Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, April 18, 2008

About Those Bald Soldiers With Robes

Updated Below

Twice recently, I've published this photo, which I picked up from a fascinating Big Lizards post, Forget It. It's Chinatown... Big Lizards Breaking Bombshell News!

As you can see, it shows Chinese soldiers with shaved heads holding Tibetan uniforms. BL and I both drew the same conclusion: China could well be staging phony acts of violence by fake Tibetan monks in order to create a justification for their attacks on the Buddhist religion there.

I received an email today from a Chinese person using the name "liuyuguangkui" that disputes the photo. He/she (sorry, I have no idea which) says:
your photo of Chinese soldiers with shaved heads carrying Buddhist robes is took in 2001 for play the movie of "The Touch" which is performed by Michelle Yeoh and Ben Chaplin directed by J.D.Zeik and so on,and there is a lot of evidence for this:

1.Chinese soldiers act Tibetans and They take photo and let the other one know prove that they are so fool...-_-
A quick check with IMDB revealed the film does exist, J.D. Zeik was one of the screenwriters (Peter Pau directed) and some of it was set in Tibet. IMDB does not provide any still photos from the movie, however, and I couldn't find any elsewhere, so I can't verify whether the soldiers-as-monks photo was from the movie or not. If you want to dig into this, buy a copy of the film here and let me know.

liuyuguangkui says not that the photo's from the movie, but that the date of the movie (2002) disproves any relevance to what's going on in Tibet today. He/she includes this photo ...

... and says:
this photo is new uniform in our country now. The uniform is made by Wool-like fabric, and every uniform have a flag in the arm and breast, but in the first photo the solider is wear old uniform which is made by other material, and no flag. The uniform is changed in 2006.
Well, there you have liuyuguangkui's explanation. Thoughts? Evidence to the contrary?

Not that any of this diminishes the crime China has perpetrated on Tibet for decades, including its most recent attacks.

In America, if the locals rioted we'd send in the cops to get things organized, then we'd set up commissions and spend endlessly (and foolishly) to try to fix the problem. In China, they send in the Army, crush the opposition, distribute wanted posters over the internet, prosecute and persecute any they can find, and ratchet up the iron-fisted control so the totalitarians can accomplish their goal of "one China," with all thinking alike, acting alike and, if possible, genetically alike.


Dafydd at Big Lizards provides this supplemental info that might just put liuyuguangkui's efforts in the trash bin:

There is a Red Chinese shill who goes by various names, one of which is "Charles Liu," who goes from blog to blog trying to refute this photo (and others). I only note the similarity of the name of your correspondent with Charlie Liu -- though of course, Liu is not a totally uncommon name. Liu commented on Big Lizards, raising similar points, though the identity of the movie is different. Chinese apologists have "identified" about four different movies this photo "actually" came from:


Sachi, in addition to the ICT press release, the "fake monk" photo has been identified as from the movie set "Red River Valley" by Chinese bloggers:

Netters have also identified the protster who attacked the paralympian as Lobsang Gandan of Salt Lake City - secretary of Utah Tibetan Association.

Just Google or Baidu his name. Here he is, getting arrested in London for violent protest that is illegal by western standards:


He sent his comment from this IP address:; out of curiosity, does your correspondent come from the same address? [I don't know; it came by email, not as a comment to my blog, so no IP address was recorded.]

I here append a lengthy e-mail I sent to John Hinderaker five days ago, wherein I discussed the state of knowledge...


Dear John;

The argument is raging, but so far, nobody has really shown anything except that the soldiers are wearing summer uniforms, though March and April are still officially winter in Tibet. Mostly likely, the photo was taken earlier... but we still don't know what they were doing. (China is constantly finding reasons to crack down on Tibet, and they have been especially active since they were awarded the 2008 Olympics in 2001; it's entirely possible that if the "movie" explanation is false, that if it's a real false-flag operation, that it occurred during an earlier crackdown.)

The detractors claim that the soldiers are only there to appear in a movie, though they keep changing the name of the movie; they claim that the photo appeared in 2003 on the back cover of a Tibetan human-rights magazine (the 2003 annual report of the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy), but nobody can produce either the magazine or a scan of its back cover. I plan to try to track it down today.

