Anthony Cox

of Black Triangle writes:

“Bush has just given his speech, the BBC report it as: Bush vows to defeat Iraq resistance.

“Given that the majority of Iraqi’s do not want the US to leave and the people in the resistance are disguntled hardline Baath party members, or foreigners with their own agenda, then calling them ‘Iraq resistance’ seems a bit biased.

“Surely the real Iraqi resistance are those working with the Americans to make their country democratic.”

For myself, I would find it slightly artificial to call the pro-democracy Iraqis “the resistance” now that Saddam is gone. (While he was in power it would have been the correct term for them both literally and emotionally.) However the use of the term “resistance” with all its glorious anti-Nazi overtones for a bunch of Ba’ath gangsters and foreign fanatics is typical BBC. Typical in that, sure, it could be defended by recourse to the strict meaning of the word – and you can bet they have such a defence ready – but you know and I know and they know that they get a distinct thrill from using that word to describe groups killing Americans. The BBC proclaims with loud self-righteousness that it must take the greatest care to avoid using any word with negative overtones for those who slaughter busloads of civilians. I think it employs equal care in the selection and use a word with positive overtones for those who kill American soldiers and worshippers at a mosque. By “it”, of course, I mean the aggregate mindset of the BBC community: I do not claim there is a policy document telling staff they must use the word “resistance” to describe the remnants of Saddam’s regime. I mean that, quite unprompted, that is the sort of word the sort of person employed by the BBC will use. As Charles Moore is quoted as saying in the post below, BBC bias is a state of mind.

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