Following on from David’s post Defeated in Iraq…
Whatever your own view of the Iraq War, the BBC constantly campaigned against it. The BBC also loves Obama. So how to report the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq?
Clare Spencer, the left-winger who writes most of the Daily View pieces for the BBC website’s See Also column, is back from her holiday today. Her first post is Daily View: US troops leaving Iraq.
If you were a biased right-wing reporter, who would most want to ignore on this issue? Robert Fisk of the Independent probably. If you were a biased left-wing reporter, who would you go to first? Robert Fisk of the Independent probably. Clare Spencer goes first to Robert Fisk, quoting some of his usual anti-Western, anti-(this-)war bile.
After Fisk comes Steve Benen, a JournOLista at the Washington Monthly (Clare is fond of quoting JournOListas), who ‘balances’ Fisk by taking “some satisfaction” in this milestone being achieved. Bad war yes, but well done Obama!
After the left-wing Fisk and the left-wing Benen comes left-wing blogger Juan Cole of Informed Comment who synthesizes the two views to get the perfect BBC opinion:
What Obama has done is stay true to US commitment to get combat units out by September 1. That should reassure Iraqis – and Arabs and Muslims in general – about US intentions. It is a symbol of a turnaround in US policy, a repudiation of the Bush administration doctrine of preemptive war.
Fourth comes Roula Khalaf of the Financial Times who “argues…that the Iraqis have little to celebrate about the US withdrawal”. (This could be read as a criticism of Obama’s move, but isn’t.)
An article in Foreign Policy by John Negroponte, ex-ambassador to Iraq, is quoted next. His quote offers advice for the future, so it doesn’t really counteract the one-sided appraisal of the war of the article so far.
Clare then quotes the Daily Mail. That’s odd. But when you read the quote you find that the Mail article attacks Bush and Blair and calls the war “shameful, without any winners” – which is exactly what beeboids wants to hear!
The one bit (out of seven) that genuinely does provide balance comes from the Daily Mirror, where “the director of the Iraqi Association, a charity for Iraqi refugees in Britain Jabbar Hasan“ argues “that the Iraq war was worth it”.
However, it’s back to the far-Left anti-war campaigner Rose Gentle (who lost her son in the war and then joined Galloway’s Respect Party) to finish the article in the same Fiskian spirit as it began:
Life in Iraq hasn’t got any better. It’s got worse. Nothing has been achieved there which is very disappointing. There is still no stability despite thousands of innocent Iraqis being killed during the war.”