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The see-saw of diplomacy

Mark Mardell | 22:34 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010

The meeting seemed to be choreographed to keep tensions damped down, in the Map Room, not the Oval Office. The only picture was a single still of President Obama and the Dalai Lama, apparently in animated conversation.

President Obama with the Dalai Lama; copyright: White House

But it doesn't seem to have worked. The White House statement was pretty tough:

"The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People's Republic of China."

That last bit is where the White House felt they were being cleverly diplomatic, by backing the Dalai Lama's "third way"; that means autonomy within China rather than independence from it.

The Chinese response was very strong:

"The US act grossly violated the norms governing international relations...It also went against the repeated commitments by the US government that the US recognises Tibet as part of China and gives no support to 'Tibet independence'."

Fiery stuff. But I wonder how much it will matter in the long run. I suspect that even all this time after the end of the Cold War, we are still getting used to an older way of doing business.

The iron curtain divided nations into firm friends and dark enemies. Perhaps it is more normal for relationships between what used to be called Great Powers to see-saw up and down, hostile on some issues, co-operating on others.

The real test of US-China relations will not be the Dalai Lama but what happens on sanctions against Iran. We may know the answer to that question soon.

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  • 1. At 11:19pm on 18 Feb 2010, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark:

    Excellent title of the blog and, its implications of the forthcoming meeting between President Obama and the Dalai Lama (and) the USA/China relations that are currently in trouble regarding the decision of having the meeting.

    Time will tell, with what will be the consequences of the Meeting; Between USA and China in other aspects of diplomatic and other issues.

    (Dennis Junior)

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  • 2. At 11:26pm on 18 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    This routine visit between a foreign spiritual leader and the President of the United States became more irrelevant that it would have been when a deranged person decided to commit suicide by crashing his plane against a building that house IRS offices in Austin, Texas.

    The US-China relationship is very important, for obvious reasons, but in my modest opinion there are facets of that relationship that are much more important than the visit of an inconsequential man.

    While the visit of the Dalai Lama to the White House may be an irritant to Bejing, I suspect that in the scheme of things it is no more relevant to foreign policy decision making than the presence of an annoying fly while we count our fortune and consider future economic strategies.

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  • 3. At 11:31pm on 18 Feb 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Much ado about nothing, if you ask me. It's just a replay of every other visit the Dalai Lama has made to the U.S. The same is true of the recent arms sale to Taiwan. All this seems like business as usual to me.

    If the Chinese don't play along, I'm afraid Iran will get attacked either from the west (guess who), the south (the U.S. 5th fleet) or possibly even from the north.

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  • 4. At 03:37am on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    I am no fan of the Dali Lama. Tibet under him was a repressive theocracy. He can smile as benignly as he likes, but his Tibetan subjects' lives were no better than those of their yaks. Why do we support people like this? Or are we just giving China a political poke in the ribs?

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  • 5. At 03:38am on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    I am not a new member.

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  • 6. At 04:05am on 19 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    lostallyourmarbles;

    I see you are back and unchanged as ever. Where are things worse, Tibet under the Dalai Lama or Iran under the current theocracy that the US administration says is turning into a military dictatorship in quest of nuclear weapons and ever more powerful missiles to deliver them? I am not aware of anything remotely comprable to the repression of recent months in Iran occurring in Tibet under the Dalai Lama. For that matter I'm not aware of any repression in Tibet comparable to the human rights violations of the Chinese government against its own people either. At worst Tibet under the Dalai Lama seems to be the lesser of the evils.

    Well done Mister President. A nuanced message to China delivered with a needle instead of a club. More effective. Clearly the Obama administration doesn't feel bullied by China's government.

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  • 7. At 04:35am on 19 Feb 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref 4, allmymarbles:

    "Tibet under him was a repressive theocracy..."

    Oh, please, do tell.

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  • 8. At 04:48am on 19 Feb 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    "The iron curtain divided nations into firm friends and dark enemies. Perhaps it is more normal for relationships between what used to be called Great Powers to see-saw up and down, hostile on some issues, co-operating on others."

    Yes, I suspect so.

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  • 9. At 04:53am on 19 Feb 2010, uchenna wrote:

    China have the right to complain about Obamas meeting with Dalai Lama,and my God,Obama has the right to meet him,so i suspect they both(America and China)want us the believe theres tension between them.I am pleased of the progress and success China have achieved the last 10 years,but they are no democracy,and will never not be trusted to be a leader of the world like US,otherwise we will watch the world go into flames before our eyes one day.US must look towards India now,we need another country to produce for the world,and with indians population,it won´t be hard to achieve,keeping in mind that india is a democratic nation,i fear that china will try and use there position to hold the world to ransome one day.Iran have the right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy,but we want them to be transperant,why is china not supporting such honest position?.....please whats wrong with China supporting the rest of the world to stop Iran?The world is in enough danger,but a nuclear power Iran will be more than dangerous,and the more they continue in the midst of all protest to develope nuclear bomb,they run the risk of being attacked.....when this happens,people will die,i mean alot of people,why is China not supporting a position that will save lives?.....when hitlar threated the world,powers came together to defeat this tyrant......i won´t say more.

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  • 10. At 05:09am on 19 Feb 2010, uchenna wrote:

    China should stick to their economic progress and work with US under a honest administration to protect the world from evil regimes.Bullying US is like bullying the entire world China,you don´t do that and not under this current US administration.Who wants another cold war?Russians,even under Putin,have realized the need to work for a good purpose,a purpose of achieving world peace.China should stop all their negative attitudes and work with the rest of the world for a common good,otherwise they will fall.....the world cannot be defeated.

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  • 11. At 05:42am on 19 Feb 2010, uchenna wrote:

    Let their be no mistake here,Obamas choice to make the meeting a low key is very wise considering that Tibet is still under chinese,and China is in a position to protest and have the voice listened to for obvious reasons.But don´t China understand what position the world have taken?we chose democracy over dictactorship,therefore China will never win an arguement against the us as long as they run a closed and undemocratic govenment.Tibet have the right to be free,Obama has the right to meet Lama and Tibets struggle,China should stop talking politics and make their case on why this shouldn´t happen.If Tibet are so happy under chinese rule,their wouldn´t have been a need for Lama.

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  • 12. At 06:14am on 19 Feb 2010, uchenna wrote:

    A hamas leader was killed in Dubai,China is complaining of Obamas meeting with Lama,Iran is developing their nuclear bomb and more sanctions are being considered,those are the news the world have been reading the last few days.Now,this Hamas leader went to Dubai to buy weapons that will cause the death of jews and Arabs alike,he was killed...ok.Let me say this,Iran and Hama think they are sympathising with Gaza people by trying to build a nuclear bomb(which they will use to threaten the world)and buying arms to fight the isrealis,well they are very wrong and out-of-touch.What they are doing indirectly is to bring more misery to the people of Gaza.Because of the choices they have made(Iran and Hamas),the world have shifted from pressuring isreal to open up Gaza to pressuring Iran on nuclear bomb issues as the poeple of Gaza suffer.A guy is killed in dubai,so what?people are dying everyday in Gaza bacause of the choices he made in the past and the one he was about to make.If you(Iran and Hamas) love Gaza,use the greatest weapon on earth to help them,that weapon this is the poeple of the world,and the world can only listen to you(Iran and Hamas)when they are conviced that you are no longer in association with your evil acts,and when the world come together to act,when the world speak with one voice,Gaza will be freed.It is not politics...its just more than politics!.The world is changing,but some section of Arab world do not want to change with it.

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  • 13. At 07:01am on 19 Feb 2010, hizento wrote:

    The Map Room photo is quite revealing. If you understand a bit of human psychology Obama is pictured with his legs folded away from his guest his right hand raised appear to be dictating terms and lecturing Dalai Lama who looked passively trying to get what he want. I do not sense any warmth between Obama and Dalai Lama in that picture.

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  • 14. At 07:10am on 19 Feb 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    4. At 03:37am on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    I am no fan of the Dali Lama. Tibet under him was a repressive theocracy. He can smile as benignly as he likes, but his Tibetan subjects' lives were no better than those of their yaks. Why do we support people like this? Or are we just giving China a political poke in the ribs?
    ___________________________
    Hi, Marbles missed your clarity -

    Will the Tibetans be better off as second class (and suspicious) Chinese?

    Obama has a constituency here and overseas he is playing to. China demands that it be respected, I think a little too petulantly. Both are playing to the home crowd as is his holiness, I would suppose.

    KScurmudgeon

    Who out there remembers Tuesday Lobsang Rampa?

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  • 15. At 07:26am on 19 Feb 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "The US act grossly violated the norms governing international relations...It also went against the repeated commitments by the US government that the US recognises Tibet as part of China and gives no support to 'Tibet independence'."

    Here we have an example of Chinese doublespeak. By the time you get positioned so that each element of this statement is true, you can see the world through the Chinese kaleidoscope. Verrry Interesting.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 16. At 09:15am on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marcus – You cannot compare modern Iran to pre-invasion/liberation Tibet. Of course Tibet never attempted to do what Iran might be doing (remember while I agree that Iran is probably attempting to have bomb making capabilities, nothing has been proved), at the time of the invasion/liberation Tibet barely had much 20th Century technology, partly because of ideology of an insular and repressive theocratic autocracy (remember Westerners were banned in Tibet, by the Lamas until about 1911).

    Would Tibetans be better off as 2nd class Chinese citizens or free Tibetans, well that depends. If they retained their democratic government, undoubtedly better, if they returned to their theocrats both better and worse – Better because psychologically they would be free, worse because I can see them becoming cut of by their monks and becoming a new Bhutan. Under the Chinese at least they are likely to get access to some modern tech and medicine, since the Han immigrants won’t be going without.

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  • 17. At 09:18am on 19 Feb 2010, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    Perhaps the President should reiterate our support for the One China Policy but just clarify that this is under the democratic government of the Republic of China and not the Communist Party of China.

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  • 18. At 09:24am on 19 Feb 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    This is a case where Obama's Kabuki Theatre meets Chinese Opera. Obama said NOTHING in 2009 when the Chinese communists brutally repressed the Tibetans on the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's flight from Tibet..but hey, that would have spoiled the Olympic Games and Obama was still thinking that all he had to do was smile at the Chi-com party bosses and they would do his bidding.

    Well, the Chi-coms cut him off at the knees at Copenhagen. The brutal authoritarian Chinese Communist Party has it's own agenda, and frankly sanctions against Iran are not in their best interests. I suspect that this is clear to the US State Dept. personnel pressuring China on this issue. So, Obama dusts off the old arms deal with Taiwan that he has been sitting on until now,and makes a "gesture" of support for Tibetan Autonomy. That and $2.75 will get you a latte at Starbucks!

    This is NOT a playground game...nor is it a see-saw because it doesn't look as though the US will ever be ascendant!

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  • 19. At 09:41am on 19 Feb 2010, TerryNo2 wrote:



    #7. Tibet used to be ruled by an aristocracy, the monateries and nomadic chieftans. I guess in some respects it wouldn't be too far from Afgahanistan (but without, I have to emphasise, the terrorist influence). Punishment could be by execution (decapitation). The "working class" on farms were at the whim of the nobility and the monasteries, but later on it became possible to appeal against brutality to the Dalai Lama himself. Some of the customs continue to this day.

