Friday, May 16, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Most Chinese think the West's real aim is to deny them the triumph they deserve for their success.
By Kishore Mahbubani | NEWSWEEK
May 5, 2008 Issue
The recent crisis over the Olympic torch and Tibet represent an epic clash: not just between Tibetans and Beijing, but between a self-congratulatory Western worldview and the very different vision of a billion-plus Chinese. Until Western leaders start trying to understand the Chinese perspective, friction is likely to grow, and the victims will include the Tibetans
themselves—the very people Western leaders say they want to protect.
According to the current U.S. and European narrative, the popular protests in Tibet and elsewhere were entirely justified. The demonstrators pushed a moral cause: to free the poor Tibetans from an oppressive communist government. And the European leaders who decided to boycott the Olympics' opening ceremonies, like Germany's Angela Merkel, deserved nothing but praise for their courageous stance.
The Chinese view could not be more different. Before describing it, however, it is vital to dispel a major Western misconception. Many Americans and Europeans think that China's furious reaction to the protests—a reaction that has now inspired a massive boycott of Western goods and businesses in China—has been the result of media manipulation and information control by
Beijing. If only the Chinese public had access to real facts, Westerners think, their attitudes would be different. This is a huge mistake. The reality is that some of the strongest anger toward the West at the moment is coming from liberal Western-educated Chinese intellectuals who have access to accurate information. China today enjoys the most competent governance it
's ever had, and its elites are intelligent, well educated and sophisticated—the exact opposite of the "goons and thugs" described by CNN's Jack Cafferty.
The Chinese are so angry because virtually all of them believe that the Western protests have had little to do with human rights, Tibet or Darfur. Instead, the Chinese think, the West's real motivation is to deny China the triumph it deserves for its enormous successes. According to this view, Westerners cannot stomach the thought that China is poised to hold the best
Olympics ever. Such a spectacle would vividly demonstrate how power has shifted from West to East. This would be intolerable, and thus Americans and Europeans are dead set on finding some way to disrupt the Games—and if Tibet or Darfur won't suffice, they'll find some other method. As several Western-educated Chinese friends have whispered to me, "Kishore, this is
pure racism. The West cannot bear the thought of China's succeeding."
Chinese skepticism about the Western commitment to human rights is well founded. Indeed, there is something ironic about those who have committed genocide against American Indians or Australian Aborigines now castigating China on Tibet. Furthermore, Guantánamo—which Amnesty International has described as "the gulag of our times"—plus Abu Ghraib and European complicity in Washington's extraordinary rendition program have badly
damaged the West's credibility and legitimacy.
Most Chinese also believe that Tibetans have received special treatment from Beijing. After the disastrous Cultural Revolution, in which all Chinese suffered, Deng Xiaoping adopted a more pragmatic approach to the region. Ruined religious sites were repaired, monasteries were reopened, new monks were allowed to join orders and the Tibetan language was permitted to be used more extensively than before. Chinese leaders believe that China has exercised sovereignty over Tibet for 700 years now, ever since the Yuan dynasty—one reason the "Free Tibet" slogan angers them so much. Then there's the recent territorial disintegration of the Soviet Union and memories of how the West seized Chinese territory in the 19th century: still more reasons why Chinese suspicions run deep.
What really frustrates Beijing is the West's apparent lack of comprehension of China's aims for the Olympics. In 2005, World Bank head Robert Zoellick called on China to become a "responsible stakeholder." The Beijing Olympics were meant to symbolize China's willingness to do just that, and the Chinese expected their efforts to be welcomed enthusiastically. But now most Western leaders seem intent on slamming the door in Beijing's face instead. The tragedy is that this will only stoke angry Chinese nationalism, which has already begun to surface. A fire-breathing Chinese dragon will clamp down on Tibet even harder than the current government has, which would serve no one's interests. The West's failure to recognize this fact demonstrates a serious failure of long-term strategic thinking.
If Europe's leaders really want to show political courage, they should attend the Olympics' opening ceremonies. Doing so would encourage China to open up further and engage the world. Over time, this will liberalize Chinese society and even lead to greater political and cultural autonomy for the Tibetans. So far, only one major Western leader has shown the requisite
courage and foresight: George W. Bush. It is hoped numerous leaders from other continents will join him in Beijing. When that happens, it will only underscore Europe's growing irrelevance: a tragedy that Europeans are bringing upon themselves.
Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore
and the author of “The New Asian Hemisphere.”
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
The Hypocrisy and Danger of Anti-China Demonstrations
We hear that Tibetans suffer “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide”. But we do not hear those terms applied to Spanish and French policies toward the Basque minority. We do not hear those terms applied to the US annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1898. And Diego Garcia? In 1973, not so long ago, the UK forcibly deported the entire native Chagossian population from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. People were allowed one suitcase of clothing. Nothing else. Family pets were gassed, then cremated. Complete ethnic cleansing. Complete cultural destruction. Why? In order to build a big US air base. It has been used to bomb Afghanistan and Iraq, and soon maybe to bomb Iran and Pakistan. Diego Garcia, with nobody there but Brits and Americans, is also a perfect place for rendition, torture and other illegal actions.
When the Olympics come to London in 2012, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu will certainly lead the demonstrators protesting the “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide” in Diego Garcia. The UN Secretary General, the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the new US President and the entire US Congress will certainly boycott the opening ceremonies.
The height of hypocrisy is this moral posturing about 100 dead in race riots in Lhasa, while the USA, UK and more than 40 nations in the Coalition of the Willing wage a war of aggression against Iraq. This is not “demographic aggression” but raw shock-and-awe aggression. A war crime. A war on civilians, including the intentional destruction of the water and sewage systems, and the electrical grid. More than one million Iraqis are now dead; five million made into refugees. The Western invaders may not be doing “cultural genocide” but they are doing cultural destruction on an immense scale, in the very cradle of Western Civilization. Why is the news filled with demonstrators about Tibet but not about Iraq?
And as everyone knows but few dare say, “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide” can be applied most accurately to Israel’s settlement policies and systematic destruction of Palestinian communities. On this, the Dalai Lama seems silent. Demonstrators don’t wave flags for bulldozed homes, destroyed orchards, or dead Palestinian children.
The Chinese Context
The Chinese government is responsible for the well-being and security of one-fourth of humanity. Race riots and rebellion cannot be tolerated, not even when done by Buddhist monks.
Chinese Civilization was already old when the Egyptians began building pyramids. But the last 200 years have not gone well, what with two Opium Wars forcing China to import drugs, and Europeans seizing coastal ports as a step to complete colonial control, then the Boxer Rebellion, the collapse of the Manchu Dynasty, civil war, a brutal invasion and occupation by Japan, more civil war, then Communist consolidation and transformation of society, then Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Such events caused tens of millions of people to die. Thus, China’s recent history has good reasons why social order is a higher priority than individual rights. Race riots and rebellion cannot be tolerated.
Considering this context, China’s treatment of its minorities has been exemplary compared to what the Western world has done to its minorities. After thousands of years of Chinese dominance, there still are more than 50 minorities in China. After a few hundred years of European dominance in North and South America, the original minority cultures have been exterminated, damaged, or diminished.
Chinese currency carries five languages: Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uigur, and Zhuang. In comparison, Canadian currency carries English and French, but no Cree or Inuktitut. If the USA were as considerate of ethnic minorities as is China, then the greenback would be written in English, Spanish, Cherokee and Hawaiian.
