Bombing Al Jazeera -
- ...more devastating than the direct resistance US forces encountered in Falluja was the effect the story of the local defense of the city and the US killing of civilians was having on the broader Iraqi population. A handful of unembedded journalists, most prominently from Al Jazeera, were providing the world with independent, eyewitness accounts. Al Jazeera's camera crew was also uploading video of the devastation for all the world, including Iraqis, to see. Inspired by the defense of Falluja and outraged by the US onslaught, smaller uprisings broke out across Iraq, as members of the Iraqi police and army abandoned their posts, some joining the resistance.
Faced with a public relations disaster, US officials did what they do best--they attacked the messenger. On April 11, with the unembedded reporters exposing the reality of the siege of Falluja, senior military spokesperson Mark Kimmitt declared, "The stations that are showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources. That is propaganda, and that is lies." A few days later, on April 15, Rumsfeld echoed those remarks calling Al Jazeera "vicious."
It was the very next day, according to the Daily Mirror, that Bush told Blair of his plan. "He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere," a source told the Mirror. "Blair replied that would cause a big problem. There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do--and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."...