Have you ever wondered why some news gets exposure day after day and some just disappears almost without trace? It's not because news is more fickle than fashion it's because of vested interests and need for sensational action. On United Kingdom's news channels Japan's earthquake hardly seems to create a tremor any more except the odd update of the ever growing list of thought dead in the wake of the tragedy whilst Libya is never off the agenda.
Nothing gets the United Kingdom's press so excited as a new war or revolution, hundreds of willing participants to impart human interest stories and plenty of mileage in the unpredictable sport, sorry war, of words and rockets. The BBC relish this hot-topic and have excitedly added it to their never ending stream of Middle Eastern comment in what is an obsession about the region and surrounding area (you thought thought British mandate ended in 1948?) as usual lapping-up every skirmish with pronounced glee. While the Japanese go about putting their everyday lives together out of the rubble left behind after the earthquake, tsunami and potential nuclear disaster the rest of the world can fool themselves that they are witness to or about to witness the overthrow of despotic dictators.
I am glad for the people in the Middle-Eastern and North African countries, that through their strength and solidarity have overcome insurmountable odds and have optimism for their future but the Western media has made the revolutions look quick, painless and easy. In 1979 there was similar obsessive media coverage at the overthrow of the Shar of Iran, pictures of crowds of happy faces as the up-rising triumphed into revolution. Will the same amount of resources still be there when the fighting has ceased and the crowds have diminished and new dictators spring-up to take the place of those recently deposed and everyone picks up the pieces of their lives or buries their dead or suffers in silence as the Western world has moved on to something more exciting?