30 March, 2008

TIBET - you must not know this

During the Vietnam era, the United States eagerly supported the brutal regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, a man who brutally oppressed the Buddhists; yet today our government has risen in defense of the Dalai Lama and Tibet. Has our sordid history finally led to compassion for the people of Tibet? One must wonder which people we want to protect for there are 41 races in Tibet, including Tibetan, Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, Hui, Sherpa, Deng, and so on; although by far, the majority are Tibetans. Perhaps the US is reaching out to the Dalai Lama - again?

It seems that the US government excels at propaganda for it continues to win over the very people it has betrayed and caused to be killed; buying their trust, it offers a friendship that is only self-serving. Oblivious to the past havoc wreaked by the CIA in Tibet, the innocent gather around the storm, stare into the eye, ready to be sucked into it. Not too long ago, the Truman administration attempted to use the young Dalai Lama against China's new Communist regime. The CIA offered to provide him financial support as part of the deal. Its subsidies to the Dalai Lama lasted, at an unspecified level, until 1974. However, the CIA officials seem to have misled the Tibetans into thinking they had American support for the establishment of an independent Tibet[i]. They did not.

Once again, the Tibetans are thinking they have the support of the United States. It should be mentioned that such names as Tom Lantos (a Holocaust survivor) endorsed the promotion of a free Tibet. He also promoted the International Campaign for Tibet, a campaign which receives grants from the National Endowment for Democracy . a State Department operation which engages non-suspecting NGOs to openly do what the CIA did/does. Neoconservative queen, Jean Kilpatrick was pushing The Committee of 100 for Tibet with artists such as Richard Gere as unsuspecting fronts[ii]

What is the reason behind America.s sudden interest in Tibet, the Buddhist ideology of 1649 Dalai Lama preserving animal and nature (we certainly could be preserving nature at home) or is it what is under nature? Tibet has the world.s largest reserve of uranium, and in addition to gold and copper, large quantities of oil and gas were discovered in Qiangtang Basin in western China's remote Tibet area[iii]. A friendly Dalai Lama would help reimburse the CIA subsidies, and much more.

There are other more important factors. Israel.s interest is undeniable. In fact, they have been helping this ancient green land with .agriculture techniques. in recent years[iv]. Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, is recruiting fellow Nobel winners to press China on Tibet. Other notables such as Spielberg have already cooperated, and Sarkozy is considering boycotting the Olympics. One has to ask why these humanitarians are not concerned with the well-being of 1.4 million Palestinians described by the UN and the ICRC as being subjected to worst possible human disaster witnessed.

China has always shown reluctance to impose sanctions on Iran. From an Israeli and American perspective, China became a veritable short-term liability (versus a long term power challenging the US) when Iran and China engaged in talks to allow for a military base for China in one of Iran.s Persian Gulf ports. This was in response to Sarkozy making an announcement that France and the UAE were negotiating a deal in which France would have a small base in that region. Such a cooperation between Iran and China would make Iran less vulnerable to an attack by Israel and/or the United States.

China has far surpassed the United States in Public Diplomacy. During the G.W. Bush presidency, while the world watched in dismay an do-it-alone America that made a blunder at every turn, China, in spite of human rights issues that remain to be resolved, has won .hearts and minds. in South America, Middle East, and Africa. It is attempting to win over its regional neighbors by developing economic, political, and diplomatic relations, and exercising skillful diplomacy.

Engaging China in a Tibet uprising, threatening the public image it has worked so hard to build around the world would distract or dissuade it from building alliances with Iran. Iran must be kept isolated at all costs.

Tel-Aviv hopes that Cheney will push Bush to launch a military attack on Iran, just as he persuaded Bush to attack Iraq. Given that the Iraq tactics are old, new ones have to be sought. As such, many experts suspect that a false flag operation would be required to launch an all out war. In October 2006, when Anti-terrorism officials conducted a helicopter survey of New York City's radiation sources in preparation for a so-called "dirty bomb" attack, they came across an unexpected radiation hot spot which has been kept out of the media as it is a political hot spot . A strong radiation spike from the area of the Israeli Embassy. Officials would not comment on why they thought that particular area showed such a stunning peak in radiation[v].

Can America afford another war? Will the world withstand another assault on humanity?

In 1787, George Washington said: .The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled..

Let us recall our servants who do not represent us, who do not serve our interest, and who are killing in our name.


[i] Jim Mann, Los Angeles Times: Jun 16, 1999. p. 5).

[ii] http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/crs/RL30983.pdf  

[iii] http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/nts44532.htm ).