    If you have ever caught some of the excellent BBC TV series on Tibet (A Year in Tibet and Michael Palin's journeys) you'll know what I mean. One example, which the Chinese have sought - but not succeeded - in abolishing, is having multiple husbands. In one episode one young girl thought she was marrying one man; but then we saw her sobbing her heart out after finding that she was marrying the brother too. While the Chinese influence is very strong, we have seen monks being inducted into monasteries, monks praying, monks amongst the general population spreading their religion, monks debating, nomadic tribes gathering for festivals in all their regalia and so on. While monasteries were attacked during the civil unrest very many survived (indeed Christian churches suffered the same fate in China too during the cultural revolution, but you can now attend them openly, although it would help if you could understand the Order of Service). The Tibetan lifestyle has survived and can survive (remember that China has 50 ethnic groups that were celebrated at the Beijing Olympics and on national day, in 2009). While to some this can be a minor point, GDP and life expectancy in Tibet has grown substantially.

    One of the oldest (maybe "the" oldest) fully functioning Catholic churches in Asia is based in China.

    There are restrictions in Tibet though, and these do get tougher everytime there's another grab for power by the monasteries. Little wonder that China can't get over treating the exiled Dalai Lama with suspicion as to his good intentions, and of those around him.

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  • 20. At 10:03am on 19 Feb 2010, hizento wrote:

    Whatever romantic pictures some westerners think Dalai Lama represent he is no friends of the earth and the environment. The amount of air travel by this monk around the world surely takes it toll on the environement. If Dalai Lama is some kind of god, as some clearly thinks he is, why cant he just spirit away to his destination rather than travel by big airliners?

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  • 21. At 10:18am on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Hizento – Now you’re just being crass, which only helps undermine your own argument. Okay you’re not a fan and you wear you allegiance to China quite openly, neither of which is a bad thing, after all if we removed everyone on this board who were venomous against specific world figures and showed strident support of a particular nation, this board would be rather quiet.

    However, there is no excuse to lower yourself down to the worst level shown on this board. Personal and religious (or for that matter national and continental) slurs are unnecessary and unpleasant.



    On a different not: We already had a China v USA thread, discussing reactions to the Dalai Lamas visit, I am not sure that a second was necessary. The twerp deciding to make a point by flying his plane into the IRS building in Austin could have got a look in. Looking at some reports it looks possible he killed someone (well I have read someone is missing) as well as himself. Having some ***** (self moderated) kill you at random for doing your job hacks me off. While I have sympathy for his family, who apparently he has also made homeless, I am guessing since it was arson no insurance payout, as well as husband/fatherless, again since it was suicide no insurance. I have sympathy for those who were attacked (would this count as a terrorist attack?). I have no sympathy for him, committing suicide because of a tax bill is stupid enough, trying (possibly succeeding) to murder someone goes beyond the pale.

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  • 22. At 10:52am on 19 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM wrote:

    The real test of US-China relations will not be the Dalai Lama but what happens on sanctions against Iran.







    I doubt it very much.

    The major confrontation (which is looming large and is unavoidable, unlike the one over Iran) will be about China dumping and intentional juan undervaluation by 40%, as well as about PRC massively violating American intellectual property rights and tolerating huge market of pirated US software, music records and movies.

    The current state of affairs in that area simply cannot continue.

    And will not be tolerated by the United States.

    Please stand by for pertinent developments.

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  • 23. At 11:05am on 19 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #2

    And why would receiving an "inconsequential man", and a leader of an "irrelevant religion" practiced in a "backward medieval country" infuriate omnipotent comrades in Beijing so much?


    Unless of course he's not considered irrelevant by the Chinese imperialists, and neither is their control of uranium/gold, etc./rich Tibet.

    No matter what they say about Dalai Lama publicly.


    P.S. If Obama's White Hose was moronic enough to object to Arnie S. [a governor of California province] being received by, say, Angela Merkel, TV show hosts and comedians would have a real ball. For many weeks.

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  • 24. At 11:12am on 19 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "a deranged person decided to commit suicide by crashing his plane against a building that house IRS offices in Austin, Texas."





    SaintDominick. We don't know whether the person was deranged or simply desperate.

    Judging by the letter he posted before taking off he simply had a major
    gripe with Internal Revenue Service and chose death [which is unavoidable anyway) over taxes [which, it seems, are, after all].


    Now, about BHO's plans to raise taxes...


    I sure hope not on imported tea.

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  • 25. At 11:15am on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Oops apparently referring to someone who deliberately flies a plane into a building as a potential murderer and suggesting while I had sympathy for his family and his potential victims I had none for that individual and I found his reasons unacceptable, is a bad thing.

    I obviously apologise to the moderators and anyone else who was offended. I also apologise to Hizento as I said his last post was crass and undermined his own argument.

    Hopefully this apology is not too controversial and won’t be referred, I am not sure I could cope with the irony.

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  • 26. At 11:17am on 19 Feb 2010, arclightt wrote:

    All: What we see and hear about the interaction between the Obama administration, the Chinese government, and the Dalai Lama is almost certainly neither complete nor correct. All three entities do a certain amount of "playing to the folks at home". This is not a conspiracy theory; it's just a recognition that we aren't told everything that's going on.

    I don't think the conversation is irrelevant, though, even though in the scheme of things it's probably not the most important thing on our plate. If by having it we can prevent a little suffering or oppression, either in Tibet or elsewhere, then the net result is a good thing. We can at least hope that that is the result.

    @15 (KsC): I agree with you, the Chinese response is "verry interesting". I have to say, though, that angry words are far better than weapons discharges or mass graves. Contrast this with the Square in 1989, or the aircraft episode of 10 years ago.

    @Mark: "The iron curtain divided nations into firm friends and dark enemies. Perhaps it is more normal for relationships between what used to be called Great Powers to see-saw up and down, hostile on some issues, co-operating on others."

    Mark, that's the way it really was even during the Cold War. Most folks don't know that the US and USSR entered into all kinds of informal and formal protocols governing such things as how they would treat each other's spies, and aircraft overflights, and even such things as the accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon (!). In 1983 or so I read a long article in my local newspaper about the Hot Line between the US and USSR (actually a teletype system between the two countries). The article discussed how the system was tested once per hour (e.g. a recipe for borscht was mentioned in the article; I think the Americans sent it). The article also discussed some of the actual message traffic between the two countries during certain world events. This is a paraphrase of the exchange between the two countries during one of the Middle Eastern flareups:

    "What do you want to do about this?"

    "We don't know. What do you think?"

    "Let's do this. On Monday you say this. On Tuesday we'll respond this way. On Wednesday you reply like this. On Thursday we'll come back this way. On Friday you say this back to us. On Saturday we'll respond this way. And then we'll forget about it."

    "Sounds good to us..."

    With regard to Tibet, my personal opinion is that if the Tibetans really, really want to be apart from China, China will probably be better off to let them go (or at least ignore them). Oppression is not only wrong; it also consumes a lot of time and resources.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. No snow in the forecast here.

    Arclight

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  • 27. At 11:56am on 19 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #26


    Would it surprise you if you were told that chiefs of American and Soviets intelligence had been meeting personally (more than once) during the Cold War to discuss and establish what would be tolerated and state in unambiguous terms what was clearly unaacceptable to each side?

    And, in case of major operational snafus, what kind of retaliation would be considered fair if other party exceeded set bahaviour parameters?



    Now about those alleged assassins of Hamas leader/arms buyer who've all escaped from Dubai not to Israel, but to Jordan, it seems...

    Remember Black September?

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  • 28. At 12:18pm on 19 Feb 2010, Khadi wrote:

    23. Powermeerkat

    P.S. If Obama's White Hose was moronic enough to object to Arnie S. [a governor of California province] being received by, say, Angela Merkel, TV show hosts and comedians would have a real ball. For many weeks.

    ----

    This is exactly the difference between China and USA. The US has a free media that has the ability to be critical of the government without fear of repercussions. China, on the other hand, does not have a free press and as a result, their political representatives are not used to being criticised or being openly defied. This has affected their diplomacy. They are unable to see how making strong, aggressive statements demanding that Obama not meet the Dalai Lama are counter-productive. Each statement makes it more and more necessary for Obama to meet the Dalai Lama and to show his support for the Tibetans because doing otherwise will mean that the media will write him off as a coward. If China really cared about the Dalai Lama they would be better served by keeping silent and not drawing attention to this meeting.

    The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that China's fuss over this meeting is a strategic piece of manoeuvring to act as an excuse for China refusing to follow the US line. In the future, the Obama-Dalai Lama meeting will be waved as an excuse whenever China is asked to do something concrete like imposing sanctions on Iran or re-adjusting their currency. A lull in Sino-US relations, just when China is about to be asked to do their bit for the relationship, is ideal for China.

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  • 29. At 12:23pm on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I assume mean the two Palestinians, who are already in custody rather than the 11 ‘Europeans’ travelling under false documentation, using American credit cards? What is interesting is at least one of the real Brits is living in an Israeli Kibutz, while the possible assassin used his name, the photograph doesn’t match and as I said the passport number is fake.

    It will probably turn out that the two Palestinians were business partners of the Hamas guy. Most of the countries involved (Dubai, Britain, Ireland, France & Germany) suspect Israeli involvement, apparently one MI6 (unnamed obviously) has suggested that they were given a warning the assassination was going to happen, by Israel (the warning that is). Personally I think it is unlikely that the MI6 officer is real, or there was any warning, but it is possible. The Israeli ambassador has been called into discuss the matter and the UK Government is steaming about it.

    While this is all very interesting, could you explain the relevance to a board discussing the US? The only possible connection would be the credit cards.

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  • 30. At 12:34pm on 19 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It is a very weak case for supporters of China to make suggesting that the outside world should not support the Dalai Lama because he was somehow involved in an autocratic rule when China fully supports the Government of Sudan which has already murdered 300,000 people and run more than two million other people out of their homes and villages where they now live in camps and are in grave jeopardy of dying. The Dalai Lama's autocracy hardly compares with China's support for genocide in order to enrich itself by buying Sudan's oil.

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  • 31. At 12:45pm on 19 Feb 2010, markjuliansmith wrote:

    It is a wonder there is any time left for China Inc to do anything constructive, given China Inc spend so much time threatening everyone if they do not behave as China Inc requires - Switzerland yesterday, US today etc, etc ....

    The hypocrisy of China Inc is sickening in the extreme given their vitriolic response to other countries demands China Inc change its behaviour to align with constructive "norms governing international relations" rather than destructive policy directions internal and external.

    China Inc is the bullying petulant child demanding everything on its own selfish terms or else violent tantrum.

    I am sure there are numerous pertinent Chinese proverbs which warn of the consequences of such behaviour.

    As China Inc now recognises “norms governing international relations” this must mean China Inc is to restore Stern Hu and his colleagues back to their rightful place - with their families?

    Please China Inc get rid of the Inc and become a constructive member of the human race - for all our sakes as well as Chinese citizens.

