Mark Mardell: What’s So Special?

Mark Mardell is having a little freak-out about his beloved Obamessiah’s relentless rush to war (or is it only a rush when Bush does it?), which I’m enjoying immensely. It’s caused him to reveal his ignorance on US politics and scramble to find something that makes sense to him.

UK Syria vote leaves US asking ‘what’s so special?’

That’s Mardell’s concern here: how an intransigent Parliament is hindering the President’s wishes. Forget about the questionable evidence of Assad using chemical weapons, as apparently Susan Rice (who lied to the world about Benghazi, on orders from the President) and John Kerry (who was against intervention before he was for it – or was it the other way round? Depends on who’s President, I think) have presented new evidence about an intercepted phone call from some Syrian officer saying something they did got out of hand. France is all for His Obombing plan, so that will help His cause, according to Mardell.

My guess is that there will be renewed emphasis on the role of the French, the Turks and perhaps others. It will strengthen the hand of those in Congress who argue they should have their own vote.

Yeah, we always look for France’s approval on these things…..

So it’s only an opinion of some Congressmen that they should have a vote on war? I despair of this man’s appalling journalism sometimes, I swear. How many years has he been here now? While the President can order a very limited military strike, any real action requires a vote from Congress. This isn’t some partisan interpretation or something that sprang out of Rush Limbaugh’s fevered imagination. It’s the law. Didn’t we go through this whole charade with Libya? Remember when the President violated the law by doing too much warmongering for too long, after the date passed when Congressional approval was required? Has Mardell forgotten all about that? He sure is aware when Congress has the ability not to grant the President every wish.

Nobody seriously believes that a single round of cruise missiles will be the beginning and end of it. Just like with Libya, military forces will be required to hang around in war-mode for more than 60 days, and any more action than that requires Congressional approval, period. It’s not just politicians’ egos or enemies of the President trying to tear Him down this time, and Mardell would do well to remember that.

Mardell’s expert analysis has been way off on the Syria story. He assured us only last week that the President wasn’t going to rush into anything. What Mardell somehow fails to realize after all these years is that the President is all about Himself and His image, first and foremost. He’s perfectly capable of going to war just to prove a point, to stick a finger in the eye of His detractors. Nobody who’s been seriously paying attention for the last five years would think that this President will just gracefully step back after making such bold statements. The BBC’s US President editor, though, remains convinced that He wants to keep on deliberating and deeply contemplating everything. We saw the same error of judgment in his coverage of Libya.

Also notice how all the discussion is about whether or not the President looks good doing this, and about who’s going to join in. Neither Mardell nor anyone else at the BBC seems to be worried that this might be as illegal as anything George Bush did, even though he had two UN resolutions behind him, while the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief doesn’t need any. He needed only one to engage in regime change in Libya, and I guess even that’s not necessary now. Sure, the President now says He’s not doing regime change this time. But He’s already publicly demanded that Assad step down. Is that a “never mind” now? Mardell doesn’t want you to remember that. In fact, just the other day, he told a little white lie about it, claiming that the President has actually “repeatedly” said that He’s not interested in regime change. Well, maybe He has, but He’s also demanded regime change, so it’s no use pretending that didn’t happen. Can we call it dithering yet?

Since all of His promises seem to have an expiration date, who believes that regime change in Syria isn’t inevitably the goal once the shooting starts? We’re not going to have a repeat of containing Sadaam Hussein for a decade, are we? Who’s Mardell trying to kid here?

Then there’s the whole “poodle” thing.

It may be a different story now that it is clear Britain, so often cast as America’s poodle, won’t take part at all.

So often? How often, really? Back in the heady days of the “rush to war” in Iraq, and the initial invasion of Afghanistan, sure, we heard that a lot. But do people still go around saying that? I don’t recall Britain being called a poodle regarding Libya. And wasn’t it Blair was Bush’s poodle, and not really the way Mardell presents it? What happened to everyone loving this President? Surely nobody would be ashamed to follow Him.

