(Press TV: 0243 PT, May 12, 2011) This pro-military rally, apparently urged by the government, was aimed at easing the pressure over the controversy surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden. But the mood was different at a meeting of the country's main opposition party, which was discussing the fallout of the Abbottabad operation that killed Bin Laden. Press TV's Kamran Yousaf reports from Islamabad
(Channel 4 News: 0740 PT, May 12, 2011) Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, tells Channel 4 News that US drone strikes in Pakistan are consistent with international law.
(Russia Today: 0604 PT, May 10, 2011) The world's two economic giants have ended a first day of talks aimed at easing the strains in their relations. But there are still many areas in which China and the US are struggling to find common ground. Beijing says Washington is trying to stunt its economic growth; America hit back with criticism of China's human rights record. And, all the while, the threat of a growing arms race rumbles in the background. RT's Kristine Frazao has been following the difficult negotiations.
(Al Jazeera English: 0910 PT, May 6, 2011) Following the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden, various groups in many Pakistani cities have railed against violations of the South Asian country's sovereignty. Imtiaz Tyab reports.
(Al Jazeera English: 0910 PT, May 5, 2011) In the days since Osama bin Laden's killing, the Obama administration has been at pains to stress that the US-Pakistan relationship is intact. But other politicians have been much more critical. Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports.
(Euronews: 0734 PT, May 3, 2011) Two days after the raid that ended Osama bin Laden's life, Washington insists that it shared its knowledge of the location with no other country, including Pakistan. The assertion on the White House website was that secrecy was considered as essential to the raid team's success. The compound is said to be close to both a civilian health centre and Pakistan's top military college.
(Press TV: 0927 PT, May 3, 2011) Press TV reports on the latest development on the death of Osama bin Laden and the row between Washington and Islamabad.
(ITN News: 0431 PT, May 3, 2011) Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK, rejects accusations that his country didn't do enough to help capture Bin Laden, and says Pakistan has been at the forefront of the war on terror.
(Associated Press: 0904 PT, May 2, 2011) Chris Brummitt, AP bureau chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, talks about how the killing of Osama bin Laden happened so close to several Pakistani military installations, and what his death could mean for US-Pakistan relations
There are a select few public figures alive in the world today that have transcended fame and entered the realm of living legend. It is difficult to separate person and myth when they have reached this level, and rare to get a glimpse into who they really are. The Dalai Lama is one such figure, someone who has been in the public spotlight for the majority of his life, a person who is seen as a holy symbol by his people and revered the world over for his courage and outspokenness against oppression. Yet, behind the public persona there is a man who few outside of his inner circle have seen. Filmmaker Josh Dugdale gained unprecedented access to His Holiness for a three-year period and was able to elucidate not only the Dalai Lama’s true political intentions, but also his humor, joy, pain, and humanity as well. The result is Sunday’s DOC-DEBUT premiere of The Unwinking Gaze.
Throughout his lifetime, the Dalai Lama has struck a tenuous balance between spiritual leader and political activist. It is an amazing feat for a person to be able to carry such gravitas spiritually while also being a savvy political operator and inspirational leader. And to think that this person was discovered as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama in a far flung village at the age of two makes one wonder whether the Tibetan leaders who found him really did come upon the true reincarnation. One of the most intriguing mysteries surrounding this man is whether he has become the individual he is through teaching, meditation, and life experience, or whether divine lineage through past lives really do account for his extraordinary character.
Josh Dugdale’s film gets closer to this answer than any movie that has come before: there is no clear explanation beyond the Dalai Lama’s humility and humanity. Dugdale follows him from the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, India, to Canada, England, and the United States. The film shows the Dalai Lama as an oasis of composure in a sea of chaos. He is surrounded by Chinese misinformation techniques, radical Tibetans who are impatient at his approach, opportunistic Western politicians, and fiery emotions on all sides. Dugdale is able to get inside the calm eye of the storm and see what makes the Dalai Lama tick. His Holiness is indefatigable despite his frenzied calendar and advancing age. He remains patient in pursuit of a solution despite his people’s growing anxiety. He is aware of Western countries’ attempts to use him as a pawn in their power plays against increasing Chinese influence, and like a skilled chess player, strategically sees several moves ahead.
