NEVER SAY VICTORY.

It’s great to read that American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror. After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul. A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10. Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.

But when I say it’s great to read it – the one place of course that I won’t be reading this is the BBC – which studiously avoids any mention of military victory in Iraq and concentrates instead on the news that four Iraqi men say they are suing US military contractors for torturing them while they were detained at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The idea that we are WINNING the battle against militant Islam in Iraq is unacceptable to the BBC and its ” ‘Nam quagmire ” defeatist narrative and so even as we are poised for spectacular victory – the BBC stays mute. The BBC – the enemy within.

Only on Today …

Written an amusing pamphlet comparing the United States government and its foreign policy choices with those facing the Corleone mafia clan from 1972 gangster classic The Godfather ?

“… the ageing Don, Vito Corleone – emblematic of a declining hegemony …”

“… when he’s shot at the fruit-stand this is in many ways a parallel to what happened to the United States on September the 11th …”

Take 10 minutes of primetime breakfast listening.

You couldn’t make it up.

Knockabout liberalism

The liberal assumptions that govern the BBC’s output can be seen in the following two articles here and here.

In the first Robert Piggot begins his article on Anglicans and their splits:

“Word has got about that traditionalist Anglicans have something against gay people – and that is what is driving the Communion towards disintegration.

Of course some of them might not like homosexual people, but, as they never tire of pointing out, that is not what this historic rift is about.”

So, in an ironic sort of way, he concedes that there may be more to the Anglican conservatve position than pure bigotry- as they “never tire of saying”.

Matt Frei meanwhile is one of those whose inability to overcome his innate prejudices is almost comically obvious. America, he says while reporting the mourning for Tim Russert “likes a good yarn and here they still appreciate good journalists as master story tellers.”

This fondness for a good yarn (as opposed to the more adult and rigorous reality that Frei deals in) sets them apart from the rest of the world who are more firmly “weary of “the media””. All well and good, but did Frei ever ask himself just how it is that the only major media networks that have a modicum of independence are all Western? People in China, in Africa, in South America haven’t really had the time to become weary of the media. Having some to speak of might be a novelty in some cases.

THE IDEAL BBC APPROVED STATE – VENEZUELA

. I reckon that the BBC’s idea of the dream nation state is Venezuela under the guiding fist of Hugo Chavez. The communist thug Chavez has earned his brownie points by nationalising anything that moves, oppressing private enterprise – and you can read all about it on various approving BBC posts. Just select through the sidebar menu of this latest story expressing Venezuelan outrage that there has been an alleged violation of its airspace by an American military aircraft. Defence Minister Gustavo Rangel said the jet had been tracked by country’s air defences over the Venezuelan-owned island of La Orchila on Saturday. You can just tell how in sympathy the BBC writer of this report was in the admiring tone that Chavez “is a fierce critic of Washington.” It strikes me that the BBC admires those thuggocracies like Venezuela who delight in attacking the USA and this seeps through to the tone of the reports it files.

AMERICAN GANGSTER CRIME.

I just love the screaming BBC headline “US SNIPER SHOT AT KORAN” An American sniper has been sent home from Iraq for ….using a copy of the Koran for target practice at a shooting range near Baghdad. The Muslim “holy book” (DV italics) was found riddled with bullet holes last week by Iraqi police, who also discovered offensive graffiti inside its cover. My god – as if Abu Ghraib wasn’t bad enough now those pesky Yanks go shooting a copy of the Koran. Time for a Presidential apology and a public enquiry? At a time when too many Islamists use the Koran as their essential manual to justify mass murder without the mildest censure from Al-beeb, I would have thought that this was one of the mildest possible incidents that could occur in any war. However the BBC is so steeped in anti-Americanism that any sort of incident like this is used to demonise the US military further.

No Paradox

. Instapundit seems pleased with this story by the BBC’s Justin Webb. Mr Webb has been a frequent target of this blog, as you’ll see if you do a search for his name. Nonetheless recently there has been a conscious effort by Mr Webb to address mindless anti-Americanism, and the BBC’s anti-Americanism in particular. Good for him.

