Monday, November 21, 2005

Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera

A big ten gallon hat tip goes to Corpus Callosum for this blockbuster. It appears there is a new Downing Street memo in circulation that details the wishes of president Bush to bomb the headquartersof Al Jazeera in Quatar.
The five-page transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals that Blair talked Bush out of launching a military strike on the station, unnamed sources told the anti-war-in-Iraq daily.

The transcript of the pair's talks during Blair's April 16, 2004 visit to Washington allegedly shows Bush wanted to attack the satellite channel's headquarters.

Blair allegedly feared such a strike, in the business district of Doha, the capital of Qatar, a key western ally in the Persian Gulf, would spark revenge attacks.

The Mirror quoted an unnamed British government official as saying Bush's threat was "humorous, not serious".

Al-Jazeera's perspectives on the war in Iraq have drawn criticism from Washington since the US-led March 2003 invasion.

The station has broadcast messages from Al-Qaeda terror network chief Osama bin Laden and the beheadings of Western hostages by insurgents in Iraq, as well as footage of dead coalition servicemen and Iraqi civilians killed in fighting.

A source told the Mirror: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do -- and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

Another source said: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."
My oh my. This certainly puts a different outlook on the question raised back in 2003 as to whether or not Al Jazeera was being targeted by our military. As quoted in the above link:
November 19th, 2001 – The Guardian reported about the bomb that destroyed Al-Jazeera’s offices in Kabul, Afghanistan. The reports states, “Al-Jazeera certainly believes it was a target. Speaking on the telephone to News World from Qatar, its chief editor, Ibrahim Hilal, said he believed that it's Kabul office had been on the Pentagon's list of targets since the beginning of the conflict”.

The same report quotes spokesman, US Col. Brian Hoey as saying, "The US military does not and will not target media. We would not, as a policy, target news media organisations - it would not even begin to make sense."
Well it is beginning to make sense in hindsight Col. Hoey. The article has a series of events that tend to show that the military was actively targeting Al Jazeera and other independent news organizations.

So now we may begin to comprehend why it was that American media simply rolled over and played dead for the first 4 1/2 years of this administration. They made an example of Al Jazeera when it came to news coverage that did not kow tow to the administration. Thank god Mr. Blair has the sense to talk him out of it. Bomb Qatar... now thats a real doozy.

You are either "fer us" or "agin us"...
Hi, Frik! Carrie posted about your latest accomplishment. Well, as much as the censors there allowed. ;)

I suppose I should at least comment on this posting of yours. I'm a Libertarian and have issues with both Dems and Repubs. Take my comments in that lighting.

I disagree with the idea that this is damaging to Bush. Firstly, the offices in Afghanistan were in a war zone. Was it with a wink and an "Ooops"? Probably. Still, it was a war zone and while many argue against going into Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is generally seen more positively.

Secondly, and more importantly, you are arguing about something Bush allegedly WANTED to do but, never did. We all WANT to do things. Some of them are unacceptable. If he bombed the office in Qatar it would have had far reaching consequences. That would be an attack on not just Al Jazeera but, Qatar and the media in general. To find any traction in real life, the Democrats should focus on real events and not who Bush would have LIKED to have passed gas in front of but, didn't.
Hey Britt :)

The damaging aspect here isn't what did not occur. It is the mindset of president Bush. The notion that Tony Blair had to talk him out of this is simply mind boggling. I mean what does it say of the man that he even considered this course of action? Bomb Qatar? The scary thing is, what this story purports to demonstrate could even be true. And with this presidents track record... one must wonder why we even have to speculate about it.
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