Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) - At least two people have died in fresh protests in a Tibetan part of western China, reports said on Tuesday, as authorities made arrests in Tibet's capital Lhasa in an effort to reassert control over the restive region. State media said one police officer was killed and the exiled Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported one Tibetan protester shot dead and another critically hurt after unrest in Sichuan's Ganzi (Garze) Tibetan Prefecture. "The police were forced to fire warning shots, and dispersed the lawless mobsters," the brief Xinhua news agency report said, without mentioning any deaths of protesters, who it said attacked with rocks and knives. FULL STORY

The "lawless mobsters" attacked the mightly Chinese military with rocks and knives. State media says this lawless mob killed one police officer. State media does not mention how many of the lawless mobsters were killed in the Chinese military response to their assault with rocks and knives. And since China has banned international media from the area, we may never know just how bad this has gotten. Are we looking at another Tiananmen Square on a grander scale? Who knows?

French President Sarkozy has not ruled out an Olympic boycott. President Bush maintains his intention to have America at the Beijing games. As for me, I think the discussion needs to begin.

It has always been a firm inherent belief of mine that ALL men are entitled to liberty. This is an American principle and it is a Christian principle. No one should be forced to be part of a nation they don't want to be part of. No one should be enslaved to another. No one should be forced to serve another against his will. People have the right to govern themselves as they see fit. As Jefferson once wrote, I believe liberty is a God-given human right. The people of Tibet are protesting for independence. They are protesting for liberty. Therefore, they have my full support and should have America's full support since the liberty of men is as fundamentally American as it gets.

China has responded as predicted, with military might. They have built up their forces in western China and if these protests continue you can be certain that China's response will be swift and brutal. Capitalism has taken hold in China and with that comes a gradual loss of power among the communist elites. Communism and capitalism simply can not coexist for long. China's communist days are numbered and their party leaders surely see that, and they won't go down without a fight. Not that the Tibetan protests have anything to do with capitalism, those people simply want independence. My point is that Chinese communist leaders are surely getting trigger happy and won't have much tolerance for any unrest in their country. I am deeply concerned for the Tibetan people and I fear they are facing something terrible. Some people may think that China won't take such bold action this close to their spotlight Olympic games. I disagree. Desperation is a fierce motivator.

I feel that President Bush should sit down with Congressional leaders and start talking about options. Granted, we must tread lightly given China's economic might, but we can't allow that to keep us from advocating for liberty. I don't think threatening a boycott is appropriate. That would simply put the Chinese leaders on the defensive. They won't respond well to threats. But our political leaders must be prepared to boycott the games if China reverts to military brutality in Tibet. This discussion must happen now so that if and when China takes action, we can respond the very next day. I simply don't see how we can possibly send an Olympic team to China so soon after a bad outcome in Tibet. It would violate everything America stands for.

My sincere hope is that China's communist leaders read the tea leaves and see that inappropriate action in Tibet will threaten their beloved games. My hope is that they allow the protests and allow the international media access to the area. It will go a long way in improving China's image just as they prepare to host the world in Beijing.


Joe Blow said...

Good writing, I totally agree. Free Tibet!
Mike in Florida

Anonymous said...


It's Wednesday and I listened to Farnk Deford's piece this morning on NPR. One point he made was that although the Olympics is China's international coming out party, they may have exactly the opposite effect in consideration of the prospect that they will showcase Chinese repression in Tibet and China's intractable pollution problems.

On the other hand, Olympic boycotts tend to punish the athletes only. My wife was a member of a national team in 1980 and our boycott of the Moscow games prevented her from participating. The USSR's boycott ot the LA games four years later diminished those games.

Capitalism is China is a subject that deserves more time than I have to spend right now. As I have advised robert m in the past, it most closely resembles Libertarianism. The prospect for reform in China increases w/ the rise of the middle class there. So long as the party controls the PLA, do not hold your breath waiting for the death of Communism in the PRC. In addition, corruption is rampant on the local level, which as you know, is where policy is implemented.


The Loop Garoo Kid


If there remains a few tough sceptics out there on Reverend Jeremiah Wright's True Sentiments about 'white folks' and Jews, plus Chicago Trinity Church's "Lifetime Achievement Award' to Rev Louie Farrakhan, we've found it. Stop searching! (Read it all, and weep).


REGARDS, (Courtesy S/H weblog).

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is China is a subject that deserves more time than I have to spend right now. As I have advised robert m in the past, it most closely resembles Libertarianism.

