Red China-Whole Villain
DOOMED AMERICAN CHINA FANTASY – ONE BELT, ONE ROAD TO OPPRESSION
America’s participation in Red China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative accomplishes continued Occupation, Oppression, and Suppression in Tibet undermining American core values of Freedom, Peace, Democracy, and Natural Justice.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
US U-turn on China puts India in a fix
In a step which could see India put under tremendous pressure, the United States of America has decided to take a U-Turn from its initial position and is set to participate in China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, being organised in Beijing.
The event, is to showcase and build momentum for its new 21st-century silk route, both land and maritime, and other similar initiatives which would lead to increasing connectivity with Asian and European countries and solidify its place in the world as a major trading partner.
In India, along with concerns over its sovereignty, it is also seen as a continuation of Chinese strategy of ‘strings of pearls’ which China uses to flex its muscle in India’s neighbourhood.
The step of the US has put India in a dilemma as the change in its stance is early signal that the Trump administration is reframing the US-China relationship, according to Jagannath Panda, from the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, New Delhi.
India, which is still undecided on whether to send its representatives to the event to be held this Sunday and Monday, maintains that China has not built an environment of trust to carry out the belt and road projects.
The country’s concerns on the Chinese project stem from what it perceives to be a lack of regard shown to issues raised by it that projects which are part of OBOR impinge its sovereignty.
For example, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a part of the larger project, by which China is set to link the Xinjiang province with the Gwadar port in Pakistan and is to be built-in Balochistan, passes through Gilgit-Baltistan region which India claims as its own.
Concerns such as these have led to the serious thoughts whether to send representatives to the event or not and if yes, officials of what level are to attend. Reports have claimed that the country may be represented by junior embassy level officials.
The thinking is that even if it does not attend, it may not lead to any immediate material loss to it as OBOR is not a membership-based organisation, and may even get India praise in certain quarters for taking a principled stand.
Other than officials, academics from India may be present at the meet which is to see representation from over 50 countries including organisations such the World Bank.
The US has now decided to send senior representation to the event, with an inter-agency delegation led by Matthew Pottinger, a top adviser to the Trump administration and National Security Council senior director for East Asia to take part.
But many see it to be a trade-off between the country and China after the latter’s commitment to buy American beef as part of the Donald Trump’s 100-day plan’ agreement, and in return, the US will not only attend the event but also allow Chinese banks to expand their operation in the US.
The decision seems to be a direct result of the meeting between Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping when the Chinese leader visited the US last month. Chinese vice-finance minister Zhu Guangyao is reported to have said, ‘We welcome all countries to attend. And we welcome the United States’ attendance as the world’s largest economy.’
Out of the representatives of different countries, head of state’s of more than 29 countries are to be present for the programme. And now with the entry of the US into the fray, along with countries like Britain and Germany, China’s dominant position in the programme may be somewhat diluted.
Other countries that are taking part include Japan and South Korea, which have military differences with China, as well as other countries engaged in territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea issue, including Vietnam and Indonesia. Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka will also take part.
China may be put under pressure on the issue of transparency as other developed countries may ask for more details related to its plans, and whether it would follow internationally accepted standards on environment and labour in the projects which include six economic corridors but have not seen any reliable map made available.
According to reports, Tom Miller, author of a recent book, China’s Asian Dream, said, ‘What actually gets built will depend on what deals Chinese companies or the government make with other countries, abroad or on the deals that the Chinese government makes with other governments abroad, and no one knows exactly what those are going to be.’
The Cultural Revolution in Tibet: A Photographic Record
By LUO SILING, OCT. 3, 2016
Tsering Woeser’s father, an officer in the People’s Liberation Army in Lhasa when the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, photographed many public attacks on Tibet’s old ruling class and religious leaders. Here, a Buddhist nun wears a sign labeling her as a counterrevolutionary. Credit Tsering Dorje
In 1999, the Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser came across Wang Lixiong’s book “Sky Burial: The Fate of Tibet.” On finishing it, she sent Mr. Wang photographs taken by her father, who was with the People’s Liberation Army when it entered Tibet in the 1950s and documented the early years of the Cultural Revolution in Lhasa in the 1960s. Mr. Wang wrote back, saying, “It’s not for me, as a non-Tibetan, to use these photos to reveal history. That task can only be yours.”
Ms. Woeser began tracking down and interviewing people who appeared in the photos. This resulted in two books published by Locus in Taiwan in 2006: “Forbidden Memory: Tibet During the Cultural Revolution,” based on her father’s photographs, and “Tibet Remembered,” an oral history narrated by 23 people who appear in them. Meanwhile, Ms. Woeser had begun taking her own photos, using her father’s camera, of the places he photographed. Many were included in a new edition of “Forbidden Memory,” published this year on the 50th anniversary of the start the Cultural Revolution.
