Elaine Meinel Supkis
Whenever the foreign press pours into China, the people there take advantage and show their true feelings. In today's case, the Tibetans are on the firing line. The US and Europe love to split other people's countries apart but fight ferociously if anyone dares to separate from within the US/UK/EU empires. Ask the Irish about this! Or the Basques! A host of people who are crushed ruthlessly if they riot or even demonstrate. Then there are the Palestinians: they are slowly being chopped out of their homeland by the empires. No sympathy for them if they throw rocks, burn cars, etc. Nope. But we are reminded that people CAN resist their rulers AND it is OK to burn cars and throw rocks. Here, in the US, you get shot if you do that.
Hundreds of protesters swarmed Tibet's capital Friday, clashing with police and setting fire to shops and cars in a spasm of violence worse than any there in nearly 20 years. Doctors reported dozens of wounded streaming into hospitals, and there were unconfirmed reports of several deaths as Lhasa descended into what one witness called "a state of siege."
The crisis exposed the anger Tibetans have long felt but rarely expressed over Chinese domination. Although ethnic Chinese represent a tiny minority in Tibet, they are far better off economically. Tibetans also resent efforts by the central government in Beijing to bind their homeland to the rest of the country -- including the recent opening of a luxury train that funnels tourists to Lhasa.
The Chinese government must now confront a significant political challenge as it prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games in August. Authorities have steadfastly attempted to project an image of harmony and stability in Tibet and elsewhere even as they have tightened their grip over the restive region.
I have actually been in riots. Usually, we are shocked when the police shoot people dead. Like the People's Park demonstrations. It was peaceful but the police and sheriffs blocked all access to the park [I used to play the cello there]. The police then attacked. People threw back the tear gas containers so the police simply began to shoot. This turned everything very violent. People died. Of course, the people who wanted this park to live were portrayed as evil and deserving of death. I wish I had the cartoons I drew back then. It was rather heartbreaking. One of the people shot in the face and blinded was an artist I knew.
There are creepy people who will condemn Americans fighting to stop murderous wars or to gain civil rights in ghettos but if people in communist nations do the exact same thing for the exact same reasons, they are heroes. And they are heroes! But so are our rioters. And rioters in Belfast, Ireland. Or in Oaxaca, Mexico. Or in Santiago, Chile. Or anywhere on earth! The rioters who stormed the US Embassy in Iran were the same! Of course, who is evil and who is good depends entirely on who the empire declares 'good' or 'evil'. So of course, since these latest rioters want to drive out 'foreigners' they are good since this is China and not....ISRAEL.
If the great empires want to invade a country and forcibly displace and destroy the natives, this is OK. And if the natives resist, riot or fight back, they are 'terrorists' and 'evil'. This slice and dice of evil and good is at the heart of the contradictions of modern diplomacy and war. The US and Britain cooly invade Iraq and launch a deadly ethnic/religious cleansing wave which we do virtually nothing to stop and then we blame the natives for this. If Saddam were in power, we applaud ethnic and religious riots and blame him for them. And accuse him of war crimes if he suppresses them like we do to people here when they riot. Shooting, gassing, etc. Once, the police tried to use what is now illegal vomit gas on us. Only the wind sprang up and swept it into the ranks of the police who began to gag and roll on the ground. I and several others came in with buckets of water and saved the poor officers by dousing them. I wrangled from the Tucson Chief of Police a promise to investigate this and condemn it.
Since it is obvious that the BBC and NYT and WP and all the other major media condemn China for acting like Ronald Reagan, we must go backwards in time to the intractable problem of the Palestinian people and how they have been much more grossly abused by the Great Powers than anyone in Tibet.
November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
In a 1919 memorandum he wrote as a Cabinet Minister, Balfour wrote of these contradictory assurances as follows:
"The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American Commission has been going through the forms of asking what they are. The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder importance than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion, that is right."
Because the Four Powers that were, incidentally, bankrupt, decided that the people in Palestine didn't matter one hoot, they simply STOLE everything openly. All the accords were kept secret between the Jews and the Empires using the Jews for money and other support. No one told the victims, their intended fate. Note how Barfour doesn't care if he is doing something evil. None of the parties cooking up this invasion gave a fig about morals. The Jews wanted something and the Empires were broke and needed whatever they could grab in the dying Ottoman Empire.
The Arabs sensed danger in November 1918 at the parade marking the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Muslim-Christian Association protested the carrying of new 'white and blue banners with two inverted triangles in the middle'. They drew the attention of the authorities to the serious consequences of any political implications in raising the banners.
Later that month, on the first anniversary of the occupation of Jaffa by the British, the Muslim-Christian Association sent a lengthy memorandum and petition to the military governor protesting once more the Zionist intrusion.
Both the Christians and Muslims in Palestine realized they were being invaded and tried repeatedly to warn away the invaders. But the empires, like the Chinese empire, didn't listen to them. They rioted repeatedly but WWII meant more money was needed by Britain and since the British seized Palestine after WWI, they decided to sell it in the end. After the Jews did a number of terrorist attacks on both the British and the natives of Palestine.
Due to the utter evil of Hitler and his murderous crew, sympathy for the Jewish European invaders was high in 1948. They invaded and took over and instituted not the 'equal rules and one state' gambit of the first Barfour Declaration but rather, they launched a hideous discriminatory state that has virtually no civil rights for anyone who can't prove their mother, grandmother and great grandmother are 'Jews'. This noxious rule means a grinding battle for existence for the non-humans who suffer this odious rule.
The Tibetans want the Chinese invaders to leave. And the Palestinians want their invaders to leave. If the US supports one, they MUST support the other. But try getting the Hollywood fanatics to do that! Quite impossible.
Good and evil depends on who you are. Good is when we destroy someone else's empire. Evil is when our own imperial power is questioned by rioters. Have a happy St. Patrick's Day! Remember the Troubles!