Following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian-based Iraqi politician Mish’an Al-Jabouri, the owner of Arrai TV. The interview aired on Arrai TV on December 13, 2009.
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: Anybody in the world, when you drive him into a corner, and you are about to strangle him – will fight. Even a cat might kill a human being in self-defense, when you drive it into a corner. [Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri] Al-Maliki has driven his rivals into a corner, and so, they are fighting him ferociously, with all possible means.
The Americans are accusing us of incitement. [Iraqi Defense Minister] Al-Obeidi, who is corrupt and pockets bribes – if he wants to sell the [anti-tank] grenades he confiscated, I will buy them. Our producer can show us how these grenades are used. Those heroic young men use them to attack the American forces. These grenades are used by the fearless young heroes of the resistance.
If anyone in Iraq or abroad has grenades for sale, we will buy them and deliver them to the resistance, one way or another. We are not afraid. Bush and whatchamacallit... that Israeli website...
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: MEMRI, and all the others... We do not kill civilians. We do not attack American or European civilians. We do not support or encourage terrorism. We do not condone attacks against Iraqis, whether civilians or military personnel. We do not condone or support any operation, unless it is directed against someone in a Hummer, wearing a US military uniform, who came to invade and occupy our country. What are we supposed to do – salute him.
Interviewer: The US Congress demanded that the owners of Arab satellites to stop the broadcasting of several channels.1 They specifically mentioned Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Manar TV, and Al-Rafidein TV, as well as Al-Zawraa or Arrai TV. This is an unequivocal demand... They even demanded that the assets of the satellite owners be frozen, as a means to pressure them to remove these channels. What is your reaction?
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: If they didn’t demand this, we would have thought something was wrong. Today, I heard Petraeus, the commander of the US forces, talking about Arrai TV, and saying that it was the TV channel of the Saddamists. Petraeus knows me, of course, and I know him. We met many times. Once, in Baghdad, he invited me to a meeting, in order to ask me to stop posing questions [in parliament] to Interior Minister Fallah Al-Naqib, and I refused, so Petraeus and I had problems with one another. The man took me in his Hummers several times. Once, I thought he was about to kidnap me.
He knows I am not a Saddamist. The Saddamists are not ashamed of their affiliation, and if I were a Saddamist, I would admit it. But everybody knows that this is not my affiliation.
Interviewer: That’s what they wrote for him.
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: Exactly. This is what they told him. Obviously, we are proud to be the TV channel of the resistance. We are proud to be a TV channel that calls to fight the occupier, and we will continue to do so as long as we exist.
This might come as a surprise – and I haven’t discussed this even with my daughter, the editor-in-chief, and she will be surprised by what I have to say... We may change the conduct of our TV channel in order to avoid causing harm to the people at the satellite company. We will keep our show “The Harvest of the Resistance,"2 and we will maintain our rhetoric of resistance, but we may be inclined to be... let’s say... less vehement. Perhaps we won’t air footage of operations all day long, as we do now. Perhaps in the future, we will broadcast drama series. I think the day is near, to be honest. Maybe at the beginning of the new year. Soon we will try to... let’s say... defuse this.
If they were threatening us only – our assets are already frozen. The assets of this channel and its owners were frozen more than two years ago.
Interviewer: I would like to point out that this show is the reason for the action against the four TV channels. I listened to the session of the US Congress, and they said that on these TV channels, people publicly supported operations against the US occupation. I immediately went to [the website] of MEMRI, because it is... With your permission, I would like to tell the viewers about MEMRI. MEMRI is an intelligence website – the Middle East Media Research Institute. It is run by Yigal Carmon, a colonel in the Israeli intelligence, and a former security advisor to Shamir and to Rabin. This man is entrusted with the task of giving testimonies in Congress about anything related to Middle East media. Yigal Carmon is responsible for most of the media catastrophes you see.
This man took an excerpt from our show, “Ala Al-Makshouf,” in which you said you are proud to support any member of the Iraqi resistance.3 This excerpt was the reason for the Congress session, because they discussed this excerpt word for word. They said that on these channels, one of the owners declared publicly that he supports the operations with money. What you said was cited almost word for word in the Congress session.
You’ve just said it again, and maybe MEMRI is recording us.
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: Let me tell Mr. MEMRI that I am really proud to help [the resistance] and call upon people to fight the occupation. I use this podium to call upon people whom I cannot contact directly to escalate their heroic operations against the occupiers.
I am disappointed with our brothers in the [Iraqi] army and police in Mosul and other provinces, who used to give us a reason, every now and again, to hold our heads high, by carrying out operations that harvested 5-6 invaders, who raided the villages of our people and violated the sanctity of our region...
I, Mish’an Al-Jabouri, am proud and honored to play a role, to help, and to support all those who open fire on the occupiers.
We will never stop this show, even when we lower the tone a little in order to defuse the situation with MEMRI. If this show and I myself are the target...
Interviewer: Believe me, this was the direct reason. I compared the session with what MEMRI presented – it was the direct reason, and by the way, in every session of the US Congress, Yigal Carmon... Bush’s war on terror in 2001 began with his testimony in Congress that the Arabs covered the 9/11 incidents in a negative way. On the basis of this false testimony, the US Congress voted to support Bush’s war on terror.
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: Allah willing, this will not make us change our pro-resistance rhetoric, and this channel will continue to air the weekly “Harvest of the Resistance” show, until they shut us down. Allah willing, the channel will continue.
1 The reference is to a bill, passed by the House of Representatives on December 8, 2009, which directs President Obama to report to Congress on anti-American incitement to violence in Middle East media.
2 For excerpts from the “Harvest of the Resistance” program, see MEMRI TV clip 1854,
3 See MEMRI TV clip 2241,