Support in the East and the West is wide and deep, because the Dalai Lama is a peace teacher. There is impatience among his own people because his best efforts have produced no change in behavior in the Chinese. In fact, since the Soviet Union deconstructed, the Chinese have become more frightened, more determined to hold on to real estate that is not theirs. Not just Tibet, but also Mongolia, Xinjiang, even Manchuria. These are really just colonies. They do not belong to China.
So, the young people, are just saying, “Look, we can’t be like this forever. We’re going to get tougher. The Dalai Lama is being too nice. He’s a Buddhist, we love him, but he’s a Buddhist.” The fact of the matter is that, if the Chinese persist in their violent and repressive behavior, there will be real and serious danger when the Dalai Lama passes away. Once the Dalai Lama is a child again [meaning the child successor to the current Dalai Lama], he will not be able to exercise his authority and his charisma for maybe 15 or 20 years. Then, anything could happen with the Tibetans. They once did fight in a guerilla war against the Chinese. The next interim period could become very dangerous to China. People might do well to worry more about long-term Tibetan resentment of the Chinese rather than any short-term Tibetan frustration with the current state of affairs.
Some political figures who call themselves realists say that China is doing in tibet what stronger nations always do to weaker ones. Those efforts to re-settle tibet with Chinese nationals are akin to the settlement of the Americas with the descendents of Europeans.
Those are the same realists who brought us the Iraq quagmire. Those are the realists who brought us all kinds of stupid behavior, such as Vietnam. Those are the same kind of realists as in Russia who brought the Russian people Afghanistan and Chechnya.
The old realism, the old ideology of the big fishes eating the little fishes, what in Indian political philosophy is called Matsyanyaya, has had terrible consequences throughout the 20th century, which was a time of holocaust and terrible violence.
The huge international immigrations that have mixed populations all over the world make it increasingly difficult to wage 20th-century-style war. And the spread of nuclear weapons makes the cost of this old sort of war intolerable. It is not just a case of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. A Muslim power, Pakistan, already has them. And it is only a matter of time before, say, a country in South America has them.
You can’t win wars the old way and you can’t suppress colonies anymore. Therefore, you have to negotiate, to engage in dialogue. You have to give others some of what they want while you take some of what you want. You take it more slowly, because you have the power of weapons on one side and the power of interconnection on the other side.