Peter Arnett
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  1. #1
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    Peter Arnett

    Peter arnett surrounded in controversy again. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,82679,00.html

    Here is the transcript.
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    IRAQI TV HOST: Welcome in Baghdad, and our people know you, know your reports to CNN in 1991. Let us start with a question about the general image that you look now in Iraq.

    ARNETT: Well, I'd like to say from the beginning that the 12 years I've been coming here, I've met unfailing courtesy and cooperation. Courtesy from your people, and cooperation from the Ministry of Information, which has allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate. And that is continuing today.

    HOST: (Translates into Arabic)

    ARNETT: In answer to your question, it is clear that within the United States there is growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war. So our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments.

    HOST: (in Arabic)

    ARNETT: One other point. I've been mainly in Baghdad in the past few weeks. But, clearly this is a city that is disciplined, the population is responsive to the government's requirements of discipline and my Iraqi friends tell me there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain are doing.

    HOST: (In Arabic first) What have you seen until now, have you been to some of these places where civilian casualties have been seen during these two days?

    ARNETT: Yeah, I think American policy and strategy is the weakest when it comes to the Iraqi people. The U.S. administration is concerned with the possibility of killing civilians, because the international community is very concerned about the Iraqi people. President Bush says he is concerned about the Iraqi people, but if Iraqi people are dying in numbers, then American policy will be challenged very strongly.
    Arnett's Iraqi TV interviewer
    Arnett's Iraqi TV interviewer

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: For that reason, the Pentagon keeps saying that the civilian casualties, particularly in Baghdad in the last three or four days, at the market places -- the Pentagon says -- well they are Iraqi missiles that land amongst the people. They keep saying that, but of course the Iraqi government says they are clearly cruise missiles that hit the population.

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: For that reason the Pentagon keeps saying that maybe it is an Iraqi missile that hit the population and not a U.S.

    Whenever I gave a report on civilian casualties on CNN (in the first Gulf War) the Pentagon and the Bush administration got very angry and called me a traitor.

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: However, when missiles hit the Al-Maria shelter in early February of 1991, killing nearly 400 women and children, the Bush administration had to admit that they were responsible. And when that happened, there was a different attitude to the war. They had to try and complete the war fast, because the world criticized that bombing very severely.

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces.

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: And I personally do not understand how that happened, because I've been here many times and in my commentaries on television I would tell the Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of the government, and the willingness to fight for their country. But me, and others who felt the same way were not listened to by the Bush administration.

    HOST: (In Arabic)

    ARNETT: That is why now America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week, and re-writing the war plan. The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance now they are trying to write another war plan.

    HOST: Yeah. (Speaks in Arabic) Mr. Arnett Thank you very much. (Speaks in Arabic)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CNN.com


    What do you guys think about his comments? Personally i feel whether you are for or against the war his comments were highly inappropriate, especially during wartime.

  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    I think they should leave him there. He seems to appreciate the Iraqi leadership and their decisions more than the U.S.'s, so why not let him go down in flames with the rest of those pieces of (censor)...

    And then to add insult to injury he comes out and publicly apologizes only after he gets fired from every network he works for, that's real sincerity if you ask me. My kids play that game better than him. At least they have some plausible deniability.. I'm going to call him Jane Fonda from now on.

    Never let it be said anyone had to guess what I'm thinking.
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    LOL, yeah i saw him backpeddling like a circus clown today. I don't have a problem with forgiving him, but this as you stated is not his only incident. He's been fired from CNN and now NBC and MSNBC for his fabrications. What surprises me is NBC hailed him as some kind of ultra worthy reporter when they hired him. His comments are d*** near treasonist to me.

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    What do you guys think about his comments? Personally i feel whether you are for or against the war his comments were highly inappropriate, especially during wartime.
    I fail to see how these comments are inappropriate or treasonist. Maybe it's because 90% of what he said was true, but it's truth that Americans don't want to hear. The first thing he said about 'unfailing courtesy' was a bit of a wank, but the rest seemed like objective, reasoned discussion of the war thus far.

    Although the war is basically going to plan, the American forces did not envision the sort of resistance or tactics which the Iraqi people have thus far employed. So they may well be re-evaluating their strategies.

    The point he made about the marketplace attacks is true. The US government cannot afford the bad publicity which would result from that attack being attributed to one of their missiles, so they have suggested that it was an Iraqi missile. The Iraqi government has much to gain from saying it was a US missile, so that is the view which they are putting forward. I'm not saying that either side is correct, merely showing that logic dictates the actions which each government is taking in relation to this incident. Mr Arnett hasn't said anything beyond what I just stated, so I can't see how it is inappropriate.

    The rest of the things he has said, excepting the single statement about the war plan 'failing', which he has no source for and no right to say, are valid statements on the war and its progression thus far. I don't know anything about the man's history so I can't consider that in relation to his statements, but what he has said makes sense to me and it amazes me that he was sacked for it. As KorpDeath said, it's pathetic of him to apologise after being sacked. But IMHO, he shouldn't have had to apologise in the first place, because he hasn't done anything wrong. And I think the statement about it being 'treasonist' is ridiculous. What about the reporter who sketched a mud map of a future military operation? That is about ten times more dangerous than some guy expressing his (objective) opinion on the state of the war.

    I guess it boggled me a little to see him be sacked for something like this, kind of like that Dixie Chicks boycott thing. Just because the war's started doesn't mean you can't voice your opposition to it. You can be for your country, and against your administration.

