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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04AMMAN7571
2004-09-13 10:22:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION ON THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF

Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 AMMAN 007571

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR,
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN
USAID/ANE/MEA
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KMDR JO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF
9/11 ATTACKS


Summary

-- The third anniversary of 9/11 attacks received
extensive coverage in Jordanian dailies September 1,
12 and 13 . A number of commentaries discussed the
event with a tone of despair, viewing the world as
increasingly polarized and dominated by the struggle
between United States and its "terrorism" on one hand
and Osama Ben Laden and Al-Qaeda on the other.

Editorial Commentary

-- "The industry of American terrorism"

Columnist Ghassan Muamar writes on the op-ed page of
independent Arabic daily Al-Ghad (09/13): "September
11 is a day like no other, for it not only revealed
how threatening some movements could be to the
security of Western capitals, but it also revealed how
threatening the West could be to us should it decide
to put us in its sights. As a result of this day,
this dangerous equation became apparent, allowing the
West justification to march its armies to any part of
the world to control it.. There is a new reality at
work wherein extremist religious trends in the United
States, that are based on principles of extremism and
exaggeration in the adoption and interpretation of the
Christian belief and whose objectives match the
existence of the Zionist State, have taken control of
the White House, and have placed the importance of
Israel's existence, survival and safety opposite that
of mankind's safety and international security..
While the world saw in 9/11 an attack on the security
of American territories, the neo-conservatives saw
more.. What happened on that day affected the United
States and the world with a series of changes that
made extremist religious groups in the United States
more convinced of their extremist beliefs and their
support for the existence of the state of Israel..
The most dangerous thing about that day is that it
pushed the world to believe the American tale, namely
that terrorism is the making of fundamental Islamic
trends."

-- "Lessons learned, issues unsolved"

Centrist, influential among the elite English daily
Jordan Times (09/13) editorializes: "The third
anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on

New York and Washington DC has come and gone with some
lessons learned, but also with some issues unsolved.
Fortunately, not a single similar terrorist attack has
occurred within the United States since that infamous
day, suggesting that the U.S. security apparatus has
learned a lesson or two on how to thwart such
attacks.. Yet, the broader issues of terrorism remain
unanswered. Osama Ben Laden and his Al-Qaeda
organization are still on the loose. The war in
Afghanistan . is not going too well for the United
States, with parts of the country still under the
Taleban control. The war in Iraq is not going well
either.. More important, the root causes of terrorism
have yet to be identified, much less addressed..
Preventative measures to combat terrorism are on the
agenda of not only the United States but of the rest
of the international community as well. Police and
military actions alone cannot be the answer. The
United States and the international community must dig
deeper in search for the real reasons that prompt
people to commit acts of terrorism. Is it only
economic deprivation or poverty that drives people to
despair? Is it the denial of freedom and democracy?
Or is it something else that has yet to be
identified?"

-- "Our satellite televisions as they mourn!"

Daily columnist Urayb Rintawi writes on the back-page
of center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour
(09/13): "On the third anniversary of the 9/11
attacks, most of our Arab satellite television
stations mourned the victims of the horrible attack..
We feel very distressed at the sight of this hypocrisy
that is overtaking the land and space of the Arab and
Muslim world. We feel humiliation as we follow the
episodes of the faraway `American wound' while we
close our eyes to the human tragedies inflicted upon
hundreds of innocent people who fall victim on a daily
basis in Abu Ghraib, Falujah and Najaf as a result of
American missiles that do not distinguish between the
innocent and the guilty, the child and Abu Musab Al-
Zarqawi. We become angrier as we watch the news of
the war of extermination being launched by Israel in
Rafah, Khan Younis and Gaza.. It is as if the Iraqis
and the Palestinians have no one to cry for them, as
if their martyrs have no lives and no dreams and
aspirations, . as if our blood . is of a different
kind. We understand that the western media in
general, and the American and Israeli media in
particular, would play the game of discrimination and
double standards. We understand that their newspapers
and television stations would take on a racist color
that puts us down as less than human beings. But we
do not understand that our own people would play that
same dirty game of degradation and double standards,
thus turning our satellite television stations into
circles for wailing and mourning."

