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Iraqi Expat

Friday, March 04, 2005

No Al Jazeera

Ali said Al Jazeera has a good effect on the Arab street! Well, I can see his point, and I agree on many issues, which is basically being an independent channel it showed the demonstrations in Iraq and showed how democracy being formed in Iraq; and that had a good effect on many Arab countries where people became aware that they have to ask for more and they started demonstrations, etc.

But, even for that reason, I think we don't need Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera has pros and cons; but unfortunately, its cons outweigh its pros. Other than what Ali has mention, Al Jazeera has no more pros!

Whereas if we look at Al Jazeera's cons, we have many! For me, mourning the death of Uday and Qusay and making them martyrs, is all I need to never watch that channel again. But I am sure that won't be enough for all, so how about promoting terrorism? Encouraging young Arabs to go and fight in Iraq! Showing falsely, that the Iraqis are against everything good that is happening and they support the Arab fighters! Showing constantly a negative image of the situation in Iraq! Al Jazeera paid people money to show that the Americans were hurting and humiliating the Iraqis! Etc.

Even before the war, Al Jazeera was a tool that helped Saddam. It was Saddam's international propaganda channel. Al Jazeera was always on Saddam's side, it never was an impartial channel, and it was always against the Iraqi people!

Yes, we need independent channels, we need channels that promotes democracy, freedom and human rights, but they must be impartial and honest. We don't need another channel that twists facts, play dirty games and supports whoever pays more even if that was a dictator like Saddam. We need channels like Al Arabia after it changed. Al Arabia was like Al Jazeera but slightly better; then it changed and I will be very happy to see Al Jazeera change and I hope it will, but until then No Al Jazeera.

All Iraqis against media policy of Al Jazeera TV Petition


Blogger membrain said...

I understand both points of view. Prior to Ali posting his comments re; Al Jazeera it was under the impression that they had downplayed the elections in Iraq to the point of ignoring them. Ali set me straight on that, and also how difficult it is for people in the region to get any information at al.

However I agree that Al Jazeera is "Al-qaeda Al-the time". They wanted to licence it in Canada and the regulators said yes as long as the broadcaster deleted all hate based programming. So much for Al Jazeera in Canada. Although it is watched here via satellite illegaly.

March 04, 2005 4:21 pm  
Blogger Brian H said...

Excellent summary. Thank you. You have been mentioned over at ITM, so I expect you'll start seeing quite a bit of traffic here.

March 04, 2005 4:44 pm  
Blogger texasbunch said...

Extreamly well written and thought out! I received notification of your blog from ITM. Suffice it to say, I shall return! Thank you .

March 04, 2005 5:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I understand your opinion of Al Jazeera, what I got from Ali's post was that their coverage worked against the message they were trying to send. Yes, Al Jazeera encouraged the terrorists, but at the same time, they unwittingly showed the rest of the Middle East that there were regular Iraqis protesting and demonstrating against the interim government, and not getting in trouble for it.

Al Jazeera and many others were and are working against democracy. In the case of state-run media, we knew that was going to happen. But because Al Jazeera was not a state-run media, it showed different footage that actually worked in our favor. It's a classic martial arts move - using your enemies' strength against him. I think that was Ali's major point, and I agree.


March 04, 2005 7:04 pm  
Blogger DagneyT said...

Too bad the BBC, Guardian, NYT, etc., do not agree with your assessment. It is when the agenda gets in the way of the retelling of the news, that it becomes untenable. It would be nice to have "unbiased", but that goes counter to human behavior, but fair would be nice.

March 04, 2005 8:07 pm  
Blogger TallDave said...

Al Jazeera is terrible, but at least it's only 90% controlled by gov't and terrorists instead of 100% like the others.

March 04, 2005 9:16 pm  
Blogger Pancho said...

Perhaps, like many media giants, they will change their message when they see what the people want. Freedom.

March 04, 2005 9:27 pm  
Blogger thewiz said...

Liked both of your posts: Accountablilty is key. The Sunnis that boycotted the elections are learning this lesson now. Many have said that they now realize that boycotting was wrong and fear having no voice in the new gov. Accountability means being part of the process or being left behind.

