Foreign Press Foundation -
BBC: one of the worst warmongers on earth...
Wed Jun 30, 2004 03:33
BBC: one of the worst warmongers on earth...
All people working at the BBC are muzzled when the UK military feels like it -
by the now permanent 'D-Notice'.
The undersigned - who also has worked for the BBC, but stopped in protest during
Gulf War I - has seen and heard the detoriation in the reporting by the BBC,
which now has turned into: "Blair's Biased Crap".
The warmongering role of the BBC is clearly shown in different investigations,
which should change your maybe positive ideas about the BBC, and see it's real
role plus their distortion of the newsfacts.
"A study of coverage concerning the run up and support for the war in Iraq in
five countries, for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, shows that the BBC
featured the lowest level of dissent of all. Its 2% total was even lower than
the 7% found on the US channel ABC." !
Horrible BBC reporting on the M-East:
and a very good article from Media Lens on also the Big Lie:
MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
RAPID RESPONSE MEDIA ALERT: LET FREEDOM REIGN - THE BIG LIE
June 29, 2004 - The stakes are high for anyone willing to pit their capacity for
independent, rational thought against the media's version of the world.
All too often, we find ourselves faced with the choice of deciding
that either we, or a wide range of celebrity journalists, are mad.
It takes a brave soul to affirm, with Thoreau: "Any man more
right than his neighbours constitutes a majority of one."
It takes a brave female soul, too.
Consider the literally mind-boggling media performance in reporting
"the handover of power" to the Iraqi interim government.
„Sovereign" Iraq - Inverted Commas Need Not Apply
Prior to the "handover" the media never tired of insisting that the
„coalition" would „hand over power to the Iraqis" on June 30 (Laura Trevelyan,
BBC1, 16:45 News, May 23, 2004), such that "soon the occupation will end" (Orla
Guerin, BBC1, 19:00 News, June 16, 2004).
The death of a British soldier in Basra was particularly tragic,
Middle East correspondent - Orla Guerin - noted on the BBC,
because he was „the last soldier to die under the occupation".
(BBC1, 13:00 News, June 28, 2004)
Washington correspondent Matt Frei declared Iraq „sovereign and
free" on „an enormously significant day for Iraq", an „historic day",
anchor Anna Ford emoted on the same programme.
Even the most indolent viewer must surely have wondered how any
of this could be true when hundreds of thousands of US and other
troops continue to pack the country - how can the occupation end
without the occupation ending?
And how can an Iraqi government appointed by the invading American superpower,
rather than elected by Iraqis, be declared „free"?
On the evening news, Guerin reported how Iraqi troops participating
in a ceremony „have waited all their lives for freedom", noting that
Iraqis „feel satisfaction that power will be back in Iraqi hands".
(Guerin, BBC1, 18:00 News, June 28, 2004)
The bewildering sense of hidden collisions with reality was heightened by
diplomatic correspondent James Robbins who noted that the big question remained:
„Can Iraq achieve democracy?" (Ibid)
So power is „back in Iraqi hands", Iraq is „sovereign and free",
but the key question is whether Iraq can achieve democracy!
Over on ITN, senior correspondent James Mates reviled the
„determined and brutal terrorists" - he meant the insurgency,
not the „coalition" - who were threatening Iraq, which was
„now sovereign" (ITN, 18:30 News, June 28, 2004).
On Channel 4 News, Jon Snow noted that this was „a dramatic
moment in the Bush-Blair war on terror". (Channel 4 News, 19:00, June 28, 2004)
Quite why this was the case, when everyone now knows Iraq had nothing to do with
September 11, had no WMD, and no links to al-Qaeda, was not explained.
Channel 4 at least managed to express some scepticism.
International editor Lindsey Hilsum noted that „the occupation ended, at least
symbolically", with Snow referring to the „new, supposedly sovereign,
government". Foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller noted „The occupation
was over - at least that's how they [Bush and Blair] presented it to the world."
Channel 4 Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, however,
broke all records for tragi-comic truth-reversal by commenting that
unless Iraq managed to „create some semblance of a democratic
government", no one should expect any further unilateral US
interventions „anywhere else anytime soon".
Should we laugh or cry? Heaven help any Iraqi government that
manages to achieve actual democracy in Iraq - a „rogue state" and prime target
for unilateral US intervention will thereby have instantly been created.
On and on, throughout the day, the broadcast media presented the
government version of events as common sense truth - there really
+had+ been „a transfer of power", Iraq was „independent", „sovereign" and
What was so extraordinary - was that a range of journalists right across the
spectrum - was willing to abandon all common sense, in fact sanity, in promoting
this obviously absurd argument. Writing in the hardly radical New York Times,
the admirable Paul Krugman wrote:
„The formal occupation of Iraq came to an ignominious end yesterday... In
reality, the occupation will continue under another name, most likely until a
hostile Iraqi populace demands that we leave." (Krugman, "Who lost Iraq?" - New
York Times, June 29, 2004)
This recognition - of the obvious truth - was unimaginable
on the main BBC and ITN news programmes on June 28.
As Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent: „Alice in Wonderland could not have
improved on this. The looking-glass reflects all the way from Baghdad to
Washington." He added: „Those of us who put
quotation marks around 'liberation'‚ in 2003 should now put quotation marks
Doing this has become part of the reporting of the Middle East."
(Fisk, 'The handover': Restoration of Iraqi sovereignty - or Alice
in Wonderland?' The Independent, June 29, 2004)
Alas, as so often happens, Fisk's own editors provided an almost
comic counterpoint to his honesty on the same day, insisting,
„the new ministers must now be left to govern as they see fit.