[***Update 4/19/08 for Laer; I contacted TCHRD, asking for the 2003 annual report. They told me they were out of it... but they could get me the 2002 and 2004 reports. I find this a bit suspicious, though there is of course a possible innocent explanation: Lots of other people having the same idea as I. But if so, then why hasn't a single person posted the result, whichever way it went? There is of course a less benign explanation: Somebody didn't want anybody to be able to
check on the claim that the picture appeared earlier -- so that somebody obtained the entire remaining stock and either destroyed it or is sitting on it. I do know that that publication is completely unobtainable here in the United States. Yeesh! ***]

But the picture is largely a sideshow. The pro-Chinese sources focus on the photo of the soldiers because that is the only piece of evidence they have even a prayer of explaining.

They have no plausible explanation for the photos of the guy who attacked the wheelchair-bound fencer marching in with a group of obviously pro-Chinese spectators. The best they can offer is that the pro-Chinese spectators and the supposedly militant anti-Chinese, pro-Tibetan protesters fought vicious street battles and beat each other, assailing each other worse than Armenians and Turks around massacre day; that the Chinese Communists have slaughtered upwards of 200 Tibetans in the past month or so (nobody disputes this); yet even so, *they're really all good buddies*! (I am not exaggerating; that is literally the only explanation offered.)

This is a shuck; it doesn't pass the reality check. Here in Glendale, you cannot even order Turkish coffee... you have to order "Armenian coffee;" I cannot imagine that Tibet supporters and Red China supporters are less antipathetic than Turks and Armenians here in America. Heck, I doubt that even fans of rival European soccer teams would be so chummy as the pro-Chinese commenters claim the Chinese and Tibetan protesters are.

So they ignore the photos of the attacker; and they have completely ignored the Gordon Thomas article (here), in which Thomas claims that GCHQ, Government Communications Headquarters -- the British equivalent of our NSA, controlling all British SigInt (here) -- believes that the ChiComs orchestrated the early rioting in Tibet, then used that as an excuse to crack down (the article appeared in G2 Bulletin, which is associated with; it's subscription only... but it was reprinted by the Epoch Times, an anti-Chinese internet site on a par with the Drudge Report). Now, Thomas is probably no more reliable than elite-media reporters, but he appears no less reliable, either. The most one commenter (here) has been able to level against Thomas is that he is published in the same magazine that publishes people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, and Bob Novak; that he once gave a speech to an organization that some consider racist; and that other articles of his are conservative and often critical of the Chinese Communists. Also that GCHQ officially refuses to either confirm or deny the Thomas claim -- but they will say that Thomas did not get his evidence via official contact with the public-affairs office of GCHQ.

Well, duh. The official position of GCHQ is that they *never* either confirm or deny any intelligence claims... just like our own NSA. Why would Thomas bother talking to the PAO? He's not going to get any information.

If he spoke to anyone at all (we have only his word that he did), it would have been to some contact he had on his own. Bear in mind, Thomas's best selling book was Gideon's Spies, which he wrote in consultation with Mossad; the word is that when they found out how much he already knew through his own Mossad contacts, they decided it would be better to work with him, so they could prevent him from revealing the most damaging stuff. I believe Thomas's father in law was a high-ranking member of MI-5. So I find it entirely plausible that he would have better intel contacts that a random blogger trying to "debunk" his article by talking to the PAO at GCHQ.

Finally, how extraordinary is Thomas's claim anyway? He claims that Red China orchestrated riots so that it could crack down on one of its provinces -- which has been trying to separate from China for decades, which they have repeatedly cracked down on before, and which we today
see them claiming is a violent separatist province like Chechnya in Russia... while most observers say that the Tibetans are known more for pacifism than violence.

If extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, then mundane claims require only mundane evidence. I believe that until somebody has a better refutation than that Gordon Thomas is a conservative who publishes in a magazine linked to, the article stands as evidence of the underlying accusation found in the photo. And much better evidence than the photo itself, by the way... evidence that nobody has made any serious effort to refute.

The pro-Chinese commenters -- some of whom on Big Lizards have hotly defended the 1950 Communist occupation of Tibet as having been good for the primitive Tibetans -- focus on the photo because *that's the only piece they have any hope of questioning*; but really, that photo of the soldiers is the least important piece of this puzzle.


So that's what I know so far, Laer; I don't see how to proceed from here. I'm satisfied with the article from G2 Bulletin, until and unless someone comes up with some contrary evidence; and that gets us to the same place that the photo only hinted at.


Dafydd ab Hugh


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