The Dalai Lama: Front Man for a Feudal Clique, Darling of Wealthy Mystics and Cold Warriors

This article by Webster G. Tarpley comes from
February 17, 2010

Obama will meet the Dalai Lama of Tibet this coming Wednesday in a move sure to inflame resentment against the US in China. Various wealthy mystics in Hollywood have promoted the Dalai Lama as an exemplar of refined spirituality, but in reality the Dalai Lama’s operation, currently based in India, is a relic of the Allen Dulles-Richard Bissell era of Cold War extremists at the CIA. The current Dalai Lama attempted to lead an insurrection against Chinese rule in 1959, which was supported by the oppressive feudal nobility of Tibet, but failed because it had little appeal to the former serfs and slaves who made up about 80% of Tibetan society. Tibet under the Dalai Lama was a country where 200 wealthy families held 93% of the wealth, while the masses were so poor and downtrodden that the population was declining. During the 1960s, the CIA gave several million dollars a year to the Dalai Lama’s court, with the Dalai Lama personally getting more than $180,000 per year from the US taxpayer. Today, the Dalai Lama’s court in northern India is the home of a gaggle of reactionary Tibetan aristocrats supported by $2 million per year from that same US taxpayer. This is a very bad investment for the United States. It is time to defund the Dalai Lama, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and foreign commerce, and engage Beijing in realistic diplomacy.

Webster Tarpley will discuss the Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington in the context of alarming Sino-American tension with host Peter Lavelle and his other guests in the Crosstalk program to be broadcast on Russia Today on Friday, February 19, 2010.

5 responses to “The Dalai Lama: Front Man for a Feudal Clique, Darling of Wealthy Mystics and Cold Warriors

  • Thomas Canada

    White House blog:

    His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama at the White House
    Posted by Jesse Lee on February 18, 2010 at 4:40 PM EST

    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said of the meeting today:

    The President met this morning at the White House with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China. The President commended the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” approach, his commitment to nonviolence and his pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government. The President stressed that he has consistently encouraged both sides to engage in direct dialogue to resolve differences and was pleased to hear about the recent resumption of talks. The President and the Dalai Lama agreed on the importance of a positive and cooperative relationship between the United States and China.

  • Thomas Canada

    Despite China’s firm and repeated opposition, U.S. President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama in Washington on Thursday.

    Obama pledged to build “a positive, cooperative and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship for the 21st century” during his high-profile China visit last November, but his pledge has failed to hold water merely three months later.

    International observers hold that, through the meeting, Obama wants to achieve his multiple political goals at home and abroad, while the Dalai Lama pursues his illusion to split China in the guise of religion.

    Then what’s the real motive for Thursday’s meeting between the two?


    In 1991, then U.S. President George H. W. Bush became the first U.S. president that met the Dalai Lama. There had been 11 meetings between U.S. presidents and the Dalai Lama before Obama took office.

    Obama promised to bring change to America during his election campaign, yet change is not seen on the issue of meeting the Dalai Lama. Why?

    The Japanese monthly magazine Choice was right to the point in describing Obama’s move as playing the Tibet Card in an attempt to get out of the administration’s political and economic plight at home and abroad.

    By playing the Tibet Card at such a juncture, Obama is trying to shift the attention of both supporters and opponents when he is faced with a sagging economy and a much tougher midterm election for the Democrats.

    Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said Obama was trying to hold sway and win over the political constituencies in both the Democrat and Republican camps before November.

    He said that Obama was under “considerable pressure from domestic political constituencies,” including pressure from his own party on issues related to Tibet.

    “The meeting is a way to gain favor with those constituencies” that “support the Dalai Lama and are not fond of China,” he added.

    In the view of Martin Jacques, a senior scholar at the London School of Economics, Obama’s move reflected his worries about the decreasing U.S. influence and the increasing influence of China on the international arena.

    The global financial crisis has led to a change in the balance of power. While the strength of the United States is declining, China is on the rise, he said.

    Pierre Picquart, an expert on China from the University of Paris, said Obama’s meeting with political figures such as the Dalai Lama was intended to set up a barrier to China’s development while securing the U.S. dominance in the world.


    The Dalai Lama has all along tried by every means to meet Western politicians, U.S. presidents in particular. But to further his political end, he has put on a religious disguise to win acceptance and favor in the West.

    Ted Carpenter said the Dalai Lama’s campaign with the West “seems designed to generate international diplomatic pressure for, at the least, a greater-than-now political autonomy for Tibet or even for outright independence from China.”

