Toppling Tyrants

Throughout the uprisings in Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, and of course Egypt, the BBC has avoided raising the alarm over the danger, some say inevitability, that when repressive dictatorships topple, there’s a vacuum, and in Muslim lands, Islamists are waiting in the wings, poised and raring to go. The BBC aint bovvered.
Political turmoil in Lebanon poses a serious threat to the stability of the region, but in an erratic tribute to impartiality, the BBC reports the utterances of Hassan Nasrallah, being scrupulously careful to avoid taking sides.
Kevin Connolly thinks the appointment of a pro-Hezbollah PM is a way out of Lebanon’s immediate political crisis, with the caveat:

“It is an uncomfortable outcome for the US, which denounces Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation and reflects the growing regional influence of the movement’s sponsors, Iran and Syria.”

The Syria/Iran infiltration of Lebanon may not worry the BBC, but then they wouldn’t be worried by the content of this article by Michael J Totten.

“Hezbollah had 10,000 rockets before the war in 2006. Now it has between 40,000 and 50,000. Some are stored in warehouses. Others are hidden away a few at a time in private homes.”

Hezbollah positions itself amongst houses and mosques because they know the Israelis cannot retaliate without killing civilians.

“Its fighters and officers wear no uniforms. Only rarely do they carry guns out in the open.”

The BBC should be very alarmed at what is happening in Lebanon, not complacently telling us that the political crisis is over.

The Foreign Office is reported as stating that they have no objection to dictators being overthrown, but they’d prefer it if they were replaced by secular rather than religious governments. For example, “democratically,” as in Lebanon. What? Are my ears deceiving me?

Does this mean that the Foreign Office thinks that Hezbollah, having murdered the Lebanese Prime Minister, refused to accept responsibility for the murder, promised to cut off the hand of any accuser, embedded a massive stockpile of arms within civilian areas and in mosques, not to mention being dedicated to the destruction of Israel – does the foreign office or a spokesperson thereof, really hold Hezbollah’s roughshod trampling over the Lebanese government as an example of democracy, desirable for Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen et al ? And to add insult to that salty wound William Hague has gone off to suck up to Syria.
I wrote here about the BBC’s decisive action over a film produced by Christopher Mitchell. They abandoned it.

Professor Paul Rogers, author of “Why We’re Losing the War on Terror” has been on BBC discussing Rachid Ghannouchi’s return to Tunisia. “He’s anti American, but a moderate.” he reassures us casually.
Rachid Ghannouchi a moderate?
Christopher Hitchins begs to differ. He visited Tunis University:

“to talk to a female professor of theology named Mongia Souahi. She is the author of a serious scholarly work explaining why the veil has no authority in the Quran. One response had come from an exiled Tunisian Islamist named Rachid al-Ghannouchi, who declared her to be a kuffar, or unbeliever. This, as everybody knows, is the prelude to declaring her life to be forfeit as an apostate. I was slightly alarmed to see Ghannouchi and his organization, Hizb al-Nahda, described in Sunday’s New York Times as “progressive,” and to learn that he is on his way home from London.”

The BBC may be hoping Rachid Ghannouchi is a moderate, but didn’t blink an eye at his being “anti American.” To them that’s a trivial detail. The Ghannouchi daughter, or is that daughters, contribute to the Guardian and the BBC. Yusra Khreeji was on Broadcasting House a week ago, and Soumaya Ghannouchi is a regular contributor to the Guardian, and attends anti-Israel rallies, unleashing a mean impersonation of Lauren Booth.
Paul Rogers thinks we mishandle Islamists, driving them towards likes of Al Qaeda. Terrorism is our fault, we’re too hard line.

This morning we were treated to the oily reassurances of the odious Tariq Ramadan, another professor who has insinuated himself into the BBC’s speed dial directory.
We’ve seen John Kerry, he of the cylindrical head and massive chin, evidently fresh from overdosing on PaliLeaks, advising Israel to make concessions and stop oppressing the Palestinians.
“Israel is worried”, someone is saying now, on the BBC.
Abdul Bari Atwan, another speed dial buddy: “Illegal set-telments under internationallaw” he screeched, his eyes nearly popping out of his head. “Yes” said Polly Toynbee, also high on the Guardian’s deceitful spin on the PaliLeaks.“It’s all Israel’s fault.”

Everyone is rooting for the Egyptian protesters. “Look at the chaos! Whatever next?”
Whatever next indeed.

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31 Responses to Toppling Tyrants

  1. Grant says:

    The BBC consistently describes the events in Egypt as “unrest”  !