-- "9/11 and the teaching curricula"

Columnist Khalil Sawahiri writes on the op-ed page of
center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour
(09/13): "The biggest disaster brought upon us by the
American Zionist 9/11 attacks is this horrible attack
against our culture, our religion and our Arab and
Muslim morals, turning us into scapegoats all around
the world for a crime that was orchestrated by the
Jewish-like minds, fundamentalists and Jews within the
U.S. administration.. Since matters are judged by
their results, the American September is without a
doubt of American Jewish making that achieved its
objectives on many levels, most serious of which is
the crime of changing the teaching curricula (away)
from the religious, humanity and civilization
viewpoints, as well as instigating hatred against
Islam and Muslims and turning them into outcasts
wherever they go."


-- "A reading in the theory of "who benefits?"

Daily columnist Bater Wardam writes on the op-ed page
of center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour
(09/13): "A great number of intellectuals,
politicians and reporters in the Arab world employ a
very attractive (conspiracy) theory in explaining
disasters caused by a group of Arabs and Muslims that
then lead to the defamation of just Arab causes and
the reputation of Arabs and Muslims. It is the theory
of `who benefits?'.. Such a theory however, while
popular in the Arab world, is very easily criticized
and refuted should we possess some level of self-
criticism and honesty.. The theory of `who benefits?"
might be tempting for anyone who likes to deny the
truth, but is usually wrong. It is time to grow up
and find the courage to diagnose the bitter reality
that we, ourselves, have created and from which our
enemies are benefiting.In the beginning (days after
9/11), the Arab world was in denial. But Shaykh Osama
Ben Laden appeared on the satellite channels
announcing Al Qaeda's responsibility for this heinous
act and announcing the `invasions' of Manhattan and
New York (sic) and so it was not possible to continue
the denial.So, Al Qaeda is responsible for the
attacks, be it out of unprecedented political
stupidity or as part of a plan by the neo-
conservatives. Whatever it is, the idea of raising
photos of Ben Laden and considering him a hero is the
expression of a huge malfunction in the Muslim mind
that must be addressed."

-- "The world after September 11"

Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour
(09/12) editorializes: "What are the Arabs and
Muslims guilty of, when all the evidence showed that
Osama Ben Laden and his organization were the creation
of the American intelligence apparatus, when all
justifications for launching the war on Iraq are
completely false, and when the United States appears
on the map of the Middle East as a force occupying all
the oil sources and unites with Israel, not just in
the fight against terrorism, but also in the manner of
launching attacks on Iraqi and Palestinian cities and
villages. We were about to answer the question, `why
do they hate us' that was put to the Arab and Muslim
world when they came back with `we do not care about
your answer'. We were about to hold ourselves
responsible for rebutting the claim of those who fight
their battles in the name of Islam and disown them,
when the expression `crusader wars' came from
Washington and the expression `the pure Jewish state'
came from Tel Aviv, telling us: it is not enough, not
even necessary, when the objective is to control the
region.. We wanted to learn the lesson and, with all
good intentions, we wanted to be part of a world that
rejects violence and condemns terrorism, a world where
we mourn American victims and Americans mourn our
victims. But those who planned to take control of the
world, to steal its oil and riches, and to put all the
people under Israel's control, knew that what happened
was part of the plan, while the other part is to keep
us apologizing to them for their aggression against
us."

-- "September 11, three years of terrorism"

Daily columnist Samih Ma'aytah writes on the back-page
of independent Arabic daily Al-Ghad (09/11): The weeks
that followed the attacks of September 11 brought to
the U.S. much sympathy, even from Arabs and moderate
Islamist movements who condemned the attacks. But the
U.S. was not concerned with this outpouring of
sympathy. It had designs of its own, and the eyes of
its armies were focused on targets, many of which had
nothing to do with the attacks. But under pretext of
fighting against terror the U.S. administration went
berserk. Between September 11 and the present the
U.S. not only squandered the goodwill that came to it,
it also revealed an unusual face of terrorism."

