Friday, January 13, 2006

Iraq vs BBC and Al-Jazeera

NRO has an excerpt of Paul Bremer’s book My Year in Iraq. In this segment he describes the first meeting between the Iraqi Governing Council and a hostile media.

First on his feet was a BBC reporter who facetiously asked, "Isn't it true that" the [Governing] Council was just a creature of the Americans, had no powers, and was essentially useless?

Talabani grabbed the mike and chided the reporter for representing "our former colonial masters. BBC never tells the truth about Iraq," he continued. Warming to his subject, Talabani said, "The Council is the most representative government Iraq has ever had." He went on to enumerate some of its powers and suggested in no uncertain terms that the reporter didn't know what he was talking about.

Then a reporter from Al-Jazeera Television, always hostile to the Coalition, made a speech, thinly disguised as a question, along similar lines. This set off a chain reaction among Council members.

Pachachi with great dignity refuted the implication that the Council was a plaything and suggested that the Arab media would do well to pay attention to the real changes taking place in Iraq.

Not to be outdone, Naseer al-Chaderchi, the elderly lawyer from a highly regarded Sunni family who had stayed in Iraq throughout Saddam's tyranny, blasted Al-Jazeera. "I say this to the Arab media: stop advising the Iraqis to fight the Americans." There was loud applause from the audience, including, we noted, a number of Iraqi journalists.

This brought Bahr al-Uloum up out of his chair. "All Arab TV coverage of the war and Liberation had been one-sided, biased against the Iraqis," he practically shouted. "These media have been threatening us from the first day of the war until now!" As he took his seat, his passion provoked more applause. This inspired the elfish mullah to rise again.

"You people from Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya and others-you never covered the atrocities committed by Saddam! He killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis! He gassed Iraqis! Why haven't you shown the mass graves to your audiences?" There was more applause as Bahr al-Uloum sat down once more.

This is a great story of a new government facing a new free press but the MSM seems to have missed it and it’s taken over two and a half years to be told.


Eric said...

Great article. It's making me madder than hell that we don't hear more of this stuff!

Harry said...

One day the MSM will face the facts and report what has happened in Iraq. I'm sure they will revise certain aspects to make themselves look perceptive and heroic.