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#165847 - Sun Mar 30 2003 10:51 PM Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
chelseabelle Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
Peter Arnett, the veteran journalist currently seen on NBC, gave an interview on Iraqi TV which is not favorable to the U.S.

Peter Arnett: U.S. war plan has 'failed'

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) --The U.S. war plan has "failed," veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett told Iraqi TV in an interview that aired Sunday.
"The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan," Arnett said. "Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."
Arnett -- who is reporting for National Geographic Television and NBC News -- also said Iraq has given him and other reporters a "degree of freedom which we appreciate," this despite the fact that Iraq has expelled several journalists, including CNN's Baghdad team, and apparently has imprisoned two journalists from the New York newspaper Newsday.
Arnett is a member of the Board of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which is trying to locate the missing journalists.
"I'd like to say from the beginning that the 12 years I've been coming here," Arnett said, "I've met unfailing courtesy and cooperation, courtesy from your people and cooperation from the Ministry of Information."
Arnett told the Iraqi TV interviewer, who was dressed in an Iraqi Army uniform, that President Bush is facing a "growing challenge" about the "conduct of the war" within the United States.
"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," he said. In the interview, Arnett said reports from Baghdad on civilians being killed are being shown in the United States, and "it helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments."
He pointed out U.S. claims that civilians killed in an explosion at a downtown Baghdad market were the victims of Iraqi missiles, and that Iraq had said the missiles were definitely incoming coalition fire.
NBC News issued a statement supporting Arnett, saying that Arnett gave the interview to Iraqi TV as a "professional courtesy" and that his remarks "were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more."
Arnett also said "clearly this is a city that is disciplined, the population is responsive to the government's requirements of discipline," and "Iraqi friends tell me there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain is doing."
The longtime war correspondent, who reported on the Persian Gulf War for CNN in 1991, said U.S. war planners miscalculated the will of Iraqis and he does "not understand how that happened."
He said his reports "would tell the Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of the government and the willingness to fight for their country." http://cnn.com
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This is a transcript of the interview:

Transcript of Peter Arnett interview on Iraqi TV

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) --The U.S. war plan has "failed," veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett told Iraqi TV in an interview that aired Sunday. Following is a transcript of that interview:

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.

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)
http://cnn.com

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Well, we know why Mr Arnett hasn't been kicked out of Baghdad along with the other journalists.

Do you think it is appropriate for a newsman, working for NBC, to make such statements on Iraqi TV?
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#165848 - Sun Mar 30 2003 10:59 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
DieHard Offline
Prolific

Registered: Wed Oct 10 2001
Posts: 1127
Loc: Louisiana USA
Do you really want to know what I think?
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#165849 - Mon Mar 31 2003 03:31 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
chelseabelle Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
Arnett has been canned by NBC and MSNBC...

NBC Fires Contrite Arnett Over Iraqi TV Interview
By REUTERS


Filed at 12:28 p.m. ET

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American television network NBC said on Monday it had fired veteran reporter Peter Arnett after he told Iraqi television the U.S. war plan against Saddam Hussein had failed.

Arnett, who as a CNN reporter in 1991 was one of the few Western journalists reporting from Baghdad during the first Gulf War, said in an interview on Sunday with state-owned Iraqi television that the U.S. military would need to rewrite its war plan following Iraqi resistance.

``America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week, and re-writing the war plan,'' Arnett said in the interview. ``The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance now they are trying to write another war plan.''

Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Vietnam War, told NBC's ``Today'' show, ``I said in that interview essentially what we all know about the war, that there have been delays in implementing policy, there have been surprises.

``But clearly by giving that interview I created a firestorm in the United States and for that I am truly sorry. My stupid misjudgment was to spend fifteen minutes in an impromptu interview with Iraqi television,'' he said.

His assignment with NBC and National Geographic represented a chance for redemption after he was fired from CNN in 1998 after the network retracted a documentary, in which Arnett alleged that U.S. commandos had used sarin gas on American defectors in the Vietnam war.

NBC said in a statement it was wrong for Arnett to grant an interview with state-controlled Iraqi TV at a time of war and chastised him for making personal observations and opinions.

``His remarks were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more,'' the network said.

