Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Fitzgerald: Memo to the mainstream media: no more propaganda, please
Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald takes the news agencies of the world to task for their tendency to explain it all for us -- in such plainly wrongheaded ways:

"Staunch U.S. ally Qatar..." -- the opening of a story in Reuters.

“Kuwait - a key U.S. ally in the Gulf…” – from an AP story.

“Egypt is a leading U.S. ally in the region…” – from a Bloomberg piece on the latest bombings in Egypt.

“Saudi Arabia, a close US ally…” – from Reuters.

Memo to Reuters, to AP, to Agence France Presse, Bloomberg, and all the other supposedly unbiased news organizations in the world:

Here is one way to increase Infidel comprehension of the world:

Don't tell your readers.

Don't impose a conclusion on them.

Don't open a story by calling Qatar "Staunch U.S. ally Qatar."

Don't tell us, repeatedly, over the past half century, that "staunch ally Saudi Arabia" is doing such and such to keep oil prices down, or up, or sideways.

Don't tell us that "staunch ally Egypt" or "Egypt, one of America's best friends" or "Egypt, America's best friend in the Arab world" or even "Egypt, America's best friend in the Middle East" -- every single one of which I have heard or read within the past few days, and so has everyone else who torments himself by reading or listening to the way the news is presented -- has done this, or has done that, against American interests.

Because if one reads that "Egypt, America's staunch ally" has :
1) blocked any discussion of the behavior of the Sudanese government in Darfur
2) prevented any discussion of effective (i.e. Western) troops going to Darfur

3) been found to have high-ranking officials in the pay of Saddam Hussein

4) done nothing to prevent the smuggling of arms into Gaza by "Palestinians"

5) allowed its government-controlled press to publish all kinds of false charges about American soldiers in Iraq and so on, then in what way is Egypt "America's staunch ally"?

And for that matter, the same question could be asked – and should be asked -- Qatar, the home of Al-Jazeera. That network, after all, is subsidized by the Al-Thani who rule Qatar, a family member of which tipped off an Al Qaeda operative about to be arrested by the FBI, so that he could escape.

Is that the way a staunch ally of the United States should behave?

Egypt is an "ally" in the sense that it receives, with no visible sign of gratitude, nearly $2 billion a year from American taxpayers.

Qatar, awash in natural gas, does not receive such aid. But the only sign that it is a "staunch ally" of the United States is the same sign that Kuwait and Dubai, other sheiklets in the area, rich but without military power, have given: they have allowed American ships to use their ports, or have offered the Americans a base.

This is not, in Qatar's case, not in Kuwait's case, not in Dubai's case, just as it was not in Saudi Arabia's case, because they are an "ally" or "staunch ally" of the United States.

The Saudis wanted Americans there to protect the regime against
1) Saddam Hussein and 2) internal rebellion, as a guarantee for the Al-Saud.

That is all. The ruling families -- Al-Thani, Al-Sabah, etc. -- who are willing, temporarily, to allow American soldiers onto their soil, are doing it for one reason only: to have some guarantee of American protection against the three big bullies in the neighborhood -- Iran, Iraq (if it remains one country), and Saudi Arabia.

And that is the extent of the "staunch ally-hood" of Qatar or the others.
It is outrageous that we are told what to think about this again and again by journalists who probably have no idea about any of this, and wouldn’t care if they did.

The Homeric epithet has its uses: grey-eyed Athena, wily Odysseus, rosy-fingered Dawn. It is out of place in news reports. Do not tell us what we should think of Qatar, or Egypt, or Saudi Arabia. Do not be so free with those fixed, and often wildly misleading epithets.

That is not the duty of mere reporters. We will take in the information, and decide for ourselves if the noun "ally" and the adjective "staunch" apply, or do not apply, to the people or polity being reported on.

We don't need Reuters to feed us its propaganda.

And we can't stand it from anyone else, either.