Francis Matthew

Iraq 10 Years On: The Benefit of Hindsight

Iraq 10 Years On: The Benefit of Hindsight

The attempts by President George W. Bush to justify the American-led invasion of Iraq followed so many wildly different reasons with no coherent link that the liveliest of conspiracy theories have flourished. This has been fuelled by the obvious political failure that has caused no pain to Bush and his neo-conservative allies who launched the war, while the companies with links to those same neo-conservatives have taken a significant share in the billions spent in reconstructing Iraq.

In the aftermath of the terrible attack on the World Trade Centre on 9/11, the first reason given was that Saddam Hussain supported Al Qaida, although Saddam had been ruthless in suppressing Islamists. Then Bush and Blair used Saddam’s alleged plan to manufacture and prepare to use weapons of mass destruction. When eventually this reason […]

 Juan Cole

Democracy: More Valued by Arabs than Americans?

Democracy: More Valued by Arabs than Americans?

JUAN COLE: Al Qaeda’s vision for the Arab World has been comprehensively rejected. It appears that Arabs – in particular, young Arabs – are prepared to put their lives on the line, not for a Caliphate, but for parliamentary democracy.

 Steve Royston

Comment on Politics, Meddling and Al Jazeera’s Independence by Steve Royston

Thanks David

One of the reasons I asked for feedback is that it’s hard to comment definitively on Aljazeera without speaking both English and Arabic. I’m not sure I would agree that the bias of the English channel is crass.

For sure, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz are no more likely to appear regularly on Aljazeera than Tariq Ali on Fox News. Equally, you wouldn’t expect the Daily Mirror in the UK to be rooting for the far-right British National Party.

International viewers like me tend to flip from one channel to another to get their balance. We have a wide choice. But Arabic-speaking friends tell me that over the past month they have tended to look at only two Arabic channels for their coverage of Egypt, Tunisia et al – Aljazeera and Arabiya. That gives those channels much power – and responsibility.