But he isn’t out of the bubble yet. Mr Webb sees the fact that lots of guns can be combined with a safe atmosphere. He sees it and reports it – many of his colleagues have not stretched the skin of the bubble so far. However the only cause suggested for this tranquility is the lack of public drunkeness. For all I know that is so, but it is far from unusual for people outside the bubble to put forward another cause: the guns themselves. As Instapundit quoting Heinlein said, “An armed society is a polite society.”

I’m not saying Mr Webb should have stated that hypothesis as fact. But it could, and should, quite easily and naturally have been included as another potential explanation. After all, an apparent solution to a paradox ought to be part of a story about a paradox.

IT’S A QUAGMIRE

The BBC has long been a convenient echo chamber for left-wing propagandising over the war in Iraq. For years now all we ever heard from Al-Beeb is the steady drum beat that the war was “illegal” and “immoral.” The talking heads were declaring that it was going to be “another Vietnam” scarely after our forces went in. Then we were told that Iraqis did not want our military there, that the Ba’athists were not really that bad , and that it was all doomed to be a quagmire anyway. I often thought that poor old Saddam must have had friends in the BBC such has been the outrageous revisionism of the Baghdad Butcher’s reign of terror. He got what he deserved of course and Iraq is the better place without Saddam and his thuggocracy. But of course we all know that Al Queda have declared this the front-line in their war on civilisation (Well, all of us except Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the “troops out” siren chorus) and so it is vital we prevail.

The US surge, so ably led by Gen Petraeus, has worked wonders over the past six months, to the evident chagrin of the “cut and run” brigade. But it is impossible to completely eliminate the sheer evil of Al Queda and this has become evident in the massacre that took place in Baghdad yesterday when the Jihadi used two women suffering from Down’s syndrome, getting them to wear explosive vests and then detonating them by remote control – causing carnage. The malign intent behind such an act is almost beyond words.

But I wonder why the BBC seems unable to accept that Al Queda would stoop so low? In their report of the massacre yesterday the BBC stated categorically that the two women used in this attack were mentally disabled. Today, I note that the BBC is now suggesting instead that “allegedly” two mentally disabled women carried out this. I was wondering if the BBC fear Al Queda sueing them? Why so coy?

I am also interested in the statement the BBC makes that these atrocities have “shattered” the “fragile peace”which has descended on Baghdad care of the actions of the US military and local Iraqi forces over the past six months or so. Obviously they have caused a temporary and understandable sense of horror but the truth is that Baghdad has been transformed by the Surge and there is no evidence that all of this has been lost despite these horrific Al Queda terror attacks. But to admit this runs contrary to the BBC “Quagmire” narrative and that is the problem. The BBC fails to define Al Queda as terrorists even as they conduct this sort of depraved act. If detonating women suffering from Down’s Syndrome is not terrorism, what is it? What stops the BBC accepting this?

QUESTION TIME WATCH

Did you watch last evening’s edition of the BBC’s “Question Time” programme? Wasn’t it a laugh? I mean IF you want to see BBC institutionalised bias in all its unfettered glory this is the must-see each week because it is always a challenge to work out whether it will be the panel or the audience which contains the greater number of foaming-at-the mouth lefties.

Last night, true to form, the panel was as unbalanced as ever. We had the Labour Minister and Conservative traitor Shaun “Where’s my butler” Woodward. (There’s nothing the BBC likes more than a Conservative defector) Then we had rabidly Europhile Conservative MP Ken Clarke, the man who seeks to increase the power of the State, who seeks to ensure the UK loses any vestigial national soveriegnty to the EU superstate, the man who fails to understand the war on Islamic terror. To add “more balance” we had comedian John Sessions who seems to have not yet outgrown his “Student Grant” set of leftist values. Then we had uberleftist Bonnie Greer, (a BIG contributor to BBC, natch!) who left me open-mouthed when she declared that whilst she did not seek to glamourise crime (Oh yes) nonetheless she was very unhappy about the way that New York had successfully tackled crime! Finally, we had the commentator Amanda Platell, who holds what I would define as mild conservative values. So, a panel of four leftists and one centre right conservative. Balanced The audience were the usual anti-war anti-US pro-Welfare rabble that so distinguishes this programme. There were a few sensible souls but they were outnumbered by the moonbat fraternity who seem drawn to Question Time like moths to a flame.

