U.S. military conducts forcible censorship
Date: Wednesday, April 09 @ 03:14:53 UTC
Topic: Troops and Tanks


By Firas Al-Atraqchi, YellowTimes.org

U.S. military conducts forcible censorship of Arab and other media outlets

Reports from the Arab world indicate that anti-Americanism has reached unprecedented levels in the wake of Tuesday's bombing of Arab TV networks. Al Jazeera immediately claimed that the reason both they and the Abu Dhabi TV news network were targeted was to stifle any voice reporting on the invasion of Iraq from an uncontrolled perspective.

Arab analysts immediately took to the airwaves condemning the attacks and warning the Arab community that the Anglo-American coalition forces are about to commit atrocities in Iraq, far from the watchful eyes of Arab media. Al Jazeera media analysts have claimed that only embedded journalists are allowed safe haven and security. Both Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV are now pleading with U.S. forces for safe passage out of Iraq.

(In recent weeks, the concept of embedding has received much criticism charging bias, and censoring of information that paints coalition forces in a negative light.)

Regardless of the bickering over semantics between the Pentagon and Arab media, many in the Arab world believe that the coalition has already lost the war. Sadeq el Azm, a well-known Syrian intellectual, recently told the Financial Times that "it's already too late, in a political sense, the U.S. has lost the war. The war in Iraq will actually hinder reforms in the Arab world."

El Azm believes that "with the conflict in its third week and with television pictures of civilian casualties being beamed into homes across the Arab world, the momentum for potential democratic change in the region has been lost as the negative aspects have been seized upon by Arab regimes."

At press time, Josť Couso, of Tele 5, the Spanish channel, and Taras Protsyuk, a Ukranian based in Warsaw who worked with Reuters, were also killed by determinant U.S. tank fire aimed at the Palestine Hotel where all foreign journalists in Baghdad were residing.

"They want to silence us," said a reporter from LBC, a Lebanese news network operating in Baghdad.

"They want to butcher Iraq and have no one live to tell the story."


[Firas Al-Atraqchi, B.Sc (Physics), M.A. (Journalism and Communications), is a Canadian journalist with eleven years of experience covering Middle East issues, oil and gas markets, and the telecom industry.]





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