The War on Al Jazeera

Just a few days before Bush allegedly proposed bombing the network, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Falluja, Ahmed Mansour, reported live on the air, "Last night we were targeted by some tanks, twice…but we escaped. The US wants us out of Falluja, but we will stay." On April 9 Washington demanded that Al Jazeera leave the city as a condition for a cease-fire. The network refused. Mansour wrote that the next day "American fighter jets fired around our new location, and they bombed the house where we had spent the night before, causing the death of the house owner Mr. Hussein Samir. Due to the serious threats we had to stop broadcasting for few days because every time we tried to broadcast the fighter jets spotted us we became under their fire."

On April 11 senior military spokesperson Mark Kimmitt declared, "The stations that are showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources. That is propaganda, and that is lies."

Say what? If a station broadcasts factual news, and even this US spokesperson is not denying it, why shouldn’t it be aired? That’s what news is. Except of course, to neocons, who view news solely as their propaganda playground and anything that contradicts it as lies. 

On April 15 Donald Rumsfeld echoed those remarks in distinctly undiplomatic terms, calling Al Jazeera’s reporting "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable…. It’s disgraceful what that station is doing."

Truly, reporting the news can be threatening indeed to a neocon. 

It was the very next day, according to the Daily Mirror, that Bush told Blair of his plan. "He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere," a source told the Mirror. "There’s no doubt what Bush wanted to do–and no doubt Blair didn’t want him to do it."

That Dubya, he wants to blow up newspaper offices in the country of an ally, while his military in Iraq writes articles then bribes newspapers to print them. Truly, the US is giving the world a vision of what true freedom of the press, openness, and democracy is like.

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