Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Iran and Iraq

Articles today at CNN.com and FoxNews.com were similar concerning Iran’s foreign minister making a historic trip to Iraq. I did, however, notice the different ways in which each talked about recent relations between Iran and Iraq. The examples below are somewhat subtle but indicative of biases, even if honest biases. In the yellow highlighted phrases, CNN notes that the two countries fought a war. Fox’s wording indicates that it was a Saddam-led war. Fox’s wording is a little friendlier towards the Bush administration by reinforcing Saddam’s evilness. The green highlight shows CNN mentioning Saddam’s regime being toppled while Fox gives credit to the U.S. in sweeping Saddam from power. The blue highlight shows Fox stating that the new Iraqi government is working to build ties with Iran while CNN mentions the critics’ view.

CNN: Iran and Iraq fought a long war that killed at least a million people during the 1980s. During Saddam's regime, many Shiites fled to Iran, home at the time to the only Shiite-dominated government in the region. And since the toppling of Saddam's regime, Iraq government officials have accused Iran and Syria of allowing foreign fighters into Iraq.

The January 30 democratic elections in Iraq created a government dominated by Shiite Arabs and Kurds. Some critics say those politicians are serving as puppets for Iran.

FOX: Ties between neighboring Iraq and Iran improved after the ouster of Saddam, who led an eight-year war against Iran during the 1980s in which more than 1 million people died. Relations remained cool after that war, with Iran supporting anti-Saddam groups and the former Iraqi leader hosting the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian militia that fought the Shiite religious regime in Tehran.

But since the U.S.-led invasion swept Saddam from power, Iraq's majority Shiite Muslim community has risen to power and worked to build close ties with Iran.

Iran, however, has been accused of supporting insurgents in Iraq to destabilize reconstruction efforts by the United States, which regards Tehran as a terror sponsor bent on producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies both claims.

Links to the articles:


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