Image via WikipediaIn its editorial today, Gulf News exhibits an amazing mixture of ignorance and arrogance. I'm really not sure which is greater.
The paper's rant, the second* most idiotic piece of editorial comment I can recall in 15 long years of regular GN readership**, asserts that French company Alstom is 'defying international law' - presumably because it is working with the Israeli government (GN's madcap scribble asserts 'by seeking financial gains at the expense of justice and peace') on the Jerusalem railway project.
The paper then goes on to say, of Alstom, 'It must reconsider its position, and so must regional states that deal with the French company.'
States like the UAE, for instance?
- The 2,000 megawatt $2 billion Fujeirah power plant contract awarded by the UAE in August 2007? Or the 16-year maintenance contract for that very same plant it signed in 2008?
- The February 2006 $250million Dubal power plant contract? Or the power plant and fume treatment contracts with Sohar Aluminium Company and ALBA (Aluminium Bahrain)?
- The August 2007 contract for a $175 million 150Megawatt co-generation plant at Dubai's aluminium smelter, DUBAL?
- The June 2008 award of a $500mn tram network in Dubai (together with consortium partners Besix and Serco)? The Al Sufouh tramway is apparently under construction.
In fact, the most cursory search of Gulf News' own website reveals a long history of huge contract awards to the company in the UAE and the wider Middle East, with key and strategic elements of transport, power, water and other public infrastructure being supplied and maintained by the company across the entire region.
So what's the answer here? Are we really being subjected to the ranting of simian, gibbering idiots - or is Gulf News knowingly misleading its readers as to the extensive and ongoing dealings which the UAE and other Middle East governments have with this major multinational company?
Does it owe its readers an apology for its ill-considered and badly researched coverage of this issue? Or an apology for being craven in its 'clarion call'?
* The most idiotic award still belongs to the holocaust denial piece, which seems to have been taken down from GN's website.
** Jeepers. That's over Dhs 16,000 at today's rates! I want a refund!