Nasty Nasty Breeeetish

Or, as the BBC more prosaically put it yesterday, “Lethal landmine legacy from battle of El Alamein“; accompanied by a picture of two blokes, a flock of sheep, several buildings, some power lines with masts and a tree – and captioned “featureless”. So why the sudden interest 68 years down the line?

The battle of El Alamein was a turning point in World War II but the unexploded munitions it left behind continue to kill and maim the local population, as Christian Fraser reports from Egypt.

Right, that’ll be the time we saved all of Europe from the Germans, the Italians and their allies but let’s not worry about that small factoid because we’re about to find out who the real villain of the Second World War is.

…no country is prepared to accept responsibility for owning or laying the unexploded ordnance. Who then is to blame for the maiming of 11-year-old Mawa? 

You’ve found one *just one* person to feature in the story and it’s an injured 11 year old girl who likes football. Brilliant. Her father chips in:

“I used to have sheep but I had to sell them because the children refuse to go to the fields now because they’re too dangerous. 

You’ve had sheep in those fields for 68 years and only now there’s a problem? Could this article be leading somewhere? Enough! Someone must be responsible! Name names, BBC, we demand it!

“Psychologically and economically we have been badly affected. And we’ve had no compensation.” The detonator could have been of Italian or German origin but Abdulaziz blames the British. “It was their battle,” he said. “They brought the war to Egypt.” 

Yay! It’s our fault!Perhaps we could apologise and pay them some…

Now though, a group representing some 660 registered injured is compiling a formal dossier to bolster claims for compensation. 

….damn, they got there before me. So remind us all again, why did we send tanks into North Africa in the early 1940’s? Without drawing breath the article informs us:

The region is rich in natural resources. There is a huge amount of natural gas that lies buried underground and the Egyptian government suggests there could be 4.8bn barrels of oil, potentially doubling the country’s existing reserves. 

Ah yes, Churchill was testing the waters for the whole turn of the century invading-countries-for-oil thingy. And we have “Evil Capitalist Pigs Caught Only Clearing Some Mines Shocker”.

International oil companies that have cleared their own access roads through the mines have already been rewarded with considerable finds.

Christian Fraser has been fed a plea for cash because the Germans and Italians haven’t been daft enough to fall for it. The BBC swallows the whole thing in one gulp. If only the other side in those battles had a self-loathing media as naive as ours then they too could enjoy journalism of this standard.