    Beeboid in Lebanon on “From our own correspondent” today describes Hezbollah as “heavily armed”.  Even more amusingly,  he described his accommodation as a “modest tourist hotel “.  Most unusual for a Beeboid to report the nature of the hotel he is staying in. Presumebly he felt it was newsworthy that he wasn’t staying in a luxury 5-star hotel  !


  2. Deborah says:

    My concern has been the glee with which the BBC reporters have reported the ‘unrest’ in Egypt.  I thought the reporting on thursday evening and early Friday that the people would come out and demonstrate after prayers was almost a call to arms rather than report was was happening.  I can almost hear the pleading in the reporters voices for the Muslim Brotherhood to take a lead.

    Any analysis of the events in Egypt on the BBC I just know comes from their own viewpoint and cannot be taken as an unbiased viewpoint.


    • NotaSheep says:

      It’s like the BBC’s reporting of calls for strikes in the UK. The BBC want strikes, lots of them and chaos. Would it go too far for me to suggest that some Beeboids are quite excited by the thought of Tunisian, Egyptian style violent protests in the streets of London. The running together of the two news stories on the radio today made we wonder…


  3. NotaSheep says:

    I am sorry Sue but in this instance you are wrong in two respects. ‘The BBC may be hoping Rachid Ghannouchi is a moderate, but didn’t blink an eye at his being “anti American.” To them that’s a trivial detail.’ – First for the BBC being anti-American is not a trivial detail but an important factor in that peron’s favour. Second the BBC are not really hoping that Rachid Ghannouchi is a moderate, they don’t really care, so long as he is anti-Israel.


  4. Martin says:

    Why is the BBC bigging up Elbaradei? From what I’ve heard on Sky he’s considered irrelevant to the young English speaking elite who are the moderates in this uprising.

    Could it be the BBC still love him from the George Bush days and think he’s some sort of liberal rallying flag?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yes, that and they like the way he protected Iran against nasty UN inspections, even when he was meant to be in charge of the IEAE.  And he’s openly stated his desire to open the border between Egypt and Gaza.  So he’s the perfect leader in their eyes.


  5. OWEN MORGAN says:

    Paul Rogers, Professor of (Taking the) Peace Studies, was wholly discredited during the Cold War.   That didn’t stop the BBC having him on air virtually around the clock during the 1991 Gulf War, when he confidently (even gleefully) predicted that the Allied forces would suffer huge losses when they came up against the Republican Guard, which the beebies couldn’t mention without tacking the word “elite” in front of it (they were still calling it that when the American tanks drove into Baghdad in 2003).

    Considering how completely wrong Rogers was in his predictions about the Gulf War, one might imagine that the BBC would have dropped him – but no.   He was soon back, spouting claptrap about some other topic.   It beggars belief that he’s still at it.


  6. Hazel Stein says:

    well I am following all the events in Egypt on Al Jazeera and sometimes CNN.   CNN have got better commentators than the Beeb, and Al Jaz have got cameras in more cities than just Cairo.  I was in Cairo 3 years ago and I remember huge traffic jams at midnight, we wondered where the people were driving to, but it shows how hopeless it is to declare a curfew.

     The Sky commentary is pathetic, I really don’t need their wet looking “diplomatic correspondent” Lisa somebody or other to tell me the Foreign Office advice not to travel.

    Al Beeb is doing its usual imitation of being its own State within a state with John Simpson attempting Churchillian gravitas and saying absolutely nothing new or interesting.  Al Bowen is still in shock at being levered out of his comfortable milieu in Jerusalem and “omigod these Arabs seem different here, they really care!  And can I bring in something neghative about Israel at this point?”

    Who was it who said democracy is not islamic?  How disgustingly patronising.


  7. George R says:

    So, all day (and all night) we have BBC-NUJ branch repeating TV footage of its politically favoured street demonstrators, playing to the cameras in Egypt (anti-Israel), and in England (anti-government). All we are waiting for now is John Simpson.


  8. Jane says:

    On a seperate note, have u noticed how the BBC have failed to mention the Racist Attack on the NUS leader by his own members ?

    Why is this ?


    • Grant says:

      Could it be because he is Jewish and the attacks are fuelled by anti-semitism  ?


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        The leader of the Labour Party was hand-picked by the unions, and he’s a Jew as well.  What’s a Beeboid to do?


    • Asuka Langley Soryu says:

      I tried to play devil’s advocate, and find this story on the nation’s beloved news provider’s website, but you’re right. They really did omit the ‘Tory Jew scum’ stuff. The closest they come to it is in Danny Savage’s article where he says, ‘A small but loud group also made their views heard about wanting to replace the National Union of Students president, Aaron Porter.’
      So we have a Jew having to be ushered through a baying crowd of kaffiyeh-wearing neckbearded cretins shouting racial abuse by police and it’s not apparently newsworthy. 


