It has been said that the only thing we never know enough of is history. Quite true. When you learn something so startling that it makes you rethink everything you believed in, well, that is a rare admission! For example: Until 9/11 2001, I believed that Israel was evil and wrong and an oppressor of Palestinians, bulldozing their homes to steal the land beneath them. I believed all that I saw on the BBC. I believed Israel murdered Mohammed Al Durah. I was wrong. I saw how wrong I was on 9/11/01 when I watched Palestinians celebrating in the streets. I was shocked to see just how wrong I was about the Beeb from watching unabashed America Hate being spewed out by hosts of its talk shows and its America hating audiences in the aftermath. I was not prepared for such hate. It buckled my knees to have to suddenly question everything I thought was true. But I have been doing it, and am keen to do it on a regular basis: Take the following post from China Confidential concerning the "peaceful" Dalai Lama, and then go, read it all for yourselves. And be thankful that not all history has gone down the memory hole. Whether or not you may agree with the analysis of Andrew Pachter, his history is solid:
"The Dalai Lama's Revenge: Tibet's former absolute ruler, the exiled Dalai Lama, is out to split China. His "Greater Tibet" autonomy movement actually aims to cut off about a quarter of the country's current territory. He seeks a restoration of theocratic government over the so-called roof of the world--a strategically important, resource-rich region that was a model of backwardness and misery before Chinese liberation. Contrary to the appealing myth, Old Tibet was no Shangri-La. On the contrary, the land ruled by the teenage Dalai Lama with the help of his depraved monks and nobles, was a hellish place. More than 95% of the population were serfs or slaves with no human rights. Torture and brutality were commonplace. Big monasteries owned nearly everything. Sadistic monks raped women and children, drank the blood of the people--literally--from bowls made out of human skulls, and decorated their living quarters with wall hangings made of human skin. The skin of children was particularly prized for this purpose.
All of which is not to suggest that the Dalai Lama (who has urged the US to negotiate with Osama Binladen) wants to return to those horrific days, although he has never apologized for the Hitlerian atrocities, (my emphasis) oppression and exploitation that distinguished Old Tibet--birthplace of the swastika in the eyes of his prewar admiring Nazi visitors and lifelong Nazi and fascist friends--never admitted that the liberation and education of the serfs was the main reason the monks rose up (with the well documented help of the CIA during the Cold War) against China following the much needed intervention of the central government in Tibetan affairs. The Dalai Lama insists that he merely seeks autonomy for his homeland; but independence is his goal.
It is a prescription for violence. China is a multicultural, multinational country; and Tibet has always been and will always be a part of China. It will never allow a split. Independence for Greater Tibet could lead restive Muslim areas to try to split from China, too. And there is no telling what could happen if the center does not hold. A series of internal conflicts could consume millions of lives.
Should pro-independence forces in Taiwan try to use the opportunity of chaos to declare formal independence from the mainland, a conflict in the Taiwan Strait could conceivably endanger the security of the world by pitting two nuclear powers--China and the US--against each other. Washington is still seemingly obligated to help Taiwan--which China regards as a renegade province--to defend itself. "
The next time, hereafter, I begin to swallow, hook, line and sinker any claim for "Independence" from some far-flung dung heap, I will immediately question the motives of those who want independence. The gold standard is and will always be America, with a constitution enshrining individual rights to assemble, to a free press, to owning a gun and freedom to worship. Anything less is a sham.
Labels: China; Tibet; history