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Good afternoon and my name is Paul Salem, I am the Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut; and I will be moderating this session on Arab and Western Media Perspectives on the issue of protecting civilians from terrorists violence and the connection, I suppose, between terrorism and media; both the Arab media and the Western media. And we have with us really three very, very distinguished and experienced professionals in the media field; Mr. Philip Bennett Philip Bennett. He is currently the Managing Editor of The Washington Post. He served in several positions in the Post, before that in The Globe and it was a very long and distinguished career in that field. We have also with us Ms. Nadia Bilbassy-Charters, who is currently at the Senior Diplomatic Correspondent with Al Arabiya TV and Arab Satellite Television Station, but also has had a varied and fairly distinguished career, also in the Arab press in the Arab World and in the West as well. And finally Mr. Salameh Nematt, who was the Bureau Chief of Al Hayat newspaper in Washington. Al Hayat is probably the leading pan-Arab daily very also, knowledgeable and experienced figure in the print media field. I will give each of our speakers about 10 minutes 10 to 15 minutes as much as not beyond 15 minutes to make their opening remarks as they see fit. And then we will go to a discussion session or question and answer. The proceedings are being filmed and recorded. They will be on in a website in a few days on the CSIS Website to be viewed as sessions for those who aren't able to make it or those who didn't see another session, they can see it later. Also the transcripts in Arabic are going to be on the CSIS site once they get them translated in a week or a two. So let's begin with Mr. Philip Bennett, the floor is yours. Thank you, Paul. And good afternoon to every one, it's nice to be here. I am going to reflect a little bit on I am sure there are a lot of different aspects of this question that will be moved around this room over the next hour and a bit. And and I am going to focus a little bit narrowly just to start on one aspect that I think you know, it touches us and something that I think being on this panel serve a point of reflection for me. And it went back to September 11th. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the coverage in the American Press produced really only one major innovation in news coverage and that was that took place in the New York Times. The Times in the days after the attacks began to publish the individual biographies or aimed to publish individual biographies of the nearly 3000 people who were killed that day. And by the end of the year, they had published about 1800 of them. They called them Portraits of Grief. And it was part of the coverage that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for the Times. And for those of you who didn't see it, it was a really striking even even moving attempt to transform a mass killing into a personalized individualized event, not as a symbol but a specific and precise tragedy or a chain of tragedies. And this seemed to really a noble and important role for the press in the face of a at that point, a very difficult event for readers to understand. I mention this at the beginning today, mostly to draw a contrast to where I think we are today in the coverage of victims civilian victims of violence and terrorism. There is no analogous project currently underway any where in the American media that portray the individual civilian victims of the conflicts that have followed September 11th. Terrorism and violence against civilians seems ubiquitous in our pages and on television. Now it's a those images are on the front page of my newspaper almost everyday. Yet, its victims seem largely invisible. I am just going to take a couple of minutes now and reflect on why I think this might be the case. I want to start with some context drawn from my own experience as a journalist for more than 25 years. Although journalism has always identified with civilians in peril, the rise of the Human Rights Movement focusing in the case of Amnesty International for example, on individual prisoners of conscience, converged in the 1970's and 80'swith narrative journalism that aimed to place the stories of real people at the center of history. When done right it turned victims into persons. I was reminded of this a few month ago by the death of Rufina Amaya, whose passing was marked by an essay on the front page of the Post's Style section. Who was Rufina Amaya? She was the humble peasant from the North-East corner of El Salvador who was the lone surviving witness of the El Mozote Massacre in 1981, when hundreds of people we killed by the US backed security forces in El Salvador. Her story was told over and over to draw attention to the plight of civilians in the conflict. As a young reporter in Central America during the 1980's, I was always trying to find the other Rufina Amayas of that conflict. Their testimony got to the heart of the story, provided a way to figure out what was really going on and often got your story on the front page. Narrative stories and investigations that individualized and personalized violence against civilians were a staple of foreign correspondence in the US Press during