The media is very pleased to report about the United States' occupation of Iraq, and they never seem to tire of insinuating that it is both unpopular and illegal. However, they seem to be strangely shy of reporting on other occupations, which are both more long-standing and of a imperialistic nature. A case in point is the Associated Press story today on President Bush's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled god-king of Tibet. Tibet, a historically independent kingdom, has been under a Chinese military occupation since 1951. Yet the AP chooses not to mention any of this in their report, which instead concentrates on the Chinese outrage that President Bush would meeet with the leader of an occupied state. The AP wrote in their second paragraph that,
Both Bush and members of Congress - who are presenting him with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday - are stirring anger in China by honoring the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists. "We solemnly demand that the U.S. cancel the extremely wrong arrangements," said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing. "It seriously violates the norm of international relations and seriously wounded the feelings of the Chinese people and interfered with China's internal affairs." At the White House, presidential spokesman Tony Fratto said: "We understand the concerns of the Chinese." But he also said Bush always has attended congressional award presentation ceremonies, has met with the Dalai Lama several times before and had no reason not to meet with him again.
Although was very diligent in reporting China's anger at the US agreement to receive the Dalai Lama, the AP seems much less interested in telling their readers about China's occupation of Tibet, against the wishes of many, if not most, of the Tibetans. The AP's only mention of the fact that China's military currently occupies Tibet comes in the very last paragraph, in which they write,
The Dalai Lama is immensely popular in Tibet, which China has ruled with a heavy hand since its communist-led forces invaded in 1951. He has been based in India since fleeing his Himalayan homeland in 1959 amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
It seems that the AP reserves its disapproval for invasions carried out by the United States in pursuit of defending itself against Islamic terror. Invasions carried out by Communist countries for purely imperialistic reassons do not merit such disapproval. On a related note, I am still waiting for the AP or any other major media organ to discuss the long-standing Syrian occupation of Lebanon in anything close to the terms of disapproval they use for talking about Iraq and/or Israel's former occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. But then to expect that wouldd be to require journalists to exercise consistency and objectivity- traits which I fear are a lost art among most current practicioners of the journalistic profession. Cross-posted on StoneHeads.