Q&A

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Q: What structure built of gray sandstone in 1792 became the source of all oppressive decisions the world over?

A: The White House.

A moment from "The Mission," Hezbollah's TV game show.

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  1. Interesting. What’s next, Hezbollah reality TV? Oh, wait, they had that down long before The Real World hit the air.

  2. Q: What structure, ALLEGEDLY built by Adam, is the center of the most backward looking, freedom hating religious tradition in the modern world?

    A: The Kabbah

  3. Incorrect Ken. It was allegedly built by Abraham and Ishmael. Nice try.

  4. Who is Kaiser Soze ?

  5. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  6. thoreau,

    Are the numerals “420” in the answer?

  7. I don’t know that…

    Argh!!!!!!

  8. i thought it was burned down in 1812?

    dunno, american pub school education quibbling, who knows…

  9. We’ve got to get at the root cause of terror–game shows.

  10. When you get stuck, push the buzzer and say, “Who are the Jews?”

  11. Huh? I thought the Presidential House was red brick colonial until Joseph Brant burnt it down in 1814 (or something like that…)

  12. Jennifer:

    You quoted an op ed piece in the Guardian, not the front page. The author of the piece used to work at a-j. In what way does this constitute an indepence source of news? In the first place, it is not news but opinion, and in the second it is from an interested party.

    It is not the case that we should believe everything our government tells us without question, but neither is it the case that every time an opposing viewpoint is raised, it should be treated as The Truth You Warmongers Don’t Want to Hear.

  13. Do you honestly believe that the right wing has an exclusive monopoly on the truth?

    Probably not. But the ekklesia article was a bit ridiculous, plugging our notions of western social institutions into an article so that a person might forget that Iraqi insurgents use ambulances, mosques, schools, and homes as cover, transportation, supply lines, and bases.

    Hey, at least we’re not killing “5,000 Iraqi children under 5 per day”. Much more humane rates these days.

  14. “A sign on the wall of sniper school at Camp Pendleton, Calif., displays a Chinese proverb: “Kill One Man, Terrorize a Thousand.” ”

    This is the purpose of the sniper. Google Carlos Hathcock to see how many lives this can save. Once the political decision has been made to commence shooting, this is a viable military option.

  15. Mike H-
    Certainly Al-Jazeera is oveemphasizing the bad aspects of our occupation, just as the US press is focusing on the sweetness’n’light aspects. On another posting I said “Mix Al Jazeera with the US press and you might get an accurate picturre of what’s really happening.”

    Furthermore, I’ll go so far as to admit that if I were in the US Marines’ shoes, terrified, with more adrenaline than blood coursing through my veins, I might turn into a sadistic bastard who would “let [a gunshot victim] scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies.” Extreme stress can turn the nicest of people into evil bastards. Furthermore, it’s natural that after awhile the snipers forget that those are actual human beings in their gunsights, especially when some of those targets might possibly fight back.

    However, I don’t think that an innocent Iraqi civilian maimed by such behaviors can be expected to say “Oh, well, the guys were scared so of course I understand.” It’s like in Vietnam–the US soldiers in many cases honestly couldn’t tell the difference between “the good guys” and the Vietcong, but saying “Oops! My bad” was no consolation to the murdered innocents.

    We’ve engaged in collective punishment of the city of Fallujah, in violation of international law. Many, many sources have reported that the media is being suppressed; that aid groups are not allowed to help those in need; and that the majority of the dead are innocent civilians, not the actual Fallujah murderers.

    And I must say that “low morale” does not justify barbarism. “Sorry your family’s dead, ma’am, but the guy who killed them had LOW MORALE. You know how it is–war’s a bitch. But aren’t you glad you’ve been liberated from Saddam? Don’t you just LOOOOOVE the United States now?”

    I don’t understand the obstinate refusal of some many Reason readers to admit that maybe there are Iraqis with legitimate gripes about the US military.

    I remember reading another news story–I disremember which one–where the journalist was “embedded” with some snipers. The sniper was watching a man who was digging in his own walled garden. After about an hour of this the impatient sniper fired a couple of warning shots, which frightened the man back into his house.

    Again, I understand the motivation of the sniper. But can’t people also admit that the Iraqi man now has reason to resent the US sniper who won’t let him work in his own garden? I’ll bet dollars to donuts that he had resentful thoughts along the lines of “At least under Saddam I could walk in my garden without having to worry about snipers.”