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    cooperation from the Ministry of Information, which has allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate. And that is continuing today
    IMO the only thing mr Arnett is wrong about in this interview is this quote. The journalists don't seem to have much freedom in reporting from the war, most of them are always accompanied by someone from the Ministry of Information. From what I've heard they can't go where they want and to and they are usually taken by the Ministry of Information to see whatever the ministry wants them too se. The only journalists I've seen who claim not to be followed around by the ministry are those from Al-Jazeera.

    Also, journalists have been inprisoned - probably in suspicion of being spies. Probably not true.

    Journalists were only allowed to stay in Iraq for a couple of weeks before the war, then they had to renew their visa, which was usually very difficult. After the war started, at least some have not been allowed to leave the country - I don't know for what reasons.

    Except for this, mr Arnett's analyzis of the current situation is exactly the same as those we see on BBC every day. Which means this is a common opinion that many commentators share.

    Note: Arnett was immidiatly hired by another newsprovider after being sacked. I think an English newspaper.
    ---
    proactive

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    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    And we all know how utterly objective news organizations are, don't we???? You people make me laugh... Hypocrites, all of you.

    So what if he got hired, for God's sake MItnik got hired more than once and he's still an idiot..... Glad to see him go. Hired or not he's not welcome near my town.

    He was wrong about American support for this war, he was wrong to suck up to the Iraqi gov't. He was wrong to give his "insight" as to what the average American thinks, and he was wrong to second guess the U.S. military and their capability.

    You may not like the fact that we have a "90 country unilateral action" but that doesn't really matter now does it..... As much as "some" countries bitch about us doing this they are still willing to let us fly over their land to reach our abjective... Maybe you should stop reading between the lines and start reading the lines themselves.......
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
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    So you think he was wrong, do you?

    he was wrong to suck up to the Iraqi gov't
    Yeah, I can to some extent agree to this. As a journalist he should be doing the interviews, not be the interview object. One can wonder why he agreed to go on Iraqi television, maybe he thought that would open a few doors - give him priveliges that other journalists don't have. But he got himself trapped in the Iraqi propaganda machine - which doesn't give any credibility to a critical journalist.

    As for
    He was wrong about American support for this war, He was wrong to give his "insight" as to what the average American thinks, and he was wrong to second guess the U.S. military and their capability.
    The exact same things have been said by a thousand commentators, probably on every news broadcaster. If Mr Arnett had said what he said on any other broadcaster but the Iraqi , no one would even have mentiond this.
    ---
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    The rest of the things he has said, excepting the single statement about the war plan 'failing', which he has no source for and no right to say, are valid statements on the war and its progression thus far.
    I disagree, dont you think that his statements which are force fed to the Iraqi people would only encourage them to fight. His statements only serve Saddam's propaganda machine and i dont think they are valid in the least, due to the reprocutions of them.


    Although the war is basically going to plan, the American forces did not envision the sort of resistance or tactics which the Iraqi people have thus far employed. So they may well be re-evaluating their strategies.
    I dont believe this at all!! Just because the media are everywhere trying to break a STORY doesnt mean that it is the case. The media are experts in making a story bigger than it is. I'll admit everytime a soldier or civilan dies it is a big deal, but to make it seem like the U.S is getting bogged down is ridiculous. Everytime the Iraqi's fight they die and thus far only 40 americans are dead. I doubt very seriously the U.S has had to change anything as far as the war plan is concerned and as they have said in the daily briefings in Doha they expected much of what has happened and have not been surprised by it.

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    What Arnett has done to this point is encourage the opposition to keep putting up a fight because he is leading them to believe they are succeeding in their resistance. A direct result of this will be the loss of additional lives of coallition soldiers.

    Even if what he said was correct, and I am not saying it is, it is still WRONG. Whether your for or against the war or the administration, it is a time to stand behind your country and it's allies. IMHO Arnett deserves to be sentenced with treason and the endangerment of allied lives.

    Geraldo Rivera is another one....

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    Originally posted here by dublix
    I disagree, dont you think that his statements which are force fed to the Iraqi people would only encourage them to fight. His statements only serve Saddam's propaganda machine and i dont think they are valid in the least, due to the reprocutions of them.
    So it's the media that his interview was broadcast on, not his comments themselves, that piss you off. I can understand that, but I doubt that there are many Iraqis who experienced a change of heart because of this guy's interview.

    Originally posted here by dublix
    I dont believe this at all!! Just because the media are everywhere trying to break a STORY doesnt mean that it is the case. The media are experts in making a story bigger than it is. I'll admit everytime a soldier or civilan dies it is a big deal, but to make it seem like the U.S is getting bogged down is ridiculous.
    Myers' comments came after days of news reports that some retired military experts -- and some commanders in the field -- have raised questions about the war plan.

    Chief among the complaints is that the Pentagon did not anticipate the level of resistance shown by Iraqi fighters and that coalition ground forces were spread too thin, without enough reinforcements.

    Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition forces in the Persian Gulf region began receiving a battle plan suggesting the focus of the ground war would soon shift to Baghdad, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

    I guess what I was trying to say was that revisions are probably being made, which doesn't mean that the whole war plan is changing. But it seems that the war plan was relying on a few crucial elements, namely the 'shock and awe' campaign and the 'psy-ops' part of the war, in the hope that most troops would surrender. This would have saved them a lot of work, but they underestimated the resolve of the Iraqi troops and the Iraqi people. Suicide bombs, 'underhanded' tactics and other related things had to have thrown a spanner in the works of the war. Right now they would have to be looking at a modified war plan to what they initially formulated.

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