Thursday, July 05, 2007

BBC Reporter Alan Johnston Freed: Today's Cartoon

After being held hostage in the Gaza Strip for 114 days, the release of Alan Johnston is tremendous news to everyone; except maybe the Palestinians living in that turbulent region. You see, up until his abduction last March, Johnston was the only western journalist permanently based in Gaza; however, as a result of his ordeal, he has decided to resign his post as a Middle East correspondent and leave the task of covering that territory to those viewing it from the outside.

I find it rather odd that for all the negative publicity the Western media tends to heap upon Hamas, it was they who were able to secure the release of Alan Johnston and not Fatah; who seemingly by default have been treated almost as favorably as Israel lately ;) It was strange to watch the Hamas press conference on American television because as soon as Johnston mentioned that his captors seemed confident up until the Hamas takeover of Gaza and implied that the shadowy group holding him may have had connections to Fatah, the coverage ended abruptly and discussion immediately moved on to other topics.

I think it would be rather embarrassing if it turned out that the U.S. backed Palestinian government WERE somehow connected to the abduction of Alan Johnston; just as it would be unfortunate if it were revealed that Hamas orchestrated the whole event as some elaborate P.R. stunt to enhance its image. Of course, everything is only speculation since the one reporter who arguably knows more about that region than any other western journalist is not sticking around to ask any questions.

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