Saturday, March 29, 2008

British Filmmakers Expose Terrible Oppression in Tibet

The truth is coming out. Will the world listen:

British filmmakers have emerged from three months undercover in Tibet to release a terrifying portrayal of Chinese repression, including shootings, torture and the brutal sterilisation of women left maimed by crude operations.

Their film, to be shown tomorrow night as part of Channel 4's Dispatches series, was made before the recent outbreak of anti-Chinese rioting in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

But with hundreds of jailed Tibetan protesters now in fear for their lives, the harrowing footage will add to the storm of condemnation gathering ahead of the Beijing Olympics this year.

The documentary's investigation began with the notorious 2006 shootings on the Nangpa La pass, when unarmed Tibetans trying to leave the country were gunned down by Chinese border guards.

Two Tibetans were killed and 32 detained, interrogated and then sent to a labour camp 150 miles from Lhasa.

The experiences of one of those held, Jamyang Samten, now 16, gives a clue to the fate of Tibetan protesters now in the hands of the Chinese police.

He told the programme makers he was given electric shocks with a cattle prod, chained to a wall and hit in the stomach by a guard wearing a metal glove.

If he made a minor mistake in his interrogation, he would be beaten with a chain.

"The way the Chinese tortured was terrifying," he said.

"They beat us using their full strength. Sometimes they forced us to take off our clothes. We were locked up in a room with our arms and legs handcuffed and they beat us. The chain injured the surface but not the inside of the body.

"If they hit us with the electric baton, our entire body trembled and gradually we were unable to speak."

At least one major Western politician has shown the decency and courage to take a stand against the brutal oppression of the Tibetans by China:
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.

As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown's determination to attend the Olympics.

Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister, became the first EU head of government to announce a boycott on Thursday and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing.

"The presence of politicians at the inauguration of the Olympics seems inappropriate," Tusk said. "I do not intend to take part."

Gov. Rendell Remarks: More Clinton Surrogate Race-Baiting

Once again a Clinton supporter and surrogate makes a racially insensitive remark. This has become standard operating procedure for the Clinton mafia. This is a CNN 360 show transcript:


GOV. ED RENDELL, (D) PA: It wasn't intended to be racial. Anybody who knows my record as governor knows I've been probably the most inclusive governor we've ever had.


COOPER: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell explaining some of the controversial remarks he made about Barack Obama. Critics have since been calling his words everything from politically motivated to racist, some people have said. The governor isn't quite backing down.

360's Randi Kaye met with him in Philadelphia.

Tonight she's up close with Governor Ed Rendell.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's blunt, brutally honest.

RENDELL: People know I don't B.S. them.

KAYE: And hardly bashful regarding his recent comments about Barack Obama.

RENDELL: The next president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

KAYE: In a meeting with the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's" editorial board last month, Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton said, "You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate." Yes, he went there.

RENDELL: I wasn't trying to influence the campaign, I was in a room with six guys -- I don't think it even had any windows and they asked me to handicap the race.

KAYE (on camera): The governor's remarks sent a chill through Pennsylvania's African-American community. Here in Philadelphia, the head of the NAACP called it callous and insensitive. Others have suggested it was politically motivated, even racist.

RENDELL: It wasn't intended to be racial.

KAYE: You don't regret your comments at all about Barack Obama and white voters.

RENDELL: Do I think there was anything wrong with it? Absolutely not. I told the truth, and we've got to be able to speak the truth about race without someone pointing their finger and saying, you're racist.

KAYE: Rendell calls Obama a formidable candidate who has done a great job of putting the race issue behind him. He blames the media for, his words here, "obsessing about this stuff."

Just five days after the "Post Gazette" published Rendell's comments, it printed a follow up article that seems to defend Rendell.

"Mr. Rendell didn't dump or strategically plant his opinion about race in our paper on behalf of the Clinton campaign. He appeared passive but not indifferent to or malicious about our state's backwardness."

Barack Obama agreed with the governor saying, "I think there will be people who don't vote for me because of race. There will be people who don't vote for me because I got big ears." But Obama didn't let Rendell off the hook. He also said, "Governor Rendell is a savvy politician, and I think he wants to project strength for Senator Clinton."

This is not the first time Governor Rendell injected race into a race. When he ran for governor in 2006, his opponent was former TV host Lynn Swann, an African-American. After his victory, Rendell said he believed the margin would have been closer, had Swann been white. Swann told us he thought Rendell's most recent comments about Obama were a subtle form of racism. If Clinton doesn't win the nomination, Rendell says he will support Obama. He's given him his word.

Iraqi Shiite Militias Kill off The "Surge"

The surge was always dependent upon the self-imposed ceasefire by the Shiite militias. Now they are fighting again and U.S. forces won't be able to stop it. Not only that but the so-called safe haven, Green Zone, is under repeated fire. It is reminiscent of Saigon before the fall to the Communists:

The death toll rose above 130 after days of fighting in Baghdad where U.S. forces have been drawn deeper into an Iraqi government crackdown on militants loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

U.S. forces said they had killed 48 militants in air strikes and gun battles across the capital on Friday.

A top Sadr aide said Sadr's representatives had met Iraq's highest Shi'ite religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in an effort to end the violence. The Sadr aide, Salah al-Ubaidi, said Sistani called for a peaceful solution.

At least 133 bodies and 647 wounded have been brought to five hospitals in the eastern half of Baghdad over the past five days of clashes, the head of the health directorate for eastern Baghdad, Ali Bustan, said on Saturday.

Health workers say hospitals are overflowing and understaffed in the Sadr City slum, a vast stronghold of Sadr's followers, and a ring of Iraqi and U.S. forces around the area makes it impossible to evacuate the wounded.

More than 300 people have been reported killed and many hundreds wounded in the five days of fighting across southern Iraq and Baghdad since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki launched a crackdown on Sadr's followers in the southern city of Basra.

In Basra, Mehdi Army fighters controlled the streets, manning checkpoints and openly brandishing rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers.

Of course Bush views the dramatic increase in violence as a good thing. Up is down, in is out. Could he possibly be that deluded:
Washington says the crackdown is a sign the Iraqi government is serious about imposing its will and capable of acting on its own. But government forces have failed to drive Sadr's fighters from the streets.

U.S. forces described a number of gun battles in Baghdad including one in which they said they killed 10 gunmen who attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi security station. The Americans have used helicopter gunships and artillery.

Mortar bombs and rockets have caused havoc in the capital all week. Strikes on the fortified Green Zone government and diplomatic compound forced the U.S. embassy to order staff to wear helmets and body armor.

A curfew is in place in Baghdad, closing shops, businesses and schools. Residents are confined to their homes in areas where there has been fighting.