Empty Days

Friday, April 16, 2004



US mil wants its own tv in Iraq

Yeah, and they think that will compete with Al-Jazeera. Already after the invasion, when the US took over Iraq state tv and started to broadcast their very own vision of things, it didn't really stand up to those proliferating satellite dishes broadcasting native Arab networks. What do you expect - it's not like the military is such a great show, especially an occupying military.

And what about Al-Hurray! (actually, it's Al-Hurra) - arabic US satellite tv beaming from West Virginia or something like that? Gov sponsored-funded, claiming to be "balanced and independent". I don't hear it swaying minds very much out there.

But anyway. Let the americans find out for themselves that things require more than just equipment and good intentions. In US they had Air America trying to stand up to the right-wing talk-radio - and going off the air in a flash. It wasn't such a bad idea - the problem is that it never had a real market nor a real message to hook up to. Same prospect for all these naive US Marine efforts at imposing their ideas on a population that finds them less than credible and probably pretty ridiculous in their lack of clues.

If the Marines can get these moribund stations back on the air, the coverage area would include Fallujah and Ramadi. The VHF/ UHF stations are owned as cooperatives by TV-competent Iraqis already vetted by the Army. Some broadcast Al-Jazeera for lack of other content. In return for the upgrades, the Iraqi operators would be asked two things: Criticism is fine, but don't run anti-coalition propaganda; and let the Marines buy air time to broadcast public-service announcements, such as the reopening of schools or clinics--or indeed, pending military operations.

Here's the message - we bomb you but we love you, you terrorists, you.
Right :-0

[ Retraction: I am told Air America is doing good and expanding, despite some financial disputes - wrong example then. And good luck to the Marines after all - maybe they'll score a big hit with their local tv, showing Sesame Street in arabic or something :) ]





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