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Author Topic: Iraq expels Al-Jazeera reporter...Al-Jazeera leaves
David Kyle
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posted 02 April 2003 10:52 PM      Profile for David Kyle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Al-Jazeera suspends correspondents' work in Iraq, CNN
So much for the argument that Al Jazeera is pro-Iraq.

Al Jazeera pulls out of Iraq.


From: canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 02 April 2003 10:54 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Zionists control Saddam Hussein, too...
From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Kyle
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posted 02 April 2003 10:56 PM      Profile for David Kyle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And Libya's Qaddafi is a CIA agent.
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clockwork
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posted 02 April 2003 10:58 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ergo, he's controled by the Zionists, too...
From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 03 April 2003 12:35 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I didn't know Geraldo was working for Al-Jazeera too!
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 03 April 2003 03:49 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, if I can be serious for just one minute (and one only), al Jezeera has a long history of expulsion from Middle Eastern States. I can only speculate that Iraq thought so bad of these one or two journalists to kick out a media outlet that regularly broadcasts Iraqi causalities and serve their own interests that these al-Jezeera, pro-Jihad reporters must have been suspected of doing something atrocious.

Of course, in the eyes of Saddam's regime, something atrocious may involve simply stating that American forces are holding their own, or the war isn't going all that well for Saddam. Much like if you’re an American journalist claiming the war isn't going to plan.

But then, if that were true, the anti-freedom, pro-government fuck-ups that use al-Jezeera as an example of pro-Jihad TV would have a problem to explain.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 03 April 2003 09:36 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Of course, in the eyes of Saddam's regime, something atrocious may involve simply stating that American forces are holding their own, or the war isn't going all that well for Saddam. Much like if you’re an American journalist claiming the war isn't going to plan.

Peter Arnett was not expelled or fired by the US government. He was fired by a news agency, NBC. Why? Not because he was "claiming the [US] war isn't going to plan." Christ, every US reporter worth his salt is saying the same thing. Sy Hersh's already-famous New Yorker article says far more damning things than Arnett ever did -- has the New Yorker fired him yet?

No, Arnett was fired for making this statement to Iraqi TV on Sunday, March 30th:

quote:
Well, I'd like to say from the beginning that the 12 years I've been coming here, I've met unfailing courtesy and cooperation. Courtesy from your people, and cooperation from the Ministry of Information, which has allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate. And that is continuing today.

At the very moment that he spoke those words, hailing the "freedom" of reporters in Iraq that is "continuing today," two Newsday reporters were in an Iraqi jail, listening to the screams of tortured inmates, and threatened with death themselves. Arnett knew this -- it had been widely reported.

In the eyes of any reporter worth his salt, Arnett is a contemptible bug.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 10:05 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Readers: Please note the hyperbolic over-extension and extemporaneous nature of the last post, also note that Arnett does not "hail" anything, in fact he uses the phrase 'degree of freedom.' Arnett always got a visa stating that he was in Iraq for the purposes of journalism and played by the rules, whereas the Newsday reporters entered the country as 'tourists.'

One might also want to consider the trustworthiness of those persons entering the country under false pretenses, and their testimony. To their credit they may merely have been to stupid to realize the dangers of entering a police state at war with their own country, a country that has been actively attempting to assasinate the head of the police state in question.

Personaly, I read their testimony and it sounded a bit like the Readers Digest version of "Darkness at Noon,' up to and including the description of the prison guard ("My three says of Hell in an Iraqi prison" -- Oprah will love it!) No doubt they torture and kill people in Iraqi prisons, but these people have no credibility given the fact they are evidently stupid and admitted liars.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 03 April 2003 10:42 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Peace activists should be concerned about this. The Newsday reporters were covering the work of "human shields" in Iraq, whose work they happened to sympathize with. (They were imprisoned with one of them.) They entered on limited visas before the war began, but had later been officially accredited by the Iraqi Ministry of Information.

I can't judge whether they were "stupid" or "liars."


