Monday, November 28, 2005

A fair request, in my opinion

Don't Bomb US

This is the blog started as a protest by Al Jazeera staffers in response to allegations that George Bush wanted to bomb the Al Jazeera news station in Qatar (which is an allied nation) back in April of 2004. Since Prime Minister Blair has threatened to prosecute anyone who leaks the memo which allegedly details the conversation in which Blair talks Bush out of this idea we have no way of knowing to what extent it is true.

As usual, our media here has shown a lack of interest in the story, which is truly disheartening considering this is a matter relevant to the freedom of the press.

But what is perhaps most disturbing to me, is that I have heard people who believe that there would have been nothing wrong with bombing Al Jazeera, because Al Jazeera is "anti-American."

First, despite how the station is portrayed here in the States, Al Jazeera is a credible news agency. The Economist, possibly the most respected and middle of center news mag around, a few months back had a special feature detailing this, and how the station is fairer than they are credited with being.

*According to the Feb. 26 - March 24 edition of the magazine writes that Al Jazeera was the first channel to provide a diversity of voices for Arab peoples, and that it grants air time to contrasting opinions (at one point being accused of Zionism for interviewing Israeli officials.) And a Brookings Institution survey found that there was little difference in opinions towards Americans between al-Jazeera viewers and nonviewers.

Secondly, so what if they are anti-American? Are they not entitled to that perspective? I don't think it sets a terriby good example of spreading freedom and democracy to be blowing up news stations that broadcast things you find disagreeable. Nevermind that bombing a civilian news agency, disregardless of what propaganda they may or may not be disseminating, is illegal, as far as I'm aware.

*Section added Dec. 9th (as promised)

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