Wednesday, June 04, 2014

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?

Easy answer.

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:

Zinedine Zidane
Mariangela Melato
Eddy Merckx
Winston Churchill
(Your write in selection)

Remember, you choice must NOT give the impression of having anything new or fresh to offer the Tibet movement.



At 1:03 PM, June 05, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gere is long past his prime for anything Tibetan. Tibet doesn't need a new face. Tibet needs hands.

tashe deleg,


At 7:06 AM, June 07, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stinging wit, you bastard.

At 8:16 PM, June 10, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Give the man some credit. He was there at the beginning when Tibet needed that "face" as you say.

Picking on a guy for doing good is chicken-shit, blogdai, but I do get your point.

(p.s., I laughed at the Silpa Shetty reference)

At 6:52 AM, July 02, 2014, Blogger blogdai said...

Define "doing good" if the situation in Tibet has done nothing but deteriorate since the whole "Free Tibet" effort started.


At 6:27 PM, July 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Blog ninny has a point. Stars and their opinions of political or human rights issues are all worthless but that's not the point. Gere gave a face to the struggle. A face that made one want to learn more and perhaps donate. A face who's sole purpose was to give lazy Americans something easy and tangible to equate with Tibet. Your movement may have failed, but at leas Richard Gere's mission was fulfilled.

At 7:05 PM, July 19, 2014, Blogger blogdai said...

Ok, fair point. -=bd

At 11:28 PM, August 16, 2016, Blogger Sushma Joshi said...

Interesting! You mean the aggressive nature of American diplomacy was actually worse for Tibetans in Nepal. It made them look good, but it made conditions worse on the ground as China started pressuring Nepal to react to these provocations. The Europeans are more subtle in their advocacy and diplomacy-and hopefully, this means the Tibetans in Nepal will be left alone. Thanks for this analysis--I think in fact it makes a lot of sense.

At 8:14 AM, August 21, 2016, Blogger blogdai said...

Thank you. the key to this thing is to not let any Western power grandstand to china over the tibet issue. Tibetans get hurt. I understand there will be a new book coming out this October in delhi "Saviors and Fools" that goes into this idea more thoroughly. -=bd

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