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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Al-Ahram newspaper is a terrorist apologist

The People who run Al Ahram newspaper have got to be kidding me. The reported on their front page the news about the Zawari letter to Zarqawi, but the tone of their reporting was anything but objective. If anything, it seemed to be kind of praising Al Zawahri and ommitting the really disturbing parts of the letter, thus painting Al Zawahri as a moderate. Under the title of "The Al Zawahri guide to islamic caliphate in Iraq" , the newspaper reported that it showed the writer -Zawahri- as someone who gained his experience and wisdom from "Life's hardships" and described the tone of the letter as "mature, clear and filled with convincing arguments". No, really. But anyway, while that is kind of disturbing, what's even more disturbing is the context of the words written in the letter. It's almost as if they are trying to protray Al Qaeda's second man in command as someone who is not a bloodthirsty terrorist. For example: They report him telling Zarqawi that he should stop slaughtering captives on video cameras and broadcasting the event, because of the bad effect it has on the "cause", but fail to mention that in the line right after that one in the letter, where Al Zawahiri advices him to just shoot the captives instead, because "that would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts". Nope, no mention of that part at all. Just reporting that Al Zawhiri is upset at the boradcasted slaughter and that he is urging al Zarqawi to stop them. Or another example: they report that Al Zawahri chided him for igniting secterian conflict with the Shiite, that he shouldn't do it or attack their mosques or shrines and how it could be divisive to "the movement" and their supporters, who would never understand the reasoning for such a war. All was said in the letter, but they don't mention Al Zawahiri's opinion of the Shiites sect, whom he calls is based on "falsehood", and how a "collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the Shia is a matter that will happen sooner or later", but now isn't the time and that even if that's the case, it isn't wise to announce such a war, because attacking the Shiittes will upset Iran, which they need its support right now. No mention of any of that. I think you get the picture. What I don't understand is why Al Ahram reported it that way. Are they stupid, making Al Zawahiri look like a moderate who is against spilling the blood of the inocent? What, do they want to increase public sympathy to Al Qaeda and their terrorist operations or something? Don't they get the implications of what they are doing? I mean, this isn't the MB 's weekly newspaper; this is Al Ahram, the leading egyptian newspaper and one that is state-sponserd and controlled, which means that the egyptian government approved of this protrayel of someone that is actually wanted by them for criminal charges. And, mind you, the article took great pains in making Al Zawahiri look good, and it's on the front page, which means that this was approved by the higher-ups in the government. This had an agenda, and it aimed at making Al Zawahiri, who wants Mubarak dead and its government overthrown, to look good. How the hell did that happen? I mean, it's not really hard to show Al Zawahiri for the blood thristy psycho that he is from that letter. Hell, they don't even need to leave any commentary. All they had to do is publish those excerpts in full and let the people decide for themselves. I doubt many people who will read the full letter or even the excerpets mentioned will come to the same conclusion that the writer of this piece did. So why did they do that? Why make Al Zawahiri look good? If it's done for the same old reason of making the US look bad and the iraqi insurgency look good in Iraq, so that the public would continue to sustain its anti-american presence in Iraq sentiment and by implications their efforts to democratize the region , then they are dumber then I thought. This doesn't promote the Iraqi insurgency or make the US look bad; it just makes Al Qaeda and Al Zawahiri look good, and that's the last thing that this government needs, especially with all the shit that Egypt's been going through this past year. The Egyptian government should realize that their biggest threat isn't the US presence in Iraq and the US pressure to democratize the region, but rather it's the islamist extreemist organizations who want to overthrow it by force and establish a theocracy in egypt. They should relaize that anything that would make the "Al Qaeda crowd" more popular with the public, like this article, shouldn't be allowed on the press, let alone the state-owned newspapers. It's not in their best interest to continue to do that, and it will surely bite them in the ass afterwards. Too bad that means it will bite us all in the ass as well. Morons.


At 10/13/2005 06:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about you? Are you Atheist Agnostic, Jew, Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, or something else?
Your readers have a right to know.

At 10/13/2005 07:18:00 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Does al-Ahram also report where an infidel can pick up a sleeping bag in Cairo?

At 10/13/2005 07:56:00 AM, Blogger gluphus said...