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  • 32. At 12:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, Dr McNasty wrote:

    If anyone is interested in knowing more about Tibets repression of its own people in its feudal theocracy and the surprising (to many westerners, anyway) Buddhist aggression search for "Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth" by Michael Parenti.

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  • 33. At 12:54pm on 19 Feb 2010, TerryNo2 wrote:


    #30 Alignment is a problem that every country in the whole world faces. The West and Uzbekistan is a small but illustrative case in point.

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  • 34. At 1:11pm on 19 Feb 2010, TerryNo2 wrote:


    #32 Dr Mac's reference to Michael Parenti is one I've come across before and, although it debunks the myths of the Tibetan monastic order and aristocracy as being both humble and innocent, it also go to the heart of another important point. We often hear of "Free Tibet". But not what it is that Freeing Tibet actually means. It is perhaps ironic that those who shout the loudest the slogans of Free Tibet would not support what it is, as the Law of Unintended Consequences usually dictates, they would free Tibet into.

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  • 35. At 1:38pm on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marcus – Shhh or people will remember the substantiated claims about Western oil companies doing nasty things in the Developing World, such as hiring mercenaries and death squads. Of course Western governments don’t condone this, but they don’t condemn them either. As for support of horrible regimes, Chile and Pinochet springs to mind.

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  • 36. At 1:45pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 28, Khadi

    "The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that China's fuss over this meeting is a strategic piece of manoeuvring to act as an excuse for China refusing to follow the US line."

    The Chinese government has embraced capitalist strategies to achieve their economic and global goals, but it has never followed the US line, whatever that may be, and I doubt they ever will.

    Their protests are no different from the ones they expressed during previous visits by the Dalai Lama, and are not too dissimilar from the statements or protests we voice when foreign leaders meet or negotiate business deals with the likes of Ahmadinejad, Chavez or Castro. There is nothing wrong with governments defending the interests of their countries or doing what they believe is necessary to achieve their long term strategic goals.

    Chinese leaders say and do whatever is necessary to satisfy public opinion or expectations in China, ours do the same. What is important is to understand the difference between symbolism, illusion, political posturing, reality, and pragmatism. In the end, the latter will prevail.

    This "incident" is part of a larger strategy to influence public opinion in the USA; it will not affect US-China relations in any way shape or form.

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  • 37. At 1:48pm on 19 Feb 2010, LIm Kheak Wei wrote:

    The problems between the PRC government and the Dalai Lama is actually not that big a problem as the western nations would like to make it out to be.Both agree to the autonomy without separation.It is only in the details how much China can allow a province within the nation the degree of autonomy it wants.There is no enmity between the majority Han and Tibetan Chinese,unlike that between Arabs and Jews in Palestine.Tibetans have not been persecuted because of their religion or ethnic origin,Han Chinese people would also faced similar or even more severe reactions by the central government if they seek to break up the Chinese state.No questions about that.Westerners should get down from their Judeo-Christian background pedestal of thinking that God made man in his image and try to impose your values on others.Once you get that attitude out of your collective mindset then a lot of problems can be sorted out between the West,China,the Muslim world ,Russia and Latin America.

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  • 38. At 2:21pm on 19 Feb 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Tibet is about natural resources. It is interesting that China insist on appointing religious leaders. It should be noted that the Catholic Pope appointed the Cardinal for China and the Chinese government did not insist on having a role in that appointment. So as always politics trumps policy.

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  • 39. At 2:23pm on 19 Feb 2010, sonam kundeling wrote:

    The Dalai Lama was a very young man who had just taken the role as a ruler of Tibet when China occupied Tibet and he along with many Tibetans fled Tibet to India in 1959. The Dalai Lama did not therefore get a chance to change Tibet. The Dalai Lama since then has made the Tibetan Govt in Exile in India into a Democratic form of Govt. He has made education for young Tibetans a priority and has motioned for NUNS to be able to get equal monastic education and degrees like the monks.
    The Dalai Lama is a man of peace and follows the Ghandian philosophy in his struggle for Tibet and Tibetans and NOT Violence.
    The advice he gives to the Tibetans at gatherings is to be good citizens of the country which one lives in and of this world.

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  • 40. At 2:29pm on 19 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DRUM;

    "The Israeli ambassador has been called into discuss the matter and the UK Government is steaming about it."

    How very European. First the execution, then the sentence, then the trial, then the investigation. Entirely backwards. And on the flimsiest of evidence. No change since before the Magna Carta. The better part of a millenium of English law wiped away in a stroke for political reasons. But then what more would I expect from a government and legal system which persuaded the US to agree to drop all claims to prosecute Megrahi itself on condition that if a Scotish court convicts him of mass murder of Americans it will keep him imprisoned and than almost immediatly lets him go on "humanitarian grounds." Any news about Megrahi dying? It seems to me it's been a lot longer than three months since he was released. That's how long British doctors gave him to live. But then what do you expect from NHS quality medical expertise...unless it was just out and out lying. Frankly I think that even for free, British medical care is overpriced. Evidently so do patients in the UK who seek private practice in order to improve their chances of survival when they get sick or injured.

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  • 41. At 2:47pm on 19 Feb 2010, TerryNo2 wrote:


    #39. Although Sonam, I don't think that the Dali Lama condemned the violence perpetrated by his own followers during the protests in 2008, instead accusing the Government of cultural genocide. He is also on recoerd as saying that the use of violence can in fact be justified, ie: if the ends justify the means.

    I think that the Dalai Lama is a man of peace provided he has what he wants.

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  • 42. At 3:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, Asad Naeem wrote:

    US govt has 2 side faces. No one can believe their polices and words. They can change them according to their own needs. Although they show as the only sympathizer of the world. But it has no fact.

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  • 43. At 3:28pm on 19 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marcus – Sorry but what are you talking about? Britain couldn’t care less about some Hamas suspected arms dealer getting killed in Dubai. Its concern is that there was an intentional attempt to cast the blame, at least partially, on British nationals. At least one, is a British Jew living in Israel. What the British government is, correctly, doing is attempting to protect its citizens.

    There has been no execution, apart from the Hamas bloke, there is no sentence and what we are demanding from Israel is an investigation and then an explanation.

    The details available point towards MOSAD, which has a record of making/attempting assassinations of those it considers threats using false passports from foreign countries. The most famous being the attempted assassination in Jordan, which was so bodged Israel not only had to admit they were behind the attempt, they had to hand over the antidote for the poison they used. By the way it was the Jordan king as US president that did the forcing.

    In recent months there have been a number of attacks, which bare the hallmarks of MOSAD, shooting and bombings of known terrorist organisers and supporters. Since MOSAD does not have a reputation for being subtle about these things, suspicion, from Britain, Dubai and Interpol, as well as those who have studied the Middle East, all suggest that Israel is implicated.

    Trying to ignore your jerking knee for a moment, who would want a Hamas arms dealer killed, before he makes a deal to arm the Palestinian (by the way who slipped that suspicion out)? Not the UK that’s for sure, it was only in Israel’s interest to have this man killed when he was, so obviously suspicion falls on them, especially considering their history.

    As for Megrahi, what has that got to do with the price of fish? Why is it certain American posters feel the need to drag the Middle East into this discussion, first Power and now you? Surely if you are bored with China, discussing an American that flew a plane into an IRS building would be more appropriate – You know something that actually concerns America. If you want to discuss Israel and/or Europe there are other boards on this site to discuss them, this is one is designed to discuss North America, the hint is at the top of the page!

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  • 44. At 4:01pm on 19 Feb 2010, BK wrote:

    Much to do about Nothingness:
    Anyone who believes this (http://www.dalailama.com/biography/the-dalai-lamas) stone-age, mumbo-jumbo has deeper problems than being culturally enslaved by China...lack of education and ignorance of the physical world and its workings is perhaps the greatest enslavement of all.
    The 'original sin' in all of this is that any nation ever gave credence to any self-appointed pretender from Tibet in the first place. It embarasses me to see the office of U.S. President pander to this type of silliness; this is analagous to Obama meeting with the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy simply because there is a large enough voting block who believes, or is sympathetic to the pretense.
    Based on this, I'd guess it's entirely possible that Obama may soon meet with the 1st reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard, and show sympathy and undefined 'support' for the culturally oppressed Scientologists in Hollyweird. Still, I guess if you believe you are "The Chosen One" it's a small step to believing in 'His Holiness the 14th Incarnation of the Dalai Lama.'

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  • 45. At 4:11pm on 19 Feb 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    There is nothing new here in US policy. The United States has never recognized Tibet as a sovereign state. It has supported human rights for Tibetans and others under many administrations.

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  • 46. At 5:13pm on 19 Feb 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    US politics require that the Dali Lama be met and nothing be done. If Tibet has always been a part of China as China claims than why was it a feudal state and an invasion necessary? Maybe the Chinese government should invade parts of Western China where slave labor is used in coal mines and other industries. As Chinese society begins to be more open and people practice their beliefs the issue of the Dali Lama will subside. There may be another Dali Lama and maybe not as the first Dali Lama, who was actually the third, said the present one would be the last. China can appoint anybody they want but within any religion it is the people who decide. There are many schools of Buddhist thought and the Tibetans are but one. The majority of Chinese Buddhist practice a Chinese form of Mahayana Buddhism. Once there were two Popes.

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  • 47. At 5:24pm on 19 Feb 2010, LIm Kheak Wei wrote:

    To uchenna@#9.You said that US should look to India to produce goods for itself.Do you think that Indians will be contented to call Americans/westerners "sahibs" forever?From the way they are pushing the smaller weaker nations of south asia and those at the brim of the Indian ocean even now,your hopes are not to last long.That too when they still has some 400 million without electricity.Don't bring in that crap about the biggest democracy thing.If a democracy still has 160 million people(3x the population of Britain) classified as untouchables,it is no democracy at all.

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  • 48. At 5:25pm on 19 Feb 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    Tibet is just another pawn on the chessboard. The last thing ANY American president cares about is ethics, respect for law, human rights. Dalai Lama has no other option but to keep the Tibet issue boiling. Else Mr. Obama will ask who the hell he is.

    The only difference between America and China is that China oppresses its own and others. America oppresses the rest of the world but lets its own journos, Hollywood, 'free speech' babble away.

    Remember Chagos? Chile? The primary quality necessary to become a superpower is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy and its acceptance by others is the lube that keeps the cogs of diplomacy turning.

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  • 49. At 5:30pm on 19 Feb 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    What is BK's problem? (#44) You don't need to believe in reincarnation or in any other aspect of Buddhism to recognize that the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, chosen according to their customs. Equating the Dalai Lama to the "Tooth Fairy" etc. is just ridiculous.

    I welcome the US president, or any other person of influence, standing up for human rights and against the oppression of minorities, whether Tibetans, Uighurs, Kurds, Baha'i, or whatever. The world is a better place because of it.

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  • 50. At 5:51pm on 19 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Drum;

    "Trying to ignore your jerking knee for a moment, who would want a Hamas arms dealer killed,"

    It seems to me it is Britain that has had a knee jerk reaction. How would I know who would want a Hamas arms dealer killed? An irate customer? A competitor? The Egyptian government (they've also built a wall to contain Hamas led Gazans.)? Fatah? Jordan? Someone from another family clan that had a fued with his family? Someone who wanted to make it look like Isreal had done it including Hamas itself? The list could go on indefinitely.

