“I guess it’s all Karma”

This past month saw the displacement and death of tens of thousands of citizens in Wenchuan County, Sichuan, China due to an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. The death toll is around 68, 000 and counting.

When asked what she felt about this, actress Sharon Stone cited the sub-par (no euphemism intended) human rights record in China, mainly pertaining to the Tibetan province, and summed it all up by saying something along the lines of…well, isn’t this all karma?

Apparently the Dalai Lama is a friend of hers and I personally can understand why she feels the way she feels and the whole karma thing was probably just an expression for the moment anyway.

Buuuuut, but but but but….As I talked to my grandmother the other day, she soberly reminded me (and she don’t know and don’t care about sharon) that the severity of the situation could be more vividly illustrated if I imagined the deaths of say 20,000 infants, even more missing family members, and generally that sinking feeling you get when you realize that your possessions have disappeared for no good reason.

Again, we see a person unabashedly linking the plight and deeds of a citizenry with the acts of its government. The last time I checked, Sichuan wasn’t exactly a hotbed for detaining and torturing Tibetan monks. And even if it was, I don’t think that all its inhabitants participated in the acts. Okay, so I hope you can tell I’m stretching things.

See, I don’t believe in karma. I know history tends to repeat itself in unexpected ways, and that there are consequences with each act, but how is it that the cosmos allows a massive amount of innocent people to be killed for crimes they didn’t commit. Sharon would say that it’s because they’re all Chinese. I guess she’s not bright enough to make the distinction.

It’s about time that people make it important to distinguish between the nationalistic fervour of their homelands and the autonomy of their personal lives, for which they are responsible for and apply to others.

Some thoughts would be nice.


If Only Palestinians Wore Saffron Gowns

Tibetan autonomy is like a jagged edge that pokes me when I get too complacent about my love for my native country. That not so fine line separating family tradition and culture from state authourity and government exists as a thin residual smear after a thorough thrashing of an education by the Communist state system. Thank Goodness I left after grade two. Nontheless, thanks to a couple of gray and old Jewish guys and free speech, I’ve come around.

How ever, unlike most, I’m not ready to join in with the demonstrations at this particular time. To be more precise, starting a few weeks ago.

Why? Well, it’s not because my past has come to haunt me, nor is it because of my politics. It’s because I feel like I’m getting jipped, like someone is brainwashing me and hoping I’d resort to some sort of hypocrisy. Let me explain.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Tibetan riots were clearly CIA coordinated, nor does it have to do with the little batch of pogroms the monks issued to some innocent Chinese store owners. Let’s give the poor monks the benefit of the doubt for a change. 50+ years of oppression warrants a little anger, even though it means sacrificing a little Buddhist teaching.

But it has to do with the sheer hypocrisy of our western media and the pick and choose nature of all foreign policy. They thunder and cry about Tibet. In thousands of editorials and talk-shows they heap curses and invective on the evil China. It seems as if the Tibetans are the only people on earth whose right to independence is being denied by brutal force, that if only Beijing would take its dirty hands off the saffron-robed monks, everything would be alright in this, the best of all possible worlds.

There’s no longer a doubt in my mind that Tibetans are entitled to autonomy. But are the Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey not entitled to the same thing? What about the Basques in Spain? The Corsicans in France? Its a bloody long list if you ask me. I’ve tried to answer this contradiction. I cannot.

To be honest, there is nobody like the Tibetans. They enjoy ideal conditions.

Fringed by the Himalayas, they are located in one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. For centuries, just to get there was an adventure. Their unique religion arouses curiosity and sympathy. Its non-violence is very attractive and elastic enough to cover even the ugliest atrocities, like the recent pogrom. The exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, is a romantic figure, a media rock-star. The Chinese regime is hated by many – by capitalists because it is a Communist dictatorship, by Communists because it has become capitalist. It promotes a crass and ugly materialism, the very opposite of the spiritual Buddhist monks, who spend their time in prayer and meditation. (www.normanfinkelstein.com


Compared to this, the Chechnyans dont have much to offer. They are Muslim terrorist for all we care, baking their pittas with the blood of faithful Christians.
Putin can hit them as hard and as much as he wants.

This, cosmically and inevitably, leads us straight to a miserable and bloody little place called Palestine.

In the quest for world sympathy and media sympathy, the Palestinians are unlucky enough to have an oppressor who has already taken the crown for being the victim of the most heinous crime in western history. Plus, most Palestinians are suicide bombers who cant wait to screw virgins in heaven. Nobody gives a damn abut the Palestinian Christians. And anyone who denies any of this is either a Holocaust denier or an Anti-Semite.

The Dalai Lama arrived in Michigan recently and met with politicians discussing the outcry in Tibet. Even Canadian politicians went, with one conservative comparing the Chinese Leviathan to Hitler and such.

Let’s hope Richard Gere knows what he’s doing.