? Why in the world would I not be horrified for the Baer Stearns employees, many of whom not only will lose their jobs, but their retirement, which was in Baer stock? The two million number, by the way, was one of those being bandied about by Federal housing officials, but what do they know?

    I think if you’ll reread the ital again you’ll find it’s posted with no spin other than the obvious implication that we’re in a world of hurt, economically, and that its not exactly cheering to think about since few of us can do much to change it, for the moment.

    But now that you ask, I think the predatory lending practices are immoral to the max. Anyone could see this would end badly, but greed ruled the day, all up and down the line. If you don’t want to feel bad for the people who took out the mortgages, feel bad for the rest of us who neither sold nor bought those puppies but will be the ones to take the hit as this mess continues to go south.

  • Don’t want to hijack this thread, but someone somewhere made a good point that the banking mentality seems to be privatize the profits, while the losses get socialized.

    If the government goes in and bails them out ever time they screw up, then there should be consequences for this.

  • rlc, you sound almost giddy. It should make you glad if the U.S. takes second place to other nations. Typical U.S.-hating liberal.

    – – –

    Celeste, the obvious conclusion from listening to the left and seeing your unrelated insert is that our nation will help out corporations but not people–ignoring where people earn their livings to support their families. Personally, I oppose bailouts, especially like that of Chrysler and NY City, so I won’t take up for Bear Sterns. However, I see no need to attack them because of help received from the Fed–not taxpayers.

    Regarding predatory loans, let’s go back a little further. Lenders were heavily criticized by liberals for red-lining areas, discriminating against blacks, and not loaning to the credit challenged. They didn’t make many of those loans because of the risks. Eventually, lenders accomodated the demands of liberals and started making loans to these people, but the interest rates and loan structure reflected the realities and risks.

    Now, these same lenders come under fire for making those loans. Make up your mind! Do you want lenders to not make loans to unqualified borrowers, do you want them to make loans but get the appropriate rate of return, or do you think that deadbeats should get the loans and at the prime rate?

    – – –

    Now, what solutions do either of you have for Chinese conflict with Tibet?

    In the meantime, I would increase the U.S. military presence around China and would speed up development of our missile defense.

  • Get this news: “France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the European Union should consider boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics if violence continues in Tibet. Yeah, that ought to do it.

  • Last thing and I’m out of here.

    rlc, this is something with which you can agree and may make you feel good.

    Daily Kos Wishes U.S. Was Invaded To Regain Its ‘Compassion’

    …as a nation we have lost our compassion. Unfortunately, America is at a point that to be able to really feel again, to regain that compassion, it needs to be invaded and occupied in the same way that we have invaded and occupied Iraq. Then there might be a greater chance that Americans will be more reluctant to accept the invasion of another country. Maybe seeing and feeling the same level of destruction that we have inflicted on Iraq, at least the American public will understand why invading another country is unconscionable except in the most dire circumstances – which means after that country has directly attacked the United States.

    Maybe China needs to learn some compassion. Where’s the outrage for them?

  • Do you think Woody believed this sentence even while he was writing it:

    “Eventually, lenders accomodated the demands of liberals and started making loans to these people, but the interest rates and loan structure reflected the realities and risks.”

  • In the meantime, I would increase the U.S. military presence around China and would speed up development of our missile defense.

    First you have to place an order to China for micro-processors and memory chips for the missile’s guidance system. Then you have to place an order for the steel used to build the outside shell of the missile. In a few more years the U.S., will have to order the propulsion system (rocket motors) from China.

    We need to start/restart “building”, micro-chips, consumer electronics, appliances and steel in the U.S., at the rate we are going ,the U.S. won’t be able to build anything in a few more years. When our soldiers need boots, pants, shirts and socks we won’t be able to “build” that either.

  • Hey, Celeste, no wicked thoughts about HH, he’s very good at staving off temptation but even he admits to being imperfect. But here’s a trick he has, which I read in one of his books and heard him describe in a teaching: yogic breathing, combined with consciously breathing in/out with the stomach as well as through the nose. Inhale deeply for five slow counts, sucking the air upto your lunges, not sticking out your stomach; then exchale for five, pushing all the air out of your stomach like an accordian. (Start with fewer counts as needed.) Not only clears the mind, but revitalized you and gently shapes your stomach muscles. He even does this when walking, which he does a lot. Even in the winter, the monks are sleeveless during meditation, elevating their body heat mentally. Truly awesome. Some monks can even jump during deep meditation — takes a lot of strength and stamina for such bursts of plyometrics.

    Okay, I’m commenting on this because I don’t know where to start with the horrors of what’s happening there, and how the world is once again going to let China cover it up. Worse, they have a massive propaganda effort at every level, down to places like the L A Times reader blog — where some obviously Chinese apologists, often using plain American names, accuse the Tibetans of being the terrorists, asking for their own second-class status by refusing to learn Han Chinese and the mercantile, environmentally-destructive ways of their masters, etc. And dumb Americans are buying it.

    No wonder the youth have had enough of the HH’s peaceful ways and now, the protesters want all-out return to having Tibet as an independent country, not content with autonomy in peace as the Dalai Lama has been. It may be futile, and gives China a chance to compare them to Palestinians at least short-run, but they’re sadly right that meditation about a better world hasn’t gotten them very far.

    (Woody, they also arrest and persecute active Christians, which is the part that gets even Bush’s attention, so even the fundamentalists down there like Pat Robertson, who think the Dalai Lama is some sort of false god in a toga, should care about what’s going on with the Chinese. Wouldn’t it be something to see them, with all their fervor, lead national prayer vigils?)

  • BYW, Woody, if we increased our military presence around the South China Seas, they’d threaten Taiwan again. That happened when I was in Hong Kong just a few months before the handover. Woke up to a splendid view of Victoria peak, with a blunt headline in the South China Post: “China Threatens to Nuke Taiwan,” in response to U.S. promises to help arm that island nation. (Now, the papers probably wouldn’t even dare publish such stuff — there’s definitely more fear and censorship, despite the outward continuity.)

  • Lost Res: Yeah, the names have struck me as uncannily similar but Garcetti likes to remind that he’s half-Mexican on dad Gil’s side, although name sounds Italian. Mom’s Jewish. So, when the Hispanics have their proclamations and ethnic pride things, he includes himself in that group. His “ace” as he sees it. Sort of like Obama’s hand.

Leave a Comment