He has been quoted as saying “Sleep is the best meditation.” May I suggest his holiness wake up to the fact that the two wars started by his friend George W. Bush are the clearest violations of his own espoused principles of peace and non-violence. Really, does no one else find it absurd that the Dalai Lama has on multiple occasions since 2001 stood unopposed to the brutal, barbaric and illegal wars first in Afghanistan and later Iraq? This sought-after personality loved by celebrities, the CIA, political leaders and civilians alike restated today in Calgary that “It’s hard to tell which category the current military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq will eventually fall into.”
He was referring to whether these blood-stinged imperial wars fit into the category of a “justified” war like World War II or North Korea or an “unjustified” one. Hard to tell? Your Holiness, hard to tell? In Iraq many estimate that over 500,000 civilians have died as a consequence of the war who even Alan Greenspan says was motivated on America’s incessant oil thirst. Moreover, tens of thousands have been savagely killed in the Afghan war with growing numbers every day as America slowly recognizes its inability to “win” an unwinnable war. Do we need to repost the pictures of Abu Gharib? Pictures of the massacre of Fallujah? Wedding after wedding bombed into the ground as “collateral damage”?
No, it is not hard to tell. What man of peace could possibly have trouble with this equation? Granted he did mention in the same session that he felt the wars were “so far” a failure. However one would assume that this modern saint who’s self-proclaimed religion is “non-violence” would be held to a higher standard on his understanding of the two most violent acts of the 21st century. It took the Lama over four years to move from staying that it is to early to call the wars a failure to his current statement on only time will tell. Shame.
I suppose if we look at the Dalai Lama’s resume his repeated failures to oppose these gruesome wars would not be as surprising. After all, this spiritual leader represents the brutally oppressive feudal order of old Tibetan society whereby he “lived richly in the 1000-room, 14-story Potala Palace” while most of his country men were destined to serfdom. It is not so easy to find any criticism of this feudal order by the Dalai Lama who loves to riddle his many best-selling books with simplistic statements of equality, peace, non-violence and justice.
Nor should his nonchalant attitude to the wars be as surprising if we take into consideration his previous history of accepting millions of dollars from the CIA to send armed squads into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution (he himself was to receive $186,000 a year on payroll from the CIA). Former CIA agent Ralph McGehee even today “alleges that the CIA has been a prime funder of the Dalai Lama’s media profile as a symbol of meditiative peace and Buddhist mindfulness.”
In fact, this is the same holy man who joined George Bush Sr. and Margaret Thatcher in their outcry over the extradition from England to Spain of the late fascist leader Augusto Pinochet for crimes against humanity committed in his bloody rule over Chile. This is the same holy man who has no quarrels with standing next to far-right reactionaries like Jesse Helms, George Bush Senior and Junior or John McCain, expressing his deep and devoted friendship on repeated visits to the United States. He shocked many when he stated “I love President George W Bush” earlier this year.
No, we should not be surprised at all.
What’s truly surprising is is how easily the spin doctors of the mass media can manufacture modern day Jesus Christs with such finesse, grabbing the hearts and minds of the masses with nothing more than shiny books and endless photo ops. I think it would be fair to say that second to Obama, the Dalai Lama and the campaigning around him has been one of the most successful marketing ventures of our time. No wonder China is so pissed off.