the 1980's and 1990's. Profiles of victims often in often accompanying a new story on the front page, routinely ran in most American Newspapers. This was true of victims of bus bombings in Israel, and of civilians killed in Jenin. It was true in Bosnia. International Intervention and the Humanitarian Disaster in Kosovo was provoked in some measure by the photographs and stories of Kosovo refugees, so personalized that as an editor I can still remember the names of victims we wrote about in the Post, including Vioso Maliki, a young Albanian refugee whose story was captured by the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Frankel. This personalization was not just applied to victims. There was also an effort to portray the soldiers, the suicide bombers, the guerillas, the civilian death squad members behind the killings. This kind of coverage fit perfectly with with what most of us understand to be a central mission of journalism. Bearing witness is one of our richest and most vital services to a public with very little other access to the events we are describing. If terrorists for example, aimed to in differentiate their victims, turning them into meaningless ciphers, our job was to show the individuality of each. This was a way of challenging the arguments used to justify such attacks. It was also a way of holding terrorists accountable in the way we would hold state actors accountable. I think the attacks of September 11th and even more so the War in Iraq, have set us on a new course or at least have introduced new elements into this picture. Who is the Rufina Amaya of Iraq? The Vioso Maliki of Afghanistan? Well, we might need some candidates for this, an enviable role at our last session tomorrow. But there are hardly household names. I am not entirely certain why but I find the overall trend disturbing; and I suspect it places us even further away than we suspect from reaching a common understanding of what's happening in the World; especially in the Middle East. I can suggest some reasons why this has happened. First, the hazards and expense of reporting have compromised our ability to bear witness. The coverage of Iraq is the most dangerous and costliest sustained commitment to coverage that we had ever made, in my newspaper and many other institutions. We have paid a devastating price for it. Last week The Washington Post lost its first reporter ever killed in a in an armed conflict, when Salih Saif Aldin was shot by unknown killers on October on Sunday, October 11th while reporting in a Baghdad neighborhood. In all, more than a 100 reporters have been killed in Iraq; as I am sure you are aware. The atmosphere of risk and danger has had the effect of separating us from the story and from the civilians whose stories will ultimately shape the outcome of this conflict and others. In the cases I cited earlier, even ones involving US Forces; American Journalists could stake out a position if not in the middle of the conflict, then at its margins. Although it was dangerous and dozens of reporters were killed in El Salvador for example, the parties in the conflict basically recognized this role and saw some disadvantages to harming journalists. In Iraq, this is clearly not the case. We have worked hard to reclaim lost ground. On the week that Salih was killed, our Baghdad Bureau led by Sudarsan Raghavan assembled detailed eye-witness accounts of the killings of civilians by Blackwater security personnel. This was classic accountability journalism that contradicted earlier accounts and also put a human face on the victims. Examples like the Blackwater reporting are important exceptions but exceptions nonetheless. Violence against journalists makes violence against civilians more possible. Add to this the fatigue of readers, the over-powering urge to avert the eyes, the numbness caused by repetitive exposure to violence, skepticism of the press and accusations about our credibility or bias, falling overall leadership of the mainstream media, all of these have contributed something to the distance we have from civilian victims. There are other more complex factors that work and I am going to generalize a little bit here for the purposes of of simplicity. The general lack of deep understanding in the United States and in the U.S. Media of Islam or Arab cultures leads to shallow level of identification with civilian victims and I suggest this is still true years into the into the stories that we are covering. We have been aggressive in reporting about the scandal of Abu Ghraib, the secret CIA prisons for terrorism suspects and the practices used in interrogation of those suspects, the killing of civilians by U.S. Troops have these events of our coverage dulled our appreciation of outrage? I don't know but I would suggest that in some extent confused moral discourse of - these have caused confused morale discourse about what's right and wrong, legitimate and illegitimate, moral or immoral?. Jihadist propaganda has found an audience and shaped its understanding of perpetrators and victims. This counter narrative often celebrating violence against civilians can bleed in the more traditional media at the very least repetition of images from insurgent media network in Iraq provides its own context for events there. The title of this panel suggests that there are differences