In China, ethnic minorities begin their primary schooling in their own language, in a school administered by one of their own community. Chinese language instruction is not introduced until age 10 or later. This is in sharp contrast to a history of coerced linguistic assimilation in most Western nations. The Australian government recently apologized to the Aboriginal minority for taking children from their families, forcing them to speak English, beating them if they spoke their mother tongue. China has no need to make such apology to Tibetans or to other minorities.
China’s one-child-policy seems oppressive to Westerners, but it has not applied to minorities, only to the Han Chinese. Tibetans can have as many children as they choose. If Han people have more than one child, they are punished.
There is a similar preference given to minorities when it comes to admission to universities. For example, Tibetan students enter China’s elite Peking University with lower exam scores than Han Chinese students.
China is not a perfect nation, but on matters of minority rights, it has been better than most Western nations. And China achieved this in the historical context of restoring itself and recovering from 200 years of continual crisis and foreign invasion.
National boundaries are not natural. They all arise from history, and all history is disputable. Arguments and evidence can always be found to challenge a boundary. China has long claimed Tibet as part of its territory, though that has been hard to enforce during the past 200 years. The Dalai Lama does not dispute China’s claim to Tibet. The recent race riots in Tibet and the anti-Olympics demonstrations will not cause China to shrink itself and abandon part of its territory. Rioters and demonstrators know that.
Foreign governments promoting Tibet separatism and demonstrators demanding Tibet independence should look closer to home. Canadians can campaign for Québec libre. Americans can support separatists in Puerto Rico, Vermont, Texas, California, Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska. Brits can work for a free Wales, and Scotland for the Scots. French can help free Tahitians, New Caledonians, Corsicans, and the Basques. Spaniards can also back the Basques, or the Catalonians. Italians can help Sicilian separatists or the Northern League. Danes can free the Faeroe Islands. Poles can back Cashubians. Japanese can help Okinawan separatists, and Filipinos can help the Moros. Thai can promote Patanni independence; Indonesians can promote Acehnese independence. New Zealanders can leave the islands to the Maori; Australians can vacate Papua. Sri Lankans can help Tamil separatists; Indians can help Sikh separatists.
Nearly every nation has a separatist movement of some kind. There is no need to go to Tibet, to the top of the world, to promote ethnic separatism. China is not promoting separatism in other nations and does not appreciate other nations promoting separatism in China. The people most oppressed, most needing a nation of their own, are the Palestinians. There is a worthy project to promote and to demonstrate about.
Danger of Demonstrations
These demonstrations do not serve Tibetans, but rather use Tibetans for ulterior motives. Many Tibetans, therefore, oppose these demonstrations. Many Chinese remember their history and see the riots in Lhasa and subsequent demonstrations as another attempt by foreign powers to dismember and weaken China. There is grave danger that Chinese might come to fear Tibetans as traitors, resulting in wide spread anti-Tibetan feelings in China.
Fear that an ethnic minority serves foreign forces caused Canada, during World War 1, to imprison its Ukranian minority in concentration camps. For similar reasons, the Ottomans deported their Armenian minority and killed more than a million in death marches. The German Nazis saw the Jewish minority as traitors who caused defeat in World War 1; hence deportations in the 1930s and death camps in the 1940s. During World War 2, both Canada and the USA feared that their Japanese immigrant minorities were traitorous and deported them to concentration camps. Indonesians fearing their Chinese minority, deported 100,000 in 1959 and killed thousands more in 1965. Israel similarly fears its Arab minority, resulting in deportations and oppression.
Hopefully, the Chinese government and the Chinese people will see Tibetans as victims of foreign powers rather than agents of foreign powers. However, if China reacts like other nations have in history and starts systematic severe repression of Tibetans, then today’s demonstrators should remember their role in causing that to happen.
The demonstrators now disparaging China serve only to distract themselves and others from seeing and correcting the current failings of their own governments. If the demonstrators will take a moment to listen, they will hear the silence of their own hypocrisy.
The consequences of these demonstrations are 1) China will stiffen its resolve to find foreign influences inciting Tibetans to riot, and 2) the governments of the USA, UK, France and other Western nations will have less domestic criticism for a few weeks. That is all. These demonstrations can come to no good end.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
by Gregory Clark
Events in Tibet have turned ugly. Once again we see the harm caused by Beijing's heavy-handed bureaucracy, and its panicky, untrained soldiers used for crowd control. But even when combined with all of Beijing's other alleged sins — Darfur, pollution, human rights and other issues — does Tibet justify the calls for a boycott of Beijing's planned Olympic Games later this year?
Olympic boycotts are a clumsy and biased weapon. Moscow had its 1980 Olympics boycotted because of its intervention in Afghanistan. But the Western, including British, intervention today in Afghanistan, while weaker in its ferocity, is almost identical in its motives — support for an unstable government with idealistic goals but unable to cope with domestic insurgents. Would anyone use that to boycott the planned London Olympics? Hardly.
Hypocrisy taints most of the other accusations against Beijing. Take Darfur, for example. Beijing is criticized for weapons sales to a Sudanese government guilty of assisting attacks on defenseless villagers, and refusing to intervene politically to help prevent those attacks. Yet nonintervention in the affairs of other nations was once a proudly proclaimed Western principle, aimed to end all wars in the 20th century. Now China is criticized for obeying that principle.
As for selling weapons to governments behaving atrociously against their own peoples, that has long been standard Western behavior. During the East Timor, Papua and Aceh atrocities in Indonesia, Britain was busily selling Jakarta the military aircraft it wanted. The handful of brave British women who tried physically to prevent those sales were jailed. Few complained.
Western armies are also known to attack defenseless villagers at times, as in Indochina before, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan. True, those armies can claim they only attack people supporting the civil-war enemy, but the Sudan government can say exactly the same over Darfur. The cruelties of its attacks there have yet to match the defoliation and free-fire zone tactics of the United States in Indochina. Of all the Western nations, only the Scandinavians at the time had the moral courage to halt arms sales to the U.S. in protest.
China is criticized as the great global polluter and user of scarce resources. But in one almost completely overlooked respect it has done far more than any of the rest of us to overcome both problems. This is its one-child policy. If not for that policy, China today would have to feed, clothe and accommodate an estimated extra 300 million to 400 million people — more than the entire population of Western Europe. The strain on world resource supplies and the environment would have been unbearable.
But to do this Beijing has had to court severe unpopularity at home. And it now has to live with two unfortunate results — a serious male-female population imbalance and rapid aging of the population. No one thanks Beijing for making these sacrifices. On the contrary. Some Western conservatives see the one-child policy as yet another Beijing evil.
Meanwhile, Beijing's impressive efforts to increase nuclear and hydro-power and so reduce dependence on polluting coal are criticized by our Western antinuclear, antidam progressives. China, it seems, just can't win, no matter what it does. It is the six-ton elephant that everyone likes to bash.
Similarly with many other criticisms. Beijing should admit that policy mistakes were made in Tibet in the 1960s, and that the Han Chinese immigration there since has caused frictions. For cultural reasons Chinese do not blend easily with other peoples. Resentments flare up easily, as we saw before in the anti-Chinese riots of Malaysia and Indonesia.
But Beijing can also point out that some of its early troubles could have been avoided if the CIA and New Delhi hawks had not set out to instigate the original 1959 Tibetan rebellion. As for Tibetan independence, people forget that the strongest opponent was the Western-backed Nationalist Chinese government that ended up in Taiwan. Beijing simply inherited that Western-approved situation.
