Tags: Al | Jazeera | Obama

Al-Jazeera for Obama

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2008 03:42 PM

By Cliff Kincaid

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Colin Powell’s predicted and expected endorsement of Barack Obama was transformed into big news by the pro-Obama media. But Arab propaganda channel Al-Jazeera’s intervention in the U.S. presidential contest is also extremely significant.

Al-Jazeera, a mouthpiece for enemies of the United States, aired a Moammar Gadhafi speech praising Obama and followed with a story depicting supporters of Sarah Palin as white, racist Christians. The channel is subsidized by the oil-rich Sunni Muslim plutocracy/dictatorship in Qatar.

The Al-Jazeera “reporter” who did the hit piece on Palin was Casey Kaufmann, who surfaces in Federal Election Commission (FEC) records as a $500 contributor to the Obama-for-president campaign and is based in Doha, Qatar.

The first plank in Al-Jazeera’s “code of ethics” includes a statement about “giving no priority to commercial or political considerations over professional ones,” which would seem to preclude political activities and contributions.

Kaufmann apparently didn’t get a copy of the ethics code when he was hired by the terrorist propaganda channel and made his $500 contribution to Obama. The contribution was recorded by the FEC back in February, before he made his way to Ohio to a Palin rally in search of ways to smear the GOP vice-presidential nominee.

It’s no wonder that former ABC newsman Dave Marash, once considered the “American face” of the English-language version of the channel, quit in disgust in March. He cited anti-American bias and other factors.

We’re probably asking too much if we request that Al-Jazeera take its ethics code down from its official Web site since it’s painfully clear that the rules don’t apply to Kaufmann or anybody else at the channel. It’s to Marash’s credit that he had the honesty and integrity to quit.

Al-Jazeera is the mouthpiece for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups and inspires foreign Muslim fighters to go to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to kill Americans. Accuracy in Media produced a documentary about the channel, warning U.S. cable and satellite providers to beware of its incendiary programming.

Our video showed clips of terrorists saying they went to Iraq to kill Americans because of what they saw on Al-Jazeera.

Among other things, we noted that Al-Jazeera’s first managing director was an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime and that one of its Afghanistan reporters, Tayseer Alouni, went to prison in Spain on terrorism charges. Al-Jazeera paid Alouni’s salary, legal fees, and “related expenses” during his trial and continues to defend him.

Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, has called Al-Jazeera “today’s greatest recruiter for terrorism.” Daniel Pearl was murdered by al-Qaida.

In July of this year, Pearl notes, Al-Jazeera threw a birthday party for Samir Kuntar, a released terrorist who had smashed the head of a 4-year-old girl with his rifle butt in 1979 after killing her father before her eyes. Kuntar had been released by Israel in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, who were kidnapped by Hezbollah in 2006.

Kuntar’s birthday party was “initiated and choreographed by Al-Jazeera’s bureau in Beirut and aired on Al-Jazeera TV July 19,” Pearl noted.

“Brother Samir,” the interviewer says, “we would like to celebrate your birthday with you. You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners if they can see this program now are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday, brother Samir.”

One of the regular personalities on Al-Jazeera is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has inflamed Sunni-Shia tensions in the Muslim world, in addition to encouraging suicide bombings against Americans. He has been banned from entering the U.S.

Now the terrorist channel has turned its sights on the American presidential election, intervening in an effort to make those in the U.S. opposed to Obama appear to the outside world as white Christian racists. The YouTube video of Kaufmann’s report has been viewed by more than 1 million people.

In another interesting video that has surfaced on Al-Jazeera, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi is shown giving a speech in which he describes Obama as someone with an “African and Islamic identity” running for president of the U.S. with Arab and Muslim backing. WorldNetDaily was the first national website to highlight these comments, which were monitored by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man [Obama] . . . [and] may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns” to his campaign, said Gadhafi. The Libyan dictator described Obama as “a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.”

The Gadhafi address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008.

While Gadhafi is pumping up the crowds on behalf of Obama abroad, Casey Kaufmann’s assignment was to find some controversial Palin supporters making controversial comments, in order to depict Obama’s opposition in the U.S. as racist rabble. It was “mission accomplished” for Kaufmann’s Arab backers and financial sponsors.

Predictably, far-left Web sites such as the Huffington Post were quick to exploit the Kaufmann report in order to make anti-Republican points.

“Hate and fear are still powerful forces in American society,” stated Kaufmann, in a report that was headlined as revealing popular “misconceptions” about the Democratic presidential nominee.

What were those misconceptions? According to Kaufmann’s report, some of the people in Ohio thought Obama had links to terrorists. Is it possible they came to this conclusion because of Obama’s actual and documented association with terrorists?

Others in Kaufmann’s piece thought that Obama and his wife may harbor anti-white views. Could this conclusion be based on Obama’s association over a 20-year period with a racist like Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

The facts, of course, didn’t matter to Kaufmann.

We don’t know how many Palin people were interviewed in order to find the select few who surfaced in the report and made disparaging remarks about Obama and Obama’s supporters. But Colbert King of the Washington Post was sufficiently impressed by this propaganda piece that he wrote about Al-Jazeera’s visit to a “white working class community” in Ohio in an October 18 column under the inflammatory headline, “A Rage No One Should Be Stoking.” King, who is black, is offended that some white people don’t like Obama or what he stands for. King is himself angry because Palin and McCain have belatedly begun focusing attention on Obama’s ties to terrorists who killed Americans.

But realizing that he would look like a complete fool if he offered up anti-American propaganda from Al-Jazeera without any critical comment, King posed the big question: “Was this fodder served up by Al-Jazeera to feed anti-American sentiment overseas?” He answered himself: “To be sure. But the camera didn’t lie. Did Al-Jazeera, however, record the whole truth?”

King’s conclusion was that the only way the Al-Jazeera report would turn out to be untrue is if Obama is elected president. In other words, white people have to prove they’re not racists by voting for Obama. On the other hand, if record numbers of blacks vote for Obama, in the 90-95 percent range, that is not by definition racism. This is the double-standard that is being used to browbeat whites into voting for Obama. King knows that if Obama doesn’t get a significant percentage of the white vote, he will lose.

Kaufmann’s cameras did lie, of course, in failing to explain why Americans believe Obama has links to terrorists and racists. One point of Kaufmann’s piece was that Americans are racist if they take note of the racism that shaped Obama. So Palin’s supporters couldn’t come out looking good no matter what. This is what made Kaufmann’s story an amateurish piece of foreign propaganda. It was almost laughable.

Al-Jazeera has the right to produce such trash and distribute it around the world. But the Kaufmann “report” will serve as another reason why major U.S. cable and satellite providers should have second thoughts about putting this propaganda on the air on a regular basis. It’s too bad that columnists for the Post don’t have higher standards.

Cliff Kincaid is the editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.

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