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Last February, Russia killed Former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev who was residing in Qatar. He was assassinated when his car exploded killing him, his 2 bodyguards, and seriously wounding his son.
Qatar then arrested 2 Russian intelligence agents in Doha and tried them for murder on Qatari soil. The 2 Russians were sentenced to life in prison. Russian denied any involvement in the attack and called for the release of the 2 men.
Just over a week ago, Qatar put the 2 prisoners on a lavish private jet and flew them to their homeland. Imagine that: 2 intelligence agents from a foreign country carried out a sophisticated assassination mission inside Qatar, a rich small island known for its peaceful climate. Qatar’s highest courts sentenced the 2 foreigners to life in prison and after 11 months we find them back in Russia again. It is crystal clear that Qatar did succumb to Russian pressures that could have damaged the crucial economic relations between the 2 countries.
It is sad that America cannot until today grow enough claws, like the ones that Russia grew, when dealing with Qatar. The Emir of the island agreed to release two murderers (based upon the Qatari court decision) for the Russians yet the US cannot add enough pressure on the guy to shut down Al Jazeera channel or at least fire its top radical crew and replace them with more moderate ones like what Saudi Arabia did with Al Arabiya.
I have talked before about Al Jazeera, the nature of its top management, and its agenda. I just want to briefly mention something about one of the channel’s pillars: Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cleric who resides in Qatar under the auspices of the Emir. Al Jazeera was his brainchild and he currently has a program he uses to dish out his fatwas to millions across the world. Qaradawi, who is forbidden from entering the United Emirates, called for the murder of US civilians in Iraq and he has provided tacit backing for the terrorists there. Ironically, the multimillionaire Sheikh who is married to a girl at the age of his granddaughters has 2 sons studying in universities INSIDE THE USA. He also did not include British citizens on his death list because the United Kingdom issued him an entry visa so that he can inaugurate an Islamic center in London!
Anyway, why can’t the US grow some claws when dealing with Qatar? Because the US has the largest military base there and it uses this base for the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, the Emir of Qatar managed to convince some people in the US that he is a reformist and that Qatar will be a model for the other Gulf States. This is true. The Emir did undergo some reform and modernization in his island, but I personally do not think that he can be a moderate while funneling millions of dollars to a channel like Al Jazeera. His royal highness has to drop one of the two.
When will the US government grow some Russian claws? When will the US government (be it Republican or Democrat) put the interests of its people and its real allies (the Iraqi policeman who is risking his life with US soldiers) ahead of Saudi Arabia’s oil and Qatar’s military base? When will Americans help their government in doing so by driving less SUVs?
On Ramsey Clark
Ask any Arab â€œintellectualâ€? who appears daily on Arab satellite channels about his views regarding former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, he will tell you things like â€œhe is a great man, he is a supporter of Palestine against Israeli occupation, he is against US foreign policy and the US system in generalâ€?. Clark is a hero in the Arab world and he appeared many times on Al Jazeera.
Today those Arab â€œintellectualsâ€? have another reason to love Ramsey: he will join the team defending Saddam.
Now, as usual, our Arab â€œintellectualsâ€? never see the full picture. They think that Ramsey is a friend of Muslims/Arabs, yet they never mention that Ramsey Clark defended Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslavian president who slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Mr. Clark is no friend of Arabs or Muslims. He is not even a friend of Iraqâ€™s butcher Saddam Hussein. Clark is just an enemy of the USA and everything it does, whether good or dad. If the US sided with Milosevic back then, rest assured that Clark would have been ranting today about “Americaâ€™s injustice towards the Bosnians and the Kosovans”.
Also, the guy madeâ€¦â€¦.. ops sorry, I donâ€™t want to devote any more of my blogâ€™s precious space on this sorry man.
While Muqtada Al Sadr is blaming the “evil trinity” (America, Britain, and Israel) for perpetuating the bombings in Karbala, US forces are handing out frozen chickens to poor ladies in SADR city. I recommend freezing a pile of 30 dead rats and sending it to the “holy man” with the dirty teeth.
