The Arab satellite television company Al Jazira became the major source of information for 35 million people in the Middle East after the start of the war in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden selected Al Jazira as a communication channel with the whole world. It was Al Jazira that broadcast Laden’s speech right after the bombing started. In the words from Colin Powell, that message from the prime suspect could contain coded information for terrorists from the al-Qaida organization. The Arab TV company concluded a contract with the terrorist before the start of the war, pursuant to which he was supposed to speak out all of his “prophecies” via Al Jazira’s channels. The company even returned its correspondent to Kabul for that purpose (the correspondent allegedly left the city after the events of September 11 in America).
The Americans believe the TV company is in constant contact with the terrorists. The journalists themselves (some of them used to be employed for BBC) claim they are doing their job well and try to be ahead of their competitors. So far, they have been successful: the American media are full of stories about Al Jazira’s work. There is a lot of envy in the critics on the part of the American media. Now Al Jazira for the Arabs is like CNN for the Americans.
During the war in the Persian Gulf, waged by the father of the current American president, Saddam Hussien also chose a TV network to say everything he was meant to say about Americans. At that time it was CNN. CNN was criticized for broadcasting the material, which was missed by Iraqi censorship. The management of the company was making excuses, claiming that was the only way to inform the viewers about the point of view of the enemy. This is what Al Jazira is now doing basically - it gives a word to the enemy. It is the only company that is allowed to work on the Taliban-controlled territories, it is the only company, which receives “exclusive interviews” from terrorist number one.
Not only the Arabs but also many Americans are interested in prime suspect’s viewpoints. Americans just do not want to admit it to themselves. However, the American media constantly cite Al Jazira.
Al Jazira, which means “island” in the Arabic language, is located in Quatar. For 5 years of its work the company turned to a trust-worthy, unprejudiced source of information. It is not its fault that Bin Laden is more “patriotic” than Hussein. The American journalists can take a break and sleep at the briefings of their army leaders. It is Al Jazira’s time now.
Sergei Borisov PRAVDA.Ru