A while ago I posted that Al-Jazeera had launched an English-language website covering the war in Iraq. It was almost immediately swamped with both interested viewers and Denial of Service attacks, and has been down ever since. The main, Arabic-language site has also faced traffic problems. The network announced that they would be rolling out a new, more secure site this month sometime, and yesterday when I tried the link, it worked.
Al-Jazeera is important, not only because it provides an alternative viewpoint that most Americans are never exposed to, but because it its at least a minimal force for democracy and freedom of expression in a Middle East whose nations are dominated by oil-rich oligarchies and fundamentalist dictators. It deserves our support, and its ability to broadcast (or webcast, as the case may be) is a good indicator of our commitment to the principles of democracy that we say we’re trying to help take root in the Middle East.