Omar provides us with more information on Haifa street
He then goes on to eloquently describe the situation we’re in by saying “Who’s going to get killed next? And who’s going to cover it live?”
Now I believe we still didn’t hear from AP. If you know of any press release or statement, please shout it out. I believe the susopicion will only increase if AP stayed silent and provided no solid answers to the Haifa issue and the video of the executed Italian hostage that it gave to Al Jazeera. If it became clear that the AP photographer knew that something other than a demonstration would take place on Haifa street, I believe some people in the US ought to help the families of the 2 murdered Iraqis sue AP in US courts. As for now, I guess we still have to wait and see. Please keep those emails going and kindly send me any other email you know.
Don’t Let Them Die in Vain
The blogoshere is currently discussing the issue of how an Associated Press photographer managed to stand in the middle of one of Iraq’s (and probably the world’s) most dangerous roads and shot a picture after another of a ruthless murder in the middle of the day. As I mentioned in my previous post, AP’s execution pictures raise a lot of questions that we bloggers are responsible to find answers for. In the post-Dan Rather world, we should quit giving huge media outlets the chance to monopolize the flow of information around the world.
The case at hand is much more serious than the fake memos about what young George W. Bush did over 30 years ago. The case at hand has to do with the brutal killing of 2 Iraqi heroes whose only mistake was trying to organize an election in their country. This is a moral case and we, the friends of Iraq and of the troops serving there, should not let this incident pass unnoticed. Either AP has to come up with convincing answers to all our questions, or we will continue our crusade to expose AP’s alleged “methods of journalism” in Iraq.
Please take a few minutes to email Jack Stokes, AP’s director of media relations at JStokes@ap.org , to inform him that we demand full convincing answers to all our questions. Don’t let those election workers die in vain please.
Imagine this scenario. You’re a journalist. A man phones you on your cellular phone and informs you that he needs you to bring your camera and go to a certain house. The man tells you that he wants to murder a lady there and he wants “his story told”.
You pick up your camera and head to this house. You enter it and find the man waiting for you. You start filming or shooting as the man plants a bullet into the poor lady’s head. You then switch off your camera and return to your office with “the man’s story”.
Now, Jack Stokes, director of media relations at the Associated Press, is trying to convince us that AP’s hired photographers do not act in the same way as the jounalist in my story above. He and his bosses at AP are trying to tell us that they employ Iraqi photographers who “do not have to swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them (insurgents “emphasis added by GM”) just to take their pictures.” They are trying to tell us that their “invisible” photographer knew nothing about the execution of the 2 Iraqi heroes and that he/she was informed that he/she will just cover a “demonstration”. Ummmmmm, something doesn’t smell nice here. A demonstration in one of Iraq’s most dangerous streets! Was the AP photographer expecting just “a demonstration” in Haifa street?? Go to any Iraqi and tell him the word “Haifa street”, he will answer back with words such as “bombs, a famous Saddam loyalist street, clashes, etc”.
A demonstration in Haifa street! How funny.
The Media War Against Iraq
We all know how millions of Iraqis feel towards the mouth of horror Al Jazeera channel. Iraq’s popular satellite channel Al Fayhaa talks continuously about the war that the Arab media (i.e Al Jazeera) is waging against the new Iraq.
It seems that this war is also being waged by huge media outlets such as the Associated Press. AP has a lot of questions to answer regarding how one of its photojournalists stood in front of 30 armed insurgents and shot a sequence of photos showing the day light execution of 2 Iraqis who belong to another group of Iraq’s heroes: election workers. How can a photographer, given the fact that anyone can get kidnapped in Iraq, stand in the middle of the street and shots a picture after another. Was he/she invisible?
In addition, AP has a lot of questions to answer regarding how it received a tape showing the execution of an Italian hostage and why it gave it to Al Jazeera and not to the Iraqi government or the Italian embassy. OK, we know Al Jazeera wants Iraq to sink deeper into the mud created by Baathist/Salafist/Wahabi terrorists and this is why the Qatar financed channel acts as a terror mouthpiece. Why would AP act in the same dirty way?
AP has a lot of questions to answer. When will they answer them? I don’t know.