Tibet and human rights: New Amnesty ads (update: HOAX)

( Update: Amnesty International's home page now includes a disclaimer regarding these images:

Amnesty International would like to make clear that it was not involved in the dissemination of a series of images that have been circulating on the web in relation to the Beijing Olympics. Amnesty International's global website address is www.amnesty.org
We were told by a frequent sharer-of-tips that these ads came from Amnesty International, but BB readers point out that the ads lists the URL "amnesty.com," while the advocacy group's domain is in fact .org. BB commenter ulor points us to this url, with other ads from the campaign, credited to TBWA, Paris; BB commenter Leslie points us to others here, attributed to same. Perhaps they were concept pieces not approved by the client for publication, I'm not sure yet. I've asked AI to confirm or deny, I'll update the post when I receive a reply. --XJ )

Above, one of a number of elements in a new campaign said to be from Amnesty International to draw awareness to human rights abuses in China and Tibet. Each one is designed around the theme of a specific Olympic competition category. Above, swimming. In the lower right, the ad reads, "After the Olympic Games, The Fight Must Go On." Cropped image above, Click for complete image, larger size.
[ thanks Oxblood Ruffin ]


  1. Did they let one of their domain names expire? amnesty.com appears to be parked by a squatter, but it’s on the image.

  2. there are at least 1,000 Tibetans missing, being held incommunicado. I strongly fear there will be a “foiled terrorist attack” against the olympic travesty – and some of the bodies will appear.

  3. Interesting…
    Although the “ad” shows the website as “www.amnesty.com”, the amnesty website is actually amnesty.org.
    Is the image, perhaps, a fake? Maybe some talented media student made it…

  4. W’r tlkng bt dnncng cts whr dntts r dltd frm th rcrds t mk t sm lk ndsrbl ppl nvr vn xstd. BB wldn’t knw nythng bt tht rght?

  5. Nothing about it on the Amnesty website- I doubt this is endorsed by Amnesty Intl.

    Really compelling design, though. I’d be interested in seeing others from the series.

  6. @#6 Satan, that sort of silly melodrama has no place in this post. If you have something specific and thoughtful to say, you know there’s another thread for that. But to answer your question, let’s see: torture, forced detention, extrajudicial execution, denial of due process, imprisonment without trial, beatings — yeah, that’s *exactly* like a blog editor taking down some posts she made herself about Hello Kitty dildos, and a bunch of drama queens having a fit about it a year later.

    Seriously, your comment is offensive.

  7. @ #1, #5, #7, thanks for the heads up — the source for this item is someone who reliably sends us interesting material that checks out as valid; perhaps this was a stealth campaign or from another source. I’m checking in to it and will update the post.

  8. Sms lk ths mght trn t t b clvr mck d by crtv phtgrphr nrltd t . f tht’s th cs, ds t mn ts vldty shfts frm th sbstnc t mr trdmrk nfrngmnt f n nthrzd s f th lg nd nm?

    #8 – “bnch f drm qns” – fnny bcs th rgnl tk-dwn smd lk th ct f n sch prsn. Jst syn’.

  9. @Satan, I’m not going to be baited into an unpleasant exchange here. If you have something thoughtful to say about this, by all means do so. Otherwise, take it to the appropriate thread, or another site.

  10. @#12, You are entitled to your opinion, but I find it offensive. The subject matter at hand involves something specific and real; saying that a blogger taking down some of her own work is like torturing or “disappearing” thousands of human beings is offensive to me, and it’s also offensive to people who are the victims of such human rights abuses.

    This sort of polemic amounts to trolling, no different than invoking Godwin’s law. I’d like us to keep the quality of this thread more civil and respectful.

  11. After seeing Ethan Zuckerman’s post on the disconnect and misunderstanding we have with Chinese nationals on the Tibet issue, I can see how staged photography like this is very offensive to them and only serves to deepen the divide. I’m actually glad it doesn’t seem to be coming from Amnesty International, because I’d be disappointed in them – we need to foster understanding and make careful use of facts (Chinese perceive of a biased and uninformed representation of Tibet, which this picture only reinforces).


  12. Satan @6, that was just plain obscene. No, not obscene–it’s too petty for that. Trollish.

  13. I saw a thematic nexus between two threads and merely pointed it out. This is my explanation of how I thought my post here was not out of place – because I saw themes in one issue reminding me of another.

    Just one idea about this story echoing another story, all piggybacked and gleaned from this very website as its source. How is this an invalid idea to voice?

    Not sure how you rightly get to throw the ad hominems and then call me the offensive one.

  14. If AI didn’t make them, they should still find a way to use them. These are potent.

    Also, I have to agree with #2. I want to add more, but lets keep this about China and/or AI.

  15. After some looking I would be surprised if this is from AI since they don’t seem to have it anywhere on their site or if they do they hid it well which is weird for an ad campaign. Also checking other sites that include more detailed info about the people supposedly involved lead to dead ends. The website of the ad agency supposedly responsible (TBWA\PARIS) did not have the ad or at least I couldnt find it. Also the supposed photographer does not have the image on his site:


    Although he did some work for AI(see the third page of his commissioned work) this is noticeable absent.

    Lastly I have seen this attributed to at least two different agency on behalf of AI so I think this is a clever hoax. My own $3.05

  16. I have no idea what is going on with the Satan-thread, but I don’t think it’s relevant.

    I’m more interested in that no one questions exactly why this visual image is so provocative, AI or no. I think it is disturbing that it is staged photography. It clearly exploits existing xenophobic representations and sentiments about China. I think MADPRIME was correct to draw the connection between the recent CNN pictures that labeled violent Nepalese police as Chinese police and how closely it grates on Chinese sensitivities on this topic.

    Not that I believe there aren’t human rights violations there, but if you truly want to aid the situation in China, consider building relationships with the citizens there rather than alienating them.

  17. @Tsarwonderful, @MADPRIME, good food for thought, guys. Ethan’s essay about Rebecca’s work at Global Voices, and how to bridge those communication gaps — really good stuff.

    I’ve asked AI to comment on the ads; I’m pretty confident they’re a stealth-campaign by other folks. Compelling ideas either way.

  18. For fairness sake, there’s a long history of the Tibetan monks acting as ruthlessly as any feudal system dictatorship over the peasant class. It is isn’t clear to me that the portrayal of the Chinese in this propaganda image of a classic villain is supposed to convey anything other than “let’s hate the Chinese.”

    Another question that has not been answered is whether “freeing Tibet” means a return of political and land ownership rights to the autocratic monks or a movement toward democratic rule of an independent Tibetan republic. Neither of which is for anyone but the Chinese or Tibetans to dictate by accord or force in any foreseeable future.

  19. HarshLanguage, you don’t get to announce that Satan’s comments weren’t offensive when it was already evident that quite a few people were offended by them.

    I have never seen the “hit a nerve” trope used as anything but a cheap shot. And if there was a nerve hit, it’s the one that twangles when reports of grave human rights abuses are misappropriated by a person who wants to artificially extend a prior argument by pretending that those abuses are comparable to some venial error committed by an opponent.

    Satan, your various remarks here on Boing Boing have been tolerated precisely because Xeni didn’t consider herself your opponent. She undertook to listen to readers’ legitimate complaints, and yours were among them.

    Your performance in this thread has been something else again. I know you’re going to call me a fascist, or something similar, which frankly doesn’t interest me; but the truth is, I wish you well in spite of yourself. I’ve already talked one prominent liberal blogger out of writing an entry whose sole purpose was to make fun of your remarks here.

    If you’re only here to pursue your personal (and as far as I can tell groundless) quarrel with Xeni and Boing Boing, you won’t be here for long. If you get kicked out, it’ll be entirely on account of your bad manners.

    That’s the deal as it stands. What you do about it is your decision.

  20. @Satan

    You said:
    Another question that has not been answered is whether “freeing Tibet” means a return of political and land ownership rights to the autocratic monks or a movement toward democratic rule of an independent Tibetan republic. Neither of which is for anyone but the Chinese or Tibetans to dictate by accord or force in any foreseeable future.

    Answered by who? It’s been clearly discussed time and time again. People working for a “Free Tibet” wish to have autonomous rule over the region in a Democratic manner. No one is calling for a return to autocratic monk rule.

    When you say such things, it’s clear that you haven’t even bothered to read anything on the issue beyond slogans. It makes you look foolish.

    Read this Tibet.com whitepaper and note the following:
    The guidelines for Tibet’s future polity also stated:

    Future Tibet shall be a peace-loving nation, adhering to the principle of ahimsa (non-violence). It shall have a democratic system of government committed to preserving a clean, healthy and beautiful environment. Tibet shall be a completely demilitarised nation.

    The Tibetan struggle is, thus, not for the resurrection of the traditional system as the Chinese claim.

    It’s pretty clear that you’re misinformed. If you’d like to cite sources on anything you’re saying, I’m curious to see you backup your statements with facts. I’m guessing that you cannot do so.

  21. My first reaction was “this is cool.” because
    because I’ve heard pleanty of stories of abuse in China, and it’s good to get the word out, but on the other hand I have to agree that this bothers me if this is staged (which it looks like it is). Awareness of actual events of abuse is one thing, and might do harm than good.

    Though the Tibetan people have my sympathy, I feel I shouold remind that there are other minority groups in China that are being mistreated than just Tibetans.

  22. yes, I expect some dead Uighurs to show up as well, framed for “terrorism”.

    I’m not clear here; do some think this photo is candid? Trust me, it is a dramatic staging of typical Chinese government torture of inconvenient minorities and occupied nations. It is not supposed to be “real”. Real photos would be too sickening anyway.

  23. wow. Some powerful imagery in that photo.

    picture worth a thousand words and all that.

  24. Interesting. The logo is that of Amnesty’s International Secretariat (based in London), not AI France (the ads seem to come from TBWA\Paris). Amnesty.com has not been owned by Amnesty International. It used to be owned by an anti-graffiti spray paint named Amnesty, but now seems to be held by a squatting company. The images seem awfully edgy for the International Secretariat to actually run. A concept pitch by TBWA seems most likely.

  25. I wouldn’t read too much into the mis-appropriated URL. Some ad agencies often create work for award purposes. The one credited is one of the most awarded agencies in the world. It is very likely that this piece was created as a portfolio piece, and never (or not yet approved by AI) – and then got leaked out.

  26. If AI didn’t make them, they should still find a way to use them. These are potent.

    If the source is a lie, so is the potency. The faked credit suggests the maker knew that more people see the lie than the correction.

    Since ioerror suggests a link, I’ll offer the best I know, written by someone who harshly criticizes both China and the Dalai Lama faction: Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth.

    As for the source of these photos, there might be a hint in Democratic Imperialism”: Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

  27. If the source is a lie, so is the potency.

    Granted Will, you have some well informed opinions about China and Tibet, but on this matter of what art means, I totally disagree.

    I got the artists whole message before I even realized there were words down in the corner. Whoever they are, their agenda is anti-torture, and I support that no matter who is doing it to whom.

  28. Mdhatter, if this was about torture, there would be images of Americans torturing Iraqis and Israelis torturing Palestinians and Saudis torturing just about anyone who threatened to upset the status quo. The message of this one is simple: Chinese communists are evil. To figure out who’s behind it, all you have to do is ask who that message helps.

  29. I always get a sneaking feeling that perhaps images like these as well as those of the masked and deprived Guantanamo Bay prisoner Jose Padilla are a warning to the general population. Like the constant debate of torture in the mainstream press, the point is to terrorize the general public into a more manageable state of fear. I find hope in this though, for anybody that resorts to such tactics is afraid of the inherent power of the group they seek to control.

  30. Right up front I’ll admit this is a bit off-topic.

    That said, has any other option of comment obfuscation been explored other than disemvowelling? Perhaps making the font in the comment lighter? It really breaks up the conversation (no matter how relevant it is to the actual blog post).

  31. “For Parenti, democracy has two basic dimensions, the procedural and the substantive, both of which are equally important. Procedural democracy consists of the basic political forms: free speech and assembly, the right to dissent, accountability of officeholders, the right to vote in regular and honest elections, etc. Substantive democracy consists of egalitarian socio-economic outputs that advance the well-being of the populace, protect the environment, and curb the abuses and often untrammeled powers of great wealth. Parenti quotes the German sociologist Max Weber who remarked almost a century earlier that it remains to be seen whether democracy and freedom can exist under the dominion of a highly developed capitalism.[8]

    Parenti concludes that “there is no one grand, secret, power elite governing this country, but numerous coteries of corporate and governmental elites that communicate and coordinate across various policy realms. Behind their special interests are the common overall interests of the moneyed class,” which is not to say that differences never arise among these elites”

    part one:

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Vision for a Future Free Tibet

    The following is the official translation of The Guidelines For Future Tibet’s Polity And Basic Features of Its Constitution, which His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued on 26 February 1992. In this, His Holiness makes important suggestions for future Tibet’s democracy. He categorically declares that he will not hold official position in the government of future Tibet since he thinks that he will be “in a better position to serve the people as an individual outside the government”.


    Although it is difficult to predict the future, all human beings who wish to achieve happiness and avoid suffering must plan for future. As a result of the Chinese occupation, Tibetans in Tibet are deprived of their basic human rights; this tragic situation cannot be permitted to continue for long.

    Tibet has a recorded history of over 2,000 years, and according to archaeological findings, a civilization dating back to over 4,000 years. In terms of geographical features of the country, as well as in terms of race, culture, language, dress and customs, Tibet is a distinct nation.

    Under Tibet’s Kings and the Dalai Lamas, we had a political system that was firmly rooted in our spiritual values. As a result, peace and happiness prevailed in Tibet.

    However, by the middle of this century, Chinese occupation forces marched into Tibet through its eastern border regions of Kham and Amdo. Soon after, the Chinese intensified their military repression in Tibet, driving our political situation to a crisis point. In the face of this, I had no alternative, but to comply to my people’s request to assume full responsibility as the head of state of Tibet, although I was then only 16.

    In the hope of winning peace and happiness for my people, I tried for years to establish an amicable relationship with the powerful and authoritarian Chinese officials. Also, I set out to reform the unsavory aspects of our social system. With the view to introducing democracy, I constituted a committee consisting some 50 members. On the recommendation of the committee, some social welfare reforms were implemented, but my efforts towards introducing further reforms failed as the Chinese had by then converted Tibet into their colony.

    As soon as the Chinese army had gained full control of Tibet, they shed their initial semblance of discipline and politeness to become ever more demanding and repressive. Brutal forces were used to suppress the Tibetan resistance, first in Kham and Amdo, and finally in the whole of Tibet by March 1959.

    As a result, I was compelled to seek refuge in India in order to continue our struggle for the cause of Tibet. Among my initiatives in exile were to see to it that the Tibetan refugees, who were arriving in India in thousands, were given proper education and rehabilitation facilities. I also set out to continue my earlier plans to democratise Tibetan society.

