Friday, March 28, 2008

The Demise of Al-Jazeera. Within one year, you shall no more tell the difference between Al-Arabiyya and Al-Jazeera. This is the most recent example. Al-Jazeera was doing extensive coverage of the Arab summit in Damascus but something happened yesterday. Qatar's foreign minister suddenly left Damascus, and Qatari representation in (the foreign ministers' meeting in) the summit was downgraded, just like Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Fresh orders must have come from Washington, DC where the Bahraini King was. He too suddenly decided not to show up. Today, Al-Jazeera's coverage changed: the coverage was cut substantially, and Isma`il Haniyyah's speech was interrupted after a minute only (and as you know Qatar has been supporting Hamas for a while now--just after Saudi Arabia stopped its support for Hamas under orders from Bush administration after Sep. 11). And then Al-Jazeera got busy to what it has been doing best: coverage of a Dutch movie and Danish cartoons. Expect to watch wall-to-wall coverage of Danish cartoons and the Dutch movie. This is permissible for the lousy Arab media: the oil and natural gas media. And then Al-Jazeera went to cover the war in Iraq between the Badr and Mahdi sectarian militias. It referred to aerial bombing from "coalition forces." The report from Iraq referred to the participation of "foregin troops." Not once was the word "American" used in the report, even when the US media themselves are open about US military occupation's participation. So it can only mean one thing: Mongolian air force is back in full force in Iraq. And what is annoying is that Syrian propaganda vehicles still like to pretend that all is well in Syria's relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Saudi media (and yesterday Egyptian media joined in) are full of insults and offenses to Syria, but the Syrian government--with a long experience in fabrications and lies--does not notice.