Friday, June 15, 2007

Al Jazeera today

On Inside Iraq today on Al Jazeera English, Jasim al-Azzawi conducted a special one-on-one interview in London with Clare Short, a former minister in Tony Blair's cabinet who resigned in protest over the Iraq War. I don't have time today to transcribe the interview [watch part 1 and part 2] and , but her criticisms of Tony Blair were, if I can mix metaphors for a moment, both blunt and pointed. On the News Hour, the coverage was dominated by the situation in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has dissolved the parliament and fired the prime minister, Ismail Haniyah. Abbas is from the Fatah party, the successor to the P.L.O.; Haniyah is from the Hamas party, whose charter calls for the obliteration of the state of Israel. In a nutshell, Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, but Fatah controls the West Bank. It makes one wonder if the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might require a three-state solution. We can only hope that the former Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, a political independent whom President Abbas has appointed as emergency interim prime minister, can live up to his first name, and bring a bit of peace (salam or سلا) to Palestine.

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P.S. Inside Iraq repeats on Al Jazeera English at 23:30 UTC/GMT; tomorrow at 04:30, 09:30, and 20:30; and Sunday at 01:30, 07:30, and 13:30. Subtract –4 hours for U.S. EDT, –7 hours for PDT; add +1 hour for Britain, +2 hours for Central European Time, or +3 hours for Baghdad.