    And shame on all the supposed free-thinkers who arbitrarily dismiss any news report that’s not from the US government press corps.

  16. And shame on all the supposed free-thinkers who arbitrarily dismiss any news report that’s not from the US government press corps.

    Shame on you for insinuating that a refusal to accept one set of biases and the reports they have generated as gospel truth is indicative of being biased all the way to the other side. For a culture that makes no distinction between soldier and civilian, and for an army of lunatics who think some desert god will take them into paradise for blowing up 18 schoolchildren or 18 Marines, or whatever they can fit into the blast radius, I can’t really work myself into a rabid lather over some collateral damage. It sucks for sure, but given that the media has thus far been unwilling to blast the other side, I don’t see any reason why I should hop onto the Beat On The Marines bandwagon.

  17. RST-
    Did you read anything else that I wrote? I admitted that Al-Jazeera is indeed biased, but I pointed out that the innocent Iraqis who are suffering under the occupation are more likely to believe Al-Jazeera than the US military, especially when the military continues insisting that practically every dead Iraqi deserved what he got.

  18. I might turn into a sadistic bastard who would “let [a gunshot victim] scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies.”

    Sun Tzu is turning in his grave. What you describe is not sadism, Jennifer. Stop thinking like a school teacher.

    the majority of the dead are innocent civilians, not the actual Fallujah murderers.

    The difference between a gunned down innocent civilian and a gunned down insurgent is a gun kicked out of view. How do you know when you look at a dead body what it was in life? You take someone’s word for it. Somewhere along the line someone writes this collective measure down. Did it come from any reliable metric? No, it didn’t have to; the data was meant for the media the very second they began “compiling” it.

    Compare the original casualty projections on 9/11 to the final casualty count, for instance.

    It’s a war, Jennifer. It is fought with more than weapons.

  19. Jennifer –

    Why should I base what I believe on what a city full of largely illiterate and superstitious nomads can be duped into thinking by an outlet that holds an effective monopoly on news in the region? Why should I not dismiss the silly propaganda efforts of Al Jazeera and DWB as quickly as I dismiss the silly propaganda efforts of the U.S. Armed Forces?

  20. “I deliberately reported the Guardian’s reports, as opposed to Al-Jazeera or any left-wing paper which would likely be discredited by the readers on this site. ”

    The Guardian’s reporter:
    “? Arthur Neslen was until last week London correspondent for aljazeera.net. He is writing a book about Israeli identity for Pluto Press”

  21. I doubt that USMC snipers are targeting unarmed women and children. Further, looking through their 10x Unertl scope and their spotting scopes, snipers are the LEAST LIKELY to accidentally target noncombatants.

    Frankly, the way to determine what happened with any questionable casualties is to see what type of wounds they recieved. The USMC snipers are probably using .30 cal 168 gr and 175 gr target bullets. No one else engaged will be using these bullets, so it should be able to prove that snipers did indeed target a given individual. Of course, it may not be possible to know what theat individual was holding in the moments before they were killed . . .

    The Blackhawk Down incident contains quite a few references to women & children fighters being killed by the Rangers and Delta Force. In one case, an armed woman holding a baby attacked the Rangers, and was gunned down. A woman with an RPG or AK-47 who is engaging our troops is a TARGET.

  22. Ran-
    The White House is gray sandstone. The Brits set it on fire during the War of 1812, apparently not aware of the fact that stone doesn’t burn. The house was later painted white to hide the scorch marks.

  23. Frankly, the way to determine what happened with any questionable casualties is to see what type of wounds they recieved.

    If that does occur, good luck finding out about it. How is something so boring going to sell ad/commercial space? You might find the results of such study on page 30 of the NY Times A section beneath a Sears ad in a small blurb no one will notice, but don’t count on it. So long as they can keep people duped into thinking that the Marines are Evil and Bush is Satan, they’ll have earnings to write down. The news industry could not ask for much more.

  24. RST-
    You’re saying those dead Iraqi five-year-olds hid their guns before the media arrived? ANd stop bringing 9-11 into this; Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9-11. Even Georgie Bush has admitted as such.

    I never said that everyone who died was innocent–I said a lot of them were.

  25. Let me also remind you that one of the ostensible purposes of this war was to bring FREEDOM to the Iraqi people–not death. I imagine the ones who now are most vehement in saying “This is war, so fuck the casualties” were the ones most insistent, a year ago, that we needed to liberate these people.

