Middle East commentatorJoseph Braude provides an intriguing New Republic round-up of Arab press reaction to the Iraq poll. The pro-government media are doing their best, in their very different ways, to gloss over the embarrassment of seeing a free election take place in the neighbourhood. Some papers, predictably enough, stress Sunnis disenfranchisement, some are playing up the Iranians-are-taking-over angle. Others, as in Libya, did their best to bury the news all together, while others zeroed in on the violence:

In Tunis, Al Sabah led with the headline, Bloody Election Day: A Giant British Plane Crash, Nine American Soldiers Killed, and Explosions in Voting Centers Leave 36 Iraqis Dead.

That sounds like an Arabic translation of the NY Times, doesn't it? (To be fair, the British press splashed the plane all over the front pages too, making liberal use of stills of the alleged insurgent missiles.) One other line caught my eye. Somehow it sums up the Teheran mind-set:

Relations between Iran and Egypt remain strained; it's only been a year since the mullahs took down a street sign in Tehran that had named a busy intersection after the man who killed Anwar Sadat.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/spin-cycle-middle-east.html|||2/02/2005 05:44:00 pm|||||||||