As for the content of the show, we suffered the BBC’s view of the US election being rammed down our throats. In essence the big debate is whether it will be Hillary or Obama. The panelists all focused on the Democrat side of things with scant attention on the Republican side. Even then, liberal Republican John McCain appears to be the only candidate for the GOP nomination IF one listened to the garbage being talked by the panellists. Mitt Romney did not merit any discussion at all. He is evidently persona non gratia with the Beeb. Comedian John Sessions expressed his loathing for Ronald Reagan, to audience approval. In essence, the BBC is once again rooting for a Democrat in the White House which is why even in a political debating programme like this, it’s all about one side, the side of which the BBC so approves .

I find David Dimbleby a likeable chap and have met him and feel he is a professional presenter to compare with the best of them. The problem however is that the BBC lacks the guts to allow a balanced panel. They permit the occassional right of liberal commentator like Melanie Philips or Peter Hitches to make the odd token appearance but then unbalance this with a gaggle of leftist opinion. Unlike the excellent political debating programmes on Fox News, the BBC will not balance a panel, instead it weights the panel outrageously. The audience is then brought in as a prop. It’s all a great pity since real debate would be more interesting. Do you share my view of Question Time?

What they cover, and why

When the US lower House votes on a military funding deadline (a long acknowledged and anticipated event), the BBC has no need, and I would argue, no right, to make that its headline. Yet it does.

It is internal US politicking, and given the primacy of both President and Congress, of little moment.

Meanwhile, to the right on the BBC front page is a totally pointless video entitled “Dubya Dances”. Notwithstanding the inappropriateness of using Bush’s ill-intentioned nickname, it’s simply a clip of Bush dancing at an African anti-malarial meeting. Not only does this have no purpose save to make Bush look ridiculous excerpted from context, it also demeans the seriousness of his program to help Africa with malaria (which, I should add, they do cover, in routine fashion), and would no doubt irritate many US conservatives at a time when the lefty politicians are rooting for US defeat in Iraq.

It tallies quite well with the BBC’s general desire to caricature Bush though, after the fashion of the BushHitler posterthey gave such pride of place to.

Ps. I wonder where they get their “Dubya dancing” fancies from? Not things like this, I hope?

Anti-American?

18 Doughty St., in the midst of a series of items on the BBC, have a video up which shows Robin Aitken’s confirmation that in one BBC newsroom a poster of George W. Bush as Hitler was displayed without demurr from staff there.

Significant? Well, take a look at the video and see what you think. In the interview from which it was excerpted (in DS’s Brought to Book series), Aitken talks of a pervasive atmosphere causing young journalists to ape left-liberal attitudes. Having a poster of GWB as Hitler may be compared to other symbolic gestures, such as having busts of Lenin on display as was common behind the Iron Curtain before the Velvet Revolution. Behind the symbol lurks a world of assumptions to be absorbed.

Oh, and of course I should mention that Aitken, a 25 year BBC veteran, has a book out- “Can We Trust the BBC”. From the items excerpted from it during the interview, and from the intelligent, deep approach Aitken has obviously taken to his subject I’d say it will be a rattling good read.

Update (Sat). Here’s the clip itself:

Kudos to the BBC

Kudos to the BBC for making several programmes in the last few weeks that covered areas that had previously been neglected or avoided.