  26. Lonewacko:

    We could produce those sorts of things, but we would fail. Why? Well, think back to your high school life, (assuming you went to an average High School, that is). Remember those infantile, condescending filmstrips and heavy-handed propaganda pieces they made you watch? Well, imagine an entire network made up of this. Would you watch that? No, in fact if it were a choice between that and Al-Jazeera, I suspect that Al-Jazeera would begin to look pretty good by comparison. At least when they blatantly try to manipulate you, they don’t appraoch if from the mindset that you should be overjoyed to hear the “Word of America.” Al-Jazeera. You get the idea.

  27. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9-11.

    My comment had nothing to do with Iraq having anything to do with 9/11. Read it again: “Compare the original casualty projections on 9/11 to the final casualty count, for instance.” The purpose of the statement is to point out the difference between 10,000 dead, which we were all crying about until we learned it was more like 5,000 dead, which we were all crying about until we learned it was more like 3,000 dead, and so on. All the way over here, however, when those Iraqi figures are adjusted downwards, and Iraqi officials discover/admit that amongst that reduced figure, insurgents likely killed just as many of those five year olds as the Marines, you won’t hear about it. All you’ll “remember” is that some heartless Marines were shooting kids.

    And no, armed female and child members of the insurgency could not have moved their guns out of the way at media arrival; save for spasms, the dead don’t move too much.

    I suppose liberation is a valiant goal, but don’t be so ignorant as to place the violent persecution of the Shiite minority beyond Sunni women and children. Both are just as capable of violence, hatred, and warfare as men. It’s all about your doctrine.

  28. to bring FREEDOM to the Iraqi people–not death.

    Yes, and as we all know FREEDOM is FREE. Just go down to Wal-Mart and pick up a box.

  29. Ah, I see. When SADDAM kills Iraqis, he’s a bastard. When WE kill Iraqis, we’re bringing them freedom.

  30. kills

    By itself the verb is insufficient to establish a valid moral comparison.

  31. Tell that to the families of the dead.

  32. Remember those infantile, condescending filmstrips and heavy-handed propaganda pieces they made you watch? Well, imagine an entire network made up of this. Would you watch that?

    Well, I hear Al-Jazeera is popular… 🙂

  33. Tell that to the families of the dead.

    So what you’re saying is that the word “kill” by itself contains enough context to establish a valid moral comparison?

    You cannot elucidate your sentence “When SADDAM kills Iraqis, he’s a bastard. When WE kill Iraqis, we’re bringing them freedom” without demonstrating that the first “kill” and the second “kill” are not synonymous, unless of course you think that causing the death of a pedestrian by hitting them with your car and shooting a bank clerk during a robbery are morally equivalent actions.

    When Iraqi insurgents kill American soldiers, they’re liberating the Iraqi people. When Iraqi insurgents kill some Iraqi kindergarteners and Iraqi commuters, they’re…liberating the Iraqi people…?

    There is nothing to be said to the families of the dead, least of all by me. There is not reason enough to believe that they were the victims of murderous Marine aggression rather than bad shots and FoW from both sides. Given that the insurgents have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no qualms about killing Iraqi civilians, and our success and credibility in Iraq is contingent partially on not killing civilians, there seems to be far more likely explanations available than the one ekklesia shat out.

  34. RST-
    What I’ve been trying to say all along here is that regardless of whether the Marines are murderous motherfuckers or innocent boys caught in a shithole situation, it would be ridiculous to expect the suffering Iraqis to make the distinction. As I mentioned before, in Vietnam our soldeirs honestly couldn’t distinguish between good and bad in many cases, but this did not alleviate the suffering of the non-Viet Cong they mistakenly attacked.

    And my ORIGINAL point, long before that, was this: Al-Jazeera will continue to enjoy more credibility in Arab eyes than the US military, because Al Jazeera reports the suffering caused by the invasion. Whether or not this suffering is deliberately caused is moot, at least in the eyes of those who suffer.

    May I recommend you start looking at the entire forest of what I wrote, rather than focus obsessively upon a single tree?

  35. Late to the party but, Jennifer, while the structure did not burn, most of the contents, and furnishings, of the White House did. See? Canada isn’t just beer and hockey players after all . . .

  36. MALAK-
    And THAT’S why Georgie Bush is gon’ kick yo’ ass. He’ll SAY it’s because of your scandalously liberal marijuana laws, but we’ll know the real reason, won’t we?

