Monday, January 7, 2013

Al Gore Sells Out (to al-Jazeera)

by Barry Rubin

What would you call it if a former vice-president of the United States had sold his television network to a fascist or Communist front group at a time when such forces threatened America? Nothing very nice. But now Al Gore has sold out his admittedly obscure channel to al-Jazeera and taken a position on its board. Here's an interview of myself on this issue.

1.) Is Al Jazeera a news station a former American vice president should want to associate with?

Absolutely not. There are multiple reasons. 

First, al-Jazeera was originally run by Arab nationalists but these people were replaced by Islamists about four or so years ago. It is thus a radical media outlet run by people who are anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, and anti-Western. In other words, it is an instrument of extremist revolutionary movements. On a number of occasions it has lent itself to promote and be used by violent terrorist groups.

Second, while al-Jazeera is more open to dissenting views than previous state-controlled media this is misleading. It is more open in English than in Arabic but former staffers in the English-language section have spoken about how it is not a free agent but the news is slanted to please the Qatari government which owns it. (They wanted to moderate the tone but the management objected because the owners wouldn't like it.) So al-Jazeera is also an instrument of concealed propaganda.

Third, when al-Jazeera does have on dissenting views it tends to follow a formula. On a discussion show there is a radical and a moderate. The host sides with the radical and the callers always seem to be 100 percent radical (this reflects reality but also very possibly a selection by the station staff). The moderate is insulted and threatened. Thus much of the nominal openness is used to create a frenzy of hatred. Incidentally, the former Berlin correspondent spoke up publicly about al-Jazeera's lack of function as a free media outlet and dishonesty just a few days ago.

But there's more! Qatar, except for the (possibly soon to be overthrown) Syrian regime, is the most pro-Iran Arab government. It brokered the Fatah-Hamas deal which soon led to the Hamas coup. Far from objecting to the bloody Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, Qatar supported Hamas to this day. It is also the leading supplier of arms to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. On every issue, Qatar has taken a more radical, anti-American positions than all other Arab countries except Syria. It also was a key financier of the overthrow of the Libyan regime. This was in line with U.S. policy but there are deep suspicions that it has its own candidates for Libyan leadership in future more radical than the current regime.

So Gore had every reason to know what he was doing. 

2.) Do you think al-Jazeera is using Gore to gain legitimacy? 

Of course. They did this before by setting up their own organization in the United States and hiring some legitimate journalists who ended up resigning in disgust--notably David Marash--when they saw what it was like.

Remember that as a station Gore's property is worthless. No one watches it. The thing is being bought only to gain its access into American homes. 

Finally, a speculative point. Who is going to watch al-Jazeera most? Presumably the kind of individual who will find its ideology and indoctrination to be congenial. It will make them hate America, the West, real democracy, and Israel even more. As they watch al-Jazeera's exaggerations and fabrications of anti-Muslim violence as well as its glorification of terrorism, might they be more inclined to engage in violence?  

Read the rest

Barry Rubin


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with anything you have said. I never really have held Al Gore, like most politicians today, in any esteem.

With that said, I would call Al Gore a capitalist. He has simply sold something for (hopefully) a profit.

It's really no different than the average person buying Chinese made goods from the likes of Walmart. If you do some research it's not very hard to find out how much effort the Chinese put toward stealing the USA's most sensitive secrets, hardly the actions of a friend. The manipulation of the Chinese currency has also cost the US economy jobs and treasure yet people still flock to buy Chinese products. What would you call them??

Someone once told me that we live in a global economy and I should 'get used to it'! I'm still not 'used to it'!

Sally Zahav said...

There is something to what you say - buying inexpensive foreign goods instead of American products is capital-driven, just as Al Gore's selling out to Al-Jazeera. But selling out to Al Jazeera is essentially different and far worse. While buying foreign made products may harm the US economy, the negative effect of the purchase is clear and limited primarily to the economy (bad enough). But Al-Jazeera, which supports and promotes the Muslim Brotherhood, means to subvert the Western way of life. The potential negative effect of Al-Jazeera in America could be quite significant. Just look at how Al-Jazeera has driven the "Arab Spring". And bear in mind as well, that Al Gore refused to sell to Glenn Beck for ideological reasons! What does that say about Al Gore and his ideology?

Anonymous said...

Sally, I have no problem with what you say. Clearly the Muslims have an agenda in the US (and elsewhere) and many of the people who stay uninformed still have no clue. However, the Chinese also have an agenda and the damage they do to the US (and elsewhere), while different can be just as damaging.

This country has huge problems, not just Al Gore selling out to Al-Jazeera. No politician (or political party) has the spine to do what it takes to begin to address the true cause of the problems here in the US. Why should they? It was many of their policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

What Al Gore did was wrong. However, it's not any more wrong than many other policies that are destroying this country. Focusing on Al Gore just means we are ignoring the others.

The problems in the US are on both sides of the aisle, not just one! The brakes are out on the train we are riding. Those that have a chance to get the train slowed don't even think there is a problem!

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