Hypocrisy dogs the criticisms of China over democracy and human rights also. China at least goes through the motions of providing trials and prison sentences for the occasional activist dissident it sees as dangerous. Nonactivists are largely ignored.
What were the U.S. and some of its friends doing when Latin American governments of the 1970s were arbitrarily arresting and torturing dissidents in the tens of thousands and throwing their broken bodies into the ocean or unmarked graves? Almost nothing. Their agents were busy providing lists of more dissidents to be tracked down.
The U.S. has an impressive track record of supporting dictatorships that it sees as friendly even if they suppress human rights, and working to overthrow democratically elected governments if it sees them as unfriendly.
Beijing has already moved to introduce democracy at the grassroots level. It plans to go further up, but there are limits. Does anyone imagine, for example, that its unpopular one-child policy would survive if China had free national elections?
Singapore is another Sinitic culture society that believes in a strong semi-autocratic government able to impose unpopular but needed policies as preferable to the Western free democratic model. Few see Singapore as the epitome of all undemocratic evil.
I do not want to whitewash all that Beijing does. During the Cultural Revolution and "ping-pong diplomacy" periods of the early '70s, I saw at close quarters how unpleasant and unreasonable its officials can be. But you judge a nation by the direction in which it is traveling, not by the road bumps. And China is clearly moving in a direction of very considerable promise to us all. The Olympics, like ping-pong diplomacy, will push China further in that direction.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Global Research, April 10, 2008
Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing’s by fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at this sensitive time in their relations and on the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. It’s part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration over the past months. It also includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in the neighboring Myanmar region, bringing US-led NATO troops into Darfur where China’s oil companies are developing potentially huge oil reserves. It includes counter moves across mineral-rich Africa. And it includes strenuous efforts to turn India into a major new US forward base on the Asian sub-continent to be deployed against China, though evidence to date suggests the Indian government is being very cautious not to upset Chinese relations.
The current Tibet operation apparently got the green light in October last year when George Bush agreed to meet the Dalai Lama for the first time publicly in Washington. The President of the United States is not unaware of the high stakes of such an insult to Beijing. Bush deepened the affront to America’s largest trading partner, China, by agreeing to attend as the US Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.
The immediate expressions of support for the crimson monks of Tibet from George Bush, Condi Rice, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel most recently took on dimensions of the absurd. Ms Merkel announced she would boycott attending the August Beijing Summer Olympics as her protest at the Beijing treatment of the Tibetan monks. What her press secretary omitted is that she had not even planned to go in the first place.
She was followed by an announcement that Poland’s Prime Minister, the pro-Washington Donald Tusk, would also stay away, along with pro-US Czech President Vaclav Klaus. It is unclear whether they also hadn’t planned to go in the first place but it made for dramatic press headlines.
The recent wave of violent protests and documented attacks by Tibetan monks against Han Chinese residents began on March 10 when several hundred monks marched on Lhasa to demand release of other monks allegedly detained for celebrating the award of the US Congress’ Gold Medal last October. The monks were joined by other monks marching to protest Beijing rule on the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
The geopolitical game
As the Chinese government itself was clear to point out, the sudden eruption of anti-Chinese violence in Tibet, a new phase in the movement led by the exiled Dalai Lama, was suspiciously timed to try to put the spotlight on Beijing’s human rights record on the eve of the coming Olympics. The Beijing Olympics are an event seen in China as a major acknowledgement of the arrival of a new prosperous China on the world stage.
The background actors in the Tibet “Crimson revolution” actions confirm that Washington has been working overtime in recent months to prepare another of its infamous Color Revolutions, these fanning public protests designed to inflict maximum embarrassment on Beijing. The actors on the ground in and outside Tibet are the usual suspects, tied to the US State Department, including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA’s Freedom House through its chairman, Bette Bao Lord and her role in the International Committee for Tibet, as well as the Trace Foundation financed by the wealth of George Soros through his daughter, Andrea Soros Colombel.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the latest unrest to sabotage the Olympic Games “in order to achieve their unspeakable goal”, Tibetan independence.
Bush telephoned his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao, to pressure for talks between Beijing and the exiled Dalai Lama. The White House said that Bush, “raised his concerns about the situation in Tibet and encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives and to allow access for journalists and diplomats.”
President Hu reportedly told Bush the Dalai Lama must “stop his sabotage” of the Olympics before Beijing takes a decision on talks with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
Dalai Lama’s odd friends
In the West the image of the Dalai Lama has been so much promoted that in many circles he is deemed almost a God. While the spiritual life of the Dalai Lama is not our focus, it is relevant to note briefly the circles he has chosen to travel in most of his life.
The Dalai Lama travels in what can only be called rather conservative political circles. What is generally forgotten today is that during the 1930’s the Nazis including Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler and other top Nazi Party leaders regarded Tibet as the holy site of the survivors of the lost Atlantis, and the origin of the “Nordic pure race.”
When he was 11 and already designated Dalai Lama, he was befriended by Heinrich Harrer, a Nazi Party member and officer of Heinrich Himmler’s feared SS. Far from the innocent image of him in the popular Hollywood film with Brad Pitt, Harrer was an elite SS member at the time he met the 11 year old Dalai Lama and became his tutor in “the world outside Tibet.” While only the Dalai Lama knows the contents of Harrer’s private lessons, the two remained friends until Harrer died a ripe 93 in 2006.1
That sole friendship, of course, does not define a person’s character, but it is interesting in the context of later friends. In April 1999, along with Margaret Thatcher, and former Beijing Ambassador, CIA Director and President, George H.W. Bush, the Dalai Lama demanded the British government release Augusto Pinochet, the former fascist dictator of Chile and a longtime CIA client who was visiting England. The Dalai Lama urged that Pinochet not be forced to go to Spain where he was wanted to stand trial for crimes against humanity. The Dalai Lama had close ties to Miguel Serrano2, head of Chile’s National Socialist Party, a proponent of something called esoteric Hitlerism. 3
Leaving aside at this point the claim of the Dalai Lama to divinity, what is indisputable is that he has been surrounded and financed in significant part, since his flight into Indian exile in 1959, by various US and Western intelligence services and their gaggle of NGOs. It is the agenda of the Washington friends of the Dalai Lama that is relevant here.
The NED at work again…
As author Michael Parenti notes in his work, Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, “during the 1950s and 60s, the CIA actively backed the Tibetan cause with arms, military training, money, air support and all sorts of other help.” The US-based American Society for a Free Asia, a CIA front, publicized the cause of Tibetan resistance, with the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, Thubtan Norbu, playing an active role in the group. The Dalai Lama’s second-eldest brother, Gyalo Thondup, established an intelligence operation with the CIA in 1951. It was later upgraded into a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back into Tibet, according to Parenti.4
According to declassified US intelligence documents released in the late 1990s, “for much of the 1960s, the CIA provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations against China, including an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama.” 5
With help of the CIA, the Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India where he lives to the present. He continues to receive millions of dollars in backing today, not from the CIA but from a more innocuous-sounding CIA front organization, funded by the US Congress, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The NED has been instrumental in every US-backed Color Revolution destabilization from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine to Myanmar. Its funds go to back opposition media and global public relations campaigns to popularize their pet opposition candidates.
