"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Monday, October 5, 2009

Obama and the Dalai Lama


Check out this post by Quite Rightly over at Bread upon the Waters. It is very interesting.

Obama has recently snubbed the Dalai Lama, postponing a meeting until after Obama meets with the Chinese.

From the Washington Post article by John Pomfret, "In an attempt to gain favor with China, the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama until after Obama's summit with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, scheduled for next month, according to diplomats, government officials and other sources familiar with the talks.

"For the first time since 1991, the Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Washington this week and not meet with the president. Since 1991, he has been here 10 times. Most times the meetings have been 'drop-in' visits at the White House. The last time he was here, in 2007, however, George W. Bush became the first sitting president to meet with him publicly, at a ceremony at the Capitol in which he awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress's highest civilian award.

"The U.S. decision to postpone the meeting appears to be part of a strategy to improve ties with China that also includes soft-pedaling criticism of China's human rights and financial policies as well as backing efforts to elevate China's position in international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund. Obama administration officials have termed the new policy 'strategic reassurance,' which entails the U.S. government taking steps to convince China that it is not out to contain the emerging Asian power."

Quite Rightly makes a rather astute comparison of the Dalai Lama and Obama in his post. "When it comes to earning admiration and respect, some public figures have a whole lot more seniority than others. Compare, for example, two heads of state: the American President, Barack Hussein Obama, and Tibet's 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

"One is a babe in the woods when it comes to the realities of international politics and, possibly as a consequence, seems never to miss an opportunity to apologize for his people and their culture. The other has the most cruelly delivered knowledge of the consequences of the deadly ferocity of international quests for power and, possibly as a consequence, never misses an opportunity to advocate for his people and their culture.

"President Obama first showed up on the public scene when was elected to his state senate in 1996 under dubious circumstances and with the strong support of ACORN. In his time in the Illinois state senate, he was protective of gang members, prisoners, and ex-cons but not of lawful possession of weapons. He pushed for lower taxes for the poor and for higher taxes for the businesses that create jobs, making fewer poor people. He liked choice when it came to abortion and the use of human embryos for research, but didn't like choice when it came to parents sending their kids to non-government schools. He wrote two books about himself. In these days of soaring national debt and unemployment, the rest is not yet history.

"The Dalai Lama, on the other hand, first showed up on the scene in 1937, when a search party of Tibetan monks identified him as the 14th re-incarnation of Avalokite┼Ťvara, who is venerated by Buddhists as the Bodhisattva of Compassion. (A bodhisattva is an enlightened being who willingly postpones entrance into Nirvana [heaven] to stay behind to help humanity.) Of course, if you are among the many believers who revere the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 13 previous Dalai Lamas, his first birthday as Dalai Lama occurred in the year 1391, giving him more than average accumulated life experience. Since 1959, he has received over 84 awards including the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. He has written more than 72 books on Tibetan Buddhism, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility, and compassion."

Remember when the Dalai Lama said non-violence cannot tackle terrorism? From the indianexpress.com "The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.

"'It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,' the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here.

"He termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.

"'They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated...but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed,' the Dalai Lama said.

"He said the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention.

"The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said 'I love President George W Bush.' He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties."

I wonder if Obama will ever learn that people can be highly educated, intelligent, completely wrong and ruthlessly violent, or that you can't negotiate toothlessly with rogue terrorist states, or that you shouldn't sell out allies and principles for the sake of softening your deficit spending for universal(ly bad) health care, green energy nonsense, and other pipe dreams for your Great Leap Forward. I doubt it.

I have previously posted about Obama's tendency to sell out, ignore and otherwise wrong America's allies. Israel, Liberia, Britain, Poland, Colombia, Thailand, the Czech Republic, Japan, (likely) Taiwan, are but a few American allies which have suffered significantly or undergone internal upset due to the Obama administration's disinterest or outright hostility. Honduras has been sold out for the sake of negligible popularity, and the emerging government of Iraq is being sacrificed to Taliban's revival and Iran's nuclear ambitions. When Obama goes before the UN and naively declares that no one country can dominate another and that America will no longer act unilaterally, I wonder if he understands (or cares) that this essentially is a betrayal of our allies' trust.

2 comments:

  1. "Remember when the Dalai Lama said non-violence cannot tackle terrorism? From the indianexpress.com "The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.

    "'It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,' the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here. "

    Wow. I was unaware of this quote. I'll have to look into this.

    Thanks for the link and mention. Are you back at work on your book?

    ReplyDelete