Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I do appreciate the impartial approach of Mrs. Kristen Gillespie's article. Unfortunately Al Jazeera, by its sentimentalistic and so-called Islamist appeal, has started to win ignorant and emotionally oriented audiences. The point is that the channel propagates for sectarianism, knowing or not that this would definitely serve the American project. Both foreign occupation and sectarianism are twins, as both are illegal and immoral. What is happening in Iraq is not that Shia oppress Suni, but Al Jazeera's sectarian attitude wrongly perceives the case as such. Narrow-minded mass media figures basically, for financial and immoral whims, advocate such a wrong conception, which has more dangerous consequences than a foreign enemy. Finally, a house thief is much more dangerous and elusive than an outsider.

Dr. Ameer Ahmed Al Zubaidy

Baghdad, Iraq

Nov 15 2007 - 6:39pm

Web Letter

First of all, I don't believe in Al Jazeera as a news channel because it builds fabricated stories that are assigned by the world's terrorist head--who is anonymous for the moment! For the Iraqi people, it's become so hard to believe Al Jazeera or any channel that follows Al Jazeera's path. Take Faisal el Qasem's program Itejah Mu'kes: it doesn't discuss or try to solve problems in an objective manner, absolutely not, it only tries to show Arabs as narrow-minded people who are fighting even when they talk about Tom and Jerry. If we look for the truth between what Al Jazeera shows and what is inside its country, we'll find Itejah Mu'kes says "Down with the USA," while the other side says, for example, "Let's build an American army base to support the occupation army in Iraq." I would care about what Al Jazeera says if and only if it produced a program saying "Qatar support America's war in Iraq," but they can't do any such thing--they have another Saddam Hussein in Qatar.

Haider Al Zubaidy

Al Zarqa, Jordan

Nov 14 2007 - 1:55pm

Web Letter

Having read Ms. Gillespie's interesting article, I decided forthwith to put her thesis to the test by switching on Al Jazeera to examine their coverage yesterday (9 am news, Lebanese local time) of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's latest speech. I discovered that the airspace Al Jazeera devoted to Nasrallah's pontifications was more or less equal to that accorded to withering criticism of same by pro-Western Lebanese cabinet minister Marwan Hamadeh.

This outcome of this very simple experiment flatly contradicts at least part of the case put forward in Ms. Gillespie's article. It must also raise serious questions about the other parts, since much of this, too, seems to be based on secondary sources with axes to grind, rather than on direct observation of Al Jazeera material.

Bill van Blokland

Beirut, Lebanon

Nov 13 2007 - 3:17am

Web Letter

I read foreign media to learn about the concerns of the people in their market. I would expect Al-Jazeera to reflect the concerns of Arabs, as I expect the Israeli paper Ha'aretz to reflect Israeli concerns. If I want to hear a neoconservative viewpoint, all I have to do is turn on CNN National, CNBC or Fox News. CNN international, However, is very good. If you want to talk about bias, look at the American media. As one who has always eaten French fries, I am not a big fan of the American media, and suggest that we clean our own house before we start criticizing other countries or cultures.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Nov 12 2007 - 4:02pm

Web Letter

This appears to be yet another US-backed attempt to demonize Al-Jazeera,using some vocabulary that seems to come straight out of Donald Rumsfeld's propaganda handbook!

While she took the time to focus on Al-Jazeera becoming more "Islamist"and "sectarian," she neglected to discuss the killing and detention ofits journalists or the deliberate bombing of its offices by the US(does the name Sami Al Hajj ring a bell? If not, check under GuantánamoBay!). What she also neglected to discuss was the extent to which USmedia sources avoid criticism of Israel as well as the media's sanitation ofwar.

As has been stated on many other occasions by Western and non-Westernmedia representatives alike, US media sources cover the dropping ofbombs and missiles, Al Jazeera covers where they land!

Unlike Ms. Gillespie, I hope to see Al Jazeera do what US media sourceswill not: tell the truth about war and US actions in the Middle East!

Timothy Stinson

Miami Lakes, FL

Nov 11 2007 - 4:23am