between the perspectives of Arab and Westerns media on these questions. No doubt there are. There are differences in perspective within the Western media. I would suspect that one difference has to do with the tendency of the U.S. Press to create balanced or parity between civilian victims in a conflict. We heard much criticism last summer during the War in Lebanon that we were creating a false balance between the suffering of Israeli civilians and the much wider material and human destruction in Lebanon. I am not an expert on the Arab Media but I wonder they are about the pressure to present accepted points of view at the expense of balance. We live in a world where there are no two sides to a story but many many sides. I would like to come out of today's discussion with some sort of agenda for strengthening our mission as allies of civilians who are otherwise powerless to have their views heard and experiences shared. One thing that we have learnt this century is that the truth is what people carry in their heads. We believe that the search for truth is journalists leads us through the facts. But ultimately ends up in the space where thoughts, beliefs and experiences converge. At the Washington Post we have tried to be faithful to tradition of portraying real people in the midst of unreal hardship. Our correspondent Anthony Shadid won a Pulitzer Prize for writing about everyday Iraqis during the invasion. His courageous reporting from Lebanon last summer did chronicle the suffering of Lebanese civilians in agonizing detail. And we are wrong to think that there is no an audience for this kind of journalism. Anthony told me the other day that the story he has written in the last year that drew the largest response from readers was about a man named Mohammed Hayawi, the owner of the Renaissance Bookstore on Baghdad's Mutanabi Street. Hayawi was killed in March in a suicide bombing that destroyed his book shop. Ironically Anthony's appreciation of his life ran on the same page were two days before we had published the essay marking Rufina Anaya's death. I am going to read you just a brief paragraph of what Anthony wrote in that story. "Unlike the U.S. soldiers who die in this conflict, the names of most Iraqi victims will never be published consigned to the anonymity that death in the Iraqi capital brings these days. Hayawi was neither a politician nor a warlord. Few beyond Mutanabi Street even knew his name, yet his quiet life deserves more than a footnote, if for no other reason than to remember a man who embraced what Baghdad was and tried to make sense of a country that doesn't make sense anymore. Gone with him are small amounts of small moments of life, gentle simply by virtue of being ordinary now lost in the rubble strewn along a street that will never be the same." Last week, we held a memorial service at the Post for Salih Saif Aldin, one of the young correspondents who served with Salih in the Baghdad bureau, Nelson Hernandez eulogized his colleague by reminding us of the Greek word for truth, "Aletheia". It means revealing or uncovering but also "unforgotten and unforgettable"Our vocation as journalist involves both meanings. Journalism should be an act against forgetting and no place more than where violence tries to to erase the lives of innocent people. Thank you, Philip. Thank you for a very thoughtful and reflective presentation which I am sure will evoke a lot of comments and questions in the question in answer period. And Nadia, the floor is yours. I remind the audience the biographies are also in the - in the hand outs for more detailed information about our speakers. Nadia Bilbassy. Thank you Paul and thank you to the organizers of CSIS for inviting us here today. I wish I am as organized as Phil so I don't have a written speech. I have notes all over so you have to forgive me for being disorganized. But I have some well something refreshing actually about Al-Arabiya channel which is those of you who understand Arabic, our logo was (Arabic) which is "closer to truth". It means that we have no monopoly over the truth and there is not one single truth which is pretty remarkable considering that we lived in the Arab world for so long under government dominated media and under the eye of over the watchful eye of of censorship. I don't know how familiar you are with the Arab satellite TV but I will say nowadays that most of the Arab audience depends very much on the Pan-Arab Satellite Television basically Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya for the news, unfortunately the print media seems to be a little bit of an elite readership or may be dying - or in the process of dying. So I think the responsibility for the Arab media is its colossal and it's - if you look at title like this "combating extremism and protecting civilian" then we definitely have a huge responsibility and I will start by a date which is an important date for us personally which is October 30th 2004. On that day, Muslims in the Arab and Muslim world in - in large were observing the holy month of Ramadan where people normally are ask for give forgiveness and repentance and getting closer to God. On that very day our colleagues my colleagues in Baghdad office who were getting ready to sort up their the stories of the day, some of them were out some were still in the office. A