    Pierre Picquart said that the Westerners were sometimes so captivated by the Dalai Lama’s preaching of “religion” and “freedom” that they took it for granted without looking into his real intention behind.

    Swayed by an urge to please the public, Western leaders, more often than not, would make the unwise decision to meet the Dalai Lama, said the French scholar.

    The Dalai Lama some times makes undisguised political advocacy while meeting Western politicians though he claimed to be merely a religious figure.

    In 1992, for instance, he sent a letter to Bill Clinton, who just sworn in as the U.S. president, overtly trying to enlist his support for “independence of Tibet.”

    Since the March 14 Lhasa riot in 2008, the Dalai Lama has visited Western countries far more often,trying to woo more Western politicians.

    But Ingo Nentwig, a renowned ethnologist from Germany, noted that the international community is becoming more skeptical of the Dalai Lama’s political intention, and that more Westerners are getting to know more truth about Tibet-related issues.

    As a result, the Dalai Lama has to resort to more PR campaigns to turn the table, said the German ethnologist, who has traveled to Tibet several times to conduct field studies.

    “It’s like an ad campaign for a sordid product. The campaign perhaps boosts sales for a while, but eventually consumers will find out that they have bought a sham product and will in time turn away from it,” he said.


    Obama is not the first to meet the Dalai Lama as a sitting U.S. president. Three others have done so since 1991.

    This is because the Tibet Card is one up the sleeves of U.S. leaders who are still influenced by the Cold War mentality when dealing with China. There are also other cards in the stack.

    International observers believe that so long as their Cold War mentality remain unchanged, the U.S.leaders are inclined to play these cards against China time and again.

    “These figures would not have been welcomed or known in the West had the Western media not hyped them up as ‘martyrs’ or ‘victims’,” said Ingo Nentwig.

    He said that some political forces in the West tend to view China through a colonialist perspective, and is reluctant to face the reality that China, as a sovereign state, is not to be budged by the West on any issues.

    Obama has cashed in on his campaign promise for changes. Right now there is one more change for him to make that will benefit not only his party and himself, but China and the United States and the world at large as well for that matter. That is to discard the Cold War mentality and adopt a new and constructive way of thinking in handling U.S.-China ties.

    Since the two sides have already set forth the guidelines for their partnership and cooperation in the Beijing Joint Declaration, what President Obama needs to do is to flesh out the guidelines with concrete actions.

  • Thomas Canada

    “I think it would be fair if you at least tried to understand some benefits from the WSS demonstrations:
    1-They were the main outer factor for Shar Ganden and Serpom to arise without the monks being thrown out of the monasteries’ land or out of India altogether, as was the intention of DL.
    2-Forever they are going to be our shield against a very serious dammaging accusation that we might’ve suffered were it not for those demonstrations and other actions of the WSS: that we Buddhists cover up infamous actions like the segregation and oppression of a religious minority.
    3-Forever they are going to be a shield against the accusation that Tibetan Buddhism constitutes a cult where the leader is protected no matter his actions. This accusations might’ve arisen at any moment presently or in the future, were it not for the actions of WSS.

    I don´t think WSS is demanding from every Buddhist to join them. But I understand that they don´t like it that their justified actions be tainted by unfair accusations from those who should be helping them at least with prayers and prudent silence.”

  • Thomas Canada

    Foreign backing gives Dalai Lama no room but doom

    by Yiduo

    BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — In his five decades of exile, the Dalai Lama has never stopped plotting to seek “Tibet independence” through allying with foreign forces to internationalize the so-called “Tibet issue” and press the Chinese government.

    In recent years, he tried desperately to make international appearances, begging for visits to foreign countries and meeting with state leaders. On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama despite stern warnings from China.

    After the meeting, the Dalai Lama claimed that he had the responsibility to speak for the six million Tibetans.

    However, he must have forgotten that the fate of Tibet never relies on him and a few foreigners but has always been decided by all the Chinese people, including all ethnic minorities in the region.


    The so-called “Tibet issue” was fabricated by imperialists to serve their intention of invading, partitioning and containing China.

    Back in 1888 and 1904, troops of the United Kingdom intruded into Tibet twice, but failed to take it away from China due to strong revolt from the Tibetan people backed by the whole Chinese nation. Since then, foreign forces turned to cultivating their agents for “Tibet independence” in the upper strata of Tibet’s local ruling echelon. After the Second World War, the United States directly interfered with Tibetan affairs, sabotaging China’s cause of national unification and liberation of the people.

