Cisco Helps China Censor

Cisco Helping China Monitor its Citizens isn’t so much new as a stark reminder of the nature of corporations.  Corporations are by definition sociopathic, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the amount of power they command in today’s society.  Boycott Cisco if you like, not that it would do anything.

Why Aren’t We Honest With China?

China has no respect for the rights of its citizens.  Why do we have a shred of diplomatic respect for this country?  I don’t advocate isolating China by any means, but in our dealings with them we have a moral responsibility to make clear we view their human rights abuses with earned contempt.

China Imprisons 30 Protesters

In an effort to win more goodwill for the 2008 Summer Olympics, China has imprisoned 30 protesters:

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced 30 people, including six monks, to jail terms ranging from three years to life in prison for their alleged roles in deadly riots in the Tibetan capital last month, state media reported.

International Pressure, while intense-ish, hasn’t worried Chinese officials on account of the massive economic interests involved.  Still, they have kinda mentioned non specific talks:

After weeks of international pressure by the U.S. and the European Union, China announced last week it would be willing to begin talks with representatives to the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet whom Beijing has blamed for fomenting the unrest. No specifics were given on when or where a possible meeting would occur.

Word is the talks are going to be held at a time and place.

Meanwhile, re-education and propaganda efforts have redoubled:

Chinese authorities have increased patriotic education classes that require monks to make ritual denunciations of the Dalai Lama, accept the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama and pledge allegiance to Beijing.

China:  Redefining Human Rights.  Call Today!

Personifying the Torch, Diminishing the Protests

Jim Yardley of the New York Times has indulged in some markedly poor reporting on the upcoming running of the torch through San Francisco (emphasis mine):

The Olympic torch arrived at the airport here from Paris in the wee hours Tuesday morning, exited out a side door and was escorted by motorcade to a downtown hotel. There it took a well-deserved break in a room complete with cable TV, room service and views of the city’s popular Union Square shopping district.

So it starts.  The article puffs up the flame as a person:

The most exposed runner of all, of course, will be the naked flame at the end of the torch. Organizers would not divulge the flame’s exact location on Tuesday, but said it was being well taken care of at its hotel.

And how did the flame look, after all of its travails?

“Let’s just say,” said Mr. McCarron, the airport spokesman, who got to work at 3 a.m. to meet the flame and its jet-lagged Chinese Olympic delegates, “it looked better than we did.”

Which is really rather interesting in the context of attempts to put the flame out, isn’t it?

The tone of the article is fear.  Will the runners be attacked?

Ms. Couglin said she was not worried because the U.S. Olympic Committee had assigned a retired F.B.I. agent to run with her.

Will the city be able to handle the crazies?

Downtown buildings also stepped up security, and restaurants along the route pulled in — rather than pulled out — patio seating. Sources of anxiety were everywhere: protests atop tourist attractions, famous and not-so-famous Tibet supporters and, of course, the city’s lunatic fringe.

The message hidden in this is pretty clear.  That the people protesting China’s routine violation of even the most basic human rights are dangerous, not quite right in the head, and missing the point:

“It’s terrible,” said Lily Chang, 58, an American citizen who immigrated from Shanghai six years ago and now works at a gift shop in Chinatown. “This is not political. It’s sports.”

The Olympics is innately political, and has a rich history of athletes and their countrymen who stood up to the tyrants of the day.  Today the attention of the games is on China, who is making a play for more legitimacy and normalcy in their international standing.  However these efforts fail in the face of their human rights record, and all forecasts point to continued protests up through the games.  These are well deserved.  China ought to be condemned for its failures in the realm of human rights and ethical conduct.

China Behind Tibet Violence?

If this is true, it is a bombshell(emphasis mine):

London, March 20 – Britain’s GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim by the Dalai Lama that agents of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured.

GCHQ analysts believe the decision was deliberately calculated by the Beijing leadership to provide an excuse to stamp out the simmering unrest in the region, which is already attracting unwelcome world attention in the run-up to the Olympic Games this summer.

Violence mars the message of the most worthwhile protests.  There have been accounts of undercover police officers inciting violence in protests here in the states, so this wouldn’t be without precedent.

There’s still time to sign the petition for dialogue.

Petition for Dialogue: Support Tibet

We need to start somewhere.  Honest, open dialogue is a great start.  Here’s the petition.

China is Crushing Tibet, and The World is Standing By

I’ve watched the protests unfolding in Tibet over the past few days with increasing despondency. China is killing Tibetans. They are doing their best to censor news of the protests, even going so far as to censor youtube videos.

As the Chinese government brutally tramples the Tibetan people, pollutes their land and exploits their resources, the rest of the world simply sits and watches, waiting for the Olympics.

Tibet is its own country. You cannot charge in with soldiers, murder thousands upon thousands, and institute a totalitarian regime then claim it was yours all along. China has no credibility on this. It could regain some credibility by restoring Tibet’s independence, renouncing its claims to Taiwan, and working to mend wounds and forge close socio-economic ties with both countries. Of course they will not. Any country with such a severe disrespect for the rights of its own people cannot be expected to act responsibly in the world. Peace and Liberty start at home.

Free China, Free Tibet.