    People’s Deputies (the Tibetan legislative body), was introduced in India. Since then we have had eleven such Assemblies. In 1961, I promulgated a constitution for future, free Tibet, based on the principles of modern democracy. In general, this Constitution received overwhelming support from the Tibetans. The Tibetans, however, strongly opposed one provision, which stipulated that if circumstances demanded, the power of the Dalai Lama could be taken away according to the Constitution. Therefore, this provision had to be revised.

    In 1963, an even more comprehensive draft constitution was announced. In an attempt to democratise the exile Tibetan Administration, the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies was entrusted with the authority to abolish the traditional bipolar system of appointing monk and lay officials to each position. The Assembly also annulled all the hereditary titles and prerogatives granted to small groups of people under the old system. In its place, new guidelines were introduced by which government officials would be appointed in a democratic fashion.

    The 1963 draft constitution also authorised a Council of Regents to assume the powers of the Dalai Lama under specific circumstances if that was seen to be in the highest interest of the nation. In deference to the wishes of the people, as I stated earlier, and circumstances prevailing at that time, the constitution gave the ultimate authority of the government to the Dalai Lama. Naturally, I was not satisfied with this clause. I felt that this constitution fell far short of my aim for a genuine democracy.

    Therefore, in my speech of the March 10 Anniversary in 1969, I declared that when the Tibetans regained their right to rule themselves, the people must decide for themselves as to what kind of system of government they wanted. I also stated that it was not certain whether the system of government with the Dalai Lama as the supreme head would continue or not.

    About three decades have passed since the draft constitution of 1963 was promulgated. During those years, the world has changed dramatically and people throughout the world have begun to value democratic rights more than ever before. They have realised that democracy is the foundation for the free expression of human thoughts and potentials. Therefore, Tibet also must change when it becomes free.

    With regard to the question of Tibet, although it is an international issue, the Chinese leadership has failed to respond positively to my overtures of 1987 and 1988. This is unfortunate, because I undertook these two initiatives as sincere and timely efforts to find a peaceful solution to the issue of Tibet.

    The issue of Tibet is not merely a question of the survival of a people with their own distinct history and culture, it also has direct bearing on the fate of this world and Asian peace, and particularly upon the relationship between the world’s two most populous nations: India and China. At stake is also the serious question of human rights, as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world body’s efforts to put an end to the era of colonialism and expansionism. Even the Chinese people themselves are opposed to the present Chinese system of governance and are demanding changes.

  32. #13 wrote:

    “#6 wsn’t ffnsv. Mght hv ht nrv, bt t wsn’t ffnsv.”

    Wow. Glad to see Teresa’s still after the blockheads and idiot commenters. Letting comments like that slip by without disemvoweling them would really turn BB discussion into an inhospitable hell hole.

    @45 .. Michael Parenti never met a Communist dictatorship he didn’t love. This is the man who accused Noam Chomsky of being a capitalist tool because Chomsky signed on to petitions criticizing human rights abuses in the USSR. Parenti is the Pat Buchanan of the extreme Left.

  33. I just recently learned a very interesting fact about human rights in china that is not often reported in the US(by the news media, blogs, or human rights orgs).

    China actually has affirmative action policies for its ethnic minorities. These include reserving a number of top posts to be filled by minorities and relaxing the one-child policy. Ethnic minorities are typically allowed two children in urban areas and three to four in rural areas.

    This may not absolve them of responsibility for their behavior, but it indicates that they are aware of these issues and consider them important. I think the Chinese government and social issues in China are far more subtle and complex than the two-dimensional portrayal we often see in the US.

  34. Takuan @45, the repression that the Dalai Lama refers to was freeing the serfs. The slaveowners raised a revolt when that happened. The revolt failed, the slaveowners and the Dalai Lama fled, and we are where we are today. Like the Batistans who fled Cuba, the Dalai Lama’s faction does not want to restore the horror that existed before they left. They simply want to romanticize the past and regain as much wealth as they can from the land that their families once ruled brutally.

    You will probably also disagree with the facts I found researching Five impossible points in the Dalai Lama’s Peace Plan.

    Brian @46, you should read Parenti before you criticize him. He has very harsh words for the Chinese in his essay. You may wish to ignore his research by slandering his philosophy, but the facts that he found stay facts. You should point out errors of fact and errors of interpretation, of course. But those who say they don’t like his philosophy so they don’t need to read him are choosing to accept a very limited view of the world.

    And lest anyone think I’m being a binarian on Tibet, there are a number of positions that someone could take, beginning with:

    1. The conservative capitalist approach of the Central Intelligence Agency and the tools that it funds, the National Endowment for Democracy, Reporters Without Borders, Students for a Free Tibet, and other conservative organizations with noble names.

    2. The PRC desire for one China ruled by one party.

    3. Tibetans like those in the Kadampa Tradition who object to the Dalai Lama’s attempt to subject all Tibetans to his faction’s rule.

    4. International critics of both the CIA and the PRC like Parenti.

  35. Will Shetterly @49 Thanks, that article was really interesting. I started working in a job about a year ago where at least half of my coworkers are Chinese. Its definitely changed a lot of my opinions about China.

    For example, I learned that while they are not allowed to openly criticize the government in China, there is a huge industry of political jokes. People criticize by brutally satirizing the government and party officials. They don’t hide this behavior at all, in fact, it is encouraged.

    When I heard about this I asked why the government doesn’t prevent people from doing this, my friend responded, “How could they?”, as if it would be impossible to stop this. That seemed odd to me, because I figured it would be just as difficult as preventing politically critical speech. Certainly, in the US, it would be just about as difficult to stop politically critical speech as politically critical humor.

    It made me realize how a lot of these issues are not so clear cut, that culture and history play a huge part in what a government can and cannot do, in determining what a culture considers to be acceptable modes of political speech.

    Its really an eye-opening experience. To many of my coworkers, many of the common American opinions on China are ignorant, arrogant, even racist. In retrospect, I think that since both sides of the political spectrum are aligned in their dislike of China, people in America end up speaking very uncritically.

    The more I think about it these days, though, the more I think we’ve just got two superpowers clashing, and propagandizing their respective populations in whatever way is culturally apropos to support their goals. It is hard to figure out where we can find truth with such sources of information.

  36. It’s annoying that this stuff always comes up but since it has, here goes… Will & Others: for a counterpoint to Parenti’s “flawed history of Tibet,” check out Joshua Schrei’s rigorous dissection here:

    An excerpt:

    In his descriptions of old Tibet, Parenti predominantly draws on the work of four historians – Anna Louise Strong, A. Tom Grunfeld, and Roma and Stuart Gelder. The fact that all of these historians had a romantic predilection towards Maoism and drew mostly on Chinese government statistics should surely be cause for concern as far as their legitimacy as source material. One certainly wouldn’t trust the Indonesian government’s party line on Aceh or East Timor. Or, for that matter, the U.S. government’s continued assertion that the Iraqi people welcome the current American occupation. Such manipulations of public sentiment, in which an occupation is presented as ‘the will of the people,’ are – as a rule – only employed to further the agenda of the occupier.

    For the most part, Parenti and the handful of historians who have adopted the view of old Tibet as a despotic feudal theocracy have had little if no contact with actual Tibetans either in or outside Tibet. Therefore, they have no real way of gauging the sentiments of the Tibetan people. Neither Parenti, Strong, Grunfeld, nor the Gelders speak Tibetan – or Chinese for that matter- so the body of historical literature on the Tibet issue that is available to them is extremely limited. Tom Grunfeld never went to Tibet until after his book was published. Anna Louise Strong – a diehard Marxist – was given a tightly monitored Chinese government tour of Lhasa and then went on to proclaim that “a million Tibetan serfs have stood up! They are burying the old serfdom and building a new tomorrow!” One might say that one doesn’t need to go to Paris to know the Eiffel tower exists. However, before dismissing an entire culture’s history as despotically repressive it is perhaps worth speaking to a few of its representatives.

    Instead, Grunfeld repeatedly draws on the writings of a handful of British colonial explorers, who – as explorers often do – wrote down every piece of suspicious folklore and hearsay as fact. Grunfeld’s source material for his depictions of Tibetans as cannibals, barbarians, and superstitious fanatics is no more credible than are the testimonials of early European explorers to Africa who spun yarns of three-headed natives. None of these depictions are corroborated by traditional Tibetan, Chinese, or Indian histories, which of course were not available to Grunfeld because of his lack of interest in learning the local language.

    Grunfeld also makes extensive use of the writings of Sir Charles Bell, who he quotes regularly and with no apparent regard for context. Bell’s stance was actually that Tibetans had been brutalized by the Chinese army and that Tibet was an independent nation of far greater ‘character’ than its neighbor. This seems to elude Grunfeld, who chops up Bell’s sentences in order to isolate the worst and most sensational aspects of Tibetan society and present them as fact. Grunfeld also makes cultural blunders that would make freshmen history students squirm. As award-winning author Jamyang Norbu points out in his brilliant essay The Acme of Obscenity, Grunfeld even mistranslates the Tibetan word for ‘Tibet’!

    Parenti does little better in his treatment of history, erroneously stating that the first Dalai Lama was installed by ‘the Chinese army’. One would presume that a Yale Ph.D. would know the difference between Chinese and Mongols. But apparently, in the Parenti-Grunfeld-Strong school of history, one word is as good as another and a Chinese is as good as a Mongol, as long as the point gets across.

    With such evisceration of history as common practice it quickly becomes obvious that none these historians’ writings on Tibet exist to illuminate true Tibetan history. In fact, neither Grunfeld, nor Strong, nor Parenti seem remotely interested in the specifics of the culture they’re discussing.

    And the conclusion:

    There is one statement in Parenti’s thesis that summarizes how completely disconnected he is from any kind of Tibetan reality. In his thesis, he states that old Tibet was a society that was ‘damaging to the human spirit.’ Any person who has spent any time with the Tibetan people would laugh at the irony. Being with Tibetans of all walks of life, inside and outside of Tibet, one is always struck by the incredible, contagious spirit of Tibetan culture. From the Khampa drinking songs to the picnics that are the preferred activity of all Tibetans, Tibetan society is known for its passion and exuberance. This spirit is something that grows directly from the culture that Parenti is so intent on debasing. This spirit is what the Chinese government has tried so desperately to crush – making the singing of freedom songs illegal and prohibiting traditional Tibetan festivals. The struggle against totalitarianism is precisely a struggle for spirit, and I’m willing to wager that a populist like Mr. Parenti would find far more joy drinking chang and singing songs with a party of exiled Tibetans than he ever would at a Chinese cadre meeting; sadly, he won’t ever get to find out. He’s chosen his bedfellows, and more power to him. In the end it is the Tibetan people who will be the arbiters of their own fate. By the time that fate is decided Parenti will be long gone, onto some other issue, and Tibetans will be no worse off because of it.

  37. When are we giving back the United States to the Native Americans? We tortured them, committed genocide, stole their country and are now occupying it.

  38. Takuan @51, my mind wasn’t made up a year or so ago when I started researching this. I don’t think it’s entirely made up yet–I simply know where I stand based on what I’ve found so far. Much of the evidence against the claims of your group come from sources like the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, which is hardly a leftist source, but is still an excellent source for things that were known then.

    Coldmtn @52, I could take the approach some people take to Parenti and dismiss a rightwinger like Joshua Schrei because of his ideology, but I don’t. I dismiss Schrei because he offers little information. He merely says that the people who don’t agree with the Dalai Lama’s factions are opponents of that faction and therefore can’t be trusted. But he doesn’t actually offer evidence to counter anything that people like Parenti have found. When Schrei makes quibbles about whether you should say “Chinese” or “Mongol” when speaking of the Chinese empire under Mongol rulers, he’s just being desperate.

    I put together two lists of information about Tibet for people, based on their bias. For those who take the CIA/NED side, I recommend The Dalai Lama: a FAQ for conservatives. None of the sources there are further left than The Atlantic Monthly. When Time magazine and the Washington Monthly contradict your claims, you can’t say that they’re commie sympathizers.

  39. Coldmtn @52 I’m not sure when would be a more appropriate time to discuss this than when we’re looking at a faked pictures of alleged human rights abuses in China/Tibet.

    Although personally, I’m not really concerned with who was right or wrong historically. The history of Tibet is long and checkered. Both the United States and China clearly have a strong interest in who controls Tibet and have spread a lot of (mis)information on the issue. I could imagine the interpretations could go either way, depending on personal bias.

    I’m more interested in how things should change in the future and how we should be behaving now.

    With respect to current behavior:
    Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’m not sure Americans have the moral authority to protest China during the Olympics; Or at least, we have just as much right to protest China as to protest ourselves.

    What is so great about Tibet that they deserve our support more than all the other nations that suffer imperial administration? Or what is so awful about China that they deserve more ire than anyone else?

    With respect to the future of Tibet:
    Would the people of Tibet be better off without China? Or should China just administer Tibet differently? Should the Dalai Lama be put back in power? Or should we have a democratic state? Who will take responsibility for creating this democratic state? Who will fund it?

  40. Will, can you please explain why you’re so sure this conflict is about freeing slaves, and so sure the Civil War wasn’t?

  41. Oh, look. We have an infestation of concern trolls.

    We can’t possibly ever object to any human rights abuses because we’ve committed them ourselves.

    Tibet can’t be restored to Tibetan rule because the Tibetans aren’t completely perfect in every way.

    Pay no attention to the international news. Read this obscure and biased position paper that I’ve linked in every Tibet thread in the history of BB comments.

  42. These ads were created for Amnesty International France, but were judged too agressive after the earthquake in China. Thus they were not approved and the website adress was never corrected. They are available on the web because they competed for the “Lions de Cannes” and won the third price (Lion de bronze). You can find more details in French on the news paper Le Figaro website in an article entitled Human rights: The campaign you will never see

  43. Will, can you please explain why you’re so sure this conflict is about freeing slaves, and so sure the Civil War wasn’t?

  44. Antinous, is that it, or is it:

    The Lamas pretty much screwed up Tibet when they had control of the country and had many of the same human rights violations that they are damning China for now? Why would anyone want to give them back the country?

    1. Moon,

      I’m not proposing giving Tibet to the Lamas. At this point, I’m fairly sure that the Tibetans have an infrastructure capable of forming an interim civilian government until elections can be held. The only people who ever talk about giving Tibet to the Lamas are the PRC and their supporters.

  45. perhaps you should finally actually read what is said by the Tibet Government in Exile and actually look at what the Chinese government is really doing to people. I do not understand why so many are attracted to the Tibet liberation issue when they obviously have no intent to study and understand the situation. It is as if they are here solely to be provocatively repetitive. In light of this apparent fact I am forced to dismiss them as either fools or worse.

  46. Chinese communists – as they practice in China today – are evil.

    That sounds like something George W. Bush would say.

