07 Feb 2009
Read the Arabic original on Aswat al Iraq here. Translated into English by Alison.
Baghdad, Voices of Iraq : A number of Iraqi academics and researchers agreed that the Arab fear of the situation in Iraq will persist, despite "positive indicators" from the Iraqi provincial elections, and their views were proven by the coverage of these elections by Arab media.
Dr. Hashem Hassan, a professor of media philosophy at the School of Media at Baghdad University, told Voices of Iraq that these elections played upon regional and Arab fears and indicated the Iraqi consensus to all parts of the democratic project. This was evidenced by the participation of powers previously opposed to it. This positive step is a result of the confidence of the Arab and local environment in the soundness of the Maliki government and its transition from the Dawa Party to a coalition of a country of laws, as well as the success of the Iraqi government in marketing the positive aspects of the security agreement both domestically and internationally.
Regarding the Arab media's treatment of the Iraqi elections, Hassan explained that public opinion was "the victim of negative propaganda, which will not change until there is objective coverage to convince the Arab public, especially as regards the situation in Iraq," taking into account that "some Arab leaders became convinced of the changes in Iraq, especially after the last elections. Pointing out that that changing of Arab opinions "needs to be a comprehensive Iraqi strategy that will have effect from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf, as Arab communities in the U.S. and Europe and all over the world, rely on experts for strategic information, as well as for propaganda and news."
He opined that there is a "complete paralysis in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and similar institutions that failed to communicate with Iraqis outside the country. How can they reach the minds and consciousnesses of the people of this country, after they have been exposed to misleading campaigns from other media sources?"
Hassan concluded that there is a "set of indicators that were apparent in the elections a few days ago, among them that Iraqis proved their commitment to the choice of democracy, a relative increase in awareness, as well as the emergence of indicators showing that Iraqis have decided upon a national project, and renounced sectarian or tribal projects. This is proven by the growing influence of national elements, as oposed to those that take refuge in religious slogans, whether Sunni or Shiite.