    In order to maintain the theocratic feudal serfdom, local rulers in Tibet colluded with foreigners to first violently resist the peaceful liberation of Tibet and then start an armed rebellion against democratic reforms.

    In 1954, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited spies among Tibetans, sent them for training and then secretly took them back to China. The U.S. had been supplying weapons and ammunition to these spies through secret border transport and air-dropping.

    In March 1959 when the Dalai Lama and his followers failed in an insurgency and fled Tibet, he was closely accompanied by a CIA radio operator who helped keep contact with outside forces and guided them to air-drop materials to the fleeing group.

    Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has been relying on foreign forces. A declassified document showed the U.S. spent up to 1.66 million dollars in 1964 on the “Tibet project” alone. The money was spent supporting 2,100 “Tibet guerrillas,” buying equipment and educating senior “Tibet officials.” Other expenditures included transport and intelligence training.

    Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama received an allowance of 180,000 dollars, a huge amount of money compared with a salary of 100,000 dollars for the then U.S. president.

    We can say the “Tibet issue” would have vanished long ago if the foreign forces had not spared no effort to support the Dalai Lama.

    In recent years, foreign financial support to the Dalai Lama and his followers became a little more hidden, but remained equally strong.

    Despite the serious financial crisis, the U.S. government’s 2009 fiscal budget planned 16.8 million dollars for the Dalai clique, an increase of 25 percent over the previous year. It also “paid” the clique in the name of non-governmental organizations and foundations or by inviting the Dalai Lama for sermons.

    Another approach adopted by foreign forces to sensationalize the “Tibet issue” is to prettify the Dalai Lama and heighten his status.

    In 1989 when the world witnessed drastic changes, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Various “honors” came to him afterwards, which became “reasons” for some politicians to meet with him.

    Even in the poor and weak old China, imperialists and local separatist forces in Tibet could not succeed in splitting the region from China. Any “Tibet independence” conspiracy nowadays is not different from a farce as the socialist China grows increasingly stronger.


    The Dalai Lama tries very hard to legitimize his clique, but in fact he is just a card in the hand of foreign forces to serve their China strategies.

    In 2008, the “Note Relating to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for All Tibetans” spread by the Dalai Lama clique once again claimed that the “Tibetan government-in-exile” symbolized the interests of Tibetans and represented the Tibetan people.

    After the “note” was rebutted by the Chinese government, the clique recently made up an interpretation, claiming it is beyond doubt at any time that the Dalai Lama is the legal representative of Tibetan people.

    In fact, the Dalai Lama and the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile”, which is the “Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama” in full, are the very same thing. Neither is legitimate at all. They are merely a political clique raised by foreign forces to be engaged in activities aimed at splitting the motherland.

    In 1951, the local government of Tibet signed with the central government the 17-Point Agreement on the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

    The Dalai Lama telegraphed the central government with pledges to advocate and assist the People’s Liberation Army in strengthening national defense, driving out imperialist forces and safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland.

    Given the agreement, the local government headed by the Dalai Lama was legitimate at the time.

    On March 10, 1959, the ruling class of the Tibetan local government launched an armed rebellion and declared “Tibet independence.” The Dalai Lama announced the founding of a “provisional government” headed by him when he was fleeing from the Norbulingka palace in Lhasa. He worked out a string of activities demonstrating “Tibet independence” when he was later outside China.

    On march 28, premier Zhou Enlai issued a State Council decree to dismiss the local government of Tibet given their rebellious act that defied the 17-point agreement. The mandate of the local government was replaced by the Preparatory Committee for the Tibet Autonomous Region.

    Therefore, the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile” which lumped together the rebels was against the interests of all ethnic groups in Tibet and also illegal.

    In October 1963, the “Tibetan government-in-exile” released a “Tibet Constitution,” claiming that Tibet was an “independent nation” and the Dalai Lama was in charge of the “Tibetan government.” The Dalai Lama claimed that “It is not true that Tibet is part of China” and demanded that “China withdraw from Tibet.” The plot manifested that the illegal government wanted to break with the Chinese Constitution and laws.

    On Dec. 17, 1964, a plenary session of the State Council passed a decision to remove the Dalai Lama from his post. The document said the Dalai Lama had alienated himself from the motherland and the people after his plots of launching the armed rebellion in 1959, organizing a government in exile and framing the bogus constitution.

