Eric Margolis

Behind the Tibet Crisis


Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent for the Canadian Sun National Media and author of War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet, discusses the history and present circumstances of Tibet’s relationship with China, the ethnic strife between Tibetans and ethnic Han Chinese, the Uighurs, America’s terrorism double standard, Tibet’s strategic importance in China’s posture with regard to India, the results of the recent elections in Taiwan, a suggestion for a reasonable compromise in Tibet, the truth about the escalation of the Iraq war and the remaining danger of war with Iran.

MP3 here. (44:15)

Award winning author, columnist, and broadcaster Eric S. Margolis has covered 14 wars and is a leading authority on military affairs, the Middle East, South Asia, and Islamic movements.

11 thoughts on “Eric Margolis”

  1. The issue is not about religious freedom in Tibet. Everyone who said Tibet has no religious freedom must be blind. Tibet is dotted with numerous manificent monasteries and temples and each one fully stationed with monks and nums frequnted by believers all the time. As a matter of fact, former Arizona congressman Matt Simon had visited Tibet. He had met hundreds of monks and talked to some of them. He found that the Tibetans were happy and there were no religious interference. Hans Chinese being hated is a separate issue more akin to Jews being hated because they are economically more successful. The real issue is about theocacy, or whether the lama can control the people as before.

    “TIME: Why do you need spiritual leaders for political work if you have a government in exile?
    Dalai Lama: No matter what we try to do here, the lamas still have control over the people. Especially because our struggle is very much related to dharma. It is not purely a political freedom struggle.”

    If one spends a little time thinking, the Dalai Lama’s above response is illuminating. According to his vision, the Tibetan society would be controlled by the lamas no matter what. In anothre word, as he sees it, the Tibetan society will always be a theocracy. As a religious teacher, he then procede to explain the necesssity of theocracy. Namely, the struggle is related to dharma. Dharma is the word for buddhist sacred laws. In another word, the Tibetans’ struggle is a struggle for the supremacy of the sacred laws in Buddhism. Of course, only the lamas are in the position to devine what is dharma and what is not.

    The following is from a Tibetan scholar. The demonstration he referred to is the 1987 demonstration.

    “Three weeks before the first demonstration in Lhasa, the Party had discussed the United Front policy and affrimed the need to accept the dominance of religion in the Tibetan society.”

    However, religion per se was not the issue,

    “For the monks, no amount of Chinese concession could restore the authority of the religious community. For them, only an independent Tibe could gurantee the dominance and the centrality of Buddhism in society. Buddhism had always been seen as the core of Tibetan identity, and its clergy the epitome of ‘Tibetanness.”

    “Modernization and secularization were considered ingenious means of underming Buddhism in Tibet and many were alarmed by what they saw as the erosion of Tibetan cultural and religious values.” (Quotes are from THE DRAGON IN THE LAND OF THE SNOWS by Tsering Shakya)

    As a matter of fact, the Dalai Lama doesn’t mind Tibet being part of China. He, however, wants the lama to be in control.

  2. It seems to me that you are censoring my comments. What is to moderate? Simply because I presented a different view?

  3. One got stuck in the spam catcher, probably because of the embedded link.

    Why is everyone so paranoid? It’s the state that’s out to get you, not

    Now, let me go fetch that comment for you…

  4. Many Chinese students who are studying in western countries have complained that their comments to news articles on Tibet had been blocked and/or removed. In this case, it is clearly my overreaction. Let me apologize for my mistake.

    Concerning Eric Margolis’ suggestion, it does not make sense. The priest-ruler relationship between the Chinese emporers and the Dalai Lamas was certainly tue. But it was a relationship between perosns. It cannot be generalized to two peoples. At least not in the 21st century. China’s president Hu Jintao cannot say, “I am China.” Neither can the Dalai Lama say, “I am Tibet.” While Hu Jintao and the Dalai Lama can have the “priest-ruler” relationship, what about the Tibetan people? Should they be under the control of the Lama per the monks’ wish?

    I also want to clarify the Tibetan independence delcaration. The Qing central government collapsed by the end of 1911. In the absence of an effective central government, all Chinese provinces, including Tibet, declared indpendence. That is, independent from the Qing government. This was necessary to invalidate the then still functioning Qing provincial governments. The declarations, however, did not mean that China was broken up inot 30+ independent countries at that time.

  5. One more thing, I personally find it hard to believe that Cheney is religious in any way other than perhaps as part a satanic cult. The man spreads misery everywhere he goes, animals probably attempt suicide whenever he’s near.

  6. Dear Eric,

    I just listened to your interview with Scott Horton on I hope the Chinese government is listening. I don’t have any hopes for the people in Washington. I have written all of them off completely as hopeless cases. Take a look at this —

    Thank you, Scott!

    Keep up the good work!

    – Morley Evans

    Visit me on the Web
    Accurate Solutions to Complex Problems

  7. perhaps we should read more articles about Tibet and Dalai Lama: – A Brief History of Tibet – Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth – I WAS A TANTRIC SEX SLAVE FOR A SENIOR TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONK The Secret Truth about The Dalai Lama (Hitler and the Dalai Lama) – Dalai Lama: CIA Asset

  8. f Tibet was a threat to Israel thi is how the US news would be.

    Extremists Buddhists terrorists and former allies of the Mongolian Hord which threatened all of Western Civilization, were clashing with the Chinese Liberators Tuesday. The Tibetan monks hord the money of their people and want to drive China into the Sea. There is no such thing as Tibet. China is defending itself from religious terrorists who hate the Chinese for no reason. Tibetans are just jealous of China’s economic wealth and freedom.

    For years these people have been religious Buddhofascists. Shaving their heads even some of the women! They are totally committed to their fringe element faith. Followers to have been known in times of war (which is constant with these people) set them selves on fire, very akin to a suicide bombing. Imagine what the images of that does to Chinese children?

    China has a right to defend itself from terrorism. China should just build another wall, this time a modern wall to keep out the Tibetan invaders by constructing a wall through the middle of Tibet which doesn’t exist. Then maybe with US tax money, the Chinese can demolish homes in Tibet and set up racial colonies for Chinese people only protected by a standing army. If Tibet resists it is because they are racist and jealous. Plus it is God’s will that the Chinese have all of China with no ethnic minorities.

    FoxNews has reported that “some people say” Daili Lama is Tibetan for Praise Osama. In fact dick Cheney suggested that a lead hijacker in 9/11 met with Tibetan monks in Prague and that the stones they were throwing at the Chinese came from Iran. They want to wipe China off the map. We have to back China after all 30 million Chinese people died in WWII, haven’t they suffered enough? Shouldn’t China have a homeland free of terrorists?

    Sympathy for Tibet? What are you Chinophobic? Call the ADL!

  9. The media reported Tibet but they waited until now to do so. They didn’t say squat in 1951 when THOUSANDS were being killed. Because the CIA was in on it. They did that on purpose to tie up China while the US stated a war with Korea. 1951 and 1951. Also that same year the amendended article 9 of the Japanese constitution and allowed for a “defense Force” now the largest non-nuclear power in the world.

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