In a startling developement and a show of the power of free speech, U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice appeared for an interview on the Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera. The Bush administrtion had been accusing Al-Jazeera of bias.
The battle for minds and public opinion is the first part of any war. In this current “war” of the U.S., a new player came on to the scene. Al-Jazeera, an Arab satellite network based in Qatar, has been giving more exposure to Al-Qaida and the Taliban than Washington would like it to.
After condemning the network, the Bush Administration has decided to join the media battle in the Arab world. Dr. Rice, the National Security Advisor to U.S. President Bush appeared for an interview on the network today. She addressed questions of free speech and the role of the press.
An anchor and a producer of the network appeared on Larry King Live – a CNN show – tonight. New York Times columnist and author, Judith Miller, who had an anthrax-laced envelope mailed to her, asked the following questions:
** Did Al-Jazeera deliberately hold the Al-Qaida tape for a few hours and broadcast it just after the U.S. bombing began?**
The producer replied, “Absolutely not.”
Does Al-Jazeera call suicide bombers in Israel martyrs? And, what about the suicide bombers that hit the United States?
The answer, “we call the former martyrs but not the latter. In our opinion, those who die for a cause are martyrs.”
The American administration is continually asking, “What can we say to win the hearts of Muslims.” The answer is a simple “nothing.” Ask what you can DO, not say. So used to is the American industrial-military-media complex at manipulating the opinion of the politically unsavvy Americans, that there is no way they can understand the acute, even if not very wordly, political sense of oppressed people. They are used to betrayal and fine words followed by evil deeds.
The world is changing faster than we can keep up!