    But you’re right; I completely forgot that my ORIGINAL original comment on this thread concerned the burning of the Gray House. My, my, but these topics do drift about, don’t they?

  37. Al-Jazeera is the only station showing the carnage of Iraq, as opposed to sticking to US Government news releases about how really, things are going great over there. This gives them credibility.

    I was just reading in The Guardian last night, about how the US military wants Al Jazeera out of Iraq, this giving them further credibility. The network reported the US snipers in Fallujah were taking shots at women and children. The US Army denied it, but international observers backed Al Jazeera’s claims.

    Storis like this explain why Al Jazeera gets enough credibility to risk squandering some of it on asinine propaganda gameshows.

  38. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1197129,00.html

    The al-Jazeera reports of US snipers firing at women and children in the streets of Falluja have now been corroborated by international observers in the city. Perhaps it is natural that a military force should seek to suppress evidence that could be used against it in future war crimes trials. But it is equally natural that a free media should resist.

  39. If we really want to discredit Al Jazeera, we should stop trying to kick them out of Iraq, stop putting their journalists in jail for reporting the truth, and start buying commercial time instead.

  40. “The network reported the US snipers in Fallujah were taking shots at women and children. The US Army denied it, but international observers backed Al Jazeera’s claims.”

    Beware the international observer. What possible motivation would a US sniper have to take shots at women and children, but apparently not hit them? I guess it could happen, but come on.

  41. Well, they used hemp for the kindling.

  42. Jason-
    I deliberately reported the Guardian’s reports, as opposed to Al-Jazeera or any left-wing paper which would likely be discredited by the readers on this site. I don’t know why snipers are taking aim at civilians; why don’t you ask them?

    And I don’t think they all missed.

    More from the Guardian story:

    Al-Jazeera has a track record of honest and accurate reporting, and has maintained a principled pluralism in the face of brutal and authoritarian regimes within the region, and increasingly from those without. This is why it has been vilified, criminalised and bombed. It is also why it should be defended by those who genuinely believe that successful societies depend upon an independent media.

  43. Jason-
    One more question: if you won’t believe Al-Jazeera and you won’t believe international observers, then who will you believe? The government’s propaganda organs?

  44. Jennifer,

    The Guardian is not likely to be given any more credence than al-jazeera by “the readers on this site”. It is a left-wing paper.

  45. I re-read the news story; I didn’t see where AL-J is the one broadcasting the game show.

  46. SM-
    How sad, that those who extol the virtues of “free minds” will nonetheless refuse to believe anything which doesn’t fit into their shiny happy worldview. Galileo’s Pope must have felt the same way, when first told that the Earth revolves around the sun.

  47. A few more links follwed by excerpts from the stories, in case you guys still can’t understand why Iraqis respect Al-Jazeera more than the US military:

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_040414fallujah.shtml

    Hospital workers reported that 518 Iraqis had been killed by U.S. fire by Sunday, including at least 157 women and 146 children. Of the children, one hundred were under age twelve and of those, 46 were under age five. More than 1,200
    had been wounded. . . .One of the volunteers accompanied an ambulance crew to pick up a woman going into premature labour. On the way, U.S. snipers reportedly began firing at the ambulance. The ambulance turned off its sirens, then its lights, but the
    soldiers continued firing.

    The ambulance began backing away from the soldiers, but they continued firing and blew out the vehicle’s tire. The crew escaped without injury, but they were unable to reach the woman.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001906460_snipers18.html

    A sign on the wall of sniper school at Camp Pendleton, Calif., displays a Chinese proverb: “Kill One Man, Terrorize a Thousand.”

    “Sometimes a guy will go down, and I’ll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies,” said the Marine corporal. “Then I’ll use a second shot.”

    http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/2004/04/18/news/world/world01.asp

    The US soldiers were going around telling people to leave by dusk or they would be killed, but then when people fled with whatever they could carry, they were stopped at the US military checkpoint on the edge of town and not let out, trapped, watching the sun go down.

    The journalist said aid vehicles and the media were being turned away.

  48. Jennifer,

    “Galileo’s Pope”
    Yeah, yeah, yeah …

    “Al-Jazeera has a track record of accurate reporting – which is why its journalists have been criminalised and its offices bombed ”

    That’s the header on the article. Very restrained. Try googling him. He comes across as “fair & balanced”, in Fox News fashion, but from the left.