As for Al Jazeera, Ali made some good points. While their coverage is terrible, the truth still gets through. One could see the changes for the better in Iraq. And as Iraq and the ME change so will al Jazeera. They will have to change as more independant networks are developed and begin to steal away their veiwers. It will be case of improve your coverage or fade away into insignifigance. Thats the free market, capitalism, and. . . oh yeah. . . .accountability!

March 05, 2005 12:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Al-Jazerra has got too many cons to be a good tv channel for Arabs or anyone else.

When they have tapes of the terrorists and showing their demands etc. etc., they are considered by me to be a puppet of the terrorists.

March 05, 2005 5:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The terrorists are the puppets of the Power Hungry criminals better known as most middle east dictatorships. The dictatorships also own most of the media in the middle east.

March 05, 2005 5:29 am  
Blogger Hobbes said...

Excellent. My question is for that large percentage of people (the masses) who may not have the access or the desire how can we better promote a more well balanced view. Unfortunately, for many of us, both in the US and in the ME, it is easier to watch and believe the outlets which agree with our particular views

March 05, 2005 5:34 am  
Anonymous Bryan Ruffin said...

How does "Fox News" translate into Arabic?

A few bloggers have mentioned now that Al Arabiya changed. How? I'm curious as to how they pay their bills. Al Jazeera is subsidized so if they lose 90% of the viewers in Iraq they're not going to go bankrupt. If Al Arabiya is strictly commercial, maybe they figured they'd corner the market in Iraq and make some real money later on.

Even without the oil Iraq is going to be rich, rich, rich. Being able to vote out the politician who just picked your pocket will give Iraq an economic advantage over every other corrupt regime in the region. Ad rates in Iraq should be pretty high.

March 05, 2005 6:53 pm  
Anonymous karim said...


"Even without the oil Iraq is going to be rich, rich, rich. Being able to vote out the politician who just picked your pocket will give Iraq an economic advantage over every other corrupt regime in the region. Ad rates in Iraq should be pretty high."

So how come democratic India is not rich yet? It has been a democracy for decades now.

In case you dind't know India is the biggest democracy in the world.

Consider this post a news-flash for all the ignorant right-wing war-mongers out there.

March 05, 2005 9:06 pm  
Anonymous karim said...

The Wiz wrote"

"As for Al Jazeera, Ali made some good points. While their coverage is terrible, the truth still gets through. One could see the changes for the better in Iraq. And as Iraq and the ME change so will al Jazeera. They will have to change as more independant networks are developed and begin to steal away their veiwers. It will be case of improve your coverage or fade away into insignifigance. Thats the free market, capitalism, and. . . oh yeah. . . .accountability!"

Except that right-wing Accountablity does not apply when foreigners are dying. Who is accoutable for the 20,000 Iraqi deaths? who cares right?

For your comment, if progress is made in Iraq, Al-Jazeera will report it. However, don't expect Al-Jazeera to cover up for desturction and death so you and your war-mongering fanatics feel good about themselves. If people are dying in Iraq, I would like to know it, and I thank Al-Jazeera for REPORTING it. They proved to me that there is a fundamental problem with the violent intolerant homophobic right-wing ideology (They will never get my vote again).

Al-Jazeera has in the past interviewed Israeli officials despite the protest of many people. Israel is the arch-foe of the Arabs, no Arab TV ever interviewed their officials in the past.

Al-Jazeera truely believes everyone has the right to voice their opinion.

Even Bush could be interviewed on Al-Jazeera.

If Bush is brave enough, let him offer a LIVE interview on Al-Jazeera. Millions of Arabs will watch and listen. Is Bush afraid that Al-Jazeera will force him to say something he doesn't want to say?

Tony Blair did grant an interview for Al-Jazeera.

It is funny how when Al-Jazeera was born, many Arabs accused it of being a Mossad-Israeli station!

March 05, 2005 9:21 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...


You are wrong, when Al Jazeera was born, Al Arabs, including us, were very happy to watch it, support it and promote it; because we thought being independent it can be impartial and it will be fair, we thought this is going to be the arabic CNN. But we were wrong, it later started to show its real intentions, even before the war, we saw that in the discussions it hosted and how it supported Saddam and his thugs. You see news, we hear stories from Iraq (from friends and family) on how Al Jazeera offers Iraqis dollars t get them to twist facts.