[iv] (http://www.tew.org/archived/agri.israeli.html  

[v] http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2006/10/22798.php 

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an Iranian-American studying at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is a member of World Association of International Studies society, Stanford. Her research focus is US foreign policy towards Iran, Iran.s nuclear program, and influence of lobby groups. She is a peace activist, essayist, radio commentator and public speaker.


interesting, huh? Of course all the facts in this article check out,
and all contradict our perception we are given by our western media.

The CIA will intervene with weapons and bloodshed as it has done
many times in the past, we should be aware of that.
But what we need to investigate further is the role of the NED:


Moreover, I am equally shocked by the ongoing antidemocratic work of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) . an Orwellian .nongovernmental organization. that was formed in the early 1980s to wage the cultural cold war that was formerly fought by the CIA. William Colby, who directed the CIA from 1973 until 1976, noted that the beauty of the NED.s PR-friendly approach to imperialism is that: .It is not necessary to turn to the covert approach. Many of the programs which. were conducted as covert operations [can now be] conducted quite openly, and consequentially, without controversy..

Professor William I. Robinson has described this rhetorical shift in US foreign policy . from CIA to NED (and CIA) . in much detail; most notably in his seminal book Promoting Polyarchy (1996). With regard to Chile, Robinson highlights how with NED aid Patricio Aylwin rose to the Chilean presidency in 1990 a fitting reward for an individual who worked with the CIA to play a critical role in facilitating the 1973 military coup. As Robinson observes:

.The Chilean coup was part of a pattern in Latin America of military takeovers in the 1960s and 1970s with U.S. approval and often active assistance, in the face of mass struggles that broke out everywhere against the prevailing social and economic inequalities and highly restricted political systems. But Washington abruptly switched tracks in the mid-1980s and began to .promote democracy. in Latin America and around the world. In Chile, Aylwin and his party once again received U.S. assistance, this time as part of a .democracy promotion. program channelled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), which would help Aylwin become president. Ironically, the return to power in 1990 of Aylwin and the party that openly participated in the 1973 military coup was projected around the world as the culmination of a .democratic revolution. sweeping Latin America..

Understanding this shift of .democratic. aid from the CIA to the NED is critical to understanding the nature of contemporary imperialism, but unfortunately it is a shift that for the most part has remained unchallenged (in both the corporate media and alternative media alike) . for a discussion of The New York Times. coverage of the NED see here. Consequently it is not surprising that critical attention has not turned to the activities of the NED in China . either in the mainstream or alternative press . despite the fact that in 2006 the NED distributed $5.7 million of grants to China-related groups. This sum is more significant because the NED is active in .over 90 countries. and in 2006 they distributed a total of $94 million to groups all over the world, which means that in 2006 Chinese groups received a massive six percent of their total grants. [2]   

In order to begin to remedy this information deficit surrounding the work of the NED in China, this article examines the .democratic. background of one group that obtained excellent access to both the alternative and corporate media, this group is Human Rights in China.

.Human Rights. in China

Human Rights in China (HRIC) was founded in 1989, and according to their website they are an .international, Chinese, non-governmental organisation with a mission to promote universally recognised human rights and advance the institutional protection of these rights in the People.s Republic of China (China).. According to the NED.s senior program officer for Asia, Louisa Coan Greve, .Human Rights in China is considered as reliable as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as a source of accurate human rights information.. Moreover, despite the fact Human Rights in China have received ongoing support from the NED, one of their reports (from 1997) disingenuously notes that their work is .independent of any political groups or governments.. [3]

According to the NED.s project database, Human Rights in China received their first NED grant in 1992 (which was worth $74,000) to .support a Legal Education and Assistance Project that provides legal advice and support for prisoners of conscience and victims of political persecution in China.. [4] This legal project then received a further $120,000 in 1993, and another $155,000 the ensuing year. On top of this $155,000 grant, they obtained an additional $20,000 in 1994 to help them prepare for the UN World Conference on Women which was held in Beijing in September 1995.

In 1995, as a result of Human Rights in China.s .emergency response to the .May crackdown. in Beijing. they received a supplement NED grant worth $10,000 for its Human Rights Education and Assistance Project. They also obtained $25,000 for its Women's Rights Assessment Project, and a further $140,000 to produce their twice-monthly radio program, and to help them engage .with international NGOs, the media, governments and intergovernmental bodies to maintain pressure on the Chinese government to improve its human rights record..

Human Rights in China obtained continued NED support in 1996 and 1997, and in 2001 they received a grant to allow them to publish their quarterly journal China Rights Forum and maintain a web site. Since 2000, Human Rights in China have been given a further five NED grants worth a total of $1.8 million . which have increased in size each year (the largest being their most recent $0.5 million grant). [5]

.Democratic. Directors

Human Rights in China (HRIC) work appears to be closely related to that undertaken by it.s better known counterpart, Human Rights Watch, as Robert L. Bernstein, the founder and former chair of Human Rights Watch is currently the chair of HRIC.s board of directors (he is also a member of the national council of the .democratic. Human Rights First). Not surprisingly Human Rights Watch and HRIC regularly work together to publish human rights reports, which is fitting as extremely close ties exist between Human Rights Watch and the global democracy manipulators (like the NED).(For further details see, Hijacking Human Rights: A Critical Examination of Human Rights Watch.s Americas Branch and their Links to the .Democracy. Establishment.)