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 10:49 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Perhaps, but I think its really OTT to suggest that Arnett's statements were a glowing testimony to freedom in Iraq. They are actually cautious and diplomatic.

quote:
"This is very typical of what al-Jazeera has been through in the Arab world and in many authoritarian regimes," says Mirazi, 45, as he sits in his K Street office, where two TVs are tuned to war coverage -- one on CNN, the other on al-Jazeera. "It's just sad that the U.S. and U.S. institutions didn't deal with us any differently than the Iraqi regime did."

quote:
...but had later been officially accredited by the Iraqi Ministry of Information.

I have not seen a report to that effect. I assume the Iraqi Ministry of Information a little disorganized these days so there may not be any paper work to confirm it.

And frankly I don't think that people are talking about Arnett's diplomatic 'freedom' gambit. Almost every story I read says it is because he:

quote:
...said in the Sunday interview that Washington's "first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."

As in this report about a Senator who wantsto have Arnett tried for treason.

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 03 April 2003 03:11 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Peter Arnett was not expelled or fired by the US government. He was fired by a news agency, NBC.

He was fired for saying the following (which may not be all good news and roses for the invaders, but is hardly treasonous). It's a bad precedent to wave treason charges at reporters for using their powers of observation and reason:

quote:
first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces.

I find it hard to believe that NBC was acting in a vaccuum when they fired him. More likely, NBC management was exercising damage control to make sure that their in-beds were not censured by the Pentagon in retaliation. For all we know, NBC management may have received an angry phone call from high-level persons in the Bush admin before taking this action.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 03:16 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The way I heard it was that at first NBC defended him, and then later after a barrel full of E-mail they switched sides. I don't think the US gov. had to be involved the Republican party probably took care of it on its own.

Some US paper:

quote:
NBC had defended him on Sunday, saying he had given the interview as a professional courtesy and that his remarks were analytical in nature. But by Monday morning the network switched course and, after Arnett spoke with NBC News President Neal Shapiro, said it would no longer work with Arnett.

NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said it was wrong for Arnett to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview.


[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 03 April 2003 03:46 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
a barrel full of E-mail they switched

Could it be that computers are no longer the domain pocket-protector geeks?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 03 April 2003 04:09 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
He was fired for saying the following . . . "first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."

Sarcasmobri, that is absurd. Every reporter has been saying the same thing. Most of them have been saying this in far stronger terms than Arnett ever did. The Army’s senior ground commander, William Wallace, admitted as much explicitly. Hersh's article approvingly quotes a source saying that there "isn’t any Arab fighting group on the ground in Iraq who is with the United States." So why isn't Hersh fired? Why isn't Wallace fired?

There's a basic rule in journalistic ethics. Maintain your independence. If Arnett had made his comments on Al-Jazeera, there might have been a kerfuffle, but no firing. But he made them on Iraqi state TV, for God's sake, praising the Ministry of Information at the same time that they were holding Western journalists and peace activists in jail.

Idiot Republicans will always be idiot republicans, and the charge of treason is ridiculous. But to any self-respecting journalist, Peter Arnett is scum.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 04:28 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, you are saying that NBC would have fired him for making remarks to the BBC?

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 03 April 2003 04:40 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So, you are saying that NBC would have fired him for making remarks to PBS or the BBC?

Depends what the remarks were, I suppose. If he's simply said to the BBC that the "first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces," then I guarantee you that his job would have been safe. Reporters say all sorts of idiot things, so even if he'd thanked the Iraqi Information Ministry on BBC, I doubt he would received anything more than the usual brickbats from the usual suspects. (Andrew Sullivan would have blogged about it, that's for sure.)

But appearing on Iraqi state TV is entirely a different matter. And his remarks were not simply "analytical," as he liked to defend them. He took the opportunity to express his gratitude and appreciation to the Information Ministry for the "freedom" experienced by Western reporters. Did he stop to mention the imprisoned reporters? Why not?

{edited to add point}

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Whazzup? ]


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 04:46 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Come on! he says 'with a degree of freedom,' the very phrasing implies that he was not entirely free. It is not like they locked him in jail and and set up a satelite dish on top of the prison so that he could file stories about himself marking of the days with a piece of charcoal, is it?