    1. Chinese communists – as they practice in China today

      The only communists left in China are the peasants and factory workers. The government may be totalitarian but it is definitely not communist. If Mao were alive, the entire Central Committee would be publicly executed.

  47. And why do the Tibetan apologists constantly ignore the facts about the Lamas? And also completely distort the facts about the torture?

    Should we dismiss them as fanboys or fools?

  48. Antinuous, selective criticism is dishonest. We want you to criticize everyone who tortures, and not just go with the CIA’s favorite targets.

    Teresa, in both cases, the primary reason was to end secession; freeing the slaves was secondary. So New England’s merchant princes crushed the plantation lords, and China’s communists overthrew Tibet’s theocrats.

    But if you prefer to think that freeing the slaves was the primary reason in both cases, that’s fine by me. I despise the heads of slave states, whether they’re Jefferson Davis or the Dalai Lama–and in both cases, I think they became better people after their side lost.

    1. Will,

      You are a chronic troll and timewaster. Anyone can click on your name and see your comment history.

  49. But the Dalai Lama intends on riding back into town like the returning hero, right? I don’t that is going to lend itself to much of a democracy. The US has this really bad habit of backing people who will say ANYTHING to get funding and get their country back and then turn out to be worse than the supposed “evil” empire they wanted to replace. Maybe it’s time to keep talking with China and convince them that it’s not in anybody’s best interest to torture and leave the nation-building to the history books. China has done some good things in Tibet.

    Takuan, I just repeated what said in reverse. So you must be damning yourself as a troll, as well.

  50. @Antinous

    I’m not sure that resorting to name calling and sarcasm is any more productive than reasoning, but I suppose people will adopt whatever rhetorical strategy they consider most effective.

    Clearly everyone has a bias, though. But in an attempt to avoid said bias, I think we can agree that the situation is more complex than Tibet=Good and China=Bad or Tibet=Bad and China=Good.

    In response to your sarcasm, I’d like to understand why you are so certain that you are correct and why people who are more hesitant to agree are “trolls”? I want to know, Why would it be better to have Tibetan rule? Why people are so concerned with human rights violations on the other side of the planet? Violations on which we clearly have information of mixed quality. Violations that we have virtually no power to stop.

    I’m also concerned that there has clearly been at least some propagandizing on both sides. I’m suspicious that the purposes of the movement to restore the Dalai Lama are reportedly colinear with the purposes of the C.I.A.(an organization that could care less about human rights). The last thing I’d want is to replace one tyrant with another. We’ve had pretty bad luck with that.

    I guess I’m also suspicious of talk about building democracies around the world. IMHO, that generally ends up being a codeword “switching teams”. Don’t think its naive to imagine that we could have a democratic nation of strategic interest, with no military, yet somehow protected from the nastiness of the geopolitical struggles going on in this world?

  51. Antinuous and Takuan, if you’d care to tell me where I went wrong in Five impossible points in the Dalai Lama’s Peace Plan, I would be happy to follow your links.

    For the record, I think the whopper on your side is the attempt to seize Kham and Amdo for the Dalai Lama. As the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica noted, historically, those territories have been administered by China since its Mongol emperor gave the Dalai Lama his title and made him his administrator of a much smaller part of Tibet.

  52. Why do you feel you have to dismiss them at all?

    I don’t, Nelson. That a response to Takuan’s similar post:

    perhaps you should finally actually read what is said by the Tibet Government in Exile and actually look at what the Chinese government is really doing to people. I do not understand why so many are attracted to the Tibet liberation issue when they obviously have no intent to study and understand the situation. It is as if they are here solely to be provocatively repetitive. In light of this apparent fact I am forced to dismiss them as either fools or worse.

  53. Antinuous, even a chronic troll and timewaster can have the truth on his side. If I’m a troll, please ban me or disemvowell me, as you wish.

  54. Antinuous, you speak of BB readers as a single group. Do you really want to drive away the readers who don’t take the CIA line on Tibet?

  55. Will Shetterly, I can’t see how you’ve been a troll. I can see how post things that upset people to because they don’t have a ready response, but that isn’t trolling.

  56. Antinous, you’re letting Will get under your skin.

    Will, I’ve got no quarrel with your arguments about Tibet, but your argument about the ad — that it must have been commissioned by NED or some similar group because it addresses only China — is nonsense. Art (and advertising is a form of art) doesn’t work that way.

    Visual advertising in particular (and its close relative, the editorial cartoon) is based around simple, compelling images. Jamming Israel, Saudi Arabia, Guantanamo Bay, and every other example of torture in the world into that ad would have diluted its impact.

    Furthermore, I don’t know if you realize this, but China is hosting the Summer Olympics this year. We’re all hearing more about China this year, not because of a CIA plot, but because there’s a big international spotlight focussed on the country. That’s why the ad references the Olympics.

  57. Avram, every propagandist knows the power of an image. In this case, many countries that torture will be at the Olympics, but is there anything suggesting the scope of this problem? If the series was simply about torture, each picture would depict a different torturer.

  58. As an aside, anyone who’d demonize the Dalai Lama over the Chinese government obviously hasn’t been paying any attention whatsoever as to what the Chinese government has been up to for the past whole bunch of years.

    Its no good at all.

  59. Will said – if this was about torture, there would be images of Americans torturing Iraqis and Israelis torturing Palestinians and Saudis torturing just about anyone who threatened to upset the status quo.

    In front of a diving platform? C’mon guy, your agenda is showing, and it’s blocking the view of your intelligence.

  60. Talia, it really is possible for both sides to be wrong. Seriously, read Parenti’s “Friendly Feudalism.” It’ll only take five or ten minutes of your time. Few of the Dalai Lama’s critics are blind to China’s abuses.

  61. Mdhatter, do you really think the US doesn’t engage in waterboarding? Or they didn’t consult with the Israelis about effective torture techniques? Both of those are very easy to find on the internet. Amnesty International has impressive lists of the countries that torture. There’s a reason they’re not just Amnesty China.

  62. In this case, many countries that torture will be at the Olympics,

    But only one of those nations is hosting it.

    Since Amnesty International has no history whatsoever of opposing torture wherever it occurs, and since they only take up one project at a time, this campaign against one of the quilty nations is an utterly valueless misdirection of their resources, and must be opposed.

    Whatever will, what. ever.

  63. Mdhatter, you have noticed that the most recent information suggests that these photos were rejected by Amnesty International as being too biased? I’m waiting for more definitive information, of course. But if AI thinks these pictures are dishonest, I’ll stand with AI.

  64. I just can’t even begin to get a handle on the irony here.

    On this site, this thread, and with this topic. Posts are being censored, and not the posts of the people who are suggesting we should hesitate before we allege human rights abuses.

    I would call this hypocritical or more accurately a performative contradiction.

  65. Fine.

    Since uppity artists Amnesty International has have no history whatsoever of opposing torture wherever it occurs, and since they only take up one project at a time, this campaign against one of the guilty nations is an utterly valueless misdirection of their resources, and must be opposed.

    Now, is that any less true? Shold no one speak out against anything unless they simultaneously speak against everything?

  66. Fail.

    (that “Amnesty International” above was supposed to be struckthrough, to show a substitution with “uppity artists”)

  67. yak yak yak yak.

    It’s simple: some people are being tortured and murdered. They are not Chinese. Begin and end there.
    I, at least, have not lost sight of right and wrong.

  68. Mdhatter, Amnesty International disagrees with you. Read the Le Figaro article, remembering that Le Figaro is a very conservative newspaper. Someone with an agenda funded those images and submitted them for PR awards, but Amnesty International rejected them. That’s significant.

  69. Will, you are coming across as saying it’s unfair to pick on the Chinese for something so many nations do.

    I’m quite sure you’re not an apologist for torture, but your language is similar. Please do clarify.

  70. respond

    Wednesday, 18 June 2008 22:01 UK
    Amnesty seeks ‘missing’ Tibetans

    More than 1,000 Tibetans detained during protests against the Chinese government in March remain unaccounted for, Amnesty International says.

    In a report, the human rights group said there were reports that detainees had been beaten and deprived of food.

    Ahead of the Olympic torch relay through Tibet, Amnesty asked China to “shine some light” on the situation.

    China says rioters killed at least 19 people. Tibetan exiles say security forces killed dozens of people.

    The anti-China protests led by Buddhist monks – the worst in the region in 20 years – began in Lhasa on 10 March.

    After the riots, pro-Tibetan protesters threw China’s global Olympic torch relay into disarray as it passed through several cities, including London, Paris and San Francisco. …..

  71. Read the Le Figaro article,

    I did, lastnight.

    Someone with an agenda funded those images and submitted them for PR awards, but Amnesty International rejected them. That’s significant.

    Rejected them while stating they were biased and unfair, or silently chose to go with another’s contestants work as the winning entry? did Amnesty say the work was too biased? Did they say that directly or are you reading into their actions?

    Because that is significant too.

  72. say :”Tibet”
    Travel Tips
    Who Will Be Watching You In Beijing?
    Rebecca Ruiz, 07.08.08, 6:00 PM ET

    When traveling to China for the Olympics this summer, leave any expectation of privacy at the border. Instead, prepare for possible eavesdropping and surveillance–from listening devices in hotel rooms to bugged laptops and personal digital assistants to informers posing as friendly strangers.

    Those who laugh at the seeming paranoia would be wise to remember that the U.S. recently accused Chinese authorities of allegedly copying data from the laptop of a visiting trade official last year and attempting to hack into the Commerce Department. The Chinese denied the allegations.

    The U.S. Department of State advises tourists not to expect privacy in public or private locations, particularly in hotels, but a spokesman declined to comment further.

  73. Further, when did being “highly biased” and “with an agenda” ever stop YOU from being right?


    Gotcha there dinnae?

  74. Mdhatter, I think it is hypocritical to single out one side for something that both sides do. When both sides are wrong, say so. That’s one of the reasons I admire Parenti: he doesn’t choose between the CIA and the PRC. He points out the flaws on both sides.

    I took a quick look back at my posts. Where do I say anything that sounds like I love single-party states or torture? I think you were reading too quickly, but I may’ve been writing too quickly. If there’s something in particular you’d like clarified, quote it, and I’ll try to do better.

  75. I’m confused as to why everyone is so certain that they know what is going on in China. That they are certain that what is going on is unjustified. Under what standard?

    The only sources of information we have are #1 The US government, #2 the Chinese government, #3 The ‘Tibetan Freedom Movement’ Clearly these sources are biased. Because China controls the flow of information, because there are not many reporters, it is hard to know what happened. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t, but it is hard to be sure.

    Moreover, it seems possible that the people were arrested and held in accordance with Chinese law. If the protesters in Tibet chose to protest, possibly violently, they should not be put in jail? It seems to me that the onus is on the government of China to enforce its law.

    My point is that we don’t really know if human rights abuses have occurred. As a public we’re not encouraged to consider the possibility that things are more complex…that the state enemies we’re supposed to demonize might be more human than we allow. Both American political parties are united in convincing people that China is a threat and thus Americans feel quite threatened when people question that belief. The name calling, the self-righteousness, and the censorship of posts on this blog are excellent evidence of such.

    I would seriously caution people against being united in the vilification of another nation. It gives our politicians license to do all sorts of nasty things. We can see what the consequence was when the large majority of our population was certain about the evils of Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

  76. Will,

    If you actively oppose someone denouncing evil, you are supporting evil.

    and before I answer your question, answer mine. That’s only fair, correct?

    When did being “highly biased” and “with an agenda” ever stop YOU from being right?

  77. Zosima, mot of us are demonizing an EVIL ACT.

    No matter who the act is commited by. It is evil. In this case, the post is about China specifically.

    Jeebus. I’ve shaken the badly scarred hand of a 39-year old dissident who could barely walk. That was enough proof for me. Will it suffice for you or do you need to see picture of the act as it occurs to believe it’s torture? Is any proof sufficient for you? Honestly?

    Don’t you DARE tell me I’m not angry enough about what’s done in my name. You have no idea how I feel about the despicable actions of the USA over the last 7 years, so Don’t. You. Dare.

  78. I think it is hypocritical to single out one side for something that both sides do. When both sides are wrong, say so.

    And I think it is impossible to have a directed media campaign without choosing a target.

    We in the USA, we got ours coming too, but this round is for China. They have the world stage, and they don’t deserve it. Neither does the US. happy now? I’ve denounced both ‘sides’.

  79. Also, the criticism of China is completely superficial. When we talk about them, we say “China did X”, would it not be more logical to criticize the specific official who order whatever violation is alleged? In the same way that I blame Bush and not the United States for human rights abuses in the US, we should blame specific people or parts of government, not the whole thing.

    This condemnation from ignorance really just astounds me. The people I know who grew up in China are proud of China, not fearful of their government. Which is not what one would expect from what we hear about China in the United States. That makes me very suspicious that we are not being told the whole story.

    Moreover, no one has explained what they would prefer happen in Tibet. Do they want the Dalai Lama to rule autocratically? Do they want China to leave and take all their resources with them? Perhaps they’d like the US or India to occupy Tibet? Or to return to 5% literacy rates? That sounds idyllic.

    The bottom line is that Tibet was operating autonomously until the CIA incited an armed conflict there. Why in the world would China have any motivation to go back to that? Do we want china to ‘build a democracy’ there? If China left, I doubt a democracy would just appear.

  80. Zosima,

    Moreover, no one has explained what they would prefer happen in Tibet.

    I think we should ask the Tibetans, but they all seem to have ball-gags in their mouth at the moment

    If China left, I doubt a democracy would just appear.

    But China is a Democracy – if you take ~their~ word on it.

    You are blindingly obtuse.

  81. A short comment in form of question regarding the posted pic of the campaign (swimming pool): why not chose to shoot the scene close to the number 4 (instead of 2) that is a bad luck number for China (pronunciation close to the word “death”)? This would have even more reinforced the impact of the message for people of Chinese cultural background.

  82. @Mdhatter #104

    What specific evil act are you talking about then? Certainly not the time that a Tibetan had his head dunked in an Olympic sized swimming pool?

    Are you certain said dissident was punished unlawfully? It may be that you are reeling against corporal punishment, which is something distinct from torture and far less controversial.

    As to the United States, I’m not saying that you are not sufficiently upset about the behavior of the current administration, only that your anger is most probably directed at the right target in the US, perhaps not so much with China.

    People just talk about China as if it is monolithic. Are we talking about an individual guard that stepped out of line? Was he following orders? Did the order come from the Tibetan governor? Hu Jintao? In a culture and government that is very different that our own it can be easy to get the wrong impression; to put the blame in the wrong direction, to propose the wrong solution. Particularly when our own government is bombarding us with propaganda supporting this generalized dislike of an entire nation.

    This is particularly applicable with the image in question. We’re talking about a fictional act, so the message must be generalizing insofar as it addresses reality. What message are we supposed to draw from an image that is so hyperbolic? So insensitive? I think pictures of the real thing would definitely be preferable to this. We have them in the United States, I would assume they are available for China, as well.

