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Mon

11

Dec

2006

Felonious Monk - What's the deal with the Dalai Lama?
Monday, 11 December 2006 07:18
by Mickey Z.
Here's the scene: I'm in my local health food store when my eyes are drawn to the cover of the latest issue of New York Yoga magazine. Smiling at me is none other than the Dalai Lama. Inside, "His Holiness" spouts boilerplate platitudes like, "If we do love our enemies, we shall cease to have enemies, and wouldn't the world be a much happier place if we could all be friends?" Let's be honest here, the same exact line, if spoken by a ten-year-old child, might elicit a patronizing smile.

Also in this article, the Tibetan leader was asked how he was able to "deal with the Chinese who had taken so much from his people." His response was pure Dalai: "We may be different on the outside; but on the inside, we are all the same. We all seek happiness and an end to suffering."

Here's what I'm wondering: Who, exactly, designated the Dalai Lama as a conduit of wisdom...and why? And while we're at it, let's put to rest the myth that the Dalai Lama is an innocent bystander and his fellow Tibetans are all pacifists.

We can start by going way back to a January 25, 1997 piece in the Chicago Tribune entitled "The CIA's secret war in Tibet." This uncommon bit of corporate media candor declared that, "Little about the CIA's skullduggery in the Himalayas is a real secret anymore except maybe to the U.S. taxpayers who bankrolled it." Make that: U.S. taxpayers and the entertainment world's financial elite who are suckered in by the Dalai Lama's little boy grin, esoteric lectures, and pacific persona.

(Side note: We can also put to the rest the myth that the public would wake up if the corporate media published the truth. It's been nearly a decade since the Tribune article and Mr. Lama is more popular than ever.)

Obscured by the predominantly superficial media coverage is the reality that, before the Chinese invasion, "His Holiness" ruled over a harsh feudal serfdom with the proverbial iron fist. As reported by Gary Wilson in Workers World, "While most of the population lived in extreme poverty, the Dalai Lama lived richly in the 1000-room, 14-story Potala Palace." Even the omnipresent holy man himself admits to owning slaves during his reign.

In 1959, when the Dalai Lama packed up his riches and escaped into neighboring India, the CIA set up and trained an army of Tibetan contras. Potential recruits were asked only one, rather un-Zen-like question by Air Force pilots working with the Agency: "Do you want to kill Chinese?" The guerrillas were actually trained on US soil and then airdropped into Tibet by what the Tribune calls, "American pilots who would later carry out operations in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War."

Yeah, those guys.

So, how did His Holiness and His Posse manage such paradoxical behavior? Lend an ear to what Jamyang Norbu, a prominent Tibetan intellectual, informed the Tribune: "For years, the only way Tibetans could get a hearing in the world's capitals was to emphasize our spirituality and helplessness. Tibetans who pick up rifles don't fit into the romantic image we've built up in the Westerner's heads."

And it works. If you don't believe me, ask R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe. He believes the Tibetans have "done it peacefully, without raising swords. No matter what hardship these people were under, they would not raise a hand against the enemy."

Wilson's characterization in Workers World presents a slightly different perspective: "The prevalence of anti-communism as a near religion in the United States has made it easy to sell slave masters as humanitarians. The Dalai Lama is not much different from the former slave owners of the Confederate South."

While the Chicago Tribune claimed that the U. S. government's support for Tibet's spiritual contras ended in the 1970s, former CIA agent Ralph McGehee told Workers World that the Agency was "a prime mover behind the ... 1

0s campaign promoting the cause of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence." McGehee cites the Dalai Lama's eldest brother, a businessman named Gyalo Thondup, as the key player in this operation.

"Violence is unpredictable," the Dalai Lama announced last year, before adding: "In the case of Afghanistan, perhaps there's something positive. In Iraq, it's too early to tell." He confessed to having conflicted feelings over the U.S. invasion of Iraq, before declaring, "history would decide."

Uh...hello Dalai, but most of us have already decided.

