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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

CNN Editor Equates "Terrorism" With "Freedom Fight," Insulting All Coalition Forces

By Andrew Cochran

You would think that a worldwide news operation would recognize and apply standards and definitions for the reporting of a "terrorist" and "terrorist act." We appreciate and work with many outstanding reporters and commentators worldwide who certainly have no problem. CNN apparently has a problem, as indicated in an interview of "Senior Editor for Arab Affairs," Octavia Nasr, by a student news reporter for CNN Student News.

Read this excerpt:

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: WordCentral.com defines terrorism as the use of a violent or destructive act to achieve a goal. Why is it so difficult for the international community to agree on a definition for terrorism?

OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SENIOR EDITOR FOR ARAB AFFAIRS: Well, I think for one, terrorism for one person is a freedom fight for another. And you know, the Arab world always talks about this, as they say the so-called terrorism, because they believe that - in Iraq, for example, many people are struggling against occupation, so in many ways they support that struggle against occupation but then they draw a line between those who are struggling. They want a free Iraq, they want the occupiers out and those who are pushing the envelope and crossing the line by terrorizing people. And when we say terrorizing people, in a sense, it's going after the innocent civilians, the unsuspecting civilians, taking hostages, beheading them. Committing acts that are totally unacceptable, even by the standards of a freedom fight. So, you know, if you think about it, "terrorism" is a subjective term depending on which side you are on.

I'm amazed that Nasr doesn't appear to know the difference between U.S., Iraqi, and other coalition forces on one hand, and Al Qaida and Iraqi terrorists on the other. If, after all the beheadings, kidnappings, and suicide bombings perpetrated in Iraq by Zarqawi and Iraqi gangs, Nasr really believes that terrorism is a "freedom fight" by another name, she is not qualified to edit or direct other reporters. And it's insulting that she uses the pejorative "occupiers" to describe coalition forces, definitely not the objective, unbiased term for use by a world-class news operation.
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