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UPDATE 2-Iraq shuts al-Jazeera Baghdad office for a month
Reuters | 7 Aug, 2004 | Reuters

Posted on 08/07/2004 6:14:03 AM PDT by propertius

UPDATE 2-Iraq shuts al-Jazeera Baghdad office for a month (Updates with Al Jazeera comment)

BAGHDAD, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Iraq's interim government ordered Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite television network to close its Baghdad office for one month on Saturday, a move criticised as unjustifiable by the channel.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, confirming the decision at a news conference, said a commission had been monitoring Al Jazeera for the past four weeks to see whether it was inciting violence and hatred, and that the decision had been taken "to protect the people of Iraq".

"It's regrettable and we believe it's not justifiable," Al Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said. "This latest decision runs contrary to all the promises made by Iraqi authorities concerning freedom of expression and freedom of the press."

Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said this week that Arabic satellite channels were encouraging kidnappings by showing images of hostages threatened with executions.

Another government official at the press conference said the station had "encouraged criminals and gangsters" in Iraq.

Al Jazeera's Ballout denied the charge.

"We are not a political organisation that is for or against anybody. We display what happens on the ground as objectively as possible and in a balanced way," he said.

Ballout said the television would continue to cover events in Iraq despite the closure. "I'm not going to say it will be easy, but again a creative journalist will try to get a comprehensive and balanced story out there," he said.

Earlier this week, the station reported a videotaped statement from a militant group linked to al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi saying it had released two Turkish drivers because their company agreed to stop working in Iraq.

Scores of hostages from two dozen countries have been seized in the past four months. Most have been freed but at least 10 have been killed, and at least 20 are still being held in Iraq.

Last month, Al Jazeera, accused by the United States of graphic and anti-American conflict coverage, unveiled a code of ethics it said would ensure balanced and sensitive reporting.

Jazeera won over millions of Arab viewers before and during the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan in 2001 after airing exclusive footage of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities.

(Additional reporting by Heba Kandil)


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aljazeera; allawi; iraq; iraqimedia; jazeera; jihadballout; media; qatar

1 posted on 08/07/2004 6:14:05 AM PDT by propertius
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To: propertius

AT LAST ! Someone sees Al Jazeera for what it really is.


2 posted on 08/07/2004 6:15:13 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: propertius

Wonder if Allawi can also shut down Al Jazeera in Canada & replace it with Fox News? ;-)


3 posted on 08/07/2004 6:16:53 AM PDT by pookie18
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To: propertius

Good move by Iraq. They have plenty of publicatuions and free speech there without the Al Jiz pests making propaganda for the terrorists in Iraq.


4 posted on 08/07/2004 6:18:53 AM PDT by dennisw (Once is Happenstance. Twice is Coincidence. The third time is Enemy action. - Ian Fleming)
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To: propertius
"Ballout said the television would continue to cover events in Iraq despite the closure. "I'm not going to say it will be easy, but again a creative journalist will try to get a comprehensive and balanced story out there," he said."

Talk about understatements?

Yeah ... It may be hard when the Iraqi government has the U.S. military consistently homing in on your signal, and dropping high explosives on it.

5 posted on 08/07/2004 6:21:36 AM PDT by G.Mason (A war mongering, red white and blue, military industrial complex, Al Qaeda incinerating American.)
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To: propertius

Will they be allowed into the RNC convention???


6 posted on 08/07/2004 6:24:23 AM PDT by OXENinFLA (<<<<<<< Cog in the Republican Attack Machine.)
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To: propertius

Will al-Reuters be next?


7 posted on 08/07/2004 6:25:20 AM PDT by jalisco555 ("The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W. B. Yeats)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
AT LAST ! Someone sees Al Jazeera for what it really is.

And it's Iraq's government, no less.

Somebody slipped up big time...letting positive news about Iraq slip out into the media. How dare they??

We over here are thrilled with this news.

8 posted on 08/07/2004 6:30:15 AM PDT by Allegra (It depends on what the meaning of "is" is......)
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To: pookie18
"Wonder if Allawi can also shut down Al Jazeera in Canada & replace it with Fox News? ;-)"

Looks like the Canadian cable companies have shut down Al Jazeera for themselves.

