Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Beijing Olympics: Berlin In Our Times

The kindest way to describe what is going on in China today is global amnesia. In a nation where "prosperity" hinges on the enforcement of the genocidal "One Child Policy," famines rage unnoticed in the countryside and workers are exploited by plutocrats more powerful than the robber barons because they do not have to contend with ballot boxes or assuage public opinion, the world has converged -- ostensibly in the name of sport -- to celebrate the debasement of man by the State. It has happened before and will likely happen again. It is a pleasing fiction that sport promotes harmony among nations. Sport, in itself, is neither nobler nor more inspiring than any other human pursuit. It is the purposes to which sport is put that can be noble or inspiring, or, as in the case of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, base and despicable:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The 1936 Berlin Olympics Redux: Or When In China Do As the Chinese Tell You to Do

Those of us who still find it incredible that the Olympics were once held in Berlin with Hitler as host and the whole world in attendance now have proof (as if proof were needed) that the world is still myopic when it comes to evil and can only appreciate it in its real dimensions when it is too late to do anything about it. What difference is there between holding the Olympics in China in 2008 and holding them in Berlin in 1936? Morally there is no difference. If we parse evil, however, there is a great difference: In 1936 Hitler had not yet embarked on his campaign of extermination nor yet provoked World War II. An objective observer could have seen what was coming, and many in fact did; but most of the world was still in denial about Hitler in 1936. Denial then meant refusing to take Hitler at his word, because he was nothing if not candid about his plans. In China's case, however, the evil is completely consummated. Holding the Olympics there next year is more closely analogous to holding them in Berlin in 1944, not 1936. And yet the whole world is now preparing to do precisely that with great enthusiasm and no moral scrupples. Not one nation has refused to participate in protest and no one has even attempted to organize a boycott.

Many presume that capitalism has mitigated the worst excesses in China, when, in fact, it has only perpetuated them and solidified the Communist system of repression, as no doubt the introduction of the free-market into Cuba would extend the shelf life of Castroism indefinitely while not altering its basic ingredients.

If anyone requires proof that the Red Chinese are still the Red Chinese, they should follow closely the preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The organizers have just published a list of "prohibited objects" in the Olympic Village where the athletes will be staying. Yes, of course, video cameras have been prohibited: they sell them to us but won't allow them to be used in their "controlled environment." But that is not the worst. Bibles are also on the list of prohibited items and the athletes themselves are forbidden from wearing any religious insignia including crosses at the Olympic Village. No word yet whether they will be prohibited from praying or holding religious services there, though for Christians the latter would be difficult to do in the absence of Bibles and crosses. Difficult but not impossible: the 15 Catholic bishops and religious imprisoned by China still manage to say mass in their cells.

Is this what the Olympic spirit has devolved into — Peace and unity through enforced atheism? Well, China is still a Communist state and one can hardly expect it to cease to be a Communist state for the duration of the Olympics. Yet that is precisely what the International Olympic Committee thought would happen if it awarded the games to Beijing. Guess what? China outlawed extraterritoriality a long time ago. When in Red China, you must do as the Red Chinese tell you to do whether "white devil" or no.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tibetans Rise Up Against Communist Rule

The Tibetan people are rebelling against Chinese rule and the world is silent. It seems that saving the Beijing Olympics is more important than saving an ancient people whose land and culture have been eviscerated by more than half a century of ethnic cleansing. The New York Times, which has always done its upmost to keep captive nations captive because their liberation might upset the peace between the democratic West and the totalitarian East, has gone so far as to portray the Tibetan freedom fighters as Chinese seditionists, when, in fact, they are nationalists fighting for the sovereignty of their country, invaded, occupied and illegally annexed by Red China in 1951.

The Times is reporting today that the demonstrators (or "rampaging mob," as it calls them) have "clashed with riot police in a second Chinese city." Chinese city? Have the Tibetans invaded some city in China? No, The Times apparently recognizes Tibet as a Chinese province, and when Tibetans rise against their country's Chinese occupiers in Tibet it reports that they have "clashed" with the Chinese in a Chinese city! When the protests began in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa (which The Times at least recognizes as Tibetan) the uprising there was characterized as a "deadly riot." Tibetans, led by Buddhist monks and flying their country's banned flag, take to the streets to fight for their freedom and their country's independence with only rocks and torches as weapons and The Times accuses them of perpetrating a "deadly riot," although the ones responsible for the carnage are those with the guns and the tanks. The Tibetans are supposedly to blame for causing the Chinese to kill them, as the victims of the Boston Massacre were responsible for instigating the wrath of the British, I suppose.

