Iraq Middle East

On The Media

The Ambassador

Friday, December 17, 2004

If the zeitgeist of a nation is to be found in its reality television programming, what are we to make of the latest addition to the Israeli airwaves? In "The Ambassador," 14 young contestants travel to the U.S. and Europe to engage hostile audiences and promote Israeli policy. The prize ...

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The Pistol and the Olive Branch

Friday, November 12, 2004

For 40 years the father of the Palestinian independence movement, Yasir Arafat carefully cultivated – some might say crafted – an effective image as the face and symbol of his people’s struggle. If everything is controversial when it comes to Arafat, it is also contradictory. Depending on which Arafat you ...

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Innocent Accounting Errors

Friday, November 05, 2004

Last week, the British medical journal The Lancet published a study estimating the number of Iraqi civilians who have died as a result of the war at 100 thousand. It’s a staggering number, especially considering that previous estimates had been about one-fifth of that. Brooke talks to Human Rights Watch ...

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Afghan Elections

Friday, October 01, 2004

In one week, people throughout Afghanistan are expected to line up at the polls for their country’s first national election in 35 years. But election season in Afghanistan, where 28 percent of the population have access to TV, and even fewer read newspapers, is a very different beast than it ...

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Thin Air

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Bush administration is touting the upcoming elections in Afghanistan as proof of a successful intervention. Others aren’t so sure, and point to the degenerating security situation and resurgence of warlords there. One test of the new democracy’s stability is the degree to which Afghan journalists are able to operate ...

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Homefront Confidential

Friday, September 24, 2004

The "war on terrorism" brings with it an ever-present state of alert, and constant warnings about the threat to our society. Most of those warnings are from our government, in the form of color-coded threat levels. But now comes an alert about our government's incremental assault on the public's right ...

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In the Mirror of Beslan

Friday, September 10, 2004

Many commentators throughout the world, unsurprisingly, framed the slaughter at Beslan in the context of the global war on terrorism. What was surprising was the sentiment of self-criticism that surfaced in some parts of the Arab media. Most notable was a column by the general manager of the Al-Arabiya satellite ...

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Fog Machine

Friday, August 20, 2004

Fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf appeared to be reaching a resolution on Friday, after a tense standoff between U.S. forces and followers of the Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr. But two week's worth of headline coverage hardly made a dent in the prevailing image of Al-Sadr here at home ...

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On The Media

Honor Lost

Friday, August 13, 2004

Since it was published a year ago, the book "Forbidden Love" (or "Honor Lost" as it is titled in the US) has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. Norma Khouri's memoir shed light on the prevalence of "honor-killing" in Jordan, a practice that according to Khouri takes the lives ...

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No Bloody News

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The security situation in Iraq has deteriorated to such an extent that many European news bureaus are packing up and heading home. American news outlets have yet to follow their lead, but reporters mostly stay holed up in hotels, relying on freelancers. What's the effect of bunker journalism on the ...

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Ain't That Good News

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The intensifying wave of violence in Iraq doesn't seem to be daunting government officials in charge of spreading the good news and stemming the flow of bad news. A Pentagon-sponsored group of Iraqi-Americans is touring U.S. military bases to speak about coalition successes in Iraq. Meanwhile, USAID is scaling back ...

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Islamica News

Friday, July 30, 2004

We know by now that proclamations of irony's death after 9/11 were, at best, premature. But since the short hiatus of dark humor ended, the subject of the Muslim-American experience has not exactly been the butt of many jokes. Luckily, in one corner of cyberspace a group of satirists is ...

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Le Freakout: Part 2

Friday, July 09, 2004

On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge called a press conference to warn Americans that Al-Qaeda may be planning to attack the U.S. before November's elections. In the second installment in his two-part series on homeland security readiness, OTM's John Solomon looks at how the government and the media are ...

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Lessons Learned

Friday, July 09, 2004

Tucked inside the U.S. Army's recently declassified assessment of Operation Iraqi Freedom were some interesting disclosures. Like this one - that iconic toppling of the Saddam statue as American troops took Baghdad last year was not a spontaneous act instigated by an Iraqi crowd, but rather a carefully planned operation ...

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Wishful Editing

Friday, July 09, 2004

People who watched live images of the Saddam statue toppling in Baghdad might not recognize the version repeatedly broadcast on TV since then. In its repackaged form, the drawn-out, American-managed event looks more like a spontaneous popular uprising. Brooke reflects on what may be the second draft of history.

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The Worst PR Job in the World

Friday, July 02, 2004

The Carlyle Group – a private equity house in Washington – is frequently mentioned in articles about the Bush administration’s many ties to businessmen dealing in the Middle East. Most recently, Michael Moore’s blockbusting anti-Bush bonanza singled out the firm for particular scrutiny. For years, countless websites have portrayed the ...

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The Handover: Who Knew?

Friday, July 02, 2004

Americans awoke this past Monday to learn that the much-anticipated "handover" of sovereignty to Iraqi officials, scheduled for later in the week, had already happened. If the Coalition Provisional Authority was trying to avoid a violent attack during the ceremony, the strategy seemed to have worked. But after weeks of ...

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Trial of the Century

Friday, July 02, 2004

Saddam Hussein had his first day in court this week, and gave a defiant performance that was watched closely by media all over the world. It offered another opportunity to reflect on the gulf separating Iraq coverage by Arab networks from that of their American counterparts. Earlier in the week, ...

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Le Freakout: Part I

Friday, July 02, 2004

Despite repeated warnings from Bush Administration officials that terrorists could strike the U.S. this summer, most Americans have made more preparations for barbecues than for a potential attack. In the first of a two-part series on homeland security readiness, OTM's John Solomon looks at how the Bush Administration is doing ...

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Letters

Friday, July 02, 2004

Listeners weigh in on our coverage of voter disenfranchisement in Florida, as well as our handling of the 9/11 Commission's recent reports.

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