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Lloyd Lofthouse

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· Crazy is Normal a classroom exposé

· My Splendid Concubine, 3rd edition

· Running with the Enemy

Short Stories
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 13

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 12

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 11

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 10

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 9

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 8

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 7

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 6

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 5

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 4

· The Improvement of U.S. Public Schools

· Learning Twitter for Authors

· Discover how Amazon changed book cover design

· Authors Finding Readers

· How I sold almost 2,000 books in twenty hours TWICE

· It is Time – Relief for Victims of Lone-Wolf Killers such as James Holmes

· Living on the thin side of Black Ice

· Getting Oriented

· Learning to Love and Hate while teaching ESL in the Middle Kingdom

· The Release of The Concubine Saga is another Cheap Marketing Ploy

· Smartphone

· The birth of a child called Prose

· The Luxury of Heartache

· Learning from Death

· Putting Cupid's Arrows on Ice

· The Never-Ending Book Promotion Blues

· Walking the Path of Dead Explorers

· LIttle No More

· Revelation

· Symphony

         More poetry...
· M. Denise Costello reviews Crazy is Normal

· On Tour: Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose

· Comparing a virtual book tour to the traditional, and why go on a book tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· Running with the Enemy

Lloyd Lofthouse, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Books by Lloyd Lofthouse
"Let There be Understanding" is an opinion piece with historical evidence to refute the Dalai Lama's claims that Tibet was never ruled by China prior to Mao's reoccupation in 1951.

By Lloyd Lofthouse

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Many in the West do not know the China I know. I am married to Anchee Min, noted author of Red Azalea; Becoming Madam Mao; Empress Orchid, and The Last Empress. Anchee was born in Shanghai and suffered through Mao’s Cultural Revolution with everyone else in China including Tibet. In fact, Red Azalea (a New York Times Notable Book that also won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award) is Anchee’s memoir about the years she spent in labor camps where she injured her back and almost died.

Today, Anchee is an American citizen. She loves this country. The United States gave her back her life. On the other hand, since we met, I have been immersed in Chinese culture and history while writing about Robert Hart, who arrived in China in 1854. Before he left in 1908, Hart would be awarded honors from more than a dozen countries and the Vatican.

My education about China started in 1966 when I fought in Vietnam as a field radio operator in the United States Marine Corps against the spread of Communism. Until I met Anchee and started to learn about the real China, my opinion of that country came from Mao’s Red Army joining the Korean conflict in the 1950s. Communists were evil. They were bogeymen, someone to fear and destroy. Did you know that out of 1.3 billion people living in China, only seventy million belong to the communist party?

It is easy to distrust the Communists. Many Chinese don’t trust what they say most of the time too. That’s why I’m writing this. Since few believe anything the Communist government says about Tibet, I’m speaking out. I’m not using China’s evidence either, because anything China says will be considered tainted in the West not to be trusted.

My wife says that Mao lied to China’s people. They were told that most Americans were starving and were slaves of capitalists. After arriving in the United States, Anchee learned the truth. If you visit China with an open mind, you might learn something too.

The China of Mao is not the China of today. Mao ruled like a modern emperor for twenty-seven years. After he died, China changed for the better. Deng Xiaoping opened the doors to capitalism. China’s leaders did not want a repeat of the Cultural Revolution. They have term limits two five years terms. An elected official cannot serve after turning sixty-seven. He must step down. This means that by 2012, the new leaders of China will all have been educated in the West like Deng Xiaoping was. Who knows, some of them may even be Christians. An evangelical friend of mine claims that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in China.

China allows limited freedoms in autonomous regions like Tibet and the provinces of Xingjian and Mongolia where thirty million Islamists live. In Tibet, Buddhist monks worship from those monasteries that were destroyed by Mao’s army and rebuilt after he died. Before the current outbreak of violence in Tibet, China had a hands-off policy regarding those rebuilt monasteries and the Buddhist monks no more.

