Arab Media Angered by Iraqi Insurgent Violence

Iraq violence shifting Arab media (BBC)

The latest bombings and bloodshed in Baghdad have meant that violence in Iraq has once again been dominating the bulletins on Arab satellite television stations. The fact that Iraqi civilians are the main victims of the attacks is increasingly being stressed in reports, interviews and comments.

This has raised questions in some parts of the Arab media about the legitimacy of the groups carrying out the attacks, although the blame for the upsurge in violence is still mainly being placed on the Americans.

The coverage of the violence in Iraq by Arab satellite television stations has undergone a perceptible change in recent months. Al Jazeera – often accused by the Americans of stirring anti-US feeling – has adopted less of an “Us and Them” approach. The militants are no longer referred to as the “resistance” but as gunmen or suicide bombers.

Eyewitnesses are shown denouncing them as “terrorists” – condemnations that are echoed by a parade of Iraqi officials and religious authorities.

One recent attack drew this comment from the al-Jazeera reporter: “Most of the time it’s civilians who pay the price for the violence that has cost thousands of their lives”.

Al-Jazeera’s main rival, the Dubai-based al-Arabiya, has also shown little sympathy for the bombers – a recent report, instead, painted a favourable picture of British soldiers patrolling Basra.

If only BBC and the New York Times would follow suit!

This is encouraging news, indeed. If the Arab press is losing its sympathy for the terrorists, then public opinion should galvanize against the insurgency. Given fair coverage, it’s hard to see how the Iraqis would fail to support those fighting for their freedom and safety against thugs who murder innocents.

via The Anchoress

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. reliapundit says:

    i find it fascinating that teddy jo kennedy – the the senator from chappaquidick – and his left-wing comrades are decrying the iraq war as a mistake and a quagmire JUST AS AL JAZEERA AND THE REST OF THE ARAB WORLD have come to see it as good, and the “insurgents” as evil.

    as general casey said yesterday (paraphrasing): “this violent insurgency will end – as all do – when folks realize that they can more effectively address their political concerns/goals through political means, AND that their use of violence is counter-productive to their political aims, AND costs them A LOT/TOO MUCH – in terms of lives and property.”

    this is EXACTLY what’s happening in Iraq – and we will succeed if we do NOT succumb to the “doves” of the Left NOW – as we did in 1975 and in our war in Vietnam.

    the only way the “insurgents” can win is if we CUT & RUN – as we did in Vietnam (when the DEMOCRATS controlling Congress cut off financing for the SVG in 1975), and as we did in SOMALIA when Clinton CUT & RUN when the Blackhawk went down.