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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who Shot Sam

“You must be careful what you say, as well as what you do”
Don Rumsfeld

I've been a little bit busy this week so I guess I missed the outcry of the warbloggers and white house against the Washington Times for this:

(Via Altercation)

Washington Times cartoon sets Pakistan on fire

[ MONDAY, MAY 09, 2005]

ISLAMABAD: A cartoon in The Washington Times lampooning Pakistan's role in the US war on terror has turned into a rallying point for nationalist passions and hidden anti-American sentiments here.

The "offensive" cartoon (published May 6) shows a US soldier patting a dog (Pakistan) that holds Abu Faraj Al Libbi (a terrorist linked with Al Qaeda) and saying, "Good boy ... now let's go find bin Laden."

President George W Bush had described the arrest of Al Libbi - the third-ranking leader in Al Qaeda who was arrested in Pakistan this month - as "a critical victory in the war on terror".

A survey carried out by Online news agency revealed hurt national pride, with people cutting across the class divide vocally demanding that the government quit supporting the US in its war against terrorism.

"I think the Pakistan-US relations on the war against terrorism would not continue any more. The US is wary of admitting that Pakistan helped the US to find out its enemies," said Nazeer Ahmed, a lawyer.

For Muhammad Ali, a student of Quaid-e-Azam University, the cartoon belittles Pakistan' anti-terror efforts and exposes how much the US values Pakistan's role in the war in terror.

Many students of this university are so sore with the US "assault on national pride" that they will settle for nothing less than an apology from US President George Bush.

It's not just the capital's chattering classes that are affronted; ordinary shopkeepers too have not shied away from registering their outrage against what they see the US duplicity in its relations with Pakistan.

On the diplomatic front, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington wasted no time in registering its protest against this insensitive cartoon.

"We are disgusted with the insensitivity of the editors of the Washington Times. They have insulted the 150 million people of Pakistan," said Mohammed Sadiq, Pakistan's charge d'affaires in Washington.

In another instance, the government expressed its dismay over a news report carried by Newsweek magazine in its latest edition about the reported desecration of the holy Quran and inhuman treatment meted out to the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Here's an earlier report from DAWN on May 7.

It appears that there is quote a bit more to this Newsweak story than meets the eye, doesn't it? It doesn't take a genius, or an expert in the history of the Taliban to know that they claim quite a bit of support in Pakistan.

This article indicates that the original protests in Pakistan were as much concerned about the cartoon as about the Koran story (which, by the way, every Muslim in the world undoubtedly already knew about.) Does the American press -- Newsweak itself! --- not realize that this was a huge deal over there? I know why the Bush administration and the 101st keyboarders would want to keep this quiet --- they will never speak ill of one of their own compadres like the reverend Moon --- but, what in the fuck is wrong with the rest of the media? Are they enjoying watching the US media being discredited by propaganda and dirty tricks one by one? Do they think they are immune or are they just looking forward to the big bucks that Rupert pays (which won't last long once he owns the media outright. Think WalMart, kidz.)

I can't say that I've heard anything about this, although the Washington Times apparently quietly apologized last Saturday for any offense they'd caused.

Cartoonist Bill Garner told Pakistan's Dawn newspaper that he never intended to offend the Pakistani nation.

"It is a cultural gap, a cultural misunderstanding that caused the uproar.

"The symbol to me was that of friendship," he was reported as saying. "There is a saying in English that a dog is a man's best friend."

"There has always been a great friendship with animals, especially dogs, in America".

Mr Garner said that the cartoon was meant to depict "the spirit of goodwill and friendship that exists between the two countries".

Sure Bill. The Washington Times, btw, has apparently removed the cartoon from their web-site. But thanks to the Washington Socialite the cartoon has been preserved.

It would be nice if the so-called liberal media would dig just a tiny bit further than Scott McClellan and Powerline for their analysis of world events. But then, why should they? According to the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, the White House is just having a bit of fun. (And apparently covering Tony Blankley's ample hindquarters.)