Any Excuse



The BBC fought a long war against the Iraq war and the ‘war on terror’, their fight began in fact by campaigning against the start of the Afghan war in 2001.

The fight continues.  Having taken a drubbing from Hutton the BBC never misses a chance to ‘correct’ history and to change your perceptions and views  of the various wars.

The latest piece of re-education is from ‘Book of The Week’, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan  in which, as mentioned before, one of the BBC’s favourite ‘whites gone native’ and Islamist supporter, William Dalrymple, gets his book about the First Afghan War read out and used, as he intended, as a warning from history…the real target of course being the present ‘war on terror’….opposed as he is to it…or rather the Western self defensive actions.  He is happy to justify Jihadist violence of course….

‘As long as the west interferes in the Muslim world, bombs will go off; and as long as Britain lines up behind George Bush’s illegal wars, British innocents will die in jihadi atrocities. But that does not mean we are about to be invaded, nor is Europe about to be demographically swamped, as North American commentators such as Mark Steyn claim: Muslims will make up no more than 10% of the European population by 2020.’


These are the opening words of the first episode which give the full flavour of what to expect and the real motivations behind the book….

‘Rawlinson’s chance sighting of a large party of Russian Cossacks was to the First Afghan War what the weapon’s of mass destruction were to the invasion of Iraq….a single piece of ambiguous intelligence was manipulated by a group of ideologically driven hawks into a reason to invade an independent country.’


Needless to say that paragraph is more indicative of Dalrymple’s own ideology and manipulation of facts than anything else….and of course speaks loudly of the BBC’s readiness to give massive publicity to this book and its poisonous narrative which correlates so closely with its own…or as it says in its own words:

The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain’s greatest military humiliation of the nineteenth century: an entire army of the then most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat and utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen.

Prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple’s retelling of Britain’s greatest imperial disaster is a powerful and important parable of colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.’


The so called ‘army’ consisted mostly of a mere 4000 or so troops, the majority of which were less well trained Indian units and which was withdrawing for weeks in the midst of winter through deep snow in mountainous terrain with hardly any food…..hardly a prospect any army would relish.  It is of course not good to ‘lose’ 4000 or so troops but the BBC seem to conveniently forget that British troops then swept back through Afghanistan capturing the Afghan rebel leader, crushing all resistance and taking control…before leaving.

The British were keen to have a stable and reliable ally on its frontier…

“To justify his plan, Lord Auckland issued the Simla Manifesto in October 1838, setting forth the necessary reasons for British intervention in Afghanistan. The manifesto stated that in order to ensure the welfare of India, the British must have a trustworthy ally on India’s western frontier.’.

Dalrymple compares nineteenth century British actions  with the present war in Afghanistan  but doesn’t make a similar comparison with the Taliban…which is a Pakistani proxy army sent into Afghanistan and designed to ensure Pakistan and not India controls or influences Afghanistan and its politics….and thereby doesn’t threaten Pakistan.


Dalrymple only sees what he wants to see…and the BBC only let’s us see what it wants us to see….happily that coinicides with what Dalrymple sees.





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28 Responses to Any Excuse

  1. Robbo says:

    Thanks BBC for bringing the lefty slant of this book to my attention. Thanks to an effusive review of it in the Sunday Times I’d pre-ordered it on Amazon. Consider it cancelled. Dalrymple will not be getting his greasy paws on my hard-earned.


  2. Doublethinker says:

    I think that we should leave the Muslim world to its own devices.No interference, no aid etc. Once the US becomes energy independent from shale gas their interest in the ME will wane, so Israel better watch out. Hopefully, if we don’t keep beating winning the Ashes, the Aussies will sell us a bit of their newly discovered oil ocean so we won’t be dependent on the ME either.
    The cost of Blair’s wars will have been many billions and we have achieved nothing, so a doctrine of non intervention would be very cost effective. Of course we could tag along with the UN like Germany or Holland and essentially do nothing . We just need our politicians to stop thinking we are living in the days of global empire.
    But we do need to sort out the UK and this is where we should focus our efforts and resources. We should stop immigration, crack down hard on any subversive activity in the country, make sure everyone abides by British laws with no exceptions, that there are no ‘No Go ‘ areas, and everyone is educated in British values.
    Key to this will be to get the BBC to start telling us the truth and stop their incessant propaganda war about multiculturalism and mass immigration.
    I have just seen a large squadron of pigs flying in neat formation past the window. ( Hope using that old saying hasn’t offended anyone)


