Friday, May 30, 2008

Ancient wisdom; Tibet, China, and the earthquake

It almost makes you long for the wisdom of ancient times, when a devastating earthquake would have been seen as a sign and the Chinese would have immediately given Tibet its freedom to placate the angry gods.

Even in modern times earthquakes have had political consequences. In 1972 there was an earthquake in Nicaragua. (Tragically, the great Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente, lost his life in a plane accident while delivering aid to the devastated country.) In the ensuing effort to rebuild the country the corruption of the U.S. backed dictator, Somoza, became all too apparent. This led directly to the Sandinista revolution which overturned the government.

In China, there are some parallels with the current situation. The loss of life of many Chinese children has been attributed to the poor quality of construction of the schools in the area. This has been blamed on corruption. In this case corruption directly led to the loss of the most precious gift life has to offer. Will the parents hold Chinese government officials accountable for their actions?

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