The Libyan massacre: or rather protesters killed for Italian and European interests?

Libyan protesters are facing one of the most violent repressions that the wave of Arab revolts have witnessed to date. Yesterday reports of Libyan aircraft and Apache helicopters bombing and shooting the protesters started to circulate. This was just after Gaddafi’s son proclaimed to the world that Libya was not witnessing a revolt against one of the most oppressive and inhuman regimes in North Africa and the Middle East, but rather a civil war. In reality this is a regime that has declared, as many other times before, war on its own population. The question that we may ask, however, is why Gaddafi has preferred the bloodbath to an easy, and wealthy, exit. Many were the options open to him before he started the massacre. Now, of course, few are left. Is Gaddafi just defending his own interests? Is there something more than just a struggle to maintain power? Continue reading

Not only freedom: the dark ethnic side of the Tibetan Buddhist revolt

No stereotype seems harder to die than the idea that Buddhists are peaceful and non-violent by default, as if they possessed a kind of genetic resistance to an illness affecting the majority of humanity: hate. Since the revolt in Tibet, the majority of the mass media (with few exceptions) have based their reports of the Tibetan uprising through the lens of such a stereotype and their myopia of the reality of Tibet. The stories report the revolt principally as a struggle for independence from the oppressive power of China which started in October 1950. Surely, there is some truth in this. But the mass media, as unfortunately academics, and even anthropologists specialised in Tibetan Buddhism, have hidden what I call the ‘dark ethnic side’ of the revolt. The reasons are multiple and I will not discuss them here, as I will not discuss here the figure of the Dalai Lama, who surely emanates lots of ‘enlightening wisdom’, but also many, often totally unreported and answered, shadows. Continue reading