Across the Bay

Thursday, May 13, 2004

More on the "War of Images"

I want to add a couple of points on this issue. I saw that the An-Nahar affiliate Naharnet reported the murder of Nick Berg. It didn't say anything outside the ordinary, but this line caught my eye:

"Last month, Iraqi militants videotaped the killing of Italian hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi, but the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera refused to air it because it was too graphic."

Are we to laugh!? Al-Jazeera refused to air that, and I'm not sure whether they ran the Berg video. However, they are carefully showing every American blunder, and sometimes "coreographing" it to give the impression of a parallelism with Israeli raids in the West Bank and Gaza (a link that all Arab officials and media outlets never shy away from, like Shaaban in her latest piece of junk). So you get a regular dose of images of American soldiers breaking into houses with fearful women and children etc. And this is the outlet that Marc Lynch advised us to work with as it represents "moderate Islam"!

Charles Paul Freund of Reason Magazine also wrote a great piece on Abu Ghraib and the slaughter of Nick Berg. He also measures the tactical blunder that Zarqawi made, but not outside a proper moral framework. He also had this to say about the Arab media:

"That's the business of the Pan-Arab press: delegitimizing the American effort in Iraq by portraying it in terms of atrocity. In the case of an Al Jazeera, it has been to display civilian corpses; in the case of some Pan-Arab newspapers, it has been to augment genuine pictures of prisoner abuse with stills from pornographic films, and to claim that such stills are also from Abu Ghraib."