  • This story, based on an issue of Radio 4’s Crossing Continents, is about how a young Malaysian woman who has converted from Islam to Christianity is threatened with violence by Muslim fanatics.
  • This BBC investigation looked into sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers.
  • Almost from the day that the BBC did a hidden camera exposé of the BNP, commenters to the BBC website asked why the BBC did not do a hidden camera exposé of radical Muslim groups. The joint Newsnight / File On 4 documentary in November did just that. (Full transcript here.)
  • I also approved of this story: Study backs Libya HIV case medics.When plague struck medieval Europe, an uneducated and fearful populace, unable to believe that the catastrophe could have a natural origin, would frequently blame the plague on the deliberate action of foreigners or infidels and launch a pogrom against the Jews. This pattern of behaviour has been followed in many other times and places. A modern example occured in Libya in 1999. In this case the victims were five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor. They were accused of deliberately infecting 400 Libyan children with AIDS and, after confessions were extorted by torture, condemned to death in 2004.I approved of this BBC story because, although it maintained the editorially distant style proper to the BBC, it did not imperil the lives of these victims of hysteria by hedging or showing “balance” between the firemen and the fire. That is how you deal with irrational conspiracy theories. Contrast it with the pandering to the Nigerian conspiracy theory alleging that Westerners had contaminated polio vaccine displayed by the BBC here. Contrast it with the active assistance the BBC gave to spreading an anti-American conspiracy theory about tsunami of December 26, 2004. (More about that here.)I bring the polio and tsunami stories up fairly often, because I think they are the two most harmful examples of BBC bias I have ever come across. There are certainly Nigerian children dead or crippled by polio because the BBC was reluctant to offend some of its Muslim readers. As for the tsunami story, our regular pro-BBC commenter, “John Reith” has said that the BBC’s asking its readers “Is America a power for good or ill in the world? Was there a malign hand at work, or has America’s role in the crisis in fact been a model of humanitarian leadership.” …was actually the BBC squelching the conspiracy theory.

    No. That is what the BBC squelching a conspiracy theory looks like.

    There has been mounting international pressure on Libya to hear independent scientific evidence.

    International experts say the scientific report used in the trial was nothing but ‘conjecture’ and ‘supposition’.

    Note the absence of a “Have Your Say” forum asking readers whether these Bulgarians and this Palestinian might reallyhave been agents of enemy intelligence services seeking to undermine the Libyan nation by killing its children after all.

    As I’ve said before, never mind the name of this blog, there are times when the BBC has a duty to come down on one side and not the other.

 

Coupla posts

  • Who-whom? Heard during the course of a segment on Hugo Chavez during The World This Weekend, at about 1.25pm:

    “The US depends on Venezuela for nearly a fifth of its oil imports.”

As Lenin was wont to ask about any political relationship, “Who – whom?” Meaning, who has power over whom? A quick Google is giving me that Venezuela depend son the US to buy between 60 and 80% of its oil exports. But of course the BBC wouldn’t put it that way.

In fact, as I understand it, there is a world oil market, so talk of either buyers or sellers boycotting specific countries is all a bit of a joke. You can either sell the stuff or leave it in the ground: those are the only real choices. About all a boycott of a single nation could do is impose extra costs by making some oil take the long way round, or by obliging refineries to cope with unaccustomed types of oil, or through increased fees to middlemen – but basically trying to control what happens to your oil once you’ve sold it is as futile as trying to control what happens to your dollars once you’ve used them to buy oil.

Be that as it may, the “dependency” of a customer on the guy who supplies him with a fifth of what he needs is much less than than the dependency of a supplier on the customer who buys three to four-fifths of what he supplies.

Hat tip to whoever made this point last time the alleged dependency of the US on Venezuelan oil came up on the BBC.

 

  • “Not bias, just unbelievably shoddy,” writes a correspondent, pointing out this report of a tragedy in Glasgow. The age of the man killed is given as 21 at the beginning of the story, then as 28 half way through. His name is given – but at the end it says that he has not yet been named. UPDATE / CORRECTION: D. Burbage says it’s twoaccidents. Re-reading, he’s right. Archonix says it could have been clearer.