The CRTC decision allowed them to carry it but under conditions that required the cable operator to time-delay monitor the broadcasts 24/7 and to bleep out "any abusive comment".

The cable companies declined with thanks.

9 posted on 08/07/2004 6:33:53 AM PDT by Clive
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To: jalisco555
"Will al-Reuters be next?"

I'm hoping CNN will be next, but al-Rotters would be a good choice too.

10 posted on 08/07/2004 6:34:26 AM PDT by Enterprise
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To: propertius
My only complaint with our prosecution of the war in Iraq is that we haven't destroyed a media outlet that broadcasts the beheading of Americans and acts as the public relations/comminications arm of the jihadists.

If it was me calling the shots, their facilities would've been "MOAB'd" months ago.


11 posted on 08/07/2004 6:39:37 AM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: Hat-Trick

comminications=communications (sorry)


12 posted on 08/07/2004 6:40:56 AM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: propertius

Let's face it, after one of the hostages told authorities that the terrorists called in Al Jazeera to film one of those videos it's plain to see they are terrorist supporters.


13 posted on 08/07/2004 6:48:06 AM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: Hat-Trick

Al-Jazeera is a Qatari based network. The US has a huge military presence in Qatar, and we are the guarantors of their security.

You'd think we'd lean on the Qatari government a bit to get them to tone down the obvious anti-American bias of their own network.


15 posted on 08/07/2004 6:55:51 AM PDT by Guillermo (It's the 99% of Mohammedans that make the other 1% look bad.)
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To: propertius

Now, they will probably arrest or shoot the terrorists, er reporters/photographers of this vile organization if seen on the streets in Iraq.

That will be another positive turn in the war. One can only guess how many of our warriors were set up to be killed by the IslamoPOS's with this organization.


16 posted on 08/07/2004 6:56:53 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Franchurian Dork Candidate, le Jacquestrap Kerri says, "Judge me by my record".. We will!!.)
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To: Guillermo
Al-Jazeera is a Qatari based network. The US has a huge military presence in Qatar, and we are the guarantors of their security.

You'd think we'd lean on the Qatari government a bit to get them to tone down the obvious anti-American bias of their own network.

Just my not so humble opinion - Broadcasting the beheading of American citizens should be grounds for immediate vaporization, regardless of where they hide.

As Ranger Capt. Augustus McRae said to Jake Spoon in Lonesome Dove:

"You know the rules, Jake. Ride with an outlaw, die with an outlaw".

17 posted on 08/07/2004 7:14:12 AM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: Guillermo
You're not gonna believe this thread
18 posted on 08/07/2004 7:21:09 AM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: propertius
"We are not a political organisation that is for or against anybody. We display what happens on the ground as objectively as possible and in a balanced way," he said.

And that's the problem, also seen with CNN and other Lefist organizations. They portray terrorism and other thuggery as being equivalent with the rest of civilization.

19 posted on 08/07/2004 7:27:22 AM PDT by Moonman62
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To: propertius

BWAHAHAHHAHA

I love it...next up, CNN.


20 posted on 08/07/2004 7:28:34 AM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: propertius

What does al Jazeera care? They can make up fiction just as easily from a different city.


21 posted on 08/07/2004 7:42:51 AM PDT by John Jorsett
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To: Guillermo

mmm government controlling the press...mmmm that's good mr Goebbels.


22 posted on 08/07/2004 7:54:11 AM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: Dave Elias

You're comparing this to Goebble's?

Would the US had of allowed the Nazi press to operate freely in the US, broadcasting continuing propaganda?

I don't think so.

This is a similar situation, you hysterical freak.


23 posted on 08/07/2004 7:56:51 AM PDT by Guillermo (It's the 99% of Mohammedans that make the other 1% look bad.)
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To: pookie18
Wonder if Allawi can also shut down Al Jazeera in Canada & replace it with Fox News? ;-)

Well, here in Iraq, we can get Fox News, but NOT al-Jazeera now.

Dig it.

24 posted on 08/07/2004 8:09:11 AM PDT by Allegra (It depends on what the meaning of "is" is......)
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To: Guillermo

Where do you stop?


25 posted on 08/07/2004 8:27:53 AM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: Dave Elias

The line is drawn when they incite terrorism.