    Consequently, the Dalai Lama and his “Tibetan government-in-exile” are illegal in nature and are not eligible to represent Tibet and the people living there. Not a single county in the world has ever recognized such a “Tibetan government-in-exile”. Any foreign leaders who meet with the monk on any pretext is considered to be supporting the illegal political organization that means to split China.

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama grossly violated the basic norms governing international relations, and ran counter to the principles set forth in the three China-U.S. joint communiques and the China-U.S. joint statement.

    It also went against the repeated commitments made by the U.S. government that the U.S. recognizes Tibet as part of China and gives no support to “Tibet independence.” It was markedly inconsistent with the spirit of abolition of slavery upheld by late U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.


    When some foreign groups are claiming that they support the Dalai Lama for the protection of the distinct Tibetan religion, culture and language, it is also a question as to whether the monk himself is a Tibetan.

    On March 31, 2009, the Dalai Lama said to media in New Delhi that he was a son of India. He repeated the claim at an international conference on Nov. 22 later that year. He put it clearer at the opening ceremony of an international Buddhist conference held in Gujarat State in India on Jan. 16 this year, saying: “It is indisputable that I am a son of India. in the past 50 years I have been living on Indian foods and India has presented great opportunities for me. For these reasons, I see myself as a son of India and I am proud of that. I am a Tibetan in appearance because my parents are Tibetans, but spiritually I am Indian.”

    The statements should not be judged as words on a whim. On Jan. 23, 2007, he told the Indian media that in 1914, both the then Tibetan government and India, which was under the British rule, recognized the McMahon Line, which meant, according to the then agreement, “Arunachal Pradesh” was part of India.

    He said to the British media on Aug. 10, 2009 that the McMahon region was indeed a bit complicated problem but the place belonged to India after 1914 though there were different claims in history. The monk’statement was echoed by senior officials of the “Tibetan government-in-exile.” Actually, the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” and McMahon region which cover more than 90,000 square kilometers were all governed by the local government in Tibet in the Chinese history.

    It is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama and boasts temples built by the fifth Dalai Lama. The McMahon Line has never been recognized by the Chinese government at any time.

    How can the Dalai Lama, who on the one hand seeks a “Greater Tibet” that would cover not only the Tibet Autonomous Region but also all other Tibetan-inhabited areas in China, and on the other present the land of ancestors to foreign countries, be representative of the Tibetan people? Is such a person in a position to talk about religion, culture, language and human rights? It only testifies to his plot of splitting the nation by counting on foreign forces. And it justifies the necessity of the central government to demand the Dalai Lama recognize that Tibet is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.

    The Dalai Lama told media at a press conference in Tokyo on Oct. 31, 2009 that the Chinese government saw him as a troublemaker, so his responsibility was to make more trouble. The act of pressing the central government by sabotaging China’s relations with other countries would only worsen his relation with the central government and cause nationwide resentment against him. He will taste the bitter fruits of his plots in the long run.

  • Thomas Canada

    NEW YORK — Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Regina Spektor and many others contributed to a potent sonic cocktail that rocked Carnegie Hall at the 20th Annual Benefit Concert for Tibet House US, a non-profit organization charged with preserving Tibetan culture.

    An avid fan of Tibetan art since his teen years, Pop said the world cannot afford to lose it.

    “(Tibetans have) been getting kind of a bum deal for like 50, 60 years now … sort of losing their spot on Earth,” Pop said after Friday’s concert.

    Tibet is ruled by China, which insists Tibet has been part of its territory for four centuries and has governed the Himalayan region with an iron first since communist troops took control there in 1951. But many Tibetans say they were effectively independent for most of their history and say Chinese rule and economic exploitation are eroding their traditional Buddhist culture.

    Tibetans have been fighting for greater autonomy for years led by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

    Spektor, who was born in the former Soviet Union and later immigrated to the Bronx, said her familiarity with hardship makes her sensitive to the Tibetan people.

    “I’m all about protecting people’s heritage,” she said. “Any place that is kind of in danger of losing their culture or being oppressed and not being able to practice their religion just feels to me very close.

    Traditional chants by monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery opened the concert. A highlight was a performance by 15-year-old Tenzin Kunsel, a Tibetan refugee who moved to the United States in 2003. She performed a Tibetan aria, backed by the Patti Smith Band.

    With enough money Uma and Dick could put on a concert in Lhasa.

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