As in the other recent Color Revolutions, the US Government is fanning the flames of destabilization against China by funding opposition protest organizations inside and outside Tibet through its arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The NED was founded by the Reagan Administration in the early 1980’s, on the recommendation of Bill Casey, Reagan’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), following a series of high-publicity exposures of CIA assassinations and destabilizations of unfriendly regimes. The NED was designed to pose as an independent NGO, one step removed from the CIA and Government agencies so as to be less conspicuous, presumably. The first acting President of the NED, Allen Weinstein, commented to the Washington Post that, “A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” 6
American intelligence historian, William Blum states, “The NED played an important role in the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s, funding key components of Oliver North's shadowy "Project Democracy." This network privatized US foreign policy, waged war, ran arms and drugs, and engaged in other equally charming activities. In 1987, a White House spokesman stated that those at NED "run Project Democracy." 7
The most prominent pro-Dalai Lama Tibet independence organization today is the International Campaign for Tibet, founded in Washington in 1988. Since at least 1994 the ICT has been receiving funds from the NED. The ICT awarded their annual Light of Truth award in 2005 to Carl Gershman, founder of the NED. Other ICT award winners have included the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Czech leader, Vaclav Havel. The ICT Board of Directors is peopled with former US State Department officials including Gare Smith and Julia Taft. 8
Another especially active anti-Beijing organization is the US-based Students for a Free Tibet, founded in 1994 in New York City as a project of US Tibet Committee and the NED-financed International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). The SFT is most known for unfurling a 450 foot banner atop the Great Wall in China; calling for a free Tibet, and accusing Beijing of wholly unsubstantiated claims of genocide against Tibet. Apparently it makes good drama to rally naïve students.
The SFT was among five organizations which this past January that proclaimed start of a "Tibetan people's uprising" on Jan 4 this year and co-founded a temporary office in charge of coordination and financing.
Harry Wu is another prominent Dalai Lama supporter against Beijing. He became notorious for claiming falsely in a 1996 Playboy interview that he had “videotaped a prisoner whose kidneys were surgically removed while he was alive, and then the prisoner was taken out and shot. The tape was broadcast by BBC." The BBC film showed nothing of the sort, but the damage was done. How many people check old BBC archives? Wu, a retired Berkeley professor who left China after imprisonment as a dissident, is head of the Laogai Research Foundation, a tax-exempt organization whose main funding is from the NED.9
Among related projects, the US Government-financed NED also supports the Tibet Times newspaper, run out of the Dalai Lama’s exile base at Dharamsala, India. The NED also funds the Tibet Multimedia Center for “information dissemination that addresses the struggle for human rights and democracy in Tibet,” also based in Dharamsala. And NED finances the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy.
In short, US State Department and US intelligence community finger prints are all over the upsurge around the Free Tibet movement and the anti-Han Chinese attacks of March. The question to be asked is why, and especially why now?
Tibet’s raw minerals treasure
Tibet is of strategic import to China not only for its geographical location astride the border with India, Washington’s newest anti-China ally in Asia. Tibet is also a treasure of minerals and also oil. Tibet contains some of the world's largest uranium and borax deposits, one half of the world's lithium, the largest copper deposits in Asia, enormous iron deposits, and over 80,000 gold mines. Tibet's forests are the largest timber reserve at China's disposal; as of 1980, an estimated $54 billion worth of trees had been felled and taken by China. Tibet also contains some of the largest oil reserves in the region.10
On the Tibet Autonomous Region’s border along the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is also a vast oil and mineral region in the Qaidam Basin, known as a "treasure basin." The Basin has 57 different types of mineral resources with proven reserves including petroleum, natural gas, coal, crude salt, potassium, magnesium, lead, zinc and gold. These mineral resources have a potential economic value of 15 trillion yuan or US$1.8 trillion. Proven reserves of potassium, lithium and crude salt in the basin are the biggest in China.
And situated as it is, on the “roof of the world,” Tibet is perhaps the world’s most valuable water source. Tibet is the source of seven of Asia's greatest rivers which provide water for 2 billion people.” He who controls Tibet’s water has a mighty powerful geopolitical lever over all Asia.
But the prime interest of Tibet for Washington today is its potential to act as a lever to destabilize and blackmail the Beijing Government.
Washington’s ‘nonviolence as a form of warfare’
The events in Tibet since March 10 have been played in Western media with little regard to accuracy or independent cross-checking. Most of the pictures blown up in European and US newspapers and TV have not even been of Chinese military oppression of Tibetan lamas or monks. They have been shown to be in most cases either Reuters or AFP pictures of Han Chinese being beaten by Tibetan monks in paramilitary organizations. In some instances German TV stations ran video pictures of beatings that were not even from Tibet but rather by Nepalese police in Kathmandu. 11
The western media complicity simply further underlies that the actions around Tibet are part of a well-orchestrated destabilization effort on the part of Washington. What few people realize is that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was also instrumental, along with Gene Sharp’s misnamed Albert Einstein Institution through Colonel Robert Helvey, in encouraging the student protests at Tiananmen Square in June 1989. The Albert Einstein Institution, as it describes itself, specializes in "nonviolence as a form of warfare." 12
Colonel Helvey was formerly with the Defense Intelligence Agency stationed in Myanmar. Helvey trained in Hong Kong the student leaders from Beijing in mass demonstration techniques which they were to use in the Tiananmen Square incident of June 1989. He is now believed acting as an adviser to the Falun Gong in similar civil disobedience techniques. Helvey nominally retired from the army in 1991, but had been working with the Albert Einstein Institution and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation long before then. In its annual report for 2004 Helvey’s Albert Einstein Institution admitted to advising people in Tibet. 13
With the emergence of the Internet and mobile telephone use, the US Pentagon has refined an entirely new form of regime change and political destabilization. As one researcher of the phenomenon behind the wave of color revolutions, Jonathan Mowat, describes it,
“…What we are seeing is civilian application of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "Revolution in Military Affairs" doctrine, which depends on highly mobile small group deployments "enabled" by "real time" intelligence and communications. Squads of soldiers taking over city blocks with the aid of "intelligence helmet" video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment, constitute the military side. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones constitute the doctrine's civilian application.
“This parallel should not be surprising since the US military and National Security Agency subsidized the development of the Internet, cellular phones, and software platforms. From their inception, these technologies were studied and experimented with in order to find the optimal use in a new kind of warfare. The "revolution" in warfare that such new instruments permit has been pushed to the extreme by several specialists in psychological warfare. Although these military utopians have been working in high places, (for example the RAND Corporation), for a very long time, to a large extent they only took over some of the most important command structures of the US military apparatus with the victory of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon of Donald Rumsfeld.14
Goal to control China
Washington policy has used and refined these techniques of “revolutionary nonviolence,” and NED operations embodied a series of ‘democratic’ or soft coup projects as part of a larger strategy which would seek to cut China off from access to its vital external oil and gas reserves.
The 1970’s quote attributed to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a proponent of British geopolitics in an American context comes to mind: “If you control the oil you control entire nations…”
The destabilization attempt by Washington using Tibet, no doubt with quiet “help” from its friends in British and other US-friendly intelligence services, is part of a clear pattern.
