Posted by Nabil Echchaibi on Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I'm not sure what to make of Donald Rumsfeld's recent raucous interview with Al-Jazeera's Washington bureau chief, Abderrahim Foukara. Foukara didn't mince his words and asked Rumsfeld some tough questions about American responsibility in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis because "American troops did not properly secure the borders of Iraq." Rumsfeld's answer as Foukara kept insisting on an answer was to tell the reporter that it's in his "being" and nature to be disrespectful "because that's what you people do". I can't believe the arrogance of Rumsfeld, as if nobody, particularly from that part of the world, could ever question his judgment. Foukara should have kept his cool and just reframed the question without slightly raising his voice, but it was a remarkable moment of truth about a man whose reckless war policies and vicious rhetoric many years after the fact had never been submitted to the grinding of a frank journalism interview in American media.
I was born and raised in Morocco. My research focuses on the intersections between Islam, Arab popular culture and the media. I'm currently an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Colorado-Boulder.