    "The details available point towards MOSAD, which has a record of making/attempting assassinations of those it considers threats using false passports from foreign countries."

    Rather sloppy work for what is reputed to be one of the best spy agencies in the world. Either they are slipping and need to update their skills or someone tried to make it look like they did it.

    "What the British government is, correctly, doing is attempting to protect its citizens."

    No, what it is attempting to do is villify Israel. If it were really interested in the truth, it would conduct its own investigation instead of intrrogating Israel's minister. He surely knows no more about it than you or I especially if Israel did it.

    "what we are demanding from Israel is an investigation and then an explanation."

    That's a pretty stupid idea. If they did it, they aren't going to tell you. And if they didn't, then it is up to them if they want to find out who did and report it to Britain or someone else if they feel the need to. Do you expect Iran to admit that it is trying to develop nuclear warheads too?

    Here in uncivilized America, we require evidence, investigation, facts. We accept that there are copycat crimes and frameups where jumping to conclusions without facts leads to slanderous false accusations. Evidently in civilized Britain those are not the operative considerations.

    As for Megrahi, it just proves the British government is not to be trusted, not to be taken at its word. But then anyone who expected it to fulfill its promise to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution already knows that.

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  • 51. At 5:57pm on 19 Feb 2010, dceilar wrote:

    These meetings with the Dalai Lama are pretty much pointless IMO. The US is going to do nothing about human rights in China, let alone help Tibet. It does have a feeling of being a well rehearsed parrot sketch where all play their part (except no-one is laughing).

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  • 52. At 6:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, dceilar wrote:

    Marcus @50

    It looks like you have jumped to conclusions already. What if Mossad made it look amateurish deliberately? Now that's clever.

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  • 53. At 6:38pm on 19 Feb 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Meh.
    Emperor Pomp, I'd like you to introduce you to President Circumstance. It seems that a little Lama-Birdie told him what you did last summer. Not that he really needed the Lama to tell him, because it was on Twitter at the time...

    China has an Honor/Shame culture.
    -- We don't.

    Our sense of honor stems from fierce loyalty to hard-working folks whom we respect. We respect people who earn that respect through good old honest hard-working blood, sweat and tears. Sry.

    We are a collective bunch of refugees from many continents who are strong because we are a team of rugged individualists.
    -- China isn't.

    Granted - We need China, whether we like it or not.
    But - China needs us, whether they like it or not.

    Therefore, this ritual chicken scrapping* is merely show.
    Good business cents will then continue as usual.
    ... move along, move along. Nothing to see here.

    __________________
    * Darn. It's the year of the Tiger, not the year of the Rooster. Maybe we should refer to territorial pissing? I'll ask my Chinese neighbors what they think. Or, I could stop by that Buddhist Temple off Broad & Washington. They seem like good folk. Happy New Year!

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  • 54. At 6:54pm on 19 Feb 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    @ #53 Philly-Mom
    "Our sense of honor stems from fierce loyalty to hard-working folks whom we respect. We respect people who earn that respect through good old honest hard-working blood, sweat and tears."

    BBC has a recent article that says Americans are the laziest people in the world. Who's wrong here? Asians don't work hard. Yeah, right.

    "We are a collective bunch of refugees from many continents who are strong because we are a team of rugged individualists."

    Yeah, rugged individualists who drove out Red Indians off their own land, rapes half the world in the name of 'free trade', conduct wars that kill people who think the world is the size of their home, etc.


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  • 55. At 6:59pm on 19 Feb 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    48. mitty_w wrote:
    "Tibet is just another pawn on the chessboard. The last thing ANY American president cares about is ethics, respect for law, human rights."

    Wow.

    Well - I'd agree with you that it takes conniving to become a super power. We had plenty of that in our past. But mostly, we're made up of people who were trying to ESCAPE the conniving that was happening in other countries.

    Anyway -- now that we've been "A Conniving Superpower" for a few generations... and since we actually have relatively free democratic elections...

    Well, ya know what?
    I actually believe that there are a few folks in Washington DC who are fairly bright well-intentioned souls who actually ARE trying to be ethical and just. Rly. (Although, I does seem that they're a minority at times.)

    But I still find the above statement... just a wee bit... wrong. And sad. Really.

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  • 56. At 7:04pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    14, KS

    I am not making a case for China's takeover of Tibet. My point is that Tibet under the Dalai Lama was no Shangri-La. Nor would it be if he were returned to power. Which situation is worse? Both are bad.

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  • 57. At 7:27pm on 19 Feb 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #56, has anyone thought of asking the Tibetans what they think?

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  • 58. At 7:32pm on 19 Feb 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #43

    You must think Mossad is careless. This is even according to their enemies one of the best intelligence group in the world.

    The U.K should let it go, say we dont approve of the use of British Nationals passports, but the world is better off with another Hamas terrorist dead.

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  • 59. At 7:42pm on 19 Feb 2010, hookano wrote:

    Everybody who is thinking that Chinese government is a totalitarian is living in a world gone by. Today's Chinese government is so much better than that in the past. Yes, it is not perfect yet, but who can be.

    To start with, first, Chinese people love their government for all the good things that it has done.

    Second, while the local government may still live in the old regime, the central government is acting hard to change that. Abusive acts by local government now receives harsh punishments.

    Third, the central government now becomes more receptive towards human rights concerns, even animal rights. This is completely unthinkable in the past. Chinese newspapers are also much more open. They actually write comments that criticize the government and exposes problems in the society.

    So, to all those who like to find division or like to continue believing into your own outdated mindset, well I feel sorry for you. Sure, you can continue to do that and inject more poison into this world, but you are lying to yourself. If you just come to China now, you will see a completely different China. It ain't perfect, but it is getting better by the day. If your true concern is human rights, you should find ways to improve relationships among people and not to fracture it.

    And as for Tibetans, they now live a better live. Those who think that Tibetans cannot practice their religion should join them in their pilgrimage, which just passed. If those throngs of people are not practicing religion, I don't know what is.

    I am not going to go to what America has done in Iraq - the killing, the lie about WMD, because creating division is not something to believe in. However, you should see the truth and the change in China, and I hope it will set you free.

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  • 60. At 7:46pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    57, seanspa.
    "has anyone thought of asking the Tibetans what they think?"

    The powers that be don't care what the Tibetans think.

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  • 61. At 7:48pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    57, seanspa.

    Closer to home, does Congress care what we think?

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  • 62. At 8:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Sorry for deviating from Mark's theme and engaging, reluctantly, in another one of those eternal Israeli/Palestinian debates, but doesn't it seem odd that the government of Israel has refused to accept or deny responsibility for the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai?

    Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, had an opportunity to clarify this matter during a conference on Wednesday and, perhaps not surprisingly, he declined to confirm or deny the involvement of Mossad in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

    I doubt the truth will ever emerge, and I doubt the perpetrators of this crime will ever be captured, let alone prosecuted. What is clear to me is that state-sponsored assassinations - which are nothing less than acts of terrorism - are being planned, financed, and executed with impunity and met with indiference when the victims are people we disagree with or don't like very much.

    The case of Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban-born CIA operative that blew up a Cuban passenger airliner and now enjoys the protection of the US government comes to mind...

    Terrorism becomes such when the perpetrators are our "enemies" and we are the victims, otherwise it becomes a patriotic act carried out to make this a better world.

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  • 63. At 8:06pm on 19 Feb 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #61, you mean the congress we elect? Only those in safe seats don't care. How many are feeling safe right now?

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  • 64. At 8:31pm on 19 Feb 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    "Rather sloppy work for what is reputed to be one of the best spy agencies in the world."

    Sloppy indeed! Just like their incompetent bungling of the murder attempt on that fellow in Jordan a few years back - the poison squirted in his ear, the unhelpfulness of him surviving, King Hussein demanding the antidote from Israel and getting it.

    Israel's long history of extrajudicial killings, their previous passport fraud (UK and New Zealand), and their contempt for others' sovereignty all are hallmarks of Mossad. Whether it'll ever be admitted/proven or not doesn't matter. Just like OJ Simpson, people will see the truth themselves.

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  • 65. At 8:36pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 56, seanspa

    "...has anyone thought of asking the Tibetans what they think?"

    A very logical question to ask if we were dealing with a country that respects the rights of their people and the sovereignty and wishes of its neighbors, but I am afraid this is not the case.

    The institution of the Dalai Lama, including the present one and his predecessors is, indeed a despotic theocracy, but the annexation of Tibet to China has nothing to do with sympathies over the plight of the Tibetan people and much to do with the long term goals of territorial expansion and regional hegemony.

    Ref 61, allmymarbles

    Welcome back! Perhaps I am very naive, but I actually believe that most of our representatives in Congress do listen and care for their constituets and our country. Unfortunately, the pervasive influence of money and power sometimes result in them following paths that are not in our best interest, or neglecting issues or avoiding decisions that may jeopardize their re-election chances.




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  • 66. At 8:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, BK wrote:

    In reference to #49. GH1618's comments:
    If you are implying that the Dalai Lama was thrust into temporal and spiritual leadership by the will of Tibet's people you are sadly misinformed; he leads (in exile) because a roving band of monks in the 1930's were tasked by the Theocracy to find the the next incarnation of Dalai Lama, and basically told, "Don't come home until you do!!" They, of course, found the infant child, through a series of clues that would have baffled the old TV sleuth Columbo, but all of the clues were obviously pointing to the incarnation of the 13 prior Dalai Lamas. They then took the child to Lhasa where in good time the Government consulted the Nechung Oracle (an Oracle whom I'm sure was totally independent of the Theocracy of Tibet and it's leaders). There ensued a very tense moment, until the Orace came over to where His Holiness was seated and laid a kata, a white offering scarf, on His Holiness's lap with the words 'Thu-la bap', (His time has come). At the young age of fifteen, His Holiness was, on 17 November 1950 officially enthroned as the temporal leader of Tibet in a ceremony held at the Norbulingka Palace.
    Wow! The 'crystal slipper' fit, what are the odds? And the rest is history...sounds like a true mandate of the people of Tibet to me. How could any rational person doubt His Holiness' right and obligation to represent Tibet, and why can't the Chinese see that too? If this myth can be can be the basis for Tibet's current leadership, then the current incarnation of General Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón of Mexico is perhaps the rightful Ruler of Texas...FREE TEXAS!

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  • 67. At 9:12pm on 19 Feb 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    BK (#66) "If you are implying ... "

    I don't imply anything. I write what I intend in plain American English. The Dalai Lama was chosen in accordance with the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. However peculiar these traditions, it is not our place to question the process any more than we would question the traditions of the College of Cardinals in electing a pope.

    The US cannot impose our version of democratic government on Tibet, and should not attempt to do so, but we can advocate protection of human rights. This is what the President has done (as have other presidents), and I commend him for it.

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  • 68. At 9:18pm on 19 Feb 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    A low keyed meeting doesnt mean that meeting between obama the president of usa and lama the president of exile tibetian government didnt take place..