It includes Washington’s “Saffron revolution” attempts to destabilize Myanmar. It includes the ongoing effort to get NATO troops into Darfur to block China’s access to strategically vital oil resources there and elsewhere in Africa. It includes attempts to foment problems in Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and to disrupt China’s vital new energy pipeline projects to Kazakhstan. The earlier Asian Great Silk Road trade routes went through Tashkent in Uzbekistan and Almaty in Kazakhstan for geographically obvious reasons, in a region surrounded by major mountain ranges. Geopolitical control of Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan would enable control of any potential pipeline routes between China and Central Asia just as the encirclement of Russia controls pipeline and other ties between it and western Europe, China, India and the Middle East, where China depends on uninterrupted oil flows from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries.
Behind the strategy to encircle China
In this context, a revealing New York Council on Foreign Relations analysis in their Foreign Affairs magazine from Zbigniew Brzezinski from September/October 1997 is worth quoting. Brzezinski, a protégé of David Rockefeller and a follower of the founder of British geopolitics, Sir Halford Mackinder, is today the foreign policy adviser to Presidential candidate, Barack Obama. In 1997 he revealingly wrote:
‘Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy. After the United States, the next six largest economies and military spenders are there, as are all but one of the world's overt nuclear powers, and all but one of the covert ones. Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's population; 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's.
‘Eurasia is the world's axial super-continent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy….’15 (emphasis mine-w.e.).
This statement, written well before the US-led bombing of former Yugoslavia and the US military occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, or its support of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, puts Washington pronouncements about ‘ridding the world of tyranny’ and about spreading democracy, into a somewhat different context from the one usually mentioned by George W. Bush of others.
It’s about global hegemony, not democracy. It should be no surprise when powers such as China are not convinced that giving Washington such overwhelming power is in China’s national interest, any more than Russia thinks that it would be a step towards peace to let NATO gobble up Ukraine and Georgia and put US missiles on Russia’s doorstep “to defend against threat of Iranian nuclear attack on the United States.”
The US-led destabilization in Tibet is part of a strategic shift of great significance. It comes at a time when the US economy and the US dollar, still the world’s reserve currency, are in the worst crisis since the 1930’s. It is significant that the US Administration sends Wall Street banker, former Goldman Sachs chairman, Henry Paulson to Beijing in the midst of its efforts to embarrass Beijing in Tibet. Washington is literally playing with fire. China long ago surpassed Japan as the world’s largest holder of foreign currency reserves, now in the range of $1.5 trillions, most of which are invested in US Treasury debt instruments. Paulson knows well that were Beijing to decide it could bring the dollar to its knees by selling only a small portion of its US debt on the market.
1 Ex-Nazi, Dalai's tutor Harrer dies at 93, The Times of India, 9 Jan 2006, in
2 Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, New York University Press, 2001, p. 177.
3 Goldner, Colin, Mönchischer Terror auf dem Dach der Welt Teil 1: Die Begeisterung für den Dalai Lama und den tibetischen Buddhismus, March 26, 2008, excerpted from the book Dalai Lama: Fall eines Gottkönigs, Alibri Verlag,, new edition to appear April 2008, reproduced in
4 Parenti, Michael, Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, June 2007, in www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html.
5 Mann, Jim, CIA funded covert Tibet exile campaign in 1960s, The Age (Australia), Sept. 16, 1998.
6 Ignatius, D., Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups, The Washington Post, 22 September 1991.
7 Blum, William, The NED and ‘Project Democracy,’ January 2000, in www.friendsoftibet.org/databank/usdefence/usd5.html
8 Barker, Michael, ’Democratic Imperialism’: Tibet, China and the National Endowment for Democracy, Global Research, August 13, 2007, www.globalresearch.ca.
9 McGehee, Ralph, Ralph McGehee’ s Archive on JFK Place, CIA Operations in China Part III, May 2, 1996, in www.acorn.net/jfkplace/03/RM/RM.china-for.
10 US Tibet Committee, Fifteen things you should know about Tibet and China, in
11 Goldner, Colin, Mönchischer Terror auf dem Dach der Welt Teil 2: Krawalle im Vorfeld der Olympischen Spiele, op cit.
12 Mowat, Jonathan, The new Gladio in action?, Online Journal, Mar 19, 2005, in
15 Brzezinski, Zbigniew, A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Foreign Affairs, 76:5, September/October 1997.
Global Research Articles by F. William Engdahl
Je ne suis pas communiste chinois. Je ne le serai jamais. Mais je ne suis pas d’accord avec les manifestations en faveur du boycott des jeux olympiques. Je ne suis pas d’accord avec l’opération de Robert Ménard contre les jeux olympiques de Pékin. Je ne suis pas d’accord avec la réécriture de l’histoire de la Chine à laquelle toute cette opération donne lieu. Je ne partage pas du tout l’enthousiasme béat pour le Dalaï lama ni pour le régime qu’il incarne. Pour moi, le boycott des jeux est une agression injustifiée et insultante contre le peuple chinois. Si l’on voulait mettre en cause le régime de Pékin il fallait le faire au moment du choix de Pékin pour les jeux. Il ne fallait pas permettre à la Chine d’être candidate. Il fallait le dire en Chine. Ce qui se fait est une insulte gratuite et injustifiée contre les millions de chinois qui ont voulu et préparent activement les jeux. Pour moi il flotte un relent nauséabond de racisme sur cette marmitte !
Si un boycott devait être organisé, dans une logique agressive conséquente, ce n’est pas celui du sport qui est un moment d’ouverture et de fraternisation. Pourquoi pas plutôt celui des affaires et de la finance ? Naturellement aucun des activistes mondains actuels ne le propose ni n’entreprend quoi que ce soit dans ce sens. Si l’on devait vraiment se facher avec le gouvernement chinois, pourquoi le minimum de ce qui se fait dans les relations normales entre les nations ne se fait-il pas à cette occasion ? Le président de la République chinoise (combien de protestataires se soucient de savoir comment il s’appelle ?) a-t-il été approché ? Lui a -t-on demandé quelque chose ? Quoi ? Qu’a-t-il répondu ? Le premier ministre (combien se sont préoccupés de connaitre son nom ?) a-t-il été interpellé ? L’ambassadeur de Chine en France a-t-il été reçu et a-t-on eu un échange avec lui ? Qui s’en soucie ? Avec une morgue ressemblant à du racisme, on proteste contre un gouvernement dont on ne cite pas le nom des dirigeants, et dont on fait comme s’il n’existait pas. Pourquoi sinon parce qu’on pense par devers soi qu’il n’en est pas vraiment un. La superbe occidentale nie jusqu’au nom des gouvernants qui dirigent un peuple de un milliard quatre cent millions de personnes que l’on croit assez veules pour être maîtrisé par une simple police politique ! D’une façon générale je ressens, en voyant tout cela, l’écho du mépris des colons qui ont imposé en leur temps les armes à la main l’obligation pour les chinois de faire le commerce de l’opium ! Si la volonté est d’affronter le régime politique de Pékin, aucun des moyens employés n’est de nature à modifier quoi que ce soit d’autre que l’opinion occidentale déjà totalement formatée sur le sujet.