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
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cb parrish said:

0
...
Since he is worshipped as a deity by Tibetans, people would have made themselves slaves to him, not he them, and certainly not like we had in the South. Also, not everyon in Tibet is Buddhist, and not Buddhists in Tibet are monks and nuns, and not all pacifism is nonviolent. I'm far from believing Tibetans innocents, or the Dalai Lama a deity, but you and your Worker's World buddy, really ought to do a little more research before you spout off like this. You sound as bad about religion as the fundamentalists do about atheism.
 
December 12, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Giovanni Vassallo said:

0
One sided comments
Even the historical Buddha had critics, which teaches you patience.

For those of us who have known and watched the Dalai Lama for a number of years, we know that this article is completely one-sided and often factually incorrect. For one, the young Dalai Lama was not aware of the CIA activities when he was in Tibet. Another, the Dalai Lama often stated that there has been too much killings in the Iraq war.

If you would like to get a well-documented and well-referenced footnoted book about the Dalai Lama in Tibet, I suggest you check out Thomas Laird's new book: The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, available at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Story-Ti...74-6166201

Best wishes to Mickey Z & all.
 
December 12, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Chagri Lama said:

0
...
Hi MickeyZ Ahmedinejad - oops! A (perhaps understandable) slip lumping historical deniers together.

"One-sided" - as Giovanni Vassalo characterized the article - extends undeserving courtesy to the Mick! This article is so biased it has no side - in fact, no depth whatsoever.

MickeyZ - learn your facts for real sources, not a newspaper that is working to promote communism.

All the best
 
December 13, 2006
Votes: +0

Hildebeast said:

December 13, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

sonam sangpo said:

0
...
Dear Mickey, thanks for your thoughts. I know that you are in a world where you have the rights to write whatever you want without having to atleast consider what you are writing hurts somebody. I would like to add just few things.

Did Dalai lama ever confessed that he's a Buddha? Did he ever confess that he is immnune to all kinds of diseases. The simple answer is no. I don't look upto him only because I am a Buddhist. I have always looked upto him for all the good qhe has done and the sacrifices he had made for the sake of all human beings. You put yourself in his shoes and what would you have done if you were in his place. Must be partying all the time if you have freedom!
 
December 13, 2006
Votes: +0

Rebecca Parry said:

0
...
It's a shame, Mickey, that you can't save your oh-so-witty criticisms for world leaders who are currently brutalising their own subjects, or are invading others' countries leaving trails of death and woe; rather than a man who has devoted his life to spiritual development and world peace. How on earth did you manage to summon up the energy to get so worked up over somebody who so obviously does no harm to a living soul; even if he does seem to rattle your personal beliefs somewhat?
Do you really wonder who "designated the Dalai Lama as a conduit of wisdom, and why"??? If so, then spending some time REALLY exploring that question might shed a little light for you and make you a happier person. In fact, exploring - properly - many of the matterss and questions you have raised yourself in your ill-informed article might just be the making of you.
Or do you already think you know it all???!!
Peace and Love.
 
December 14, 2006
Votes: +0

dominic di zinno said:

0
the dalai
Hi. I've met the dalai lama. I studied at hismonastery every day for a long time. I'm currently applying to graduate programs to study indo-tibetan intellectual history, philology and other obscure, nerdy shit. I speak TIbetan and have met thousands of Tibetans. I was in Tibet this summer.

I just want to ask: when you write: "before the Chinese invasion, "His Holiness" ruled over a harsh feudal serfdom with the proverbial iron fist", do you mean to suggest that Tenzin Gyatso - as an adolescent monk - was a despot?

Are you expecting people to take this pseudo-historical statement seriously?

You write: "the Dalai Lama packed up his riches and escaped into neighboring India, the CIA set up and trained an army of Tibetan contras."

Again, you have a convenient sense of history. May I suggest you read "Buddha' Warriors: The Story of the CIA_Backed Tibetan Freedom Fighters, the Chinese Invation, and the Ultimate Fall of Tibet" by a nice I guy I know named Mikel Dunham.

Or, if you'd prefer to keep your head in the sand to drown out the sound of derisive laughter that meets your every sophmoric verbal ejaculation, that's cool with me. But, just in my own sense of decency, I felt I should share just in case you care to know what an utter fool you seem with these careless and intellectuall thin comments.

dominic
 
December 15, 2006 | url
Votes: -1

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