In fact he did have a degree of freedom. It is a fact.

Did he say 'complete freedom?' no.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 05:13 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In fact now that I think about it the quote: "...allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate," may have been a specifically pointed comment, designed to influence the situation about which you are so enraged.

Just because he didn't explicitly and spontaneoulsy denounce this or that (in comments that would never get aired anyway) does not mean that he was not communicating to persons of influence within the Ministry of Information who might be able to pull some strings, does it?

Arnett has been in Baghdad for years and years without running into any of the problems that those other journalists who illegaly entered Iraq ran into. He knows the ins and outs of the you-do-for-me I'll-do-for-you diplomacy of Baghdad better than any journalist from the west -- that is why he was hired. No? It is even posibble he gave that interview (which Baghdad greatly desired) explicitly to affect that situation, as part of a behind the scene deal.

Not eveyone gets things done by popping off and denouncing Saddam Hussien and the Ba'ath party at every opportunity. It is in fact exactly the wrong way to get anything done in Iraq.

But you'll simply call him scum, even though he's been over there risking his life so you could get the news everyday in this and the last war. Just like that.

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 03 April 2003 05:19 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
For all you know he gave that interview (which Baghdad greatly desired) explicitly to affect that situation, as part of a behind the scene deal.

Well, you've done it, Moredreads. You've finally made me figure out how to put a in my post.

Wow, that felt good, maybe a few more would be in order:


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 April 2003 05:34 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
1. Does anyone know what has happened to the Newsday journalists?

Whazzup? keeps referring to them in the past tense. I find this jarring.


2. NBC does not need to hear from anyone, not from viewers, citizens, advertisers, or even the U.S. administration.

NBC is GE. The U.S. administration hears from GE, not the other way around.

NBC is famous for firing good journalists. It is what they do. NBC News is directed out of the Entertainment Division, located in beautiful downtown Burbank.

I repeat: NBC is GE.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 03 April 2003 05:49 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
These Newsday journalists?
From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 April 2003 06:02 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Man oh man.

Well, it is obviously going to be some time before we find out what happened to everyone and why. Gee, but the leaping to conclusions, on all these partial reports, seems to me very bad journalism, so why don't we all now sit puzzled for a while and strum our fingers on our lips?

I certainly agree that journalists are a brother/sisterhood, and the good ones normally care a lot more about each other than they do about anyone's silly government. Or even about the evil corporations that employ them.

I mean: ya gotta live, eh? But you sell your work; you don't sell your soul. Or, at least, that's what the journalists think. Unfortunately, a lot of the publishers want the soul too.

Life.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 April 2003 06:11 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Well, you've done it, Moredreads. You've finally made me figure out how to put a in my post.

Not only do you not understand politics on an ideological level. You also don't understand how politics is done on practical level.

I mean who is sitting here telling us day after day that Saddam Hussien is a facist dictator? You. And now you ask why, Arnett, when making comments to the state TV station:

quote:
Did he stop to mention the imprisoned reporters? Why not?

When it is obvious that the footage would hit the cutting room floor because Hussein is a facist dictator and Arnett was talking to the 'state' TV station.

Whereas a reminder like:

"...allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate, "

Might just make it past the censors, and ring a few bells in Baghdad.

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 03 April 2003 06:13 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skdadl: It sucks, really. As a wanna-be journalist myself, I'd care for the cover of the American government, lest I be bombed and become a conversation piece for the journalist intelligentsia.

But then, something nags at me that I'd be quite happy in heaven knowing I was a conversation piece…


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 April 2003 06:20 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course you would, love!

But there are tidier wars than this one. Wait for one of those. Don't go to Iraq. It is going to be a killing-field for everyone for a very long time.

You want to go somewhere where intelligence matters, clock. At the moment, and for some time to come, Iraq is going to be dumb luck.

What. A. Mess.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 April 2003 06:50 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
GE and NBC are owned by the same folks?

