The Chinese government has defied international anger at its crackdown on Tibetan independence protests, accusing the Dalai Lama and his “splittist clique” of being out to destroy the Olympics and damage China’s international reputation.
And exactly what reputation might that be? Certainly China can’t be deluded that their abominable record on human rights has somehow escaped the world’s attention. You don’t run over people with tanks and not create a sensation.
Of course China may be right. There is something unseemly, unholy almost, about the endless stream of protests designed to exploit the world’s attention attendant upon the Olympics. The idea behind the Olympics is to lay aside political differences for the games, not resolve all of them. Zeus knows the ancient Greeks went back to fighting each other as soon as the last meddle was awarded.
What makes this particularly intriguing is that the Dalai Lama functions as a kind of spiritual guru. If he is, indeed, interrupting the “spirit” of the Games, then that raises some interesting questions beyond the political. The Dalai Lama, to his great credit, recognizes this and is threatening to resign if the Tibetian issue cannot be resolved peacefully.
Maybe Richard Gere can sort it all out for us, carrying the Dalai Lama out of this conundrum like he did Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman. Lord lift us up where we belong.