Arab Media Play Up Images of Civilians as War Victims

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 28, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Arab Media Play Up Images of Civilians as War Victims


Byline: Sharon Behn, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

While U.S. newspapers and television are filled with images of American troops helping injured Iraqi soldiers, media in the Arab and Muslim world are holding up pictures of Iraqi children killed and wounded in coalition air strikes.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday criticized the Arab media for coverage of the war, accusing some outlets of "misconstruing things and inflaming things" and calling on them to stick to the facts when it came to U.S. actions in Iraq.

Meanwhile, hackers furious at Al Jazeera's broadcast of dead or captured U.S. and British soldiers jammed the English-language online version of the Qatar-based satellite news channel, which is watched by an estimated 35 million viewers.

Those who did get through to the Web site were welcomed by a banner saying: "hacked by Patriot Freedom Cyber force Militia."

"It's completely flooded by people we suspect are in the United States," said Lawrence Smallman, who works for Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar.

Mr. Smallman said the U.S.-based data company that hosts the Web site has given the news channel until the end of the month to go somewhere else. He said the Al Jazeera site was likely to move to a French server.

The channel, unlike U.S. and British media outlets, has aired grisly pictures of dead and captured coalition forces igniting the ire of American and British governments, but attracting audiences in the Arab world.

The stark difference in war coverage reflects the deep divisions in how people around the world view the war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for refusing to comply with U.N. resolutions to disarm.

"We have a situation the marketplace in Baghdad where many people jumped to the conclusion that it must have been the U.

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Arab Media Play Up Images of Civilians as War Victims
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