The BBC know full well Alastair Crooke’s ‘pedigree’ and who holds the leash for this particular lapdog.

Just a couple of months ago BBC Watch commented on the BBC’s use of Crooke:

If readers are now beginning to suspect that the BBC simply saved itself a phone call to the Syrian Ministry of Propaganda by inviting Alastair Crooke to this programme, they might not be far wrong.


It looks though that the BBC just don’t care that Crooke is somewhat compromised as a commentator on events in the Middle East as he pops up again today on  World at One (13:14:30) where we were told merely that he ‘fostered contact between Islamic political groups and the West’

The BBC knowingly led him onto the point they wanted to make….Israel, and Saudi Arabia are ‘providing the intelligence’ about these gas attacks…..and we are to infer…the  intelligence is therefore highly dubious….because of its source.


Hmmm…well the ‘fact’ of  the gas attack was not provided by the Israelis to the world…..and the UN are  presently at work on the ground trying to establish what did happen, and by whom.

Crooke went on to tell us it definitely wasn’t the Syrian regime that used chemical weapons…because the Russians said so…oh, and Iran said, 100%, that it wasn’t Assad.


I’ll leave the last word to BBC Watch:

Providing Alastair Crooke with the opportunity to spout the spin of a terrorist organization and a murderous dictatorship to millions of listeners unchallenged is obviously bad enough. But when that is done without due disclosure of the political connections of the man and his very dubious organization, then the BBC is displaying wanton disregard for its own obligation to impartiality and once again putting its own political colours – and agenda – in full view. 

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29 Responses to Crooke

  1. Span Ows says:

    Thing is back in May the situation was very different to now. I would in fact agree that Assad’s forces did not use chemical weapons (no matter what the Russians and Iranians say) because to do so would be a precursor to the very thing they don’t want: direct US involvement.


  2. Guest Who says:

    Maybe they should get George Galloway back on to ‘analyse’ in that uniquely-informed way he has… for ‘balance’.


  3. Doublethinker says:

    The BBC seems to have changed its tone on both Egypt and Syria in the last week. Previously the BBC strongly supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the rebels in Syria. At least that was how their reporting came across to me. There was the usual disregard of their duty to produce balanced reporting and keep opinions to a minimum.
    In the last few days I have heard reports which were quite critical of the way the Muslim Brotherhood acted when in government and there was no repeating of the’ democratically elected’ mantra which we previously heard endlessly. So the BBC has cooled its support for the MB.
    In Syria they now seem to be at least allowing the possibility that the chemical attack was made by the rebels and not the government forces. This again is a major change because previously they were painting the rebels as freedom loving folks who were being oppressed by the Assad government.
    Something has happened to make the BBC change in this way. The situation in both Egypt and Syria is too complicated for me to fully understand and I an unclear what outcomes are in Britain’s best interest. Personally, I would keep our forces well away and avoid another Iraq and Afghanistan by speaking hard words at the UN but doing nothing. But the BBC is up to something. Any ideas?


    • Span Ows says:

      I agree with all of this. Very obvious change in focus, maybe as the possibility of ‘allied’ attack. US and UK diplomats are really going for this so I suspect they know more than we do…if they know only what we know yet are STILL saying it was the Syrian government then we are going to war because they want to…for some reason.


      • Guest Who says:

        A powerful image from another time…
        As my kids still say… ‘Are we there yet?’.


      • The General says:

        One thing is for certain, whichever side we choose to ‘assist’ will eventually turn on us with hate in there eyes to proclaim we are interfering in their political, religious and cultural affairs. That we should mind our own business and not try to impose Western values and democratic principles on them. That we should leave them to pursue their medieval ways…. executing, dismembering, misogyny and causing mayhem throughout the Middle East.
        And I tend to agree with them. We can only lose. These people have no place in their violent, irrational lives for our principles and way of life.


      • Owen Morgan says:

        Assad’s regime has chemical weapons and the means to deliver them. The rebels haven’t. I don’t trust the rebels, either, but pretending that anyone other than the Assad regime was in a position to have launched the chemical attack is just fatuous.


