3/19 Lee Siu Hin: 5 Years of U.S. Invasion At Iraq/What's Going On In Tibet?
I still clearly remember on the evening of Tuesday March 18th, 2003 (Iraq time morning of March 19th), I was nervously finishing my final exam at Cal Poly Pomona for one my MPA (Masters of Public Affairs) class. At the middle of the exam, my classmates begin whispering around me: "Hey, U.S. just begin invading Iraq!" It just completely collapsed my heart, I stop my exam and turn on my computer on to check the latest news on-line. My professor was pissed what I was doing,I got C-grade on the exam....
I also watched the President Bush's speech on invading Iraq. (Video: http://www.activistvideo.org/views.asp?id=334
On that evening, I made promises that:
- I will do anything to stop this war
- I will visit Iraq asap to show our peace activists solidarity with Iraq.
I didn't had money nor credit to finance the trip, with out of the blue, a "gift" from the heaven, a credit card company suddenly send me a card with $3,000 credit--I used that credit to purchase new camera and airline ticket, and representing Pacifica radio went to Iraq for one month and produced a report series: Report from Baghdad http://www.BaghdadReport.net
Five years later, with million Iraqis and 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed, and I am broke as ever still paining the same credit card debt from the 2003 trip--I still need to say, it's worth it! and necessary--because we cannot allows more killing, and our children will living in war and fear.
Last week, at my midle of busy planning 5 years too many actions (http://www.5yearstoomany.org
), two international news had touched deep part of my heart, the riot in Tibet, and the riot in Kosovo.
I went to former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Kosovo at mid-90's for Pacifica radio, I went there because as peace activist I want to uncover the truth and hypocrisy and to stop the killing--but I failed.
Why Americans never learn? the lies of Iraq's WMD that let us to invade Iraq; the never happened "Bay of Tonkin" incident that let us to bloody Vietnam War. At the eve of 5th years I see the same deceptions happen again at Tibet and Kosovo.
I just finished the an article about what happened in Tibet, as part of my commemoration of 5th Years of U.S. invade Iraq. (Video: http://www.activistvideo.org/views.asp?id=335
Lee Siu Hin: What's Going On In Tibet?
March 18, 2008 http://www.peacenowar.net/newpeace/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=428&Itemid=1
For the past few days, several friends of mine have been asking 'What's happening in Tibet, and why is it happening?'
As a Chinese American with fairly good knowledge of Tibetan culture, religion and history and having known some Tibetans living in both the U.S. and China, I have a sense of urgent responsibility to tell everyone about what happened in Tibet. This is a very emotional issue; however, many are mixing emotional arguments with facts.
I can be reasonably certain that the riot that took place last week in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa wasn’t a simple black and white argument. What happened in Tibet last week was part of a carefully planned 'Tibetan Independence Movement', with deep historical roots backed and financed by Western powers, most notably the United States and United Kingdom.
I also can responsibly state that, based on the local and western media reports, including interviews by foreigners, as well as TV footage and photos, there’s clearly one group of people attacking other people, burning shops and buildings. There’s no proof or confirmed evidence—except for the unverified rumors--that the Chinese military had killed innocent Tibetans and monks.
Historically, the British wanted to annex Tibet when it colonized India 100 years ago. The 1904 invasion by Colonel Younghusband killed thousands of Tibetans and forced the Dalai Lama to flee to mainland China. I encourage you to visit any local library and check any pre-1949 (the year Communists took power and created the People’s Republic of China, or PRC) U.S. publications, or Atlas of China and Tibet, and you’ll see Tibet was recognized as part of China. Not until the PRC was created and subsequently entered into a cold war proxy anti-communist fight with the U.K. and U.S., did they suddenly claim Tibet is not a part of China.
If you’re open minded, I encourage you to gather and learn information from the relatively comprehensive sources available: simply perform a Google search, and type “Dalai Lama CIA”. You will find thousands of entries from running this search. According to Michael Parenti and his article “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth”, while he supports the struggle for Tibetan independence, he also notes that:
“….Throughout the 1960s the Tibetan exile community secretly pocketed $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama's organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama's annual share was $186,000, making him a paid agent of the CIA. Indian intelligence also financed him and other Tibetan exiles. He has refused to say whether he or his brothers worked with the CIA…. Today, mostly through the National Endowment for Democracy and other conduits that are more respectable-sounding than the CIA, the US Congress continues to allocate an annual $2 million to Tibetans in India, with additional millions for 'democracy activities' within the Tibetan exile community. The Dalai Lama also gets money from financier George Soros, who now runs the CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other institutes.”
If we agree the sole mission of the CIA is to destabilize and even to overthrow other countries the U.S. doesn't support, why would there be a difference in this case?
One of the main problems with the American Left’s romantic notion of a “Free Tibet” (to return to the pre-1951 Chinese “occupied” Tibet), is that “…Most solidarity and environmental groups supporting the Tibetan people's cause have not questioned the Dalai Lama's role in Tibetan history or addressed what it would mean for the Tibetan people if the Dalai Lama and his coterie returned to power…', as Norm Dixon from the Green Left Weekly writes:
“Romantic notions about the ``peaceful'' and ``harmonious'' nature of Tibetan Buddhist monastic life should be tested against reality… The Tibetan ``government'' in Lhasa was composed of lamas selected for their religious piety. At the head of this theocracy was the Dalai Lama. The concepts of democracy, human rights or universal education were unknown. The Dalai Lama and the majority of the elite agreed to give away Tibet's de facto independence in 1950 once they were assured that Beijing's exploitative system would be maintained. Nine years later, only when they felt their privileges were threatened, did they revolt. Suddenly the words ``democracy'' and ``human rights'' entered the vocabulary of the government-in-exile, operating out of Dharamsala in India ever since.” Dixon explains.
Another problem I see from this latest saga in Tibet is the one-sided Western government accusations and media coverage. How many of you have read news reports from China? You might just dismissed them as 'communist China's propaganda' But I also want to remind you, isn’t it the Western media, like the New York Times, CNN, and Fox News that have lied about the First Gulf War, the Second Gulf War about WMD, and the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan?
Still, I cannot avoid differences of opinion with my activist friends, so I would ask them to consider the serious question of demanding independence for Tibet while imposing sanctions against China. Applying this same logic, could one also support:
- The return of ancestral lands stolen by the White colonists from Native Americans (that means most of the U.S.) for the past 300 years, who are now asking for independence from the U.S.A.?
- The demands of Mexican American activists to return the South Western U.S. to Mexico (From California to Texas) as a result of the illegal 1846-48 US-Mexico War?
- To appeal to the international community for economic sanction and international embargo against U.S. because our illegal war and mass killings at Iraq & Afghanistan, with supporting U.N. resolution to send troops to U.S. to disarm the military and arrest top U.S. officials for International War Crime Tribunal?
If you’re answer is: “That’s crazy, it’s not gonna to happen!” then you should ask yourself: “What’s wrong with this?”
Lee Siu Hin is a long time peace, labor, immigrant rights and human rights activists. A long time Pacifica Radio KPFK Los Angeles, CA and WBAI New York, NY producer. Founder and national coordinator of National Immigrant Solidarity Network (http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
), ActionLA Coalition (http://www.ActionLA.org
) and Peace NO War Network (http://www.PeaceNOWar.net
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