Arab Media Angered by Iraqi Insurgent Violence
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