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  • 69. At 9:49pm on 19 Feb 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    54. mitty_w

    I must've missed that BBC Article. See, I only get my international news while I'm at the office, so I probably don't catch all the same info as you do. I am sincerely sorry about that. But - it seems you might not have a very well-rounded idea of what the USA is really like.
    -- So, how 'bout I jus clear up some things for ya'll:

    WARNING: The following is a Working Mom's Soapbox Sermon.

    See, I work 40 hours a week.
    I get 10 vacation days a year
    I get 5 sick/personal days a year
    I get 1/2 hour for lunch each day.
    I commute 30-45 minutes each way, in car traffic.
    ... and I have a very hard time supporting my two sons.
    I then have to go home and feed, and launder, and help with homework, and do all those 'Mom Things'...
    I don't buy new clothes very often.
    I can't afford fancy tech toys or 'digital devices.'
    I don't get cable or BBC on the TeeVee, 'cause I'm a bit short on cash and my digital antenna only gets two channels.
    I buy crap for food more than I like, because by the time I get home I hardly have any time to cook. Pasta and Ragu is cheap. At least I eat more veggies than some. Most working moms often just buy McFood, because you get more calories for your buck.

    Lazy, huh?
    I live in a very small house.
    It's a tiny twin (duplex), not a big fancy "Single Family Home."
    I only have a very small back yard, and I consider myself very fortunate to have that.
    It's not a great neighborhood, but I can afford it here.

    Lazy.
    My dad sometimes worked 50+ hrs/wk so that three kids could go to college & so that he'd have cash to retire.
    My College degree ain't worth much right now.
    His retirement just crashed in the market.
    Now my folks'll be old and poor, just like they used to be young and poor. What a shame.

    And still, I and my family donate as much as we can (sometimes more than we ought) to charities, both local and international.

    Lazy. Right.
    Some folks, maybe.
    But all of us? Really? Do you honestly think so?


    I'm a citizen of the United States of America.
    I speak with the voice of Conquistadors who couldn't go home.
    And I speak with the voice of the native women they took.
    I speak with the voice of freed slaves, and of Cherokee and Hopi and Algonquin and many many other tribes - some dead, but not all forgotten.
    I am a Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite, and Quaker Euro-refugee.
    I am a French-Canadian Refugee told to travel south or die.
    I am an Irish refugee from the Potato Blight.
    I am pirate, thief and other 'enterprising businessmen'.
    I am Georgian and Polish and Armenian and Turk.
    I am a Muslim refugee and a Buddhist refugee.
    I am a Japanese migrant worker, I'm Vietnamese, North Korean and Indonesian.

    And you know what? I am pretty damn proud to be an American Mutt.
    I am VERY proud of my African and Native ancestry and of my many international friends.
    Heck, I'm even proud of some of my ancestors from your islands.
    I am both oppressor and opressed. So are you. Deal with it.

    IN CONCLUSION:
    Not all of us are Lazy.
    And, not all of us are oppressive intolerant WASPs.
    (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants)

    Yeesh.
    Try Livin' in MY hood for a few years and THEN tell me what you think I am... but your blithe comments about "Americans" are silly.

    Philly-Mom, signing off.
    Won't log in till Monday.
    Got too much work to do at home to check email, much less 'Blog'.

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  • 70. At 9:53pm on 19 Feb 2010, markjuliansmith wrote:

    Reply: 32. At 12:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, Dr McNasty wrote:

    "If anyone is interested in knowing more about Tibet’s repression of its own people in its feudal theocracy and the surprising (to many westerners, anyway) Buddhist aggression search for "Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth" by Michael Parenti."

    You are right to raise the issue Dr for should not the Tibetans be effusively thankful for a less virulent suppressive form of society. The removal of a 'feudal theocracy' particular based on a misnomer of Buddhist enlightenment and benevolence as an enabler of human benefit as with other theocracies based on Islam in Iran etc may have been relatively of benefit to many Tibetans.

    The trouble is feudal communism although possibly less virulent in attacking the human spirit the result in the end is the same.

    It is just a matter of which form of cancerous suppression you prefer.

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  • 71. At 9:59pm on 19 Feb 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #62
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Sorry for deviating from Mark's theme and engaging, reluctantly, in another one of those eternal Israeli/Palestinian debates, but doesn't it seem odd that the government of Israel has refused to accept or deny responsibility for the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai?

    ___________--

    I object to the term assination being given to a Hamas terrorist. An assination usualy refers to a govermental official of a recognized state.

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  • 72. At 10:13pm on 19 Feb 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Well said, Philly-Mom. So much of what you said could have come right out of my own mother's mouth. If that's not a snapshot of America I don't know what is.

    I'd only like to add that the United States of America ranks as the most productive nation on earth followed by Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Norway I believe.

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  • 73. At 10:19pm on 19 Feb 2010, BK wrote:

    With regard 67. At 9:12pm on 19 Feb 2010, GH1618:

    Hmmm! So we're not to question, or judge the means by which leadership is decided in a "country" which is seeking our support? Really GH1618? Really?
    By the way, the habit of U.S. Presidents meeting with the Dalai Lama was started in 1991 by the elder Bush as he was groping for his '1000 points of light' in an attempt to be mistaken for an enlightened leader; and, of course thereafter any lapse of that past practice by a President would be read into as a slap against His Holiness by the adolescent Left.
    Here's the hard fact: China owns Tibet because it can...and, any "support" by the U.S. for Tibet will be largely symbolic...just more TPT (TelePrompterTalk).

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  • 74. At 10:25pm on 19 Feb 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Philly-MoM post 69..

    That was brilliant,there must also be some Welsh in that back ground of yours giving you that stamina to keep at that coal face & passion when riled..

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  • 75. At 10:30pm on 19 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Discuted #64;

    "Israel's long history of extrajudicial killings..."

    Why not think of them as extrajudicial executions being the method of extrajudicial justice for committing extrajudicial crimes? Which crimes and against whom? Well we don't know that yet at all. A lot of people think they do but they have only sucpicions based on what they think of as similar circumstances of modus operandi (MO.) That is not even circumstantial evidence. Others can copy it. For all I know the UK government is gulity and is making accusations just to cover up its own culpability.

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  • 76. At 10:30pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    65, SaintD.
    "Welcome back! Perhaps I am very naive, but I actually believe that most of our representatives in Congress do listen and care for their constituets and our country. Unfortunately, the pervasive influence of money and power sometimes result in them following paths that are not in our best interest, or neglecting issues or avoiding decisions that may jeopardize their re-election chances."

    Their first priority is getting funded. Just in terms of health care alone they work against our best interests. We have the highest health-care costs in the world because Congress is beholden to those who victimize us.

    63, seanspa.
    "#61, you mean the congress we elect? Only those in safe seats don't care. How many are feeling safe right now?"

    I keep getting e-mails that urge me to vote against all incumbents. If we throw the rascals out, and vote new rascals in, at least we will have the consolation of the new rascals not being entrenched. As time goes by I see more and more that our problem lies with the legislative branch, not the executive. I am seriously considering voting all ins out. If we all did that repeatedly, maybe our elected "representatives" would feel our hostility and consider representing us.

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  • 77. At 10:32pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 71, Magic

    "I object to the term assination being given to a Hamas terrorist. An assination usualy refers to a govermental official of a recognized state."

    Would you mind telling what dictionary you use to learn how to spell and find the definition of words? I want to make sure I don't buy by mistake!

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  • 78. At 10:37pm on 19 Feb 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #64
    DiscoStu_d wrote:
    "Rather sloppy work for what is reputed to be one of the best spy agencies in the world."

    Sloppy indeed! Just like their incompetent bungling of the murder attempt on that fellow in Jordan a few years back - the poison squirted in his ear, the unhelpfulness of him surviving, King Hussein demanding the antidote from Israel and getting it.

    Israel's long history of extrajudicial killings, their previous passport fraud (UK and New Zealand), and their contempt for others' sovereignty all are hallmarks of Mossad. Whether it'll ever be admitted/proven or not doesn't matter. Just like OJ Simpson, people will see the truth themselves.

    ________________-

    first you have no proof that mossad did this. Second any killing of a Hamas terrorist is justfied as long as there are no innocents killed. Unlike Hamas Israel values civilians lives.

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  • 79. At 10:44pm on 19 Feb 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #76, I agree, congress is the problem. There are those that insist their own representative is not representative of congress. I say term limits are absolutely necessary to remove the entrenched view and the constant campaigning. They need to listen, but they also need to act. They cannot be beholden to their financiers, and they cannot be beholden to public opinion.

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  • 80. At 10:45pm on 19 Feb 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Philly-Mom

    Re post 54,Mitty-W. Walter-Mitty very droll,do not let them wind you up they are trolling for a reaction,just talk to nice interesting & modest people... like me...

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  • 81. At 10:55pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 76, allmymarbles

    "We have the highest health-care costs in the world because Congress is beholden to those who victimize us."

    This supporter of universal healthcare couldn't agree with you more. The problem is that whether we want to admit it or not, most Americans oppose meaningful healthcare reform and politicians, being politicians, prefer to heed to their wishes rather than do what they know is right.

    The reason (s) for the opposition to healthcare reform is, frankly. irrelevant to the political decision-making process, what is important to our elected officials is to be re-elected. Unfortunately for Democrats, including those that did not support healthcare reform, they are likely to be found guilty by association and most are going to be booted out and replaced by politicians who share the views of those that got is in the mess we are in.

    BTW, I am not denying or minimizing the pervasive influence of political contributions and lobbyists in Washington; in fact, if it was up to me I would push for a constitutional ammendment to ban political contributions and lobbying, and another ammendment requiring balanced budgets.

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  • 82. At 11:10pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    81, SaintD.
    "BTW, I am not denying or minimizing the pervasive influence of political contributions and lobbyists in Washington; in fact, if it was up to me I would push for a constitutional ammendment to ban political contributions and lobbying, and another ammendment requiring balanced budgets."

    Hear! Hear! And can we add to that a limit on campaigning to three months? We now have year-round campaigning that, one way or another, comes out of our pockets (not to mention bores us brainless and heightens our hostility).

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  • 83. At 11:19pm on 19 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    Further to 82 and SaintD.

    What these campaigners don't realize is that the more exposure they get, the more we see them for what they are. They don't realize this because they presume John Q. Public to be an idiot.

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  • 84. At 11:22pm on 19 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 69, Philly

    You hit a homerun gal! Unfortunately, the misperceptions that so many foreigners have of us are no different from the misperceptions we have of them. I suspect that and the distrust that is evident in cross-cultural relations, plus a healthy infusion of greed, are among the most important reasons for the adventurism and injustices we see throughout the world.

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  • 85. At 00:02am on 20 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    69, Philly.

    What a delight to have someone so literate and expressive on this forum. Don't go away.