That ain't the half of it.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 03 April 2003 06:58 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And then there's the MS part of MSNBC...
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 April 2003 06:59 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Didn't William Shirer (whem he was in Germany) often carefully emphasize certain words in English if he knew the censor didn't understand the language very well? Shirer wrote in the Berlin Diaries that he often did this to try and get across certain news that he was sure the Germans wouldn't be too keen on him sending along.

Addendum: I forgot not everybody would know that he was a radio reporter at the time.

[ 03 April 2003: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 05 April 2003 02:08 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wasn't so much talkig about code but that he was making a hint, that may have been backed up by some behind the scene commentary to people of influence.

The hint being that freedom of the press is an issue of importance.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 April 2003 10:09 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Exactly. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. What would have been the point of the guy railing about how horrible Saddam Hussein is on state television?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 05 April 2003 11:02 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
wasn't so much talkig about code but that he was making a hint

True. But the same principle is there. The reporter was sending a signal to somebody or several somebodies who would get the drift.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 05 April 2003 11:54 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"The view from the other side: lots of close-ups of Iraqi casualties, all the air time Saddam needs, rumors of an Israeli connection - and a fight for millions of viewers.


April 6, 2003

The Arab TV Wars

By DAOUD KUTTAB

Day 1, Amman, Jordan


Although President Bush's ultimatum to President Hussein ended after midnight last night, I was sure that the war would not start for a few days. My wife's parents are staying with us this week because they are worried about the war, and when I got up this morning, they told me that missiles had already hit Baghdad. I turned on the TV and watched CNN for a bit, then flipped over to Al Jazeera. The Iraqi information minister, Muhammad Said al-Sahaf, was on, and he was in the middle of introducing Saddam Hussein. The next image was a live feed from Iraqi television, with the Iraqi emblem in the top left corner and a seated Saddam Hussein with large glasses on in the center of the frame. Seconds later the TV screen went blank. I immediately thought that the Americans were trying to jam the broadcast. But after a few seconds it was on again, this time bearing the logo of Iraqi Youth TV (which is run by Saddam's oldest son, Uday). A pale-faced Saddam, clearly exhausted, spoke defiantly from a prepared text. My father-in-law, who takes the Arabic language very seriously, said that the speech was full of attempts at poetic flourishes, but that Saddam was reading some of them wrong, stressing the wrong syllables. He must not have had time to practice.

Day 2, Amman

The human element of this war became much clearer this morning when we woke up to video on Al Jazeera of Iraqis injured in the attack on Baghdad. Al Jazeera is the most-watched Arab satellite station, partly because its journalism is highly professional and partly because viewers like the fact that its reporters and anchors give the news a pro-Arab spin. The station was established in 1996 with money from the emir of Qatar and now has a highly skilled staff of Arab journalists, many of whom made their careers working for the BBC and other respected European broadcasters. Almost every Arab government gets upset with Al Jazeera, because it doesn't toe the party line the way the various national networks do. Al Jazeera will juxtapose government spokesmen with antigovernment opponents. The fact that the Americans got so furious at Al Jazeera for showing the bin Laden tapes only increased the network's popularity and credibility among Arabs. As I ate my breakfast, I switched back and forth between the West and the East. CNN, Sky and the BBC were saying that the Fao peninsula and Umm Qasr had fallen to the U.S. coalition troops. But the Arab satellite stations were running reports, quoting Iraqi officials, denying those coalition claims. In a live press conference, the Iraqi minister of information and the Iraqi minister of the interior questioned the authenticity of the video images of Iraqi soldiers surrendering. The Iraqi officials seemed to be losing their composure, calling the Americans ''infidel colonialists'' and ''uncouth bloodsuckers'' and saying that since the invaders were not respecting international law, then the Iraqis would not be bound by international treaties in dealing with prisoners of war. In the evening, King Abdullah went on Jordan TV, which is a state-run broadcast channel. He was trying to express his understanding of the public anger regarding the war, while not alienating his friends in the U.S. government. ''I know the pain and anger you are feeling because of the suffering and ordeal that the Iraqi people are facing,'' he intoned. ''I am one of you. I share the feelings of every one of you, and my confidence in you and your awareness has no limits.'' But he asked his subjects to be restrained in their protests. ''As for the demonstration of our feelings toward the brotherly Iraqi people, it has to be expressed in a civilized manner that will help to ease the anguish of our brothers.''

