Iraq Middle East

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Mind Your A’s and Q’s

Friday, June 29, 2007

In and around Baghdad right now, “Al Qaeda in Iraq” is public enemy number one. At least that’s what Pentagon officials say. But McClatchy reporter Mike Drummond thinks journalists should be more skeptical when “Al Qaeda” is uttered.

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Rat Extermination

Friday, June 01, 2007

With the “Stop Snitchin’” movement sweeping American cities, a new website is posting names and photos of witnesses who have testified in exchange for sentencing leniency. The New York Times' Adam Liptak describes what prosecutors are doing to get the site removed.

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On Message

Friday, May 25, 2007

The U.S. Arabic-language satellite network Al Hurra has had an uphill struggle for viewership. Lately, it’s been trying to diversify its range of perspectives. But when it featured “terrorists,” congressional funders cried foul. Political scientist Marc Lynch discusses the latest salvo in the war for hearts ...

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Unsures of Tripoli

Friday, May 25, 2007

For the past week, the Lebanese Army has clashed with Islamist extremists holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp. The Journal for Middle East Broadcasters’ Habib Battah says the who, what, & why are extremely murky, but that ...

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Haditha Exposed

Friday, May 11, 2007

Marines involved in the alleged massacre at Haditha, Iraq, went on trial this week. The New York Times’ Paul von Zielbauer talks about a knowingly false press-release put forth by the military, and says that without media attention, there may not have been any military investigation ...

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Turning Back the Clock

Friday, May 11, 2007

Since 2001, independent media outlets have flourished in Afghanistan. But now the Afghan parliament is considering legislation that could severely curb press freedom. Saad Mohseni, founder of Afghanistan's most popular TV network, says Afghan media outlets will not fold under government pressure.

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Blog Out

Friday, May 04, 2007

Since the beginning of the Iraq war, blogs by soldiers and marines have provided one of the clearest pictures of life as a grunt. Now, the Army is cracking down on military blogs. Retired paratrooper and blogger Matthew Burden says it’s a death sentence for combat blogging. But ...

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Losing Count

Friday, May 04, 2007

Estimates of civilians killed in Iraq range from 60,000 to 600,000. Now the Iraqi government is clamping down on the last remaining source for official numbers. L.A. Times Baghdad correspondent Tina Susman says her paper is keeping count anyway.
More on ...

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The Art of War

Friday, April 20, 2007

The mission of a Marine combat artist, dating back to World War I, is “Go to war, do art.” Combat artist Sergeant Kristopher Battles talks about the challenge of drawing a picture while escaping sniper fire.

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Strip Search

Friday, April 06, 2007

BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza last month. It's generated some outrage from western journalists, but even more from those in Palestine. Reuters reporter Nidal al-Mughrabi discusses the Palestinian response to Johnston's abduction.

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Better to Give than to Receive

Friday, April 06, 2007

The 15 British naval officers detained in Iran went home this week, but they stayed in headlines. The L.A. Times' Borzou Daragahi says Iran’s image may have been bolstered by the ordeal, at least in the Mideast press.

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Not Forgotten

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Iraq war is 4 years old, and the American body count still climbs. This week, Brave New Foundation launched the Iraq Veterans Memorial, an online tribute by friends and families of those killed. Jim Miller discusses memorialization in the YouTube age.

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Theater of War

Friday, March 23, 2007

The war of images took another step forward this month when the U.S. military announced the creation of its own YouTube channel. Army Major Armando Hernandez explains why the Pentagon is bringing the fight to the enemy and to the small screen.

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Court of Private Opinion

Friday, March 09, 2007

Military hearings are underway for 14 high-value terror suspects at Gitmo. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be hearing their stories – reporters are banned from the proceedings. The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg describes “combatant status review tribunals,” one of the sole sources of information ...

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Who Cares

Friday, March 02, 2007

Heads are rolling in the wake of The Washington Post’s expose of deplorable conditions at Walter Reed. But Salon's Mark Benjamin has been writing variations on the Post’s story for years. He discusses the media’s newfound interest in wounded vets.

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A Zion in the Sand

Friday, February 16, 2007

Criticize Israeli policies, and you’re likely to be tarred an anti-Semite. At least that’s what some say has been happening more and more lately. Are mainstream Jewish groups really squelching debate? We ask J.J. Goldberg, editor of The Forward.

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Explosive Charges

Friday, February 16, 2007

Conscious of pre-war parallels, the press proceeded cautiously last week as it reported on possible Iranian involvement in the Iraq war. Columbia Journalism Review's Michael Massing explains why he thinks the coverage still came up lacking. And The New York Times' Michael Gordon defends his handling ...

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Reality TV, Diplomacy Style

Friday, February 02, 2007

The producers of the new Arab satellite show “On The Road In America” didn’t set out to make just another reality TV show. With advisors like James Baker and Lee Hamilton, they were trying to win hearts and minds. We speak with producer and former Reagan ...

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Across The Great Divide

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sectarianism is a fact of life in much of the Arab world. But political scientist Marc Lynch tells us that recently, the Sunni/Shiite divide has suddenly emerged as a media preoccupation throughout the Middle East.

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Anonymous Sects

Friday, February 02, 2007

Recently, the distinction between Shiites and Sunnis has become more prominent in Bush administration rhetoric. Dr. Vali Nasr briefed Bush on the religious divide last year. He explains why Bush's newfound understanding of sectarianism may be too little, too late.

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