Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Darfur, Burma, and now Tibet?

It's so refreshing and compelling to see our Conservatives and Liberals demonstrating together.

But this is another case of our scorched pot calling the Chinese wok, 'burned'.

I have the same problem about the protests over Tibet, as I have had over China's complicity in Darfur and Myanmar. Actually, push comes to shove, it's arguable that our own USA had more complicity in snatching renewed chaos
in Somalia from the jaws of tranquility in 2006. But that's another story.

For China, Tibet is a little more egregious, because China has forcibly colonized, absorbed and repressed Tibet.

And, for the record, I care not a whit for the Olympics. As a sports fan I have always realized that the biggest game which trumps all others is politics. It is the game in which we are all participants, as well as stakeholders and participants. Especially world politics. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Carter when he decided on the boycott of the Russian Olympics of 1980 in the advent of Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. The Olympics 'Movement' or 'Spirit' or whatever it is, is an ennobling ideal. But it is also a tarnished one. And the Chinese are tarnished hosts. But, my fellow Americans, look in the freaking mirror.

So, excuse me if I, as an American nationalist, feel myself to be a little morally disarmed. My once-great American nation used to see itself as a shining city on the hill. Yet in this young century, under Bush, my USA has become the world's greatest source of state-sponsored terror. The unprovoked, unnecessary invasion and this current endless and unproductive war occupation of Iraq have resulted in devastation that makes Tibet pale into insignificance. Excuse me, if I don't get excited or aroused over Tibet.

I'm aware that both liberals and conservatives are ecstatic over their rare agreement over this outrage de jour. What excites me more, I think, is their newfound readiness to risk arrest by spitting in the eye of local police authorities. For this generation, this is a novel willingness of throwing oneself into nonviolent, robust nonviolent, or even violent civil disobedience. Would that it would spill over into other concerns which are immediately and concretely addressable by our politics!

Some of this is attributable to the MSM. The media is bored with Iraq. The media craves novelty. The media always responds to any fresh object of outrage. And Americans also want to be trendy with the rest of the world's outrage. Oh, how much would I like to merge with the rest of the world as it demonstrates against a new world enemy # 1. But I have met the enemy. The enemy is us.

So, here is my map of Tibet:


  1. I feel the same, Vig. We're willing to take to the streets, risk arrest, and getting our heads cracked for Tibet? Now? I saw the Dalai Lama In Santa Barbara almost twenty years ago and he'd been in exile then for a long time. Hasn't China Occupied Tibet since the 1950's?

    I want us to get our own house in order before we get too outraged about someone else's dirty house.

    I will join the march if is in the service of our removing our jackbooted foot from the neck of Iraq. Liberation my ass.

  2. I think looking in the mirror exposes an "inconvenient truth." We've got cruel and heartless leaders, and we've got plenty of our own problems to worry about. With all this stink about Tibet, what happened to the stink about the Gulf Coast victims? Or the fact that they may soon be flooded again with the recent swelling? People keep asking if Bush is going to boycott the opening ceremony, but it seems as though the only thing he plans to continue boycotting is his job: serving the American people. (I have to note that the word verification for this comment is: xbshwr Ironic? Or maybe my cold has finally invaded my mind...)

  3. Yeah, the MSM, in this case CNN, this evening got rather silly with the live feed from San Fran and the "clash" of Tibet protesters and Chinese-Americans flying both American and Chinese flags down the route.
    As for Bush I'm sure at some point he will announce that we will boycott the opening ceremonies and the MSM will parade a whole host of talking heads crying foul and those who say we should boycott the entire Beijing Olympics. Like Vigil said they are bored with Iraq.
    Personally, as long as I get to see the women play beach volleyball I don't care. Direct all comments about this sexist statement to my email.

  4. BB, There is nothing sexist about the beach volleyball statement you made. I'm a former DI vball player myself, and it's one of the things I love most about the Olympics (next to gymnastics). In HS we used to get guys to come to our games by telling them they could watch girls in spandex jump up and down for over an hour straight. Call it sexist if you want. I call it shameless advertising.

  5. Hi Vig, nice version of the Beijing logo, I have a post about the making of the logo on SteveAudio.

    p.s. I finally saw your comment on VidiotSpeak, my avatar is a Carrera 29 that I crew on. My personal boat is an O'Day 25.

  6. Great post, Sailor!

    Everyone knows of the O'Day, but you're sending me off Googling to find a Carrera 29. Has to be East Coast boat! Huh? (If so, I excuse myself from not recognizing it!) Looks like a real sled on flat water!

  7. The Carrera displaces about 3,000 lbs, 1/2 of that is the keel. The hull draws about 4"! It's a rocket that can be single handed, double handed with ease.

    His previous boat was a B32. It was faster but the working loads got to be a bit much for us older guys. Especially when out in 30+ kts.

  8. Frankly, i think it would be wrong for Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies. He belongs right up on the same podium with the Chinese leaders responsible for Tibet.

  9. Here I go agreeing with tomcat again. What right do we have to criticize China for human rights abuses? We lost our credibility as a leader and proponent of freedom on 03/20/03.

    BYF, so perfect: We've got cruel and heartless leaders, and we've got plenty of our own problems to worry about. With all this stink about Tibet, what happened to the stink about the Gulf Coast victims? Is this not a human rights violation?

    And, if we don't boycott the games, can some good come out of our attendance? Maybe Muslim and Israeli athletes might meet and discover a common ground.

    The world is in such a maelstrom now that we must remember: step by step, person by person peace is built. It won't happen with nations, but individuals.

    Ugh, work is great, but interrupting my blogging...

  10. Sailor, I found a PHRF for the Carrera 29 at 99. This boat looks too young for me. More of a geriatric solution for me, at that level of performance, is an E33. But this is a new boat and they are not as yet found within my driving (automobile) range. So, I haven't been able to sail one. If I were to trade down to 30 ft., this would be the first candidate.

  11. I think Carter made a bad decision to boycott the Olympics, it hurt the athletes whose trained for 4 years and may have that one shot.

    I like the idea of all the world leaders boycotting, but letting the athletes participate. That would make a longer lasting statement.

    IRT Tibet, maybe I'm more sensitive to it because there is a relatively large Tibetan presence in my town and the Dali Lama's brother lives here.

    I don't think protesting abuses is ever wrong ... tho the US had a lot more moral authority before we put war criminals in charge.

    p.s. The E33 looks nice, what a chute! I don't do much more than beer can racing anymore, the stress and expense got to be too much. OTOH, spending the weekend with my GF anchored in a cove on my O'Day makes the everyday/workaday world disappear.