Day 3, Amman

My father-in-law turned on Al Jazeera early this morning, and the first thing I saw was a roundup of the world media, which included a report from The New York Times about the surrender of an entire Iraqi division. The next item was from the gulf daily newspaper Al Bayan, which reported that an interim government was going to be set up in Basra by the Americans and British and that one of the first decisions of this interim government was going to be the recognition of Israel. The Iraqi interior minister gave another briefing, in which he insisted that the invaders had suffered major losses. He said that resisting forces, made up of Baath activists and local Bedouins, had destroyed five U.S. tanks in the south Iraqi desert. I got the newspapers when I arrived at work. The independent Jordanian daily Al Arab Al Yawm led with the big headline ''Barbaric Shelling Lights Up Baghdad's Night.'' In the evening, when I got back home, I heard that Al Jazeera had been running stark images all day of some of the Iraqi civilian casualties from Basra. I switched to the brand-new Saudi-owned 24-hour news channel Al Arabiya, whose correspondents talked about an Egyptian family of 11 (including 4 children) that was killed at the outskirts of Basra. The television station used the term ''shaheed,'' which means ''martyr,'' to describe anyone killed by the American-led forces. I was surprised that Al Arabiya would use that language; I didn't think its Saudi backers were great fans of Saddam. The station was started just a couple of months ago by the Middle East Broadcasting Center, which has had a lot of success with an Arabic version of ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.''

Day 4, Amman

The first thing I noticed when I turned on the television this morning was a reference to Americans using ''Israeli tactics.'' This was on the Lebanese station Al Manar, which is very popular with Palestinians and other Arabs for broadcasting news from Palestine and the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. While generally opposed to the war, this station has had interesting alternative opinions that hint at the need for change in Iraq -- not by means of a foreign invasion but rather by a collective Arab resolve, based on closer relations between Arab leaders and their people. I flipped over to Al Jazeera, where an item on the crawl at the bottom of the screen said that the shell of an Israeli-made missile had been recovered in the latest attack on Baghdad. On my way to work, I stopped by a local money-changer, and as I was leaving, my cellphone gave a special jingle. I subscribe to a news messaging service connected to the news service Agence France-Presse. The brief message on my phone read, ''Four Jordanian students were killed when their car was hit by a U.S. coalition missile near Mosul in northern Iraq.'' I expected that today would be a difficult one in Amman. Bader Al Agha, the university student who reads the news at AmmanNet, the Internet radio station I run, told me yesterday that student demonstrations were expected today. This news will no doubt add to their anger. When I got home, the TV broadcasts were shocking. Footage of a large number of Iraqi civilians searching for an American pilot who was said to have parachuted after his plane ran into trouble. Then on to a press briefing by Taha Yassin Ramadan, the Iraqi vice president, who the Americans had said was killed in the first night's attack. He was defiant, blasting away at Kofi Annan for pulling the U.N. inspectors out. He denied that even a single Iraqi town had fallen and also said that American soldiers had been captured. Video of them would soon be provided to the media, he promised. Sure enough, a few minutes later Al Jazeera began showing footage taken by an Iraqi TV crew. The scenes were so bloody we had to quickly take our 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Dina, away. After the scenes of the killed marines, we were then shown the P. O.W.'s. The first one looked literally scared to death. Even Salam, my wife, who has been so angry with the Americans for starting this war, said she felt sorry for them. By 8 p.m., we couldn't take it any longer. Salam insisted that we turn the television off and said that we could turn it back on only if we could find a nice film, preferably a comedy.

