Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tweets For Today


RussInSoCal said...

Wow. One word for that pic... Iconic. That time, that place and those two western Rock Stars...

Anonymous said...

I've worked in the media, comms, PR, and press relations roles for a couple of decades. Including time working with national and international news media, and time spent as a consultant for a few governments. I've worked with famous news anchors, and with journalists from newspapers that War News Updates regularly links to or publishes. (It's not hugely impressive. Many thousands of people have my kind of experience.) But the point is: as someone with extensive experience of the media and government, I think the Western news coverage of the Rohingya reeks of an organised agenda.

The media is moving in lockstep. It doesn't do that for genuine crises, which receive scrappy, unoordinated, mixed news coverage. (Just look at Yemen.)

The way the media has turned on Aung San Suu Kyi is educational: she was venerated as a near-saint when she had utility value in frustrating the Burmese junta (and by extension, China) – but now that she refuses to support the Rohingya's secessionist aims or magically stop the ongoing violence, the media positively demonizes her. (Realistically, what could she do? She doesn't have a magic wand, and she doesn't control the Rohingya.)

Nobody in the media's lockstep is mentioning that the Rohingya are an outside ethnic group that migrated to Burma against the wishes of the native Burmese and the efforts of successive Burmese governments. Literally, the Rohingya are illegal immigrants or the descendants of illegal immigrants. It is harsh to use such terms, but it is also an accurate use of today's terminology.

The Rohingya have a history of violence towards the Burmese people, and towards successive governments of Burma. The Japanese armed the Rohingya during the Second World War precisely because of this Rohingya militancy.

One reason that so many Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh is that they came from Bangladesh in the past decade – illegally sneaking across the border, and often taking land that belonged to native Burmese. The Rohingya took land without asking, and they took land by force. They imposed themselves, and their religion and culture and customs, on the Burmese.

For years now, the more aggressive elements from the Rohingya (who are already aggressive per se, compared to the average Burmese) have been fighting a secessionist geurilla conflict against the Burmese. These Rohingya have received weapons and money from Saudi Arabia. None of this is a secret, or unreported on in the wider international media. The Western media is not so keen to report on these facts – but it is worth noting that Saudi money has bought Saudi Arabia a great deal of influence in the Western media. The Saudis have used their sovereign wealth fund to purchase major shares of leading Western news conglomerates and media conglomerates (everything from Reddit and Twitter to News Corp, or even The Independent newspaper in the UK). The Burmese, needless to say, have purchased no such influence in the West.

Plenty of journalists and diplomats have pointed out that it is in Saudi Arabia's interests to prevent China from building planned pipelines through Burma, bypassing the Strait of Malacca and enabling China to obtain Central Asian hydrocarbons with much greater ease and security, at much lower cost than before. Such a move would be very detrimental to Saudi Arabia's already hard-pressed balance sheet, struggling with the expense of the protracted conflict in Yemen.

It is also worth mentioning that the USA would be happy to see the Chinese pipeline (and road and rail) projects in Burma brought to a standstill. The USA's current Air-Sea Battle strategy for any war with China would be hampered if maritime choke points like the Strait of Malacca were no longer relevant.

You don;t have to like the Burmese government to understand that something is very wrong with the current Western coverage of Burma.