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The Media Images Both Sides Want To Sell
Afghanistan's ViewUS and British View
The Afghanistan's Focus & The US and British Focus

October 13, 2001

'Food mixed with blood'

( Al-Ahram Weekly ) Even before Sunday's massive first strike against Afghanistan US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could have claimed what he claimed on Tuesday. "We can now carry (air) strikes, more or less around the clock, as we wish," he told reporters, announcing that three days of heavy pounding of Afghanistan had destroyed more than 85 per cent of Taliban's air defences. Full Article

There isn't a target in Afghanistan worth a $1m missile

Mohamed Heikal, the Arab world's foremost political commentator, talks to Stephen Moss

It feels surreal to be talking to Mohamed Heikal, the Arab world's most respected political commentator and the former foreign minister of Egypt, in the lounge of Claridge's, one of London's swishest hotels. As the missiles rain down on Afghanistan, Heikal unveils his vision of the possible chaos ahead to the accompaniment of a tinkling piano and a lilting clarinet. Rarely has the gulf between west and east, first world and third, seemed so great. Full Article

Censorship Comes to America

By Bob Djurdjevic

It feels "Free press exists if you own one" (A.J. Liebling, New York Times)

First he cuts off the flow of "classified" information to all but eight members of the American people's representatives in Congress. Then he lashes out at the American media for acting "irresponsibly" by showing an Osama bin Laden videotaped statement released after the start of our bombing of Afghanistan. Then he goes on national TV to urge American kids to donate money for the Afghan children who manage to survive his bombs.

Imperial autocracy coupled with arrogance laced with cynicism. In its wake, (voluntary) censorship is coming to America, "the land of the (once) free." Full Article

Striking hazardous chords

(Amira Howeidy) America is the enemy; it has killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Palestine and Hiroshima. It applies double standards. It is fighting Islam. Then he demanded that every Muslim rise and defend the faith. And finally, he threatened more suffering. He "pledged" that, as long as there is no security in Palestine, and as long as US forces remain in Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Americans, innocent or not, who live there, will never feel safe.

The words struck. So did the image of a thin, weak man in an unknown desert or mountain far away, confounding 36 military bases, and squadrons of US-UK war planes. "The US made a myth out of him," Fahmy Howeidy, a prominent columnist in Al-Ahram newspaper, said. "Bin Laden now stands for challenge and compensates for hurt dignity. If he is killed now, he will be an idol. He has won 50 per cent of the media war. The more the strikes, the more popular he will be." Full Article

Anti-US protests worldwide

( Guardian UK ) Malaysian police sprayed chemical-laced water at about 2,500 supporters of a Muslim opposition party demonstrating peacefully outside the American embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, as they knelt on prayer mats to begin their afternoon prayers in defiance of police orders.

The Pan-Malaysia Islamic party crowd had gathered outside the embassy at about 2pm after Friday prayers. A small delegation was allowed in to deliver a protest note while the majority shouted anti-US slogans and brandished placards of Osama bin Laden. Full Article

The Battle of the Gods and Holy Land

( John Williams ) As we the ordinary people of the world keep looking on at the scenario unfolding and being played out right before our very eyes. One cannot help but notice it is a virtual Battle of the Gods taking place. On the one hand there are the people in the West invoking their Christian God every step of the way in dealing with the present crisis. And on the other, there are the people of Islam/Muslims invoking their God with every step and in several cases their final ones have deadly consequences all on behalf of their professed love for their God. Full Article

Anti-aircraft fire beats back US bombars on 'day-6'

On the 'Day Six', on Friday the Afghan capital, Kabul, again come under heavy air attacks with American warplanes launching a series of raids, drawing anti-aircraft fire from Taleban forces, belying claims that the coalition had secured total control of skies in the war, even as ruling Afghan militia alleged that a large number of civilians were killed overnight in the heaviest US raids to date against cities and towns across their battered country.

American planes bombed the Mazar-e-Sharif airport and the 18th army division of the Islamic Taliban as the western coalition's war on terrorism continued in Afghanistan, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said today. Full Article

Tony Blair's director of communications urges BBC to censor bin Laden videos

The Government is to demand that broadcasters consider censoring video messages from Osama bin Laden, after allegations that the BBC was allowing the leader of the al-Qaida network an 'easy ride' in the propaganda war. Full Article

Now US blames Saddam Hussein for anthrax outbreaks

In what seems to be a desire by some Americans to widen the scope of their military actions, there are claims that Saddam Hussein is behind the anthrax outbreaks. Full Article

Iraqi was terrorism suspect

ByChristopher P. Winner

U.S. intelligence officials had expressed concern that Iraqi diplomats in Prague were acting as terrorist go-betweens before this country moved to expel an Iraqi Embassy official last April, according to a senior U.S. government official.

Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, listed as the second consul at Iraq's Prague embassy, was expelled April 26 for "activities exceeding his diplomatic duties." Full Article