Un-Tibet

March 16, 2008 at 11:25 pm | Posted in annexation, British meddling, Burma, chimpanzee, CIA, civilian massacre, colonization, communism, Dalai Lama, democracy, dictator, discrimination, displaced persons, dissidence, dissidents, equality, ethnic cleansing, exile, forcible deportation, freedom of speech, global evils, government, human rights, Indian foreign policy, individual freedom, individual rights, intolerance, justice, liberty, man's inhumanity to man, Myanmar, peace, poverty, race, racial profiling, racism, self determination, Tibet | Leave a comment
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three chimps see no

None in the International community of nations, seems to be ready to bell the Chinese cat on Tibet. The policy of silence is loudest in Tibet’s closest neighbour – India.

It seems a shame that commercial interests combined with India’s real fear of confrontation with China on the disputed area of the borders in Arunachal Pradesh state, should be sufficient to cow down such an erstwhile champion of human rights as India. Still, the sad truth is that though the Dalai Lama is our guest in exile, in toto, that too is just for publicity’s sake and has little other than symbolic value.

Reading through Tibet’s long and tortuous history, we must again conclude that the death blows to Tibetan independence were finally dealt by the British in the early years of the 20th century, closely followed by a botched CIA operation during the 1950s.Like any unfortunate country that is lacking great enticements (like oil or mineral wealth), no other nation is willing to stick their necks out against the Chinese behemoth for the sake of a few million poor and exploited Tibetans. Europe is happy to support the right of Kosovans to self determination but won’t even whimper at the fate of the poor Tibetans.As with Sudan and Burma, so it is too with Tibet – a mysterious cat has got every single nation’s tongue!
The Chinese have been much more concerned with the possible effects on their precious Olympics. I think they have misread the world’s commitment to anything other than money. Our modern world’s shame is highlighted by the fact that ‘amateur’ sport has been so successfully exploited to become the biggest money spinner of all time. Catch the nations of the world putting principles ahead of the chance to collectively make some really fast bucks! If only even one country would demand autonomy or at least basic human rights for Tibetans before agreeing to Olympic participation… fat chance!

Just for fun, compare the “Freinds of Tibet” facts and figures with the Chinese version of ‘the truth’ and tell me what you think… There certainly is bias showing in Western reporting on Tibet but the Chinese story is simply pathetic.

Freedom dies, dying, dead.

October 29, 2007 at 6:21 am | Posted in Aung san Suu Kyi, bush, Craig Murray, Darfur, FRCS, freedom of speech, human rights, junta, MNC nexus, Myanmar, NHS, Uzbekistan | Leave a comment

Our world has lost the desire for justice. We are now losing our desire for freedom. Our politicians have become slaves of power and thus slaves of money, for they believe that without money there is no power.

Let me illustrate with two different examples:

The NHS, (National Health Service) and indeed the very practice of English Medicine itself, is being steadily dismantled (read ‘redefined’ or ‘efficientised’) in the “Formerly Great” Britain.

  • All medical super-specialties are being segregated to a very limited number of treatment facilities that also happen to be as far apart as possible.
  • The FRCS is soon to follow the MRCP to becoming just an empty qualification. It already requires a Training Completion certificate to get the proud owner any respect at all!
  • Most hospitals will be turned into Primary Health Centers where only routine medical procedures will be performed by doctors who have no additional qualifications – in other words “doctor” = “glorified technician”.

The government will (of course) save tremendously on salaries, facilities, maintenance, equipment and training expenditures. But that’s not all – the current Labour government is now actively looking for ways to quietly privatise as many of the facilities as possible and to then back that up with private health insurance.

In other words, healthcare will turn into the same sort of disastrous mess that now prevails in the U.S. with the average human simply being denied even basic healthcare…

The first step to getting the public behind these moves is to castrate the existing system. Create a demand and then let the privatisers move in for the kill!

Secondly, look at what’s happening in Darfur, Uzbekistan (see title link) and Myanmar… In all these instances, we see tremendous oppression. It is selective homicide and extreme oppression against members of one’s own nation being perpetrated by dictator style governments.

The world is silent!

YET, this same international community was happy enough to attack an Iraq that had already been decimated by sanctions. Do you know that a very conservative estimate of unnecessary child death (due to sanctions) puts the Iraqi toll at over 2,000,000? Did you know?

But try to get anything more forceful than pious declarations of commiseration about the really nasty stuff that’s going on, that every single person knows is going on, and you are met with a deafening silence!

There was a British ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan who dared to raise a voice of protest against the tacit support that both Britain and the U.S. were giving to the dictator there. He was promptly recalled, criticised and then canned from the Foreign Service. The issue appears to also have something to do with the Uzbek’s huge gas deposits which are being tapped by MNCs and their parent governments (see this fascinating fax linking Bush, Enron and Uzbekistan). There is also a suspicion that the American base in Uzbekistan was one of the primary holding grounds for the detention and torture of the victims of America’s Renditions.

On Myanmar, my own Indian government, democratically elected and the upholders of one of the worlds best constitutions has chosen to sell itself down the river of looting the helpless.

I am particularly and utterly amazed, and very deeply pained, that there has not been even so much as a whimper of protest in India’s press against the ridiculous moral – material support that our democratically elected junta is supplying openly to their brothers in Myanmar.