  83. Mdhatter, want to know what Tibetans say? Well, if you’d followed my link to the articles for conservatives, you would’ve found this, from the Washington Post:

    ”I’ve already lived that life once before,” said Wangchuk, a 67-year-old former slave who was wearing his best clothes for his yearly pilgrimage to Shigatse, one of the holiest sites of Tibetan Buddhism. He said he worshiped the Dalai Lama, but added, “I may not be free under Chinese Communism, but I am better off than when I was a slave.”

  84. @Mdhatter #107

    “I think we should ask the Tibetans, but they all seem to have ball-gags in their mouth at the moment”

    What does that mean, ask the Tibetans? This is the kind of daft policy that mindless anger leads to. The way we ask in modern societies is by creating a system of government, and Iraq(which I shan’t dare imply you had anything to do with lol) amongst others has shown to be no small task.

    “But China is a Democracy – if you take ~their~ word on it. ” I never said I trust the Chinese government either, in fact I said the opposite. I suggest that we show a healthy skepticism to the arguments of both sides.

    “You are blindingly obtuse. ” If all these Tibetan dissidents are as complementary as you, I’m not surprised they used ball-gags.

    But really, its absolutely hilarious how in one sentence you can deny any responsibility for the War in Iraq while in the next sentence you support the same sort of witch burning mentality that made the war possible in the first place. The fact is that in a democratic state(unlike China), the citizens do bear some responsibility for the policy of their government.

  85. Will, please, trot a new quote every now and then?

    I KNOW what has been going on in Tibet since I was aware of it decades ago when it wasn’t fashionable and no one gave a shit. It’s getting worse, not better.

  86. If you two want to understand torture writ small, argue with each other.

    I like pie.

  87. why is China’s ass so kissable these days? What makes it soo sweeet that genocide can be ignored and history re-written?

    China’s economy to become world’s biggest in 2035: study
    Jul 8 04:15 PM US/Eastern

    China’s economy will overtake that of the United States by 2035 and be twice its size by midcentury, a study released Tuesday by a US research organization concluded.

    The report by economist Albert Keidel of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said China’s rapid growth is driven by domestic demand more than exports, and will sustain high single-digit growth rates well into the 21st century.

    “China’s economic performance clearly is no flash in the pan,” Keidel writes.

    “Its growth this decade has averaged more than 10 percent a year and is still going strong in the first half of 2008. Because its success in recent decades has not been export-led but driven by domestic demand, its rapid growth can continue well into the 21st century, unfettered by world market limitation.”

    Keidel said the rise of China to the world’s biggest economy will happen regardless of the method of calculation.

    Under current market-based estimates, China’s gross domestic product is about three trillion dollars compared to 14 trillion for the United States.

    Based on a more controversial purchasing power parity (PPP) measure used by the World Bank and others to correct low labor-cost distortions, he said China’s GDP is roughly half of that of the United States.

    “Despite this low starting point, if China’s expansion is anywhere near as fast as the earlier expansion of other East Asian modernizers at a comparable stage of development, the power of compound growth rates means that China’s economy will be larger than America’s by midcentury — no matter how it is converted to dollars,” Keidel wrote.

    “Indeed, PPP valuation distinctions will diminish and eventually disappear.”

  88. why does the party in a position of power have to threaten? Because they KNOW they are WRONG.

    China warns Sarkozy not to see Dalai Lama
    By Steven Erlanger
    Published: July 9, 2008

    PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who is expected to announce on Wednesday that he will after all attend the opening ceremonies of Beijing’s Olympic Games, was warned by China on Tuesday not to meet with the Dalai Lama in France next month.

    China’s ambassador to France, Kong Quan, told reporters there would be “serious consequences” for Chinese-French relations if Sarkozy meets the Dalai Lama, asserting that it “would be contrary to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.”

  89. cowards and bullies go together

    University says sorry to China for Tibet degree

    Polly Curtis, education editor
    Wednesday July 9, 2008
    The Guardian

    A university has apologised to China for “any unhappiness” it caused by awarding an honorary degree to the Dalai Lama.

    The apology was criticised by Tibetan freedom campaigners who accused London Metropolitan University last night of pandering to the Chinese government to protect overseas recruitment plans.

    Brian Roper, the university’s vice-chancellor, made the apology via Chinese embassy officials, after being criticised in the Chinese press for the award to the exiled Tibetan leader on May 20. Chinese internet groups had suggested boycotting the university, which recruits students from China and has an office in Beijing.

    The Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, president of the Tibet Society, said: “It’s highly regrettable that the vice-chancellor has taken this decision. Tibet is an illegally occupied country where the indigenous population has been horribly abused by the Chinese authorities.”

  90. setting the stage

    China tightens pre-Olympic airport security in Xinjiang, Tibet
    Beijing (dpa) – China on Tuesday ordered tighter security checks at airports in its restive Xinjiang and Tibet regions, plus more than a dozen other cities, in the run-up to next month’s Olympic Games.

    From July 20, everyone arriving at an airport terminal building in the designated cities and regions should undergo a security check at the entrance “to guarantee civil aviation transport security during the Beijing Olympic Games”, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a notice posted on its website.

    CAAC said the “special security inspections” applied to Beijing and five other cities that will host Olympic events, plus airports in Xinjiang, Tibet and 10 other cities near the cities hosting Olympic events.

    Airport security staff would “handle strictly according to the law” anyone found carrying flammable, explosive or other banned material, the notice said.

  91. yak yak yak yak.

    It’s simple: some people are being tortured and murdered. They are not Chinese. Begin and end there.
    I, at least, have not lost sight of right and wrong.

    If only we all could live in your simple world of black & white. China is “evil”, we know you think that.

    Here’s your quote:
    Chinese communists – as they practice in China today – are evil.

    Hyperbole doesn’t help the discussion.

  92. Z and W, that was for you. Takuan, rock on.

    It’s a reflection of your disrespect for me, as shown by the style of your commentary.

    I’m not your enemy, but now, i’m not your supporter either.

    Do you have any idea how much damage you each do to your causes?

    Of course not. It’s not about the cause. It’s about you. You are both trolls of the highest order, unwilling to engage on anything but the tiniest perceived flaw in your enemies argument, even if you have to invent it.

    Go. To. Bed. Now. Children.

  93. Moon –

    Torture is evil.

    China is among the nations that torture.

    are either of those facts disputed?

  94. Let’s try that again.

    yak yak yak yak.

    It’s simple: some people are being tortured and murdered. They are not Chinese. Begin and end there.

    I, at least, have not lost sight of right and wrong.

    If only we all could live in your simple world of black & white. China is “evil”, we know you think that.

    Here’s your quote:
    Chinese communists – as they practice in China today – are evil.

    Hyperbole doesn’t help the discussion.

  95. I suppose you aren’t bright enough to know when youve been dismissed unless told directly. Be told, troll.

  96. There isn’t a nation that hasn’t tortured. Including Tibet under the Lamas. The rulers of Tibet before China practiced slavery as late as 1950. Who are you defending?

  97. “The Chinese have now reverted to Mao’s more honest statement to Tibetans,” writes Mr. Smith, “that Tibet should fulfill China’s need for natural resources while China would fulfill Tibet’s need for people.”

  98. Tibetan Film exposing Chinese Propaganda launched today
    Tuesday, July 01 2008 @ 10:01 am BST

    Dharamshala: A documentary film compiled by the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration unmasks the series of Chinese government’s fabrication of the recent peaceful demonstrations in Tibet and baseless allegations leveled against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche launched the documentary film yesterday during its premiere at Gangkyi Staff Mess. It was screened to an exclusive audience of officials of the Central Tibetan Administration.

    Dr Ngawang Rabgyal, additional secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations, gave a brief introduction on the objectives of launching the documentary.

    The documentary, “Peaceful Protests on the World’s Roof: A Display of the Tibetan People’s Incomparable Courage”, reveals the reason behind Chinese government’s lie about the so-called Lhasa Incident of 14 March. It detailed eyewitness accounts of the events and footages taken by various news agencies.

    It documented the Chinese armed forces’ violent clampdown on the peaceful Tibetan demonstrators, which left hundreds of innocent Tibetans dead, thousands arrested and injured.

    Footages showing an upsurge of peaceful demonstrations across the three traditional provinces of Tibet expose the Chinese authorities’ false projection of the event as ‘3.14 unrest caused by a handful of Tibetans’.

    Monks weeping because of religious persecution and calling for return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet reinforce the fact of denial of religious freedom to Tibetans by the Chinese government.

  99. why does the party in a position of power have to threaten? Because they KNOW they are WRONG.

    George W. Bush says “You’re either with us or against us”

  100. <> spps y rn’t brght ngh t knw whn yv bn dsmssd nlss tld drctly. B tld, trll.

    gn, y r th n ctng lk trll nd ls ctng lk lttl dcttr. Wh r y t sy wh cn pst r nt? Y hv n rgmnts, gss, s y rsrt t slly sttmnts. Lk ” dsmss y.” Hhhh.

  101. Moon.

    Torture is evil. Yes, or no.

    China is among the nations that torture as government policy. Yes or no.

    Don’t redirect. Answer, or admit you’re just wanking.

    and yes, other nations do too.

    Does that excuse China somehow? Make it not evil?

    I don’t hate China, I hate apologists.

  102. Moon, he was dismissing the other two, as was I.

    but thanks for letting us in on your secret.

    You’re dismissed too.

  103. America:
    U.S. cites China for repression, torture
    State Dept. report says Olympic host has poor record on human rights

    updated 11:14 a.m. PT, Tues., March. 11, 2008

    WASHINGTON – China, host of the summer Olympics, is an authoritarian nation that denies its people basic human rights and freedoms, harasses journalists and foreign aid workers and tortures prisoners, the United States charged Tuesday.

    China is still among the world’s human rights abusers despite rapid economic growth that has transformed large parts of Chinese society, the State Department said in an annual accounting of human rights practices around the world.

  104. Does that excuse China somehow? Make it not evil?

    let me be clearer.

    China itself is not evil. I know that in my heart.

    Does the fact that other nations torture make it less evil when China does it? Is it more acceptable because other nations do it? Or do you want me to shut up about China because I’m an American and evil has also been committed in my name?

    People everywhere are generally good, it’s fear that brings out the evil in men’s souls.

  105. @Mdhatter #120
    I haven’t lost my temper, I’m just trying to propose that we show a little critical thought and skepticism. But I can see you’re upset that I’m questioning your party doctrine. I know how frustrating it can be to come up with points of your own, when people ask questions you haven’t been spoon-fed the answers to.

    As far as I’m concerned people who use terms like “good” and “evil” from a self-appointed position of self-righteous moral superiority are totally Bush-league, regardless of what part of the political box they happen to imagine themselves sitting in.

    Remember Bush was the guy that first started talking about the “Axis of Evil”. As long as you consider that modality an important part of your means of political communication, I can’t imagine you’ll be my supporter. Those sorts of ideas are part of the problem, not part of the solution, regardless of whether the policies advocated are right or wrong.

  106. United Nations:

    Torture still widespread in China, says UN investigator

    Immersion in sewage, ripping out fingernails, sleep deprivation, cigarette burns and beatings with electric prods – these are some of the torture methods used by China’s police and prison officers to extract confessions and maintain discipline, a United Nations investigation has found.

    Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said yesterday that abuse of suspects and prisoners remained widespread in China. Treatment was far worse than international norms, despite recent signs of improvement.

  107. Is China the only nation who has used torture? Yes or no? Don’t redirect. Don’t sidestep THAT question.

    Did the Tibetan leadership have slaves or condone slavery as late as 1950? Which was the LAST time they were in power? Is there any advantage to the world to put the Lamas back in charge in Tibet? Have they shown they can run a democracy? Other than fancy words for fundraising and support purposes?

    If China pulled out of “Tibet” (whatever that is, at this point) and forced all the Chinese out, what would happen in Tibet? Do you really think there is some magic “freedom” juice that will turn Tibet into a “democracy” if we just let people who believe in THEOCRACY run it?

    If China were to pull out of Tibet right now and all the Chinese resettled to mainland China, Tibet would be worse than Bangladesh. No jobs, no investment, infrastructure maintenance would fail, the society would crumble. At that point, the best that COULD happen would probably be slavery for the native Tibetans.

  108. torture for all
    China: Prison, torture and death for people standing up for human rights

    Posted: 06 December 2004

    They include:

    * a 45-year-old man imprisoned for revealing the demolition of Protestant churches and repression of religion;

    * another detained for protesting at the forced relocation of families from Beijing, often to make way for venues for the 2008 Olympics;

    * and others protesting at the appalling working conditions that claim 350 lives every day in China’s dangerous workplaces.

    Chinese law contains sweeping definitions of crimes, such as ‘subversion’ and ‘stealing state secrets’, which can be used to detain and imprison people simply for engaging in legitimate human rights activities. Activists have also frequently been subject to arbitrary detention, harassment, and intimidation.

    Amnesty International Media Director Mike Blakemore said:

    “A growing number of people in China are standing up and demanding the basic rights that we in Europe take for granted. For doing so, they face arrest, torture and even death.

    “The very least that the EU should do is to call on the Chinese authorities to release those imprisoned for peaceful human rights campaigning.”

  109. Zosima, you are a troll. Sht p.

    I have no ‘party line’… I’m ill informed on the issue and I’m glad to admit it. I am discussing my opinion on the pictures, and my dissatisfaction with your style. only.

    But now I am stepping toward the side you are not on.

    Because you are a tlbg, and I don’t want to accidentally be mistaken for someone who agrees with you.

  110. New York Times, February 23, 2006
    Man Freed After Years in Jail for Mao Insult


    BEIJING, Feb. 22 — A Chinese journalist was freed Wednesday after spending nearly 17 years in prison for splattering paint on a portrait of Mao during the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, a family member and a human rights advocate said.

    The journalist, Yu Dongyue, now 38, and two friends hurled eggs filled with red paint at the famous painting of Mao, which still stares at Tiananmen Square from across the street, where it hangs above the entrance to the Forbidden City. Mr. Yu and his family are expected to reunite in Hunan Province on Thursday, but his younger brother said the family was deeply concerned about Mr. Yu’s mental health.

    “He no longer recognizes me,” said Yu Xiyue, the brother, who made a prison visit last year. In 2004, Reporters Without Borders, the journalism advocacy group, said Mr. Yu had gone insane as a result of torture in prison.

  111. Is China the only nation who has used torture? Yes or no? Don’t redirect. Don’t sidestep THAT question.

    when you do me the honor of not redirecting, maybe i’ll extend it to you.

    You first.

