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September 07, 2006


Ghurab al-Bain

Seems to be related to internal bickering among the Iraqi political leadership, including between the PM's "media advisor" and his press secretary. Also infighting in the Iraqi parliament over the question of federalism played a role. In either case, it is an embarrasing self-inflicted wound by an Iraqi that seems to have plenty of problems already without picking up new ones (and Al-Arabiyya is actually the number one foreign station inside Iraq so it makes the Iraqi Government look foolish in front of its own people.

Nur al-Cubicle

David Kaiser has suggested that it is just a matter of time before a Shi'ite dictatorship takes over in Iraq. Step One is throwing out the Sunni press.

John Burgess

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I sure haven't seen the Saudi government (or media) taking an "anti-Shi'a line" of late.

Yes, they've got problems with a) Iran and b) Hezbollah (as agent of Iran, at least in part, but also as a troublesome member of the Lebanese parliament). But those are as readily seen as political problems as sectarian problems. And since the Saudi government is taking an active role in trying to integrate the their own Shi'a into social and political life in the kingdom, I think the political explanation is better.

The Saudis don't want a splintered Iraq; they've made that clear at least since 1990. Saudi media will carry that message. If that's offensive to the Iraqi gov't, then the Iraqi gov't is being over-sensitive.

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