November 25, 2005

double standards...yet again

It's been "standard" US policy to advocate civil society institutions as a basis for the promotion of democracy, especially in regions such as the Middle East. This includes, of course, free and open media sources. Governments shouldn't intimidate journalists, shouldn't censor sensitive news and information for any reason.

Now, some people might be surprised that the US keeps criticizing al-Jazeera, the independent Arabic language 24 hour satellite news channel...why would they criticize a channel that is generally independently run without any state influence? One that allows for Arabs to finally voice their opinions and debate sensitive and controversial social, political, and religious issues? Isn't this what open dialogue and democracy should be about? free media? civil society? Well, you would think so. But no. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, al-Jazeera has been known as a "mouthpiece for terrorists" at Bush, Inc. because they broadcast the tapes from OBL and other terrorists. They call suicide bombings in Palestine "martyrdom operations" and they call the US presence in Iraq "occupation of Iraq". As if such criticism isn't enough and as if this doesn't already sound hypocritical on the part of the US government and the Bush administration, now THIS is revealed in the British press.

Now, let me just say that even though I know a lot of crap happens in politics, and especially at times of war, I cannot even begin to FATHOM that a *president* would even CONSIDER such an action. At first, I thought this must be some tabloid crap. Apparently, it isn't and al-Jazeera is demanding a full investigation.

Another serious blow to US credibility in the Arab world, courtesy of...

Bush, Inc.

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