Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The US hands-off approach to Tibet

This is the China servicing our national debt. This is the China that makes just about everything we buy today, from toys to dog food, to the computer this text on which this diatribe is composed. This is the China that crushes students in Tiananmen Square and Buddhists who can't take anymore Communist remote-control dictatorship in Tibet.

And because of our free trade agreements and reckless abandon with disaster capitalism—not to mention the past eight years of abject hypocrisy concerning human rights—the US has no moral leg to stand on when it comes to condemning the response of the Chinese government in reining in what it views as its subjects. And it wouldn't anyway. Too much business at stake.

Genocide continues in Darfur, and we're leaving the repair and healing operation largely to nonprofit relief agencies. How can we do anything else? Our military is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. Pakistan? Too bad. Tibet? We left Tibet to its own devices decades ago, to rebel against the one ideology nearly any American, conservative or liberal, would gladly agree is a failed ideology: Communism.

Not only do we let the Tibetans fend for themselves, we openly trade with their oppressors. Not only do we trade with their oppressors, their oppressors could potentially take us out at the knees by calling in our debt to them without firing a single shot. Instead, their armies are busy crushing an impoverished rebellion.

This is what happens when policy becomes human. This is the cost of ill-conceived ideas in a background of greed. This is the cost of a “me first” ideology. People die. Generations of lives are ruined. The ecosystem is ravaged. Everybody loses.

Compassion and a broader world view must be a part of the next president's platform. We simply can't keep negotiating with governments who don't think twice about killing or torturing their own citizens as an acceptable method of retaining power.

As a nation we must turn aside from the cynicism that says, yeah, but that's not how the world works. That's how the world works as long as we accept that that's how the world works. It is possible to change, and we should be the voice of that change. It works from the bottom up, not top-down.


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