The Times is also reporting the official Chinese line that the Dalai Lama incited the uprising. The Dalai Lama is their Cuban embargo; he gets blamed for everything that doesn't go their way in Tibet. Of course it would be as foolish to eliminate the Dalai Lama to placate the Chinese as it would be to eliminate the trade embargo to placate Castro.

As Cubans we cannot witness the events in Tibet with indifference, nor without a great sense of foreboding. What if those were our countrymen facing down tanks with fists? What would be the world's reaction? How would The New York Times report it and all the media outlets that follow its lead? Consider this: Liberals actually like Tibetans. They admire the Dalai Lama and his religion of peace (which is a lot more militant and dignified than our religion of peace). But liberals admire Tibetans in their place, of course, which appears to be in a Shangri-La collage or menagerie, but not in an independent Tibet.

Unlike Tibetans, Cubans are not well-liked by the MSM; in fact, we are profoundly disliked. More than disliked even: we are as hated as the Tibetans are loved (although the effects of the media's love or hate are much the same, as we have seen). If the Cuban people rose against their tyrants, unarmed and alone, as some wish them to do who have nothing to lose by their annihilation, there may be those who might see it as a propitious moment to end their association with the Castro regime; but the media will never side with Castro's enemies and will not be moved even by mountains of dead bigger than the Pan.

Those really acquainted with the nature of the Castro regime know that it will suppress any mass public manifestation of dissent at least as ferociously as the Chinese and likely more so. Even with Tibet in flames, the Chinese Communists are still masters of China. Tibet is a Chinese colony, obviously worth taking and holding, but not destined to be the last stand of Chinese Communism. Cuba, of course, is the site of Castro & Company and only incidentally the habitation of 11 million Cubans. It can only remain Castro's or revert to the Cuban people.

If the Cuban Communists were faced with an open revolt they would react to it with the closest approximation to a nuclear holocaust which they could manage; they would lay waste to the entire country (or the little they have not already levelled), cast it literally in darkness, cut off food and water, spread pandemics and desolation, and if they could sink the island itself into the ocean, as Castro once promised, they would do it rather than relinquish control of it. Let us never fool ourselves about the nature of our enemy. The Cuban people on the island don't. They know what they are up against and they struggle every day against it, but they know better than us, because they are there and we are not, the limits of the possible. We must not vent our frustration on their bodies but be patient till the hour of redemption comes as come it must. Again, we cannot know that hour because we are not in that place, nor can we schedule revolutions and expect others to do the dying.

Nevertheless, the example of the Tibetans is inspiring. We will not demean their sacrifice by predicting the outcome of their struggle while they are still battling in the streets. Nothing do we desire more truly than their victory. But whatever the outcome there are important lessons in their struggle for Cubans to assimilate both here and on the island.


Ms Calabaza said...


you're on a roll tonight... glad to see you are back! Great writing tonight ...

Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

When will we ever learn, huh?

Vana said...

Great post Manuel so well said, of course we as Cubans side with the Tibetans, they deserve our respect for their attempt at freedom, freedom that eludes them as it does us, while the free world puts on blinders.

Rafelito said...

Manuel, los chinos se van abriendo al mundo poco a poco. En el 1980 usted iba al centro de china y veia miles de bicicletas , hoy dia son millones de automobiles y ni una bicicleta. Cada pais obtiene lo que puede, usted no puede pensar que la china va a ser como los Estados Unidos en cuanto a derechos humanos y libertades personales. Concentrece en que Los Estados Unidos continuen asi, y olvidese de los otros paises, total eso no lo afecta a usted en nada. Cuba jamas cambiara su sistema a menos que hayaa una contrarevolucion sangrienta para acabar con los comunistas, de lo contrario tendremos que chuparnos ese sistema por siempre
contesteme en espanol mi idioma preferido

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Neither a car nor a bicycle is a substitute for freedom.

JMP said...

MaT, brilliant post and collection of previous writings. You captured the essence of the contradiction that is these Olympics...

Anonymous said...

Manny, great post. You're a very talented writer.

Do you think a President Obama would spend so much time fucking around in China?

What's up with W?

What a lazy prick!

Brian Griffin said...

MaT: I shared your comments with an acquaintance of mine who has an interest in Cuba, and this was his response:

"Beauty and skill over ride everything for me, and in the end the games will help China to be a better country. By these standards the USA should be banned from hosting the games for our murderous, despicable, imperialistic invasion of Iraq, as we boycotted the Russian games for their invading Afghanistan. I believe the game's ideals supersede all this lying political bullshit..."

I almost wretched when I read these comments. I will never understand how it is that some Americans can hate this country so much and wish for its failure.

Complacent, whiny, left-wing pinkos! ha!