I then laughed out loud when I read this:

It undermines the effort of the president to sell action to his own people, who seem to be deeply unimpressed by his arguments so far (the last opinion poll I saw had just 9% backing intervention).

Only a couple days late on that score, Mark. We all knew about that already. Don’t we always say that if it’s in the WaPo, the Beeboids know about it? Or maybe he just read it on this disgusting website. Skype Emoticons   I hope he’s not going to claim he saw that poll before he wrote that Sec. of State Kerry was “of course right that most people will think as he does” about it being “common sense” that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack, “simply from watching the TV pictures”. Because that would be embarrassing.

Having said that, NBC has done a more recent poll, with more specific and helpful results.

  • Only 26% think we should take military action against Assad in general, aside from the question of chemical weapons
  • 50% are against military action against Assad for using chemical weapons, with 42% approving. Is that a mandate, I wonder?
  • 50% actually approve of a very limited air strikes using cruise missiles launched from U.S. naval ships that were meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have been used to carry out chemical attacks. That’s rather hypothetical, assuming that we know exactly who did it and where, which we of course don’t, and probably won’t even after the UN busybodies get there days after it’s all been cleaned up. But at least it’s a token some can wave around as approval of His Obombing plan. If Mardell gets around to reading the NBC poll, he’ll probably see that as a mandate to act without Congress’s approval.
  • 79% think the President should have Congressional approval before taking military action, and 21% don’t. Argh. Some of us are as dopey as Mardell. But at least the vast majority think Congress is more relevant than he does.

Not coincidentally, more people disapprove of how the President is doing his job, 48% – 44%, and more disapprove of how He’s handling foreign policy, 49% – 41%. Probably all due to crypto-racism, right, Mark? They like going to war, they just don’t like going to war under the direction of a black President.

Worst of all, though, is the continued absence of any mention from the BBC’s top man in the US – an experienced, world-class political analyst – of the President’s Nobel Peace Prize. Sure, dithering over whether to act, drawing a silly red line in the sand, boxing Himself into a corner over going to war, and losing a top ally in the process makes the President look less than the God-like creature so many at the BBC seem to worship. But how ridiculous is it that a Nobel Peace Prize laureate is now talking about starting yet another war against yet another country, this time not even “leading from behind”. This President must have the highest body count of any Nobel laureate, with more to come, yet Mardell doesn’t say a word about it. Hack, failure. I admit it’s refreshing to see him not advocating for one of the President’s policies for a change, but his coverage of this issue is pathetic. Like Justin Webb before him, he’ll probably get promoted for it.

Has anyone at the BBC mentioned His Nobel in this context yet? Anywhere? Has even a favored edgy comedian made a joke about it on the radio?

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33 Responses to Mark Mardell: What’s So Special?

  1. dave1east says:

    `……… scramble to find something that makes sense to him` – spot on.


  2. George R says:

    “Once staunch opponent of Bush Iraq policy, Obama faces similar path on Syria”


  3. Doublethinker says:

    Can anyone remind me why Mr Obama got his Nobel Peace Prize. Did he actually do something to earn it or did it just come up with the rations.


    • Stewart says:

      He got it for being black


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      He was awarded the Nobel for Hope and Change. Mark Mardell didn’t say anything about why the President was given the Nobel Prize for Peace, but he sure loved His acceptance speech. The BBC did publish a report at the time about how the President was in favor of “morally justified” war, though. So I guess there’s no need to question Him, as everything He does is morally justified, because racism.

      It turns out I’m wrong about the BBC never questioning it: Andrew North did raise an eyebrow about the President’s Nobel and His warmongering: in 2011. There you go: one article balances out everything else, the lone outlier proving there is no bias and all is well.

      Now, why hasn’t the BBC’s top man in the US, the one who spends infinitely more time than anyone else analyzing the President’s every move, done the same? Especially now.


    • Span Ows says:

      He won it for the same reason the IPCC and Al Gore won it in 2007, because it’s a lame duck arse-wipe political award that degrades all the ‘real’ Peace awards not to mention all the very worthy Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Economics prizes. It has become a farce.