Donc les évènements du Tibet sont un prétexte. Un prétexte entièrement construit à l’usage d’un public conditionné par la répétition d’images qui visent à créé de l’évidence davantage que de la réflexion. Exemple : seule l’enquête « d’arrêt sur image » rapporte que les « évènements du Tibet » ont commencé par un pogrom de commerçants chinois par des « tibétains ». Dans quel pays au monde de tels évènements restent-ils sans suite répressive ? La vie d’un commerçant chinois a-t-elle moins de valeur que celle du manifestant « tibétain » qui l’assassine à coups de bâton dans la rue ? Bien de l’amitié pour les tibétains n’est qu’une variante nauséabonde du racisme contre les chinois. Elle se nourrit de tous les fantasmes que l’ignorance favorise. Que la répression ait été lourde est peut-être avéré. Comment l’apprécier ? Les seuls chiffres rabachés sont ceux du « gouvernement tibétain en exil ». Pourtant le gouvernement chinois, si j’ai bien entendu, annonce lui-même un nombre de blessés et de morts qui permet de comprendre qu’il y a eu une situation grave et sérieuse que les autorités admettent. Dans n’importe quelles circonstances ont essaierait de comparer les informations. On essaierait de comprendre l’enchainement des faits. Sinon autant dire que le gouvernement français de l’époque a ordonné de pousser deux jeunes dans un transformateur électrique à Clichy Sous Bois au motif qu’il avait alors une politique de main dure face aux banlieues. Personne n’oserait avancer une bêtise aussi infâme. Dans les émeutes urbaines américaines la répression a aussi la main lourde. Tout cela n’excuse rien. Mais cela permet de mettre des évènements en relation de comparaison.
UN PERSONNAGE SUSPECT
J’exprime les plus nettes réserves à propos de l’action politique de monsieur Robert Ménard, principal organisateur des manifestations anti chinoises. A présent, à propos du Tibet et des jeux olympiques, on ne voit que Robert Ménard. Il parle, parait il, au nom de « Reporters sans frontière ». Cette association est réduite à la personne de Robert Ménard. Bien des anciens membres du conseil d’administration pourraient en dire long au sujet des conceptions démocratiques de monsieur Ménard dans sa propre association. Quand je me suis trouvé sur le plateau de radio à France Culture où l’on m’interrogeait sur le sujet du Tibet et des jeux olympiques, messieurs Marc Kravetz et Alexandre Adler sont restés silencieux quand j’en suis venu au rôle de monsieur Ménard. Ils ne peuvent être soupçonnés de chercher à me complaire… Hors micro, les deux exprimaient des réserves marquées sur les méthodes du personnage de Robert Ménard. Maxime Vivas a établi une analyse documentée extrêmement inquiétante sur ce personnage et ses sources de financements. Quoiqu’il en soit, il semble qu’il remplace aussi dorénavant les syndicats de journalistes, l’association internationale des droits de l’homme, Amnesty et ainsi de suite. Parfois même il remplace le Dalaï lama. Robert Menard milite pour le boycott des jeux ce que ne fait pas le Dalaï lama. Celui-ci dit au contraire que le peuple chinois mérite les jeux. Robert Ménard est un défenseur des droits de l’homme à géométrie variable. A-t-il mené une seule action, même ultra symbolique, quand les Etats unis d’Amérique ont légalisé la torture ? A-t-il mené une seule action pour que les détenus de Guantanamo soient assistés d’avocat ? Robert Menard a un comportement qui soulève des questions sérieuses au sujet des motivations de son action.
LE REGIME THEOCRATIQUE EST INDEFENDABLE
A propos du Tibet. Le Tibet est chinois depuis le quatorzième siècle. Lhassa était sous autorité chinoise puis mandchoue avant que Besançon ou Dôle soient sous l’autorité des rois de France. Parler « d’invasion » en 1959 pour qualifier un évènement à l’intérieur de la révolution chinoise est aberrant. Dit-on que la France a « envahi » la Vendée quand les armées de notre République y sont entrées contre les insurgés royalistes du cru ? Le Dalaï Lama et les autres seigneurs tibétains ont accepté tout ce que la Chine communiste leur proposait et offrait, comme par exemple le poste de vice président de l’assemblée populaire que « sa sainteté » a occupé sans rechigner. Cela jusqu’au jour de 1956 où le régime communiste a décidé d’abolir le servage au Tibet et régions limitrophes. Dans une négation des traditions, que j’approuve entièrement, les communistes ont abrogé les codes qui classaient la population en trois catégories et neuf classes dont le prix de la vie était précisé, codes qui donnaient aux propriétaires de serfs et d’esclaves le droit de vie, de mort et de tortures sur eux. On n’évoque pas le satut des femmes sous ce régime là. Mais il est possible de se renseigner si l’on a le coeur bien accroché. L’autorité communiste a mis fin aux luttes violentes entre chefs locaux du prétendue paradis de la non violence ainsi qu’aux divers châtiments sanglants que les moines infligeaient à ceux qui contrevenaient aux règles religieuses dont ils étaient les gardiens. La version tibétaine de la Charria a pris fin avec les communistes. La révolte de 1959 fut préparée, armée, entretenue et financée par les USA dans le cadre de la guerre froide. Voila ce qu’il en est des traditions charmantes du régime du Dalaï Lama avant les communistes et de l’horrible « invasion » qui y a mis fin. Depuis, la scolarisation des enfants du Tibet concerne 81% d’entre eux là où il n’y en avait que 2% au temps bénis des traditions. Et l’espérance de vie dans l’enfer chinois contemporain prolonge la vie des esclaves de cette vallée de larmes de 35, 5 à 67 ans. En foi de quoi l’anéantissement des tibétain se manifeste par le doublement de la population tibétaine depuis 1959 faisant passer celle-ci de un million à deux millions et demi. Pour tout cela, la situation mérite mieux, davantage de circonspection, plus de respect pour les chinois que les clichés ridicules que colportent des gens qui ne voudraient ni pour eux, ni pour leur compagne ni pour leurs enfants d’un régime aussi lamentable que celui du roi des moines bouddhistes du Tibet. A l’heure actuelle je n’éprouve aucune sympathie pour « le gouvernement en exil du Tibet » dont sa sainteté est le décideur ultime sur pratiquement toutes les questions, où siège un nombre de membres de sa famille qu’il est tout à fait inhabituel de trouver dans un gouvernement, même en exil, sans parler de leur présence aux postes clefs de la finance et des affaires de cet exil. Je respecte le droit de sa sainteté de croire ce qu’elle veut et à ses partisans de même. Mais je m’accorde le droit d’être en désaccord total avec l’idée de leur régime théocratique. Je suis également hostile à l’embrigadement d’enfants dans les monastères. Je suis opposé à l’existence du servage. Je suis laïque partout et pour tous et donc totalement opposé à l’autorité politique des religieux, même de ceux que l’album "Tintin au Tibet" a rendu attendrissants et qui ne l’ont pourtant jamais été. Je désapprouve aussi les prises de position du "roi des moines" contre l’avortement et les homosexuels. Même non violentes et entourées de sourires assez séducteurs, ses déclarations sur ces deux sujets sont à mes yeux aussi archaïques que son projet politique théocratique. Je n’ai jamais soutenu l’Ayatollah Khomeiny, même quand j’étais contre le Shah d’Iran. Je ne soutiens pas davantage ni n’encourage le Dalaï Lama, ni dans sa religion qui ne me concerne pas, ni dans ses prétentions politiques que je désapprouve ni dans ses tentatives cecessionistes que je condamne. Je demande: pourquoi pour exercer sa religion et la diriger le Dalaï Lama aurait-il besoin d’un Etat ? Un Etat qui pour être constitué demanderait d’amputer la Chine du quart de sa surface! Son magistère moral et religieux actuel souffre-t-il de n’être assis sur aucune royauté ?