-- "Three years after the explosions: much death,
little safety and freedom"

Yaser Abu Hilaleh writes on the op-ed page of
independent Arabic daily Al-Ghad (09/11): "The
security failure of the American authorities has made
September 11 a historic day. But the more important
failure was cultural, ideological, and political.
Since then, the U.S. addressed some of its security
failure, but it continues to fail in the other areas.
Arabs equally live in failure as if the towers have
not collapsed.If U.S. security agencies had been
successful (in thwarting the 9/11 attacks) would the
world be much different than it is today? In reality,
not much in depth, but very much on the surface.
America would not have invaded Iraq nor even
Afghanistan, despite what is being said about the
plans of the neo-conservatives. Saddam Hussein would
still be in his job, and so would Mullah Omar and
Osama Ben Laden.We have to remember that the Arab
world was the one to stand against Colin Powell's plan
of imposing `smart sanctions' against Iraq. Sanctions
would have been sufficient to keep Saddam in power for
another 100 years as well as maintaining the flow of
oil to the U.S. at the lowest of prices in return for
easing the suffering of the Iraqi people. As for
Afghanistan, cruise missile strikes would have been
sufficient.As for the Palestinians, had it not been
for September 11, Bush would be now on the White House
lawn talking with Abu Amar (Yasir Arafat). This is on
the surface. Deep down, the Palestinian issue would
not be solved, nor would the Iraqi, Chechen, Kashmiri
issues. The most important thing is that the cultural
and intellectual conflict would have remained on the
brink of explosion"
-- "The September earthquake . has the world
changed?"

Basem Al-Tuweisi writes on the op-ed page of
independent Arabic daily Al-Ghad (09/11): "It is clear
that conflicts today happen between poles, each one of
which wants to change the world by force. This is
[the philosophy] that the U.S. has expressed since it
found itself alone at the apex of the world's power
pyramid. It wanted to dismantle the world and forge it
anew, to ensure the continuity of its dominance. This
is the same outlook expressed by the new forces in the
Arab and Islamic East. One must admit that the
theories propagated in the early nineties about the
clash of civilizations are true not because such a
clash is foreordained, but because certain powers
willed it to be true. Clearly there will be more wars
and occupations ahead, which do not bespeak a will for
change, but despair of it."

-- "September 11"

Urayb Al-Rintawi writes on the op-ed page of center-
left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (09/11):
"Washington knows full well that the end of its war on
terror is still very far off. What it has not seemed
to learn is that its policies, which have only
increased in arrogance and disregard for the just
causes of Arabs and Muslims since September 11, sow
more seeds of hatred, and make greater areas fertile
ground for Arab and Islamic enmity for Washington and
its policies. Washington will not be able to curb Arab
and Islamic enmity towards the United States as long
as it continues to dismiss their just demands,
particularly in Palestine."

-- "Reflections on the anniversary of the quake"

Mohammad Amayreh writes on the op-ed page of center-
left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (09/11):
"America has gone to excess in its vengefulness,
assuming that it had the right of revenge to start
with, after it found or fabricated information that
allowed it to blame Arabs and Muslims for the quake
that shook it and the world. This excess and
indulgence pose questions regarding American culture,
morals and values. It make us pose that big question
by Bush and the theorists of American politics: `Why
do they hate us?' to them in reverse: Why do you hate
us?!"

-- "Two terrorist camps play with the fate of
mankind"

Mahmoud Al-Rimawi writes on the op-ed page of semi-
official, influential Arabic daily Al-Rai (09/12):
"One of the most interesting outcomes of the September
catastrophe is that it opened the door for an even
more dangerous type of terrorism carried out by states
and armies, complete with full ideological ammunition
based on illusions of a monopoly on righteousness and
virtue, and on the right to carry out genocide and
ethnic cleansing. The other terrorist camp wages
total terror, not only with the latest weapons of mass
destruction, but also through its disdain for the UN
and its resolutions, disregard for international law,
and dismissal of national sovereignty and public
opinion."
HALE