    • Justin Casey says:

      The region of the Middle East surrounding the state of Israel will always remain important to the West… Without the Israelis the strategic importance of the Suez canal would become too tempting a target for Jihadists…. Already the Gulf of Suez is a dangerous area for shipping… Imagine how bad it would be if the Mediterranean entrance became an area subject to piracy or shore based missile attacks… Not only that, but the fact remains that Israel is the only democracy in the region and its` technology industries and scientific communities share research with many Western powers… Do not make the mistake in seeing it as all one way traffic and assume that Israel would be left to rot should the oil stop flowing…. Israel is strategically important to the Western democracies, just as Syrias` Assad regime is important to the former Soviet Union…. Both countries currently provide East and West with facilities from which to operate in the region…… Also regardless of the misinformation the liberal MSM tries to sell to us all, the average UK national would rather have Israel as a next door nieghbour to Europe than another potentially unstable Theocratic regime in an already dangerous region full of anti Western rhetoric…. The world is slowly waking up to the fact that the so called `Arab Spring` revolts have resulted in entire countries becoming a hotbed of Jihadist and fundamentalist doctrine…. The only counter balance for both East and West is for each to have a friendly regime strategically placed (Israel and Syria) ….


  3. Guest Who says:

    ‘the BBC never misses a chance to ‘correct’ history and to change your perceptions and views of the various wars.’
    It’s one thing not to learn from history, but to try and deploy £4Bpa of people’s own money to change it for the purposes of reeducation and misinformation seems a step too far.


  4. +james says:

    “The BBC fought a long war against the Iraq war”

    I would disagree with that, the BBC was the biggest cheerleader for the illegal invasion of Iraq up until the Gilligan revelations.

    Remember all those hyperactive embedded reporters, behaving like they were staring on an episode of Play Away. How ‘Tony’s War’ was a wonderful war and that the people of Iraq where grateful to Tony for liberating them.

    I had to switch over and watch a more sober a account on Sky.


    • Lynette says:

      Can’t agree with James at all.. An interesting item from 2005. This letter of complaint shows the BBC distorting in current events as well as historical. BBC News at 10pm- October . It featured a report on recent American operations to remove insurgents from Western Iraq. The report stated that the footage belonged to reporters embedded with the American forces. However a BBC reporter added her voice-over to the footage. She specifically remarked that the US troops were “not knocking on doors” in their attempt to capture insurgents. The clear inference of this comment was that the US soldiers were using heavy-handed tactics. This theme continued when she voiced-over footage showing civilian casualties.

      I wondered what the original American TV commentary would have said. Coincidentally I had difficulty sleeping that night and came downstairs to watch BBC News 24. I was fascinated when the programme switched to cover World events and included the footage that I had watched earlier. This time, the original commentary was included – from the embedded ABC TV reporter. The reporter stressed that US soldiers had been knocking on doors. Only where they received no reply did they use force to enter Iraqi homes.

      I find the two reports totally at odds. Why did the BBC reporter make a completely dishonest statement on BBC News at 10pm? I can only surmise that she wished to incite BBC viewers into anti-American feelings and to evoke anti-war sympathies.


      • +james says:

        I remember watching the coverage of the pulling down of the statue of Saddam Hussein. The Beeb were claiming it was a great day for democracy, and proved Tony was right for liberating the Iraqi people.

        Switched over to Sky News and they had an SAS man on who pointed out it was a orchestrated publicity stunt. And claimed in all probability the locals were paid to do it. Sky News version of events made more sense.


        • +james says:

          Just a quick update, the invasion of Iraq lasted from 19 March – 1 May 2003. Gilligan’s allegations did not come out until May after the operation was complete.

