The recent success of the Iraq elections clearly runs contrary to the tiresome BBC narrative that everything our military has tried to achieve in that land has been a disaster. The “We’re all doomed, it’s a quagmire “ theme has been a constant feature of BBC coverage for years now so how to handle some good news? Well, earlier this morning they trotted on journalists Sudarsan Raghavan and Patrick Cockburn to review whether the results will lead to greater stability. Cockburn was quick to put the boot on, determined to suggest that despite all the evidence Iraq was still a disaster. Begrudgery incarnate.

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30 Responses to WHY IRAQ IS A DISASTER

  1. mikewineliberal says:

    At just before 7pm this morning on Today the BBC ran a live piece with their correspondent in Iraq about the provincial elections (apologies didn’t get his name). The first question was “Who was the winner?”. Answer – “Iraq is the winner”. The correspondent then said something about Iraq now being the only functioning Arab democracy, and continued talking about how Maliki had gone increasingly secular, focusing on nationalism and law and order; and that theocratically based parties had been rather trounced as a result. It was all rather gushing and positive.

    I thought listening to it: a) how the hell is Mr Vance going to cope with that over his porridge (which I bet he takes with salt and water) and b) Medialens will be firing off spit flecked e-mails.

    But no, David V gives you this! You’ve got to admire his Chutzpah.

    The BBC also reported in its news clips the case of the Sussex nurse, suspended for offering to pray for a patient, but now reinstated. Again, it bucked the (hilarious) idea that the BBC is anti-Christian: carrying quotes from the Christian People’s Alliance (or some such) talking about freedom of expression, but nothing from the NSC, for instance about how people shouldn’t bring their own personal dogma into the public realm.

    Not balanced perhaps, but certainly not anti-christian.


  2. Anonymous says:

    mikewhineliberace….You must spend literally hours looking for those very rare occasions when the bbc aren’t biased instead of concentrating on the far more numerous times when they are!


  3. jeffD says:

    Forgot to log in on above post.


  4. mikewineliberal says:

    Not at all: I listened to Today this morning for 45 mins, and those two items came up. I made a mental note so I could use as counterfactual on this site.


  5. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    A broken clock is still right twice a day?


  6. jeffD says:

    Why have you made it your personal crusade to counteract everything posted on this site.What possible motive would you have to defend a clearly biased organisation?I find it very sinister.


  7. Tom says:

    mikewineliberal | 06.02.09 – 8:52 am

    I don’t see that your and David Vance’s observations are mutually incompatible.

    Vance notes that the BBC gets in two experts to say the US-led project has been a disaster. You cite the glee of a BBC reporter at the success of a secular (=progressive in BBC-speak) politician over a religious (=conservative) rival.

    The BBC would prefer Bush humiliated and the secularists to win out.

    They think they have both elements of the agenda nicely stitched up.


  8. mikewineliberal says:

    jeffD | 06.02.09 – 9:09 am

    A site like this must benefit surely from being exposed to contrary views? I hope in the main I support what I say with evidence.


    “Vance notes that the BBC gets in two experts to say the US-led project has been a disaster”

    But my experince is that you can’t trust David’s view on whether this was the case. He bends what he sees or hears to suit his rather dogmatic view of the World. Balance can only be judged across a decent period of coverage. So even if he is right, Today’s coverage as a whole is would seem to be balanced because the chap I heard was very positive indeed.

    “the success of a secular progressive in BBC-speak) politician over a religious (=conservative) rival”

    Perhaps that’s so; and one would expect it from a western media company But I thought the BBC shilled for radical Islam. How would this fit with that hypothesis?


  9. Grant says:

    Anon 8:59
    I have made the same point to Mikewine several times, the most recent yesterday.
    I am almost coming to the view that he genuinely thinks the BBC is impartial !


  10. JohnA says:

    The “good news from Iraq” direct report from Iraq itself should have been the item given most prominence. Positively optimistic and honest.

    But of course it was tucked away before 7am, before the main audience tunes in.

    Prime spot instead given to someone like Coburn to spout OPINION – not FACT.


  11. Bron says:

    ‘hilarious idea that the BBC is anti christian’.

    Self confessed by the BBC themselves it is.

    I don’t suppose you consider them hilarious.

    The fact you even write this has utterly destroyed all credibility you may have had mwl.


  12. mikewineliberal says:

    “Self confessed by the BBC themselves it is.”



