Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Tibet? Free China!

The Western politics and media have once again persuaded American nationalism and patriotism into swallowing "freedom" rhetoric yet again. Now, I'm not trying to undermine the people who are actually being discriminated against in China or Tibet, but I am getting a little tired of violent protests going on (in Tibet by Tibetans, mostly Tibetan Buddhists) and our media calling them "peaceful protests" (see Los Angeles Times for repeated skewed-to-the-West articles on the matter).

In the past two months, Chinese embassies have been attacked in Austria, Germany, France, Hungary...and many more. Yes, these so-called "peaceful protests" fueled by "Free Tibet" thinking Tibetans and Westerners, resulted in beatings, rocks thrown, and burning and desecration of the Chinese flag, just outside the embassies. Imagine if this had happened to U.S. embassies worldwide. Imagine the outcry on Fox News by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Imagine how many times George W. Bush would've named this as "terrorists at work." Yet, this happens to China and we in America don't try and speak against these, we encourage them. We encourage Tibet to be free from China. We encourage Tibetans to protest (violently) and call it peace and justice and liberation.

Ironic that it was the Chinese government that actually saved/freed Tibet (socially and economically) in 1951 from the agonizing effects of Feudalism, Imperialism and corrupt religious officials who were more concerned with hording riches, keeping poor people enslaved and widening the gap between the rich and poor. Is history repeating itself or what? Is the West really being fooled into thinking that Tibet was really so wonderful and peaceful and serene before 1951?

It's always easier to blame the government. For Westerners, when the government is Communist, this is even more reason to blame the government. As we all know, the U.S. (well, George W. Bush as representing the U.S.) is much more concerned with every country converting to a democracy instead of actually understanding a country's history. We think democracy will work everywhere because it works (well, for the most part it does) in the West. This is proving to be fatal for American political foreign policy leaders and heads of state.

So of course, it's easy to reduce the history of Tibet, fueled by slavery, wars, and disgusting displays of torture for anyone who challenged religious authorities...or basically anyone who wanted religious freedom, to a political statement by Mr. W himself. In the Los Angeles Times, George W. Bush is quoted as saying, "If they [China] ever were to reach out to the Dalai Lama, they'd find him to be a really fine man, a peaceful man, a man who is anti-violence."

Wake up Mr. American President! This "really fine" and "peaceful man" is part of a history of Dalai Lamas that oppressed its people. But I guess as long as its done in the name of religion, it's okay.

The reality is this: China is becoming more powerful and let's face it, 1.5 billion people is threatening to other world leaders. It's much easier to attack, to point out the plank in another country's eye, rather than attempting to address our own problems. So please America, stop jumping on the FREE TIBET bandwagon unless you've actually studied the history of Tibet, the history of Tibet and China before and after 1951 and consider what exactly the U.S. would do if "peaceful protesters" in Los Angeles set innocent civilians on fire (what some Tibetans did recently to Han/Chinese civilians) and claimed to be doing so in search for freedom and independence? How would the U.S. government respond? Would we allow these people of Los Angeles to secede from the U.S.? Would we honestly grant them independence from our country since they're so, supposedly, "peaceful?"

What's going on in Tibet is not peaceful and what's going on in other countries against Chinese embassies is not peaceful either. It is a push towards anarchy. Yet, the Western media doesn't report those incidences. We don't seem to believe much of what's done against China and its nation (and people) is worth reporting.

My question is: why? Or I guess my real question should be: why not?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very insightful. Thank you.