Khaled Al Haroub
These days, Wolfowitz is displeased with Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and most of the Arab media, because they are not telling the “truth” about Iraq. Wolfowitz, who almost got killed in Baghdad, wants the Arab media to invent another Iraq, where security prevails and the occupation administration has everything under control, and where the Iraqi people are enjoying their lives, expressing only love and friendship to this administration. Wolfowitz wants Al Jazeera network, which he was furious at recently, to come up with an innovative way of shooting and broadcasting news, by removing the symptoms of fear and trembling he showed when his place of residence in Baghdad was targeted.
Being an independent journalist in Iraq can be a dangerous thing. Scores of USA attacks, assaults, and arrests have been made against journalists since the war ended.
Wolfowitz wants Al Jazeera to “show the truth” in Iraq, the virtual American “truth” that wants to give hope for things that never took place on the ground. He wants it to invent “facts” such as the fact that Wolfowitz and his friend Rumsfeld’s project in Iraq was tremendously successful, that security is stable, the main services have been provided to most Iraqis and the Iraqi constitution is being formulated by elected Iraqi legislators and politicians, not to mention that the transitional ruling council has sovereignty over the decision-making and its implementation, the appointed ministers all have the right to appoint a “general manager” in their ministries, contrary to what everyone knows. Claiming that this actually exists is sheer misleading, hence the “truth’s” enemy. However, misleading and lying have become a main and permanent characteristic in the current American administration’s policy; thus, no wonder why Wolfowitz was furious about those who are not part of this policy and who do not promote it.
Neither Al Jazeera, nor any other television network or media is perfect or beyond any criticism. There are even lots of defaults and criticisms regarding Al Jazeera or any other similar media, the least of which is not the reporters’ long comments on events or news, hence mixing sometimes their personal opinion with the objective announcement of the news. Nevertheless, the more important thing that should be objectively assessed, is whether Al Jazeera was really giving the “other opinion,” knowing that it’s the slogan, the same chance it is offering to the “second other opinion!”
Here lies the direct question on whether the official American point of view exists in the Arab media, considering that it is the point of view that wants to promote the Iraqi “truth” the way it sees it and defend it. the answer is quite obvious, as the main Arab media tribunes, namely Al Jazeera’s, are wide open for the American voice and its spokesmen.
Contrary to the racist myth, Al Jazeera shows far more interviews with USA politicians than it does tapes of Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.
The presence of the official American opinion on Al Jazeera screen, whether through the coverage of the intense press conferences in the White House held by its master and deputies, or in the State Department held by the U.S. Secretary of State and his advisors, or in the Pentagon held by Rumsfeld and his deputies, or through his representatives in Iraq, they all contribute to a prominent and permanent, sometimes intense and boring, American presence. In many occasions, it is even exaggerated, which is an exaggeration that one can understand as an attempt to drive away this accusation of biasness or of “not telling the truth.” The CNN, or even the Fox News, don’t broadcast all these press conferences that American officials rush into holding as to “explain the truth” regarding what is going on in Iraq.
I might even venture to say that had a survey been conducted among a part of the Arab Al Jazeera viewers and a counterpart of American channels American viewers, as to find out if they know the names and positions of the American officials, the Arab viewers would have definitely won. No secrets or big and dangerous “facts” are taking place in Iraq without being revealed by the media.
Wolfowitz’s problem with Al Jazeera is that it shows what is going on, which he does not want. Someone like him is considered to be one of the staff that produced the “globalized” lying strategy, through which war was waged; hence the thing he hates the most is “truth.” He hates to reckon or imagine Iraqis looking g at his army and administration in Iraq as an occupation. He hates to admit that many of the overthrown regime’s enemies, and of those who made alliances with the State Department or the Pentagon as to overthrow the regime, feel now that they have been fooled, because all the promises and plans of the post-war Iraq, which was supposed to be verbally and actively ruled by Iraqis, they all have been cancelled to serve occupational and destructive formulas aiming at ruining the national sovereignty, dignity and wealth.
Even recently, the Bush administration has shown its feelings towards an independent media in Iraq, with several attacks on reporters.
Wolfowitz provokes Qatar against al Jazeera and says “our friends in the Gulf” can do a lot to solve this problem that the channel has caused (which problem?). He wants, with insolent and blunt clarity, for Qatar to officially intervene and hand Al Jazeera administration to a “ruling council” it would appoint and be stratified with; he is reiterating like a silly parrot what Fox News always says, knowing that Wolfowitz surely considers it to be a role model for the media that tells “the truth.”
Fox News, as every reader should know, has the highest viewers’ rate in the U.S., and is the most radical, rightist and the less professional in terms of journalism and objectivity. It believes in the necessity for the media and reporters to take a stance that supports their nation even at the expense of neutrality and integrity. This is actually what its reporters did in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan previously, and other parts of the world. Exerting pressures on Qatar or on any other Arab country to prevent the Arab satellite networks from voicing their opinions is a political barbarity similar to the third-world dictator behaviors (including the Arab ones), which alert their embassies and aides to monitor every single detail that criticizes the regime, as to wage a Don Quichotte-like war against the concerned country.
Before starting to dwell upon this matter, it seems that the real source of the problem worrying Wolfowitz is an opinion poll that the U.S. State Department conducted in Iraq recently, showing that most Iraqis followed local news and the events occurring on the scene on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, not to mention that the credibility of the American administration’s media did not exist for them. In other words, the results of the survey say that what most of the Iraqis watch on al Jazeera is closer to the “truth” than the “truth” Wolfowitz and his gang want to create and promote.
The basic and almost lone “truth” most Iraqis agree on, and which Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and their master in the White House disregard, is that there is no obvious American strategy to end the occupation in a way to restore full sovereignty to Iraqis. Not one Iraqi respecting himself can long for Saddam Hussein’s regime, oppression and ferocity. However, the American occupational arrogant policy and the ignorance of all parties, locally, regionally and internationally, is leading people to longing for the overthrown regime and providing environments for avenging, and sometimes nihilist “heroisms.”
Article courtesy of Dar al-Hayat
Khaled Al Haroub