        • Corran Horn says:

          The question I have to ask my little beboid chum is; Cui bono?

          Not Assad for a start as that’s going to bring the US down on him like a tone of JDAMS and he knows the Russians aren’t going to back him if he’s gassing his own people so again; Cui bono?

          Only the Al Qaeda rebels have anything to gain from a chemical attack in Syria and so far the only confirmed use of such weapons has been by the rebels themselves.

          So I can only say to those in government and the media banging the drum for military action; “Keep the hell out of it!! If the US wants to go off bombing the hell out of some place new let them get on with it, they don’t need our help.”


        • The beebinator says:

          owen thats rubbish. chemical weapons are no different from high explosive, if they can deliver HE then they can deliver chemical.

          even if they didnt have artillary, you just place the projectile on the gound, put a bit of plastic explosive next to it and detonate it and its gone with the wind so to speak

          think about the iron harvest in france/belgium


        • Ken Hall says:

          Actually the Saudis have been ensuring that Sarin Gas has been delivered (via Qatar and Turkey and Jordan) to the rebels to be used against civilians.

          This has been extensively documented and the UN has stated clearly that they believed that the rebels were responsible for attacks in March this year.

          It is now documented fact that western backed rebels (many are linked with Al Qaeda) have definitely used chemical weapons against civilians in the hope of blaming Assad, in order to bring the USA/Western allies into their war.

          This has all been extensively documented online if you care to look.

          Additionally there are the leaked hacked emails from the British military contractor Britam Defence, clearly document a high level Conspiracy by the Obama regime to get chemical weapons into Syria to be used against civilians and blamed on Assad.

          There is mountains of evidence that this is the case, only not shown on the BBC or mainstream media.

          There is NO evidence whatsoever that Assad used them. Even the intercepted phone calls between Assad’s generals show their confusion as to where the attack came from, because non of them had ordered it.

          It makes no sense whatsoever for Assad to order chemical attacks, on the day that the UN inspectors flew in to Damascus, at a time when he is clearly winning the civil war. he cannot benefit from that attack at all. It is strategic suicide, and Assad may be many things, but he is not that stupid.

          Assad did NOT launch that attack. The west is lying to you exactly as it did about Saddam’s WMD.

          Do not fall for it again.

          There are only three options available in Syria.

          1. intervene on the side of Assad and prop up the dictator.
          2. intervene on the side of the rebels and prop up Al Qaeda extremists.
          3. Keep the hell out of it and only provide aid to refugees who have escaped the carnage. This is a civil war, and nothing to do with Britain, so let it run it’s course.

          There is no benefit in attacking Syria.


          • Corran Horn says:

            This poll on the Sky News website show’s that the oppinion of the British people is to keep out of it.



    • Demon says:

      Could it be that they are “cooling” for the MB because if the West, including the UK, attack the Syrian Government; they will be able to attack Cameron for waging war on “innocent civilians”. They will have distanced themselves enough, they hope, from supporting the MB so think they cannot be accused of calling for the attack. Basically, Cameron will be accused whatever he does, including if he does nothing.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Your comment has made me wonder if maybe it’s simply that somebody at the BBC with a clue is aware of how their reporting has been perceived, and has instructed everyone except Bowen to turn it down a notch or two.

        Alternatively, it could just be that as the violence has died down, there’s less moping to do over the MB’s loss.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I’ve long been under the impression that, while there are surely some Beeboids who do support the Muslim Brotherhood in general (Jeremy “moderate, conservative and non-violent” Bowen most prominent among them), the main thrust of BBC reporting on Egypt is an almost child-like ideal of a democratic state. I don’t think most Beeboids support the idea of an autocratic Islamic theocracy.

      But as usual their emotions and personal political ideology often get the best of them. In their view, simply winning an election that they don’t think has been stolen by George Bush gives the elected leader or faction pretty much carte blanche to do what they please (witness the constant Beeboid protestations about evil Republican Congressman not grabbing their ankles and letting the President have His way on everything), and only the happy democratic process can remove them. Regardless of the fact that only the MB was in a position to win a rushed election – which the BBC knew full well – they kept acting as if this was the same as it would be in a stable democracy with the long-established requisite infrastructure, institutions, and rule of law, never mind the clear tendency to violence at the drop of a hijab. Until now, there has been little acknowledgement that Morsi was moving towards a theocratic dictatorship, even while the BBC reported his actions as they happened. It’s as if they turned a blind eye, couldn’t face up to what they were witnessing. Most of them aren’t stupid, and some must have understood what was happening.

