Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bush Plotted to Bomb Al-Jazeera

PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals. But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash. A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency. The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.
Link to Mirror article

Pat: Oh...kay. I'm at an immediate loss for words. You know, I thought The Onion's prophecy was only a one-off, but no, it seems they managed to do it again. For God's sakes, why?

Tim: I don't exactly buy into the "bin Laden's Mouthpiece" bull some guys on my side try to throw at us, but Al Jazeera is harmful. They show the Arab world the dark side of our war--images of dead bodies, Iraqi and US, designed to make us look alternatingly evil and weak. They trump up our failures, they give the Arab world a negative view of us. They undermine Arab views of America, and in doing so undermine the war, and therefore undermine the United States of America. And as enemies of the United States, I'm not so sure this would have been an immoral thing. Now, it would have been a bad idea--I don't want to imagine the reaction--but it would have been justified.

Pat: You mean they dared to report the truth about this war, without the War Is Fun spin we throw on it? They dared to show that war has negative consequences? And this makes them enemies of the United States? When was it that truth-tellers became our enemy--to the point that we would massacre innocents in a friendly nation for not repeating our lies? When was it we decided to show the world that torture was an American value? When was it we declared that we had no use for our historic allies, that 'Old Europe' could go f*ck itself? When did we decide White Phosphorus, a chemical weapon burning at 5000 degrees, was fit for use on civilians? When did we decide the Geneva Conventions did not apply to us? For God's sakes, we repeat "freedom, democracy, hope!" over and over again and then commit brazen atrocities over and over again, all in the world's eyes. And this wasn't the first time we bombed Al-Jazeera for reporting the truth. In 2001 we made a direct hit on the channel's Kabul office in Afghanistan.

In April 2003, an Aljazeera journalist died when its Baghdad office was struck during a US bombing campaign. Nabil Khoury, a US State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike was a mistake.

In November 2002, Aljazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a US missile. None of the crew was at the office at the time. US officials said they believed the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was Aljazeera's office.
(same article)

And it is attacks like these--attacks not on terrorists but on the people of the middle east and the institutions of freedom and liberalism like Al Jazeera (which, by the way, is a major force pushing for Westernization, transparency, reform, and freedom in the Mideast, as anyone who pokes around their website for a few minutes would find out), it is attacks like these that turn the Iraqi people against us.

A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. (link) and Iraqi political leaders, in a joint statement, declared the "fundamental right to resistance" of the insurgency.

It is because of attacks like this that we have lost the war in Iraq, and have unwittingly embroiled ourselves in the coming Iraqi civil war.

Tim: Yes, sometimes in order to win a war you have to do unsavory things. I don't think that's new or surprising. If Vietnam taught us anything, it's that you can't fight a war with a hand tied behind your back. If the terrorists use selected truths as weapons, you have to disarm them. If they won't talk, you have to torture them. That's the way war goes, and simply pretending like this is new and shocking is just juvenile.

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