March 29, 2003
The Changing Middle East

Robert Fisk: "Mohamed Al-Abdullah, Al-Djazaira’s correspondent in Basra, must be the bravest journalist in Iraq right now. In the sequence of three tapes, he can be seen conducting interviews with families under fire and calmly reporting the incoming British artillery bombardment. One tape shows that the Sheraton Hotel on the banks of Shatt Al-Arab River, has sustained shell damage. On the edge of the river — beside one of the huge statues of Iraq’s 1980-88 war martyrs each pointing an accusing finger across the waterway toward Iran — Basra residents can be seen filling jerry cans from the sewage polluted river."

Adrienne McPhail: "If more than half the Kurds emigrate from Turkey, and perhaps from Iran and Syria as well, the profile of the new Iraq could suddenly become Kurdish. The network that exists among the entire spread-out Kurdish population is very impressive."

Independent: "So much has changed in this Arab world since the last Gulf War. The arrival of satellite television stations such as Al-Jazeera has transformed the information landscape: The agenda is no longer dominated by Western news outlets or by the craven and awful state-controlled media. Hour by hour, Arab families follow the progress of this war, and it is being mediated for them by Arab reporters. The information war is being lost in the Arab world, partly because the old sources of information no longer hold sway, and at least partly because nobody here wants to give the US and UK the benefit of the doubt."

Al-Ahram: "Today, Arabs are calling the US an aggressor and they are asking it to withdraw its troops from Iraq, 'unconditionally and immediately' expressing a sense of urgency that has not even been indicated towards Israel recently. Even the US's very close Arab allies, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan signed the resolution."

posted by dru in war