    About the author.
    ” Arthur Neslen was until last week London correspondent for aljazeera.net. He is writing a book about Israeli identity for Pluto Press ”

    My “shiny, happy worldview” plus 5 bucks predicts that this book will be about as friendly to Israel as his articles are to the US. I say we don’t halt the search for Gallileo just yet.

  49. SM-
    Again, a question: if you won’t believe Al-Jazeera or any sources labeled “left-wing,” then who, other than the official press corps of the US Military, will you believe? Do you honestly believe that the right wing has an exclusive monopoly on the truth?

  50. “We’ve got to get at the root cause of terror–game shows.”

    You’re close. One of the root causes of terror is propaganda like this. While the NYT article, this post, and the comments are full of sarcasm about this wacky show, I’d much prefer to hear what we’re doing about this.

    Christ on a bike. We’ve toppled regimes world over, but we can’t discredit al Jazeera? We can’t broadcast our own TV stations? We can’t use proxies to show how these people lie? We can’t start conspiracy theories that end up benefiting us?

    Is anyone thinking over there?

  51. Jennifer,

    It’s necessarily about finding sources that one automatically believes, as it’s about trying to find the truth in a sea of information ? some false some true. Do you automatically believe everything you read in The Guardian? Of course you don?t.

    The question that, in my mind, should be asked is not whether the source can be believed, but what possible motive would Marine snipers have for firing on women (assuming these women were not armed in the first place) and children? This also then begs the question: What is the morale of these Marines right now? It stands to reason that a high-morale unit would have sufficient discipline as to not engage in these sort of acts. So is this a warning of lowered morale? Who knows?

    I’m not trying to deny that it did not happen, just trying to figure out the probability of this story being completely and utterly true. I imagine that there?s probably some truth to it, but also extenuating circumstances which are not being reported by al-Jazeera, et al.

    For instance: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/8392917.htm?1c

    “It is hard to differentiate between people who are insurgents or civilians. It is hard to get an honest picture. You just have to go with your gut feeling,” he said.

    Soldiers also said they found weapons hidden inside an ambulance.

    I think the main complaint against al-Jazeera is the perceived attempt at distorting, or rather publishing only one side’s version, of the truth, rather than the whole truth. As for the ?international observers? alluded to in earlier comments, I say beware the Fog of War. Things are not always as they seem during the fighting. Reports are often confused, sketchy, and quite often end up contradicting each other. I think it?s a mistake to try to make these kinds of judgements about the conduct of Marines in Fallujah at this early date.

  52. Jennifer,

    You?re attempting to attribute positions of thought to me that I?ve never proposed nor defended.

    Certainly Al-Jazeera is oveemphasizing the bad aspects of our occupation, just as the US press is focusing on the sweetness’n’light aspects. On another posting I said “Mix Al Jazeera with the US press and you might get an accurate picturre of what’s really happening.”

    This I agree with – to an extent. And that extent is that Western media, contrary to “common knowledge” does not always report the sweetness’n’light. To think that true demonstrates an ignorance of US media in general. Sure, there exist many “fluff” stories from Iraq, but there also exist a good amount of “negative” press accounts from Iraq.

    It’s really up to the individual to kinda sift through everything.

    Furthermore, I’ll go so far as to admit that if I were in the US Marines’ shoes, terrified, with more adrenaline than blood coursing through my veins, I might turn into a sadistic bastard who would “let [a gunshot victim] scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies.” Extreme stress can turn the nicest of people into evil bastards. Furthermore, it’s natural that after awhile the snipers forget that those are actual human beings in their gunsights, especially when some of those targets might possibly fight back.

    It?s a war ? people are killed in war. That?s just how it is, but that does not then imply that Marines necessarily become killing machines, nor does it excuse criminal behavior – on both sides. And yet none of this comes close to explaining why Joe Foo the Marine would shoot innocents ? that is, unless of course you make the base assumption that combat turns all into ?sadistic bastards.?

    However, I don’t think that an innocent Iraqi civilian maimed by such behaviors can be expected to say “Oh, well, the guys were scared so of course I understand.” It’s like in Vietnam–the US soldiers in many cases honestly couldn’t tell the difference between “the good guys” and the Vietcong, but saying “Oops! My bad” was no consolation to the murdered innocents.

    Of course not. Who expects that?

    We’ve engaged in collective punishment of the city of Fallujah, in violation of international law. Many, many sources have reported that the media is being suppressed; that aid groups are not allowed to help those in need; and that the majority of the dead are innocent civilians, not the actual Fallujah murderers.

