Control Room

After hearing about it in this diavlog between Robert Wright and Khaled Dawoud, I just finished watching Control Room. It’s a documentary about Al Jazeera‘s coverage of the beginning of the Iraq War.

Watching the documentary, I was immediately struck by the people working at Al Jazeera. The Bush Administration called Al Jazeera the “voice of Osama Bin Laden” and made the network out to be propagandists for radical Islam. Yet, with few exceptions, everyone working there seemed to be moderate Arabs. None of the women were wearing veils, and I only saw one wearing a headscarf. In fact, some of their anchors are women (attractive women…in makeup, no less). This is not Taliban TV. They are rational and intelligent Arabs who happen to run the most popular television network in the Arab world. Why in the world would the Bush Administration alienate these people?

Perhaps the most telling scenes came when we see a scene taken from US television which shows Donald Rumsfeld criticizing Al Jazeera for spreading Iraqi propaganda (because they were showing video of civilians who died in US airstrikes) followed immediately by a scene from Iraqi TV showing Muhammad Saeed a-Sahhaf (also known as “Baghdad Bob”) criticizing Al Jazeera for spreading U.S. propaganda (because they interviewed American officials and reported from Centcom).

Anyway, it’s highly recommended.

Michael

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Explore posts in the same categories: Iraq War, Movies and Television

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