Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spreading Democracy

I was taken by one line in this AP story about CNN correspondent Lucia Newman being hired by Al-Jazeera for its new international network. The story notes about Al-Jazeera that it is an "influential Arabic network that has come under fire from the Bush administration." Though figuratively true, the statement is unfortunately quite literally true, too, as the US bombed Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan in 2001, shelled the Baghdad hotel where Al-Jazeera journalists were staying (as the only guests) in 2003, and Bush reportedly had entertained the notion of bombing Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar in 2004. I'll leave it to people more sagacious than me to explain how trying to stifle one of the few independent press outlets in the Middle East jibes with Bush's expressed desire to spread democracy and its institutions in the region.
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