Saturday, May 03, 2008

Can Civil Rights Be Defended With Posters?

In her guest-post yesterday Nidra Poller discussed the protests surrounding the visit of the Olympic torch to Paris, and the preening hypocrisy of the French Left concerning Tibet.

Some of our commenters took Ms. Poller’s article to mean that the suffering of Tibet doesn’t matter, or that there’s something wrong with protesting against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Nidra Poller replies:

The comments show that our work is never done.

I think your readers are intelligent, and would recognize PC hype on a subject they are familiar with. I think they are outraged when Muslims say they are offended by this or that.

But I am not allowed to make fun of these professional French protesters? Do you know what happened afterward? The Chinese protested back. They boycotted Carrefour. the French government sent three emissaries, high ranking people who kowtowed and apologized.

Reporters without Borders gets money from big corporations. They calmed down suddenly. The professional protesters were on the president’s case again this week. He was in Tunisia; he didn’t stomp and holler for civil rights. They interviewed civil rights advocates in Tunisia who happen to be Islamists. That doesn’t count.

Anyone who claims to be for civil rights is worthy of support. What is their idea of defending civil rights? Protest marches. Period. They wouldn’t lift a finger to defend anyone against a bully.

And when the Americans do it, they trash the Americans.
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Can you see someone with a keffiyeh protesting against Chinese mistreatment of Tibetans? Well, that’s what you saw in Paris. Ask these people six months from now what they intend to do about Tibet. They won’t even know what you’re talking about.

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The article is not about Tibet; it is not about Tibetans fighting for their rights. It is about protest chic as I saw it that day in Paris.

It is about the hypocrisy of pols and pundits who think that France should not risk a hair on its head to protect the Afghans from a Taliban takeover and, at the same time, act as if hanging a few banners on the parade route and pressuring the president to boycott the opening ceremony is taking a stand for Tibet.

Am I wrong? These same professional protesters sent around petitions deploring the fate of Afghan women… until the U.S. decided to go in and take out the Taliban. Then they protested against the war.

I find it ridiculous to hang a banner on the City Hall claiming that France defends human rights all over the world when you belong to the political party that voted to censure the government for sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Can civil rights be defended with posters?


Dymphna said...

protest chic

That is exactly what it is. The professionally, existentially aggrieved, making their eternal rounds, publicly demonstrating against each new "outrage." They can never be satified, for if their grievances were actually addressed and resolved, what would then inform their otherwise flaccid philosophy?

Ah, Mrs. Obama, your cohorts are legion and seemingly global.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

wow, that article makes too much sense. You know liberals would rather just throw a fit than just answer it fairly.

They cannot respond to common sense and good argument.

Frank said...

Well, it's the same with fools on this side of the drink; it's easy to talk and rather harder to act. Brings to mind a certain reptile blog.

dt said...

Can civil rights be defended with posters?
Well, if the poster is attached to a 2x4 and the 2x4 accidentally bounces off some reconquista/sharia driven/leftist loudmouth's head...perhaps.
I'm not suggesting anyone engage in that sort of thing. Indeed. I'm a little faint at simply having written those words.
I'm just sayin...

Debbie said...

I don't think Nidra is even focused on the fact that they're not doing and just talking in her original post.

Nidra seems disgusted at the hypocrisy shown by the hippie culture and their protest of whatever "cause du jour" they deem fit - even if yesterday's cause contradicts today's cause. Her disgust is shared by me. They'll wear Hamas kaffiyahs while protesting for PETA, as their kaffiyah-wearing Muslim friends are out ritually killing goats and sheep.

They'll protest oil industry greed while they support Hugo Chavez.

Bottomline, these wannabe hippies are pretty much dummies. My sister traveled to Washington DC to protest the first Gulf War. I asked her if she knew why the Gulf War was being fought. She replied, "I don't know." These professional protesters do this because it's a social event - an Outrage Party - nothing more.

KGS said...

