George Bush, the US president, has criticised Arabic television for giving a false impression of the United States – but admitted that Americans needed to do a better job of communicating their ideals.
“You can’t figure out America when you’re looking on some of these TV stations – you just can’t – particularly given the message that they spread,” he said. “Arabic TV does not do our country justice.”
“They … sometimes put out propaganda that just isn’t right, it isn’t fair, and it doesn’t give people the impression of what we’re about.”
“We need intelligence officers who, when somebody says something in Arabic or Farsi or Urdu, know what they’re talking about,” Bush said. [source]
This is most likely a jab at Al Jazeera. I wonder what Arabic TV could possibly be showing that is giving such a false impression of the US? I am almost certain the US is occupying an Arab nation but I cannot verify that right now.
Regardless of what Arabic TV stations are showing these days, I’m thinking the US has some problems of its own when it comes to TV and the impression they give out to the world.
Case in point…
Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.
“He was dividing God’s land, and I would say, ‘Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America,'” Robertson told viewers of his long-running television show, “The 700 Club.”
“God says, ‘This land belongs to me, and you’d better leave it alone,'” he said.
Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, compared Robertson’s remarks to the overheated rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
the Anti-Defamation League criticized Robertson for warning that God would “bring judgment” against Israel for its withdrawal from Gaza, which it had occupied since the 1967 Mideast war.
He linked Sharon’s health problems to the 1995 assassination of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the Oslo peace accords that granted limited self-rule to Palestinians.
“It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, now he’s dead,” Robertson said. [source]
First, I don’t know many people who go around saying “woe unto” in everyday speech, so kudos to Robertson for bringing the old slang back.
Second, I find it strange that God, in being Almighty and Just, would take a land away from one people and give it to another. Isn’t that a sort of a contradiction with the whole God job description?
Third, obviously what is being said here is that Sharon is suffering because he didn’t make Palestinians suffer enough in his lifetime.
The punishment for not making Palestinians suffer?
Pat Robertson and people like him are the lowest form of scum. They use religion to make money. Disgusting!
Good comments. It is odd that he has a go at al-Jazeera. Arabs, it seems to me, know exactly what American ideals and goals are. They are not in the dark about them. The bigger problem is that Arabs DONT LIKE these stated goals and some of the ideals. Arabs dont need to have them explained to them, they need America to listen to their concerns about these things.
I have found, as an American, that the average Arab is FAR more versed on American politics than most Americans are. Why? Americans take it for granted whereas Arabs know that rightly or wrongly, everything America does will effect them.
I think, having watched Arabic news from al Arabiya, to al Manar all the way to al Jazeera, that these news sources do a better job of transmitting a proper picture of America than American news media do of letting Americans know about Arabs and the Middle East.
We are occupying a country in the Middle East, in the heart of the Islamic world, and Americans, on the whole, dont have the first bit of knoweldge about the history or politics of the area. The same cannot be said of Arabs.
hehe, nasnas, I love your comments!
This Pat Zifton is unbelievable! I don’t understand why people support him when most of what he says is junk! It’s just unbelievable!!!!
Yasmine, the funny thing is that we in the muslim world have a considerable number of religious figures who are exactly like Pat Robertson with even more followers.
I do not need george Bush to tell me that we have the wrong idea of America and the arab channels are not putting the correct image of America across. As an English MUSLIM With an arab Husband I fully realiase what is happening in the World Today . An Illegal war in Iraq , the illegal use of Chemical weapons in Iraq. Torture of prisoners in aBu Gharib, Guatanoma Bay , and the kidnaping of muslims and the Illegal Rendition (KIDNAPPING OF PEOPLE TO BE TORTURED IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES BECAUSE ITS ILLEGAL TO TORTURE THEM IN Americ). Also the total support for Israel even when Israel point blank ignores all UN resolutions against it.