  112. Tibetan Died as a Result of Torture in Prison

    Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy

    Dharamsala, April 14 (TCHRD) – Sonam Wangdue, a 44-year-old trader also called Shugden; died in late March 1999 at his residence in Lhasa. His death is directly linked to the torture and inhuman treatment he suffered while detained in a Chinese prison. Sonam Wangdu was arrested in April 1988 for his alleged involvement in the killing of a Chinese policeman during violent crackdown in a massive Tibetan demonstration on 5 March 1988. Many Tibetans were killed during the demonstration.

    Sonam Wangdu was sentenced to for life imprisonment after he was accused of the killing of the Chinese policeman. He was first imprisoned in Gutsa Detention Centre. In Gutsa, he was severely tortured resulting in permanent internal injury. His kidney was damaged and his back was broken.

    After the sentence Sonam Wangdu was transfer to Drapchi prison in 1989 where he continued to suffer inhuman treatment, including being struck on his damaged kidneys. Consequently, he was not able to contain urine and the lower part of body was in a paraplegic state. In 1993, he was released on medical parole. The lower part of his body had become senseless and he involuntarily passed urine. He had to remain in a wheelchair, with a plastic tube used to drain his urine.

    Sonam Wangdu’s life-sentence was preceded by almost one full year of pre-trail detention at Gutsa Prison. During that time he was constantly tortured, as officers tried to make him confess to an involvement in the killing of the Chinese policeman. In addition to other methods of torture, he was beaten with electric cattle prods, and manacled by his legs and feet for a period of six months. He was kept suspended from a tree for five days, and put in solitary confinement for one week. He had his head forced into a bucketful of water and had blood forcibly extracted from him. As a result of the torture he was, in April 1988, in a critical medical condition, according to another former political prisoner, Bhagdro.

    On 17 January 1989, Sonam Wangdu was taken to the heavily guarded Armed Police Force headquarters, located below Chakpori Hill in Lhasa, for trial. During the trial, he and his fellow accused were asked to confess to the crime. Their plea of not guilty so enraged the Chinese police, who had tortured them for almost a year, that they started beating men in full view of the court.

    “They grabbed us and stopped us from talking”, stated Bhagdro. The court adjourned for the day and the five accused were led out by the back door, away from the view of the public, and thrown to waiting Chinese police personnel. Hidden from the public view behind a barricade of army trucks they were subjected to savage beatings. “Sonam Wangdu started vomiting blood, and unable was to endure the beatings, but tried to fight back. “Then they put a gun to his temple and took him back to Gutsa,” stated Bhagdro, who recalled that by the end of the day they were all semi-conscious.

    The following day the prisoners were again produced before the court, along with 16 others who had taken part in demonstration, and sentenced immediately. A round of beatings behind the courtroom again followed the sentencing.

    They were then taken to Drapchi prison to serve their prison terms. The men were all put in separate blocks. Sonam Wangdu’s condition had been a continuing cause for concern. According to Bhagdro, who escaped to exile sometime in mid-1991, when he last saw Sonam Wangdu he “looked like a lost person”. After his release from prison he was a paraplegic. He was permanently double-bent and unable to straighten his back. His ears were badly damaged from beatings to his head and face, and there was fluid running from both of his ears. He was also unable to pass urine.

    According to reports, prior to his death Sonam Wangdu’s lung, head, kidneys, liver and intestine were seriously damaged. He suffered excruciating headaches, and his hearing and speech were impaired. He was unable to pass urine or to empty his bowels, conditions which physicians in India say are consistent with a serious head or spinal injury. He was said to be able to move only in a hunched position and with the aid of a wheelchair.

    Sonam Wangdu was one of the most brutally tortured of political prisoners. After unsuccessful attempts to make him “confess” to his “crime” for about one year, he was finally sentenced to life imprisonment on 18 January 1989. Among the other four persons implicated with him, Lobsang Tenzin was sentenced to death, suspended for two years; Gyaltsen Choephel was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment; Tsering Dhondup was sentenced to 10 years; Tamdin was sentenced to 5 years; and Bhagdro was sentenced to 3 years. According to Bhagdro, none of the five people had met before, much less carried out a murder.

    The death of another Tibetan due to torture is a poignant backdrop to the expected visit by United Nations expert on torture and detention to China in the first half of 2000, pursuant to the Chinese government’s invitation. Sonam Wangdu’s death illustrates the extent of the atrocious and inhuman treatment that Tibetan political prisoners have suffered and continue to suffer in Tibet.

  113. Moon, see my comment #103 above.

    as best I know it, yes, the USA does, as of today, torture.

    Does that excuse China?

  114. US Acknowledges Torture at Guantanamo, in Iraq, Afghanistan.

    keep weaseling.


    so far you are an apoloigist. Prove me wrong.

  115. Sure, the US goverment is guilty of torture as well.

    I’ve been saying this govermment is corrupt for

    Doesnt mean its right for China to be doing it.

  116. Torture Documents Released Under FOIA

    April 2008
    4/1/2008 – A secret memo authored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) asserting that President Bush has unlimited power to order brutal interrogations to extract information from detainees was declassified today as a result of an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The memo, written by John Yoo, then a deputy at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), was sent to the Defense Department in March 2003.
    Statement | Document

    January 2007
    1/10/2007 – CIA declaration purporting to explain why it cannot publicly disclose August 1, 2002 OLC interrogation techniques memo and President Bush directive regarding CIA overseas detention facilities.
    Statement | Document
    1/10/2007 – DOD declarations purporting to explain why it cannot publicly disclose numerous documents relating to prisoner abuse.
    Statement | Documents
    1/2/2007 – Documents obtained from the FBI detail 26 eyewitness accounts by agents of detainee abuse, 17 of which the Bureau apparently chose not to investigate further.

    July 2006
    Department of Defense documents show Pentagon silence led to prisoner abuses (7/10/2006)
    Log | Statement

    June 2006
    Department of Defense documents show suicide attempts in Guantanamo in 2002; Formica report; Jacoby report (6/15/2006)
    Log | Statement

    May 2006
    Army Documents Show Senior Official Reportedly Pushed Limits on Detainee Interrogations; New Evidence that Government Knew Abuse was Widespread Before Abu Ghraib Photos (5/2/2006)
    Log | Statement

    February 2006
    Further Evidence Senior Officials Approved Abuse of Prisoners: FBI memo details Guantánamo commander’s repeated refusal to abandon illegal and ineffective interrogation techniques (2/23/2006)
    Log | Statement

    January 2006
    Documents show that the Army received reports of detainee abuse as early as January 2002 (1/12/2006)
    Log | Statement

    November 2005
    Documents released by the Department of Justice Executive Office of US Attorneys (11/9/2005)

    October 2005
    Autopsies and Death reports reveal deaths of detainees in U.S. custody (10/24/2005)
    Log | Selection | Statement

    September 2005
    Army documents show systemic failures in treatment of detainees; contradict report of Inspector General Mikolashek (9/15/2005)
    Log | Selection | Statement

    MORE >>


  117. also, every stupid idiot who claims waterboarding isnt torture should be subjected to it themselves. Repeatedly.

  118. @Takuan,
    Don’t forget Chinese Water Torture! That one’s terribly annoying and those bastards invented it!

    No one doubts that the Chinese have tortured, are torturing, and continue to torture. The point is, so what?

    Its pretty clear that the large majority of governments do this, particularly the big imperial ones. The question is how do we deal with it? Do we blame the entire nation?

    The BBC article you cite is very enlightening, insofar as it mentions #1 that torture has declined since it was outlawed and continues to decline, #2 that there is a public debate in china about torture.

    So situations are improving, and hopefully they will continue to improve. But this mindless anger, these moral accusations, about what or who is “evil”, is not helpful. There is only so much an institution can do.

    Pppydgs d t. Lts cry bt tht.

  119. perhaps moon is saying why arent we expressing such outrage in our own country?

    We are, though. The US torture stuff gets a fair amount of coverage on boingboing.

  120. Talia, did you read the Christopher Hitchens piece in Vanity Fair?

    I don;t have a link, but the video is worth 10 articles. Hitchens knows it’s torture after 17 seconds.

    Moon. sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating “I can’t hear you” would be more grown up than what you are doing.

  121. The United States of Torture


    How did we stoop so low?

    As if Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo weren’t bad enough, the Bush administration has added another layer of shame to our national disgrace.

    Dana Priest’s article “The CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons” paints a sobering picture of an administration that has abandoned any trace of integrity and completely run amok. The United States has become the number 1 exporter of torture in the world today with Bush serving as its foremost champion.

    The article provides a window into the constellation of CIA prison camps that dot the globe like the myriad islands in the Pacific. Thousands of Muslim’s have been swept up in a global dragnet and dumped in secret gulags where they are subjected to the grueling regimen of beatings and torture. The camps were authorized by President Bush in an executive “finding” 6 days after Sept 11, that’s when, as one high-ranking official said, “The gloves came off”. It “gave the CIA broad authorization to disrupt terrorist activity, including permission to kill, capture and detain members of al Qaeda anywhere in the world.”

    The result of Bush’s action was the development of “black sites” where the “disappeared” victims of American foreign policy could be held and treated with impunity. These prisoners have been abducted from sovereign nations, in clear violation of international law, tortured and, perhaps, killed, without any legal process in place to shield them from the arbitrary authority of US agents. How can any US citizen or American ally defend this capricious and lethal conduct?

    “The top 30 al Qaeda prisoners exist in complete isolation from the outside world. Kept in dark, sometimes underground cells, they have no recognized legal rights, and no one outside the CIA is allowed to talk with or even see them, or to otherwise verify their well-being, said current and former and U.S. and foreign government and intelligence officials,” Priest states.

    “Complete isolation”? “No legal rights”? “Underground cells”?

    Again, we see the familiar pattern of an administration which refuses to be bound by either international law or common decency.

    Ironically, Bush and co. have resurrected a number of the Soviet-era prisons in the Eastern block for their vile activities. How strange that the spawn of Ronald Reagan, arch-rival of the “evil empire”, would breathe new life into these relics of communist rule; throwing open the iron gates and putting them back to work.

    “Welcome to Riga Gulag: Under New Management.”

    Certainly, Dick Cheney would match up quite nicely with his antecedent, Joe Stalin. Cheney has become the administration’s foremost “advocate of torture” (Washington Post). He has made a straightforward appeal to members of Congress to continue to allow the “cruel, degrading and inhuman” treatment of prisoners even though it is in clear violation of US treaties banning torture and the Geneva Conventions. Many people now believe that Cheney’s impassioned plea to Congress has less to do with his heartfelt convictions and more to do with the fact that the bloody footprints for the abusive behavior leads straight to the VP’s front door. As Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, stated on NPR, “The Secretary of Defense, under cover of the Vice President’s office, began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to what we’ve seen. There was a visible audit trail from the Vice President’s office through the Secretary of Defense, down to commanders in the field.”

    Clearly, Cheney’s present machinations in the Senate are just a way of concealing his role in creating the policy. There’s little doubt now of his culpability.

    The political fallout from the abuse-scandal will linger for decades to come, tarnishing the image of the United States and undermining its claim of being a staunch defender of human rights. What began in metal containers in Afghanistan where Taliban suspects were asphyxiated in the broiling summer sun, led to the open-air cages in Guantanamo Bay where prisoners were callously exposed to the elements for nearly 4 months. The devolution of policy has produced a daisy-chain of rat-infested dungeons manned by CIA goons and bearing the imprimatur of the President of the United States. The war on terror has metastasized into a war OF terror producing its own toxic ethos that has infected every area of the body politic.

    The Red Cross, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have all provided documented evidence that the Bush administration is engaged in widespread prisoner abuse. The allegations are further corroborated by the eyewitness accounts of military personnel, former inmates, and even Abu Ghraib’s former-Commanding Officer, Gen. Janice Karpinski. There’s no doubt that cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners is administration policy or that the chain of command follows a straight path to the Oval Office.

    The long catalogue of abominations and abuses begins and ends with George W. Bush. He’s the man in charge and that’s where the buck stops.

  122. Moon, I do note as of yet you are happily ignoring mdhatter’s posts.

    Repeated proof of the US’s evils does not strengthen whatever point you’re trying to make.

  123. Moon. sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating “I can’t hear you” would be more grown up than what you are doing.

    Glad you think that. Now tell it to Takuan.

  124. Zosima, outrage over any form of torture must continue. It must not fade away into the background and let goverments think they can continue to get away with it on the sly.

    Dialogue is good. But for dialogue to continue, intense scrutiny must continue.

    China’s goverment is HIGHLY oppresive. In many aspects. The torture is just one symptom.

    Of course the Tibet situation is complex in and of itself and in many ways is even a cultural issue.

    But still.

  125. No, Takuan wasn’t evading a question







    but takuan, one or two links is plenty. (good enough moon?)

  126. @Mdhatter #145

    For someone who admits they don’t know what they’re talking about, you sure seem to act like you do.

    For example,You claim to “know” to “know” what is “evil”, you claim to “know” what is torture, you claim to “know”. I’m a troll, because I disagree with you. You claim to “know” who should be allowed to post on a forum.

    It is this sort of moral certainty that is so incredibly dangerous. This sort of blind anger, hatred, vilification of China is the party line. Both ends of the political spectrum in the US would like to get you angry at China, so you’ll support whatever kind of silly policies they want without really thinking it out. George Orwell talked about the political utility of state enemies in 1984.

    If you dislike my style of promoting careful critical analysis of the opinions we’re supposed to “believe without question”, my style of hesitating to make snap judgments, you’re in good company. I’m sure G.W.Bush would feel the same.

  127. Still waiting Moon.

    Does the fact that the USA has apparently tortured excuse China?

    Because the scale of the abuse is irrelevant.

    Torture is evil.

    Jack Bauer is evil too.

    But does that excuse China?

    Answer the question, please.

  128. Zosima.

    I know torture is evil. I know that in my heart.

    The intentional infliction of that kind of pain on another human being is evil.


    if you disagree with that, your soul is lost.

    Stop telling me what I believe, and go reread what I’ve said.

  129. I am kind of ignoring him. He did everybody to “F*ck off” earlier, so I think he’s worthy of an ignore.

    My point is that Takuan’s repeated posting of Chinese torture can be emulated to almost ANY nation, including and maybe especially the good ole US of A. And I’m particularly fond of the US of A.

    Also, the biggest backer of the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan coup attempt is the CIA, and they seem to be one of the big torture purveyors in the world today.

    I think we can work with China. Are they perfect? No. Are we? No. Maybe Norway is the only perfect country. Or Iceland. But I doubt it. I don’t think it will help ANYBODY, including indigenous Tibetans, to kick China out of a country they have been running since 1950. It doesn’t even help the Dalai Lama. He’d be way over his head as leader of Tibet and he wouldn’t have anybody to blame anymore.

    But, if we are going to do that, we should turn the government of the US over to Native Americans. It’s only been since about 1900 or so that we finally took over the whole West from the Native Americans. A difference of only 50 years! And we tortured them greatly.