Ms. Woeser was born in Lhasa in 1966 to a Tibetan mother and her father, Tsering Dorje, who was half Tibetan and half Han, the dominant ethnicity in China. But in 1970, her father, who had served as deputy commander of the Lhasa military district, was transferred to Sichuan Province. It wasn’t until 1990 that Ms. Woeser returned to Lhasa, where she became editor of the journal “Tibetan Literature.” In 2003, she published “Notes on Tibet,” a collection of essays and short stories that was soon banned by the Chinese government. She is now a freelance writer and poet based in Beijing with Mr. Wang, whom she married in 2004. In an interview, she discussed what she learned from her father’s photographs of Tibet’s experience of the Cultural Revolution.
How did your father manage to take these photos?
In 1950, Mao Zedong ordered the People’s Liberation Army into Tibet, and on the way it passed through my father’s hometown, Derge, which is in the present-day Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. At the time my father, who was only 13, was sent away by his Han father to enlist in the P.L.A. His mother was a local Tibetan. During the Cultural Revolution, my father served as an officer in the political department of the Tibet Military District. I suppose he was able to take photos because of his privileges as a P.L.A. officer.
It’s curious, however, that for all the photos that my father took, he was able to keep the photos and negatives. This certainly could not have happened if the army had assigned him to take the photos. This indicates that my father’s activity was not commissioned by the military.
|Tibet Occupation – Unforgotten Memory – Crime Against Humanity|
On Aug. 24, 1966, in Lhasa, Buddhist scriptures were burned as part of the campaign against the “Four Olds” – old customs, old culture, old habits, old ideas. Credit Tsering Dorje
Very few people had cameras then, and even fewer had the chance to take photos of public events. There were several media agencies active in Tibet then. They produced lots of documentaries, photos and reports. And yet in the newspapers and posters from then you can’t find any photos of ruined temples or “struggle sessions” against “counterrevolutionary monsters and demons.” I’ve looked at all the issues of Tibet Daily from 1966 to 1970 but can find no such photos.
What do your father’s photos show?
Mostly mass meetings and “incidents.” By mass meetings I mean large-scale gatherings such as the celebration by tens of thousands of Chairman Mao’s launching of the Cultural Revolution. Incidents include the destruction of temples and struggles against “monsters and demons.” The photos contain many identifiable figures including the Communist leaders of Tibet, the founder of the Tibetan Red Guards, individual Red Guards, as well as nobles, clergy and officials of the old Tibet society who were targeted in “struggle sessions.” In my investigations most of my efforts were focused on these people, because it’s through them that the photos have their greatest value. Over six years, I interviewed about 70 people in the photos.
How do your photographs and your father’s, taken in the same locations, differ?
In 1966 and 1967, my father took photos of mass meetings and rallies of Red Guards and the P.L.A. in front of the Potala Palace. In 2012, when I went to the same place to take photos, two self-immolations by Tibetans had taken place in Lhasa that May. As a result, the government tightened its policy of ethnic segregation and took more security measures against Tibetans, especially those from outside Lhasa. The measures were first implemented in March 2008, when protests broke out across the Tibetan region, and became more severe in 2012. As I took my photos, I noticed a curious phenomenon: the palace square was filled with men in black. They had umbrellas on their backs, which they would use to block people from taking pictures if an incident broke out. They lined up in rows and monitored the people passing by. They prohibited anyone from sitting in the square.
Another example: In 2014, I was standing where my father had taken photos in front of the Jokhang Temple. What did he see back then? Red Guards trying to hang Chairman Mao’s portrait on the roof of the temple, where the Chinese flag was also planted. Though I didn’t see any Mao portraits there, the flag was waving in the same place. Also, there were quite a few believers kneeling and praying, as well as a crowd of tourists fascinated by their actions. On the roof of a house diagonally across from the temple there were sharpshooters from the armed police. Ever since 2008, sharpshooters have been deployed on the roofs of buildings around the temple.
Comparing today with the Cultural Revolution, there were no believers kneeling back then, and the temple was ruined, while today the temple offers a bustling scene where believers may freely worship. But these are only superficial differences. Religious worship is still strictly controlled. Furthermore, there is now commercialized tourism, with gawking tourists who treat Tibetans like exotic decorations and Lhasa as a theme park.
Who was the founder of the Lhasa Red Guards?
