Richard Gere Goes to Europe
Richard Gere practicing his defense against Silpa Shetty's husband.
The symbolic face of the "Free Tibet" movement is becoming less symbolic these days. For 25 years, whenever we so much as thought of Tibetan advocacy, the image of Richard Gere seemed to automatically pop into our heads. He was a symbol of the American-led campaign to save, free, stand up for, or whatever...Tibet.
No longer. In spite of Mr. Gere's earnest advocacy, the historically U.S based international effort to improve the Tibetan situation has sputtered so severely that over the last few years there appears to be a decided shift in attention towards prioritizing Europe as the primary champion of Tibet. What gives?
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) was the first, and continues to be considered the most influential of Tibet support groups. It lobbies the U.S. Congress on behalf of Tibet and takes an over-arching political view in its campaigns. Basically, the ICT is the Western-based version of the Tibet movement. Last year, Matteo Meccaci, a European with strong ties to the European Parliament, was nominated as Director of the ICT. Since Mr. Meccaci took charge the ICT has exhibited a decidedly European focus.
Because of this, blogdai envisions the closing of the edificial main ICT office on Jefferson street in Washington in the near future. blogdai also sees a subsequent reopening of the same in perhaps Brussels, London, or Rome. Look for a newly invigorated round of toothless EU resolution on Tibet as well as a sharp drop-off in any official U.S. stances on the issue--the Yanks are just too damned burned-out on Tibet to take the initiative anymore.
This new Euro-shift is none too subtle. From the Tibet lobby supported "2014 for Tibet" website:
"The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) believes that a coordinated effort between the EU Member States and like-minded countries is the only way to compel China address the current situation..."
One must ask: if that's the "only way" then what has the ICT been doing in bed with Washington for the last two decades? In reality, this is just "another way" for the West to play around with Tibet without solving a thing. Europe is suddenly the "only way" because Mr. Meccaci is a European.
Let them do what they will. blogdai encourages this shift as it bodes well for Nepal--there should be fewer instances of Western posing and Tibet posturing followed by Chinese retaliation on our soil. More importantly, the Quixotic and poorly-realized "blame Nepal" strategy that was conceived by the Mr. Meccaci's American predecessor back in 2009 will likely diminish in its intensity. And what about poor China? It has always looked forward to putting on the big-boy pants and going toe-to-toe with the Yanks over Tibet in Nepal. Now we can assume that closing the Kodari border, pressuring Nepal police, harassing Tibetans in Boudha and shrill rebuttals just won't feel the same against Europe and its meek Tibet resolutions.
So, best of luck to you Mr. Gere. The question now is: who will be the new Euro "face" of the "Free Tibet" movement? I say we put it to a vote. blodgai offers a sample list of potential candidates below for your perusal:
(Your write in selection)
Remember, you choice must NOT give the impression of having anything new or fresh to offer the Tibet movement.