It’s been a while since Obama did anything I could applaud. it’s just too bad this is so inconsequential:
The Obama Administration may think its decision to cold shoulder the Dalai Lama on the Tibetan leader’s upcoming trip to Washington is smart politics. But if the leader of the free world doesn’t stand up for religious freedom, who will?
I fail to see how meeting with the deposed theocrat of a conquered nation is standing up for anything. The same people who think the Ayatollah of Iran is evil and the likes of Pat Robertson are backwards, dirty cocksuckers, give the Dalai Lama a pass, just because he’s a Buddhist. As if that somehow excuses the fact that, for the last 1500 years, he and his predecessors* have been the autocratic rulers of an absolute theocracy, using the local superstition to keep themselves in power.
And yes, yes, I know, the Chinese are evil bastards, invading sweet old Tibet, etc. Whatever. Being ruled by a nominally Communist dictatorship rather than a religious dictatorship is more of a lateral move. And it’s galling to listen to the Dalai Lama wander around aimlessly blathering about human rights when, if he had his way, he’d be back in Tibet, working to keep women as second class citizens and overlooking the abuse of children by monks. Lhasa never was the bastion of enlightenment the aging hippies made it out to be. It’s just the Vatican of the Himalayas. For all his talk of peace and human rights, The Dalai Lama hasn’t really done anything but ask people to be nice, so that maybe, one day in a thousand generations, we’ll be better people. he could do more, but as a Buddhist, it’s against his religion to actually do anything that might be helpful.
While I’d like to see the people of Tibet become free, it won’t be because of the Free Tibet Movement, who seek to reinstall the Dalai Lama of Tibet become free, they need to do so by winning their independence (by force if necessary) and establishing a democracy. If they want to keep the Dalai Lama and his cadre of incestuous priests on hand as ceremonial fiure heads, that’s their business.
And sure, China has been mistreating Tibetans for quite some time, torturing monks and squashing demonstrations. They don’t get a pass either, and if it turns out that Obama is snubbing the Dalai Lama just to win brownie points with Beijing, I’ll be just as disappointed. I’d prefer to think Obama just has more important things to occupy his time than entertaining mystics.
*Or, if you believe in reincarnation, the same man. What is worse, being ruled over by an endless parade of deluded self righteous men, or the same one repeatedly? Kind of a wash.