2 September 2012
Yes, I know I keep banging on about the BBC but it is such an influential power, not only nationally but also globally, so much so that its pronouncements are most often taken as gospel (objective, impartial, unbiased). But any reading of the history of the BBC should disabuse you of this piece of fiction.
Take the latest swipe at Syria: in a sidebar to the main story, ‘French MPs see ‘evidence’ of Syria chemical weapons‘ (BBC News Website, 2 September 2013. my emph. WB), of which more later, Jeremy Bowen, one of an apparently endless supply of BBC Middle East editors tells us:
“Faisal Mekdad [Syrian deputy foreign minister] is considered to be a very influential man within the regime.
“As you’d expect, the Syrian leadership is quite relishing where it is – it sees itself as eyeball to eyeball with the Americans.
“Syrian leaders see their country as the vanguard of Arab nationalism, the bastion of resistance to Israel. So they’re standing defiant right now.
“I think they will continue their preparations to ride out an American strike.”
This statement, all by itself, sums up the role that the BBC plays in the scheme of things. It’s unashamedly his master’s voice speaking. Frankly, I find this language quite disgusting; “As you’d expect, the Syrian leadership is quite relishing where it is…eyeball to eyeball with the Americans”? This ain’t news, it’s sick entertainment, of a kind that ultimately demonises the Syrian government as bloodthirsty tyrants, who want nothing more than a fight with the USA. But of course without this view of Assad and indeed any ‘dictator’ in a third world country, it would be much more difficult to persuade us that whatever we do, no matter how many we murder in the process of ‘saving’ them, is ultimately for the benefit of the Syrian people (those left alive, that is).
Then Bowen nails the BBC’s political allegiance firmly to the mainmast of HMS Blowemallup with his comment about Syria’s position as being in the “vanguard of Arab nationalism” as though the events in Ghouta are somehow connected to its alleged ‘vanguard’ position? This is nothing less than outrageous propaganda for the Empire and the very fact that it’s placed before us, singled out in a sidebar, is indicative of the nature of the BBC as the mouthpiece for British imperialism.
But note that now, the BBC puts ‘evidence’ in quotes, a change from last week’s ‘news’ coverage, again echoing the vote in Parliament and the necessity to adopt a more circumspect approach to the problem of selling war. Yet throughout its coverage since August 21, aside from the odd reference, there has been no attempt to present an alternative view of what happened in East Ghouta. The assumption is, that it’s in the nature of the Syrian government to commit such a heinous crime. You’ll note that this a permanent feature of Western thinking, what Edward Said called ‘orientalism’, transforming mostly people of colour, into the ‘other’, less than human and hence not worthy of treatment as equals.
It’s Robert Cooper’s ‘law of the jungle’ written in part to rationalise the invasion of Iraq:
The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle. In the prolonged period of peace in Europe, there has been a temptation to neglect our defences, both physical and psychological. This represents one of the great dangers of the postmodern state. – ‘The new liberal imperialism‘ By Robert Cooper
In yet another piece, this time by Mark Mardell, the BBC’s North American editor, he tells us:
“If Congress doesn’t back him, it will be disastrous for the president.
“His decision to call for a vote will look foolish and he would be left with an appalling choice.
“Ignore the vote and enrage Congress and many Americans. Or don’t strike and live with John Kerry’s words that America will be weakened, petty dictators emboldened and history’s judgement harsh on America’s leaders.” – ‘Syria crisis: Obama’s gamble on Congress‘, BBC News Website, 2 September 2013
And not only disastrous for the Prez, it will be disastrous for the BBC and its endless warmongering. Echoing the ‘official’ position, Mardell chooses to select Kerry’s bellicose statements. It’s outrageous! As far as the BBC is concerned it’s war, war and yet more war.
But at least one US congressman was not impressed by the secret ‘evidence’, even if Mardell is (although he’s not seen it):
“I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial” …. liberal Democrat Tom Harkin says in a statement released after today’s classified Capitol Hill briefing. – Democrat, Tom Harkin, ‘Weekly Standard‘, 1 September 2013
Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and someone with direct experience of the UK’s spying operations in the Middle East tells us:
Israel has now provided “intelligence” to the United States designed to allow the United States to join in with Israel’s bombing and missile campaign.
The answer to the Troodos Conundrum is simple. Troodos did not pick up the intercepts because they do not exist. Mossad fabricated them. John Kerry’s “evidence” is the shabbiest of tricks. — Craig Murray, ‘The Troodos Conundrum, 31 August 2013
Moreover, as more and more reports become available that run counter to the official story (here, here and here, and here), surely its incumbent on the BBC to at least consider them? Yet you can trawl through the ninety-four, yes ninety-four stories the BBC’s news website has carried since 21 August on Ghouta (until 2 September) and not find a single story dedicated to any view other than the official line, that the Syrian government did it.
This is a criminal dereliction of duty on the part of the BBC, whose mandate is to report, accurately and impartially, events. Instead, the BBC’s ‘news’ coverage amounts to nothing more than propaganda for the state, without the slightest attempt at presenting conflicting views or interpretation of events. Is this what we should expect from a publicly funded news organisation especially one that has cloaked itself in a veneer of objectivity?
But the BBC operates according to Robert Cooper’s view of the world, one that represents white people, and rich white people at that numbering no more than a few tens of thousands of individuals, that 1%. That in ‘Tomahawking’ Syria, we are saving ‘civilisation’ for the 1%.
1. This change alone should make you stand up and take notice! How can something, that last week, was presented to us as fact, now be in question? How does the BBC justify the quotes?