After reading Mamoun Fandy's Washington Post column on the Arab media that I linked to yesterday, I was curious to see how the Arab media actually does report on the Iraq war. So I hunkered down with my Arabic-English Dictionary and slogged through the translation of an entire article from the Al-Jazeera website.
An American soldier injured in Iraq upon arrival at a base in Germany yesterday
Iraqi Army spokesman General Hazem Ar-Rawi said that more than four thousand Arab volunteers from every single Arab country have arrived in Iraq to carry out "martyrdom" operations against the invasion forces in the days ahead.
Answering a question at a Baghdad news conference about the legitimacy of the regular army engaging in suicide operations, Ar-Rawi said: "It is our duty to drive out the invaders no matter what the price". And he said that an Iraqi officer named Ali Ja'afar Hamadi An-Nu'mani carried out a suicide operation on Saturday near the city of Najaf, which resulted in the deaths of eleven American soldiers, not the mere four that the Americans claimed.
Ar-Rawi stressed that in the eleven days since the beginning of the war, the invasion forces along the battle front lost their balance after the military operations ended in devastating failure to accomplish their planned objectives. And he indicated that one of the most marked signs of the loss of balance is the weak performance of the American and British soldiers and the fact that they abandoned the corpses of their dead on the battlefield.
The Iraqi spokesman mentioned Iraqi successes at arresting the advance of the invasion forces and maintaining a presence deep behind the invaders' lines. He explained that American and British losses numbered hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries along with the destruction of more than 130 tanks and armored vehicles in addition to the airplanes that were shot down.
Answering a question about the missile that fell on a Kuwait shopping mall yesterday, Ar-Rawi said "A missile was fired from the Faw [peninsula] at the invaders who defiled Kuwaiti soil". He added that firing the missile from the Faw was proof it was still in the hands of the Iraqi people.
Yes, this would support Fandy's dismissal of Al Jazeera's credibility, and his characterization that it is "political pornography"
Many thanks to the Ribbity Frog for proof-reading and correcting the above translation. The Frog is an Israeli with a strong command of the Arabic language who follows the Arabic press. Be sure to check out the Ribbity Frog blog for more translations of Arab media items which give a fascinating and important view of how the Arab world talks to itself.Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 31, 2003 07:10 AM