  130. Zosima, I know what the definition of “is” is too.

    would you like to debate that?

  131. Forget about him, Zosima. If there ever was a definition of a troll, it’s somebody who repeats over and over “ANSWER THE QUESTION”

    Plus the whole FU thing.

  132. Moon – you’ve engaged with me since I used that expletive. Stop finding new reasons not to address a central question.

    I read every link you posted, it’s all absolutely true and fact. I know it.

    Now. Does that excuse China?

  133. there is no point discussing morality or ethics with those that have none

    And there’s also no point in discussing anything with a sanctimonious sshl.

  134. Moon

    If there was ever a definition of a troll it’s someone who can’t answer a simple queston, and who laughs about riling up another commenter who means well.

    (or someone who questions the nature of “know”ing (and in so doing, questions knowledge itself) whenever an inconvenient fact pops up.)

    Slippery you are, but transparent as well. All too transparent.

    Does the fact that China tortures excuse the USA?


    Does the fact that the USA tortures excuse China?

    I would value your opinion on that question Moon. Quite honestly I would. Thank you.

  135. Do you have some brilliant point you are going to make? Why don’t you just make it rather than acting like a troll?

  136. Means well? I suppose in your world saying that somebody who disagrees with you has no morality or ethics “means well”. Well not in my world. That’s an sshl in my world.

  137. @Talia #167

    I agree with you, torture is not good. By some standards China’s government is ‘highly oppressive’, by other standard I’ve been learning that it is far less oppressive than we might be led to believe. I guess my issue with this Tibet/Torture thing is fourfold.

    #1 First, even if we agree that China tortures, it doesn’t really change that much in Tibet or about how policies should be set. It appears torture is declining, and hopefully it will continue. If China left Tibet, I’m not sure it would be good for many people(or fair). Still, I’d be just as happy as anyone else if they tortured less(or not at all).

    #2 Second, while China may be over-reacting, a lot of this stuff entails some reaction. If there are violent riots, China should do something. They can’t just sit on their hands. In the United States, African Americans certainly have valid grievances, but that doesn’t mean that the government should have ignored the LA riots.

    #3 As far as Americans are concerned, our energies would be better directed elsewhere. If Americans put half the energy into alleviating human rights issues in Equatorial Guinea, as they do into Tibet, they could make a HUGE difference. People probably suffer worse there(per-capita), but we never hear about it, because it isn’t trendy and there are fewer strategic interests at conflict.

    #4 Insofar as we get blindly angry at China and villainize the China, we are helping some of the worst political interests in the US. The torturers in the US use anger at state enemies just like Orwell predicted they would, and I have no interest in helping them.

    (Note: the reason I choose to mention equatorial guinea, is because I happen to have a brother-in-law who was lucky enough to make it out of that country and get an education in Spain, so I know a little bit about that country.)

  138. I know torture is evil. I know that in my heart.

    George W Bush knew in his heart that Jesus wanted him to go to war in Iraq (because Saddam had WMD)

  139. And moon, i tried to make sure that it was clear who I was expleting at. That wasn’t at you. You seemed an honest participant earlier. Now, not so much.

    You’re refusing to answer my question because you know the answer, and you can’t bring yourself to admit it.

    It is evil, and China is wrong to do it too.

    And you know that, even if you can’t say it.

    The truth of it should keep you up at night, just as the truth of what my country is doing keeps me up. But I’ll bet it doesn’t keep you up. You’re happy enough to apologise for it because everyone does it.

    That’s another form of evil, son.

    (FYI, another definition of troll is someone who parks on one page to disrupt discussion. I’ve been all over BB during this, commenting about all sorts of stuff. Unicorn chasers abound. Where have you been? Here. Flogging your pet issue and anyone who dares disagree with you.)

  140. I suppose in your world saying that somebody who disagrees with you has no morality or ethics “means well”. Well not in my world. That’s an sshl in my world.\

    where did I say that? That was someone else.

    Try harder, please.

  141. Speaking of Equatorial Guinea, did you see that Simon Mann got 34 years in that ill-conceived coup plot? Sweet.

  142. Wow.

    Just wow.

    The dedication you bring to your work impresses me Moon.

    Goodbye you dishonest POS.

  143. Why don’t you just assume I’m not going to answer that question and go ahead and make your brilliant point? I assume you had something or you wouldn’t keep harping on this question. Which as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the discussion. Personally, I think you have disrupted the discussion with your constant harping on that question.

  144. @Moon #175, you make a good point. There is no sense having a discussion with a Bully, they’re still gonna try to kick you in the shins.

    I suppose the same goes for trolls. I’ve asked numerous questions(#55,#71) and these were never answered. In fact, I was called a troll. So I guess by any definition Mdhatter is quite the troll.

  145. Wow.

    Just wow.

    The dedication you bring to your work impresses me Moon.

    Goodbye you dishonest POS.

    I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about Takuan. Gt vr yrslf.

    You have to pay attention on these threads. Maybe if you posted something other than that one question, you could spend some time reading the other posts.

  146. @Moon #186, Ya, its good to see the press paying a little attention. My sis and her husband have been following in a lot more detail, so I’ll prolly get the 411 when we talk next.

  147. 190 was in response to 188, not 189.

    Who is assuming what?

    Trolls also don’t give their targets the benefit of the doubt. I extended that to both of you (all three if you include Will) and your refused it.

    Awwww, you can wind people up. Good for you.

    Go mstrbt.

  148. Moon & mdhatter,

    You’re both valued BB commenters, but you’re pushing the envelope. The acceptable noise level in Tibet threads is very high, but please comport yourselves with a little more dignity.

  149. I had another thought on this issue. The question should be reversed. Its not that China and US both have terror policies, so one is equally righteous in directing their anger at China. It should be the opposite, if they both have terror policies why is so much anger being directed outside when it should be directed within. If we can’t deal with the terror problem in a nation where we speak the language and have political rights what good is directing one’s attention to China.

    Or to put it another way, the most cynical of political theorists talk about directing the public’s attention to the external foe to prevent them from getting too upset about what is happening right in front of their faces.

    1. zosima,

      I call shenanigans. New user, several dozen comments in one thread. I invoke the rule by which you must post a number of comments equal to these in other threads before you can post on this subject again. If you’re real, prove yourself by becoming a member of the community.

  150. if they both have terror policies why is so much anger being directed outside when it should be directed within.

    The righteous rail at ALL evil, and excuse none. It is directed within. Why oppose it when it is directed outside? I admit I live in a glass house, but I want to see my gov’t stop torturing people. Wouldn’t you like to see the Chinese gov’t stop torturing people?

    if we can’t deal with the terror problem in a nation where we speak the language and have political rights what good is directing one’s attention to China.

    Because torture is evil, at home or abroad. Location, degree, and justification are irrelvant. Evil is evil.

    the most cynical of political theorists talk about directing the public’s attention to the external foe to prevent them from getting too upset about what is happening right in front of their faces.

    What is happening in front of my face is someone refusing to say China’s torture is evil, but other nations must be considered to be so. Or maybe nobody is?

    I spend plenty of time fighting it here. I thin it would add to the discussion of you could spend some time (or just spare a few words here) opposing it in China?

    Do you disagree with torture conducted by any governments against any person, for any reason, at any time?

    I believe your comments to date on this thread will disqualify you in the eyes of some from effectively accusing others of cynicism.

  151. @Mdhttr

    pprntly y mssd t. Lk t my pst #182

    t th sm tm, ‘m nt wllng t sy tht trtr s vl. dn’t thnk th wrld s nrly s blck nd wht. s ‘v sd bfr, thnk tht mrl thrtrnsm s ntnbl. ts wht lds s t mk dngrs flhrdy dcsns. ts th jstfctn fr nvsns f pprtnty nd lynch mbs lk.

    ls dn’t thnk m n ny pstn t sy wht s bst fr Chn. wldn’t prtnd t ndrstnd thr systm f gvrnmnt r thr cltr.

    Wht d thnk, s tht w nd t drct r ttntn t prblms tht w cn slv, tht w shld fx r ntrnl pltcl prblms, s w hv th mrl thrty t hlp thrs. Th lst thng wnt t d s by nt th sm pltcl mndst tht hs ld t s mny f r prblms n th frst plc.

  152. Gv m tm, ‘m nvlvd n dscssn hr, whn fnd smwhr ls wnt t pst wll, bt tht sms vn mr tyrnncl thn yr crrnt bhvr t dcd whr nd whn shld b pstng.

    wnt t ndrstnd why y kp dltng th psts mk. s t gnst th rls t Bng Bng t rspnd t th md’s psts? s fr s ‘m cncrnd y drctly nsltd m, nd hv spnt th bttr prt f th dy blckng my ttmpts t rspnd.

    Wht s gng n hr? ‘v nvr pstd n st whr th mds r s nprfssnl. Ths s hw ppl ct whn thy mntr thr y tb cmmnts, nt hw rspctbl st shld ct.(r t lst st hd ssmd ws rspctbl)

    nywy, drctd y t my psts n JRF(bfr y dltd my rspns). f y r s lm s t ctlly rqst tht mk pst ndr my nm(t vrfy ‘m nt lyng), jst pck th thrd.

    1. zosima,

      Take the challenge and I’ll re-emvowel your posts. Otherwise, I’ll just consider you an astroturfer.

  153. At the same time, I’m not willing to say that torture is evil.

    that is an honest disagreement we have. Thank you for the clarification.

    I think that moral authoritarianism is untenable.

    I can appreciate that too, and maybe “torture is evil” is too simple a phrase, but it’s most of the way to correct.

    I also don’t think I am in any position to say what is best for China.

    nor I, however I do think I am in a position, as a person, to say what is worst for a person. Torture is on that list.

    What I do think, is that we need to direct our attention to problems that we can solve,

    well here is something I can use to bring it back to the post. Those ads aren’t written in Chinese. They make Americans (of conscience) think just as hard about what we’re doing at home as what others are doing abroad.

    that we should fix our internal political problems, so we have the moral authority to help others.

    But you think moral authoritarianism is untenable. Hmmm. I will extend you the benefit of the doubt.

  154. @Mdhttr
    mn tht w’ll b n pstn t crtcz wtht hypcrsy. vn f w lmnt r ntrnl prblms, dn’t thnk w’ll b bl t wrk frm pstn f mrl bslts.

  155. @202 Antinous-

    Why must you be so hard on my minions? I have an agenda, and it’s not going to advance itself, you know.

    1. Gar,

      I am so irritated that you called dibs on ‘The Pitiless’. With Beschizza grabbing ‘Useless Vitriol’, there are hardly any good names left.

  156. Now this whole comments thread is getting pretty offensive. The image is shocking and seems to imply *particular* evildoers, but doesn’t make it obvious. Regardless, it should make us think about how wrong torture is in all situations, by any group or country. To me its provenance and original intent are secondary.

    (And yes, TNH, I indeed DO have the right to say whether I find something offensive or not, regardless of other people’s opinions. Your words imply that we’re all supposed to have the same opinion if the subject matter is particularly serious or is a criticism of BB. Of course, you have the right to stop me from expressing my disagreement in this forum.)

  157. @ntns

    Y r bng n nrsnbl lttl tyrnt. my nd p pstng n thr thrds, bt dn’t s ny rsn why shld b xpctd t pst n crtn nmbr f thrds bfr pst bck n ths n.

    ‘v gvn y svrl prfctly gd mns f vrfyng tht hv lgtmt ntnt nd tht ‘m nt jst trllng fr Tbt. f y hv ny dgr f tchncl skll r prfssnl ntgrty y’ll prs ths mchnsms. f y jst wnt t psh ppl rnd, y’ll kp tryng t mk m jmp thrgh hps t prv yr pnt.

    t th pnt whch y’v nsltd m, nd qt hypcrtclly cnsrd my ttmpts t rspnd. ‘m nt flng tht gd bt ths st. gss ‘ll s f th thr ppl rnnng ths st r s nrsnbl y r nd f thy r nt, y mght fnd m pstng n thr thrds.

  158. Zosima, before you try to rip the moderator a new one, please read the Policies. Lower right corner of this screen.

    ‘Be more polite than you need to be’ is the one I failed at earlier. And to those I offended (who weren’t gunning for it) my honest apologies. epic self-fail.

  159. @207 Antinous

    I feel pity for your situation. No, wait, actually I don’t, huh? :)

    1. Negative moderation is unpleasant. In a normal week, I approve a hundred anonymous comments for every disemvowelment. Teresa has propounded, correctly, that wrangling a thread will allow both the tough and the delicate to participate. I’m here to give the underdog a little space to be heard. If these comments weren’t moderated, I myself never would have participated in the discussion in the first place. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of commenters can take a hint.

  160. The ‘ar’ in Gar is a dipthong, so it’s pronounced ‘Gah’. It should also be pronounced in hushed, reverent yet fearful tones.

  161. I’ve never seen a mod here do anything I disagree with, except once, and then TNH disemvoweled herself, so, yeah. You guys rock.

    I’m giving Will Shetterly the win on this thread. He knew when to quit.

  162. Hey, could I vote for an option here? the ability to see moderated comments?

    Just wondering.

    Feel vaguely left out and all that.

    1. Talia,

      The tiny number of comments that are not visible to you have nothing to do with Tibet, Amnesty International or advertising theory. The disemvoweled ones – try reading by phrase rather than by word and they’re quite easy to decipher.

  163. Why, yes. I guess I did just have a comment banned. Why might it have been banned? Surely it could not have been because the moderator was engaged in a partisan abuse of power.

  164. The interesting thing about a banned comment is that as soon as you wonder what it might have been, you assume it must have been awful. Why else would the moderator ban it?

    But I think banning a comment might be better than disemvowelling it. Disemvowelling makes it unnatural and something to mock. Surely a moderator would not disemvowell the comments of someone who took the other side in an argument simply because the moderator was desperate to silence opposition.

  165. Okay, now I’m feeling guilty for getting annoyed with Antinuous. It’s hard to moderate a discussion you’re taking part in. So, Antinuous, when there’s a subject you feel strongly about, ask someone who’s more objective to moderate, or simply say at the beginning, “I’m biased in favor of the Dalai Lama’s group, so I’ll be more likely to ban or disemvowell people who criticize us. It’s not my intention, but I’m simply not objective on this issue.”

    And that’s more than enough from me. Here’s hoping we all have a more civil discussion when next we meet.

  166. the people of Tibet are not the “Dalai Lama’s group”. That is a typical Chinese government propaganda line they are trying to turn into a meme by repetition. They do not want to become the Dalai Lama’s serfs. The Dalai Lama does not want to be their tyrant. They want freedom. Like they had before the invasion, pillaging and cultural genocide imposed on them by gun point by the Chinese. The Dalai Lama is the default leader since the Chinese kill anyone who rises in Tibet to take that role.

  167. Will.

    Are you asking to have an argument about moderation practices?