      • F*** The Beeb says:

        Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter have also won it. Hell, Yasser Arafat won it simply for agreeing to stop launching terrorist attacks.


  4. Guest Who says:

    ‘…have presented new evidence about an intercepted phone call from some Syrian officer saying something they did got out of hand..
    This was raised on this blog a few days ago.
    At the time I asked the poster (Andy?) for a URL to a credible source citing rational evidence.
    I don’t think it was forthcoming.
    I’m not saying it’s not a possibility, but given how such things get shared, and quickly, via broadcast, blog, FB & twitter, I have yet to see it. Which seems odd.
    So not even a TV picture yet to share the certainty of some that ‘something’ ‘may’ be credible enough to have the ‘common sense’ to start lobbing Tomahawks around and pissing off Putin.
    Now call me a Crisp-munching Brit surrender monkey, but before I start giving my mandate to killing the right kind of kids on the line, I’d need just a smidge more convincing they are the ones in front of the actual bad guys.
    Because in such conflicts, Mark, my concerns remain with the weak and innocent, not propping up BBC fanboi fallen icons because they are looking really lame.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      See this Reuters report and especially this from Foreign Policy mag. You can say they’re all lying if you want.

      Of course, the US Government supposedly had evidence of Assad using chemical weapons back in January The HuffPo reported it as well, so we know the BBC knows about it. So all this red line talk is a load of BS anyway.


      • Guest Who says:

        ‘You can say they’re all lying if you want’
        Odd thing to say.
        I asked a question; you answered it with sources, thank you.
        The Reuters is timed 24 minutes ago. The FP a few days. I had, until now, seen neither. Certainly in the MSM here.
        Hence my question.
        They offer a scenario. I have no idea if they are lying.


      • Ian Hills says:

        Hearsay from suspect sources is hardly evidence, but knocking out Iran’s only ally to get to the mullahs’ nationalised oil assets sure counts as motive. Look at what happened to Iraq’s nationalised oil assets after the western conquest – they’re now in the hands of BP, Exxon-Mobil, etc.

        Forget humanitarian reasons for going to war – they’ve always been phony. Just look for the money.


  5. Guest Who says:

    Well the world community is now living in fear, so policemen from somewhere better get seen on street corners…
    BBC World News
    As the world discusses possible military action, we’re in #Jordan to speak to Jordanians and Syrians. The team – Kate, Chris, Wjd & Riham – and I have been out witnessing what life is like on the ground.

    ‘We fear a chemical weapons attack’, is the constant refrain of residents in the northern Jordanian border village of Turra. #Syria is less than 2km away and there’s growing anxiety that any military strike will cause this growing war to spill across this border.

    That sign off is nifty.
    Made me think of that old saying, “Lyse, damn Lyse… and BBC propaganda as reporting”.
    For some reason.


  6. stuart says:

    he did not look well last night on bbc news,sweating and twitching alot,ok,i have put alot of weight on lately but marky babe is has been spending to much time in them burger bars just lately,his barrel belly is get larger by the day,has he changed his obama love in,i dont think so,marks problem is he is looking and sounding confused about all aspects of american politics,i just cant understand the bloke.


  7. Guest Who says:

    And so the next notch on the ramping comes in.
    Enough to warrant an email. Just in:
    Syria attack ‘killed 1,429’ – Kerry

    US Secretary of State John Kerry says the chemical attack by Syrian forces on 21 August killed 1,429 people
    That’s 1,429.
    Not 1,428 or 1,430.
    Killed by the chemical attack of Syrian forces.
    Well, I sought precision, and I got it.
    ‘”All of these things we know, the American intelligence community has high confidence.”
    As does, evidently, the BBC.
    Shame this may not be held by many others any more.


    • Ian Hills says:

      “High confidence” sounds like “dodgy dossiers”.


    • Derek says:

      …the American intelligence community has high confidence

      Obama gave the motive otherwise, so of course they have to have ‘high confidence’.