For those of you who don't think there should be any line, why are you here? Shouldn't you be at some anarchists protest?


26 posted on 08/07/2004 8:29:36 AM PDT by Guillermo (It's the 99% of Mohammedans that make the other 1% look bad.)
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To: Dave Elias

Agree. The next guys in power could use this as a precedent to shut down one of the "good guy" news outlets. Then what would everyone say?


27 posted on 08/07/2004 8:41:12 AM PDT by leadpencil1 (Somewhere in Massachusetts, a village is missing their DORK)
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To: propertius

That's a start, but they also need to expel all Al Jazeera reporters. Al Jazeera will just spin even more negatively now. When it comes to Iraq, Al Jazeera should get it's news the same way Iraqis do, from respectable news outlets.


28 posted on 08/07/2004 8:45:13 AM PDT by DoughtyOne
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To: propertius
"It's regrettable and we believe it's not justifiable," Al Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said.

Shouldn't that be Ballsout Jihad?

29 posted on 08/07/2004 9:06:14 AM PDT by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (You can turn your head away from the Berg video and still hear Al Queda's calls to prayer.)
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To: propertius
This article has been posted to DoctorZin’s New News Blog!


30 posted on 08/07/2004 9:07:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: propertius
a commission had been monitoring Al Jazeera for the past four weeks to see whether it was inciting violence and hatred, and that the decision had been taken "to protect the people of Iraq".

Some would be able to identify a similar pattern with the US media.

31 posted on 08/07/2004 10:58:39 AM PDT by GretchenM (A country is a terrible thing to waste. Vote Republican.)
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To: Hat-Trick

So any website owner that hosts a beheading video aught to be killed eh?

C'mon you cant really blame the distributer of such a video for the actions of the terrorists. Whether or not the unelected Iraqi government has the right to throw al-jazeera out of the country is one question, but to suggest we kill people who show video we disapprove of is ridiculous.

Now we all agree beheading anyone (especially an american) is obscene and those who commit such acts should be held responsible, but the act of reporting such an act must be protected lest we forget the horror which we are currently attempting to fight.

Whomever holds office will always try to stop the reporting of news which they feel portrays them poorly.
We can't let governments decide which news they deem acceptable to be shown and those they disagree with be shut down. If they have information which contradicts al-jazeera I'm sure they could find a way to distribute the truth rather than shutting down their opposition.


32 posted on 08/07/2004 11:50:51 AM PDT by Clorinox
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To: propertius
This is not really good news, actually. I'm in Baghdad working on telecom and media issues, and while you'll get no argument from me that Al Jazeera is a wicked snake-pit of support for the terrorists, not to mention a soapbox for them, the fact is that with hundreds of thousands of unlicensed, unregistered VSAT dishes all over Iraq, and their transmission facilities in another country (Qatar), this move is going to have jack squat effect. Actually, it will backfire: now AJ gets to claim censorship martyrdom, and if we shut down their main uplink out of Iraq, those grainy .mpegs their reporters will send out by cell phone will be have that much more credibility in viewers' eyes.
33 posted on 08/07/2004 1:15:06 PM PDT by Paladin2b
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To: propertius

B U M P


34 posted on 08/07/2004 1:20:05 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: Clorinox
So any website owner that hosts a beheading video aught to be killed eh?

Uh, we're not talking about a website. We're talking about THE public relations firm for the Jihadists. They have let their facilities (satellites, cameras, personnel, etc.) be used to further their cause of killing Americans. They are the enemy.

I don't subscribe to the same degree of seperation that you do, differentiating those who have the knife in their hands, those who hold the cameras, and those who run the video for all the world to see. To me, they are part of the same team - the one opposed to freedom. Nor do I subscribe to your equating broadcasting beheadings with free speech.

Whomever holds office will always try to stop the reporting of news which they feel portrays them poorly.

And just who is being portrayed poorly by the practice of broadcasting beheadings? I'm a firm believer in getting what you settle for. The longer we tolerate these broadcasts, the more kidnappings and threatened beheadings we'll have to suffer. I doubt it's the most morale-boosting stuff our troops have to watch.

35 posted on 08/07/2004 7:27:47 PM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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To: Dave Elias

What is your damage? AJ is the enemy and needs to be destroyed. DU misses you.


