Sunday, February 26, 2006

GET THE 2008 OLYMPICS OUT OF BEIJING

UP FRONT News February 25, 2006
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham

"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."

FREEING TIBET FROM CHINESE COMMUNIST GENOCIDE.
GET THE 2008 OLYMPICS OUT OF BEIJING.
THE CASE FOR A U.S. BOYCOTT.
THE SILENCE OF THE FLIGHTY QUINN AND THE NON-SILENCE OF ANTHONY WEINER

If the Free Tibet advocacy community - which involves the United States Tibet Community, The international Campaign for Tibet, the Tibetan Youth Congress, some other groups, as well as just about all Tibetan-Americans - believes that the prospects for getting China out of Tibet will be improved depending on, for example, recurrent often eloquent pronouncements by, for example, Richard Gere and Robert Thurmann, and occasionally demonstrations, that community is making a grave error.

Many Tibetans, including His Holiness The Dalai Lama, whom I've met a few times and who is familiar with UP FRONT News, are aware of my support for a Free Tibet. They are aware that I may be the only non-Tibetan to openly accuse the Communist Chinese regime of Genocide in Occupied Tibet. (Tibetans use the word all the time to characterize the Chinese Communist occupation.) They know that, among the reasons I am challenging the opportunistically China-friendly Hillary Clinton (she makes a lot of money in China with sales of her ego-tripping book) for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat is because both she and her husband - despite making nice when the Dalai Lama is in town - have repeatedly sold Tibet down the Yangtze River by cowtowing to the multinational corporations that make zillions in the slave state that is Communist China.

And unless the established Free Tibet community - which, at least in the past, has been run by rich white people - wakes up and starts involving, among others, poor and black people and the politicians who are paid to reporesent us, they can kiss their occupied country good-bye as the Chinese dig in and continue the historical pattern of light-skinned (Chinese) Genocide against the dar-skinned (Tibetans).

From my perspective, the only Tibet-related issue - even if Gere were to make a movie, getting paid the millions he is no doubt accustomed to as an actor, to portray the Dalai Lama with Thurman's daughter Uma playing the part of a beautiful American Buddhist - that will resonate in a way to shake up the Chinese, is an organized grass roots-generated effort to get the 2008 Summer Olympics out of Beijing. Everyone, including the corporations and politicians now prostrating themselves before the Chinese in observance of the money magnet that is the Olympic Games, needs to know that Communist China is a government that is essentially fascist and racist and Genocidal and is in pursuit of power and wealth at any cost. We ought to understand that allowing the 2008 Games to go on in Beijing - or, should that happen despite protests, allowing the U.S. athletes to participate - constitutes a political replay of the 1936 Games, taking place before Adolf Hitler in Berlin. That Olympics became very famous because Hitler had some track dust thrown in his face by African-American runner Jesse Owens, who beat Der Fuehrer's Aryans. A less well known story is that, even as Owens competed, another speedster who happened to be Jewish, Marty Glickman, was not allowed to participate, with the U.S. bowing to Hitler and to the racist International Olympic Committee Chief Avery Brundage. Glickman later became very famous as a sportscaster bringing a New York City accent to the world long before Marv Albert.

Although scores of politicians have criticized the Chinese government for not being nice to the Tibetans, whose land they invaded at the orders of one of the world's most prolific murderers ever, Mao Zedong, none seems to want to take on the Olympic Games issue. Typical of on-again-off-again pseudo-militancy is the apparent position of New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, i.e. "The Flighty Quinn." In 200, after I had lobbied then City Councilmember Kathryn Freed for a Free Tibet resolution, Ms. Freed and Councilmember Quinn introduced Resolution #802. That resolution eloquently denounced the Communist Chinese government for its racist atrocities in Tibet and demanded that the Chinese government meet with the Dalai Lama and end its abuses. It passed unanimously. And it ha dabout as much of an effect on the Chinese as a request made to Big Dick Cheney for donations to the Society for the Protection of Quails and to the War Resisters League.

When I wrote to Ms. Quinn asking her to introduce another resolution, this one including language that would urge the United States and International Olympic Committees to rescind their decisions to award the 2008 Games to Beijing. I also suggested language that would, in the event that the Games do take place in Genocide City, call upon the U.S. Olympic team to boycott - perhaps having a Freedom games, in Queens, New York City, of course. Ms. Quinn, very busy making the back-door deals in the presumably no longer smoke-filled rooms that enabled her to become speaker, took her good time about responding, perhaps taking Hillary Clinton's almost always corporation-protecting views into account. Quinn belatedly sent me an e-mail saying that she was happy with what she had done. When it comes to Genocide, that just doesn't cut it. That is a cop-out.

Over the years, I have spoken to probably thousands of Tibetans, such as activist-leader Kunga Thinley, fund-raiser Nawang Choepel, and store owner Sonam Zoksang. I've also spoken at length with high-level representatives of the Dalai Lama's exile government in New York. The notion of a 2008 Olympics in China is unanimously regarded as, at the very least, an insult to the Tibetan people.

That being the case, it is the task of the Tibetans to crawl out of what for decades has been something of a political shell (a Beastie Boys of David Bowie fundraising concert gets needed money and brief media, but little else) and join UP FRONT News in getting into at least the neighborhoods of New York City and into at the very least the calculating political head of, among others, Christine Quinn. Important political and media things often start in New York City - which, as home to the world's greatest melting pot, i.e. the borough of Queens, has a significant, albeit quiet Tibetan-American community. Today New York City, soon the Tibetan infused city of Ithica, N.Y., and on across the U.S. to very Tibet sensitive Colorado and California and of course the International Olympic Committee home-town of Geneva, Switzerland. And one day, back to Lhasa, the capital of Occupied Tibet.

During last year's Mayoral election, in my view the most unequivocally human rights-oriented candidate was U.S. congressman Anthony D. Weiner, (D.-Queens/Bklyn.) When we met, during his campaign, I brought up the subject of Tibet. I asked him, if based on available information, he would agree that the Chinese Communists are committing genocide in Tibet. Immediately stating that, although Jewish (and an observant one at that), he is not of the view that the only Holocaust was Hitler's against the Jews, he agreed that the term "Genocide" applies to the Tibetan case. On April 6, 2005, a few days after our conversation, Mr. Weiner, not at all coincidentally, gave a speech on the subject before the U.S. House of Representatives. His closing words were as follows. "We must help the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet in their quest to live free from oppression. We must all work towards a peaceful resolution to this situation so that not one more Tibetan is carried off by the night." Very poetic - and very true!

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