This same junta granted a high civilian honour to Aung San Suu Kyi just a short while ago! Obviously the two juntas are not strange bedfellows at all!

The only difference between then and now is that now our Indian corporates and their MNC friends have figured out how to make very substantial money from the misfortunes of the ineptly pacifistic Burmese monks.

PRIME PRINCIPLE : Good sources of ROI are not to be scoffed at;

And the easiest way to silence criticism is to enlist the help of our postmodern world’s ubiquitous Master of Spin – the POLITICIAN, whose only real agenda is to stay in power for as long as possible, in order to make their pockets as well lined as absolutely possible, while duping the dupable populace that only conscientiously good governance is the goal.

Tangled Rights

October 1, 2007 at 2:13 pm | Posted in development, freedom of speech, habeas corpus, human rights, IMF, International Monetary Fund, LRB, MNC. economics, neocononialism, Slavoj Zizek, WB, World Bank, Zimbabwe | Leave a comment

At issue across the world today is the question of basic human rights. The most endangered right is the right to freedom of speech, but freedom of opinion/religious belief, the right to a fair trial, and rights of habeas Corpus have also been shot full of holes.

The world’s political will to uphold human rights has been severely compromised by a number of factors.

First and foremost has been the change that has taken place in the West since the start of the 1970s drive to globalise.

Globalisation has primarily spawned massive international corporations that are not answerable to anyone. The bottom line is profit. And how one gets it, simply doesn’t matter. MNCs are designed to ensure their own survival and growth, while sharing a pittance of their ill gotten gains with their shareholders to keep them happy.

Secondly, the swing to right wing politics has had a disastrous effect. Bush Jr. in the U.S.A. led the way followed very closely by Blair and Great Britain. The world’s most prosperous nations, those whose corporations are reaping immense benefits from their MNC fostering and spawning neocononialism, have lost sight entirely of human rights. The open support to tyranny, backed by massive monetary support to any type of cooperating petty dictatorships has ensured hat human rights have no importance at all.

The idea of development is much touted as being the one and only route to economic prosperity for the ‘developing’ nation. In this model the involvement of MNCs is a basic requirement. The MNC brings in the technology, the knowhow, the foreign markets, and the working business models, that are together the key ingredients of success. The MNC is also well capitalised and can afford to wait until all the pieces fall into place to generate its profits. In the process, jobs are created, infrastructure is developed and a nation’s economy is supposed to ‘develop’. But that’s all a pie in the sky theory. It sounds plausible. It sounds good and so we choose to believe that this is what development means, that this is the win-win formula that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are all trying to promote – this holistic and positive model that will bring prosperity to poor ‘underdeveloped’ nations.

What really happens is that the absolute minimum of infrastructure is put in place to allow the MNC to remove the resources, finished/semi-finished goods that it has come there for. Technology will not be transferred. A few jobs, as few as possible, will be created. the jobs will be mostly menial and manual in nature with a lean and mean administration to extract the most for the least.

The government will be corrupted as environmental and developmental norms are given the go bye. The population will suffer as their natural resources are sucked out. There will be little to even trickle down as the majority of the earning is realised in international markets and the MNC pockets the huge profits. Local market systems that have functioned and self regulated for centuries will be shut down or subverted overnight. And when there are complaints, as there must be,

HUMAN RIGHTS WILL BE THE FIRST TO GO.

Aside: I often wonder if places like Zimbabwe are not encouraged and paid to go down the tubes to frighten the unwary. “This is exactly what will happen to you too if you don’t do exactly as the WB-IMF consultants advise you.”

I was struck by the incisive and pointed analysis in a not o recent Slavoj Žižek commentary

Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?

Does “we were all living in a state of emergency because of the worldwide struggle between freedom and Communism, the full implementation of the Constitution was forever postponed and a permanent state of emergency obtained. This state of emergency was suspended every four years for one day only, election day, to legitimise the rule” somehow sound familiar?

in The LRB of May 23, 2002.

FREEDOM of SPEECH

June 27, 2006 at 10:36 am | Posted in 1st Amendment, 9-11, First Amendment, freedom of speech, human rights, Richard Oxman, Ward Churchill | Leave a comment


Living in India I am shocked at how little the West believes in/understands the simple concept of “freedom of speech”.

To take just one recent example, an essayist named Ward Churchill has just been told to quit his teaching post at a university in the U.S. because he published an article on the 9-11 attack on the WTC – saying something to the effect that “America should have been expecting an attack like this to happen given their horrendous activities across the world for the last several decades.”

He went even further while trying to place the actions of the 9-11 attackers in the context of language used by Americans during the 1991 Gulf War.

Left leaning – Yes.

Controversial – Yes.

But does that mean that a person should be blacklisted and hounded out of a teaching job, not allowed to participate in public speaking and called a terrorist? Of course, calling someone a terrorist in the West now is the equivalent of saying that this person does not have and does not deserve any human rights; certainly not the right to free speech!.

A sorry few voices have been raised in protest. One is “The Sounds of Bigots”
By RICHARD OXMAN and can be read at http://www.counterpunch.org. And one awaits the details on the “plagiarism” charge that has been bandied about regarding the essayist.

On the whole, my impression is that free speech in America is tolerated if it is fascist in nature (e.g. Coulter) but free speech takes on a different definition for proponents of civil liberties and justice.

How Utterly Sad

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