truck was parked outside our office and within minutes, the office were shattered into pieces and it was not a suicide bomber as such but it was a person who drove that truck and left it outside our office. For whatever reason, whoever master that was paying him to do so, whatever was going through his mind which is intriguing to me as well to find that why would this person do such a thing, that he disagree with our station and he want to silence people and the best way to do it was to kill them. And this is what he did. He actually killed five people in our office and wounded 13 and most of the people who died, people who provided service to us, the cook and the the accountant and the cleaner of the office and most people have history and have families and unfortunately you know when we talk about them, we talk in numbers. So we say, we lost five we 13 wounded and in total actually our office Al-Arabiya office in Baghdad lost the highest number of foreign correspondents killed in Iraq. That was 11 in total, some to American fire, some to insurgents and some to areas that we really don't know who killed them. Well the bottom line is there is this person that threaten us all that decided that day to kill people and what process that he goes through or she we don't know till now but for me it's it's extremely important to go back to the root causes of why these people do such a thing to find out a solution of how we can combat suicide bombing, terrorism, whatever name you want to put on it and eventually protecting civilians. Now Al-Arabiya has actually a guidelines for the coverage and as we might disagree about who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter, as you know the UN has not come with the definition yet but at least we agree on certain things like, for example we have actually a guideline that I have printed and I can share it with you that Al-Arabiya was one of the first Arab stations to call suicide bombers by their name (Arabic) and we don't call them martyrs and we don't call them (Arabic). And after that I am glad to say that other stations including Al Jazeera followed suit and they didn't call him they call them by suicide bombing bombers. Al-Arabiya also focused on the victims, it's not just what happened in the eventuality, on the event itself because as you know in the news media we very much like to cover the the story but the next day nobody cares about what happened but in the process lives is destroyed and we have seen recent problem unfortunately the recent attack was in Karachi where almost a 130 people - civilians were dead and I was I was horrified just to see the front page of the Post actually of these people have to go to the morgue to identify their relatives. So we talked about what happened after the event, so we go to the victim's families and we were trying to portray it because unfortunately in in the television media we are restricted to two and a half minutes of stories, so we have to sum up the whole situation to the viewers and to make them as exciting so people don't want to switch off in their dinner - dining rooms or dinner tables to see this grotesque pictures of dead bodies else where, we have we are trying to do it in a way that it still focus in people's mind trying to make it a common interest to everybody of how you can combat and how you fight extremism and which obviously leads to to the killing of innocent civilians. Al-arabiya actually aired an excellent special mission which is one of our weekly programs about suicide bombers in Palestine and the focus on the recruitment of young teenage boys of how - the process of why they decided to kill themselves, how their families knew or didn't know and why a 16 year old or a 20 year old is willing to go with a explosive belt and go to a check point or go to a cafÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© in Tel Aviv and kill as many civilians as possible believing that ultimately he is doing a noble act and that will grant him to go to paradise eventually or get him what ever is promised whether it's a secular or a religious person who is doing that. Al-arabiya also promotes - we do not give any material - we don't give any platform to people who promote killings of others, so even when you have a debate under the freedom of expression you can have the point and the other point but I don't think the other point entitles the person to come on an airways like an Arab satellite television and say it's it's okay to kill civilians, it's justifiable because ultimately it's not justifiable whether it's politically acceptable or not, whether it's Al Qaeda or Hamas which I will talk about later and how the Arab viewers does make the distinction between these two groups. Also we have a program called the "Death Industry" which is (Arabic) and is specifically is targeting the new phenomenon in the Arab world what is terrorism - old new phenomenon and we have people from all different walks of lives talking about different issues. We talked about Bali bombings, we talked about Karachi, we talks about all kind of of issues relating to terrorism and we have people coming and debating the issues and you know recruitment, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden background it's but I think also we have a very interesting - those of you watch Al Arabiya, we