      Their alternative is acknowledging that Obama’s ‘red line’ grandstanding (instead of ‘speak-softly in public, strong-stick diplomacy for Assad’s ears alone’) provides a very strong motive for rebels to fire off or detonate near civilians any chemical weapons they find – while filming the results for our MSM to regurgitate rather than investigate.

      Of course, this would mean the Religion-of-Peacers would not be transporting that particular CW westwards, so you may have mixed feelings about this…

      Yet still Cameron & the BBC support these guys – I suppose the replacement of a [very nasty] secular government tolerant of Christians and other minorities with an [even nastier] intolerant Muslim one is what they would like, if their approach towards Egypt is anything to go by.


  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    You know what pisses me off most of all? If this is supposed to be some “morally justified” war because using chemical weapons violates international law and makes unicorns cry, what about Iraq? Sadaam used chemical weapons on several occasions. There’s no doubt about this, no question of BBC/Pallywood fakery, no question of sexing up dossiers, no question of lying just to go to war for oil. The BBC is breathing heavily about dodgy intel about WMD which could be used on allied nations leading us to war, but what about Sadaam’s use of chemical weapons on his own people and on Kurds and Marsh Arabs? Doesn’t matter because it was George Bush?

    Okay, that’s not the only thing that pisses me off most of all. The other thing is that we now have some capricious metric for deciding sin. Would it be okay if Assad just kept bombing the bejeezus out of people and mowing them down with machine guns, as long as he didn’t use any banned weapons? What a @#$*ing joke. Over to you, Today and Radio 5 and Newsnight geniuses.

    If sending Assad a “strong signal” is morally justified and not illegal, then so was going after Sadaam. The Junior Senator from Illinois said it was wrong, but now He claims a moral duty to go after Assad. Go on, intrepid, impartial BBC journalists: call Him on it. Quit waffling about a red line and a coalition and the UN and say it loud. And ask everybody you talk to who thinks it’s right to bomb Syria now if it was right to bomb Iraq then. If this doesn’t happen, all BBC journalists can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.


    • F*** The Beeb says:

      Agreed. They’re either both wrong or both justifiable. I think they’re both wrong.


  9. frk says:

    president assad is protecting the christians in syria from al qaeda slaughtering them.if syria get qaeda will murder the christians by the 1000s


  10. Guest Who says:

    At such times, when the man on the stage is dazzling you, it’s often worth checking around.
    Like the dog who barked in the night or most BBC editorial, it;s often the voids that offer interesting clues to other forces at play.
    The comments, also, are interesting.
    And free.
    Not a BBC man on an hotel balcony in sight.
    Or Lyse.


  11. F*** The Beeb says:

    The BBC is either directly or indirectly supporting the genocide of Christians and the rise of Islam.


  12. Nicholas says:

    Mark Mardell is a tw@t. End of.


  13. murgatroyd says:

    According to the White House has been less than accurate with its sources.
    It certainly makes no sense for Assad to use the chemical weapons – much more likely for it to be the rebels.

    Also, look at this – which links the rebels with the murder of the Ambassador in Benghazi. You know, where Obama would not let anyone assist the Ambassador and his fellow Americans when attacked.


  14. frk says:

    @ david prieser.mark mardells reporting has alot to be desired and he needs a gastric band around his mouth


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Man, the Today programme this morning sure features all my favorite Beeboids: Mark Mardell, Jonny Dymond, and Kevin “Teabagger” Connolly. What a collection of towering intellectual analysts to inform you about my country. Plus Katie Watson and Diplomatic correspondent in the US, Jonathan Marcus, who at least has a bit more sense than the rest of them.

    Connolly (who used to be a US Beeboid and has been demoted to Middle East correspondent) intones that the UN inspectors were more or less for show, and their leaving was timely, because the US never cared about what they did and was just waiting for them to leave before starting the Obombing campaign. Well, I can’t argue with that, because the UN is useless and the inspection was always going to be nothing more than a piece of purely ritual theater. Of course, Connolly didn’t put it that way, and it sounded like he was just being cynical about the big, bad warmongering US not caring about international niceties rather than indicting the UN.

