This past weekend was chuck full of examples of the tragic history of the 1970s returning as Marxian farce.
Much like Leonid Brezhnev seemed to make endless advances around the globe during that decade, so the Chinese Communist Party appears to be reaping gains as the expense of democratic leaders who, frankly, should know better. In Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou suddenly reverses himself on Tibet (Taipei Times) while continuing to make nice with the CCP (BBC and CNN). A former leading American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke pretends that the last twenty years never happened (Washington Post), even as the Communist regime looks for better weaponry to stack up against the United States (Strategy Page).
These free world mistakes are based upon a delusion - the delusion being that the Chinese Communist regime is a normal government that is concerned for the Chinese people. In fact, the CCP cares about nothing but itself. Holbrooke himself reveals the error in his Post piece, which fauns over Deng Xiaoping without ever mentioning Deng's role in ordering the Tiananmen Square massacre. This same delusion gripped the "West" during the Brezhnev era.
However, unlike that era, it is far easier for the truth to escape the Communists' clutches. Thus, the crackdown itself not only fails (partially), but it itself becomes the news (The Epoch Times).
More ominously (for the regime), the economy continually refuses to play ball. Exports are tanking (Epoch Times and Newsweek) - and not just for economic reasons (Victoria Times-Colonist). Meanwhile, the regime seems determined to do all of the wrong things (Newsweek and Weekly Standard).
Normally, the Korean colony could be useful in distracting the free world - America in particular - with the nuclear question (One Free Korea and the Washington Post), but even there the script has been lost, as media sources are looking beyond the nuclear weapons issue and to the viceroy's barbaric cruelty (One Free Korea and Washington Post).
All of which may very well pale in comparison to the biggest threat of all, which brings us back to Tibet. After years trying to reach out to Beijing, the Dalai Lama is now trying to reach the Chinese people directly (Epoch Times). This is more than just a sign that Tibet's spiritual leader is increasingly fed up with the regime. It means that he makes it clear he sees China and the Chinese Communist Party as two separate and distinct things.
The regime can not survive that reality being accepted by the Chinese people. This is why they will continue to go after anyone who gives the Dalai Lama an audience (such as New Zealand's new PM - New Zealand Herald).
The irony in all of this is that the Dalai Lama has literally become the "splittist" that the CCP always accused him of being, just not in the way the Communists have meant. Instead, he is creating a much more dangerous fissure (for the Communists), one between the CCP and the Chinese people. Amidst the economic turmoil, he is much more likely to succeed with that separation - and the Communists must stop him at all cost.