Media chief slams Dubai tirade by The Times
Manama, December 7, 2009
Anwar Abdulrahman, chairman of Bahrain-based Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej Press and Publishing House, has lambasted an editorial in The Times by Jim McClean and questioned the true intentions of its publication.
Abdulrahman in his article in Bahrain's leading english daily Gulf Daily News stated that McClean's views in the column were dangerous in every sense of the word with the author claiming the Dubai financial crisis was more about the credibility of the emirate and its ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum personally than anything else.
“Is this the view of a British journalist with no links to any official organisation in the UK and was it published by The Times from this viewpoint?” asked Abdulrahman. “I don't think so. There must be some British authority behind promoting such views.”
McClean said that the trust of international investors in Dubai could never be restored, proposing that Shaikh Mohammed steps down. “He even went as far as proposing the name of who should rule after Shaikh Mohammed steps down,” pointed out Abdulrahman.
The media chief said such tactics were not new to The Times, which had always had shadowy ties with British government departments.
“Throughout its history, this newspaper was one of the dedicated guardians of the interests of the British Empire,” said Abdulrahman. “It always played a big role in British conspiracies to topple governments and impose other ones in regions under the country's influence since the 19th century up to the 20th century.
“The Times played a central role in Britain conspiring against President Jamal Abdulnasser in Egypt after he nationalised the Suez Canal. It was this newspaper that came up with the title 'Hitler of the Nile' for Abdulnasser as part of its campaign in paving the way for an attack against Egypt and inciting the toppling of its government.
Regardless of whether there were shadowy ties to the newspaper who were behind what was published about Dubai, there are fundamental matters that must be said, Abdulrahman stressed.
“Whatever the views are on the real situation about Dubai's financial crisis, it is for the sake of principle that this British media view is racist and expresses a colonising British point of view that ended many decades ago. Who is this British journalist who gives himself the right to call for the ruler of Dubai to step down, or any other ruler in any country across the world for that matter?”
Abdulrahman said that another matter was the suspicious intentional exaggeration in depicting Dubai's financial crisis as a huge international disaster with no way out.
“Without dismissing what happened, the Dubai financial crisis can never be compared to the huge grinding crisis in the US and UK that led to disasters across the world that we all know about,” he said.
“Most of the just economic experts agree that what happened in Dubai, without belittling its importance, say it was, in the end, a crisis that will be contained and overcome and is not as grave as was depicted in the Western press,” he added, citing World Bank president Robert Zoellick’s recent observation that Dubai's financial problems could be contained and resolved.
“If any country undergoing a crisis is an excuse for The Times to call for its ruler to step down, then why doesn’t it ask for the same in the US or Britain when the financial crisis first began, particularly America where it caused a financial crisis in countries across the world?”
Another point of importance, said Abdulrahman, was the newspaper’s priorities. 'If The Times thinks that by publishing this it is trying to research the crisis and take lessons from it, or even in calling for officials to be held accountable, then wouldn’t it be more of a priority for it to hold British establishments and banks accountable for their behaviour and impulses to provide loans to companies in Dubai?” he asked.
“No one forced British establishments and banks to do this, in fact they did it out of greed,' he stated.
'The issue here is that the newspaper knows quite well that it doesn't have the right to demand from the Dubai government to honour its commitments by paying its loans, simply because at no point did the government guarantee these loans.'
“With this cheap and racist political blackmail they think that they can force Dubai's government to pay back the loans.”
In other words, said Abdulrahman, with this blackmail Dubai's government is being pushed in taking responsibility for the mistakes, bad judgment and greed of others.
“Finally, I believe the UAE, with all GCC countries behind it, should officially complain to the British government on what was published in The Times and demand an official explanation,” he said.
“When the matter reaches the degree of calling for an Arab ruler to step down, then we should not accept any official Arab silence or the matter regarded as just another journalistic view and column published,” Abdulrahman added.-TradeArabia News Service