Well, actually, no, it doesn't. At all. I'd like to hear the rationale behind that assertion.

Old Soldier said...

I have great respect for the people of Tibet and I stand behind them. The PRC want control and the only way for them to get it is with force. I am in favor of a boycot of the olympics in China, perhaps it will teach them a lesson.


Sorry Soldier,

You don't teach totalitarian leaders any lesson.

You might hope to over-power tyrants, kill the leaders...or they'll destroy you. They all have rigid, single-minded goals.

Send your fine athletes into Beijing, and they'll choke on Coal-dust. That's the naked truth.

A dilemma without logical solution. reb

Yankee Doodle said...

The official position of the Yankee Commentary is that we want to see a free China that could be a reliable foreign allie.

As for Tibet, if they have enough reasons and their people want to become an Independent country, they have the right to do so, because it has been necessary for one people to dissolve its political bands which have connected them with another.


Demographic Reality may force the U.S. and China toward an eventual Bi-Polar "Rapproachment" to avoid Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) Twin Super-Powers!

For now, we must all focus on tiny
Iran's Theocratic Ambitions. They still enrich
U-235, as we quibble and fuss over Left & Right dominance as one of our two major political parties self-destruct in Summer of 2008! Sad.

Watch 'em do it. reb

Anonymous said...

Yankee Doodle,

The Dalai Lama and most Tibetans do not wish complete freedom from China. In fact, the Tibetans have benefited in many ways from the presence of China in Tibet. The Dalai Lama and all Tibetans do wish for autonomy particularly w/ respect to religious freedom.

Of course given that the PRC is governed by the Communist Party and given the Party's attitude and policy toward religion, you may well appreciate the reality of the tension between Tibet and China.

Meanwhile, robert m, economically, China is about as close to Libertarianism as it gets. There is virtually no government regulation of the economy w/ the notable exceptions of the stock markets and control of the currency.

I do not suggest that the PRC is a Libertarian paradise w/ respect to individual rights but if you wish to see the effects of an utter lack of government intereference w/ business, go to China.

Of course you also have out of control pollution and the introduction of dangerous and even deadly products into the stream of commerce.

I think I will quote my 20 year old daughter, a college student, who refers to Libertarianism as "retarded." A casual reflection on the state of of the United State's economy, aprticularly w/ respect to the sub prime meltdown, Bear Stearns, etc, reveals the economic catastrophes that completely unregulated markets can foster. The interconnectedness of the national and global economies render imprudent the concept of total free markets, unless of course, you are willing to experience massive individual and state bankruptcies.

Ask yourself the following: If Libertarianism were a viable system, why hasn't it flourished?
I think that history proves that every time it has been implemented, it has only been on a small scale and eventually, that society evolved to the point where Libertarianism became impractical.

Communism had some attractive aspects also--in theory.

The Loop Graoo Kid


Yes, and once Communism/Socialism has succeeded w/ 'wealth re-distribution theory', the Violent...suppression of all dissent will follow, and a brute Stalin/Putin KGB-Type might easily wrest control of the "People's Republic", doom individual initiative, and all eager-bright inventive genius is dead on arrival. History tends to repeat itself, with nauseating consequence.

"Free" Health-Care and 'Cradle To The Grave' Gov't Dependence Signals The End Of Self-Reliance & Free Will. The Non-elective Hack Bureaucrats Of Open Society Institute (ala Soros) Take Command.

Quick-Fix Solutions for all complex problems is a "Progressive" Fantasy.

Be cautious what you wish for, we are now close to getting it. We Have Been Mesmerized by Smooth-talkin' Cons & Reid/Pelosi Whimps shouting for 'Change'! reb

Tom the Redhunter said...

"Granted, we must tread lightly given China's economic might, but we can't allow that to keep us from advocating for liberty. I don't think threatening a boycott is appropriate."

I agree 100%. We need to let China know of our displeasure, but an outright boycott would likely provoke a serious reaction by the PRC. There'd certainly be economic retaliation, and worst case they start a war over Taiwan.

There are things we can do short of a boycott. For example, the athletes can engage in various forms of symbolic protests, such as at the opening ceremonies, where it will be sure to be on TV. The West can get together and agree not to send any elected officials. These things would get China's attention (as concerned with "face" as they are), but would likely not provoke a serious reaction.


The mild-mannered Buddhist yearns
for "peaceful" co-existence...

Sadly enough, all they will ever get is Police-State Justice, and Cane-Stick Public Beatings! reb