Compare and Contrast: BBC Obamessiah/Libya Edition

Compare this report from Fox News:

U.S. Launches Cruise Missiles Against Qaddafi’s Air Defenses

The U.S. Navy fires the first U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles against Libyan leader’s Muammar al-Qaddafi’s air defenses Saturday, a military source tells Fox News.

The U.S. military strikes clear the way for European and other planes to enforce a no-fly zone designed to ground Qaddafi’s air force and cripple his ability to inflict further violence on rebels, U.S. officials said.

Sounds like the US fired first right? But skip a paragraph about Hillary Clinton attending some meeting about this and we get this:

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive military operations, said the Obama administration intended to limit its involvement — at least in the initial stages — to helping protect French and other air missions.

French fighter jets fired the first shots at Qaddafi’s troops on Saturday, launching the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising that had seemed on the verge of defeat. The French military says warplanes have carried out four air strikes, destroying several armored vehicles of pro-Qaddafi forces, according to AFP.

So those damn Froggy warmongers (always spoiling for a fight, right?) drew first blood, and the US was close behind. What a difference from when Chirac wouldn’t even let us fly over French airspace to go after Sadaam.

In any case, contrast it with this report from the BBC:

French military jet opens fire in Libya

A French plane has fired the first shots in Libya as enforcement of the UN-mandated no-fly zone begins.

The UK prime minister later confirmed British planes were also in action, while US media reports said the US had fired its first Cruise missiles.

So who took the first shot? The stringent US media says – natch – the US fired first. Of course, they would say that, as Mark Mardell’s reporting would give us the idea that only all those foolish United Statesian warmongers obsessed with the notion of American decline would demand it. Unapologetically leading the charge and all that, yeah.

In any case, I can’t recall any criticism aired by the BBC from French anti-war voices. Is it not ill-advised when the French do it? Was there a segment with their equivalent of Caroline Lucas saying, “Pas de guerre pour l’oeil“?

After a few paragraphs about how the French are going over with no fewer than 20 aircraft, guns blazing, the BBC allows this:

Other air forces and navies are expected to join the French.

“Other air forces”. As if we couldn’t guess immediately which other ones are involved, and it’s not so important who they are. Except of course it’s vitally important for the BBC Narrative who they are.

The US would use its “unique capabilities” to reinforce the no-fly zone, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, warning that further delays would put more civilians at risk. However, Mrs Clinton said again that the US would not deploy ground troops in Libya.

The BBC News Online editors are just playing games here.

The Prime Minister also said yesterday that nobody was going to occupy anybody, essentially no troops on the ground, full stop, occupation is “not going to happen”. It was aired at least twice on the News Channel yesterday. No mention of that at all here, even though it’s more relevant to the license fee payer who might be concerned about, you know, their own government. But the BBC’s focus is exclusively on protecting the US President here. He’s not George Bush, dammit.

Fox News, naturally, is focused on the US angle, and how the US is leading the way. On one level, this would seem to please those whom Mardell describes as being “obsessed” with the notion of American decline. The US is actually – laudably, to hear the BBC tell it – taking a back seat. Or, as Mardell would have it, “leading from behind”. This is obviously a definition of “leading” of which I wasn’t previously aware.

So, if the hated Fox News is clearly reporting from a pro-US, right-wing bias, a news organization which reports from the exact opposite perspective – not just different, but opposite, mind – must by definition be Left wing. I’m not talking about which report one agrees with: I’m talking about the angles and perspectives involved.

All of the BBC’s reporting from now on for this war for oil….no, sorry, UN-backed war for human rights, is slanted toward this angle. Just remember the Narrative that the US taking a back seat and following along is considered “leading from behind”. No problem, no bias, right, BBC?

UPDATE: While the Secretary of State is in Paris leading the US operations in Libya, the President Himself is sucking up to Brazil and waving at us from afar. Leading from behind, indeed. I assume Mark Mardell approves whole-heartedly, as he says that US decline is a doddle.

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15 Responses to Compare and Contrast: BBC Obamessiah/Libya Edition

  1. Phil says:

    He’s not closed Guantanamo like he said he would. Now he’s waging war on a country which poses no danger to the US.

    Obama is the new GWB!