  13. David Vance says:


    So, here’s the deal. I comment upon what I hear. Not what I didn’t hear. So since I did not catch Today prior to 7am I cannot post on it. Unless Jo Brand phoned me up and gave me her special insights? Has she been sacked yet, btw, for being a sneak, for reporting back on private conversations and for being unfunny on the license fee?


  14. mailman says:

    Im surprised MWL hasnt cottoned on to the problems in Anbar with the Muslim Brotherhood mob trying to undermine the democratic process (by removing opposition from the ballots).

    Then again, perhaps Al Beeb is holding this one back for use a bit later on when local Iraqi’s kick a bit of foreign jihadi butt for hijacking their elections?



  15. mikewineliberal says:

    With all due respect, isn’t that a weakness of your approach: you extrapolate from single instances to make wider assertions. These are then easily countervailed with other examples. One needs to view the whole. The accretion of small examples doesn’t make a strong case. “Impartial BBC” would be a very boring website, but easy to populate with examples in
    the way you do here.


  16. JohnA says:


    The BBC probably isn’t reporting the Anbar problem – because its Iraq reporting is so damn shallow it does not even know about the Anbar problem ?


  17. mailman says:


    “Impartial BBC” would indeed be a very boring site…simply because of the lack of content that would support such a statement 🙂


    You are probably right. Al Beeb wont know anything about it simply because they have no real focus on the country now that Uncle Sam, and GW, has won.



  18. Grant says:

    mikewine 12:25

    “with all due respect” reminds me of Arthur Scargill.


  19. hippiepooter says:

    David, Cockburn may well have done that, but what did Sudarsan Raghavan say? Why was this piece BBC bias?


  20. mikewineliberal says:

    A good point. Read Today’s article from Raghavan.


    Do people think he might have countered the idea that Iraq is a disaster? Do you think the BBC invited him on to provide balance and a different perspective to Cockburn?

    Key quote: “Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s strong performance in Iraq’s provincial elections was also a victory for American goals”.


  21. JohnA says:

    And Harry – like many of us – have heard the piece in the second part of that Harry’s Place piece about the vile Iraqi woman getting other women raped and then grooming them as suicide bombers.

    I have seen umpteen mentions of that story this week.

    But NONE on the BBC.

    Now why is the BBC filtering that story out from us ?


  22. Jon says:

    “Self confessed by the BBC themselves it is.”

    mikewineliberal | 06.02.09 – 10:35 am | #



  23. Jon says:

    Its funny how people still defend the BBC for being impartial even when they actually tell us they are not.

    “BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals. They acknowledged that ethnic minorities held a disproportionate number of positions and said the BBC deliberately encourages multiculturalism and is more careful to avoid offending the Muslim community than Christians, .

    Tossing the Bible into a garbage can on a comedy show would be acceptable, they said, but not the Koran”

    “”There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness,” said one senior executive. “Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture that it is very hard to change it.””

    “During the recent international upheaval over Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on Islam, the BBC was accused by media watchers of deliberately inflaming the Muslim community worldwide through biased and inflammatory coverage. Political commentator David Warren, writing for the Ottawa Citizen, said the BBC was “having a little mischief. The kind of mischief that is likely to end with Catholic priests and faithful butchered around the Muslim world.””

    So mike – the BBC are impartial are they?


  24. Francis says:

    MWL in his first comment confuses Sussex and Somerset which doesnt really encourage confidence in the rest of what he says.


  25. mikewineliberal says:

    Jon | 06.02.09 – 7:54 pm

    I remember that. No admission anywhere it is anti-christian, just over-sensitive to some religious beliefs. i’d share that criticism

    Francis | 07.02.09 – 1:03 am

    A very puny point. My point about balance on the iraq elections yesterday is beyond dispute I think.

    But it is only one lost battle. The war continues on other threads. i’m expecting david to post any second now on the item on this morning’s Today about bush and comedy. If he doesn’t over-egg it, he may have a point.


  26. Grant says:

    Francis 1:03
    It is because he has never been outside London.


  27. mikewineliberal says:

    I went out with a girl from Sussex once. And she had a nurse’s outfit. That’s why I made the mistake i think.


  28. Francis says:

    Grant, perhaps like a lot of people at the BBC (which seems a lot more London-centric than Anglo-centric). I was amused by a piece on snowy conditions the other day which went to the distant wilds of north Kent and south Hertfordshire.