PITY THE MONKS OF TIBET: Forget Ideology, Follow the Money

An interesting article worth reading from Rod Liddle in the [British] Spectator Magazine. Its title—Pity The Monks of Tibet Who Dare To Hope That Anyone Will Come To Their Aid—sums up its theme, and the inability to do much, given our propaganda and economic entanglement, without considerable solidarity. An excerpt:

It is one thing to behave cravenly toward the appalling Saudis in order to ‘protect our security interests’; it is another to suck up to the even worse Chinese simply because they are bigger than us and we want a slice of their burgeoning economy.

[British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown mentioned human rights, as a sort of afterthought, of course, the last time he visited Beijing—and was told by his cheerful hosts, ‘Oh, don’t you worry yourself about that, everything will be fine.’

This seemed to keep Gordon happy.

He did not visit opponents of the world’s most long-lived totalitarian communist regime; he did not raise the plight of human rights lawyers imprisoned in China, nor the dissidents, nor the journalists. He did not so much as mention Tibet.

He posed with ping-pong players and visited interesting power plants instead—conveying, every time he grinned that weird rictus grin of his, British support for a regime which 50 years ago visited genocide upon the Tibetans and continues to oppress, torture, detain and murder those who voice the mildest objection to its policies.

Yes, indeed. Liddle continues, and I think accurately:

We are enjoined to understand that China has changed; that it is embracing, to a certain degree, a liberalism. But ‘liberal’ means many different things to different people, from Tariq Ali to Milton Friedman—to the extent that it means very little at all.

China is, if anything, worse today than before, combining the most oppressive aspects of state Marxism with the most brutally rapacious aspects of capitalism.

In this new improved China there are still no independent trades unions, scores of Catholic clergy have been arrested for proselytising, hundreds of human rights activists bundled into the back of police vans to disappear for ever; journalists censored and detained; lawyers roughed up by police thugs. Minorities, such as the Uyghur Muslims, are persecuted and find their leaders arrested and executed.

Those beneficial, if accidental, consequences of capitalism—improved standards of living, better health and safety and so on—are denied to the vast majority of Chinese people.

So too, with the connivance of greedy Western corporations, is freedom of information. We now have the Great Firewall of China, which is one reason why those protests in Tibet take so long to reach the West.

And of course there is Darfur. What are the Olympic games supposed to represent again? As much as I feel for the athletes training for the biggest of Games (and I do), saying that the Olympics have nothing to do with politics reminds me of what Gandhi said, paraphrasing:

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

The Russian Olympics in 1980 were boycotted for their brutal invasion of Afghanistan. So why not the Chinese for Darfur and Tibet? And I would say the same thing if America was hosting the Olympics. Ah, but the USSR was not willing to be involved economically. The Chinese are all over the economy, stamped on most everything we purchase, and offering tons of cheap and ill-treated labour?

The full article is here.

And for those who haven’t seen it, here’s an overview of Darfur in Ten Minutes.

Keep the faith and the love flowing, as much as possible. Don’t be fooled by the news.

Love to you,

Pete

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