The founder of Human Rights in China, Fu Xinyuan, is Associate Professor of Pathology at Yale University School of Medicine; he also sits on the advisory board of the Israel Science Foundation (which is .Israel.s predominant source of competitive grants funding for basic research.). [6] Ironically, in 2005, The Guardian (UK) reported that foreign grant reviewers were boycotting the Israel Science Foundation due to the Israeli government.s human rights violations.

Since 2002, Human Rights in China.s executive director has been Sharon Hom . an individual who also serves as a member of Human Rights Watch.s Asia Advisory Committee, and is an emerita professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law. Prior to Hom.s appointment to Human Rights in China, the organization.s longstanding executive director . from 1991 to 2002 . was Qiang Xiao, who was formerly the vice-chair of the steering committee of the NED-initiated World Movement for Democracy, and presently acts as the director of the China Internet Project (at the University of California at Berkeley), sits on the board of advisors for the NED-funded International Campaign for Tibet, and is the chief editor of China Digital Times.

The China Digital Times (formerly the China Digital News) at which Qiang Xiao is chief editor, describes itself as a .collaborative news website covering China.s social and political transition and its emerging role in the world.. The project receives funding from the MacArthur Foundation amongst others, and their executive editor, Sophie Beach, was formerly a senior research associate for Asia at the .democratic. Committee to Protect Journalists. In addition, the chair of the China Digital Times advisory board is Orville Schell who is an emeritus board member of Human Rights Watch and a vice chair of their Asia Advisory Committee, is a director of the .democratic. National Committee on United States-China Relations, a member of the core founding group of the Dalai Lama Foundation (a group whose president, Tenzin Tethong, is also the founder of the NED-funded Tibet Fund), and has worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia. In 2004 (at least) Schell was a director of Human Rights in China, and he also acts a member of the elite planning group, the Council on Foreign Relations, is the founder of the Pacific News Service, and ironically serves on the advisory board of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Finally, John Gage, another member of China Digital Times. advisory board with strong .democratic. ties, currently serves on the advisory board of the deceptively named US Institute of Peace (the NED.s sister organization), and is a director of Relief International.


The corporate media do not provide an accurate reflection of society, thus it is not surprising that the democracy manipulating nature of Human Rights in China (and Human Rights Watch) remain unmentioned in their coverage. This is because as Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky suggested in their seminal work Manufacturing Consent, the mass media.s primary (usually unstated) goal is to manufacture public consent for elite interests. Bearing this in mind, it is logical . in spite of contrary evidence . that the mass media portrays a NED-funded group as a progressive organization, and that this critique of Human Rights in China will be rendered invisible in the mainstream media. (It probably doesn.t help that even the BBC World Service Trust received a grant from the NED in 2006.) Thus the anti-democratic nature of mainstream media is an obvious impediment to progressive social change: indeed concerned citizens:

..need to consider whether the same media system that serves to naturalise and legitimise elite decision-making, can really encourage its antithesis, collective grassroots decision-making. It seems an anathema to even consider that by working on the terms set by the mass media, social movements are actually legitimising and tightening its hegemonic power over society, even while it simultaneously acts to de-legitimise or ignore the global justice movement..

Short of working with others (like Media Lens) to challenge the (il)legitimacy of the mainstream media, another immediate solution to some of the problems identified in this article involves supporting independent investigative journalism by giving money to the alternative media instead of the corporate media. To pay for their valuable services simply click on one of the following links, Centre for Research on Globalization, CounterPunch, Medialens, Monthly Review, Spinwatch, Znet, or alternatively support a local outlet of your choice.

Furthermore, to prevent elite manipulation of human rights and democracy, first and foremost progressive citizens will also have to educate themselves about the work of democracy manipulators (like the NED) a process that has been made easier by the launch of two groups, the International Endowment for Democracy and In the Name of Democracy. However, although it is certainly important to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of the democracy manipulating establishment in circumscribing progressive social change, people can begin to rectify the democratic dilemma posed by the NED and its supporters by publicly denouncing their activities, and by refusing to work with them in the future. It seems that only then can progressive groups begin considering adopting more participatory funding arrangements that will help to allow them to promote a popular form of democracy that serves people not imperialism. [10]

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, March 30, 2008


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