By John Kusumi, Director emeritus
the China Support Network
March 10, 2009 is the 50th anniversary of 'Tibetan Uprising Day.' It commemorates the 1959 occasion when Tibetans tried to push back against the 1950 invasion of Communist Chinese--and, as the uprising failed, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile. China's crackdown then killed tens of thousands of Tibetans. Tibet was also the scene of an echo uprising, last year in 2008.
Last year's uprising began on March 14 -- Chinese authorities had detained monks when they observed Tibetan Uprising Day (March 10), and each day monks went out to protest and call for the release of monks detained the previous day. Chinese authorities continued to squeeze and "collect monks" until they were pushed into rioting on March 14. Riots and crackdowns killed 22 in Lhasa, and perhaps 200 elsewhere on the Tibetan Plateau.
We are now at the anniversary of both (1959 and 2008) uprisings. Recent news included word of China's "troop surge" into Tibet -- this year, they are ready with even more armed security forces, checkpoints, etcetera. In fact, the troop surge began just as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travelled to Beijing -- a trip that should have promoted human rights, and instead shamefully "demoted" human rights. If Communist China engages in any violent behavior this year, Clinton has given it a green light.
Apparently, the Obama administration has a blessing for China's crimes against humanity -- and no complaints about China's earlier crimes against humanity. This makes the Obama administration a tacit accessory, both during and after the fact, to human rights abuses.
It is a day of tragedy in Tibet; of shame for Communist China; and of shame for China's best customer and most significant enabler, the United States.
In addition to the troop surge in Tibet, recent news told us of a Tibetan monk who set himself on fire in protest -- and the Chinese authorities responded by shooting the man while he was on fire! And, from early Monday morning March 9, we have word that a dispute with Chinese authorities at a traffic checkpoint escalated into a mob scene, with rioters throwing "several home-made explosive devices" according to the Times Online.
The Western world has turned upside down in its values since the election of former President Bill Clinton -- the husband of today's Secretary of State. After World War II, when the death camps of Nazi Germany were liberated, the world learned the horrors of the holocaust and swore, "never again." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, upon receiving word of a holocaust -- persecution endured by Tibetans and by Chinese religious believers -- has the Clinton name, and the Clinton policy: "Leave the Jews in the gas chambers."
Today's China policy is no better than that, and the Clinton name has become a trademark form of servicing and carrying water for communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. America might have hoped that the new President, Barack Obama, was above dignifying this kind of policy. But in that regard, America has already been disappointed by the new administration.
I happen to think of Clinton's (and now Obama's) China policy as akin to its very own crime against humanity. "Leave the Jews in the gas chambers" --?
In coming days, we can expect to get news from this year's anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day. We may learn of more atrocities that are being committed even now as I write, or as you read, this. It will be some time before we have a full record of this year's human rights abuses in Tibet. But, we know about the significance of this time of year. Crackdown season has begun.
Stay tuned for more jaw-dropping atrocities, and for more cowardly and craven U.S. diplomacy.