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  • 86. At 00:32am on 20 Feb 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    US ambassador crisis in Qatar

    When US Ambassador LeBaron stated; “This meeting has to end. The meeting with the Qatar Sheikh is more important,” Ambassador Tanlay lost his patience. Tanlay reacted harshly by stating, “You are not the one to decide how important we are. You can not insult my country. That is not your place.” Both diplomats then proceeded to grab each other by the neck and had to be separated by officials. Supposedly, after they were separated, the US ambassador proceeded to kick the doors in anger.

    http://www.sabahenglish.com/news/9127.html

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  • 87. At 00:35am on 20 Feb 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Second any killing of a Hamas terrorist is justfied as long as there are no innocents killed. Unlike Hamas Israel values civilians lives.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And so does hamas. it retaliates in according to the newton law of motion.

    3.Whenever a first body exerts a force F on a second body, the second body exerts a force −F on the first body. F and −F are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

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  • 88. At 00:46am on 20 Feb 2010, colonelartist wrote:


    86. At 00:32am on 20 Feb 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    its not my fault that they fought with each other.

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  • 89. At 01:11am on 20 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    87, colonelartist.
    "Second any killing of a Hamas terrorist is justfied as long as there are no innocents killed. Unlike Hamas Israel values civilians lives."

    Earth to colonelartist....

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  • 90. At 01:15am on 20 Feb 2010, allmymarbles wrote:

    89, error.

    Sorry colonelartist. I did not realize you appeared to be quoting someone. Please use quotes in the future so we don't misunderstand you.

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  • 91. At 02:10am on 20 Feb 2010, modernJan wrote:


    Basically the Chinese (circular) mantra goes like this:

    China: We don't want you to meet the Dalai Lama.
    America: Why not?
    China: Because we do not want you to!
    America: Yeah, we know that, but why?
    China: Because it's a threat to relations between our countries.
    America: Really, me talking to a Buddhist Monk is a threat to mighty China?
    China: No, its a threat to our relations.
    America: Why?
    China: Because we will punish you for it.
    America: So there's no real threat, and you are creating the problem yourselves?
    China: Yes, I suppose.
    America: But why would you do that?
    China: Because we don't want you to meet the Dalai Lama.
    America: Why not?

    And then the circle starts to repeat itself... it's the same with Taiwan or any other "thorny" issue that isn't really thorny except for the Chinese making it so.

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  • 92. At 04:53am on 20 Feb 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    69 Philly Mom

    Thanks. Some on this blog don't know who we are on this side of the pond. I keep trying to explain it, but you have gotten the job done.

    Bravo - and remember that for all the day-to-day, we are our ancestors' dream come true.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 93. At 09:32am on 20 Feb 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #87 and 89

    Charles Krauthamer a respects journalist said the same thing. There is no moral equvilency from a progressive nation like Israel and murderous thugs like Hamas who are responsbile for more Palestinian deaths than Israel.

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  • 94. At 09:51am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "While this is all very interesting [An assaination of a Hamas leader/arms buyer in Dubai], could you explain the relevance to a board discussing the US?"




    Sure.

    Almost every discussion here regarding U.S. policy ends up with 'usual suspects' claiming that it [the policy] it what it is, because "America is controlled by Israeli lobby".


    And are you, David Murrell, unfamiliar with such posters? ;-)

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  • 95. At 10:21am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #32


    I'm not familiar with anybody, most of all Dalai Lama who is a self-descrbied aficionado of American democracy and what it stands for,
    suggesting a reversal to a medieaval, feudal system in Tibet.

    Nay, this "irrelevant medieval monk" (as "tru socialists" claim here)
    is not even demanding a restoration of free Tibet.

    Merely a bona fide AUTONOMY for the ruthlessly occupied and exploited uran/gold, etc.,country.


    BTW. How many of you know that pres. Hujintao got where he is now because of the bloody suppression of Tibetan protests he ordered and executed when he was Chinese Communist Party's leader in that country?

    You better check the facts, "comrades".

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  • 96. At 10:28am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "As for support of horrible regimes, Chile and Pinochet springs to mind."



    David Murrell. I happen to know Chile well. Very well, in fact.

    And I'm not aware that gen. Pinochet ever supported a horrible regime of Moscow's agent of influence [proven], comrade Salvatore Allende.

    Let alone atrocities committed by that regime.

    As I said earlier:

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Particularly if its informed not by facts, but by dinosaurs' ideology.

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  • 97. At 10:34am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #28 Khadi wrote

    23. Powermeerkat wrote:

    If Obama's White Hose was moronic enough to object to Arnie S. [a governor of California province] being received by, say, Angela Merkel, TV show hosts and comedians would have a real ball. For many weeks.

    ----

    This is exactly the difference between China and USA. The US has a free media that has the ability to be critical of the government without fear of repercussions. China, on the other hand, does not have a free press and as a result, their political representatives are not used to being criticised or being openly defied.




    meerkat replies: And what can I possibly add to that?

    That Chinese comrades are fast becoming clowns on the order of
    Ahmadinnerjacket, Castrate Bros, Kim Jong-il and Comical Hugo?

    And their 'socialist' supporters in the 'progressive' PC West?

    That's patently obvious, isn't it?

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  • 98. At 10:37am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #49


    I second that.

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  • 99. At 10:42am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MAII wrote:

    "As for Megrahi, it just proves the British government is not to be trusted, not to be taken at its word."





    Well, the terrorist has been released 'on compassionate grounds" because, we were assured, "he had no more than 3 months to live".


    Now, that Muammar Gaddafi's special agent is still very much alive proves that Libyan health care system is much better than HHS.

    [Therefore, perhaps U.S. should implement Libyan and not British model?]

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  • 100. At 10:51am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    PhillyMom wrote:

    "Not all of us are Lazy.
    And, not all of us are oppressive intolerant WASPs.
    (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants)"





    Mom I hate to tell you that ,as much as I agree with your post re American 'laziness', but a WASP label is an oxy-MORON.

    By definition there cannot be such an animal a black, yellow, etc., ANGLO-SAXON.

    [not so sure about red, though, after reading some posts here.]



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  • 101. At 10:58am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "By the way, the habit of U.S. Presidents meeting with the Dalai Lama was started in 1991 by the elder Bush as he was groping for his '1000 points of light'"


    Sure beats 1000 PINTS of light so many Britons seem to prefer these days.
    [binge/keg drinking among both men AND women]



    BTW. What' wrong with you, our British cousins?

    I (a former [jr] Alpine skier) watch Vancouver Olympics every day.

    You surely can do better than THAT?!

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  • 102. At 11:21am on 20 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: "Tibet is about natural resources"



    To a large extent it indeed is.
    [imperialist attitude of Chinese Commies notwithstanding].

    Tibet has a veritable Mendeleyev Table under ground,
    with rich URANIUM ore figuring in it prominently.

    That's why, incidentally, quite a few Chinese nuclear weapon labs have been built and operated (under funny/phoney names) in that PRC-occupied country.


    BTW. for similar reasons Beijing can't let go of Muslim Turkic E. Turkestan (Xinjiang Han people call it).

    Where, otherwise, would the Chinese regime conduct its nuclear tests?

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  • 103. At 4:17pm on 20 Feb 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    @ Philly-Mom

    You do work hard. That will teach me not to generalise. I apologise if you are a hardworker and i called you lazy. I really regret generalizing the results of some net survey. "Some folks are lazy". Exactly.

    I'm not being blithe.
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100218/888/twl-us-is-world-s-laziest-nation-survey.html
    http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_TPRNVTRQ. (That economist article is for paid viewers only.)

    Those two news items are from prominent american news sources. I didn't even have to google for it. They would catch the eye of any casual surfer.

    Also, people in every country work hard too. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and so on. Hard work is not unique to America. And surveys measure the relative levels of hard work.

    America's positive points are as obvious as the fact that OBL is a terrorist. I didn't have to sing praises. I'm just pointing out its lesser known faults. Whenever America argues for Human rights, they are on a shaky ground. That was my point.

    By the way, I don't see how I cannot have a well-rounded view of America. Most people in my country are crazy about America. I'd go so far as to say my country is an American apologist. In fact, my country voted for America in support of Iraq war.

    My country's people populate American universities, silicon valley, and they've benefited tremendously from the American dream. My country is not chummy with China. In fact, Dalai Lama lives in my country.

    I appreciate you patriotism. If you are saying "my country has its faults, but i love it", i agree too. No one need to renounce their patriotism to admit their country's faults. I'm an Indian, and my country does have dark chapters too. But i must live with it. I'm proud of my country. That applies to the Chinese too. No one can blame them for supporting their country. There are good people there too. No use in generalizing them as totalitarian.

    I stand by my accusation of American presidents. There are too many incidents in Latin America and Middle east to support that. I don't want to go into that. You can google them if you wish. If American presidents are driven by circumstances, then the Chinese Presidents are, too. If China is oppressing Taiwan, then America is still on Diego Garcia. Not to speak about the numerous military bases around the world. World security is not America's burden. It's an excuse like the 'White man's burden'.

    In the end, whatever the Powers do, it is the little man that suffers. If you are trying to catch OBL, it is the average pashtun family that suffers. If you are trying to dethrone Saddam, then the average Iraq joe suffers too. Surely they have the right to feel as much anger as an America feels when one of his friends die in a terrorist attack?

    So Philly-mom, I am indeed cognisant of America's goodness.. and badness. It is only that America doesn't apply the same ruler to the rest of the world. I'm not asking you to be ashamed of your country. Just read what Walter Lippman says about patriotism. (Stakes of Diplomacy, Chapter VI). It's available on Project Gutenberg or Internet Archives.











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  • 104. At 4:22pm on 20 Feb 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    @ #96

    Hey, Captain America. What do you have to say about Diego Garcia? Among others? "Means justify the end"? or, "to save 300 million, and island full of people must suffer?"

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  • 105. At 7:12pm on 20 Feb 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Tibet is about america trying to sit on the head of china and the president of ex government of tibet, Lhamo Döndrub aka dalali of lama is facilitating this with ease and quite briantlly by openly mixing politics with religion taking advantage of his title. He should realise and reflect, I suggest he sits under a tree in fasting, why the shia's spirtitual leader, late Khomeni and the present spiritual leader Ali Khamenei are freely ridiculed for reasons known to just the west..

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  • 106. At 02:38am on 21 Feb 2010, hookano wrote:

    Analyzing the issue of Tibet, one big issue is about this "genuine autonomy". On one hand, the phrase suggests that it is something more real or more authentic. But, it is only one step of suggesting that the current autonomy is not real.

    So, I follow the discussion more closely and actually read many newspapers from around the world. Rather than listening to editorial comments, I dig out what Dalai Lama wants. It turns out he wants at least 3 things under the phrase of genuine autonomy: religion, education, and immigration.

    Religion is simple and the least issue. Tibetans are practicing their religion as we speak. I don't think Dalai Lama wants to force all who live in Tibet to be Tibetan Buddhist either. So, this is a non issue I think.

    Next is education. I think this could be a problem when it comes to the history section. But, otherwise I don't think this is an issue.

    The last one is immigration, which is the real problem. Dalai Lama wants to control who can get in and out of Tibet. This is ridiculous and nothing but independence. It is no wonder that China rejects this. Which country in the world would let her territorial integrity be attacked? It is like saying that California should be able to have an independent immigration system and decides who can enter the state. That is just a plain attack on the US sovereignty.