You trust what you see in Al Jazeera, but we know what you see of Al Jazeera is not all true!

March 06, 2005 12:55 pm  
Anonymous Karim said...


You still don't get it. Al-Jazeera IS ALREADY THE ARAB CNN. There is no other channel in the world besides CNN that is renown internationally. As an Arab you should very proud of Al-Jazeera. There were many other attempts before (MBC by the Saudi..based in London), but they never had the success of Al-Jazeera.

You don't like the ARAB CNN the same way most RIGHT-WING AMERICANS hate AMERICAN CNN. You see they also believe CNN is un-patriotic and anti-American...that's why the right-wingers came up with Fox News. You are just a RIGHT-WING Arab, fine by me...put up your ARAB Right-Wing FoxNews.

As far as I remember, Iraq (under Saddam) did ban Al-jazeera just a week after CNN was expelled from Iraq. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2911935.stm

Your story-accusations sound like rumors to me...I don't question the integrity of Al-Jazeera team who worked for years at the BBC before the Saudi forced them to shut them their departmen.

You know many Arabs say they heard stories claiming the WTC terrorist attack was carried out by Jewish people. Do you believe in that too? You know when you talk to some, they are they ARE SURE THEY HEARD SUCH THINGS.

if you don't like some Al-Jazeera reports (and they might make mistakes), well WRITE TO THEM. CALL THEM. TELL THEM YOUR TRUTH WITH EVIDENCE, and SHOW THE WORLD THAT THEY REFUSED YOUR EVIDENCE.

There are many Independent Media watchdogs in the world, call them and show them your evidence.

If you're just an ARAB with a rigid right-wing type of ideology, well watch what you want and read what you want. It is dishonest of you to accuse a station of what you said with no evidence.

March 06, 2005 6:49 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Karim, I don't believe in conspiracy theories. People who believe in them, only do so because the truth is much harder to believe!

And to me and many Iraqis, Al Arabia is the Arab CNN.

And by the way, many Iraqis called Al Jazeera and complained. Some of them even attacked them live on TV.

The bottom line is, you are convinced and I and most Iraqis are conviced otherwise, it is that simple.

March 06, 2005 7:22 pm  
Anonymous karim said...

I watch Al-Arabia...It is good too. Al-Arabia was born in response to Al-Jazeera right before the war. It is Al-Jazeera that forced Al-Arabia to break few taboos. The Saudi already had MBC for decades...but as you know, MBC was simply another "polished all good news" station.

It would be dishonest to demonize Al-Jazeera because it doesn't censor certain things that you find troubling.

The only problem I have with Al-Arabia is that it is owned by the Saudi. Nothing against the Saudi as long as they do as the Qatari...they should never attempt to censor the station.

The Saudi already lost their integrity when they banned ads on Al-Jazeera long before there was any war in Iraq.

To me, Al-Arabia is simply a war station....as soon as the war in Iraq ends, Al-Arabia will not able to report on other issues inside of the Arab world (because of Saudi/their-buddies censorship).

Al-Jazeera is the opposit. It was not born to report on a war, Al-Arabia did (just like FoxNews).

So let's see after hostilities in Iraq end.

March 06, 2005 8:03 pm  
Anonymous karim said...


I have to say that FoxNews is really not like Al-Arabia. Al-Arabia anchors do not insult their guess like some of FOXNEWS's do.

Please watch this documentary called: OUTFOXED.

Judge for yourself.

March 06, 2005 8:09 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Just for the record, I don't watch fox news! I watch BBC, Sky and CNN ;)

March 06, 2005 8:13 pm  
Blogger Abe said...

Ali wasn't saying Al Jazeera was now on the side of The Good Guys (free Iraqis vs. the killers). The truth sometimes gets through despite the best efforts of the messsenger.

Political freedom is necessary for political growth. For economic growth you need capitalism (i.e. economic freedom). These two kinds of freedom are different, although related.

India, after decades of stagnation under the socialist model, is showing impressive growth these days after opening up to economic freedom.

March 07, 2005 3:15 am  
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