Did you know that there are more than a hundred separatists movements around the world? There are sixteen listed for the United States. Yet many only know about Tibet’s separatists. Most support for the Tibet freedom movement stems from the fact that the Dalai Lama is a charismatic and noted public speaker. He has traveled the world for decades and won the hearts and minds of people like Richard Gere and Nancy Pelosi. What is there not to love? After all, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Dalai Lama’s prime-minister said that China never ruled Tibet prior to 1951. The Dalai Lama has stated that cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet, but he offers no explanation for what that means. Genocide is a powerful word and used in this context, it is misleading.

What the Dalai Lama isn’t saying is that prior to Mao’s brutal reoccupation of Tibet during the Cultural Revolution, Tibet was a feudal society supported by serfs and slaves. It was required for families with sons to send all but one to a monastery to become Lamas. The rest of Tibet was controlled by a handful of powerful landlords with serfs and slaves working for them on huge estates. Children did not go to school. Only the Lamas learned to read. Everyone else in Tibet was illiterate and superstitious. This is the Tibet that Mao invaded.

The Chinese government claims that China ruled Tibet for hundreds of years, and that China has a right to be there. Hardly anyone in the West believes the claims except most Chinese-Americans. How can China compete with a charismatic individual like the Dalai Lama that goes on television and says, leave my peaceful people alone? When there was a choice between who to believe, the Dalai Lama or the Communists, who did you pick? If I hadn’t married Anchee and started learning about the real China, I would believe the Dalai Lama too.

By now if you are one of the Dalai Lama’s supporters, you are thinking I have been brainwashed wrong. You haven’t been paying attention. What I’m saying in this essay is backed by respectable sources. One comes from Robert Hart’s letters from the nineteenth century and published by the Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University Press. Robert Hart was a major historical character in China. He is considered the ‘godfather of China’s modernism’. The other source comes from a piece by a doctor in the October 1912 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Both support China’s claims. China clearly ruled over Tibet before Mao’s brutal reoccupation in 1951. In fact, China ruled Tibet for almost a thousand years.

The Dalai Lama’s supporters in the West have romantic misconceptions that life was ideal in Tibet before 1951. Reality is different. Life was short and brutal in this land that looks like a Hollywood Shangri-La. China has built public schools at great expense, so Tibetan children can learn to read and become educated for the first time in history. Buddhism has not died in China so why should it vanish from Tibet? There are still Buddhist monasteries in China and Tibet. I’ve been to one south of Shanghai. I’ve seen the monks. I’ve seen people lighting incense and offering prayers. Does that sound as if there is no religion in China?

There are four separatist movement in Tibet supported by people like Richard Gere and Nancy Pelosi because of the Dalai Lama. Many Tibetans are not peace loving like the Dalai Lama. During China’s long history in Tibet, there have been many rebellions all brutally extinguished by Imperial Chinese generals.

There is something dangerous happening here. More than a billion Chinese around the world know the truth, including most of the 3.6 million Chinese Americans. They are angry. They are pressuring China’s government to crack down in Tibet and ignore the misplaced ire of those in the West. If many in the West continue to show support for the Dalai Lama’s so called freedom movement, will the price be worth it?

The economic backlash could be cataclysmic. China current government is being treated by many in the West like a guilty child caught with his hand in the cookie jar when he is really innocent. Do not forget that China holds more than 1.4 trillion of America’s debt and does almost four hundred billion in annual trade (imports and exports) with America. Imagine what would happen if China called for repayment of that debt and closed all trade to the West due to perceived insults? To the Chinese ‘face’, dignity, is important.

If Tibet becomes free from China and returns to its feudal state, there is another danger lurking in the shadows. There are four Islamic separatist movements in Xingjian province in the northwest of China. Thirty million Muslims want to be free and create an Islamic state. If pressure from the West eventually creates a free and feudal Tibet, Islamic fundamentalists will want the same the result could be another Taliban controlled state in the northwest of China like the one we are still fighting to keep free in Afghanistan.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of My Splendid Concubine, the story of Robert Hart’s early years in China. Lloyd has been heard on hundreds of radio stations across North America talking about China. He also taught in the public schools for thirty years after serving in Vietnam
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