Monday, May 07, 2012

Kush considerations . . .

INTER-PRESS-SERVICE is a quiet site that is devoted to “giving a voice to the voiceless”.  Since its inception, back in 1964, IPS proclaims that it has believed in the role of information as a precondition for lifting communities out of poverty and marginalization.

Well, Carey L. Biron has an interesting article, "Morality Versus Strategy in U.S. Tibet Policy". Tibet? Except for Richard Gere, nobody cares about Tibet anymore. The US government has been less than stand-up for the poor Dalai Lama, and now, other western countries are also becoming more distant.

"Tibet has been turned into a moral issue and been pushed to the sidelines," said Brahma Chellaney, an analyst at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. "We need to take it back to centre stage and recognise that Tibet is tied to Asian and international security."

"We can't make progress if we treat Tibet as a moral rather than a strategic issue," agreed Michael J. Green, an adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington.

The remarks came during a panel discussion on Capitol Hill organised by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative think tank.

According to Green, the administration of President Barack Obama sees Tibet only through a moral lens, and thus is prone to making decisions in deference to the bilateral relationship with China.

He noted his disappointment in President Obama's public decision, in 2009, to delay meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, and suggested that the decision had long-term implications for how other governments felt about dealing with Chinese anger over Tibet-related issues.

"When asked to meet with the Dalai Lama, the three previous U.S. presidents agreed to do so – that was the right direction," Green said. "After Obama's decision, however, the European Union countries started to get 'picked apart' by China."

So, that's too bad. Why should you care? Well, it's like this: there is an ever-growing awareness in India that the Chinese are dangerous imperialists, and that besides Tibet, Nepal and other areas of Himalayan real estate may be threatened, and both countries have nukes and delivery systems and aggressive general staffs and rapidly growing budgets.

"We can't rule out that Tibet will be the next Asian battlefield," Mansingh warned. "There is a growing sense that relations between India and China are not getting better."

For the Indian government, Mansingh said, of the seven most pressing issues of concern between India and China, five are in Tibet.

"First and foremost are territorial disputes," he said. "Currently, there are 4,000-plus kilometres of unsettled border issues, on which there are no solutions in sight. These negotiations have been going on for 60 years and are currently going nowhere. That's worrying."

According to Chellaney, such tensions could be exacerbated by what some suggest is increasing belligerency on the part of the Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army (PLA). In the future, he suggests, the military could be calling more of the shots.

"PLA generals have been increasingly public about their own role," Chellaney said, pointing to a recent series of articles in the press written by serving army officers "calling for discipline" on the part of the ruling Communist Party of China "and alluding to the military's role in ensuring that discipline".

So, lots of ways that the Strontium levels in milk could climb in the near future.

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