Radio Free Asia’s Tibet “coverage,” and more

Alice Poon of Asia Sentinel pointed me to this most interesting post about Radio Free Asia and the neocons behind the RFA’s curtain. The post is a real shocker, and causes one to wonder if the entire Tibet issue hasn’t been manipulated to further the agenda of PNAC and the AEI. One brief sample; the writer has just documented article after article after article in which RFA casually refers to “unconfirmed reports” of Chinese killing Tibetan monks.

All of these “unconfirmed” reports originating from Radio Free Asia appear to contradict eyewitness reports from a BBC reporter on the ground during the riots and a German reporter that interviewed local Tibetans in Lhasa that I have linked to below.

Watch and listen to this from Exile Government spokesperson Dawa Tsering as he explains how they gather information for dissemination on RFA and more shockingly, his rationalization that beating Chinese and Hui people is “non-violent” and that the deaths of the 5 young girls, the 10 month old baby and others that were immolated as they hid from the rioters were “accidents” because they didn’t run away fast enough. This is the epitome of bad PR and irresponsible journalism as well as a heretical view of non-violent Buddhism.

The post is a shocker. You have no choice but to wonder how we can hope to separate news from propaganda. This is why, in two separate threads, I tried to ask readers for proof that the blue-clothed “goons” who ran alongside the torchbearers had indeed acted like “storm troopers” or “Nazis” or “thugs.” You definitely get an impression from various reports that they were thugs, but you get nothing more than an impression – no one can cite any example of behavior that parallels that of Nazi storm troopers. It was a perfect example of the media leaving an impression with nothing to back it up except vague fears over sunglass-wearing, expressionless bodyguards who were doing their job, i.e., keeping people back from the person they were protecting.

In the same Asia Sentinel post, Alice Poon also directs us to an oldie but goodie on the “myths and realities” of Tibet, written in 1998 but worth reading today.

Western concepts of Tibet embrace more myth than reality. The idea that Tibet is an oppressed nation composed of peaceful Buddhists who never did anyone any harm distorts history. In fact the belief that the Dalai Lama is the leader of world Buddhism rather than being just the leader of one sect among more than 1,700 “Living Buddhas” of this unique Tibetan form of the faith displays a parochial view of world religions.

The myth, of course, is an outgrowth of Tibet’s former inaccessibility, which has fostered illusions about this mysterious land in the midst of the Himalayan Mountains — illusions that have been skillfully promoted for political purposes by the Dalai Lama’s advocates. The myth will inevitably die, as all myths do, but until this happens, it would be wise to learn a few useful facts about this area of China.

First, Tibet has been a part of China ever since it was merged into that country in 1239, when the Mongols began creating the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This was before Marco Polo reached China from Europe and more than two centuries before Columbus sailed to the New World. True, China’s hold on this area sometimes appeared somewhat loose, but neither the Chinese nor many Tibetans have ever denied that Tibet has been a part of China from the Yuan Dynasty to this very day.

This article, by the son of American missionaries who grew up in China, takes on a lot of myths about Tibet. After reading it, I can only wonder, if China has done so much good in Tibet, then why is it so dreadful in telling the story to the world? Is it simply because the “Dalai Lama clique” keeps undercutting them with better PR? Or is there truly a darker side to all the love and joy China has brought to Tibet? I’m still trying to figure it out for myself, and find it perhaps the murkiest, most misunderstood and confused topic in modern history.

Posted by Richard (not Raj)