Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"When we act, we create our own reality"

Via Springheel Jack:
LONDON (AP) - A British civil servant has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that, according to a newspaper report Tuesday, suggests that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President George W. Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

According to the Daily Mirror, Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16 last year. The U.S. government has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.


Critics jumped on the report, saying it raised questions about U.S. military attacks on Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq that Washington said were accidental, as well as on other reportedly accidental U.S. attacks on journalists in Iraq.

In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera journalist died when its Baghdad office was struck during a U.S. bombing campaign. Nabil Khoury, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike was a mistake.

In November 2002, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. missile. None of the staff was at the office at the time. U.S. officials said they believed the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was Al-Jazeera's office.


1 comment:

  1. Journalists John Pilger and, from al Jazeera, Yousri Fouda, discuss this with Amy Goodman:


    AMY GOODMAN: "You have been commenting for your network, Al Jazeera, on various talk shows since this was revealed yesterday. One of the people you were up against was arguing that it was right to attack Al Jazeera, saying it's state media."

    YOUSRI FOUDA: "Well, it's his opinion, and I wouldn't actually generalize that every American would like to murder journalists for reporting whatever they are reporting. Even if I begin to agree or accept any allegation against Al Jazeera, which I totally refute, I certainly -- no decent human being on earth would even begin to justify murdering journalists. And in the name of what? In the name of spreading freedom in our part of the world? I mean, you just can’t argue that you are trying to defend everything that Western civilization stands for, that you are trying to spread freedom and democracy in the Middle East, but in the process, you are actually doing exactly the opposite. You cannot argue for both things at the same time.


    The issue is the way some people -- and I would this -- that some people within the U.S. administration view the world, that kind of arrogant attitude towards the world that we don't even need to even begin to explain ourselves is just outrageous. You know, when you take people for granted, when you think that, well, taking an easy target like journalists, unarmed human beings, just for, you know, for doing their job, just because they wanted to stay in the middle and not be with any side, like the President of the most powerful nation on earth said at one point, “You are either with us or against us.” Hello. I'm a journalist. My job is all about being in the middle.

    So, it's – from that point of view, I just wonder, in light of what happened recently, I mean, this revelation about this document, how many people would have been recruited into the mindset of al-Qaeda because of something like this? I'm talking about mainstream Arabs and Muslims, and even decent human beings, wherever they come from, when they hear about something like this. So we have been hearing a lot about people in our part of the world, ‘They hate America and Americans.’ Well, they might do this, but they used to hate Americans for what they do, not for what they are. Now, with something like this, I wouldn't be surprised that Americans will be hated for what they are."