Day 5, Amman

I was supposed to go to the West Bank town Ramallah this morning, but under intense pressure from my wife, who was worried that traveling would be too dangerous, I decided to stay in Amman for another day. Iraqi state television announced this morning that ''an important and historic speech'' by Saddam Hussein would soon be broadcast. Patriotic songs played. Under the title ''The Decisive Battle,'' an Iraqi official in a military uniform appeared on the screen between songs to announce that the speech was about to begin. Saddam, when he finally appeared, seemed much more composed than he did on the first day of the war. An Egyptian military expert on Al Jazeera said that the speech proved that the ''barrier of fear'' had been broken and that we as Arabs had learned that we can say no to the Americans. In an interview, the Iraqi foreign minister, Naji Sabri, said that an unexploded Israeli missile had been discovered near Baghdad, which he said proved without a doubt the involvement of the Israelis. The text ticker reported that fighting was continuing in Umm Qasr, and it kept repeating that the American director Michael Moore had expressed opposition to the war at the Academy Awards. I had no idea who Michael Moore was, but now I knew that he was against the war. I flipped over to Al Manar, the Lebanese station, where they were reporting on Umm Qasr. A retired Lebanese army general said proudly that no one expected a small port in southern Iraq to resist the Americans for five days. When I got to work, everyone at the station was poring over the newspapers. All the Jordanian papers carried photos of the American P.O.W.'s on their front pages. ''A Field Day of Losses for the American and British Troops,'' read a huge headline across the entire front page of Al Arab Al Yawm. ''Fierce Battle and Tough Resistance Throughout Iraq,'' read an eight-column headline in the largest daily, Al Rai. Since I was leaving for Palestine the following morning, I decided to take my wife out to dinner. In the car, we turned on Radio Sawa, which is financed by the American government. Sawa is a newly packaged version of the Voice of America that has been winning over young Arabs in the last year or so with an entertaining mix of Arab and Western pop music, broken up with extremely brief nuggets of headline news. Since the start of the war, though, Sawa has been running a lot more detailed news -- focusing on the American point of view -- including live coverage of all the major U.S. military briefings, with simultaneous translation into Arabic. As we drove, we listened to Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who was boasting that the campaign's progress was ''rapid, and in some cases dramatic.''

Day 6, Amman to East Jerusalem

When I woke up, I turned on Abu Dhabi TV, and the first images I saw were pictures from a hospital, children with casts and bandages on their heads. Abu Dhabi TV is another attempt to emulate the success of Al Jazeera -- and to steal its audience. Most of the new channels are backed by one sheik or another as an antidote, or at least an alternative, to Al Jazeera's populism. The rulers of the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi have a vast amount of oil money, and they've been spending some of it on Abu Dhabi TV, which uses state-of-the-art technology to produce broadcasts that at least seem independent. I set out for Ramallah. The only way to get there from Amman is by public transportation -- service taxi, which means a shared taxi. The taxi drivers tend to listen to one of two radio stations -- the Saudi-owned Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), broadcasting from London over an FM repeater station in Amman, or the Arabic service of the BBC. My driver was listening to the MBC announcer, who was talking about the meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo. The meeting had just ended with a statement resolving to go to the U.N. Security Council to put a stop to the U.S. invasion.

A commentator on MBC ridiculed the resolution, saying that before going to the Security Council the Arabs should put their own house in order, considering that five member countries were giving logistical support to the coalition forces. When we got to Ramallah, I picked up a few Palestinian newspapers. They were full of boasts about the holdouts in Umm Qasr and Nasiriya. They seemed to be trying to create a mythology around what they considered to be heroic Iraqi resistance. There was a four-column photo in Al Quds, the most popular Palestinian newspaper, showing a downed American helicopter and the farmer who, according to the caption, had shot it down. In the evening, we were delayed at a checkpoint outside Bethlehem. I tuned in to the Arabic service of the BBC, which was reporting that a popular uprising against Saddam had begun in Basra. When I finally got through the checkpoint and made it to a friend's house, we switched on Fox News, where a reporter was repeating the same story about the uprising. When I arrived at last in East Jerusalem, I tuned in to Al Jazeera, which broadcast a phone interview with the Iraqi minister of information, who was vehemently denying the story about the Basra uprising. ''I officially deny the lies that the Americans and British are trying to propagate using CNN and other stations,'' he said. Al Jazeera turned next to its reporter in Basra, who also refuted the claim, saying that he had not seen or heard anything unusual except for a large explosion at about 5 p.m.

