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Al Jazeera Staff NOT Guilty Criminally … But Not Innocent Either

August 30th, 2015 · 36 Comments

Three Al Jazeera journalists have been sentenced to three years in prison after being found GUILTY by an Egyptian court of failing to register as journalists as required under Egyptian law, importing equipment without security officials’ approval,   broadcasting “fasle news” and using a hotel as a broadcast point without permission.

The free world’s journalists, human rights activists and  politicians are quite right in protesting the CRIMINAL convictions of Egyptian Baher Mohamed, Australian Peter Greste and Canadian Mohammed Fahmy.

BUT don’t tell me the three are totally “innocent”.

Unlike almost all of those who have posed for pictures, issued press releases and organized campaigns on behalf of the three, I actually have WATCHED … or perhaps I should say monitored … Al Jazeera for a few years.

And there is NO DOUBT in my mind that Al Jazeera WAS and IS a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and was HIGHLY biased in supporting and even promoting its pro-Islamic agenda, downplaying its anti-democratic laws and the almost dictatorial imposition of autocratic rule by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.

That has always been my subjective opinion … arrived at by WATCHING their “news” … and I have written about this a year ago:

Al Jazeera operates out of and has very close financial/political ties with the government Qatar, an Arab dictatorship that has politically and financially supported not only the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities and agenda but also that of the UN-designated terrorist organization Hamas as well: they are NO innocents … and certainly NO great example of democracy for Egypt or any country to follow.

And the three convicted “journalists” were active members and participants in and promoters of Al Jazeera’s and Qatar’s agenda.

We should not forget that.

Canadian Fahmy  (who also held Egyptian citizenship) was Cairo Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera.  It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to believe … as a manager ….  he was not complicit and supportive and a promoter of what I clearly felt was and still is Al Jazeera’s biased reporting and agenda.

But is that criminal?  NO!   A lousy journalist or news manager perhaps … but that is not a criminal offence.

After all, the world today unfortunately features many other examples of what I would classify as biased “advocacy” disguised as news: Fox News,  CNN, MSNBC, BBC World  and CBC The National are a few I  have watched … and do not regard as fair and impartial.

I would condemn those who work for them as second-rate journalists or worse, procurers and distributors of biased propaganda  … and I would not want them to teach journalism to anyone  who really aspires to be a fair and impartial reporter of facts.

Criminals?   NO!    But NOT innocents, either!

In fact, Al Jazeera’s own Richard Gizbert (also a Canadian)  summed it up best in a recent promo for his own  program The Listening Post:

“Without a messenger, there is no story. ”

I would add: and no propaganda passed off as news either.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 36 CommentsTags: International · Media

Trudeau’s Truth May Cost Him … But I Like It!

August 27th, 2015 · 64 Comments

Kim Campbell paid dearly for being truthful.  I doubt she would have won the 1993 election anyway, but the pundits … and the voters …. all did her in when she dared to tell the truth: openly declaring election campaigns are not the time/place for serious discussions of the issues.

It’s true!

Canadians prefer to hear from Santa Claus during election campaigns: all kinds of hugely expensive spending promises; all kinds of new social programs; restoration of any and all cuts by the previous government; and yet, all kinds of tax cuts … without ANY deficits, fee increases etc. etc.!

And we don’t even have to leave any cookies or milk out!

So far, for the most part, in this election you should almost expect to see not only Santa Claus on the ballot, but Houdini too  … at least instead of Harper or Mulcair.  BOTH have promised balanced budgets. Despite current economic data, in the case of the Tories, or billions in spending promises, in the case of the NDP.

Presto, change-o, of course, as soon as the new government is sworn in!

Blame the books being worse than they ever knew; blame worsening world economic conditions; blame Rudolph or the reindeer… no doubt there would be DELAYS in program introductions/improvements or tax/fee INCREASES … likely both.

No?   Name ONE government in Canada, federally or provincially, that has NOT done at least some of that!  Miraculously making progress just before their NEXT election, but not before they HIT us just after the one which elected them and their promises.

This time, though, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been different … trying truth as an election ploy.

Thursday, he said a Liberal government will double spending across the country on major infrastructure projects … spending $125 Billion to stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs.

To do that, a Liberal government would increase the annual deficit by up to $10 Billion in each of the next three years. Trudeau said the budget would be balanced in 2019.

That, he said, is the truth.

Can Canadians handle that?

Mulcair immediately condemned the Liberal leader’s plan: insisting an NDP government will run BALANCED BUDGETS despite all its promises so far and no doubt more to come. However, he has NOT revealed ALL the program cuts, tax increases that would HAVE to be introduced by an NDP government to accomplish that.

It’s time for him to tell us!

Harper also mocked Trudeau’s announcement and warned a Liberal government would run deficits all the time.  Harper, meanwhile, won’t even concede Canada is currently in a recession, despite all the statistics over the past six months that indicate negative growth …and petroleum-based resource prices continuing to fall. And he seems to forget that he himself has run seven deficits since the  2009 economic downturn.

It will be interesting to see how ordinary voters … not the partisan sheep so often contributing comments on here … react to Trudeau’s announcement … and honesty.

Or will they still cling to the belief … and hope …that Santa Claus still exists.

The polls next week will be REALLY interesting!

Harv Oberfeld

→ 64 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National