Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, March 16, 2008

China: Unable to Sweep Tibet Under the Rug

China’s “leaders” must be wondering if it was worth squashing and stomping that Tibetan uprising 49 years ago. If they had it to do over again…

The Soviet Union was derailed when it tried to conquer Afghanistan. The United States has the twin albatrosses of Vietnam and Iraq to wear around its neck. Maybe Tibet will be China’s unraveling. If nothing else, they’ll probably have to loosen their iron grip on their one billion plus citizens. Either that or try to un-invent the computer, the internet and the cell phone.

Right now the Chinese government is kind of like that Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. Only, there are too many holes and not enough fingers.

China claims Tibet has “always been part of China” and Tibetans say they were independent before Chinese troops first entered the region in 1950. In any case the two peoples and cultures are as different as night and day.

This conflict sure is making some strange bedfellows. You wouldn’t expect conservatives to have much sympathy for either side: A swarthy ethnic group who practices the “wrong” religion versus an evil communist dictator.

Then again, China is one of our biggest trading partners. And they're our landlords. We can't afford to piss them off.

The ultra rightwing Jesse Helms (R-Jesus) used to make occasional noises about aiding the Tibetans against their Chinese oppressors. I never could tell whether he actually had an affinity with Tibetan Buddhists or whether it was just another excuse to bash Communist China.

With the upcoming Olympics, China is determined to have everything seamlessly choreographed while they're in the world spotlight. How will they react when thousands of long-oppressed Tibetans rear their heads and make an embarrassing scene right in front of God and everybody?

Here is a link to current news updates on the Tibet-China standoff.



Blogger Randal Graves said...

When one thinks of Buddhism, one thinks of Jesse Helms!

I can't help but think the horrid record of China on all kinds of fronts is going to get glossed over except in contrast to how great and holy and clean we are.

Don't want to piss off our owners too much.

March 17, 2008 at 3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Tens of thousands of large and small protests in China every year, literally, some involving ethnic violence. This is nothing.

March 17, 2008 at 4:52 AM  
Anonymous rockync said...

With Jesse, it might have been a little bit of both. I had a lot of disagreements with Jesse's views but on China, I'm with him. China has been given a level of legitimacy by not only this country, but the world powers. Until China releases dissidents from their prisons and stops trying to oppress those who want independence, there should be no trade agreements and no Olympic Games. This has all been a big mistake from the beginning.
Of course, so as not to appear to be the "pot calling the kettle black" I guess the US would have to release Gitmo detainees and stop stomping all over the Middle East...

March 17, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

They blocked Youtube.

My guess is this story will be somewhat ignored by the press.

After all, China is an integral part of our economy now and a major trading partner (er, we are in trade debt and paper debt to them).

So, we can't do too much to piss them off. It was bad enough that some people raised hell over Myanmar/Burma risking pissing the Chinese off.

March 17, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: You're absolutely right; we don't dare piss off the landlord. Ahem -- as I was saying, that workers' paradise, that perfect land where everybody is happy all the time...

Anonymous: Do you have any specific information, or links?

Rockync: I agreed with Helms when he slammed China over the Tibet oppression; I just wasn't sure what his motives were. Yes, China's human rights record is atrocious, but America is the last country that has any room to condemn them. Gitmo, our secret CIA prisons all over the world, the fact that America has the highest incarceration rate in the world -- there'd be nothing but worldwide laughter if we condemned China over their human rights violations.

PoliShifter: China can block YouTube but there are still millions of computers, cell phones and the internet. It's a lot harder to sweep something under the rug these days.

I'm surprised there's been as much MSM coverage as there has been. I hope it keeps up.

March 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

There's another issue as well:

What right does the U.S. to talk about pre-emptive invasion of countries or human rights?

We invaded Iraq, kidnap, and torture people. Not a far cry from what China does.

China is now using as an excuse to justify using water torture that the United States does it too....

A dilly of a pickle and just another example of how disastrous the Bush/Cheney regime has been to America and our standing around the world.

March 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

An Afghanistan situation, this surely isn't. The Chinese have flooded Tibet with the Han. There are more Chinese in Tibet than there are Tibetans.

The situation is probably closer to that which existed here in America 100 years or so ago, with the Natives getting shoved further and further off their native stomping grounds.

March 17, 2008 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PoliShifter: We have absolutely no right. The country with the world's largest prison population has no right whatsoever to talk about human rights in other countries. That's kind of like Tony Soprano complaining about the high crime rate.

JR: Yeah, I've read that same thing, that millions of ethnic Chinese have moved into Tibet. They're doing the same thing in Xian, another region where the local ethnic group wants more autonomy from China.

I think it's a good comparison, the American Indians and the white man. A local bookstore owner used to have a poster in his window: a picture of some Indians, and the caption was "Fighting Terrorism Since 1492."

March 17, 2008 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

I do have to wonder how China's going to try to pull off the Olympics. Can they really hide the oppression of their own people, not to mention the people of nations near them? Do they really expect to throw a few tens of thousands of smiling children's faces at us and have those images wipe that of the lone student standing in front of a tank in Tiennamen Square in 1989? Our trade and contact with them may be helping some, helping to destroy communism from the inside, but it's much too slow a process for the people who live there every day.

March 17, 2008 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: It's gonna be awkward for the Chinese government during the Olympics. If Tibetans and other minority groups start protesting or rioting during the Games, the government can either grit their teeth and try to ignore it, or they can crack down and squash everything, in full view of the world. Pretty grim choices.

It's hard to tell if world trade has created any more freedom for Chinese citizens. So far the government seems to be pretty good at maintaining their police state and promoting capitalism at the same time.

March 17, 2008 at 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can totally condemn China. I mean we did condemn Leopold in the early 1900s for the atrocities committed in Congo while blacks in America were being treated like second class citizens. How is it any different now?

Several of my friends were upset with me for not taking a trip with them to China because I am boycotting China for the Darfur Genocide. I do however, think it is sad that several athletes who have to compete in the Olympics in Beijing cannot comment on the situation in China. I think this is another way of saying "fuck morals, let's make China happy so we can borrow more money from them."


March 18, 2008 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jo: I agree China needs to be condemned and boycotted. But these condemnations would have more credibility if they came from almost any other Western nation besides the U.S. That plus the fact that China is our landlord and could reposses our country if we pissed them off.

Our neocon government has gotten us into this straitjacket where we have no credibility left. I hope Tibetans and the other ethnic minorities in China will become a bigger and bigger thorn in China's side. I just don't see how the U.S. government can make any difference in this situation.

March 18, 2008 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

"So far the government seems to be pretty good at maintaining their police state and promoting capitalism at the same time."

Hmm, kind of like the U.S. right now....

March 19, 2008 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: Yup, you've got it. The two governments are a lot more similar than either one would ever admit.

March 19, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

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