Day 7, East Jerusalem

My first images this morning came from CNN, which has been running and rerunning a positive story (from the coalition's point of view) showing British troops mingling freely with Iraqis in Umm Qasr. Over on Al Jazeera, they were playing a message from Saddam, read by the minister of information, encouraging his people to fight on, promising them that if they continue fighting, the invaders will withdraw. To its credit, Al Jazeera followed this with a clip from President Bush saying: ''We cannot know the duration of the war. Yet we know its outcome; we will prevail. . . . Our world will be more secure and peaceful.'' When I watch CNN and ABC and MSNBC (I have to pay extra to get American stations), I notice that a lot of their reports are from ''embedded'' reporters. Al Jazeera also has a correspondent embedded with the coalition troops, but just one: Amr Kahki, who was reporting today from Umm Qasr. He interviewed British military leaders who said that they are working on ''building relations'' with the Iraqi population in the village. And he interviewed local leaders who said that they were ''confused,'' and weren't sure exactly what their legal status was. Amr Kahki is good, but he's not the real media star of the war -- that's Majed Abdel Hadi, a Palestinian reporter for Al Jazeera who is in Baghdad, seen daily (and nightly) reporting on the shelling. He was famous even before the war because of his dispatches from Tora Bora during the war in Afghanistan. Al Jazeera seemed like an all-American network today. First President Bush was shown giving a speech, and then Colin Powell came on to give an exclusive interview to the anchor, Adnan Sharif, a stocky man who used to work for Jordanian TV. Powell told the Arab television audience that the U.S. wanted this war to end as soon as possible and that American forces have been doing their best to minimize Iraqi civilian casualties. Despite the fact that Al Jazeera's economic correspondent was just kicked off the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, officials in Washington have been lining up to get on the network.

Day 8, East Jerusalem

Fadi Abu Saada, the young and charismatic anchor at Radio Bethlehem, said that at the U.N. Security Council, several speakers mentioned the connections between Palestine and Iraq. One ambassador, he said, referred to ''the occupation of Iraq and Palestine.'' The sandstorm in Baghdad and yesterday's hard-fought battles were also on the news, with Iraqis describing them as ''heavenly intervention.'' A question of terminology has been a subject of heated debate around the AmmanNet office in recent days -- whether to refer to the situation in Iraq as an invasion or a war. Arab television stations tend to use the term ''invasion'' as part of their regular war logo. Al Jazeera uses the logo ''War on Iraq'' (and not war in Iraq). The Lebanese Hezbollah station Al Manar uses the phrase ''Invasion of Iraq''; the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation uses ''Iraq in the Middle of the Storm.'' And the Saudi station Al Arabiya uses a more neutral phrase: ''The Third Gulf War.'' (The Iraqi war against Iran was the first; the war following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was the second.)

Day 9, East Jerusalem

Fridays are usually protest days in the Arab and Muslim world. This morning, Abu Dhabi TV ran a report about public anger in Egypt, focusing on the fact that the Egyptian government has banned all street demonstrations. Then came a long report from New York showing many images of the antiwar demonstrations outside Rockefeller Center and near New York University. A report from Tehran said that many Iranians are coming to the Iraqi Embassy there, volunteering to join the Iraqi resistance. Another interesting question of terminology today. Al Arabiya TV reported on the 116 Iraqis killed in Basra without using the term ''shaheed'' (or ''martyr''), which they used in the first days of the war. The human cost of war was evident all over television today. On ABC, Diane Sawyer was taping a ''video postcard'' of family and friends wishing speedy recovery to an injured soldier, while on Abu Dhabi TV, a reporter was interviewing Iraqis fleeing from the battle near Nasiriya. A well-dressed man with a red kaffiyeh was walking quickly and telling the reporter, ''Water, water, that is what we need.'' A woman dressed in black was criticizing the American and British forces and calling on Arabs to help. A woman carrying a baby said, ''We just want peace.''

*************************************************

Daoud Kuttab is the director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah. He lives in East Jerusalem and Amman, Jordan."


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