Tao Changsong, born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. In 1960, he graduated from East China Normal University and volunteered to move to Tibet, where he became a teacher of Chinese at Lhasa Middle School. During the Cultural Revolution he was the main force behind the creation of the Lhasa Red Guards, as well as commander of the Lhasa Revolutionary Rebels Headquarters. When the Revolutionary Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region was formed, he became its deputy director, a position equivalent to vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region today. He also went to Beijing many times and met with Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing and other key members of the Central Revolutionary Committee. In 2001, I interviewed him twice. I didn’t show him my father’s photos, assuming he might not tell me the story if he saw them, since he appears in one. It shows him at the Dalai Lama’s summer palace, the Norbulingka, leading a team of Red Guards hanging up a poster on which is written “People’s Park.”
There were two “rebel factions” in Lhasa during the Cultural Revolution. One was the Revolutionary Rebels Headquarters. The other was the Great Alliance of Proletarian Revolutionaries Command, or Great Alliance Command for short. The two fought each other for power. In the later period of the Cultural Revolution, the Headquarters faction lost ground, while the other faction achieved total control, and retained it even after the Cultural Revolution [which ended in 1976]. Headquarters members were purged from the party. Tao Changsong was investigated on suspicion of belonging to the “three types of people” – “people who followed the Lin Biao-Jiang Qing counterrevolutionary faction,” “people with a strong factionalist bent” and “people who engaged in looting and robbery.” After the mid-1980s, he worked at the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences and served as assistant editor of the journal “Tibet Studies” and as deputy director of the Modern Tibetan Research Institute. Now he’s retired and lives in Chengdu and Lhasa, where he is in good standing with the government.
Mr. Tao is a lively talker with a sharp memory. He also showed his cautious side when he began having difficulty answering my questions about the Red Guards’ campaign against the “Four Olds” at the Jokhang Temple. The statement in his account that left the deepest impression on me concerned the P.L.A.’s crackdown on “second rebels” [Tibetans who revolted in 1969]. He said: “The Tibetans are too simple-minded. If you execute them they say, ‘Thank you.’ If you give them 200 renminbi they also say, ‘Thank you.’ ”
Tibet was an exception to the general practice of purging the “three types of people” after the Cultural Revolution. In Tibet there were few purges of that kind. When Hu Yaobang came to Lhasa in 1980, he put an end to the purging of the “three types.” Why? Because there were many Tibetans among them. Hu thought if you purged them, the party wouldn’t be able to find reliable agents among local Tibetans. So the party couldn’t purge them. And some of them not only were shielded from purges but even received promotions. As a result, the people who rose in power during the Cultural Revolution still dominate Tibet, whether Tibetan or Han.
|Tibet Occupation – Unforgotten Memory – Crime Against Humanity.|
Two Red Guards in Lhasa in 1966. Credit Tsering Dorje
Tell us about the people in the photographs who were victims of the struggle sessions.
There were about 40 of them. They belonged to a variety of professions in the old Tibet: monks, officials, merchants, physicians, officers, estate overlords and so on. The settings included struggle sessions at mass assemblies, in the streets and at local neighborhood committees that methodically conducted their sessions by turns. The time frame was from August to September 1966. After that, the division between the factions led each to conduct its own separate struggle sessions. The people attacked in these sessions were incorporated into the “monsters and demons” unit, where they were ordered to attend long-term labor and study sessions at their assigned neighborhood committee.
What’s most interesting about these victims is that most were members of the upper class whom the Communist Party from the 1950s to the eve of the Cultural Revolution had designated as “targets to be won over.” And since they did not follow the Dalai Lama and flee the country during the 1959 uprising, the party rewarded them with many privileges. In other words, they were partners of the party. One of them, a monk, even served as an informant for the military.
But after the Cultural Revolution began they were labeled “monsters and demons” and suffered humiliating attacks. In the end they were overtaken by madness, illness and death. Some died during the Cultural Revolution, others afterward. Most of the victims died. Of the few who survived, some went abroad. Some, however, remained in Tibet, where they took up the party’s offer and joined the system to regain their high status. Today these people are found in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the National People’s Congress and the Buddhist Association, where they fulfill ceremonial functions needed by the party.
Given the fate of most of the victims, the people I interviewed were mostly their relatives, or in some cases the disciples of victimized monks. They told me so many stories.
Then there was the “female living Buddha” – an erroneous term; we call them rinpoche – Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chodron. Historically there have been very few female living Buddhas in Tibet. She was the most famous. In 1959 she followed the Dalai Lama and escaped to India. But she was persuaded by party cadres to return to Tibet and was held up as a patriot who had “resolved to shun the darkness and embrace the light.” She even met with Mao. After the Cultural Revolution started she was labeled a “monster and demon” and humiliated at struggle sessions.
