Years ago the film Seven Years in Tibet (banned in China) brought home the cruelty of the Chinese conquest of Tibet. A Chinese army with modern weapons obliterated the Tibetans, armed only with medieval bows and arrows. Nonetheless, the Tibetan army fought a hopeless and suicidal rear-guard action long enough to cover the escape of the Dalai Lama to India.
Since then little information has escaped from that area, but monks have brought out rumors of massive killing of native animal herds and scorched-earth destruction of native habitats.
As protests and demonstrations over Tibet followed the Olympic torch relay in Paris, one presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, called on President Bush to skip the opening ceremony for the Olympics.
Complete statement by Hillary Clinton on Olympics:
The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.
I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.
Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.
The west has had few options for interference with China’s brutality in Tibet no matter how much sympathy exists for the Tibetans. Until now. Yes, this is the time to put pressure on China.