    And to that I say, we?ll just have to wait and see how much of this is true and how much is not. I recall reports of a massacre in Jenin that later turned out to be less than totally true.

    And I must say that “low morale” does not justify barbarism. “Sorry your family’s dead, ma’am, but the guy who killed them had LOW MORALE. You know how it is–war’s a bitch. But aren’t you glad you’ve been liberated from Saddam? Don’t you just LOOOOOVE the United States now?”

    And I must say that I NEVER said that it did. (This is what I mean by ?attributing positions of thought to me? that I do not hold.

    I don’t understand the obstinate refusal of some many Reason readers to admit that maybe there are Iraqis with legitimate gripes about the US military.

    Nor do I. But you?re committing a grave error if you?re making that assumption about me.

    I remember reading another news story–I disremember which one–where the journalist was “embedded” with some snipers. The sniper was watching a man who was digging in his own walled garden. After about an hour of this the impatient sniper fired a couple of warning shots, which frightened the man back into his house.

    Yes, quite horrible indeed. But not exactly war crimes worthy.

    Again, I understand the motivation of the sniper. But can’t people also admit that the Iraqi man now has reason to resent the US sniper who won’t let him work in his own garden? I’ll bet dollars to donuts that he had resentful thoughts along the lines of “At least under Saddam I could walk in my garden without having to worry about snipers.”

    Of course he does. And I don?t blame him. That?s the trouble with a military operation like this: Combat troops do not make a good occupation force.

    And shame on all the supposed free-thinkers who arbitrarily dismiss any news report that’s not from the US government press corps.

    Agreed. And shame onto those other ?free-thinkers? who willfully engage in the fallacy of the straw man while arguing a point with an opponent. 🙂

  53. Mike-
    Why were YOU getting defensive about my remarks?

  54. Uh, because the post I responded to began with “My Dearest Mike H.” (…Or something to that effect.)

    Were your remarks not directed at yours truly?

  55. rst: “If that does occur, good luck finding out about it. How is something so boring going to sell ad/commercial space? You might find the results of such study on page 30 of the NY Times A section beneath a Sears ad in a small blurb no one will notice, but don’t count on it. So long as they can keep people duped into thinking that the Marines are Evil and Bush is Satan, they’ll have earnings to write down. The news industry could not ask for much more.”

    You are correct. A perfect example is the video footage of the Palistinian boy being killed next to his father. Initially, the IDF simply accepted responsibility. Due to an objection by one of the IDF soldiers present at the incident, a private invsetigation was conducted (against official IDF wishes). The investigation showed that it was not possible for the IDF to have fired the fatal shots.

  56. “You’re saying those dead Iraqi five-year-olds hid their guns before the media arrived?”

    Of course, none of the people interested enough to lead the camera crews to the dead bodies would EVER consider “improving” the scene.

    “ANd stop bringing 9-11 into this; Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9-11. Even Georgie Bush has admitted as such.”

    I think it DOES have something to do with 9/11. We had 9/11 due to the shit hole nature of the Middle East. The only long term soultion is for the Middle East to stop being such a shit hole.

    Our invasion of Iraq is an effort to begin the process of pulling the Middle East out of its shit hole. Likely it won’t work, but it is the only proactive effort I know of that at least addresses the problem.

  57. “And my ORIGINAL point, long before that, was this: Al-Jazeera will continue to enjoy more credibility in Arab eyes than the US military, because Al Jazeera reports the suffering caused by the invasion. Whether or not this suffering is deliberately caused is moot, at least in the eyes of those who suffer.”

    Saddam caused much more Iraqi suffering than the US ever did. Yet I doubt that Al-Jazeera reported on this (in fact, per Iraqi documents Al-Jazeera did not broadcast footage of gassed Kurds specifically to aid Saddam’s government). Likewise, the regional outcry against Jordan for buthering Palestinians was pretty damn mute, but if Israel (where Arabs actucally vote, unlike most Arab nations) bulldozes a house in retalliation for a suicide bombing, it catches all hell.

    The point is, it isn’t about Arab suffering. Arabs don’t seem to care too much, unless they can blame it on Israel, the US, or maybe other Westerners. Arab on Arab attrocities tend to fall in the cracks.

    Al-Jazeera has credibility in the region as long as the region hates the West and the US in particular, and as long as Al-Jazeera continues to report on Arab suffering casued by the US.

  58. I’m going to have to keep prayin’ for this regime change you keep threatenin’ Jen . . .

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