Thanks to Op Ed News for having the courage to carry my article A Buddhist Struggles to Stay Grounded on Tibet and China http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_keith_mo_080324_a_buddhist_struggles.htm It must have come as an upsetting read for many people, but others - or the same people - have also found it to have a 'ring of truth' as somebody put it.
Since I wrote it I have come across other interesting analyses and some reproaches from fellow Buddhists, so this follow-up article is an update-compilation on one Buddhist's continuing struggles to stay balanced on this 'Tibet-China issue' (which by the way some might see as the same as saying California-US or Scotland-UK issue, not Canada-US or Republic of Ireland-UK).
First I'll pass on several of the more political analyses: then towards the end reply to some more or less well-deserved criticism from fellow Buddhists.
1) A friend who monitors the think-tanks of the powerful sent me the following very important 1998 analysis currently being strongly promoted by the (neo-liberal and 'realist') Council for Foreign Relations, which I usually disagree with strongly! "
The Dalai Lama's Dilemma
Summary: The Dalai Lama's international campaign against China has pushed Beijing to modernize Tibet, resulting in an influx of non-Tibetans seeking economic opportunity. If the Dalai Lama wants to preserve Tibet as a homeland, he must either acquiesce in violence by militants or compromise. He will resist either course, so the United States should facilitate negotiations. Full autonomy is out, but the Dalai Lama can obtain a greater emphasis on the Tibetan language and a larger number of positions for Tibetans in the administration.
Melvyn C. Goldstein is John Reynolds Harkness Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University. His most recent book is The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, from which this essay is adapted."
I found this article tremendously helpful in getting a sense of the moves and counter-moves of both/various sides over recent decades. I hope Melvyn's Goldstein's essay helps us all to understand the situation in greater depth, even if we may agree to differ on which actions, appeals and petitions we think helpful to support and which may do more harm than good. In my view the more support the well-meaning liberals of the 'non-violent' West give to the Tibetans, the more pleased will be the neocons (as opposed to neo-liberals and realists) who would like nothing better than to have the current destabilisation continuing indefinitely.
In my view Tibet is being used. The Dalai Lama's strategy has failed and he needs to compromise, but is now so very compromised by his backing by the CIA and being paraded in the US Congress, that if he did compromise with China and cut his ties with the CIA he might well be overthrown by the CIA ('lone assassin' anyone? - doubtless 'Muslim Chinese' or 'Iranian' I imagine) or repudiated by those whose hopes have been raised by US 'support'. I worry that more Western 'pressure' on China will just make China more defensive and obdurate.
2) Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA
Asia Times, March 26, 2008
by intelligence analyst Richard M Bennett
Bennet opens "Given the historical context of the unrest in Tibet, there is reason to believe Beijing was caught on the hop with the recent demonstrations for the simple reason that their planning took place outside of Tibet and that the direction of the protesters is similarly in the hands of anti-Chinese organizers safely out of reach in Nepal and northern India. Similarly, the funding and overall control of the unrest has also been linked to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and by inference to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of his close cooperation with US intelligence for over 50 years. Indeed, with the CIA's deep involvement with the Free Tibet Movement and its funding of the suspiciously well-informed Radio Free Asia, it would seem somewhat unlikely that any revolt could have been planned or occurred without the prior knowledge, and even perhaps the agreement, of the National Clandestine Service (formerly known as the Directorate of Operations) at CIA headquarters in Langley. Respected columnist and former senior Indian Intelligence officer, B Raman, commented on March 21 that "on the basis of available evidence, it was possible to assess with a reasonable measure of conviction" that the initial uprising in Lhasa on March 14 "had been pre-planned and well orchestrated". Could there be a factual basis to the suggestion that the main beneficiaries to the death and destruction sweeping Tibet are in Washington? History would suggest that this is a distinct possibility." and towards the end Bennett writes:
"For Washington and the CIA, this may seem a heaven-sent opportunity to create a significant lever against Beijing, with little risk to American interests; simply a win-win situation.