November 18, 2004
Shown, not shown
Athena of Terrorism Unveiled, who's on a Middle Eastern sojourn, offers a fascinating look at how the local media is treating the shooting of a wounded Iraqi feigning death in a mosque. She writes,
I flip past the Usher's latest music video on "Melody Arabiya" and Britney Spears on "Mazzika" and get to al-Jazeera, the thorn in the side of American image in the Middle East, and indeed the biggest propaganda machine I've ever seen.
On al-Jazeera, it's quite a few minutes of clips of our military shooting at buildings, shooting through doors before they open them, throwing grenades and running for cover, riding tanks through the streets, and buildings exploding...and giving each other high fives.† Now, all this is certainly going on, but how they choose to air the clips is quite deceiving.
Read the whole thing, and remember something else that al-Jazeera has chosen not to show. According to KurdishMedia.com, the network refuses to air a video which shows Islamofascists killing Margaret Hassan, the CARE worker (there appears to be some doubt as to whether the woman being slain is Hassan, but one would think that al-Jazeera would be eager to show the big brave Islamofascists shooting women in the head regardless of their identity). KurdishMedia.com notes:
The case for the militants in Iraq is one of the familiar stories that Arab fascists try to hide - the agenda is to prevent democracy, individual liberty, religious tolerance, and peace from gaining a foothold in the Middle East. The killing of Margaret Hasan makes the militantsí agenda much clearer and now, Al-Jazeera is doing damage control by keeping a sort of silence on this matter. Less publicity on her death will ensure continued support and sympathy to the various terrorists groups operating in Iraq. Al-Jazeera does not want people to start having doubts about the aims of these terrorists groups.
The author of the KurdishMedia piece points to this essay which is also worth reading.
Posted by Ideofact at November 18, 2004 11:53 PM
Athena's article is sobering.
The commentary on Al-Jazeera sounds like a commentary on Michael Moore, except we don't know what they cut out.
I don't understand exactly what you are saying Al-Jazeerah should do? It is my understanding that American networks have not shown the Margaret Hassan tape either. Are you saying they should have?
Also, to claim that the Margaret Hassan tape is what the insurgents are about is a little confusing to me. It certainly does reflect very disturbingly on whoever did it, but we don't really know who did it, do we?
No one has claimed responsibility. Insurgents, who have not worried about engaging in or taking credit for actions that almost all Americans find reprehensible have not taken credit for this. I believe the insurgent leadership in Fallujah and Muqtada as-Sadr among many many other Islamists all asked that Ms. Hassan be released prior to her murder and condemned her murder.
According to media reports, even Zarqawi's group stated after the kidnappers threatened to turn over Ms. Hassan to them; that if Ms. Hassan was handed to them they would release her.
So, the point is Ms. Hassan's kidnapping and killing is not what the insurgency is about, this can be clearly seen by the fact that the insurgency did not want to be associated with it.
Even if this horrific act was carried out by someone who identified themselves with the insurgency, which is hard in intself to understand since all the leadership were speaking against it, it does not represent what the insurgency is about.
May Allaah (swt) comfort Ms. Hassan's family and guide all of us to contribute to the noble work she did throughout her life.
Well, given that al-Jazeera has shown other beheadings, and has shown the incident with the Marine, it seems there's some inconsistency in their policy.
I don't think I'd like American news shows to air graphic footage of beheadings, of the aftermath of suicide bombings, of the crime scene of Theo Van Gogh, of Daniel Pearl's murder, although that's really a matter of personal preference. In some ways it might be preferable to do so -- I think Americans would be far more united in seeing this war through, and seeing it through quickly, if they saw such things more frequently.
Also, see this post, which argues rather cogently that even if Zarqawi's group didn't kill Hassan, it was a group that shared his motivations.