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Re: <nettime> Iraq: The Way Forward
Benjamin Geer on Sat, 6 Jan 2007 07:04:22 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Iraq: The Way Forward

On 05/01/07, Michael H Goldhaber <mgoldh {AT} well.com> wrote:

> On the whole, Americans, and even most of their Congresspeople =97 not
> to mention the President =97 remain remarkably uninformed about the
> rest of the world. [...]
> If we want to avoid future Iraqs, we had better understand the
> rareness of this "teachable moment," when the country is forced to
> look outward [...]

If part of the reason for wars like this one is Americans' lack of
knowledge about the rest of the world, perhaps it will be necessary to
remedy that problem in order to avoid future Iraqs.  In saying that
this is a "teachable moment", do you mean that it's an opportunity for
Americans to gain a better understanding of the rest of the world?
How could a change like that come about?

If you want to help make it happen, I have a suggestion: try to get an
American cable TV provider to carry Al Jazeera's new English-language
channel.  I watched it for a few hours soon after it was launched, and
liked it much better than, say, BBC World.  Not only because it
contains much less fluff, gives priority to stories of interest to
people living outside the Western world (particularly issues of social
justice) and is sharply critical of US foreign policy.  In a reversal
of the typical situation in which journalists from former British
colonies work for the BBC and are obliged to toe its editorial line,
Al Jazeera English also offers the pleasantly uncanny spectacle of
British presenters beginning the news broadcast, against a background
image of London, by saying, in BBC English: "Tonight's top story on
Al-Jazeera..."  It's as if Qatar had colonised the UK.


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