So now I need to ask: Can anyone else clarify:
a) degrees and kinds of destruction and violence in which regions of Tibet and in the various time phases,
b) against which recipients and by which actors - i.e. how much should be ascribed to 'China' versus 'Tibet', and how much can more accurately be understood as poor Tibet versus rich-Tibet?;
c) and correlating the truth from both 'sides' ?
As I thought my initial title made clear, I do not claim to be an expert on Tibet, nor even well-read on it; I just wrote what i did because I have seen how the neocons have manipulated the Western press to generate sympathy for Kosovans, for Chechnya, for Afghan women, for Iraqi ethnic minorities (especially in the ethnically Arab province near Basra, which just happens to have all the oil!) - and sensed another Western-exacerbation of far-distant problems which ends up sacrificing local people on the altar of imperialist geo-politics.
I think the reason I wrote as I did, which may as Monica feels have minimised the degree of repression suffered at China's hands (beyond the previously existing repression sufffered by many poor people in Tibet at the hands of other Tibetans), was that I was following the analysis of the author of The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, Melvyn C. Goldstein, mentioned above # 1) :
" The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 quickly ended Tibet's de facto independence. The communists, like the previous Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek, claimed Tibet as part of China, but unlike that government they had the military power to impose their views. Nevertheless, China wanted more than the simple conquest of Tibet-it sought to secure the formal agreement of the Dalai Lama and his government to reunification. Tibet, however, refused, and China invaded Tibet's eastern province in October 1950 to force the Tibetan government to negotiate. After Tibet's army was quickly vanquished, the Chinese forces stopped their advance and again called for talks. When neither the Western democracies, neighboring India, nor the United Nations responded positively to Tibet's pleas for help, the Dalai Lama sent a negotiating team to Beijing. It reluctantly signed the 17-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet in May of 1951. This agreement granted Tibetan recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet for the first time in history. It also recognized the right of the Dalai Lama's government to continue to administer Tibet, at least until the Tibetan people and leaders wanted reforms.
The 17-Point Agreement, [ http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sintibet.htm] however, proved difficult to implement, and after an eight-year period of coexistence, there was an uprising in Tibet. Despite CIA assistance, it was quickly quelled, and the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959, followed by about 80,000 Tibetans. China then abolished feudalism and serfdom and instituted communes in agricultural and pastoral areas. The vast monastic system was also dismantled, and during the Cultural Revolution, all religious activities were prohibited."
I do stand by my belief that it is time engaged Buddhists reflected on the degree to which the 'Mainstream' may be distorting our faith/dharma by mostly promoting the Dalai Lama so heavily and also the more privatistically-oriented teachers of various traditions, not just Tibetan Buddhism.
May all beings know peace.