FAUTEUR DE GUERRE
En ce qui concerne le droit international et la géopolitique, le dossier du Tibet tel que présenté par ses partisans est un facteur de violences, de guerres et de déstabilisation aussi considérable que celui des Balkans. Quel genre de Tibet est défendu ? Le "grand Tibet" incluant des régions comme le Yunnan et le Sichuan, sur les territoires des anciens seigneurs de la terre où sont organisés des troubles en même temps qu’à Lhassa ? Bien sur, aucun de ceux qui s’agitent en ce moment ne se préoccupe de savoir de quoi il retourne à ce propos. Rien n’indique mieux le paternalisme néo colonial ni le racisme sous jacent à l’enthousiasme pro tibétain que l’indifférence à ces questions qui mettent en cause la vie de millions de personnes et des siècles d’histoire et de culture chinoise.
J’ai lu que les athlètes français porteraient un maillot avec une déclaration un peu passe partout qui est présentée comme une protestation politique . Je sais très bien que l’inscription "pour un monde meilleur" ne mange pas plus de pain là bas qu’ici. Mais elle sera certainement vécue par les chinois du commun comme un acte injurieux si son motif pro dalai lama est connu. Peut-être est-il cependant aussi un peu hors limite des règles du sport international. Souvenons nous que la ligue européenne de natation a exclu des championnats d’europe de natation le nageur serbe Milorad Cavic parce qu’il portait lors des remises de médailles un tee-shirt sur lequel était écrit: "le Kosovo est serbe". Cela fera-t-il jurisprudence? Les champions français qui porteront un slogan annoncé comme politique seront-ils interdits de jeux ? Bien sûr que non ! Puisque le but c’est justement que le Tibet soit au chinois ce que le Kosovo a été aux serbes. Mais comme cela n’a rien de comparable, à part la volonté de dépeçage de l’ennemi et la mise en scène médiatique, il est fort probable que cela finisse à la confusion des agresseurs. Je le souhaite. Je suis un ami de la Chine. Et je sais que l’intéret de mon pays et ses valeurs ne sont pas du côté où l’on voudrait les entrainer.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
A powerful explosion has ripped through a house in the Indian state of West Bengal, killing at least three people.
A police chief said the dead have not yet been identified, but that they may be Tibetans.
The owner of the house, in the town of Siliguri, said that it was rented by a Tibetan exile who said he was using it in connection with a computer business.
But the police maintained that after the blast they recovered a large quantity of explosives and detonators.
They say that timers were also discovered.
Police said those killed were perhaps members of an underground group who had rented the house by providing false identities.
The BBC's north-east India correspondent says that Siliguri - in the north of the state of West Bengal - has been used as a base or transit point for a number of rebel groups.
Local Kamtapuri tribesmen who want a separate state in northern Bengal are believed to have a presence there, as do Nepalese and Indian Maoists.
Tibetan exiles have a huge presence in the town and in the nearby hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
NGO admits what it previously denied
10 May 2005
Cuba will never surrender, says Fidel
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD
Special for Granma International
The mask of Robert Menard, who eight months ago still denied having any ties to the United States government, is falling off in chunks and pieces with every week that passes. The latest information after the revelation in Paris of his association with Otto Reich comes from California, where an investigative reporter named Diana Barahona is trying to break through the wall of secrecy Menard has built around his secret friendships.
On April 18, in a forum of the Paris publication Le Nouvel Observateur, Robert Menard made his first confession regarding what he had always denied after an anonymous participant quoted an article published on March 11 by the US journalist saying that Reporters Sans Frontiers was receiving money from the so-called National Endowment for Democracy.
Absolutely, Menard answered with his usual arrogance, adding, he receive money from the NED and this does not create any problems for us whatsoever. In a similar forum on the same website weeks earlier, Menard had suddenly admitted to knowing CIA agent Frank Calzon, which he had previously denied. In reality, Menard had no choice but to confess.
During Barahona's investigation, a NED representative personally confirmed to her that $39,900 was delivered to Reporters Sans Frontiers on January 14 of this year. At the same time, RSF's representative in Washington, Lucie Morillon, had no choice but to confirm to the reporter that RSF received $125,000 from the Cuba Solidarity Center, a CIA front group officially financed by USAID US Agency for International Development) ... in addition to a secret contract signed by Otto Reich!
After receiving these confirmations in the United States itself regarding these contributions received by Menard from Washington, the reporter is now officially requesting that USAID by virtue of US law on access to information provide all documents referring to that individual and his organization.
In a letter dated April 9 and addressed to USAID's Information & Records Division, Diana Barahona invokes the Freedom of Information Act to obtain access to and copies of records of money given to Reporters Sans Frontiers and its general secretary, Robert Menard, a French citizen. The Long Beach journalist indicates in her letter that she is gathering information on US government financing of Reporters Without Borders that is of current interest to the public because many news outlets are using Reporters Without Borders as a source.
Any government financing should be exposed so that reporters are not unwittingly using a biased source, Barahona affirms in her letter. It is indicated in this same document that several members of the print and electronic media use RSF as a source without knowing or telling the public about the conflict of interest of RSF receiving government grants. Diana Barahona is currently working with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, directed by Larry Birne, which has been studying US policy on Latin America since 1975, to write a in-depth article on that issue.
That article, according to the reporter, will show among many other things how RSF was founded in 1995 when the Helms-Burton bill was introduced into Congress. That law authorized the granting of funds to so-called Cuban dissidents via NGOs.
Otto Reich through his consulting firm was the top lobbyist for that law during the time that he was contracted by Bacard and was director of the U.S.-Cuba Business Council.
Diana Barahona is a member of the Northern California Media Guild and has published articles on RSF in the Guild Reporter (www.newsguild.org).
MENARD DID BUSINESS IN 2001 WITH REICH AND CALZON
For his part, on March 27, French investigative reporter Thierry Meyssan published a revealing article in which he stated that Robert Menard negotiated a contract with Otto Reich and CIA agent Frank Calzon's Center for a Free Cuba in 2001. According to Meyssan, a journalist who is president of the prestigious Red Voltaire (www.redvoltaire.net), the contract was signed in 2002 when Reich was representing the US government as special envoy to the Western Hemisphere.
In 2002, Reporters Sans Frontiers signed a contract with the Center for a Free Cuba with unknown terms, and later received an initial subsidy of $24,970 euros. That subsidy increased to $59,201 euros in 2003 and its amount for 2004 is unknown, the reporter wrote.
The Center for Free Cuba is an organization created to overthrow the Cuban Revolution and restore the Batista regime via its representatives embedded in the Bush government. It is presided over by the owner of Bacardi Rums, directed by former terrorist Frank Calzon and it is attached to a CIA office, Freedom House, he wrote.
On various occasions, Menard categorically denied known Calzon, until he appeared together with that individual one of the CIA's most active Cuban-American agents since the 1960s in Brussels in March of 2004, at a meeting of members of the European Parliament.
WORRYING QUESTIONS?IN MONTREAL
In addition, in an article titled Worrying questions for Reporters Sans Frontiers, published April 30 in the influential Montreal (Canada) daily La Presse, journalist Marc Thibodeau confirms how Menard confessed during a public assembly the previous day that RSF receives part of its funding from US organizations closely associated with United States foreign policy.