    I doubt we’ll get any of that famous BBC analysis to explain why he’s not – it’s obvious he’s a saintly and brilliant president so it would be ridiculous to question anything he does.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      See all of Mark Mardell’s recent blogposts and on air reporting to learn how He isn’t.  He leads from the back, and doesn’t want “an unapologetically aggressive America” leading the charge.  And other White House talking points not connected to reality.


  2. pounce_uk says:

    This is going to be very interesting ,as the last time the above 3 (US?UK/FR) operated a NFZ. The French pulled out leaving the other two to become marginalised as Imperial warmongers. Allowing the likes of the bBC to repaint Saddam as a victim.

    So how long will it be before the bBC starts reporting that the Nasty Imperial warmongers are at it again?

    Personally from my point of view I want to see how the French Rafale squares up to a good old bun fight and if the RAF will use their ground attack capability of the Typhoons?

    Hopefully the use of the Sentinel will change this governments mind about scrapping it. Seeing as its one of the best pieces of kit in the world with even the USAF looking as producing something similar.


    • matthew rowe says:

      Yes that would be interesting and at least this time the R.A.F may actually be allowed to fire at something threatening them instead of having to wait around for some one to phone someone else to see if you can bomb the missile site that’s just about to kill you ! the French seem to favour the shoot first and protect yourself philosophy !


      • hippiepooter says:

        Zarkosy is living up to his promise.  He’s the lead figure behind this, with Cameron behind him.  I hope it stays that way, Zarkosy is the better leader by far.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Interesting point, pounce.  I wasn’t really aware of it like that.


  3. deegee says:

    A broad coalition of US, UK, France, Italy and Canada? What do these states have in common?

    Given the mountains of military hardware sold to the Arabs essentially by the same countries (not sure about Canada) wouldn’t one expect some Arab faces?


  4. Shay says:

    I hold no brief for Gaddafi, but aren’t we being subjected to an outrageous amount of newspeak, with the bull***t of the politicians going unchallenged?

    It seems that Gaddafi is only dealing with “innocent civilians”. If so, then perhaps their should be a revaluation of Abraham Lincoln who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians under the command of Robert E Lee.

    Obama is allowed to claim that Gaddafi was to show no mercy to his people, whereas Gaddafi’s threat was to show no mercy to those who refused to lay down their weapons. The increasingly Blair-clone Cameron keeps repeating lines like “The world has watched as he has brutally crushed his own people” – when we have SEEN no such thing, but we have been subjected to hysterical unsubstantiated reports from the rebels. even those not matching the hyperbole of Western politicians


    • hippiepooter says:

      Whatever mixed feelings I may have, and whatever the outcome may prove to be if Gaddafi is defeated, as a democrat it is always good to see tyrant butt get kicked.

      Frankly, because Cameron came out so strong against Gaddafi from the ‘get go’, it is now imperative to British interests that he’s brought down.

      I just hope that in the aftermath, Cameron and his colleagues may have the nous to put our security interests first, even if that means trying to turn Libya overnight into a fully fledged western democracy on the backburner, which by any sensible measure should be the case.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      If Libya is a better place, even more cavemen will not feel like leaving their country and immigrating to Britain.  That’s one of the fundamental reasons for cleaning all those places up.


  5. hippiepooter says:

    Janet Daley in the Telegraph calling out the BBC on propagandising for Obama.


  6. matthew rowe says:

    Well I fully support the obit ones ‘do nothing that scares the horses’ approach  as out lined By marbel and have taken steps to apply in my own life   so I will no longer turn things off standby  the cans are going in the bin I  have also spent the evening watching the boon dock saints 1 and 2 to avoid comedic/??? relief as I now know any ‘taking the lead ‘ may be counter-productive for the rest of the world !


  7. deegee says:

    For once the BBC hasn’t missed something vital

    Policy criticised
    The head of the Arab League, who supported the idea of a no-fly zone, has criticised the severity of the bombardment.

    “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” said Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

    Arab League support was a key factor in getting UN Security Council backing for the resolution authorising the move.

    The BBC’s Jonathan Head, in Cairo, says this looks like a worrying crack in the coalition. Western governments are counting on at least symbolic participation by the air forces of some Arab states, he adds.


  8. George R says:

    Which is worse: Obama’s dithering as President, or Mardell’s dithering as his Boswell?