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Peace, tranquility and disembowelment
With all the news these days about protests in Tibet, China’s crackdown, and talk of Olympic boycotts, it’s worth remembering that — more often than not — the heroes and villains portrayed in the mainstream media are in reality villains and heroes. That is to say: we are presented an inverse view of reality. The world isn’t so black and white of course, but it should be a reminder to dig a little deeper.
In the case of China and Tibet — and the ubiquitous cry of solidarity with the cause of Tibet and the Dalai Lama — it’s worth digging into this article by Michael Parenti which was sent on to me by my friend Pierre. By no means a defense of China, it’s a rarely-heard and sobering analysis of the history the Tibet-China relationship.
To denounce the Chinese occupation does not mean we have to romanticize the former feudal régime. Tibetans deserve to be perceived as actual people, not perfected spiritualists or innocent political symbols. “To idealize them,” notes Ma Jian, a dissident Chinese traveler to Tibet (now living in Britain), “is to deny them their humanity.”
It’ll also be interesting to see how much international outcry there will be as we approach the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. (located in Salish territory, which was never ceded to the Government of Canada.) If only the First Nations of Canada had a charismatic leader with celebrity endorsements and CIA backing!