To the champion of ‘Operation NRT’

February 21, 2011

To the person who ordered the brazen attack that shut down Nalia Radio and Television, NRT, here is the impact of what you did:

• You brought to light the need for a professional broadcaster that covers all sides of the story.
• You proved to everyone that in order to operate in Kurdistan, one has to be “either with us or against us”. The threat seems to come from the centrists who don’t take sides.
• You have proved that the Kurdistan region is not the model for the rest of Iraq.
• You have proved that the Kurdistan region is not safe for journalists.
• You have proved that Kurdistan region is not a safe place to do business.
• You have proved that Kurdistan region is not secure for investment in media, which is especially crucial for the media to evolve and become more professional.
• You have undermined the region’s security and legal institutions by deciding to close this TV station down using violence.
• You have given a clear message to everyone that international efforts to strengthen media and promote good governance are futile. The place is still ruled by bandits and rule of law is still far from being real.
• You have undermined the legitimacy of the KRG, the body that is supposed to be representing the will of the people.
• You have just revealed to everyone your big secret, your key weakness is that you are afraid of the media. You have given everyone who wants to destroy you a very good idea: set up a TV station that tries to practice professional standards.
• Don’t forget that you and the region have many enemies and NRT is certainly not one of them. The reason for this is simple: the station’s owner has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the region, and it is not in his interest to see the region ruined or his investment vanish.
• You have opened many doors for yourself, and you probably don’t even realize it. In this age of Facebookstan and Twitterstan — or even better, Wikileakstan — I strongly suggest that you educate yourself about the new power that global citizens hold.
• You have empowered the media. NRT or any other media outlet can start broadcasting tomorrow from places that you or your gunmen cannot reach. I wonder what you will do about that.
• Just to remind you, the only other attack on media of this scale was conducted by Al-Qaeda against Radio Dijla in Baghdad May 3rd, 2006.
• Your actions hurt the reputation of the Kurdistan Region, and it will not easily recover. Unless something is done to redress the issue, things will get worse.
• If you do not comprehend the extent of the damage you have done to the region’s future, people and reputation, you will commit many more mistakes. This will just be the first.
• If you still do not have the intellectual and political courage to come forth or take responsibility for what you’ve done, I strongly suggest you quietly step aside.

    Raber says:

    A really good article.. well done..

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