Friday, April 14, 2006

Ineffective Communication (II)

The opinion article about the BBC/Arabic spotlights a sense of bias could be felt in the editing policy of the Arabic staff. The writer says:
“The tendency and philosophy of the BBC implies an intended idea which introduces the US as the axis of evil, sin, and wrongdoing…Such policy provides the old pattern of Arab culture with an excuse for its failure and incompetence.This perspective put the blame for the failure on ‘The Other’ shoulders. The other in the present-day is the US.”

On the other hand, the Americans keep on introducing raw material for the anti-American propagandists. Regardless the matter of transparency, revealing stories like Abu Ghraib pictures or giving statements like the one by Secretary Condoleezza Rice at
Chatham House on March 31, 2006
when she said:

“So my point to you is that yes, I know we've made tactical errors -- thousands of them, I'm sure.”

The sentence is extracted from the whole text so that it gives another meaning. No Arab propagandist referred to other ideas said by Secretary Rice in the same lecture, like:

“The criticism assumes that human beings are slaves to their culture, not the authors of it. Liberal democracy is unique because it is both principle and process…And we must support the millions of Iraqi patriots who are striving nobly to redeem their country.”

Abu Ghraib, Secretary Rice statement, and many other issues debated in democratic societies like of the US, represent good material for the Arab nationalists to harp on. Dr. Shaker Nabulsi, a liberal Jordanian writer, says that the American-Iraqi project of democracy is confronted by the Egyptian media machine and Saudi funds.

Drawing a devilish portrait of the US is so easy in the Middle East, since the governing conflict is the Palestinian cause. The following cartoon, by Moayad Nimma, may summarize how the peoples of the region view the US attitude toward the Palestinians in particular and the Arabs in general:
The group of people which works hard to regain power in Iraq is free to move in every direction, since there are no moral or ethical principles limit their deeds. They follow the same policies of Saddam era by terrifying the majority. It makes use of the rules enforced by the Americans in Iraq of being free to speak. Recruiting every Arab nationalist medium to exaggerate every mistake made by the US is the pivot around which this propaganda rotates. On the other hand they threaten anybody who tries to say a word in favor of democracy or the US. It is not easy, or impossible, to say publicly a word of thank to the US people for their contribution in overthrowing Saddam. I can say that the majority of the Iraqis feel grateful to the US, but no one can express it openly.

What I’m trying to say that these speeches delivered by President Bush have no effect on our societies compared to the Arab nationalism propaganda. Mr. Bush effort alone is not sufficient to bridge the ‘big gap that crosses that ocean’ as described by Shmeem Rassam to President Bush. One may ask: any idea?

To be continued…


Blogger olivebranch said...

great post and yes
I have an idea. I have even began working on it.

George Bush and his White House cronies have no hope at influencing the people in Iraq or the Middle East, nor do they have a hope of educating Americans and the West of what Iraq and the Mid East is truely like.

On the other hand we as bloggers do. Just by writing that article and me reading it you have helped me feel like what I am doing over at the Olivebranch Network ( is worth my time and effort.

The Olivebranch Network is an attempt to take the words of Iraqi's and others who have served, worked or lived in Iraq- and explain how things are in Iraq and the culture. To show things as they are not as the media deems fit.

Through education we can reduce ignorance and it is ignorance wich breeds war and arrogance. If we here in the west are less arrogant and egotistical about our role in the Mid East- then those in the Mid East will have less ammunition given to them. For our leaders will be less able to get away with their stupidity and irresponsible comments.

go have a look at the Olivebranch Network please, I think you will like what you read!

aka [olivebranch] -

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points.

This is a great blog that has a vision - (unlike the Islamist blogs).


10:32 AM  

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