Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Rummy blames al-Jazeera for what's wrong in Iraq (again)
I guess Rummy thought that Amnesty International and Newsweek Magazine weren't quite easy enough to scapegoat, so he's fallen back on an old scapegoat, al-Jazeera. Here's coverage of his remarks from . . . . al-Jazeera:
Speaking at a security conference in Singapore on Saturday, Rumsfeld said that "if anyone lived in the Middle East and watched a network like the Aljazeera day after day after day, even if he was an American, he would start waking up and asking what's wrong".Ahh yes, blame the media. It's not the Pentagon's fault that people are pissed off and rioting in Afghanistan -- it's Newsweek's fault! And if you don't agree then you must want the Taliban back in power, don't you? DON'T YOU?!?! If you report on kidnappings then you must want those kidnappings to happen, don't you? DON'T YOU??!!? Of course, Rumsfeld couldn't even throw his blame about in a factually accurate manner. Indeed, Al-Jazeera responded thusly:
"But America is not wrong. It's the people who are going on television chopping off people's heads, that is wrong," he said.
"And television networks that carry it and promote it and jump on the spark every time there is a terrorist act are promoting the acts," he added.
Aljazeera's media spokesman, Jihad Ballout, said that Rumsfeld was mistaken. "Aljazeera has never ever shown a beheading of any hostage," Ballout said.Well, I guess that doesn't matter, because they keep talking in that terrorist language, and look, that guy's name is Jihad, so they mus' be supportin' terrur! All the evidence we need. It couldn't possibly be that the U.S. government has somehow destabilized the situation in Iraq and mishandled the resulting chaos. Oh no, never that. Oh, and by the way, al-Jazeera doesn't even operate in Iraq, seeing as how the Americans (by which I mean the democratically-minded and elected leaders of Iraq) have bombed them and banned them. But, yknow, it's still their fault.
"While we work hard to give a comprehensive and balanced account of everything that goes on in Iraq - people clearly have a right to know what is happening on the ground - we have never broadcast images of a hostage being beheaded," Ballout said.
He pointed out that beheading videos were readily available on the internet and had made it on to other television networks. "And because of Aljazeera's reputation, people mistakenly attribute the pictures to us."