      But by biasing their coverage towards the democratic process itself, they gave all appearances of supporting Morsi and the MB, full stop. We saw a similar color in their coverage of the original Tahrir Square protests against Mubarak. It clearly gets out of hand when people like Bowen openly scold somebody like El Baradei that the right thing to do is let Morsi carry on until some future election is held. I think a few bad apples – especially Bowen – have poisoned BBC reporting on the big picture.


  4. George R says:

    Sensational late political discovery by INBBC on Muslim Brotherhood:

    “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood under fire over tailored language”

    Of course, such outlets as ‘Jihadwatch’ and much of the Israel media, have pointed out the ‘One-Eyed Jack’ nature of e.g. the MB, and of Al Jazeera, in Arabic and in English versions, for years.

    Still, it’s something, I suppose…


    • Guest Who says:

      Full marks to the BBC on keeping a straight face when reporting about ‘tailored language’ though.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Extremists say one thing when the world is listening, but another thing when speaking within the fold? Say it ain’t so! Why, next the BBC will discover that the Palestinian leaders, the Muslim Council of Britain, and CAIR, and Mehid Hasan and others have been doing this for years.

      Hey, BBC Monitoring: ever heard of MEMRI?


  5. Ian Hills says:

    The Yanks say that any evidence of poison gas will have been “corrupted” by shellfire, so they’re going in anyway.

    Syria is oil-rich Iran’s only ally, I believe……..


    • Amounderness Lad says:

      Ah, so that is why Russian and China will do anything to keep their puppet, Assad, in power in Syria.
      I couldn’t understand why they were so eager to make sure the UN was impotent to act in the matter, thanks, Ian Hills, now I know the answer.
      China wants to ensure it’s supply of oil from Iran and Russia want’s to make sure that the Middle East remains in turmoil to keep the value of their oil sales as high as possible to boost their economy.
      You are right, it’s all about OIL and Russia and China will do anything to keep control of it.


  6. Llareggub says:

    I am awaiting the reports from the hospitals full of children that will be hit when the first cruise missiles from the US and UK land on Syria. If the BBC wanted to finish off Cameron – which I doubt – initial support for the Syrian adventure followed by horrific reports of where it went wrong, would add to the massive hostility to the Coalition’s war fever.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Where are all those human shields this time? Wrong US President in charge? Has the BBC asked this question?


  7. Woody says:

    Cant you get past ‘I disagree with this person, therefore its biased’? That’s all this post is.


  8. frk says:

    breaking news,5 live have just announced that jeremy bowen have just arrived in the syrian capital damascus,cant wait to see if he is embedded with the so called free syrian army aka al


  9. frk says:

    al qaeda


  10. Andy says:

    In the light of a taped recording of a panicked radio transmission from an Assad unit to headquarters about their chemical attack I’d guess it was a “mistake” by the Syrian army, but this tells us Assad does not have full control of his army, still holds chemical weapons in a ready to use state and as such needs to have a strong punitive response from the West. If not then this “mistake” will become a habit to deal with any difficult dug in Syrian rebels in heavily popluated areas.


    • Guest Who says:

      That’s a new one on me.
      Is there a URL to a substantiated story from a credible source anywhere?
      It’s just there are many claims and accusations that have got us thus far without much else.
      If confirmed a different complexion is put on the matter, but as you describe it also raises interesting areas of precedent.
      If an errant squaddie or grunt commits a bit of a Geneva no-no without any top-down knowledge much less OK, does that mean anyone with a Tomahawk or its equivalent can pop one over to No. 10 or the White House just to remind Dave or Barry to keep their troops on the straight ‘n narrow?
      Especially if whoever looses it off has a few lines they need to regain to not look (more) stupid?