Saturday, March 22, 2008


China's savage response to Tibetan protesters demanding an end to Chinese occupation and what their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has termed a "cultural genocide" is not surprising on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level reports of Buddhist monks being savagely beaten by soldiers is deeply chilling. In such an imperfect world it it's easy to grow numb to human rights abuses, but the shock of what is being done to some of the most compassionate and peaceful people in the world never goes away.

In addition to repressing the Tibetan people Chinese officials have repeatedly profaned the Dalai Lama, just last week the leader of the Communist party in Tibet, Zhang Qingli, referred to the Dalai Lama as "a wolf in monk's robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast," As a religious leader the Dalai Lama is on par with the Pope and as a moral leader he is second only to Gandhi in preeminence. Viscous slanders and personal attacks on His Holiness undermine any pretext of Chinese legitimacy on this issue. China has no moral right to rule Tibet and their case has no legal or historical precedents, it rests only on the sword.

The Chinese government of course has tried to discredit the Tibetan leadership by accusing the Dalai Lama of orchestrating violence, a claim which even the Chinese must realize is not true. Even when there have been acts of violence its not something which can be condemned by foreigners. It is the sovereign right of any occupied people to resist that occupation in whatever way they see fit. No one condemns the American Revolution or the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising even though they were carried out violently. Why should violence by Tibetans be viewed any differently? If violence against Chinese soldiers by Tibetans resisting the occupation of their country is condemnable then attacks by the Chinese government on peaceful Monks must be even more so.

The Tibetan people have suffered long enough with nothing but silence from the rest of the world. It is not easy to stand up to a powerful nation like China on an issue that is of such little strategic consequence, but it is the right thing to do and in hindsight it will be a source of pride, not shame. The West needs to offer at the very least symbolic measures in support of the Tibetan people. As the Speaker of the U.S House, Nancy Pelosi, has said "If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights."


Bar Kochba said...

China has no credibility. The Olympic Games in Beijing should be boycotted as they are a way for the Communist dictatorship to gain legitimacy. China sponsors the genocide in Darfur and harvests organs from prisoners. Any moral person should denounce the regime.

young_activist said...

I'm glad we've found something we can agree on.

Although, I must tell you that I don't see much of a difference between Tibet and Palestine.

Bar Kochba said...

Simply put, there is no Palestine. Israel is Jewish and Tibet is Tibetan. The Tibetans have never blown themselves up in Beijing cafes or murdered Chinese children. Israel does not kill Arabs prisoners to use their organs.

young_activist said...

Both Israel and China propagate racism, apartheid, and occupation. The nuances might be different, but the core issue is not.

Bar Kochba said...

Not quite. Israel does not propagate racism in any way. Arabs can vote in Israel and have equal rights!

The issue if over moral rights. Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Therefore, the Arab "resistance" is illegitimate.

young_activist said...

Actually if you look at Israel's Law of Return and compare that to Israel's stance toward Arab refugees it becomes quite clear that Israel does propagate racism.

You say you support Tibet. Why don't you look at China's argument on the issue of Tibet and compare them with your arguments on the issue of Palestine. They are almost identical!
Every state in the world should belong to its people. Israel is the only state in the world that belongs to a religious group. I don't believe in black states or white state or Muslim state or Christian states, why should I believe in a Jewish state?