Thursday, January 04, 2007

Different approaches to the news

Both Al-Quds al-Arabi and Azzaman this morning lead with paraphrases of a Reuters item published in Arabic yesterday that said the following: First, the Reuters piece quoted a deputy to the Prime Minister who said "outsiders" or "intruders" had penetrated the execution-room (this was by way of explaining the chanting and so on); and then Mowaffiq Rubaie, Maliki's national security adviser, who said one such "intruder" has been arrested and charged with illegally taking widely-circulated video. But then, the Reuters reporter went on to quote an (unnamed) official in the Interior Ministry who said that yes, the room was "penetrated", in fact it was penetrated by "militias and intruders", and the Interior Ministry person went on to say this: "The judgment was executed by means of (or by the instrumentality of) militias and intruders. The team from the Interior Ministry that had been designated to execute this judgment, was moved aside."

The Al-Quds headline reads: "Militias penetrated the execution room and killed Saddam". the Azaman headline reads: "Official Admission: Militias executed Saddam".

It is an interesting case. NYT and WaPo report the arrest of the "suspect" and details relating to the investigation and the Washington/Baghdad give-and-take, while the Sunni-Arab coverage has a much more blunt message: Things are so bad in this US-supported project that an ex head of state ended up being executed by a sectarian militia.


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