    So, I think what Dalai Lama asking is not reasonable. Unless some country who supports Dalai Lama wants to lead the way by allowing separation within her own territory, Dalai Lama should be more reasonable. Otherwise, the people of Tibet will continue to progress but without him. If Dalai Lama is fine with that, then it is fine.

    I personally would like to see Dalai Lama comes back to Tibet. I think that would be a really wonderful occasion. But, unless he can compromise, I think that would not happen - unfortunately.



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  • 107. At 06:47am on 21 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    In case some Chinese butchers' aficionados have not noticed there's agrowing number of Tibetans who advocate picking up arms against their occupiers, why Dalai Lama discourages that.

    May Communist god help Han rulers if Tibetans cease to be practicing Buddhists.

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  • 108. At 4:52pm on 21 Feb 2010, McJakome wrote:

    107. At 06:47am on 21 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    "...May Communist god help Han rulers if Tibetans cease to be practicing Buddhists."

    Was it Confucius or Sun Tzu who said, "Even primitive Tibetan can kill unwelcome colonialist imperialist by dropping rocks from high mountain.

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  • 109. At 03:04am on 22 Feb 2010, hookano wrote:

    @107 powermeerkat

    Wow! "butchers' aficionados" are some very strong words. I think everybody benefits from some cooling down.

    I don't think it is in everybody's interest, least of all the Tibetans, to see that happens. Once it is a formal civil war, the rule of the engagement changes. All is game, just like the US civil war. No more holds barred from both sides. Much more Tibetans will die and I think it is very irresponsible of any instigators to sacrifice people for their own conviction.

    Right now, Tibetans are having a decent life. Any actions should make the future better and not worse.

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  • 110. At 08:45am on 22 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Right now, Tibetans are having a decent life"


    Have you actually been to Tibet?

    And talked to genuine Tibetans?


    There's no shortage of only one thing in the region I've been to:
    high mountains JMM mentions in #108.


    Now, about upseting Turkic Uighurs (who are not practicing Buddhists) ;-)

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  • 111. At 12:23pm on 22 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – While I used to enjoy our exchanges, it is quite clear that these days you are little more than a name throwing shrill, following in Marcus’s footsteps and bad mouthing anything European – By the way few people in the UK drink that much light ale, for someone who goes on about small bits of knowledge shame you can’t be asked to do some research, you mayhap want to get a dictionary as well so you can get the use or oxymoron correct. WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) cannot be an oxymoron since there is nothing self-contradictory in it. Also the word is oxymoron, no hyphen needed, for examples of actual oxymorons you can have cruel kindness, or the old joke military intelligence (I know that is not actually an oxymoron, you see I do know how to use the word).

    Maybe if you spent more time actually coming up with a constructive argument, rather than lists of inaccurate insults, we could have a meaningful discussion. At the moment the tone of your posts makes me want to reach for some earplugs.

    Oh and what does Salvatore Allende have to do with the US, CIA especially, support of Pinochet?

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  • 112. At 12:31pm on 22 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – Oh I checked Salvadore Allende (I guess that’s who you meant) that would be the Greatest Chilean in history? Well according to the 2008 national pole, but as a Chilean expert you knew this, couldn’t spell the man’s name right, but you knew this. Shockingly, your favourite junta running dictator, who overthrew a democratically elected president in a military coup, wasn’t even on the list of possibilities.

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  • 113. At 3:27pm on 22 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Sorry 'comrade'

    According to the records revealed during Yeltsin reign, ,Allende was a KGB agent.


    And at least HALF of Chilean population think he was a unmitigated disaster at least.

    And Pinochet was a real Salvadore. :-)))


    P.S. Why do you always quote polls at least couple of years old?

    No access to something more recent?

    BTW. Are you familiar with the outcome of the most recent election in Chile? :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))



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  • 114. At 3:52pm on 22 Feb 2010, cping500 wrote:

    A very substantial number of ethnic Tibetans if not a majority live in the PRC and indeed have for generations... Uighurs play the part of fixers and of course cafe owners in most large Chinese cities and of course are Muslims if anything. Buddhists are not necessarily peaceful as might well be seen in Burma next month. The PRC is as anxious as Exxon, BP and Rio Tinto and the rest to gain control of resources by trade or ownership worldwide sow watch its relations with Australia.
    So far the PRC have not demanded sovereign military bases to ring the world. The US only has those in the US and two in on UK territory that they can use without asking but the rest no doubt would not 'object'.
    Everyone agrees that the Tibet Region is part of the PRC. The question is can the doctrine of one state many systems be applied. Maybe (ex Sir) Donald Tsang currently chief executive of Hong Hong,could be asked to advise.

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  • 115. At 4:42pm on 22 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – So a murdering dictator, according to the Chilean government 3,197 were killed and 29,000 tortured, of those killed these include Charles Horman a US citizen, is the Greatest Chilean in history?

    Why did I choose a 2008 poll? Well that was the most recent one I could find, do you think a series called Greatest Chileans in History gets run every year?

    Out of four million votes Allende got 38.81%, Arturo Prat (who as a Chilean expert you can tell me is a hero of which war?) got 38.44%, Saint Alberto Nurtado third and Victor Jara a folksinger tortured and murdered in the coup where you ‘hero’ Augusto gained power?

    I think it needs pointing out you brought up Allende, not me, I mentioned Pinochet and his dictatorship, one supported by the US (according to the 2000 CIA report, sorry most recent report I can find). Unlike you I don’t claim extensive knowledge of the country, nor great interest in it, so neither know or really care who won the last election. Your obsession brought up the Communist, who apparently is an alleged KGB spy (for which you can obviously supply evidence).

    For reference The Greatest Chileans in history (TVN Sept 2008) was a licensed adaptation of the BBC original, where Winston Churchill won, in the US version President Reagan won, in Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, France Charles de Gaulle and India Mother Teresa.

    For the record, I am not nor have I been a member of any political party, I do not subscribe to Communism, I have not been anyone’s comrade, and will not allow myself to enter into your playground level name calling. May I suggest, however, you grow up and act your age?

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  • 116. At 5:18pm on 22 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " Everyone agrees that the Tibet Region is part of the PRC"



    Agreed.

    However Tibet is not a part of China.

    And Tibetans hardly have anything in common with Han.

    Never did.

    No matter what sham 'comrades' are trying to pull here.

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  • 117. At 5:35pm on 22 Feb 2010, hookano wrote:

    @ cping500

    "Everyone agrees that the Tibet Region is part of the PRC. The question is can the doctrine of one state many systems be applied. Maybe (ex Sir) Donald Tsang currently chief executive of Hong Hong,could be asked to advise."

    Great observation and advice! So nice to read a constructive feedback.

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  • 118. At 09:12am on 23 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Unlike you I don’t claim extensive knowledge of the country, nor great interest in it, so neither know or really care who won the last election. Your obsession brought up the Communist, who apparently is an alleged KGB spy (for which you can obviously supply evidence)."


    So perhaps, Dave Murrell, you should take interest in what has happened with Chile's economy since Allende's days till the day Augusto Pinochet retired (voluntarily).

    And what % of Chileans consider the latter one their country's salvator.

    [Nope it's not 10% or 20%, or 30%, or...]

    And DM, if you doubt published records demonstrating clearly that Allende was KGB's 'agent of influence' and was actually financed by USSR, present data which would refute those by now well established facts.

    I'm sure you can do that, your sympathy for left-wing dictators
    (Allende, Castro, Chavez, Jujintao, etc.), being rather obvious. :)

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  • 119. At 10:13am on 23 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I don’t doubt published records as long as I have seen them. As I have said I have no interest in Allande, you brought him up, after I pointed out that the US government supported him, despite his use of violence to gain office in a coup, torture and murder all stated in public records (I will again point out the 2000 CIA report, see unlike you I referred directly to my sources). As I have no interest in Allande and he is irrelevant to the point I was making, I see no reason why I should waste my time locating the public records to support your point, a point which you appear to have only made to divert attention from mine (again).

    Since my support of left-wing dictators (does Allende count being voted into office, unlike Pinochet who ruled through a military junta) is so obvious, you will be able to supply a single post where I have stated that I support any of those mentioned. You may have difficulty especially Junintao since this is the first time I have ever (on this board or elsewhere) written his name down, I have, therefore, never voiced an opinion either way on him. Allande, you brought up saying I supported him, my sole support of him was to quote a vote on Chilean national television, hardly a ringing endorsement. I believe I have simply said of Chavez I don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. As for Castro, I share the same grudging respect JFK did (before the Bay of Pigs fiasco obviously), he is better than the previous Cuban dictator (also supported by the US), which really is not saying much.

    I will give you a hand here, I have never voiced support for any dictator of the 20th Century, no matter the political persuasion, unlike you for Pinochet. Unless you can prove otherwise, I expect an apology.

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  • 120. At 11:26am on 23 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Powermeerkat – I don’t doubt published records as long as I have seen them. As I have said I have no interest in Allande, you brought him up, after I pointed out that the US government supported him, despite his use of violence to gain office in a coup, torture and murder all stated in public records"



    No, Dave Murrell, U.S. has never supported Allende. Sorry. :-)))

    And if you think Castrate Bros are better than the previous dictator go to Cuba and ask Cubans.

    [when they're out of side of their security service minders]

    BTW. You're welcome to do the same in Venezuela.

    BA still flies, although I don't know for how much longer]

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  • 121. At 12:16pm on 23 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 1:33pm on 23 Feb 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Ah the irony, Powermeerkat can claim anything he wants, regarding my political beliefs, without evidence. He can fail to supply the evidence to support his claims, as requested, but when I call him out on that I get referred. Strange how he can call me a person with dubious ability to tell the truth in capitals no less, but when I reverse the claim I get referred. Yes ironic is the word.

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  • 123. At 2:36pm on 23 Feb 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    David - there are a certain number of contributors for whom the rules either do not apply, or for whom the mods (who are as gods) evidently reserve special privileges.

    Or perhaps Auntie is too afraid of accusations of censorship to control the more outlandish posts.

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  • 124. At 6:21pm on 23 Feb 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    China has tightened controls on internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a website to meet regulators and produce ID documents.



    P.S. How are Fastweb and Telecom Italy doing, RomeStu? ;)

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  • 125. At 12:04pm on 24 Feb 2010, queen-marjoram wrote:

    I'm not surprised that Obama is backing away from anything overt. It seems that the only people prepared to be robust on the world stage are the likes of Iran and China. Hell, there was barely even a murmur when Israel killed that guy in Dubai. That kind of thing breaks so many conventions and we haven't heard anything of substance in terms of a diplomatic response.

    Grow a spine!

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  • 126. At 08:03am on 08 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    Dalai Lama insists on being 'son of India'

    In recent years, the writer has more than once criticized the 14th Dalai Lama for the separatist nature of his "middle-way approach," for his true feature as a general representative of the feudalist serf-owners of old Tibet, for his collaboration with overseas separatists and the "East Turkistan" terrorists and for all his lies. To all this, the Dalai Lama kept a total silence, showing his pretty strong endurance. But, after this writer, in his Feb 19, 2010 article "Foreign backing gives Dalai Lama no room but doom", exposed his nature of forgetting his ancestry and making himself a "son of India" many times, the Dalai Lama could not possess his temper any longer. According to foreign media, he gave an interview in Dharamsala, India, on March 9, for his own defense, saying "there are three reasons making me believe I am a 'son of India'." The writer wishes to admire the Dalai Lama for his courage to finally admit what he has said and put up a defense.