36 posted on 08/07/2004 8:13:56 PM PDT by soycd
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To: propertius

I'm glad we let the Iraqi's have their country back. They can do lots of stuff we can't, or won't.


37 posted on 08/07/2004 8:16:06 PM PDT by keats5
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To: propertius
maybe the New Iraqi govt should kidnap some Al Jazerra reporters and then behead them and broadcast it on the Internet as a lesson to those supporting the terrorists.

The Ny Slimes should be on that list as well for supporting the terrorists.

38 posted on 08/07/2004 8:26:29 PM PDT by prophetic (Dems investigate for pre 9/11intel - but now we've LOTS of Intel and they claim politics)
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To: Dave Elias
Where do you stop?

This was a decision made by Iraqis, in what they think is in their best interests, for the situation at hand.

If they decide to stop broadcasting FoxNews, then that is also their decision.

The operative word is "they", not "us" in deciding what they want to do to move forward.

39 posted on 08/08/2004 5:38:19 AM PDT by Recovering Hermit
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To: propertius
"We are not a political organisation that is for or against anybody. We display what happens on the ground as objectively as possible and in a balanced way," he said.

And how often do they protray President Bush in any favorable light? How about the United States of America?

Zero, zip, nada.

How often did they protray Saddam Hussein in an unfavorable light? How about the atrocities he committed, his sons committed, and their thugs committed upon Iraqi citizens?

Zero, zip, nada.

So, this is "fair and balanced" how?????

40 posted on 08/08/2004 5:44:57 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Dave Elias
Does Goebbels come to mind? .

Al Jazeera isn't a press, it's a propanda machine, no different than Hitler's NAZI tactics. Speaking of which, what the terrorists are doing (evil), what Saddam Hussein has done (you got it, he used propaganda in the guise of "news," too), is little different from what Hitler did.

You must learn to THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

For a less scholarly reading, perhaps you may want to read Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night. It, too, depicts the effective use of propaganda in the form of "news."

41 posted on 08/08/2004 5:52:42 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Dave Elias

I think you need to reread what Goebbels did and what his "ministry" was all about, as you seem to be misapplying what the Iraqis government is doing to what he did: "Nazi Propaganda by Joseph Goebbels" http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goebmain.htm


42 posted on 08/08/2004 5:56:31 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Recovering Hermit

"This was a decision made by Iraqis"

Believe that and you believe in fairies.


43 posted on 08/08/2004 6:45:55 AM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: Dave Elias
Believe that and you believe in fairies.

I've seen them...they wear boots.

I agree, but the fact that it is proclaimed by Iraqis is a good thing, whether or not their arms have been twisted behind their backs by us to proclaim it publicly.

44 posted on 08/08/2004 7:06:50 AM PDT by Recovering Hermit
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To: Hat-Trick

"Uh, we're not talking about a website. We're talking about THE public relations firm for the Jihadists"

I understand that, but once al-jazeera has been shut down, and there is no television access to the video's of these murders, the only step left for distribution is the internet. And my question remains the same, are you advocating the murder/arrest of anyone who distributes these videos regardless of how they are distributed.


45 posted on 08/10/2004 7:47:50 AM PDT by Clorinox
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To: Clorinox
I understand that, but once al-jazeera has been shut down, and there is no television access to the video's of these murders, the only step left for distribution is the internet.

Ah, but Al-Jazerra hasn't been shut down, completely. They've only had their Iraq operation "suspended" for 30 days. They're still alive and well, promoting the Jihadist agenda from other locations. They'll be back up and running in Iraq before Labor Day.

Regarding Al-Jazerra, again, their facilities should be destroyed, and if anyone evil enough to work for them happens to be vaporized in the process, well, I for one won't shed any tears about that. Broadcasting beheadings doesn't qualify as free speech.

And my question remains the same, are you advocating the murder/arrest of anyone who distributes these videos regardless of how they are distributed.

Beyond Al-Jazerra to the websites, I say it depends on the degree to which we can prove complicity and conspiracy in the beheadings.

46 posted on 08/11/2004 1:30:06 PM PDT by Hat-Trick (Do you trust a government that cannot trust you with guns?)
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