Today, Dorje Phagmo is vice chairwoman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee. She often appears on television attending various conferences.
Did you interview the Red Guards in the photos?
In one of my father’s photos there is a female activist, a quite vicious one during the Cultural Revolution. She once led a team to ransack a house where she not only seized the owner’s property but set fire to manuscripts bequeathed to the owner by the great Tibetan scholar Gendun Choephel. A Tibetan scholar called this a major crime against Tibetan history and culture. Later this woman became party secretary at the Wabaling neighborhood committee. When I found her there, she looked quite insignificant. As soon as I brought up the Cultural Revolution, her facial expression immediately changed. She refused to give an interview or let me take her photo.
There was also a former monk I interviewed who had smashed Buddhist stupas and burned scriptures during the Cultural Revolution. Afterward, he volunteered to be a janitor at the Jokhang Temple and worked there for 17 years. He told me: “If it weren’t for the Cultural Revolution, I think I would have lived my entire life as a good monk. I would have worn monk’s robes. The temples would still be there. Inside the temples I would have devotedly read scriptures. But the Cultural Revolution came. The robes could no longer be worn. Though I have never looked for a woman or abandoned monastic life, I am not fit to wear the robes again. This is the most painful thing in my life.”
Follow Luo Siling on Twitter @luosiling.
This article was adapted from a three-part interview in the Chinese-language site of The New York Times.
© 2016 The New York Times Company
DEATH AND MISERY IN OCCUPIED TIBET
A woman’s gruesome death by hanging portrays reality of Death and Misery in Occupied Tibet.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
A woman’s gruesome hanging shocked Tibet — but police have silenced all questions
By SIMON DENYER August 26
Tsering Tso’s grandmother, Lhadhey, 83, and mother Adhey, 49, pose for a photograph in Jiqie No. 2 Village on the grasslands outside Chalong township in China’s western Sichuan province. (Xu Yangjingjing/The Washington Post)
JIQIE NO. 2 VILLAGE, China — She was 27, a kind, hard-working woman who supported her family by herding yaks and harvesting caterpillar fungus, a prized health cure, on the high grasslands of Tibet. Last October, Tsering Tso was found hanged from a bridge in a small town near her home.
Her family and local villagers gathered outside the police station in Chalong township to demand answers: She had last been seen in the company of a local Buddhist priest and two policemen.
The authorities insisted it was suicide. Family and friends suspected foul play and demanded an investigation. That night and the following morning, an angry crowd stormed the gates of the police station, smashing windows, according to local police.
The authorities’ response was brutal, revealing much about the crackdown taking place in Tibetan parts of China and showing how unrest and unhappiness is increasingly viewed as dangerously subversive.
On Oct. 10, five days after Tsering Tso’s body was found, hundreds of armed soldiers arrived in the town and descended on her funeral ceremony in the remote hamlet known as Jiqie No. 2 Village in Chinese and Raghya in Tibetan, in China’s western Sichuan province.
Witnesses said that more than 40 people were tied up, beaten with metal clubs, piled into a truck “like corpses” and placed in detention.
So much blood was shed that “stray dogs could not finish lapping it up,” according to a remarkable and rare open letter sent by the community to President Xi Jinping asking for justice.
Most of those detained were gradually released in the weeks and months that followed, and although no one died, many went straight to the hospital.
But on May 20, five relatives and family friends were sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Acquaintances say they were jailed for refusing to sign a statement absolving the police of blame for Tsering Tso’s death.
In a statement issued on its social-media account, the Garze county Public Security Bureau contested that version of events. It said some of the protesters had carried knives, iron pipes or stones and had caused nearly $10,000 worth of damage. The bureau ran photographs of several men climbing over a gate, but only two broken windows were shown.
The jailed men, the statement said, had either carried weapons or organized the protest and had been found guilty of “assembling a crowd to attack state organs.”
But relatives who spoke to The Washington Post outside the family’s tent on the remote grasslands said they were not convinced that any investigation had been carried out
Locals on motorbikes stop at a small shop in front of the monastery at Chalong township in western Sichuan province. (Simon Denyer/The Washington Post)
No one denied that a few stones had been thrown during the protest, hitting a police car and office building. But they said that as a result, their entire community had been accused of “splittism” — a serious crime implying support for the Dalai Lama, the exiled religious leader, or for Tibet’s independence from China.
Internet connections have been cut off in Chalong township since the incident, and relatives of Tsering Tso have been threatened with further punishment if they talk to outsiders. The village — a scattering of tents and yaks in a scenic, sweeping grassland valley — has been told it will not get government subsidies for roads or houses for three years because of its “bad character.”