On his motivations for making The Unwinking Gaze, director Dugdale says, “I had seen a number of films on the Dalai Lama, but I felt they didn’t show who he really was. It seemed that he was being wheeled out for the cameras, for stage-managed set pieces.” This film strips away the veneer and gets at the man behind the curtain. It presents fair critiques from both sides, and the measured responses of the Dalai Lama. In an age of fiery political rhetoric and few admirable leaders, it is refreshing to see someone confront maddening politics with reason. It is even more refreshing to see the internal struggles that the Dalai Lama confronts, just like any other human being has to. Tune in this Sunday at 11pm EST/8pm PST and meet the real Dalai Lama for the first time.
On the latest Global Pulse episode, host Erin Coker examines media coverage of the evolving relations between China and the US. Watch the episode below and share your thoughts!
While this week’s Global Pulse, called “Chimerica,” looks at what the two nations share, there are plenty of points of friction between them. The U.S. regularly criticizes China’s human rights record, and now China has published a report equally critical of the U.S., for “destabilizing the world economy and meddling in other countries' affairs.”
The United States is in a tricky situation. On the one hand, the U.S. wants to encourage human rights and increased democracy in China; on the other hand it fears alienating China, its most prominent trading partner, which holds upwards of $800 billion of American debt. So how has the U.S. walked this delicate tightrope so far? Not very well.
Perhaps the best recent example of the awkward U.S.-China relationship is the controversial meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. Most in the west see the Dalai Lama as a man of peace who dares to stand up to the might of the Chinese government. Not surprisingly, China considers him to be a threat to a unified China, due to his advocacy for the independence of Tibet. They also see him as a pawn of western nations bent on embarrassing the Chinese government. Even some western media sources have criticized the motives of the Dalai Lama. In an editorial from the UK’s Guardian, Brendan O’Neill describes the Dalai Lama as a poseur who “once auctioned his Land Rover on eBay for $80,000 and has even done an advert for Apple.” He also charges that the Dalai Lama “has [been] used as a battering ram by western governments in their culture war with China.”
But celebrities like Richard Gere and Sharon Stone are prominent followers of the Dalai Lama who advocate his return to Tibet, and American Buddhists have made some of his books pop-religion best sellers in America, so there was tremendous pressure on Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama. Although the meeting was carefully planned to try to not offend either side, it ended up offending both. Initially Obama refused to meet, citing the need to meet with China’s Hu Jintao first: human rights activists and western media called it a snub. When the meeting finally did happen it took place in a closed room without cameras. The Chinese were angry that the meeting took place at all.
Whether this and other rights issues are geat walls that will ultimately divide the two nations, or just side roads on the long march to cooperation remains unknown.
For this week's Global Pulse episode, Mr. Clinton Goes to Pyongyang, host Erin Coker asks the question: Did Kim Jong Il win this one? Share your thoughts and read our blog post, "Bill Clinton's Unique Position as U.S. Humanitarian and Diplomat", below!
Did Kim Jong Il win this one? After being held in North Korea for several months, two American journalists finally returned home, thanks to Bill Clinton's deft negotiations with Kim Jong Il. Ultimately, the release of the two young women served the interests of both of these poweful men on the international political stage.
One question that remains is whether it should have been the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, negotiating the return of U.S. citizens. An article on CNN's website commented that, "Former presidents are used as envoys and undertake humanitarian missions all the time," and, "Hillary herself has said she considered her husband a trusted adviser and could even consider using him where appropriate." In the world of international diplomacy and humanitarianism, acheiving the goal is more important than who achieves it.
Bill Clinton might be the perfect candidate to create an opening on the crucial nuclear issue. As a former president and husband of the current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, he is in a unique position to be a humanitarian ambassador. He also has charm and recognition that allow him to gain access to the most difficult of places.
The video below, from Al Jazeera English, outlines the U.S. media debate sparked by the visit. Not surprisingly, the Obama administration is calling it a humanitarian mission, while former Bush administration officials say Pyonyang is using the reporters as "pawns" to "enhance [the] regime's legitimacy." You decide: