Of Course It's True
I was busy yesterday so I didn't get to comment on the amazing story that Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera headquarters. I think what surprised me the most is that anyone thinks that it might not true. Of course, it's true.
Juan Cole leads us through the evidence, the most compelling being that he blew the shit out of two other Al Jazeera offices!:
The US military bombed the Kabul offices of Aljazeera in mid-November, 2001.
The US military hit the Aljazeerah offices in Baghdad on the 9th of April, 2004, not so long before Bush's conversation with Blair. That attack killed journalist Tarek Ayoub, who had a 3 year old daughter. He had said earlier, "We've told the Pentagon where all our offices are in Iraq and hung giant banners outside them saying `TV.''' Given what we now know about Bush's intentions, that may have been a mistake.
When the US and the UN shoe-horned old-time CIA asset Iyad Allawi into power as transitional prime minister, he promptly banned Aljazeera in Iraq. The channel still did fair reporting on Iraq, finding ways of buying video film and doing enlightening telephone interviews.
Having blown up two Al Jazeera offices and having his puppet shutting down remaining operations in Iraq, I have to say that I think the onus is on Bush to prove that he didn't want to blow up the Al Jazeera headquarters in Qater. Fool me once, won't get fooled again and all that.
One of these days, journalists are going to have to face the fact that they are considered by the Cheney admnistration to be "fair game" in the GWOT. And it isn't just the hostile Arab press. The Republicans have made it quite clear that anyone who implies that the Americans are on the wrong track or are behaving in less than gallant ways, are traitors.
This little t-shirt pitch encapsulates the beliefs of many on the right, I'm afraid:
The Marine who killed the wounded insurgent in Fallujah deserves our praise and admiration. In a split second decision, he acted valiantly.
On the otherhand, Kevin Sites of NBC is a traitor. Beheading civilians, booby-trapped bodies, suicide bombers?? Sorry hippie, American lives come first. Terrorists don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. This Marine deserves a medal and Kevin Sites, you deserve a punch in the mouth.
Via Atrios and Steve Clemons, I see that Frank Cakewalk actually uses the phrase "fair game" in reference to al Jazeera:
Gaffney: We're talking about a news organization, so called, that is promoting bin Laden, that is promoting Zawahiri, that is promoting Zarqawi, that is promoting beheadings, that is promoting suicide bombers, that is other ways enabling the propaganda aspects of this war to be fought by our enemies, and I think that puts it squarely in the target category.
Whether the best way to do it is with bombs or through other means is something we could discuss, but I think it's fair game, under these circumstances, given the way it conducts itself.
These "moral clarity" guys really take my breath away.