On Sunday, Arnett told Iraqi television that American war planners had underestimated the determination of Iraqi troops to fight U.S. and British troops and that the Pentagon seemed to be amending its original strategy.

PATRIOTISM IN FOCUS

MSNBC, which had been using Arnett's reports, also severed ties with him. ``I'm not aware of anybody in the journalism community who has seen the war plan, much less Peter Arnett,'' said Erik Sorenson, MSNBC president and general manager.

``It's just inappropriate and arguably unpatriotic for an American to be communicating these things to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people,'' he added.

Asked how much of a priority patriotism should be for an objective journalist, he said, ``When you go on state-controlled television after Iraq's vice president promised to send terrorists into your country, I do think some patriotism is appropriate in this instance.''

On Saturday after a suicide car bomb that killed at least four U.S. soldiers, Iraq's vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan said it would use any method that ``stops or kills the enemy.''

Arnett also said there was a ``growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war.''

That view echoed similar comments in many U.S. media after the rapid advance of U.S. forces through southern Iraq slowed south of Baghdad amid disruptive attacks on its long supply lines and persistent resistance, particularly in the towns.

Arnett's remarks were received with anger by the administration in Washington. One White House source said they were based on ``a position of complete ignorance.''

In another media development, veteran reporter Geraldo Rivera, a correspondent for Fox News, is being removed from Iraq by the U.S. military for reporting Western troop movements in the war, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Hundreds of reporters from around the world are currently assigned to U.S. and British military units to report the war in Iraq under ground rules that allow them freedom to report without compromising the security of the troops.

Arnett, while apologetic on NBC, said he has granted many interviews in the past and that his remarks were not ``out of line with what experts think.''

``Maybe some people think I'm insane, but I'm not anti-military,'' he added. ``This is the biggest story of my life.'' Asked what the future held for him, Arnett said: ``There's a small island, inhabited in the South Pacific that I will try to swim to.''

``I'll leave, I'm embarrassed,'' he said.
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#165850 - Mon Mar 31 2003 04:14 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
snm Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 901
Loc: Israel
Didn't it ever occur to him that granting an interview for state controlled television was in itself a violation of any so-called free-press journalistic ideals?
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#165851 - Mon Mar 31 2003 06:26 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
wez Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Sep 30 2001
Posts: 2521
Loc: Norwich
England UK        
Surely, he must be a double-agent?

If not, he's just thick!

Personally, I wouldn't put anything past CNN!!!!!!

Mind you, the UK has John Simpson?

Heaven help, unbiased journalism?

wez
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#165852 - Mon Mar 31 2003 07:17 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
Coolupway Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
I guess he had to destroy his career in order to save it! By the way, in the newly released "Useful Idiots", Mona Charen presents evidence that the "destroy the village in order to save it" quote, (Tet offensive/Ben Tre), which to some extent made Arnett's career, was fabricated.

I find all of this particularly disturbing in view of the fact that there are rumours about that one of the characters in "The Year of Living Dangerously" (great movie, astounding book) is based on Arnett. Will one of our Tassie members ring up writer CJ Koch and find out the truth here?

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#165853 - Mon Mar 31 2003 08:35 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
Coolupway Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
Update per Google News: Arnett hired by the (UK) Daily Mirror. (Surprised it wasn't the Beeb!)

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#165854 - Tue Apr 01 2003 04:21 AM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
wez Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Sep 30 2001
Posts: 2521
Loc: Norwich
England UK        
No surprise our man's been hired by the Daily Mirror. They are just about the most anti-war tabloid in the UK at the moment.

Mind you, it's all just a marketing ploy by dear old Piers (Morgan, editor), to disagree with absolutely everything that The Sun says.

wez
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#165855 - Tue Apr 01 2003 04:32 PM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
Coolupway Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
Well, now he's together with Pilger. All the Mirror has to do now is hire the awful Robert Fisk and they'll pull off an unprecedented pro-terrorist anti-West journo hat trick.

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#165856 - Wed Apr 02 2003 03:32 AM Re: Peter Arnett On Iraqi TV
damnsuicidalroos Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
After reading the interview I`m totally stunned that this gentleman didn`t realise the obvious ramifications of his statements,which along with a couple of other things regarding this war I wouldn`t even write down for anyone to read in Fun Trivia.
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