have television advertisement paid by the Iraqi government of advertising very very graphic and very intriguing ads to denounce terrorism and the banner that goes on which is (Arabic) terrorism has no religion and in Arabic it's very effective actually, it's not - you know if you want to commit this in the name of religion, this is terrorism it's not religion and I think the problem is the voices of people who are - understand these things and we find common ground on this, are actually muted so the the louder voices come from the people who advocate such killing in the names of political agenda or because of injustices happen here and there etc but the people who commonly dismiss this kind of ideology, they - you don't hear them very or they - when they speak it's very very muted or very low voices and that actually have been a problem and actually have to credit not because he is my my boss but before he became my boss, Abdurahim Rashid was one of the editors of - he was the editor of the Asharqalawsat which is a leading London newspaper and he wrote after the Westland massacre, a very effective line that actually the New York Times did that huge story about us and he talked about these people and I am I would like to quote in here - you can see that the article that was written two years two years ago and he said "it is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorist but it is equally certain and exceptionally painful that almost all terrorists are Muslim" he wrote "What a pathetic record, we cannot tolerate in our midst, those who conduct, who abduct journalist, murder civilians, explode buses, we cannot accept them as related to us whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds, these people who have who have smeared Islam and stained its image, we have to dismiss them and we have to speak louder". So I mean we have people who actually started a policy of saying that we are not going to we are not going to tolerate the people who kill in the name of Islam and as I go back again and talk about the history of political suicide, I mean all of you are familiar or may be just now read in the platform. It's not new. I mean, we know the the Japanese pilots in the Second World War you know, I mean, you use it. Kamikaze pilots so we we know that in in Sri Lanka which is a and I worked there as a foreign correspondent. Almost suicide and political suicide and the Tamil Tiger for Liberation of Eelam with the LTTE, almost synonymous for suicide and in my time, I saw the the killing of at least one President, Ranasinghe Premadasa and eventually they killing of Rajiv Gandhi in India later on. And some people will justify it is the same for the Palestinian's, I mean although there is a debate and has been a healthy debate whether it's morally acceptable to kill civilians or whether it's even politically productive for the Palestinians to do so and we have seen recently that it is a political phenomenon because we haven't seen much thank god of suicide bombing recently because Hamas decide to may be it's not the right time to do it. So the people who are engaged and since they have been elected in the as the inside the the - inside the Gaza at least, you have not seen much of a of a suicide. So it seems like, when it's it's suitable it they can target the whole idea of "we can do it" to justify what we do and sometimes it's not. So it's controllable in a way. But the problem I think that I find here is of course people trying to to justify suicide killing and bombing and the idea of of targeting the one person and in the process you can kill as many civilians and its okay, it's called collateral damage, it's called numbers etc. And it's practiced by both, individuals and state. I mean, when you also talk about Hamas and and Islamic Jihad and every other group and al Qaeda, I will put it on on one side because I don't really put them in the same category regardless of the victim sees make a distinction between who kills them is a different story but but the bottom line is also when when the Israelis use decide to kill any of Hamas members like Sheik Yassin or Rantisi or any of these people. They don't use a suicide bomber, but they will use a pilot from the air that they will target that person, they will kill who they wanted and in the process, 15 16 18 civilians will die and nobody talks about them. So also I mean the the people can see that and I think we have to make the difference here about the killing of civilians; it doesn't matter who is the perpetrators, who is the one who decided to kill whom whether it is preemptive or not as in the case of the Israelis but ultimately what can we do altogether to protect civilians and to stop any kind of killings regardless. I talked too much and I have to four minutes. No no no. You have four minutes left. Okay. Take your time. But, one point I think I will I will focus on which is the culture of glorifying death and I think this has been vital especially for us. I always say, "What happened to Islam? What happed to the glorious days of Islam when people when the Halifa used to pay people with gold coins to write poems and now, who can produce a better video of somebody beheaded someone and blood is just everywhere and I don't know, I mean that's that's the dilemma for us all. But the culture of glorifying death is