The family insisted that its demands were not political or ethnic in nature: The priest and policemen last seen with Tsering Tso were local Tibetans, and the family said it had no beef with the central government.
All the family wants, it said, is a proper investigation, justice for Tsering Tso and freedom for the five men in jail.
“My daughter was healthy and happy. She wouldn’t commit suicide,” her 49-year-old mother Adhey said, fighting back tears as she sat on the grass with her 83-year-old mother and two young sons.
“My beloved daughter was murdered without any justice being given by the government. Instead, they simply arrested more innocent people and sent them to jail.”
Tsering Tso. (Courtesy of Golog Jigme)
What happened on the grasslands near Chalong in Garze prefecture fits a disturbing pattern. More than six decades after Chinese troops first moved into Tibet, dissent continues to roil the plateau and, if anything, is being suppressed ever more savagely.
Control and surveillance have been dramatically tightened since riots and demonstrations broke out in Tibet in 2008, and then expanded further under Xi, with tens of thousands of party cadres sent to monitor villages and monasteries, according to a January report by the International Campaign for Tibet.
In a May report, Human Rights Watch catalogued nearly 500 arrests across Tibetan parts of China between 2013 and 2015. It concluded that dissent had spread from urban to rural areas. Whereas the vast majority of arrests in the 1980s and 1990s had been of monks and nuns, most of those detained more recently were ordinary people.
Many “had merely exercised their rights to expression and assembly without advocating separatism” — criticizing local officials, for example, or opposing a mining development, the report said.
Yet even relatively mild protests about poor governance are increasingly seen through a political lens and labeled as “criminal acts,” rights groups say. Punishment can be severe.
The incident in Chalong “reflects the unrest and instability in Tibetan society,” said Golog Jigme, a filmmaker and former political prisoner who now lives in exile in Switzerland. “It’s not outsiders or the Dalai Lama stirring things up, it’s social issues.”
On the evening of Oct. 4, 2015, Tsering Tso had received a phone call from her boyfriend, a lama at the Gertse Dralak monastery in Chalong. He said he was ill and wanted to see her.
Her father gave her a lift, only to find the lama drinking with two policemen. He left her there. The following morning, Tsering Tso’s body was found hanging from a small bridge in the town.
Although police say an autopsy listed the cause of death as suicide, residents are deeply skeptical. Some reported seeing bruises on her body and said that a doctor’s report had noted a wound on her head as well as a broken neck. They also said her clothes looked as though they had been put on after her death. The lama, who had a reputation as a womanizer, has since disappeared.
In its statement, the Public Security Bureau said the two policemen were on duty at the time of her death and could not have been involved. But villagers insist that the two men were seen drinking with the lama that night and suspect a coverup. Instead of investigating, they say, the police just called in the army.
As they rounded up suspects, security forces raided and ransacked relatives’ homes, “smashing everything and stabbing knives into sacks of rice and butter,” one relative said. “We’ve only seen that kind of brutality before in TV dramas about Japanese invaders.”
The raiders confiscated photos of Tsering Tso — even checking mobile phones. A family member showed scars on his head from a beating that he said left his body drenched in blood. Released weeks later, he was warned by officials not to talk to anyone, but he refuses to be silenced.
He said another relative walks with a limp after being beaten on his legs; a third, a Buddhist monk, was beaten so badly on the head that he bled from one ear and today cannot walk at all. Family members who work for the government lost their jobs.
The police statement merely said that 44 people had been subpoenaed.
Many Tibetans are too scared to speak out publicly against injustice, but the communities around Chalong appear to have gathered to write a remarkable open letter about the incident. The letter, first obtained by Golog Jigme, claims to have been written in the name of 700 residents across 13 communities in the area.
“These days the Chinese Communists are claiming and announcing how they are building a perfect Tibet and how free and happy Tibetans are in China, but now we have no option but to show the world an actual example of the real suffering endured by the people of the three regions of Tibet under Chinese oppression,” the letter begins.
Local officials, the letter continued, had “conspired to use force to bully the common people,” ending with an appeal to President Xi to “investigate and rectify.”
The International Campaign for Tibet said the incident reveals the extent of the impunity of officials and police in Tibet, and the fact that it took so long to reach the outside world shows how tightly information flows are restricted. The organization Free Tibet said it “clearly exemplifies not just the brutality of life under the Chinese occupation but also how arbitrary and illogical it can be.”
Xu Yangjingjing contributed to this report.
Simon Denyer is The Post’s bureau chief in China. He served previously as bureau chief in India and as a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, India and Pakistan.
