THERE IS no doubt that the Tibetan people are entitled to rule their own country, to nurture their unique culture, to promote their religious institutions and to prevent foreign settlers from submerging them.
But are not the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria entitled to the same? The inhabitants of Western Sahara, whose territory is occupied by Morocco? The Basques in Spain? The Corsicans off the coast of France? And the list is long.
Why do the world’s media adopt one independence struggle, but often cynically ignore another independence struggle? What makes the blood of one Tibetan redder than the blood of a thousand Africans in East Congo?
… WHAT, THEN, causes the international media to discriminate between the various liberation struggles that are going on throughout the world?
Here are some of the relevant considerations:
– Do the people seeking independence have an especially exotic culture?
– Are they an attractive people, i.e. “sexy” in the view of the media?
– Is the struggle headed by a charismatic personality who is liked by the media?
– It the oppressing government disliked by the media?
– Does the oppressing government belong to the pro-American camp? This is an important factor, since the United States dominates a large part of the international media, and its news agencies and TV networks largely define the agenda and the terminology of the news coverage.
– Are economic interests involved in the conflict?
– Does the oppressed people have gifted spokespersons, who are able to attract attention and manipulate the media?
FROM THESE points of view, there is nobody like the Tibetans. They enjoy ideal conditions.