          Before that the BBC was a sicking tub thumper for Tony’s invasion.

          The toppling of Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square occurred on the April 9, 2003,

          Come 2005 the Beeb had it’s fingers burnt by Hutton. But before and during the invasion the BBC was pumping out Starship Troopers type propaganda.

          Would you like to know more?


          • Guest Who says:

            Would you like to know more?
            That alone is worth a like


            • lynette says:

              I don’t recall the BBC ‘s pro war coverage as much as I do the later persistant and relentless campaign against Blair and against the war. Blair gave a speech in Washington DC in 2004 which recieved 8 minutes standing ovations and the BBC didnot even report it at all. ( we saw it overseas on CNN)


              • Ian Hills says:

                Most of Saddam’s foreign contracts were with French and German firms, which were annulled when he fell – and as France and Germany run the EU (from whose coffers the BBC benefits), the BBC line was bound to be pro-Saddam. Strife between Blair’s BP lobby and the Saddamista BBC led to the death of a weapons inspector and a little corporate restructuring, but now of course the BBC/Labour/EU triple alliance has kissed and made up.


          • stewart says:

            “A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic”
            Much truth in what you say .But on the home front BBC was cheerleader for anti-war (read ant-west) movment


  5. pounce says:

    The so called ‘army’ consisted mostly of a mere 4000 or so troops, the majority of which were less well trained Indian units and which was withdrawing for weeks in the midst of winter through deep snow in mountainous terrain with hardly any food…..hardly a prospect any army would relish. It is of course not good to ‘lose’ 4000 or so troops but the BBC seem to conveniently forget that British troops then swept back through Afghanistan capturing the Afghan rebel leader, crushing all resistance and taking control…before leaving.

    A little more information;
    That so called army also contain entire families (As was the case then) servants and baggage staff and they retired back to India at the request of the Afghans in the middle of winter.

    But hey not that the left would want you know any of that.


  6. stewart says:

    Any chance of them making one of Theodore Dalrymple’s
    books,book of the week?
    Myvotr ,for what its worth, would be for ‘Romancing the Opiates’


  7. Buggy says:

    “The so called ‘army’ consisted mostly of a mere 4000 or so troops, the majority of which were less well trained Indian units and which was withdrawing for weeks in the midst of winter through deep snow in mountainous terrain with hardly any food…..hardly a prospect any army would relish.

    It didn’t help much either that, having been given a promise of safe conduct by Akbar Khan to return to India, this was subsequently (and rapidly) reneged upon. No doubt Dalrymple has a ready excuse for this dishonourable conduct.

    It’s odd that the Dalrymples of this world fasten obsessively on the Elphinstone part of the Afghan conflict as a warning against action there, and completely ignore the susequent Anglo-Indian invasion which was a decisive success (to say the least).

    His namechecking of Mark Steyn is more than a little obvious too, in that Steyn has not just warned about the demographic change facing Europe, but never missed an opportunity to bait the Dalrymples of this world by wondering just where, after they’d so confidently forecast it, the “terrible Afghan winter” had got to. No doubt made wee Willie’s ears burn every time he did it.


  8. Ralph says:

    The First Afghan War was a disaster due to poor leadership. They behaved weakly when attacked and then decided to retreat miles through enemy held territory which was almost designed for ambush. A competent leader would have created a defensible position in or around Kabul so the lesson from that war was get better leaders, nothing else.

    Dalrymple has a tendency of highlighting the bad in the British and the good in the Indian’s. It led him in a previous book to comment on the quality of the poetry of those involved in the murders of civilians.

    As for ‘cultural collision’ here’s Sir Charles Napier on an Indian custom,

    ‘This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs’


    • chrisH says:

      Napier had clearly not been listening to his World Service had he?
      Surely this culturally-insensitive oaf would have had some kind of “Cultural Diversity Training” that would have embraced the enrichment agenda so loved by the BBC.
      Tragically he had not, so sadly Phil Shiner, Shami and Inyat etc would have had no choice but to camp follow, to prosecute…and of course to write the “official version” of all events that occurred.
      Surely some charity can speak for those poor and vulnerable perpetrators…allegedly, of course.
      No wait…correction…a widow would be a fossil fuel would she not?…oh , the carbon footprint…hang the abusers of Mother Gaia , on second thoughts.


