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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
The idea continues to spread that Al-Jazeera is a primary force driving the Middle East towards democracy. Forget coincidental events like the liberation of Iraq; it’s those Al-Jazz guys who are getting things done. Here’s Paul McGeough last week:
Now, thanks to September 11 and the much-maligned Al-Jazeera and the other new Arab TV channels, the region is transfixed by the fact that there was an election in Iraq.
Hmmm. Without the removal of Saddam, Al-Jazeera wouldn’t have had any Iraqi election to broadcast. In today’s Sydney Sun-Herald, Miranda Devine reports:
ABC journalist Monica Attard appeared on Richard Glover’s 702 radio program on Thursday to declare the so-called Arab Spring had nothing to do with Iraq, not “by any stretch of the imagination”. Those who claim a link do so because it “suits their propaganda purposes”. So why now? asked Glover. Attard thought the Arab news network Al-Jazeera and the flowering of regional media might be responsible.
The ABC sure isn’t responsible; it’s talked down any possibility of advancement since literally day one of Saddam’s booting. In other Middle East news:
Eye-witnesses reported that full-size puppets of high-ranking officials, such as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the regime’s president Mohammad Khatami, were set on fire by youths at numerous locations throughout the Iranian capital. Trucks belonging to Iran’s security forces were also set ablaze.
(That’s via Bernie Slattery, who has a bunch else to read.) “Would the Syrians dream of doing anything so crude and vicious as this?” asked Robert Fisk after the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Yes, they would, claims the London Times:
The Times has learnt that Mr Hariri had enraged the Syrians by inspiring a UN resolution demanding that Syria stop interfering in Lebanon. US and UN officials repeatedly warned Syria not to harm Mr Hariri in the months before his death.
In mid-January, under pressure from Damascus, the Lebanese Government withdrew his 70-strong security detail, and immediately after his death the scene of the bombing was swept to remove any evidence of Syrian complicity.