Excellent thoughts Deadbambi..they mirror my own. *L* KGS

Henrik R Clausen said...

One of the best comments I've seen on 'protesting' for a long time. It's a tad on the easy side to stand up for suffering people far away and believe it makes a difference.

I'm all for making demonstrations, and I have experience that they can be very effective. But the ones we see about Tibet these days is in several ways a great example of how not to do it.

One needs real insight, groundwork and a clear plan in order to make demonstrations work. Just going in the streets might give attention in the media, but little or no actual improvement.

I'm all concerned about the plight of the Tibetans, but would love the demonstrators to take on some problems closer to home that the readers of this blog probably are aware of. But that's harder and riskier than just 'standing for Tibet'.

Debbie said...

KGS - lol. I didn't even know you had a blog - nice!

I'm tempted to put a bumper sticker on my car that says "I hate hippies." I tend to enjoy the same music that they do so I'm sure it would prompt some conversations if nothing else next time I went to a Government Mule or Allman Brothers show. It's not like they'll take a bat to my windshield.

IgnorantInfidel said...

What is difference, if any, between the members of the groups protesting at the Olympic Torch runs and the companions of Rage Boy? Their comments and actions too closely parallel the blind obedience to the rants of a radicalized Islamic Imam. In both cases the 'puppets' have no useful knowledge. They are, in essence, phobic against the world that surrounds them.

They all seem to be bored out of their skulls and protest just for the sake of protesting. How many of them even know where Tibet is? I suspect they know even less about the world than the kid in the FedEx commercial that is trying to put a pin, coincidently, in China.

In both cases they are protesting for peace and tranquility and will destroy anything or anybody that impedes their mission.

unaha-closp said...

Can civil rights be defended with posters?

In many cases no, but in this case...

True raising "awareness" is a pathetic indirect and ineffective tool. However this is China, there are no alternatives.

And it might even work. China is a major exporter to the French market and does not wish to incur any negative sentiment - awareness campaigning may have an effect.

"What is their idea of defending civil rights? Protest marches. Period. They wouldn’t lift a finger to defend anyone against a bully."

True enough, but this is China - no one will do anything. Period.

"And when the Americans do it, they trash the Americans."

If America (or anybody else) were to "do it", Chinese response doctrine to invasion is (I believe) retaliation with all means. China has over 500 nuclear weapons, ICBMs capable of hitting anywhere and 3 million people under arms. I will go out on a limb and predict no one is going to "do it" to China.

You criticise the protesters, but offer no viable alternative.

Armor said...

It's great that people have been demonstrating for Tibet in Paris, San Francisco, and other places. What I find distasteful about the French Left on the Tibet and Olympic Games question, especially among semi-intellectuals, is that a surprising number of them have actually been defending the Chinese government against Tibet!, repeating Chinese claims that Tibet used to be a backward, religious tyranny, that had never been independent from China in the first place. I think it is a recent development. I had not heard that kind of arguments in the past.
I think it is terribly sad that China is trying to destroy Tibet and its original culture so as to make their territory into a piece of China. But, for me, Tibet is also a useful argument. What I have told Tibet supporters on an Internet forum is that it is not consistent to protest the genocide of Tibet and to agree to the destruction of Europe.
The destruction of Tibet is particularly sad. In a less violent and deliberate way, I suspect that the Chinese administration is also destroying society and the human diversity in the Chinese part of China by imposing centralism, by moving people around, by worshipping economic growth, and so on. However, I'm sure that the destruction is not on the same scale as in Europe.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Chinese claims that Tibet used to be a backward, religious tyranny, that had never been independent from China in the first place.

Both, unfortunately, are true. The tyranny was taking place with an obvious disregard for Buddhist teachings, which tend to lead adherents into an 'ivory tower' mentality before going extinct. That has been seen before in history.

Also, between the WW's, Tibet was independent. But it never declared itself so, which should have been done to the League of Nations. Thus, the Chinese claim is technically correct, which really is a shame.

Not easy helping the Tibetans...