Thursday, January 22, 2004

Make no mistake about it: the continued US pressures on the corrupt and polygamous government of Qatar have achieved results: the nature of political coverage on AlJazeera has changed over the last few months. I notice a difference between the Arabic website of AlJazeera and AlJazeera TV. I have noticed, for example, that they now play down attacks on US troops, or do not mention them at all lest it upsets their American patrons. Just now: they mentioned attacks on Iraqi police, but skipped the news about attacks on US troops in Ba`qubah. Do you know that some 600 Iraqi police have been killed in the last few months? AlJazeera also loves to feature the silly Qatari foreign minister who speaks with the authority of Bismark. Does he not know that he represents a country, the political significance of which matches that of Micronesia? Even Lebanon has more clout (not really, but go along with me in this). And to please the US, and to attain American forgiveness for their past sins of airing Bin Laden and Saddam's tapes, now they feel the need to cover every single utterance by George W. Bush. In fact, just yesterday, I was watching AlJazeera, and they interrupted programming to say this: "This just in: the esteemed President of the US, who is known for his keen intellect, has just sneezed. We will provide more details as they become available."