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Skip to comments.Arab Media Accept Iraq Is Crumbling
Posted on 04/04/2003 5:48:45 PM PST by blam
Arab media accept Iraq is crumbling
By Gerald Butt in Nicosia
The truth is beginning to dawn on the Arab world. After two and a half weeks of denial, sections of the Arab press are finally accepting that Iraqi resistance is crumbling.
"US forces announce control of the southern entrance to Baghdad," was the banner headline in the semi-official Cairo daily al-Ahram, while al-Akhbar talked of "ferocious clashes as the invading forces reach Baghdad airport - squadrons of American tanks and personnel carriers advance on the capital".
Al-Riyadh in Saudi Arabia said "it appears that the battle for Baghdad is about to start - if it has not done so already".
The Kuwaiti al-Qabas pointed out that the US assault on Baghdad airport started "only hours after the Iraqi ministry of information had taken correspondents there to show that it was still in the hands of the regime".
But some Gulf papers continued to play down the developments. The lead item of al-Ittihad in the United Arab Emirates was Baghdad's denial that coalition forces controlled any town in Iraq. Al-Bayan carried Iraqi claims that the allies were nowhere near the capital. In Yemen, the daily al-Gumhoriya made no mention of the impending battle for Baghdad, concentrating instead on Iraqi resistance within Basra.
Most Arab satellite television channels reported the statements of coalition commanders about the advance on Baghdad without comment and without pictures. All the while they continued to show live footage from the capital, with reporters saying they were unaware of any coalition presence near the city.
Most Arab news channels carried live a press conference by Mohammed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi information minister, and gave prominence to his assertion that it would be "hard for the American marines to get out of the Baghdad airport area alive".
Reality is so hard to accept, particularly for Muslims, it would seem. But at least they have Al-Jazeera on their side, whipping the brush fires.
....and in a note from Anwar Sadat....
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