    If so, why are you having it with Antinous and Takuan?

    First, though, I suggest you read the moderation guidelines plus comment thread. It may be that your questions have already been answered.

  168. Well, either my comment was overlooked or ignored, so this is where I repeat myself:

    Has any other option of comment obfuscation been explored other than disemvowelling? Perhaps making the font in the comment lighter? It really breaks up the conversation (no matter how relevant it is to the actual blog post).

  169. Zosimer @196: None of us here is post-human; we can only direct our attention in one direction at a time. The subject of this post has become Chinese repression of the Tibetans. If you wish to talk about American torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere as well — which would be legitimate as the original post is ostensibly about Amnesty International which is, as the name implies, against torture all over the world — then there are things to be said and ways to broach the subject. Or, you know, you could comment in one of the other threads on American torture that crop up on boingboing from time to time.

    Just saying, “Why aren’t you talking about this other unjust thing?” without relating it to the rest of the thread marks you as someone who only wishes to disrupt the conversation about Chinese torture, and not engage in any substantive discourse. One can only speculate as to why you should wish to do that.

  170. Ths stry s wndrfl (n th BB styl) wsp trp fr th sphmrc. Th fk mg (whch s nt jst stgd pht bt cmpltly fk n th sns tht t’s nt n mnsty ntrntnl-spnsrd cmpgn) bts ths wh hv sm strng flngs bt Tbt, trtr, Chn, nd frdm t ntr nd pst. nc th dbt strts, th mdrtrs dscnd pn th pstrs wth ccstns f pstrs’ msdds sng fbrctd xcss lk “strtrfng”, bng nwb, n tr f qch, nt wntng t wrshp yn Rnd, tc… Dsnvwlng nd thrts f pstng prvlg rvktns r rbtrrly nd lbrlly dstrbtd.

    f y lk t th ntrly f th xprnc, tkng nt ccnt th stg nd plyrs pn whch t nflds, n shld njy t s prfrmnc pc whs ltmt mrl mssg s flld wth dlghtfl slf-cnnblstc rny.

  171. Will @222:

    The interesting thing about a banned comment is that as soon as you wonder what it might have been, you assume it must have been awful.

    Now, you know that isn’t true. There are many who feel sure that comments get banned because they disagree with the party line, or because the editors are in the pocket of whoever is advertising on boingboing this week, or because the moderator can’t cope with their awesome logic. Disemvowelling leaves the evidence out where everyone can read it to see for themselves.

    Booticon @227: Teresa is an experienced moderator who has explored many ways of coping with blog unpleasantness, and has been using disemvowelling for a while. Personally, I can’t see any reason that it shouldn’t be used. It’s been used on me, and I can say that it stings, but that’s part of the point, really.

  172. Will,

    You’ve managed to get into kerfuffles with all three assistant moderators at one time or another. At some point you’re going to have to accept that it’s your behavior that’s at issue. If you’re that concerned about moderation practices, you can always contact Teresa to discuss them. She’s really an amazingly reasonable woman. Continually complaining about them in threads (other than the Moderation Guideline thread) makes it look like you just want an audience for your complaints.

    You have made very many comments on very few subjects. Your comments have generally been extraordinarily repetitious, including linking repeatedly to the same small number of articles, which most other commenters have rejected as biased. Incessant carping is not discourse. These discussions are moderated, and I will continue to do what I deem necessary to keep them from becoming propaganda set pieces for any ideology.

    I have no intention of being drawn further into the quagmire of arguing with you.

  173. Takuan @224, I’m very aware that the Dalai Lama’s group are not the people of Tibet. There are Tibetans like Wangchuk who are glad they’re no longer slaves and only want the Dalai Lama to have a spiritual role, not a political one. There are Kadampa Tradition Tibetans that the Dalai Lama is trying to crush. There are Tibetans like Dorje Pama who has been very critical of the Dalai Lama. Tibetans, like everyone, consist of diverse groups.

    But the Dalai Lama’s group still pretends all Tibetans are ready to follow him. If that was true, the entire country would’ve risen in revolution. But in the ’50s, only the slaveowners revolted, and they needed CIA financing to do it. More recently, only a violent minority rioted. Neither Tibet nor China are as simple as the Dalai Lama’s followers would have us think.

    Teresa @226, I thought Antinuous was moderating this thread, and Takuan behaves so much like an abusive junior moderator that I thought he was one. If you were doing it, I’ll gladly criticize what happened here with you.

  174. Will 77: If I’m a troll, please ban me or disemvowell me, as you wish.

    Ooo, a request! I vote for “ban.”

    Will, you seem constitutionally unable (mostly—the Tom Disch thread is an exception) to say anything at all without putting in a dig or a goad. This thread degenerated into incivility, but you were not on the side of preventing that. Nor have you been in most threads.

    Talia 159: every stupid idiot who claims waterboarding isnt torture should be subjected to it themselves. Repeatedly.

    Careful. This statement advocates torture for torture-apologists. That may seem like poetic justice, but it’s still advocating torture. Please don’t. Instead, I suggest saying that if they don’t think it’s torture they should volunteer for it. There was a guy who did just that, and after mere seconds changed his tune on whether it was torture. But saying “[they] should be subjected to it themselves” is over the line.

    MDHatter 163: Yeah, that. Couldn’t come up with the name myself. Talia, that’s the one.

  175. Teresa, on second thought, you’ve got to deal with the VB affair now. I’ll happily leave the subject of moderator partisanship on Tibet for later.

  176. Xopher, point to examples of me insulting people, and I will apologize sincerely.

    I did indulge Greg in the VB thread and when that spilled onto Making Light. I should’ve ignored him, and I’m sorry I didn’t. Things like the “drama queen” charge amuse me, because they’re just so silly, and I hoped that by acting like one, I could make him laugh, but that appears to have been a miserable failure. I’m just not a good drama queen. Sigh. I’ll hang up my boa now.

  177. I’m afraid my comment demonstrating the timid way this noob would respond to Takuan’s question @#232, after reading this thread, was completely misunderstood. It was only a poor attempt to say answering that question with any sort of conviction would at this point be like slowly walking across the street during a gunfight.

  178. Foetusnail, we’re not usually so fierce.

    Will, thank you. Backing off would be much appreciated.

  179. It would be more civilized to clamor for trials in The Hague. The execution of Saddam Hussein, among others, sent a strong message to the world that the superpowers would collude with vigilante justice. Let’s not contribute to the problem by using their punishment rhetoric.

  180. Actually I would like trials in The Hague for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, for starters. I don’t think that’s incompatible with wanting China out of Tibet, or exposing their human rights abuses.

  181. Amnesty International would like to make clear that it was not involved in the dissemination of a series of images that have been circulating on the web in relation to the Beijing Olympics. Amnesty International’s global website address is http://www.amnesty.org

  182. @anonymous243, if you are in fact a representative from Amnesty International, please ID yourself? I’ve emailed several folks at AI for clarification on this issue, and have not received a reply. My email is xeni at xeni dot net, I’d appreciate a response from a non-anonymous, verifiable source.

    1. Xeni,

      I checked the link and that is just a cut and paste from AI’s home page (the international one). It is certainly cryptic.

  183. Antinuous, are you saying that having these images denied on AI’s home page is not good enough for you? Xn ws BB’s rdrs nw pst s th rdrs wh fll fr ths hx wll knw th trth.

  184. I approved the anonymous comment, and I affirmed to Xeni that I had fact-checked that it came from AI. The statement is brief and cryptic, it does not link to anything except a self-referential link to the AI home page, and it is uncertain that it refers to these images.

  185. Antinuous and Xeni, I’m guessing the commenter wasn’t from AI, but that seems irrelevant now. What matters is AI thinks this is so important that it posted the disclaimer at the top of the front page of its site. f y hv ny rspct fr , pls mk nw pst t lt ll BB rdrs knw th trth.

  186. scnd th cncrn vcd by #227 btcn. fnd ll th dsmvwllng prblmtc, spclly whn t sms smwht rbtrry. dsgr wth ntns bt rdblty; fnd t qt tgh t slg thrgh dsmvwlld psts. Tchncl dstnctns sd, dn’t fnd dsmvwllng ll tht dffrnt n prctc frm npblshng.

    ndrstnd th mtvtn bhnd t bt , t, wld prfr lss drstc sltn lk th n btcn prpsd.

    <>Th hlthy mn ds nt trtr thrs – gnrlly t s th trtrd wh trn nt trtrrs.
    – Crl Gstv Jng (1875-1961)

  187. Will 246: Xeni owes BB’s readers a new post so the readers who fell for this hoax will know the truth.

    Like HELL she does! Who the hell are YOU to tell Xeni what she “owes” to the readers?! Anyway, the normal BB practice is to update the post in situ with corrections clearly noted. But in any case Xeni, and not you (or me, for that matter) will decide whether a new post is warranted.

    This is what I meant before. You’re pretty good at refraining from direct insults, but nevertheless nearly every comment you post is insulting. This one is insulting because it presumes, and at the same time condescends (a pretty good trick).

    This is just how I perceive you: you’re continually trying to start a fight with someone or other. Do you really love flamewars that much? I wish you’d cut it out. (Note that I won’t say, as you would, that you “owe it” to this community to cut it out.)

  188. will: defend this allegation: “and Takuan behaves so much like an abusive junior moderator that I thought he was one”

  189. Will, I’ve partially disemvoweled your cts #246 and 248. Do not presume to tell Xeni (or the other Boingers) what to post about.

    If you’d look up at the post, you’d see that Xeni has edited the title to say “source unconfirmed”, and added some explanatory text in the body of the post.

  190. Hey guys,

    I think within an hour or so of first posting this as having been attributed to AI, I read commenters pointing out that this smelled like a hoax; I immediately updated the title and body of the post to reflect this doubt. I contacted AI, and others, to validate; and when this was confirmed today I updated the title and body accordingly to reflect that.

    This is what we do when there are questions about the source or validity of material we’ve posted.


  191. The plot thickens. Were they created to criticize China or to discredit Amnesty International? It could do both simultaneously.

  192. the “authenticity” of the image is a red herring drawn across the trail by supporters and apologists for Chinese torture of Tibetans. Whether Amnesty International commissioned or sanctioned the image is utterly irrelevant and they would be the first to say so.

    The facts remain: China tortures. China tortures Tibetans, Any decent person with a gram of common sense will stand up and condemn China for this.

  193. now this is interesting. Perhaps some should read ALL of it. I’ll post the whole damned article because clicking on a link seems to be SO much work:

    Chinese authorities in revenge attacks on Tibetan monks

    Updated Wed Jul 9, 2008 11:03am AEST

    Tourists are reportedly trickling back in to Tibet, four months after China effectively closed the area to foreigners.

    That followed violent protests in Lhasa in March and unrest in the ethnic Tibetan areas of the neighbouring provinces of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai. But one man who has had access to the region is Dr John Powers.

    Presenter: Tom Fayle
    Speaker: Dr Powers, a scholar in Tibetan religion and culture at the Australian National University

    POWERS: Well, I spent about three weeks in India, in Dharamsala, which is the capital of the Tibetan exiled community and then I flew into Western Tibet, into Kashka, which is normally a good way to get into the Western parts of the Tibetan Plateau. In particular, I wanted to go to Mt Kalash, which is an important pilgrimage spot and I went to some travel agencies, and they said it was absolutely closed down. There was no way anybody was getting in. So then I went to the eastern part to Chin Hai, and I was able to get into some mixed Tibetan areas on the other side of the pass that was the traditional separation between Tibet and China. And then I went to Chengdu, to try to get into some mixed areas and that was during the earthquake. I was actually there during the earthquake and so the areas where I was planning to go to were actually flattened by the earthquake.

    FAYLE: Now you did meet some Tibetan monks. What stories did you hear?

    POWERS: Well, the most striking one was from a monk that I met at a Buddhist pilgrimage spot in China, who had escaped from a monastery in Eastern Tibet and he said that when he was there at his monastery, this was in late March, after the demonstration, some Chinese troops came into his monastery and started shooting the monks, randomly so it wasn’t that they were looking for people in the protest. It was pure retaliation for the fact that they protested. He said that three of his closest friends had been shot dead right in front of him. He started running, and he heard more shots and more monks falling and then he managed to escape travelling by night over the next couple of weeks and he has no idea of what actually happened, because he hasn’t been able to get any information in or out to his monastery.

    FAYLE: We have been hearing that the monks in Tibet are being forced to take patriotic tests. What’s involved here?

    POWERS: Well, it’s called patriotic re-education. The program started in 1996 and it was originally confined to the region of centre Tibet around Lhasa, the capital. In 2002, it was greatly extended, and now it’s at all of the major monasteries across the Tibetan cultural area, which includes what the Chinese call Tibet and what has traditionally been Tibetan regions. Basically there are variations, but I actually obtained a classified document which is a manual that the cadres are given to run these courses.

    The main thrust of it actually is denunciation of the Dalai Lama. According to all the monks that I have interviewed, the key factor is at the end of course, which is basically Communist indoctrination, but at the end of the course, they are required to sign a form officially denouncing the Dalai Lama. Those who do, according to the monks will pass the course, those who don’t, no matter how good their grades have been will fail and that means they are usually expelled from their monasteries.

    FAYLE: So, you say this expulsions from the monasteries. What other consequences are there of failing the test?

    POWERS: Well, the expulsion from the monastery is quite significant, because it means that they can’t function as a monk. It means they have no support. Many of those who refused to denounce the Dalai Lama end up basically having to escape, because they really have no way to continue to live in Tibet as monks. So about 3,000 to 4,000 Tibetans are escaping every year into exile, and the overwhelming majority are monks and nuns and overwhelmingly they say the reason is because they are unable to practice their religion.

    FAYLE: So, apart from those going into exile, is it your sense that the monks are going along with these tests in order to stay in the monasteries?

    POWERS: Oh a lot do, and the Dalai Lama himself has issued statements that have been spread across Tibet saying ‘denounce me without hesitation’. He says everybody knows that it’s done under duress and that you’re being forced to do it. But many of the monks that I’ve talked to who have escaped have said that they just can’t bring themselves to do it, even though he has told them to do it. It’s such an important emotional thing for Tibetans, the reverence they have for the Dalai Lama that to denounce him is just something that’s very, very difficult.

  194. @134 – what i enjoy about Takuan is they always have a bunch of quotes lined up. about anything ;)
    And Z and W – I know you’re on a time out – but if you’re still reading I’ll quote myself from an old thread – maybe it will help with the ‘concern troll’ explanation:
    “If I say – “my cat is white” and you say – “What about dogs? My dog is white.” I might say, “Yes. Very nice but I’m talking about cats right now.” Does that mean you dog isn’t white? No!!! It simply means I’m not talking about your dog. We could get into a discussion about all the white animals in the world – but we’re not.”
    So basically – if you won’t drop talking about your dog – they tell you to sit alone in your room for a little while and figure it out. That’s all.

