Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
A Salute for Al-Jazeera TV for its Stance Against
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 21, 2011
There is no doubt that Muammar Qaddafi and his barbarian henchmen
stand behind the cowardly murder of Al-Jazeera TV cameramen Ali Hasan Jaber.
Jaber was brutally killed on Saturday, 12 March, in a treacherous ambush
near the Libyan City of Benghazi, apparently at the hands of masked gunmen
believed to be working for Colonel Qaddafi.
The Libyan tyrant and
his propaganda outlets have been waging a frantic campaign of incitement
against Al-Jazeera TV, accusing the pan-Arab network of disseminating "lies"
about the popular revolution against his tyrannical rule.
forces, which included mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa, former Eastern
Block countries and probably some Arab states as well, have been carrying
out wanton killings of Libyan protesters demanding the end of Qaddafi's
Al-Jazeera TV interviewed many of the eyewitnesses to the
killings who described, often in graphic details, atrocities committed by
Qaddafi's men and mercenaries.
The popular station also showed
footage of atrocities that perfectly fit for the legal definition of war
crimes. For example, soldiers in uniform, who have been summarily
executed by Qaddafi's mercenaries, were shown on al-Jazeera TV screens,
along with civilians who had been killed or maimed.
this infuriated Qaddafi, prompting him to instruct his
operatives to "liquidate" the "rodents" and "al-Qaeda agents."
other things, Qaddafi called al-Jazeera TV "contemptible," and "agent for
Israel and Zionism." Needless to say, the unrelenting instigation against
al-Jazeera amounted to a call for murder. Hence, the murder of Ali Hasan
Jaber at the hands of Qaddafi's mercenaries can't really be divorced from
the venomous campaign of incitement against the Arab world's most popular TV
There should be little or no doubt as to Qaddafi's
complicity and culpability in the murder of the Qatari cameramen. After all,
a man who has shown no qualms about slaughtering his own people in order to
remain in power is unlikely to show any compunction about murdering media
operatives he considers responsible for inciting the Libyan people to revolt
against his 42-year tyranny.
In the final analysis, we are talking
about a despicable mass murderer, a certified war criminal of Ariel Sharon's
or Radovan Karadzic's ilk whose proper place should be at the Hague's court
of justice to stand trial for the thousands of innocent Libyans he has
already killed and the many more Libyans he is likely to kill before he is
liquidated or captured.
As a professional journalist who had
worked for al-Jazeera, I can attest to the professionalism and integrity of
al-Al-Jazeera's Arabic service. Having enjoyed a great margin of press
freedom, probably like nowhere else in the Arab world, al-Jazeera can be
said to be the most objective media outlet in the Middle East. Even the
"celebrated" Israeli media seem to lag behind al-Jazeera in terms of
honesty, objectivity and audacity to "call the spade a spade."
al-Jazeera is not the ultimate embodiment of libertarian media , but
in light of existing media standards, especially western standards,
there is no doubt that al-Jazeera is the best or at least one of the best.
More important, the Qatar-based network has played a key role in
galvanizing and mobilizing the masses in both Egypt and Tunis to rise up
against the decadent, corrupt and immensely despotic regimes of Zeinulabdeen
Bin Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
This was done without abandoning or
relaxing the standards of objectivity and honesty. The station
simply kept transmitting live the protests that led eventually to the
collapse of the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators. The live and extended
transmission of these revolutions, watched by hundreds of millions of people
around the world, may have scared off the regimes and made them think twice
before applying repressive measures on a wide scale against demonstrators
and protestors demanding liberty.
This sustained and
real-time coverage of Arab revolutions is certainly a valuable asset for al-Jazeera
for which the station deserves a big salute from all of us.
no doubt that the cause of freedom and democracy in the Arab world is
heavily indebted to al-Jazeera. Indeed, the fact that al-Jazeera has
incurred the wrath of thugs like Qaddafi should be sufficient to exonerate
the network of all concocted insinuations and innuendoes.
it is no wonder that we have seen multitudes of people in Yemen, Libya and
other places shout slogans such as "birroh, biddam, nafdeeki ya Jazeera" or
"we sacrifice body and soul for al-Jazeera."
A final note regarding
al-Jazeera's revolutionary role in encouraging and fostering democracy in
the Arab world.
The frantic and crass hostility toward the station
by the Libyan dictator is only one dramatic example of the overall hostility
various Arab regimes harbor for the network. Indeed, Al-Jazeera TV has been
banned for prolonged periods of time or permanently by most Arab countries,
including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Mubarak's
Egypt, Bin Ali's Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and the Palestinian
Well, doesn't that tell you something?