The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [CASI Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [casi-analysis] Falluja & Aljazeera

[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]

I should have given a link to the original source for this story
which now follows.

At the bottom I've included a second story from Australian ABC News
which refers to claims of direct targetting of  Al-Jazeera.

Control/management of the news is a key objective of the US&UK. In my
view that's the main reason why the sanctions were able to continue
devastating Iraq - together with the compliant TV media in both the
agressor countries.

eg notice how the BBC refers to the US/UK choice of 'insurgents' and
'coalition forces' instead of the more accurate 'resistance fighters'
and 'occupation forces'.

U.S. Forces Want Al-Jazeera Out Of Fallujah

By Mustafa Abdel-Halim, IOL Correspondent

CAIRO, April 9 ( - The United States asked al-Jazeera
team to leave Fallujah as one of conditions for reaching a settlement
to the bloody stand-off in the besieged western Baghdad town Friday,
April 9.

"American forces declared al-Jazeera must leave before any progress
is made to settle the Fallujah stand-off," al-Jazeera director
general Wadah Khanfar told, citing sources close to
the Iraqi Governing Council.

Khanfar, the former Baghdad bureau chairman of the station, declined
to speculate on reasons for putting al-Jazeera departure as "part of
solving the crisis".

He also denied receiving "any threats or notification statements"
from the U.S. occupation forces recently.

Khanfar also dismissed charges of bias in the coverage of the
Fallujah raids, which resulted in more than 400 people killed
including women and children.

"We are just carrying out our work as professionally as possible. We
describe the situation on the ground as is," Khanfar said.

"We try to be objective. The situation there bear a sign of
humanitarian crisis. We just shed light on this," he stressed.

A correspondent for the Qatar-based station - speaking live from
Fallujah - had warned Friday against a "humanitarian crisis" in the
town if the U.S. soldiers did not end their attack on the densely-
populated areas.

He said that local inhabitants are furious over the inaction of Arab
and Muslim countries as well as the international community.

Only Media Outlet

"We are just carrying out our work as professionally as possible,"

The channel - Khanfar added, is probably the only media in Fallujah,
where its correspondent seized hours of the channel’s air time to
convey the deteriorating situation over the past few days.

The correspondent in Fallujah said that even besieged local
inhabitants of the town follow the latest developments in their
bastion of resistance through al-Jazeera.

Corpses are littered in the streets as U.S. warplanes hit the only
hospital and other makeshift medical centers, he added.

As Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of U.S. military
operations in Iraq, was speaking by phone on al-Jazeera and insisting
that American forces declared a unilateral ceasefire in Fallujah, the
channel was airing live images of continued air raids by F16 fighter
jets on residential neighborhoods of the town.

Kimmitt later dismissed the coverage of the channel for the crisis as
a "series of lies". However, asked by al-Jazeera anchor about the
live images, the U.S. commander said he was not accusing al-Jazeera
of faking the images, but rather “looked at things differently”.

He said the attacks by F16 fighter jets and helicopters were meant to
take out “armed insurgents firing at our troops”. The anchor reminded
Kimmitt, however, that “live coverage showed children and women
killed by the missiles, not armed insurgents”.

Observers see the U.S. highly unusual demand for al-Jazeera to leave
Fallujah as a sign of crisis of credibility the U.S. forces face in
the eyes of the Iraqis as well as people all over the Arab and
Islamic world.

Known for its quality programs, professionalism and independence,
"the CNN of the Arab world" is the most-watched channel in this part
of the world.


Khanfar expressed hopes - brimming with fears - that the three
correspondents now in Fallujah "would not meet the same fate of Tarik

On April 8, 2003, one year ago, U.S. forces hit with missiles  al-
Jazeera office in Baghdad, killing Ayyoub just a few hours before
rolling into the capital.

The channel officials charged the missile attack was a "deliberate"
strike, recalling that the office of the station had been hit in
November 2001 during the U.S.-led assault on the Taliban regime in

Khanfar, however, put up a defiant tone, saying the station’s team -
also including a number of engineers and photographers - would not
get out of the town "voluntarily".

"We are not a political party in the crisis. We are just media guys,"
Khanfar said.

Having the station’s headquarters, Qatar also plays host to the U.S
Central Command, which directs the military invasion of Iraq as of
March 20. It has one of the largest U.S. military bases in the Arab

Strained Relations

U.S. Marines fire mortar shells in the outskirts of Fallujah

Relations between the channel and Washington have been always running
on a collision course.

Al-Jazeera website was downed by hackers since Tuesday, March 25, a
few days after Washington and London blasted the station for its
footages  of dead U.S. and British soldiers and captured PoWs.

During his visit in October last year, Qatari Emir and the principal
shareholder of al-Jazeera, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was
reportedly asked to put pressure on the channel to curb what the U.S.
called "anti-American coverage".

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed on November 25 he has
seen reports suggesting al-Jazeera have cooperated  with Iraqi
resistance fighters attacking U.S. troops.

"They are hurting us," Rumsfeld was quoted as saying on Al-Jazeera
and Dubai-based Al-Arabiya station.

On November 24, the U.S.-handpicked Governing Council banned Al-
Arabiya from working in Iraq, charging it with incitement to murder.

Abu Dhabi TV also announced in April last year that its Baghdad
bureau had been hit and broadcast a live report showing its camera
position under attack.

With 19 journalists killed in Iraq, 14 during the war, five in the
aftermath, and two missing presumed dead, 2003 was one of the
bloodiest years in recent times for war reporters.

Sixty-four journalists were killed across the world in 2003, 19 of
them in Iraq, according to a report  published by the International
Press Institute (IPI) in March 10.

On August 18, in yet another crime against journalists in occupied
Iraq, U.S. troops shot dead  an award-winning Reuters cameraman while
he was filming on Sunday, August 17, near a U.S.-run detention camp
in Baghdad

Last Update: Saturday, April 10, 2004. 8:01pm (AEST) Al Jazeera team
'targetted by US' The correspondent in Fallujah of Qatar-based Arabic
satellite channel Al Jazeera charged on Saturday that he and his
television crew had been targeted by US fire in the flashpoint Iraqi

"Our team has become one of the objectives of the American Army.
Yesterday after midday (local time), we were targetted by heavy
American artillery fire and prior to that (US) snipers fired at us,"
Ahmed Mansur said in a live report from the city where American
troops are battling insurgents.

"We had to leave our post to another less exposed area," he said,
adding that the team's morale nonetheless remained high.


> >
> > It is interesting to note that one of the initial demands
> > from the US miltary was for Aljazeera to leave the city.
> >
> >
> > Mark Parkinson
> > Bodmin
> > Cornwall

Mark Parkinson

Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list
To unsubscribe, visit
All postings are archived on CASI's website at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]