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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Iraqi Gov't: Al Jazeera 'Spreads Death and Destruction'

"Iraq's government on Wednesday accused Al Jazeera television, which it kicked out of the country two years ago, of helping to 'spread death and destruction' in its reporting.

The cabinet called on parliament to take legal action against the......"


  • In a typical style of pick-and-choose, many who reported about slapping of restrictions on a news channel didn’t include the missing paragraphs from the original Reuters story. Is this an inadvertent slip rather than an intentional bid to abet gagging of potential outlets speaking about bungling of funds by US contractors and their Iraqi accomplices?

    “The Iraqi government is very sensitive about anyone highlighting the negatives in the
    country,” said Dubai-based Iraq analyst Mustafa Alani. “They particularly don’t like someone like Al Jazeera highlighting issues of militias, corruption and all the other problems. Jazeera has a real influence over Arab public opinion.”

    Alani said Jazeera had run into trouble with other Middle Eastern governments. “I don’t think they are picking on the Iraq government to undermine their credibility,”
    he said.

    “The Iraqi government is looking for a scapegoat to justify their failure in bringing security and stability to Iraqis.” It gave no reason for the new criticism, but one official in the ruling Shi’ite alliance said a talk show was broadcast on February 6 that criticized the government and Shi’ite parties.

    The government has shown itself sensitive to criticism in the past and has also clamped down on media outlets it says are inciting sectarianism or violence. Most locally based channels are controlled by political parties or religious factions.

    In January, it ordered the closure of Sharqiya, a popular Iraqi channel based in Dubai, and in November two local channels were briefly taken off air. It also forced Jazeera’s main rival, Al-Arabiya, to shut its Baghdad bureau for a month in September.

    By Blogger purpleXed, at 11:07 AM  

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