Al-Jazeerah Once More

| Wed Jun. 22, 2005 4:58 PM PDT

No interest in talking about Dick Durbin anymore, sorry, but I do want to highlight a comment found over at Instapundit by one of our typically "clever" conservative friends:

The damage is done, and al-Jazeera isn't likely to tout Dickie's retraction with much vigor.

The idea here, as is common around conservative parts, is that al-Jazeerah, in its never-ending quest to undercut and undermine the United States, went full throttle with Durbin's original Gitmo remarks, but won't air the apology. The slander here—that al-Jazeerah exists solely to support a vast network of anti-American insurgents and terrorists—is fairly brainless. Look at recent events: Marc Lynch points out here that al-Jazeerah was earlier playing up an offhand comment by Condoleeza Rice giving support to protestors in Egypt. Lynch also has an account here of a recent al-Jazeerah show in which various scholars and thinkers were invited to respond to and criticize the latest video from al-Qaeda's #2, Ayman al-Zawihiri.

What we have here, of course, is a (mostly) free press and lively political debate going on, exactly the sort of thing that's going to spur dialogue and reform around the Middle East. Now it's understandable that the right-wingers who would prefer not to have an open debate about Guantanamo here at home also despise al-Jazeerah for doing the same thing abroad, but they could at least be open and honest about what they're objecting to. The idea that al-Jazeerah is in bed with Islamic terrorism just doesn't stand up—especially in light of news like this.

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