  9. George R says:

    INBBC repeats Islamic Turkey propaganda against Israel.

    INBBC’s J. Head in Istanbul, turns ‘film critic’, and with a few caveats, endorses Islamic, Turkish film which targets Jewish Israel:

    “Turkish aid ship thriller casts Israel as enemy”

    Of course, INBBC, and Mr. Head avoid this:

    Antisemitic Turkish film on jihad flotilla to be released on Holocaust Remembrance Day


  10. Grant says:

    As we know , the BBC is institutionally anti-semitic.  Beeboids just cannot bring themselves to  report that the increasing anti-semitism in the UK is coming from the Left, not the  “Right”.


  11. deegee says:

    Rachid Ghannouchi a moderate?

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with a Rhodesian (as it was in 1973) who told me that Rhodesia had a right-wing party, an extreme right-wing party (Rhodesian Front – Ian Smith) and a lunatic right-wing party.

    Smith was therefore considered as the moderate centralist!


  12. Andrew says:

    I’m continually amazed at given the sheer number of BBC bodies on the ground how poor the analysis really is.

    For all they might talk of El Barradei and the Muslim Bortherhood’s ‘moderate’ path there are several things that I’ve not seen on the Beeb.

    Certainly one of the things they haven’t picked up that Sky have is the shift in the protestors make up.  According to sky this started as a middle class protest but now seems to have shifted to the involvment of the working class.  Such groups as we have seen in this country are often a fertile ground for extremist groups.  This makes the outcome of any election much less stable and predictable than the Beeb would like.

    They have also not mentioned that El Babbradei (who I believe is the one they hope to annoint which is why Bowen is holed up with him) has previously mentioned opening up the Rafah crossing into Gaza. This has profound implications for stability in the region inlcuding crossings out of Gaza into Egypt never mind the inflow of weapons into Gaza


  13. Mailman says:

    Its all ok people…El Bowen was just on Andrew Mar telling everyone that there is nothing to worry about because the Muslim Brotherhood is merely a conservative islamic movement and isnt a jihadi group at war with the West and doesnt use violence any more.

    Phew…that was close, for a second there I thought a bunch of religious nuts were just waiting in the wings to take over power in Egypt!



    • Grant says:

      Thank God we have got Bowen out there with his finger on the
      pulse , as usual.


    • Craig says:

      Al-Bowen, who looked the worst for wear (for some reason), said

      “Well, the Muslim Brotherhood..first of all, the thing to remember about the Muslim Brotherhood here is they’re not a jihadi group. They’re not people who believe they’re at war with the West in a way that jihadi groups..or indeed at war with Mubarak in a way that, sort of, the internal groups here may be.
      But what they are is a conservative islamist group and since…,in the last sort of sixty years, they haven’t believed in using violence and they’ve worked within the system and they have a sort of semi-legal status here.”

      Is it true that the Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence 60 years ago (i.e. about 1950) or has al-Bowen got his facts wrong again? 

      Various websites say that they only renounced violence in the 1970s, after decades of violence. So it looks as if al-Bowen was talking rubbish.

      Some question whether this renunciation applied only to the domestic situation in Egypt or more generally. Other say the Brotherhood still condones, even advocates violence, especially against Israel. No sense of this from what al-Bowen was saying.


      • TrueToo says:

        The Brotherhood was violently active in Syria at the beginning of the eighties, attempting to topple Assad’s regime with terror attacks such as the slaughter of 70 young army recruits. The terror culminated in the attempted assassination of Assad, after which the regime clamped down on the MB with extreme brutality, sparing nobody:

        The MB have been rather subdued in Syria ever since.


  14. familyjaffa says:

    The BBC does not recognise extremism in anyone except you know who.
    I notice that on Thursady there is a programme on BBC2 by Louis Theroux entitled ” Ultra Zionists” 
    ” meeting extremist Jewish settlers in areas that are Israeli-occupied, but Palestinian BY RIGHTS”
    I wonder how that programme will pan out.


    • Grant says:

      Don’t worry the BBC will balance it with a programme “ultra-Islamists”.  Otherwise, some fools might think the BBC is , in some way, biased.  Perish the thought.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Was that land Palestinian “by rights” in 1966?  Defenders of the indefensible would like to know.


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Mubarak has banned Al-Jazeera from Cairo and made them close the bureau there.  Apparently he doesn’t like their comprehensive and honest coverage.

    The BBC, on the other hand, is still welcome.


  16. Mailman says:

    I dunno guys…I genuinely believe that you get the Government you deserve and as far as I can tell Egyptians are going to replace one secular dictatorship with another dictatorship, but this time its going to be a bunch of muslim radical terrorists.

    So all the pain that is going to be visited upon Egypt is going to be deserved as far as Im concerned.