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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Arabic press spotlights media

Tuesday's Arabic press looks at the way the war is being covered in the world's media. One paper criticises the BBC for putting "patriotism before objectivity".

US Secretary of State Colin Powell's warning to Syria and Iran not to support "terrorist groups" also features. The papers see it as heralding a dangerous escalation of the war, and say Arabs must unite in the face of the threat.

The sharp attack by [US Defence Secretary] Rumsfeld... against al-Jazeera for showing footage of children whose heads were smashed by American bombs... is an indication of US double standards in dealing with international conventions. In fact all US TV stations showed the massacre of Iraqi troops withdrawing from Kuwait.

Likewise, it is no surprise to see the Vienna-based International Press Institute criticise British government ministers for trying to put pressure on the BBC over its reporting of the war on Iraq. In fact the BBC has on many occasions put patriotism before objectivity and credibility, and, very often, has abandoned its professional approach, which is a very regrettable matter.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi - London-based

With lies and deceit, the Iraqi regime has managed to control the media game and turn the tables on us by making its problems appear just in the eyes of the peoples of the Islamic world.

Al-Ra'y Al-Am - Kuwait

Effective media are based on facts. However, propaganda is based on intensive lies and as Arabs we have suffered a lot from that.

Al-Watan - Qatar

The Kuwaiti people will not forgive those who are applauding and drumming over their crisis. The free and democratic Iraqi state will soon, very soon, be established... no matter what the Arab media are doing.

Al-Watan - Kuwait

What will the official and unofficial satellite channels say after the Iraqi people are liberated... from the despot and his criminal clique? What will the al-Jazeera crew do?

Ukaz - Saudi Arabia

The call for jihad to confront the American-British war on Iraq is no surprise... but the Arab press are daily publishing articles, studies and counter-fatwas saying that the call for jihad in these circumstances is simply a way of... turning [inter-Arab] political differences into ideological ones. The Arab press has also overlooked the Arab regimes' responsibility for introducing religion into political disputes... in their belief that by doing this they will remain as an alternative to democracy and political pluralism.

Al-Hayat - London-based

The threats that Colin Powell is making against Syria and Iran are meant to buy time and distract the world from the difficult situation the Americans are facing in Iraq.

Al-Jazirah - Saudi Arabia

As was expected, the response came, decisive and quick, from beloved Syria... to Powell's threats over Syria's support to Iraq. Syria said its national and pan-Arab interest was to see the American-British aggression on Iraq defeated... Syria's firm stance is a lesson to many an Arab country now seeking to hide its head in the sand. Iran's leaders have not yet taken a position in line with the will of the Iranian people. There is no room for hesitation faced with this savage aggression.

Al-Arab al-Alamiyah - London-based

If Syria and Lebanon are targeted after Iraq this will bring continuous satisfaction to the war criminals and the usurpers of Palestinian lands.

Al-Khalij - UAE

The statement by Colin Powell carries a dangerous sentiment. Not only does it mean an escalation of war against Iraq, but it is also seen as a dangerous siren of war threatening the entire region.

Al-Bayan - UAE

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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