  195. surprise surprise

    Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 11:31 UK
    China arrests ‘Olympic plotters’

    Chinese authorities say 82 suspected terrorists have been arrested this year for plotting to sabotage the Olympic Games in Beijing.

    They say they have broken up five terrorist groups in the mainly Muslim western region of Xinjiang.

    The news follows earlier reports that police had killed five militants who wanted to wage holy war in the region.

    International security experts have questioned the level of the threat that China says it faces.

    Human rights campaigners accuse China of exaggerating an alleged threat to the Olympics to justify repression of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang.

    Ethnically Turkic Muslims, mainly in Xinjiang
    Made bid for independent state in 1940s
    Sporadic violence in Xinjiang since 1991
    Uighurs worried about Chinese immigration and erosion of traditional culture

    The BBC’s James Reynolds, in Beijing, says the report from China’s public security bureau sums up much of what is already known.

    In January the police carried out a raid in the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, in which two militants were killed, and two months later China said there had been an attempted hijacking of a flight from Urumqi.

    In April, China said that its security forces had broken up a number of plots to carry out suicide bombings and to kidnap athletes during the Olympics.

    Most recently, Chinese state-controlled media reported that the police had killed five militants in Urumqi, injured two more and arrested eight others.

    Hundreds of checkpoints

    Our correspondent says that China has suggested the threat it faces comes mainly from a group called the East Turkestan Islamic movement.

    China says this movement has links to Al Qaeda but international security experts have questioned the threat that China says it faces.

    As the Olympics approaches, China is stepping up security measures. A dual ring of hundreds of checkpoints is due to go up around Beijing starting next week.

  196. I think that in light of the photgraphs being revealed as unauthorized works, the more immediate issue becomes the ramifications of trademark infringement in the use of Amnesty International’s name and “brand”.

    AI, like any entity with a brand name and recognizable trademark, builds up its credibility over time and effort. When an unauthorized entity puts imagery out in the public view that is deliberately designed confuses the origin of that imagery, AI has lost the control of its trademark and may be harmed by this.

    If this imagery is not in line with what AI is trying to convey to people, it’s bad for everyone.
    This image can arguably be said to illicit hatred toward the Chinese more than sympathy toward the Tibetans. Perhaps this image is ill timed in light of some works AI is involved in. It can harm AI’s efforts dealing in China related works if the existence of this image becomes further promoted in the public arena. These are speculative of course but it underscores the importance of a brand remaining within the control of its owner.

    While publishing a disclaimer is one step toward clarifying the image’s true nature, it remains as potential confusing imagery to the public as to Amnesty Int’l’s mission and values since it did not go through AI’s process of design and approval. I’m surprised AI hasn’t taken further steps to stem its promotion – but perhaps it feels that direction of sending out cease and desists would cause its own backlash responses. We won’t know until AI makes a fuller position known about that imagery if ever. In either case, I think this demonstrates that even a well meaning artist can place a strong brand name in an undesirable and difficult position.

  197. It’s interesting, and I wonder why AI or the agency involved haven’t explained further. But this sort of thing is not without precedent. Perhaps the agency created it as a proof of concept and released it as approved work to the ad competitions who later put it online; perhaps this was organized by an AI branch in a specific country without permission from the mothership.

    As a piece of graphic design work. it’s (to me anyway) super interesting and effective.

    That’s why I posted it.

  198. imagine that!

    China says deported Tibetan was from radical group

    * Reuters
    * , Thursday July 10 2008

    BEIJING, July 10 (Reuters) – China on Thursday defended its decision to deport a Tibetan British woman this week, saying she was a key member of a pro-Tibet independence group and had engaged in unspecified illegal activities in the country.
    Dechen Pemba, 30, a British national, was escorted onto a plane to London after being interrogated by Chinese security officials in Beijing on Tuesday.
    But she told Reuters by telephone from London that she was innocent and said the deportation was by a paranoid government less than one month before the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics start.
    She said she had been barred from visiting China for five years.
    Asked to comment at a regular news conference on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the move was made according to law.
    “She has introduced a lot of things to you, but she probably has missed the most important fact: she is a key member of the ethnic separatist group Tibetan Youth Congress,” Liu said. China has labelled the group a terrorist organisation.
    “She should have also told you that during the investigation she confessed that she had engaged in activities violating Chinese laws during her stay in China,” Liu said, referring to reporters to “relevant departments” when asked to elaborate.
    Liu said Dechen Pemba’s deportation had no “necessary connections with the overall security measures for the Olympics”.
    Dechen Pemba denied Liu’s allegations.
    “I just think it’s completely ridiculous,” she told Reuters. “I’ve never had close associations with the Tibetan Youth Congress.
    “I think that generally they are paranoid in the run-up to the Olympics,” she added. “I don’t really know what they imagined or believed I could do. I can imagine being a Tibetan from abroad made them nervous.”
    Overseas Tibetan advocacy groups said residents of Beijing were targets simply because of their ethnicity.
    “There’s an unprecedented security sweep at the moment in Beijing due to the Olympics,” said Kate Saunders, of the International Campaign for Tibet. “It seems as though almost every Tibetan in Beijing is potentially under suspicion.”
    Dechen Pemba worked for the group in Germany several years ago, but is not currently affiliated with it, Saunders said.
    A deadly anti-government riot erupted in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa in March, sparking protests in other Tibetan-populated areas in China.
    The wave of unrest triggered a government crackdown that in turn led to protests that dogged the international leg of the Olympic torch relay.
    China has accused Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and his followers of plotting the riots to sabotage the Beijing Games. The Dalai Lama has denied the charge.
    In the latest talks with the monk’s envoys in Beijing this month, Chinese officials made explicit demands that the Dalai Lama restrain “violent criminal” activities of the Tibetan Youth Congress.
    Tibetan exiles, who fled their Himalayan homeland with the Dalai Lama after an abortive uprising against Chinese Communist rule in 1959, argue the group is not a militant organisation. (Reporting by Lindsay Beck, Guo Shipeng and Ben Blanchard)

  199. goll-ee!

    France calls in Chinese ambassador over Dalai Lama

    1 day ago

    PARIS (AFP) — French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday called in China’s ambassador over his comments warning of serious consequences if President Nicolas Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama.

    “I was very surprised by the remarks of the Chinese ambassador. I have asked him to come and see me (…) to explain his position which appears to be difficult for France to accept,” said Kouchner.

    Ambassador Kong Quan on Tuesday warned of “serious consequences” to Sino-French relations if Sarkozy met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader during his visit to France next month.

    “If such a meeting took place, it would have serious consequences because it would be contrary to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs,” the ambassador told reporters in Paris, without elaborating.

    After meeting with Kouchner, Kong did not repeat the warning, but reasserted that China was “firmly against this type of meeting” between the Dalai Lama and foreign leaders.

    “Tibet is a purely Chinese matter,” said the ambassador.

    “We are are against heads of state meeting with him abroad. This could very well be considered a form of support.”

    Earlier Sarkozy met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Japan and told him that he would be attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

    Sarkozy had threatened to boycott the August 8 ceremony unless Beijing showed progress in its talks with the Dalai Lama over the status of Tibet.

    The meeting between Sarkozy and Hu followed strains in relations following the chaotic Olympic torch relay through Paris in April that was disrupted by human rights protesters angry at Beijing’s crackdown in Tibet.

    Sarkozy has left open the possibility of holding face-to-face talks with the Dalai Lama, who has met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President George W. Bush.

    The Dalai Lama is due to pay a visit to France from August 12 to 23 to attend a conference on Buddhism in the western city of Nantes.

    France’s opposition Socialists criticised Sarkozy’s decision to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics and urged the president to hold a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

    The president’s decision to go to the August 8 ceremony “once again underscores the incoherence of France’s foreign policy,” said the Socialist Party in a statement.

  200. lands sakes!

    China’s Hu says Sarkozy’s Olympic decision is ‘correct’: state media

    14 hours ago

    BEIJING (AFP) — Chinese President Hu Jintao told his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, that his decision to attend the Beijing Olympics’ opening cermony was the correct one, state media reported on Thursday.

    Sarkozy informed Hu during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Eight industrialised nations summit in northern Japan on Wednesday that he had finally decided to attend the ceremony.

    “Hu called Sarkozy’s decision to attend the Beijing Olympics a ‘correct’ one and wished the French athletes good performance at the Olympics,” the Xinhua news agency and other state-run media outlets reported.

  201. It’s a judgment call and realistically, the more effort put in to fight trademark violation here, the greater exposure will be given to the imagery, which leads to the opposite desired effect by AI.

    While one may judge the imagery on its artistic merits, I think this is one of those valid cases where the right thing to do (presuming that supporting AI’s mission is the right thing to do or supporting princicples of general intellectual property and trademark rights) would be to either “unpublish” the image so as to not act as a distribution arm to it (although its removal might trigger greater curiousity as to what was there before… ….) or do a “disenvowelment” treatment to it by photoshopping a big red “FAKE” or “HOAX” across the image itself – which doesn’t condemn its technical artistic execution or the underlying political discussion but at least puts a proper label on it so that any links of the image will carry the disclaimer.

  202. I mean are you supporting torture for your twisted sexual enjoyment or are you taking dollars or RMB?

  203. Takuan: You’re a laughable cut&paster. But I’ll answer that question. I support torture when there is a high likelihood that lives in immediate danger can be saved and no practical alternatives exist to obtain vital information due to time and resource constraints.

    If you take the absolute stance that torture is never warranted, you live in the luxury of an idealized sheltered world where you are willing to sacrifice any number of lives for the sake of an ideal whose protection you place above a foundation of sanctity of life that others will take from you in a heartbeat.

    Let’s imagine for a moment that the man whose head is being dipped in the pool has just planted a bomb in the crowded Olympic arena. The police has just apprehended him and know that the bomb is set to go off in two minutes, too short a time to fully evacuate the audience successfully. They need to extract information on where and how to defuse it. Does that not change matters at all in your eyes or will you dig in with your absolutist stance?

    1. Satan

      Your comments seem designed to inflame rather than illuminate. I’m suspending your account for a week. If you wish to be reinstated, you can drop us a note at the end of the week.

  204. and you, you little masochistic worm, you love it and constantly return for more. Crawl! Worm! Admit you crave the lash!

  205. TBWA Paris have worked with Amnesty International France before, according to this:


    “Depuis plus de 35 ans, Amnesty International mène des actions pour prévenir et empêcher les graves atteintes aux droits à l’intégrité physique et mentale, à la liberté de conscience et d’expression et pour procurer à tous une protection contre toute forme de discrimination.
    En s’appuyant sur le concept « Vos Signatures ont du pouvoir » imaginé par TBWA\Paris l’année dernière au travers d’une campagne print, Amnesty International France poursuit son action de sensibilisation et de mobilisation.
    TBWA\Paris vient de concevoir et de réaliser un film onirique et saisissant qui met en scène différents contextes d’atteinte aux droits humains dont les victimes arrivent à s’extraire grâce à la force d’une seule signature. Ce message symbolique montre au public le pouvoir de chaque signature et qu’il appartient à chacun de faire changer les choses.
    Un film plébiscité puisque qu’il a permis à Amnesty International France et TBWA\Paris de remporter un lion d’or au Festival International de la Publicité en Juin 2007.”

    Babel Fish version:

    “For more than 35 years, Amnesty International has taken actions to prevent and prevent the serious infringements of the rights to the mental physical integrity and, the freedom of conscience and expression and to get for a whole a protection against any form of discrimination. While being based on the concept “Your Signatures have capacity” imagined by TBWA \ Paris last year through a campaign print, Amnesty International France continues its mobilization and publicity campaign. TBWA \ Paris has designed and just carried out a film oneiric and seizing which puts in scene various contexts of attack at the human rights from which the victims are able to be extracted thanks to the force from only one signature. This message symbolic system shows with the public the capacity of each signature and which it is up to each one to make change the things. A voted by plebiscite film since which it allowed Amnesty International France and TBWA \ Paris to gain a gold lion to the International festival of Publicity in June 2007.”

    Oh, and TBWA Paris also did those condom ads which were featured here recently:


  206. Satan 273: Ticking-bomb scenario doesn’t justify torture. A guy who knows that there is a bomb and when it will go off can a) probably hold out until it’s too late and b) lie to make the torturers go away until it’s too late.

    Professional interrogators have told me repeatedly that torture will not elicit new information. It’s useful for extracting confessions, but only if you already know exactly what you want the victim to confess to, and in what words. If you keep the pressure on long enough, the vic will even believe it. This is what they did to Jose Padilla, for example.

    Torture is ineffective for solving any problem that would (in the minds of some) justify it. It has no place in a free society. Those who advocate it or defend it are either a) ignorant of the facts or b) sadists who delight in suffering.

  207. FIRSTLY – I was the first one to point out that the site address was wrong – so =P can I get some credit up in this place?

    SECONDLY – I’m guessing there was a #6 comment that got deleted, and now mine is #6 because everyone keeps talking about something being offensive there… either that or I’m a newb and am missing something.

    1. Actually, an anonymous post was approved and that changed the numbering. And, yes, you get the bonus for spotting wormsign. Apply at CHOAM headquarters.

  208. From The Sunday Times
    July 13, 2008
    Olympic crackdown: China’s secret plot to tame Tibet
    Beijing is putting on a show of moderation but internal party papers reveal a sinister crackdown
    Michael Sheridan in Hong Kong

    Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month.

  209. China Offers Rewards for Olympic Security Tips
    By VOA News
    11 July 2008

    Local tourists take photos of Olympic Stadium known locally as ‘Birds Nest,’ 11 Jul 2008
    Local tourists take photos of Olympic Stadium known locally as ‘Birds Nest,’ 11 Jul 2008
    Chinese authorities are offering generous rewards to anyone who provides information on security threats during the Olympic Games.

    A report Friday by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency says individuals could receive as much as $73,000 for tips over the next several months, from July 10 to October 31.

    Beijing authorities say rewards would be paid for substantial information on terrorist attacks and groups planning to sabotage the games, such as, they say, the Falun Gong.”

  210. Brownback stated that his office had been contacted by lawyers for international hotel chains who informed him that the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) ordered foreign-owned hotels to install Internet monitoring equipment. Brownback provided documents showing that hotels were asked to cooperate with the Chinese government.

    “The Chinese government has demanded that these hotels allow the PSB to install software programs and hardware devices on the hotel networks,” Brownback said. “These measures are designed to assist the PSB to spy on the Internet activities of guests and record websites visited, searches entered and even keystrokes. The text alludes to harsh punishment for failure to comply with the order, including loss of license to operate a hotel in China.”

    The senator also provided a document that shows one hotel warning its guests that his Internet activity could be monitored. Brownback did not identify the hotel chains, citing concerns that they could be punished.

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