been predominant I will say lately and how can we deal with that and I think it's it could have - have started with that Mujahideen in Afghanistan. And I think there is so many stories about how the Arab Mujahideen's in particular used to go and talk about almost a mythical sentences that had been used to describe the dead people like, "they smell like honey and they look so there is light coming out of them" and even people like within the Northern Alliance of Ahmed Shah Massoud; that time and used to say these Arabs are are crazy because they they were fighting who is going to die before the other person and there the whole concept of suicide is is new but it started obviously with the Al-Qaeda and now it's just spreading. So everywhere you go, you don't see any more method of doing which is obviously a desperate act of a person that they don't hear their message, or their message was not heard and therefore they resort to an alternative which is the killing through mass killing of of suicide ultimately will take them to heaven or or else where I am not quite sure. But the the bottom-line here is there has been definitely a culture. In Arab television I always believe that it has to be a code of conduct. We should not allow people who promote the killing of others, give them free time our stations stations although people will say, "Well, but if Bin Laden give you a tape today, would you not have it?" and also we have to be careful about censorship because as a journalist who lived under government control, I don't want anybody to practice censorship on me. But there is a thin line between power and responsibility, between you as a journalist who is trying to inform the public and between you as an advocate whether there is political views or or encouraging killing. And I will say that, "Yes, everybody wants to know if Bin Laden give me a tape now, people want to know, and they have the right to know if he is alive or dead. But, I am not going to put the entire tape to allow him to advocate the killing of Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not subscribe to his twisted ideology or interpretation of Islam. Thank you! Thank you very much. Now the floor Mr Salameh, it's yours. Thank you very much. Speaking of the state of the art media there is one favorite joke of mine that comes to mind. Do you remember when there was the plague of the mad cow disease the spread from Britain? The joke was like this, one cow asks another cow "what do you think of this mad cow disease business?" And the other cow says, "what do I know I am a duck". And I think you know when we speak about terrorism, why is terrorism thriving in the middle-east? Nothing comes out of a void. There is an environment that existed, that made it sort of legitimate for these young people to go and commit this act to allow themselves to be recruited of course people don't just go and do it, somebody recruits them and go and kill innocent civilians. Of course it's not just one fact here that creates his environment that makes terrorism and murder an act of heroism as we have seen throughout the Arab world and I would like to be specific about the Arab world more than the Islamic world because if we really look at the figures, where the Indonesia being the biggest Islamic country, we don't hear about suicide bombers, it's very rare that you would have an Indonesian or a Malaysian suicide bomber or an Indian Muslim, I think there are about 120 million Muslims in India. I think it's specific to the region partly partly because of the peculiar situation in the Arab world where we can - one fact that we can call is the the democracy deficit; this is the kind word of saying authoritative regimes and dictatorships in the region. One factor is that when people want to change things peacefully and they have no venues to change them peacefully, they tend to get violent. This is one factor, the other factor is that the more brutal is the regime in oppressing, the opposition - the more that the opposition is likely to get violent as well. If you have a regime which oppresses you know violently then the reaction usually from the opposition is that they either go underground, they become militants and they also resort to violence. The other factor that creates this environment unfortunately which is I think the biggest factor in recruitment for terrorist organizations is the Arab media in my view. So we cannot just say you know behave as though you know these people just came out of nowhere you know what's wrong with them, why why are they doing this, there is an environment that made these people legitimate in their own eyes at least and if we look at the surveys of the Arab world we see a lot of sympathy with the terrorist cause, if not necessarily with their tactics, violent tactics. I think that you know one of the things why there is a regression in the number of beheadings in Iraqis because the beheadings back fired, less and less people are likely to be sympathetic to any cause that allows people to behead you know other - you know bombed individuals in such a gruesome manner and that was was one of the letters that I believe Zawahiri sent or tried to sent to Zarqawi and - that loosing support because of these tactics so that you know go back to the other you know the suicide bombs and let's dump this you know