Information Warfare: May 23, 2005

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Still more on the Koran desecration story. While U.S. pundits on the left defend, and those on the right condemn, Newsweek for its now retracted story on abuse of the Koran by American interrogators at Guantanamo, an important real story is being completely overlooked. There was no rioting or anti-American outbursts in Kuwait, Oman, the U.A.E., or anywhere else in Arabia. While the governments of the various states on the Arabian Peninsular and in the Gulf expressed public concern over the initial report of alleged desecration of the Koran, they also called for investigations, and widely broadcast Newsweek's subsequent retraction. There appears to have been only one public demonstration, a peaceful one in Yemen that received no press coverage, not even on Al-Jazeera. This strongly indicates that the events in Pakistan and Afghanistan were well orchestrated, with plans in place so that violent demonstrations could be set off whenever a pretext arose. The initial violence occurred in Pakistan, set off by a politician who had been seeking some attention, and found the Newsweek article fit his needs. Violence quickly followed in Afghanistan, and just as quickly disappeared in both countries.

 


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