The slightest hint that they are puppets of the former occupying powers will
reinforce suspicions that the occupation never ended and fuel resistance".
(Leader, 'The violence will only end in Iraq if there is a genuine transfer of
sovereignty' The Independent, June 29, 2004)
The „slightest hint"? That will be the quarter of a million foreign
troops armed to the teeth and out of the control of a US-selected
Iraqi government, itself out of the control of the Iraqi population!
The Independent's editors talked of „a mismanaged occupation. So many bad
judgements were made. The occupation was mounted without the requisite troop
strength; priority was given to protecting the oil industry infrastructure
before protecting civilians; the US provisional authority took the decision to
purge every last Baathist and disband the Iraqi armed forces, so driving
millions into penury and opposition.' (Ibid)
Again, anyone still capable of rational thought after this flood of
brainmashing propaganda, can recognise that the problem is not
that the occupation was „mismanaged'', but that it was monstrous,
illegal, immoral, murderous - a campaign of mass violence in
pursuit of transparently cynical ends. +That+ is the reality - it
doesn't matter that it conflicts with everything important people
are saying and need us to believe. If any other imperial power
in history had been responsible, it wouldn't even be a discussion.
Sovereignty - The Truth
In fact the interim Iraqi government has no power even to make
lawsor to change laws imposed by the „coalition".
This includes a law signed last week giving US and other foreign civilian
contractors legal immunity while working in Iraq. If one of the 80,000 foreign
mercenaries in Iraq shoots dead an Iraqi, he cannot be taken to an Iraqi court.
Before leaving, coalition head, Paul Bremer, made a series of 5-year
appointments - interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's choice of national security
and intelligence chiefs will remain in post for five years. Allawi has long
worked for MI6, the CIA, and 12 other intelligence agencies.
During discussions at the Security Council over the interim administration's
rights, the French insisted on an Iraqi veto over any large scale „coalition"
military offensives. Prime Minister Allawi refused to support the French demand,
and so „proved his pro-American bona fides to top US officials", Dilip Hiro
(Dilip Hiro, Iraq tipping Point‚, June 25, 2004, Znet, www.zmag.org)
UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi admitted publicly that his own promised
authority in building the caretaker government had been "sharply
limited" by American officials.
Brahimi called Bremer "the dictator" of Iraq. "Whether Dr. Allawi was
their choice, whether they manoeuvred to get him in [the Prime
Minister's] position - you better ask them", Brahimi said. (Ibid)
Crucially, the Iraqi government will have no power over the
140,000 US and 200,000 other troops occupying the country.
The power of the budget continues to be largely set and paid for in
Washington, and will not be in Iraqi hands ˆ Americans will decide
how the $18 billion set aside for reconstruction is spent.
Journalist and author Adam Hothschild comments:
„If the new Iraq-to-be is not a state, what is it? A half century ago one could
talk about colonies, protectorates, and spheres of influence, but in our
supposedly post-colonial world, the vocabulary is poorer.
We lack a word for a country where most real power is in the hands of someone
else, whether that be shadowy local militias, other nations' armies, or both.
Pseudostate, perhaps. From Afghanistan to the Palestinian Authority, Bosnia to
Congo, pseudostates have now
spread around the globe. Some of them will even be exchanging
ambassadors with Iraq." (Adam Hothschild, A pseudostate is
born‚, June 27, 2004, ZNet)
Back To The WMD Farce [
http://tinyurl.com/396gd - HR]
In short, nothing has changed. The same broadcast media that fooled itself into
fooling the public into taking the Bush-Blair case for war seriously, Iraq
possessed lethal WMD, had links to al-Qaeda, and therefore posed a „serious and
current" threat to the West, is now trying to fool us into taking the Bush-Blair
case for Iraqi „sovereignty" seriously.
The media are not neutral observers of deception, they are central players.
This was brought home to us by one telling event in particular.
The last man to shake hands with Paul Bremer as he left Baghdad,
was one (variously spelled) Barham Salih, former Prime Minster
of the PUK-ruled Kurdistan, and now deputy Prime Minister in
charge of national security.
This was the same Salih presented by BBC journalist, John Sweeney, as credible,
independent commentator on Iraqi affairs. In Sweeney's documentary, The Mother
of all Ironies, Salih said:
"The oil for food programme is a good programme, it must continue.
It is the best thing that has happened to Iraq since the foundation of
the Iraqi state. By the way, not only for the Kurdish areas but also
for the rest of Iraq, because we never had it so good - all Iraqis, not just
Kurds." (Sweeney, 'The Mother of all Ironies', Correspondent, BBC2, June 23,
Salih was talking of a UN programme that had brought mass death
and untold suffering to the civilian population of Iraq. This was the
same Salih referenced in an email to us from Independent columnist
Johann Hari when mentioning „a democratic [Kurdish] parliament
and Prime Minister (who supported the invasion of the South)".
(Email to Media Lens, November 20, 2003)
A British-trained civil engineer, Salih has been Kurdistan's regional
representative to Washington, and is said to be „close to" both the
State Department and the Pentagon. His story is a fine example of
the linkage between media and political propaganda.
It is how we are fooled and they keep killing.
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If the BBC would try to do more things journalistically right,
"Tony the Traitor" Blair would stop the money flow. [ HR ]
FOREIGN PRESS FOUNDATION
Editor : Henk Ruyssenaars
The Dutch author worked for 4 decades for international media as foreign
correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World
and the Middle East.
Seeing that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism !
Evil triumphs when good men, women and most journalists remain silent:
The coming US-coup in Venezuela:
Help the troops come home: we need them to fight our 'governments'.
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