Earlier this week, I appeared on The Other Direction, Al Jazeera’s equivalent of Nightline, which is hosted by Dr. Faisal Al-Qassim from the headquarters at Doha, Qatar. For an hour I had a lively debate with a Sunni sheik from the area of Mosul, who asserted that no Sunni sheiks of honor would ever join with the coalition. Both Dr. Faisal and the sheik repeatedly asserted as fact that American forces have killed 1.2 million Iraqi civilians, citing one of those European studies that combine dubious methodology with the premise that all deaths in Iraq over and above the natural pre-Saddam death rate are due to the occupation, and therefore have been killed directly or indirectly by the U.S.
Today I learned that In a recent article in a Syrian newspaper, the very gracious Dr. Faisal compared U.S. media to Nazi propaganda:
If Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s famous propaganda minister, were alive today, he would be demanding extensive compensation from the American media. Indeed, why not? This media is using his propaganda methods of premeditated and systematic lies, implementing them in toto without mentioning the inventor.
In response I wrote Dr. Faisal the following email:
Dear Dr. Faisal,
I have learned of your recent comparison of U.S. media to Nazi propaganda. I was surprised and somewhat confused that you would write this, since the essential message of Nazi propaganda was that (a) the western democracies are corrupt, (b) they are controlled by a capitalist conspiracy dominated by Jews, and (c) their purpose is to oppress the poor people of the world. Since this is also and often the message of Al Jazeera, I ask you — do you mean this comparison to Nazi propaganda as a compliment?
I thank you in advance for your response, and for permission to publish it. Thank you once again for inviting me to appear on your show earlier this week. I would be honored to return. And please accept my best wishes to you in this month of Ramadan.
No response yet.