Seeing as the World Sees Us: Al-Jazeera on GlobeCast 

[Parts of this statement appeared in the Daytona Beach NewsJournal.]

  Pierre Tristam is right on the money again with his comment that the US should attempt to see itself as the rest of the world sees it; however, he is wrong that Al-Jazeera is not available by regular TV subscription. I recommend a visit to http://www.globecastwtv.com/ [GlobeCast World TV] on the Internet to see a full listing of what that service offers. As I am writing this, English Al-Jazeera is showing a live report of the military sealing off of Beit Hanoun, a town in Gaza , with live footage of Israeli tanks shooting at vehicles attempting to leave town. Al-Jazeera interviews spokespersons from the Palestinian side and spokespersons from the Israeli side. And Al-Jazeera must have a tremendous impact on the male-dominated Middle East by using female reporters in battle gear at Beit Hanoun. And during all that reporting, no one interrupted to try to sell toilet paper or make-up kits or underwear or any other perversion of the consumer society. The tone is sober and matter-of-factly.

For the news junkie such as I, Al-Jazeera is not the only news network on GlobeCast. News with a European perspective comes through EuroNews, where one can select the language of one’s choice. I see EuroNews in German, but a flick of the switch will change languages to the Queen’s English, to French, to Spanish, to Italian, to Russian, or to Portuguese. MHZ World offers the latest news from an sub-continental Indian perspective and offers periodic showing of international films with English sub-titles. I have seen several delightful Russian films that way.

I also took great delight in seeing Arkadi and Boris Strugatski’s contemplative science-fiction piece “Picnic by the Wayside” in Polish on TV Polonia. And Poland has several other channels available of GlobeCast TV. Several films there have been offered in Polish with English sub-titles. Beginning now, Dolphin-TV is broadcasting in German from Southern Florida with anticipated connections to major German-speaking networks in Europe . Iraq TV is available for a direct view of that country for the person who speaks Arabic. In fact, GlobeCast had Iraq TV already at the time of the US invasion of that country. One could see the parading of the so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction in the streets of Baghdad : Toyota trucks with mounted machine guns.

In addition to all that, one can tune in a plethora of channels in Arabic including a Palestinian channel, a Libyan channel, a Saudi-Arabian channel, and so on. For the person interested in religious matters, GlobeCast offers Bridges TV, a channel that offers a view of Islamic perspectives. Several Christian channels are available also.

I can only recommend a visit to GlobeCast’s web-site to discover the rich access to the rest of the world by way of that service. I would only wish that all of our schools had regular access to that service and would offer its viewing to all students as a way of recognizing that the world is far greater than the US . As Carl Schurz said, “My country right or wrong! When right to be kept right; when wrong to be got right!” Broadening one’s perspective would be an immensely important step to “getting it right.”