Sunday, December 14, 2008

Angry Arabs (Updated)

The journalist who threw his shoes at Bush is Muntadhir al-Zeidi and he works for Baghdadiya TV. Translational Broadcasting Studies describes this is as a "moderate Sunni channel", and a glance at their current front page will show you that there isn't anything particularly sectarian about them. For instance today their story on the response to Odierno's latest statement (US forces to remain in Iraqi cities past June 2009) features a Sadrist spokesman.

Angry Arab says AlJazeera has already reported that almost 100 Arab lawyers have offered to defend the man. AlBaghdadiya has already broadcast a statement demanding his immediate release pursuant to the principles of liberty and free expression that the government and the Americans say they champion.

Juan Cole is not amused. He says, without citing any evidence, that the channel "supports the Sunni Arab insurgents fighting the Americans and the Maliki government". I thought he had switched to "Kutbist fundamentalists" for his main sectarian slur, but there you are. As it happens, Azzaman says the man works for several different TV stations, and hails from Sadr City.

Cole is pitching in with the sectarian narrative the best he can, but what about James Glassman US Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, isn't he responsible for this happening in the first place? Dude by the name of Laurence Jarvic thinks so. Under the headline: "Time for US Public Diplomacy heads to roll" writes: "Can't afford to wait for the Obama inaguration. Whoever set this up, made up the guest list, and allowed the reporter to throw shoes at President Bush needs to be publicly humiliated him-and/or herself--everyone involved from top to bottom, and that includes JAMES GLASSMAN, author of Dow 36,000 and America's Top Propagandist." I did not know that this same person who is America's top propagandist is also the author of that famous book of a few years ago. I guess it makes sense. The things you learn.

By the way, the NYT reporter on their blog, and Bloomberg in a news report says al-Zeidi in addition to the reported remarks, also said this: "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq..." Obviously, as Cole says, a supporter of the "Sunni Arab insurgents".

But wait, AlSafir newspaper describes the man as a leftist, according to Angry Arab. I haven't seen that, but I have no doubt that is the type of person Cole would call a supporter of the Sunni Arab insurgency.

Raed Jarrar has an online petition for the immediate release of the journalist. You can sign it here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Badger, you should know better. Arab society is different from the western culture. it is not divided as "left and "right".

the better classification is "seculars" and "Islamists" or "religious" [in multi-religion countries].

The "left" thing is not Alsafir story, the newspaper quotes news agencies report.

Another news agency said that Al-Zaidi on drugs.

This is to explain Bush humiliation to the American public.

7:47 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Sorry, I thought it was a compliment, but I see what you mean.

(LB explains and provides an excellent collection of links and summaries from the Arabic papers here)

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how Glassman bears much responsibility for this situation. I might however suggest that the Secret Service go back to looking for counterfeit bank notes and let TSA handle the President's security detail. At least he won't get hit with any shoes.

9:37 AM  
Blogger badger said...

what's TSA ?

9:58 AM  
Blogger annie said...


transportation security agency, a offshoot of homeland security.

11:11 AM  
Blogger badger said...

ah, I get it, the shoe-checking agency. Good one !

12:15 PM  

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