© 1996-2016 The Washington Post
TROUBLE IN TIBET – REGIME CHANGE THROUGH MEDITATION
The problem of military occupation in Tibet needs resolution which may demand ‘Regime Change’. If occupation poses problem, it exists outside mind of person experiencing the problem. Meditation may bring about some change in electrical activity of brain and that change in activity can be sustained by the person who practices meditation. However, there is no reason to suggest or expect any change in electrical activity of brain of any person who imposes the burden called occupation.
Meditation may help to bring ‘Regime Change’ if physical activity follows mental activity taking advantage of change in electrical activity of brain induced by practice of meditation.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Neuroscientist Richie Davidson Says Dalai Lama Gave Him ‘a Total Wake-Up Call’ that Changed His Research Forever
- By Lauren Effron
Jul 27, 2016, 2:00 PM ET
Dr. Richie Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been meditating for more than 40 years, but it was the Dalai Lama himself who convinced him to dedicate his life to researching the effects of meditation on the brain.
“He challenged me, saying, ‘You’ve been using the tools of modern neuroscience to mostly study anxiety, depression and fear, all these negative feelings. Why can’t you use these same tools to study qualities like kindness and compassion and equanimity?’ And I didn’t have a very good answer for him,” Davidson said. “It was a total wake-up call for me and really was a pivotal catalyst.”
Davidson, who founded the Center for Healthy Minds, met the Dalai Lama in 1992 and has since gone on to conduct multiple studies on mindfulness, compassion and cognitive therapy training. He talked about his research and personal meditation practice with ABC News’ Dan Harris for his “10% Happier” live stream/podcast show.
Early in his career, Davidson said he “became a closet meditator and didn’t talk to any of my colleagues about my interest in meditation … [the Dalai Lama] played a major role in me coming out of the closet and encouraging serious scientific research in this area.”
His relationship with His Holiness led to Davidson and his colleagues to conduct a study a few years ago looking at the brain scans of Buddhist monks as they meditated. The Dalai Lama had granted permission for his monks to have their brains studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home to one of the most renowned brain labs in the world.
Davidson’s team flew in monks from Tibet and Nepal for the study and asked them to meditate while undergoing EEG, MRI and FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans. When they first looked at the scans, Davidson said the results were so shocking, he thought the equipment was malfunctioning.
“What we saw in these individuals, not a burst of gamma, but a long duration [of activity] for minutes while they were meditating, which is crazy,” Davidson said. “This had never been seen in a human brain before.” Typically in an “untrained mind,” Davidson said, a burst of activity would last for about one second, but the monks could sustain it.
“And [they] can turn it on pretty much at will,” he said. “Any of us can have it and we may not be able to sustain it, that’s the difference … a thought will come into our mind and we’ll get lost in it for a few minutes, and so the ability to sustain it I think really requires much more practice.”
As a scientist, Davidson has been criticized in the past for his close relationship with the Dalai Lama, a religious figure. Davidson also has been questioned about whether he is biased toward a certain outcome in his research because he has been practicing meditation for decades. But Davidson argued that his personal practice and the Dalai Lama’s support are beneficial to his work.
“I understand the concern and really my push back is simply that we are trying to do the science at the highest possible level with the most integrity,” Davidson said. “And I actually believe that if you’re going to study meditation scientifically then you’ve got to meditate yourself…. It would be like telling a cardiologist that they can’t do any physical exercise for the rest of their active career because they’re biased.”
Every morning, Davidson said he will do a period of meditation and then take two to three minutes to scan his calendar for meetings. Then for a few seconds, Davidson said he pauses to reflect on how he can bring “the right stuff” to each meeting in order to “be present and be most helpful.”
“I can go through a day where I have 10 straight hours of meetings and at the end of that period feel totally nourished and refreshed,” he said.
His advice for those who want to start meditating was to commit to a daily practice for at least 30 days, but set a reasonable amount of time.
“There are published studies which show as little as eight minutes of meditation can actually produce a measurable objective change, but again it says nothing about how long these changes will last,” Davidson said. “It doesn’t matter how small that number is, but do it every day.”
TROUBLE IN TIBET – LEGACY OF THE BIGGEST MASS MURDERER OF THE WORLD
Trouble in Tibet stands for Legacy of the Biggest Mass Murderer of the world. It is not a past historical event. His Legacy is alive today for the Monster that he created lives in pursuit of the Doctrine of Expansionism.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Remembering the biggest mass murder in the history of the world
BY ILYA SOMIN AUGUST 03
Chinese peasants suffering from the effects of the Great Leap Forward.
Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world? Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust. But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.
