Reflecting on the BBC’s current coverage of Iraq and the Petraeus report which is due today, I was led to have a nostalgic look at the much-missed LastNight’sBBCNEWS blog, which gave panoramas of Panorama and other BBC programmes during its existence. Here’s an interesting post.
It reminded me of the old BBC line that the trouble with Iraq was “the Sunni insurgency… a nationalistic struggle against foreigners”. That was yesterday’s despair.
Now, I also note that the BBC have chosen to present their own news ahead of Gen. Petraeus’ remarks today, revealing what their busy-beaver, wholly impartial and fully trained Iraqi pollsters have found about Iraqis’ views on “the surge”. I don’t know how big the Iraqi media’s coverage of “the surge” has been- but I doubt whether this represents a distinct difference for Iraqis. A few more American occupiers around in Baghdad and the West of the country. So what? Well, the BBC thinks it fits nicely with the ground they’ve been preparing for Petraeus’ report.
But what I said about yesterday’s worries is relevant, extremely so. For what the BBC forget is that yesterday’s enemies have become today’s allies- in Al Anbar and the Sunni triangle. The minority that the BBC saw as a nationalistic resistance is now replaced in terms of threat by the majority Shia with its factional interests and Iranian involvement. So a poll that interviews proportionately may well reflect the fact that the US is no longer seen as a wholly backed subsidiary of the majority interest.
This might be seen as good news from Iraq, but ah, I see those distant goal posts being shifted yet again. No goal! No goal!