RSF's secretary general, Robert Menard, who was visiting Quebec this week, stated during an acrimonious discussion this Thursday at the University of Quebec in Montreal that his organization has access to funds from USAID, a US government international aid organization, and from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the journalist reported. During a conversation with La Presse, Menard stated that the money received from the NED and USAID for the coming year represented less than 2% of RSF's budget, which totals more than $5 million.
More than 90% is raised, according to the organization, through selling photo albums, the reporter writes ironically.
Back in 2003, Granma International exposed the connivance between Robert Menard, his NGO and United States intelligence services. Little by little, the information is being confirmed via documents, publications, revelations by those implicated and confessions by the RSF secretary/agent.
According to several indications, the best is yet to come.
Reporters Without Frontiers admits it is paid by the USA
Paris, May 5:
The suspicion has been confirmed: Reporters Without Frontiers (RSF) receives financial support from the US, as its secretary general Robert Menard admitted today, to use the organization to attack Cuba and Venezuela.
According to the Cuban Rebelion website, the position of the RSF against Havana and Caracas "is perfectly aligned with the political and media war Washington displays against the Cuban and the Venezuelan revolutions."Mr. Robert Menard, RSF secretary general for 20 years, confessed he received financial support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an rganisation that distributes money to NGOs on behalf of the US State Department, the publication stated.
It has also been confirmed that the main role of the NED is promoting the White House agenda around the world."In effect, we receive money from the NED. And it is no problem for us," Menard confessed. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was created by US President Ronald Reagan in 1983, as a complement of the dirty war against Central America. Thanks to its powerful capacity of financial penetration, the foundation is aimed at weakening governments opposed to Washington"s dominating foreign policy. In Latin America, its two main targets were Cuba and Venezuela.
The NED financed and continues supporting Venezuelan opposition, responsible for the coup against President Hugo Chavez in April 2002, Rebelion stated.Moreover, RSF admitted to giving financial support in Cuba to the so-called dissidents, backed up by Washington. The website also criticized the Paris-based RSF for abstaining from denouncing the crimes committed by the US troops against media professionals in Iraq. It considered noteworthy that Menard usually visits the Miami-based Cuban far right, with which he signed agreements linked to the media war against the Cuban Revolution.
March 26, 2008
Why They Hate China, Well, you have to hate someone…
by Justin Raimondo
China's continuing crackdown on Tibetan pro-independence protesters is a big, big issue here in San Francisco. Why, just the other day, I was coming out my front door, and there was one of my neighbors – a very nice woman in her fifties, albeit an archetypal limousine liberal, typical of the breed. So typical that she might almost be mistaken for a living, breathing, walking, talking cliché. She hates George W. Bush and the neocons because she's against the (Iraq) war, but she's eager to "liberate" Darfur – and, lately, Tibet. That morning, as she earnestly informed me, she was on her way to a meeting of the Board of Supervisors (our town council) to exhort them to vote for a resolution condemning the Chinese government's actions and calling for "freedom" for Tibet. What she doesn't realize, and doesn't want to know, is that she and the neocons – the very ones who brought us the Iraq war – are united on the Tibet issue. I tried, in vain, to point this out to her, but she just shook her head, cut the conversation short, and was on her way…
As it turned out, the supervisors voted for a meaningless, toothless resolution, stripped of provocative rhetoric, much to the dismay of the far-leftieswho argued for a stronger statement. The initiative for this effort was made by supervisor Chris Daly, an obnoxious left-liberal with delusions of grandeur, whose pose of self-righteousness is both grating and characteristic of his sort.
By Hannah Naiditch 02/07/2008
Recently President Bush presented the Dalai Lama the Gold Medal, Congress’s highest and most prestigious civilian award. It was a glamorous ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, attended by the rich and famous. Senators Diane Feinstein, Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were among the hundreds of admirers.
Actor Richard Gere, his spokesman and one of his biggest fans, proclaimed “It’s that just by the proximity to him, you will get spiritually healed,” and he called him “the greatest living human.”
President Bush called him a “universal symbol of peace and tolerance, a shepherd of the faithful and a keeper of the flame for his people.”
The Dalai Lama also has his critics. Author Michael Parenti sees him as reflecting a distressing symbiosis between religion and violence. Historian Howard Zinn expresses disappointment in the Dalai Lama’s suggestion to wait a few years before judging the war in Iraq, when this preemptive and illegal war is such a clear-cut moral issue.
So what are we to make of the Dalai Lama? Who is this frail man, his hands folded as if in permanent prayer, with a smile that rarely leaves his face and a bow in deference to those who cross his path? He moves slowly and gracefully and he talks a lot about forgiveness and peace.
This apparently gentle man is the 14th of a long line of reborn Dalai Lamas who ruled over a brutal feudal theocracy where disobedience was not tolerated. Punishment ranged from loss of limbs to the gouging out of eyes and flogging people to death.
It was a country where most of the population were serfs and slaves, totally accountable to their masters. Some slaves tried to survive by begging. A few hundred privileged families shared power with the Dalai Lama and owned most of the land. The old Tibet was far removed from the freedom that Dalai Lama and his supporters are talking about. There were no schools, no healthcare, and the literacy rate was about 5 percent.
There are those who see the Dalai Lama as a man of contradictions and they see his admirers as gullible and misinformed. He has expressed his belief that modern science takes precedence over ancient religions, but he ruled over a medieval and brutal theocracy. He preaches peace but refuses to pass judgment on Iraq.
Is the Dalai Lama speaking out of both sides of his mouth, trying to play it safe and to offend nobody? It seems clear that this seemingly meek gentleman is a shrewd observer of human events. To many observers he remains an enigma.
Was Tibet ever this romantic, Hollywood-style Shangri La? Were the Tibetan people, with their colorful garments, bells, and horns, really content as they submitted to the rituals of prayer and as they clapped their hands to get rid of doubts and harmful emotions, hoping for greater awareness and enlightenment? Or did they not know any better as they spent their lives in this remote and isolated society? Did China destroy Shangri-La and a beautiful ancient culture or did they liberate and modernize a backward and brutal kingdom?
China invaded Tibet in 1959. The foreign-sponsored uprising was easily crushed and the Dalai Lama with his riches and thousands of followers fled to India, where he set up his government in exile. The “Free Tibet” movement and the west would like to return the Dalai Lama to his throne. The Dalai Lama himself claims that he is not seeking independence but “meaningful autonomy,” while China accuses the Dalai Lama of a hidden agenda.
China has significantly altered Tibet’s social structure. China has constructed roads and introduced light industry. They built hundreds of schools and life expectancy has dramatically improved. Michael Parenti among others points out that the Chinese abolished slavery, built hospitals, and eliminated mutilations, floggings and amputations.
They introduced land reform. Acres of land formerly owned by nobles and lamas were distributed to landless peasants. Not many Tibetans would choose to go back to slavery and grinding poverty. They don’t look at the Chinese occupation as Paradise Lost.
One of the Dalai Lama’s missions is to preserve and to keep the ancient Tibetan culture alive. But what is this cultural heritage that the Dalai Lama is trying to preserve? Does it include the teaching of the feudal system, and the need for slavery and absolute obedience? Does it teach the poor that their life of suffering is due to the evil acts they committed in previous lives and that they must accept their life of misery as atonement for past sins?
For the Tibetans the issue is whether you hold on to an ancient culture of social injustice or you support moving into the modern age. Many former serfs have sided with China.
Indications are that the powerful lamas and their ancient culture that this Dalai Lama wants to preserve may be a thing of the past unless foreign troops try to change the course of history.