    It is found that the 14th Dalai Lama, Dainzin Gyamco, is a son of a farmer in Qijiachuan Village, Huangzhong County (today's Hongya Village, Shihuiyao Township, Ping'an County), in west China's Qinghai Province. He was born in 1935 and was originally named Lhamo Toinzhub. His father was Qique Tsering and his mother, Dekyi Tsering. On Oct. 7, 1939, Lhamo Toinzhub was escorted to Lhasa by soldiers of the Nationalist Government as one of the candidates for the reincarnated soul boy of the 13th Dalai Lama. On Feb. 5, 1940, the National Government issued an order, saying "the Qinghai soul boy Lhamo Toinzhub should be allowed to ascend his throne as the 14th Dalai Lama." On March 10, 1959, the reactionary clique of the upper class in Tibet led by the Dalai Lama launched an armed rebellion and consequently fled to India after its failure. Hence it is evident that the 14th Dalai Lama has an explicit life experience and personal details, how then is it that the man suddenly became a "son of India"? Let's look at what he has to offer as justification.

    The Dalai Lama's first reason: "I am a Buddhist. All my Buddhism knowledge and sense of worth are from India. India was deemed as my teacher and we, Buddhism believers, are all students of India." It is true that Buddhism originated from India, and then spread to other parts of the world, especially to east Asia and south Asia and attracted a large number of believers in many countries. But Buddhists in every country, including the Tibetan Buddhists, do not regard themselves as sons of India just because Buddhism originated from India. In fact, transnational spread of religion is universal and there is no necessary connection between the believers' identification with their own country and the source country of the religion. For instance, Christianity and Islamism, both stemming from the Middle East, today command over 3 billion believers in different countries. These believers make it their duty to safeguard their nations' dignity and interests and nobody has ever called himself son of this or that country in the Middle East because of his Christianity or Islamism belief. As is known to all, many supporters of the Dalai Lama in the western countries are devout Christians. Following his logic, will the Dalai Lama assign the particular middle-east countries to the Christians as their fathers?

    The second reason he raised was: "I lived with Indian food for 51 years. Indian food and theories raised me, that is why I said I am a son of India." This can not but remind people of the saying: "whoever suckles me is my mother." As he has said, the Dalai Lama is alive thanks mainly to Indian food in these 51 years since he fled the motherland. It stands to reason the Dalai Lama tries to show his gratitude to India every year, but it is far-fetched for him to claim as a "son of India". In today's world, it is common that people might live in foreign countries out of different reasons, nevertheless there is hardly any other case in which one announces to be a son of a foreign country because of the food he eats. The point is, in these 51 years, the Dalai Lama eats food not only from Indian but also from some other countries, and moreover even takes their money. As far back as the 1960s, the Dalai Lama earned an annual salary of 180,000 U.S. dollars from the intelligence agencies of a certain country, higher than the pay of its president. According to his logic of becoming a son of the one who feeds "his body", is the Dalai Lama ready to declare himself also son of the other countries? If not, he will somewhat "favor one and discriminate against the other."

    The third reason he held was: "The religious harmony and nonviolent action that I pursue come from India. They are traditions of India. I stick to these traditions wherever I go." Again, the Dalai Lama told a lie here. As a matter of fact, his separatist activities since 1959 have always been closely tied up with violence and terror, running counter against the non-violence idea. It is known to all that harmony and non-violence are the common wish and pursuit of mankind since ancient time, existing in the tradition of Indian as well as other countries and nations, and it is not a patent of a single country. The Dalai Lama has the right to applaud India, but he has no right to dwarf the cultures of other countries and nations. Every valuable thought or culture of the mankind has been shared since old ages by different countries and nations to varying degrees, but nobody therefore deems that the origin country and the beneficiary countries have a father-and-son relationship.

    Hence, the "reasons" the Dalai Lama listed are really nothing but a rare kind of distortion and smear of the cultural diffusion of human being.

    It is just because the Dalai Lama's "son of India" notion so ridiculous, so abnormal and so disgraceful that very few in his clique dare to echo or stand in his defense. Many of his western followers keep their mouth shut and even the flattered Indians take a cold manner, not feeling excited for having one more "son".

    Now that the Dalai Lama wants to be a "son of India", he has to take some practical actions. In the memo he submitted to former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in April 1986, he declaredly called southern Tibet "Arunachal Pradesh". In 1999, when giving an interview to the China Times of Taiwan, he said: "I have no duty when visiting the Ladakh and Mon Tawang because they are the territory of India."

    In recent years, the Dalai Lama has many times claimed that the territory in southern Tibet "belongs to India".

    The illegal separatist political clique in exile headed by the Dalai Lama is itself powerless, so it has to entrust the "Tibet Independence" dream to its foreign supporters. After all the failures in stirring the Lhasa March 14 riots, disrupting the Beijing Olympics Games, attempting to achieve a "breakthrough" through contacts and failures in a series other activities, he ends up now with no other choice but being a "son" of a foreign country. It seems the Dalai Lama hasn't realized that in a situation like his, how much useful he still is in the eyes of the foreigners?

    To give up separatist words and deeds and back to the road of patriotism is the only right choice for the Dalai Lama. If he resolves to be a "son of India", that's his own business and others have no right to oppose. However, we just want to tell him not to do anything more under the guise of "representative of interests of all the Tibetans". The Tibet issue is completely China's interior affairs, and being a "son of India", he is not qualified to gossip about it. He might try to set a hand in India's interior affairs, but that will depend on whether India accepts him as a "son".

    The writer hopes to see new responses to this article from both the Dalai Lama and his followers.
    see more, click:
    http://eng.tibet.cn/

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  • 127. At 08:04am on 08 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 08:07am on 08 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 129. At 2:13pm on 08 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Kristen:

    I don't recall seeing you here before.

    There is lively discussion on this website from posters with a wide reange of views and beliefs. For the most part the discussion is friendly, and often humorous.

    Looking at your postings, I cannot for the life of me think why you have made them here, or now. What is the point?

    What kind of writer writes of themselves in the third person?

    Re-read your own posting, slowly.
    Does this look like the posting of an adult?

    No, not really.


    Or does it look a lot more like the feverish ravings of a propaganda department, desperately trying to make some arcane point that nobody gives a flying ... er, um, "hoot", about anyway?

    The whole lengthy posting appears to be a regurgitation of the same kind of pathetically insecure nonsense we've seen before out of the government of China.

    This crap is not worthy of a great nation.
    Move on.

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  • 130. At 01:39am on 09 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    To Interestedforeigner:
    Thank you for your advice for my poster. I just want to try to present the real Tibet for the people, and see what the real look of Dalai Lama.

    And maybe the presidents shouldn't be so fevered on this cranky monk.

    Why should Tibet be independent? Why are the presidents so concerned about Tibet? Without China's great supports, can Tibetans live such happy life????

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  • 131. At 04:17am on 10 Apr 2010, McJakome wrote:

    130. At 01:39am on 09 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:
    To Interestedforeigner:

    "Why should Tibet be independent?"

    Why should China be independent? Were England, Germany, Japan and others right to take parts of China because they had the power and were more developed?

    Say no, and you contradict China's policy of self agrandizement because China has the advantage of power and development over Tibet. Say yes and you attack China's right to independence.

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  • 132. At 8:37pm on 10 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    130. At 01:39am on 09 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    "Why are the presidents so concerned about Tibet?"

    [[They aren't. The only one that gives a tinker's cuss is the Government of China, in a hyper-sensitive manner that everyone else recognizes as pathetic insecurity. It is behaviour unworthy of a great nation. Move on.]]

    "Without China's great supports, can Tibetans live such happy life????"
    __________

    Your statement is embarrassingly paternalistic, although you appear not to realize it.

    There used to be a woman named Dolores Iturribe (spelling?), better known as "La Passionara", who said "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

    There is another saying that "A gilded cage is still a prison."

    If Tibetans want to live such a happy, rich life dominated by Han Chinese, then let them say so by free and fair elections.

    If you're not prepared to do that, don't presume to speak for them, and instead recognize them for what they are: an occupied people, slowly being marginalized in their own land by an influx of non-ethnically Tibetan outsiders. Virtually all the good jobs and almost all the money go to outsiders.

    ----------

    There is virtually no nation in the world that supports Tibetan independence from China. An independent Tibet would be another impoverished, land-locked, state in the middle of Asia with poor communications and a basket-case economy. Nobody wants that, and no foreign government, not even the Government of India, is interested in, or would pay any money or devote any resources to creating, yet another problem state in Asia. China's paranoia in this regard is embarrassing.

    ----------

    What outsiders do hope is that Tibetans may have greater say in, and control over, their own land and their own future. The Dalai Lama is merely a symbol of a Tibet in which Tibetans get to choose their future for themselves.

    Indeed, that is pretty much what decent outsiders also hope for in respect of China more generally: that Chinese may be able to have a government of their own choosing, in free and fair elections.

    ----------

    China is a great nation with an immensely long, sophisticated, and proud history. It is getting richer very rapidly. So far, the Government of China has managed change well, with not many mistakes. Few people could honestly say "I could have done better". There are still many problems, but given the size and difficulty of the task, congratulations are far more appropriate than criticism.

    Rich nations tend to require advanced legal systems. Advanced legal systems tend to protect individual rights: you can't have a first class economy without contract law, without property law, without Tort law, without consumer protection law, without health and safety protection - the dangers of coal mining, and the reality of earthquake disasters are going to push that up the public policy agenda - and without all of the other features of the modern administrative state.

    Not surprisingly, then, over the past twenty-five years, the rate at which China has overhauled its legal system has been breath-taking. Amazing - Possibly even more amazing than the industrial transformation of China, and that's saying something.

    From the necessity of protecting the civil rights that make possible a vibrant economy, spring the other protections of civil liberties, from freedom of speech to freedom of association and belief, the right to self-determination through the ballot box.

    These things will happen not because outsiders press for them, but because China will find that they are necessary for running an advanced, knowledge-based economy and society. Those things will all come to China in due course, because the internal politics of China will demand them. That is what happens in great nations.

    Those are the kinds of big issues that great nations address, not chicken manure issues like the Dalai Lama's family history.

    ---------

    Chinese culture has a very long history both of profound corruption during periods of control by warlords, and of profound morality, honesty, and decency. As China gets richer, there will be less tolerance of corruption (you can already see this happening), and a greater coming to the fore of traditional Confucian standards of honesty and morality.

    And when that day comes, your children and your grandchildren will look back upon the treatment of Tibetans from 1959 to the present and feel shame - just as we do when we think of the internment of citizens of Japanese origin during WWII. They were our own citizens, and we treated them shabbily. Your children and your grandchildren will know that same feeling of shame.

    You need to move on.

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  • 133. At 08:24am on 12 Apr 2010, Kristen wrote:

    Thanks, sir! No matter what, I'd like to hear your voice, accept your opinions sincerly, and know more about China, Chinese...

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