    • wallygreeninker says:

      Of course we also got rid of the Thuggi who had been a scourge for centuries. Some of them were interned in a kind of 19thC Gitmo. I can imagine what the Beeb would have made of that.


  9. harryurz says:

    Sir Charles Napier – another of those great Victorian Britons the BBC are so anxious to consign to historical obscurity, just in case it offends “someone”.


  10. George R says:

    Al Qaeda: if you want to know British military intentions, tune in to INBBC (as no doubt you have already figured out).

    A typical Beeboid attitude to Britain resisting Islamic jihad is to demand that the British PM tell the likes of Nick Robinson how many British troops will e.g. be assigned to Mali, for how long, with what equipment , and in what capacity.

    Thus Beeboids demand British military intelligence be made public for Beeboids, Al Qaeda and everyone else.

    Thus INBBC, wittingly or unwittingly, assists the Islamic jihad enemy which is fighting the West, whether Beeboids want the West to fight this enemy or not.

    A classic:-

    “What is the UK doing in North Africa?”

    By INBBC’s non-military correspondent, Nick Robinson.


  11. Mike says:

    Seems to be a common issue from the left chop logic taking only facts that fit the agenda.

    The classic is the bombing during the war the study showing only 10% of bombs fell within five miles of the target is repeated again and again . AJP Taylors case seems unchallenged till you realise the study was early 1941 by the time of the bombing under harris ground radar and sophisticated target marking meant 80% was within a mile of the target but those studies are never quoted .

    Its a lie of ommission this happens a lot I studied the first week of the boer war for three weeks and covered the rest in half an hour the agenda was to show the defeats in black week and skim over the victories that shattered the boer army soon after .

    The boers greater numbers and much better weaponry supplied via the kaiser vs imperil cast offs that were used in the first few weeks by the british is never mentioned. any colonial units were outnumbered by mauser armed boers whilst using Martini Henry’s single shot obselete weapons.

    Islawanda is often stated as a great defeat but there were only a couple of thousand troops in the hick column. Once poorly armed native levies and logistic troops are stripped out there were about 800 men who were front line infantry and they made the msitake of fighting in open order the tactics that had worked against the Xhosa who were skilled skirmishers but were a very bad idea againts 100,000 strong zulu army of close quater troops.

    This isnt the impression given in Zulu dawn film an anti colonial agenda simply ignores facts that dont fit. Too much BBC history idealogically driven they should show all the facts and let the viewer decide.


  12. George R says:

    ” A tribute to William Dalrymple” (2006)

    By Hugh Fitzgerald.


  13. Checkitout says:

    Wasn’t the Khyber Pass the euphemism for the almost constant wars we had with Afghans when the Empire went North and found the Russians coming south. there’s lots written about The Great Game both empires played out in Afghanistan and its surely ironic that neither could conquer the land and hold it. And both failed again in the past 30 years!

    Surely any book warning us from any more attacks on Afghanistan is to be welcomed.


    • Ralph says:

      Not if it adds to the myth that you can’t win in Afghanistan. The message from our Nineteenth Century wars in Afghanistan is competent leadership is vital in war, nothing else.


  14. pedro says:

    lets face it.,,,,the bbc and 5 live have just become the propaganda wing for all these so called militants or rebels as they call them who are trying to overthrow there secular goverments while screaming allah hu akbar while they go on a butchery rampage of murder with the usual beheadings that happen in these conflicts that have happened in this so called arab spring uprising that is nothing but a muslim brotherhood takeover allied with al qaeda of these what was peacefull countrys like libya,egypt and now syria,the uk goverment have finally woken up to the fact that these conflicts in the arab world are just a viciouswar betreen al qaeda sharia obssessed terrorists and the armys and peoples of secular goverments,when will the bbc wake up to this fact……


  15. RCE says:

    Any mention of what the dutiful acolytes of the religion of peace did to the women and children amongst the camp followers?