Never Back Down

Most of us will remember how the BBC was criticised for using the term ‘quagmire’ to describe the war in Iraq, when in fact nearly miraculous progress was being made on the road to Baghdad. The BBC took such offence it would seem that they’re hanging on to the word whatever the cost- they’ve even dipped into their Oxford Book of Quotations to support it.

This article by Paul Reynolds first appeared some days ago, and then disappeared, and then reappeared. The prime theme is how Iraq might be like Vietnam, but then again it’s unlikely to be Vietnam, and in fact it’s more like that little known colonial conflict fought by the USA about 100 years ago in the Philippines, which was described (according to Reynolds) by Mark Twain as “a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater.” So, in appearing sceptical (but suggestive- read the article) towards the Vietnam comparison, Reynolds is able to revive one of the BBC’s favourite words (‘quagmire’) and seemingly vindicate the stupid journalism of six months ago.

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2 Responses to Never Back Down

  1. Dan says:

    A little bit off topic, although it involves another quagmire, the media’s jenin quagmire that is.
    To my surprise i found a nearly balanced report.

    The report actually states without sneer quotes that the operation took place as a response to the passover slaughter, (failing to mention by whom, of cource, hence -nearly ), and states “Soldiers fought pitched battles with militants and parts of the sprawling camp were reduced to rubble. The final known death toll was 52 Palestinian militants and civilians and 23 Israeli soldiers.” (key word “known” death toll, suggesting that maybe there are more tolls hiding somewhere, (understandble in legal terms, when r sambrook will be brought to justice)). amen.

    To be fair, it’s quite a welcome change from the part of ‘der’ (now in quotes) bbc.
    I guess the policeman is starting to do his job, and that the newsdesk is starting to get rid of harmful evidence.

    Next up: matching pictures with subtiltles, a bot which replaces the term ‘militant’ with terrorist, stating age of israeli terror victims i.e ‘7-month-old Israeli baby shot in the head by palestinian sniper’ and a public deconstruction of baraba plett.

    there might be hope. cure for hepititis beeb is on the horizon.


  2. Alene Berk says:

    The Philippines took a few years, and got pretty ugly, but we prevailed. Twain was against it from the beginning. Maybe the Beeb should learn some history of that imbroglio. On the other hand, if they think Twain a truthful commentator, they must accept his travelogue of Palestine, which he described as an empty wasteland.