Historian Frank Dikötter, author of the important book Mao’s Great Famine recently published an article in History Today, summarizing what happened:
Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a Utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them. In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.
A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued. Extrapolating from published population statistics, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine….
What comes out of this massive and detailed dossier is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962. It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction. When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, local boss Xiong Dechang forced his father to bury him alive. The father died of grief a few days later. The case of Wang Ziyou was reported to the central leadership: one of his ears was chopped off, his legs were tied with iron wire, a ten kilogram stone was dropped on his back and then he was branded with a sizzling tool – punishment for digging up a potato.
The basic facts of the Great Leap Forward have long been known to scholars. Dikötter’s work is noteworthy for demonstrating that the number of victims may have been even greater than previously thought, and that the mass murder was more clearly intentional on Mao’s part, and included large numbers of victims who were executed or tortured, as opposed to “merely” starved to death. Even the previously standard estimates of 30 million or more,would still make this the greatest mass murder in history.
While the horrors of the Great Leap Forward are well known to experts on communism and Chinese history, they are rarely remembered by ordinary people outside China, and has had only a modest cultural impact. When Westerners think of the great evils of world history, they rarely think of this one. In contrast to the numerous books, movies, museums, and and remembrance days dedicated to the Holocaust, we make little effort to recall the Great Leap Forward, or to make sure that society has learned its lessons. When we vow “never again,” we don’t often recall that it should apply to this type of atrocity, as well as those motivated by racism or antisemitism.
The fact that Mao’s atrocities resulted in many more deaths than those of Hitler does not necessarily mean he was the more evil of the two. The greater death toll is partly the result of the fact that Mao ruled over a much larger population for a much longer time. I lost several relatives in the Holocaust myself, and have no wish to diminish its significance. But the vast scale of Chinese communist atrocities puts them in the same general ballpark. At the very least, they deserve far more recognition than they currently receive.
I. Why We so Rarely Look Back on the Great Leap Forward
What accounts for this neglect? One possible answer is that the most of the victims were Chinese peasants – people who are culturally and socially distant from the Western intellectuals and media figures who have the greatest influence over our historical consciousness and popular culture. As a general rule, it is easier to empathize with victims who seem similar to ourselves.
But an even bigger factor in our relative neglect of the Great Leap Forward is that it is part of the general tendency to downplay crimes committed by communist regimes, as opposed to right-wing authoritarians. Unlike in the days of Mao, today very few western intellectuals actually sympathize with communism. But many are reluctant to fully accept what a great evil it was, fearful – perhaps – that other left-wing causes might be tainted by association.
The social-political movement launched in May 1966 by Mao Zedong followed a botched industrialization campaign where millions starved. It’s a sensitive period in modern China’s history. That’s why this museum filled with relics from China’s “Red Era”, is one of a kind. From busts to badges, plates to posters – Chairman Mao and his vision are everywhere. (Reuters)
In China, the regime has in recent years admitted that Mao made “mistakes” and allowed some degree of open discussion about this history. But the government is unwilling to admit that the mass murder was intentional and continues to occasionally suppress and persecute dissidents who point out the truth.
This reluctance is an obvious result of the fact that the Communist Party still rules China. Although they have repudiated many of Mao’s specific policies, the regime still derives much of its legitimacy from his legacy. I experienced China’s official ambivalence on this subject first-hand, when I gave a talk about the issue while teaching a course as a visiting professor at a Chinese University in 2014.
II. Why it Matters.
For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. They also deserve compensation for their losses, and the infliction of appropriate punishment on the remaining perpetrators.
In addition, our continuing historical blind spot about the crimes of Mao and other communist rulers, leads us to underestimate the horrors of such policies, and makes it more likely that they might be revived in the future. The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis. But it has not – so far – fully done so.
Just recently, the socialist government of Venezuela imposed forced labor on much of its population. Yet most of the media coverage of this injustice fails to note the connection to socialism, or that the policy has parallels in the history of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other similar regimes. One analysis even claims that the real problem is not so much “socialism qua socialism,” but rather Venezuela’s “particular brand of socialism, which fuses bad economic ideas with a distinctive brand of strongman bullying,” and is prone to authoritarianism and “mismanagement.” The author simply ignores the fact that “strongman bullying” and “mismanagement” are typical of socialist states around the world. The Scandinavian nations – sometimes cited as examples of successful socialism- are not actually socialist at all, because they do not feature government ownership of the means of production, and in many ways have freer markets than most other western nations.
Venezuela’s tragic situation would not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the Great Leap Forward. We would do well to finally give history’s largest episode of mass murder the attention it deserves.
Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and popular political participation. He is the author of “The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain” and “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter.”
TROUBLE IN TIBET – PROBLEM OF TRANSPARENCY IN COMMUNIST GOVERNANCE
Communist China showcases her technological advancement by erecting structures such as Glass Walkway in Tianmen Mountain. Such use of technology is not resolving the problem of transparency in Communist Governance. Glaring evidence for lack of transparency is Trouble in Tibet.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Glass walkway opens in Tianmen mountain, China
This terrifying construction is part of the latest addition to China’s glass bridge craze.
The Coiling Dragon path is in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province, and a new section opened to tourists on Monday.
The 100-m walkway has 99 turns around the side of the sheer cliff face of Tianmen Mountain. For those immune to the terror of a vertical drop, it’s a perfect photo opp.
Reassuringly some tourists, in their protective shoes, appeared more keen to cling to the walls and just get it over with.
Braver tourists can enjoy spectacular views across the Hunan countryside. No, we’re not sure how this picture was taken either.
The Zhangjiajie park already offers tourists this – at 430 m (1,410 ft) and suspended over a 300 m-deep valley it is billed as the world’s longest glass bridge.
To assuage fears about safety, in June the park authorities deliberately cracked the glass then drove a car full of people over it. It was fine.
And for good measure, they hit it with a sledgehammer.
BLACK DAY IN THE U.S. HISTORY – JULY 15, 1971
On behalf of Special Frontier Force, I record July 15, 1971 as ‘Black Day’ in the U.S. History. While the U.S. engaged in bloody war in Vietnam to contain Communism, President Richard M. Nixon announced his plan to befriend the Enemy that his Armed Forces were fighting against. The Enemy at that time was implementing a horrific program called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which in reality constitutes Crimes Against Humanity. This despicable act of surrender ensured the most humiliating defeat ever suffered by the U.S. in its entire history.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
In a This Day in History video, learn that on July 15, 1971, Richard Nixon stunned the nation by stating that he would visit communist China. Nixon was a product of the Cold War and spent his career bad-mouthing everything red China did or said. But, Nixon wanted a second term and his polls were down; he hoped China would put pressure on their allies, the North Vietnamese, to end the war. Unfortunately, there was no immediate gain from the trip and the Vietnam War went on for another year and a half.
Nixon announces visit to communist China
Author: History.com Staff http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nixon-announces-visit-to-communist-china Publisher: A+E Networks
During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major shift in American foreign policy.
Nixon was not always so eager to reach out to China. Since the Communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. His political reputation was built on being strongly anti-communist, and he was a major figure in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America.
By 1971, a number of factors pushed Nixon to reverse his stance on China. First and foremost was the Vietnam War. Two years after promising the American people “peace with honor,” Nixon was as entrenched in Vietnam as ever. His national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, saw a way out: Since China’s break with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, the Chinese were desperate for new allies and trade partners. Kissinger aimed to use the promise of closer relations and increased trade possibilities with China as a way to put increased pressure on North Vietnam–a Chinese ally–to reach an acceptable peace settlement. Also, more importantly in the long run, Kissinger thought the Chinese might become a powerful ally against the Soviet Union, America’s Cold War enemy. Kissinger called such foreign policy ‘realpolitik,’ or politics that favored dealing with other powerful nations in a practical manner rather than on the basis of political doctrine or ethics.
Nixon undertook his historic “journey for peace” in 1972, beginning a long and gradual process of normalizing relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. Though this move helped revive Nixon’s sagging popularity, and contributed to his win in the 1972 election, it did not produce the short-term results for which Kissinger had hoped. The Chinese seemed to have little influence on North Vietnam’s negotiating stance, and the Vietnam War continued to drag on until U.S. withdrawal in 1973. Further, the budding U.S.-China alliance had no measurable impact on U.S.-Soviet relations. But, Nixon’s visit did prove to be a watershed moment in American foreign policy–it paved the way for future U.S. presidents to apply the principle of realpolitik to their own international dealings.
Nixon Announces His Resignation Nixon’s Secret Plan to End the Vietnam War Richard Nixon’s Farewell Speech Inaugural Address: Richard Nixon 1970s Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech Richard Nixon’s Impeachment Investigation Nixon Addresses “Silent Majority”
audio Play video Nixon Discusses Forthcoming Trip to China Nixon Returns From China Cultural Revolution Ping-Pong Diplomacy in China How Ping-Pong Diplomacy Thawed the Cold War Senator Nixon Takes Tough Stand on Communism Major Milestones in U.S.-China Relations Détente Kissinger on Importance of Strong Foreign Policy Nixon on the Vietnam War
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