drop this graphic exercise. Now still we go back to the problem, the main problem is that there is an environment that you know enough people who think it's legitimate to commit acts of you know criminal acts of terrorism for a political cause. Now, the question you would ask why haven't the Islamic authorities in the region - in the Arab world been able to issue their own fatwa's to stop you know to discredit the terrorist and say that no it is not allowed to kill these civilians for any cause. It is not allowed of course in Islam as well known it's not allowed to kill yourself, it's a sin in Islam for anybody to kill themselves for any purpose. Yet this is not happening and the reason is because these Islamic authorities have no credibility, they are just just like the regimes that manipulate them, just like the regimes that basically supports them. They they have no credibility with the people because they are the voice of the regimes and not the voice of the people and people look at Osama Bin Laden and the Zawahiri and Zarqawi as the alternative clerics, the alternative mujaia for true Islam because the regimes you know the ruling governments in the region have no credibility, because they are oppressing the people and because they are corrupt and they host these Islamic clerics whom they pay and they co-opt and they contain. So unfortunately because of that situation, these existing of recognized religious authorities who are under the control of the governments are useless as far as convincing people that and you know of course the terrorist recruits and organizations that you know they will be discredited if they continue to do that etc. so what would you do in this situation? By default people like Bin Laden, Zarqawi etc etc they win because a lot of that sympathy with them is not really sympathy with killing innocent civilians, the sympathy with it's a kind of a protest vote. They they tried peacefully to change their corrupt and oppressive regime, they failed and they see that maybe these people will succeed, maybe they will do something if they gain power. Of course a lot of other people are being very dubious - very suspicious of their intentions and we have seen the beginnings of that in Iraq when people are turning against Al-Qaeda, tribal leaders and and normal individuals are actually to stop this especially when Al-Qaeda established the Islamic state of Iraq and started behaving worse than any dictator in terms of trying to terrorize people into following their own regimented brand of extremism Islam. But still going back to the Arab media, when you blur the line between legitimate resistance to an occupying power and and acts of murder, then a lot of people and we have to keep in mind we are talking about people in the Arab world something like 40 percent of the people in the region are illiterate. They just simply can't read or write. Most of the - what they get is from television, most of the news they get is from television and when you have in television - the mainstream media of course we always have exception and when I am talking about the Arab media, I am talking about the mainstream media and we should make no mistake. The mainstream media is our tools in the hands of the governments. These same oppressive corrupt governments run these the mainstream media in the Arab world. Of course you know they don't necessarily have to own it, they just basically give licenses to businessmen, the elite in their in their midst who basically are affiliated with the government, are very close to the government or members of the royal families or the presidential families that we have in that part of the world. A few exceptions here and there but the exceptions are exceptions, they they prove the rule. So what do we do in a situation like that? I am I am afraid that there are other factors complicating the the picture which is the Arab governments that owns the Arab media or most of it, have no interest in showing anything good coming out of Iraq for the simple reason that this whole democracy business as far as the regimes are concerned is the weapon of mass destruction for the regimes. So if they made democracy look good like it's working or it might work in Iraq, they are in trouble. So the dictatorial policy of this media is focused and I am not blaming of course all journalist who work in this media because they just do their work, the question is how is it spun back home, how is it edited, how is it you know these commentators come out commenting on it and where and which direction is a different story. But I will give you two interesting examples that in a way tell you a lot about how the Medias - the government state run or state controlled or influenced media is hostile to the idea of democratization. I was in in Amman Jordan when the historic elections, the Iraqi historic elections took place two years ago. It was the first time you know that we had such you know elections in the Arab world for many decades and I don't recall that we had something so massive, 11 million people actually went and voted despite the fact they were threatened with terrorism. Al-Qaeda told the Iraqis that they will die if they go to the polls. And I was in Amman and I was observing and it was the event of the globe. It was an it's an event of the global scale, the whole world