06 February 2008

Al-Arabiya Sez Al-Qaeda Totally Blows

Sick Fundamentalist Bullshit

Information was released today regarding an Al-Qaeda in Iraq training center for children. The discovery was found during a raid in Diyala and it showed young masked children training to conduct kidnapping and assault operations on civilians. I think it goes without say what a shit idea Al-Qaeda's caliphate would be, and here's an article at USA Today which will fill you in on the details (video footage is also here). Unless you're a writer at Lew Rockwell, who questions Al-Qaeda's existence, I think we all agree that these guys are totally fucked in the head. But let's take a look at what Arabic media is saying about Al-Qaeda, since their outlets reach the population that might get subdued into this jihadi logic.

Al-Arabiya also ran footage of the Al-Qaeda propaganda video showing youngsters training on how to kidnap civilians to generate ransom money:


I also dredged up an article from 4 Feb on Al-Arabiya's English website entitled "The Al-Qaeda/Israel Riddle". While the article seems to convey the message that, by some bizarre logic, Israel may be affiliated with Al-Qaeda, it still denies that Al-Qaeda is a legitimate organization.

It is time for Arab citizens to know that Al-Qaeda is an extremist, terrorist group. Until today, Al-Qaeda and Al-Zawahiri did not offer Palestine anything except those political pornographic tapes that are presented on TV screens -- a cheap struggle for which Al-Qaeda does not pay anything. The task of the Arab media should be to expose this falsehood, not promote it.

While the author certainly isn't waving any American flags, at least the Saudi-owned media giant, Al-Arabiya, isn't talking about the benefits that Sheikh Osama is handing out. I find this to be important in a time of war, that the message of Al-Qaeda being a bunch of car-bombing thugs gets out to the people. Particularly the Saudis, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

7 comments:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/07/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Anonymous said...

No comments on the particulars of this article from Al-Arabiya, however you should be aware of the station's background. They are essentially the pro-American propaganda station that Al-Hurra so ineptly failed to become. A gift from certain Saudi factions. You may not see it that way as an American citizen, but under Abdel Rahman al-Rashed's directorship (put in place by the right Saudi princes), that is what the station has consciously become. For now anyways. I'm presuming you don't speak much Arabic, but watching the channel and comparing it to not just Jazeera but say New TV or the various state satellite channels, the difference is blatant and stark.

LT Nixon said...

Anonymous,

I've never heard of New TV, but I have heard of Al-Hurra TV. I thought all satellite TV stations in the Middle East were owned by rich Arabs with a political agenda (like Al-Jazeera). I didn't get the impression that Al-Arabiya was American propaganda, but to each his own. I don't speak Arabic, but I do try and keep up with the English versions of the media in the region. I think all large media outlets have some sort of political agenda, but you have to pick your poison. See my post on Syrian propaganda above.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I blame you as a non-speaker for being bewildered by the politics behind Arab media (heck, try to get me to comment on Thai or Russian media, I'd be hopeless), so take this as just an attempt to be helpful. Most of the major (i.e., high viewership) Arab satellite channels are Saudi owned, so you are talking about family sniping and battles. Al-Jazeera stands out as a really positive counterpoint simply because the Qataris are such an otherwise inconsequential country, so they have been able to get away with criticizing basically all the region's regimes (they've been banned at one point or another by almost every Arab regime and the Americans at one point or another much to their credit). That said, the current Saudi-Qatari rapproachment sucks for just that reason because it means the one channel willing to shine a critical light on Saudi is getting snuffed out.

Then there's a lot of niche channels, especially out of Lebanon, like New TV, LBC, Future, Noursat, and others. A small subset of these tries to show some good independent journalism (or sometimes one or two decent reporters among an otherwise petty lot at the channel), though most of these channels are basically just propaganda outlets for their sectarian parties (not unlike old time US media from the 1800s for example where almost every newspaper was just a propaganda piece for a party or a local political/union/mob/etc. boss).

And there's state channels from every country, some of which in their news coverage have tried to adopt at least an image that looks more like the modernized satellite news channels. Some do a better job, the Abu Dhabi news channel has had some moments of leading the news spotlight and Dubai's channel certainly covers the Gulf business scene as one would expect. Though ultimately many of these (think Egyptian, Syrian, Saudi, etc. channels) come across as just the usually poorly-implemented attempts to doll up the same old boring state propaganda that gave rise to such a hunger for Jazeera.

And then of course there's the sheer entertainment channels and shows. Egyptian and now increasingly Syrian and Gulf soap operas fill the air as they long have, but the rise of music videos and vacuous Lebanese party-scene entertainment (usually on Saudi owned stations) can't be over-emphasized for it's soma effect.

Just saying it's a lot more complex than might appear. Oh, and the English-language versions of many of these outlets on the web or on the air isn't always in sync with the Arabic versions. In fact, I'd so most often they are quite different animals.

And as for Al-Arabiya specifically, honestly I can see how to you or your average American it's not gonna seem like a pro-Bush propaganda outlet, but when you consider the way the outside world looks to your standard person on the street in most of the Middle East and the issues they are most concerned with, and then compare it to what and how Arabiya covers things...let's just say the effect is not at all subtle to the average Arab viewer.

LT Nixon said...

Thanks anonymous, no need to be anonymous BTW, I don't bite. Sounds like you know quite a bit about the subject so thanks for the insightful comment. I imagined that the English version of the websites would be a little different than the arabic, thanks for confirming.

For Iraqi news, my favorite is the English version of Aswat Al-Iraq which can be found on the sidebar. They cover a lot of stories the American and International media doesn't, and they don't seem to favor one ehtnicity or sect over another. But of course I'm not an expert on the Middle East so I could be wrong. But interesting articles nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Aswat al-Iraq is good, in English and Arabic. They've got their biases, but those are just off center here and there, not far off on the fringes. A hard task to do anywhere, let alone in a place like today's Iraq. Just anonymous because don't have a blogger login.

LT Nixon said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the tip! I'll keep following Aswat al-Iraq. I still enjoy following the other sectarian and politically-biased outlets too though. Just to get a full perspective. I try to do the same in American media.