Virginia Tilley, associate professor of political science, had an editorial titled “Unplugging al-Jazeera will turn up anti-American sentiment in Iraq” published in the Aug. 18 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. The Iraqi government has closed the al-Jazeera Arab-language network for one month.
“Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi himself is viewed very skeptically for his years of collaboration with the CIA. And now his government has closed down the most popular news media in the Middle East and has set up a “Higher Media Commission” to control the press,” wrote Tilley. “These measures unmistakably mimic the old authoritarian measures so hated in the Middle East. What faith in democracy will this help to build? And, still lacking electricity and air-conditioning, Iraqi tempers are rising with the thermometer.”