was watching whether there is there is going to be a bloodbath on that day as Al-Qaeda promised, whether people will dare to the go to the polls or not, whether the turnout is going to be 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 that turned out that 70 percent of eligible voters actually went and voted on that day. There were eight suicide bombings, but that did not deter the people. Now, how did one Jordanian - leading Jordan newspaper cover the story? On that day there was something like fifty Iraqis died in different incidents in Iraq including the suicide bombings and instead of - you know the headline speaking something about the fact that these elections did take place with millions of people voting, the headline was 50 dead on bloody Iraq Election Day. Look at the association of bloody elections, bloody democracy, the link between democracy and death for people who are reading the story. Now, what worse with the second leading - you know number two newspaper in Jordan published the outcome of the elections, the news of the elections taking place on page 17. Had I not seen it myself, I wouldn't have believed it. It was page 17 that they reported it. So what did these media focus on after the elections? Well the Sunnis boycotted the elections okay half of the Sunnis boycotted the elections. Yeah these are not legitimate because they were run under the American administration, you know the military administration etc. The fact is these elections were observed by more observers - international observers than any other election in history. The figures are in the tens of tens of thousands of observers and yet the de- legitimizing process of what happened in Iraq continued, so part of the problem we have with the Arab media is that it it has to give some kind of credibility to the terrorist because they are also doing something good from the perspective of the regimes which is undermining the democracy project in Iraq. In the case of Lebanon, it is also similar, there is the US action which lead to the end of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, led to the holding of elections, this time without the Syrian occupation and led to a regime change that has not been totally completed in in Lebanon also with American and also in this case French intervention. The Arab leaders have no interest in seeing any external power pushing any state in the region towards democratization because this is the end of these regimes. There are million of examples, the most striking example might be as to why - you know how these governments refused to give legitimacy to a democratically elected government such as we have in Iraq. Is that not a single Arab leader has visited Iraq yet to offer any kind of support to that democratically elected government because it would give credibility to the idea of an elected leader, they won't even sent their foreign minister to visit Iraq and of course the excuse is security, it's it's okay that Tony Blair would go, it's okay that George Bush would go and top officials from the west would go but the the Arab leaders invoke the security issues so as not to give legitimacy to that change. Now, that doesn't mean that I am saying that everything that US military has done is good and that everything you know that the Iraqi government today is doing is good but the fact is it's a democratically elected government, they have coalitions, they don't agree with everything you know there is centralized government in Iraq. They have coalitions some of them withdraw from the coalition when they disagree with the government. But there is a kind of functioning - some kind of functioning democracy, we have something like 140 newspapers that sprouted after - six months after the fall of the Iraqi regime, before that we had just one voice and that was the voice of Saddam Hussein and his regime. Now it is of course not a perfect democracy - far from it but there is the dynamic - a political dynamic there and a debate that is taking place, that's not taking place anywhere else in the region. Perhaps in Lebanon you have this dynamism simply because no particular faction was able to crush everybody else in Lebanon. There is a pluralism in Lebanon that's related to the fact that neither side was able to finish off the other side, as much of it is also the idea. It's a much more complex situation but if we you know if we expect that the Arab media is going to start looking at the situations and the situation taking place differently we will have to have an independent and free Arab media which I am afraid doesn't exist except for few newspaper here you know this you know television is so expensive, individuals cannot fund a television station which could cost tens of millions or hundreds of millions especially that the advertising market in the Arab world is very weak. So none of these Arab televisions big satellite televisions including Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. Although they are successful, none of them survives on advertising revenue. The advertising market is very small. So why are these countries producing these television stations that are losing money?. It is exactly for what I have been talking about for the past 15 minutes maybe almost 16 minutes. So so I will stop here and I will take your questions later. Thank you.