My thoughts on the Tibet situation
March 26, 2008
I have many personal ties to the Tibetan community in America, and so I have a certain bias toward them, cringe though I might when a major speaker at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for the Dalai Lama is the odious Elie Weisel.
Still I have little use when Justin is the one writing in vigorous defense of the Chinese such that I’d expect from Lew Rockwell. Though he does make a few helpful points, such as to point out the rise of anti-regime nationalism among young Chinese, even if this would result in more ferocious brutality against the Tibetans, at least we would be without the horrible pretense of an “autonomous region of the People’s Republic”.
I for one would welcome such a regime change on the whole, ugly though it may be by Jeffersonian standards, the idea that it would seek to emulate the Cultural Revolution is highly dubious. And even more dubious is Justin’s almost non-sequiturial notion that this is all some plot by the big bad labor bosses. Please – the worst they can do nowadays is artifically inflate Hillary’s support in the Democratic Party, and look how well that’s working out for them . . .
I’ll take this more balanced analysis by Eric Margolis any day. But knowing as much as I do (in relative terms anyway) about the situation, I have my own thoughts to share as well. It drives me crazy when Lou Dobbs insists on still calling it “Communist China”, sure. But the fact remains that just as America is suffering from all the same ills that brought down the Soviet Union, China has in spades all the same ills that are presently bringing down America – from hyperinflation to oil addiction to, perhaps most of all, the fate awaiting its military if it actually had to fight a war.
I’ve always known that China would be the Germany of the 21st century – assuming that it would be theirs, only to lose it in terrible tragedy – but it is remarkable that the reckoning may be happening so soon, and could actually be beginning in Tibet! I always thought that it would be with the Uighirs becoming the new cause celebre of al-Qaeda once we were out of the Middle East. It’s not so bizarre once you think about it that America should adopt the Israeli strategic template in the greater Middle East, but for China it is truly mysterious.
This brings me to what has been most striking to me about the situation, which is the suggestion that young Tibetans are dissatisfied with the Dalai Lama and moved to a radical call for independence. China clearly appears to be repeating the gave Israeli mistake of blaming the Second Intifada on Arafat. At the time, at the tender age of 15, I could tell how dreadfully counterintuitive this was, and as we now know, and was bascially evident at the time, Arafat was willing to accept a two-state solution such as was almost reached at Taba before Sharon took power, but the Palestinian people were not. I wonder and fear if something similar may be happening among the Tibetans.
Yasser Arafat, though hardly the moral monster of Zionist hysteria, was a very small and petty man who at the end of the day probably got his comeuppance. But for His Holiness the Dalai Lama such an end would be nothing short of tragic.
I agree with Justin that there is hypocrisy on all sides – but, as is completely lost on our liberal establishment and is therefore infuriating for me to have to remind Justin – China is not Russia, and whatever the objective political reality of the long arc of Sino-Tibetan relations, the reality on the ground for the last sixty years has been every bit as genocidal as the Israelis in Gaza or the Americans in Iraq.