Please enlighten me. As someone who lives on the other side of the globe (in Infidel land, as a matter of fact):

What the heck is the motivation of the mid east journalists in your area? Here in good old US, the motive of MSM is usually (IMHO) fed by anger over loss of power or control, but them seem to know not to brush their teeth with a viper.

But, from what I read, the ME journalists encourage others in their area to create mayhem and chaos. To me, thats akin to putting 100 gophers in your garden (if you don't have gophers over there, you can say this is like putting snakes in your childs bed).

In terms of the old journalistic credo of "if it bleeds it leads", I can see them encouraging violence in Fiji, but not where their own family lives. This sounds very nilistic.

Could someone please explain this logic to me?

At 10/13/2005 10:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if they realize that in today's world where people can connect to a vast variety of news via the internet how silly it is to promote certain parts but ignore other parts? This is the reason that the main stream media is losing ground so fast in America. It is only a small small number of people who get their news from the MSM anymore. Their days of controlling thought by controlling the flow of info is long over, thank-God! I wonder if it was always this way and they always lied to us?

At 10/13/2005 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

It is intuitively obvious to even the casual observer what SM believes. He believes in a live and let live philosophy where reasonable people can agree to disagree without getting their head chopped off. If you are still curious, perhaps if you would look around on his website you might discern for yourself in Sandmonkey's own words some of what he believes. This post is for anonymous number 1

At 10/13/2005 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous highlander said...

SM ..the plot thickens ;) alqaehttp://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Osama_bin_Laden_and_al_Qaidada claim the letter is a fake ? what do you think ?

At 10/13/2005 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

There are a few truths in this life.

1. Don't believe anything you read in the news.
2. Don't believe half of what you see on tv.
3. Don't believe half of what is on blogs.
4. Don't believe everything you see with your own eyes.
5. Don't believe that SM is anything other than what he has shown us.

Don't believe all of this:
Egypt is in control of PA?

It is obvious that no one is in control.

Papa Ray
West Texas

At 10/13/2005 02:21:00 PM, Blogger . said...

SM - Al Ahram is well known not to be a paper with international street cred. So don't worry too much about it.
- On the other hand, to say that ME journalists are encouraging others in their area to be violent is simply untrue. What of David Hirst or Karim Alrawi or the numerous journalists who find themselves in prison because they brought to light events that were political suicide for them?
- Come on SM, you know better to judge a whole population on the actions of a few ignorant and bought off few.
- On another note, Thanks for the comment, I read your site with much interest, you're an intelligent man.

At 10/13/2005 03:00:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

# On the other hand, to say that ME journalists are encouraging others in their area
# to be violent is simply untrue.

I don't see it that way. The ME media seems to have a clear agenda. They hate their own governments, and they hate foreign powers, partiucularly the US and Israel. It seems to me to be quite logical that they buy into the idea that terrorism is the solution to both of these problems. I think that's fucking CRAZY, but I'm not an Arab journalist, so I guess it's none of my damned business how stupid and crazy some of the articles they write are. I'm just pointing out the way it looks to me.

At 10/14/2005 03:34:00 AM, Blogger H in Cairo said...

Juan Cole (http://www.juancole.com/2005/10/zawahiri-letter-to-zarqawi-shiite.html) raises doubts about the authenticity of the letter that convince me. You'd think the people at Al-Ahram would see the same things and have the same doubts before they used the letter. Unless it really is, as Cole suggests, an American psychological warfare operation and Al-Ahram are part of it.

At 10/14/2005 06:39:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Could be it's fake, H, but you'll need a better source than Juan Cole to convince me of that :D

Speaking of better sources than Juan Cole, what's Cindy Sheehan's take on this letter?

At 10/14/2005 11:04:00 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

"H in Cairo said...
Juan Cole raises doubts about the authenticity of the letter that convince me."

I'm sure they would H.
My response to Dr. Ferret-face.

At 10/14/2005 11:14:00 AM, Blogger Lieutenant Fishman said...

You would think that Mubarak might have read that part about "Egypt is really the heart of our objective for the new Caliphate" and maybe think that is a bad idea. Guess not. And oh yeah- Juan Cole is an anti-freedom idiot..

At 10/14/2005 02:10:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Omar Fadhil has confirmed that Juan Cole wouldn't know a Muslim if he were being held hostage by jihadis.


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