Friday, January 20, 2006

Bin Laden on the ropes

The latest Bin Laden's tape after more than a year (not yet verified) is tantamount to an admission of defeat. He knows al Qaeda is losing in Afghanistan and Iraq and the threat of new attacks in America serves probably to save face and introduce the request for a "long term truce" (why inform your enemy of your plans in advance?). Furthermore, the recent Predator attack in Pakistan that took out four prominent members of al Qaeda must have shook the leaders who are probably hiding in the neighborhood.

What is really puzzling though, is the role of al Jazeera in all this:

Al Jazeera’s editor-in-chief, Ahmed al-Shbeik, did not say when the tape was received. He said excerpts considered newsworthy were aired of the 10-minute tape which appeared to have been made recently.

On what basis al Jazeera decides what is newsworthy? I hope the US gets to see also the non-newsworthy bits; it would be the only reason to tolerate these guys. They transmit bits and pieces of the same tape at different times presenting it as two different ones, they cut the audio when they feel it would damage al Qaeda's cause, they arbitrarily decide what is too graphic to be shown, &c. Are we sure that it is Bin Laden/Al Qaeda who tells them what and when to broadcast or are they playing politics together? Why haven't the UAE, haven of western corruption, alcohol and naked women, been seriously attacked?

Tomorrow, when the tape will have been analyzed, we'll know more.

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1 comment:

Fausta said...

You ask, On what basis al Jazeera decides what is newsworthy?
Abderrahim Foukara, the aJ NY bureau chief, said the following last April 13 at Princeton University after professor Michael Doran (no longer at PU) said that two stories that'll get them wide viewership are anti-American and anti-Jewish stories:
It Lies at the heart of the philopshy of the station . . . the attempt to merchandise sentiments -- the Arab world is anti-American -- because being anti-something sells"

Further details at my blog