    Mardell is clearly unhappy about Kerry’s warmongering (must come as a shock to him and Katty Kay). And he points out that the President has stressed that any action the US takes will be limited, and with no boots on the ground or attempts at regime change. I’m laughing out loud at the BBC’s US President editor who told us just last week that he was sure the President wasn’t going to rush to action is now saying that the President is going to act quickly. The poor man is really struggling now. The President has boxed Himself in with all His ill-thought pronouncements, and so has Mardell with his ill-thought analyses. This is where blind ideology and overconfidence will lead you every time.

    At no time does Mardell wonder about the insanity of claiming that we can bomb somebody for using one kind of weapon to kill people, but we can’t if they kill people using a different kind. I’m sure that personally, he doesn’t think anyone should do anything either way, other than more diplomacy and having kittens and fluffy bunnies work it out at the UN.

    Jonathan Marcus, perhaps the least offensive and most open-minded of Beeboids working the US beat, lays out asks why the Parliamentary vote was taken before the US and UK Governments had properly coordinated and released new intelligence about hard data showing that the Syrian military actually was the source of some chemical weapons. He suggests that had they waited, the vote outcome might have been different. Well, perhaps, and even if everyone here doubts it, there’s nothing wrong with him asking the question. Either way, my money is on incompetence rather than malevolence with this crowd. Speaking of delaying things until after the vote, one has to also wonder if perhaps the outcome might have been different if, as others here have suggested already, Panorama ran their documentary before the vote as well. But Marcus didn’t bring that up.

    Some other Beeboid then said that Miliband Minor was having to defend himself against criticism that he somehow helped damage the relationship with the US by voting against Cameron’s war plan. Now that is funny. We keep hearing about how this all makes the US lose faith in the UK, and I can’t remember the last time so many Beeboids were so concerned that we might not be into you anymore. Certainly when Bush was in charge, the “special relationship” was a bad thing. I wonder what’s changed since then?

    Nelson Mandela is well enough to leave the hospital and return to his home, although there’s no real change in his condition. Whew! Now back to the news…

    I love how new-ish Washington correspondent, Katie Watson, is now talking about how “the US” is resolute, “the US” is doing that, etc. It’s the President leading this, not Congress, not the public. This is all Him, and it’s about time the BBC admitted it. Watson’s delivery, possibly due to nerves, if not conflicting emotions, kept getting faster the more she talked about the President acting the cowboy. In case you can’t tell from my typing, I’m smiling the whole time at this display of astonished Beeboids watching their beloved Obamessiah do this. I mean, He’s not actually doing anything but speechifying, but their trust in Him is so complete that their sure He’ll do whatever He says, regardless of past disappointments.

    How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya now, you bunch of……….?

    Then I did hear the White House mouthpiece say that the law was not on our side, so let’s put together some facts that prove we’re doing the right thing anyway. Well, well, well. So is this President, who was supposed to heal the planet, going to deliberately violate the sanctity of international law? Oh, my goodness. Good thing Sarah Montague wasn’t sharp enough to ask how the President could do this since He spoke out against it as a Senator, and campaigned – twice – against this kind of behavior.

    She did think to ask if the US public was against going to war, and the guy lied and said that’s pretty much “always the case”. What a load of crap. He should ask Mark Mardell, who has often expressed his disdain for us warmongering United Statesians who “want an unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead, out front, leading those who have the guts to follow”. Okay, maybe don’t ask Mardell. But it’s still funny. We don’t want this particular military action, but nobody in their right minds believes that the US public hasn’t been in favor of previous actions (when things kicked off, I mean).

    Hey, BBC, are we racists for not wanting to go to war under a black President? Is that it?

    Last but not least is Jonny Dymond reports from some an anti-war crowd outside the White House. I’ve only been asking for a couple years where they’ve been, and the BBC has been bringing them in the last couple days. Dymond’s report is about the theme of war fatigue, and how Bush’s Iraq failure is the main reason nobody wants to go after Assad now. Dymond let the anti-war people speak uninterrupted, but he challenged the woman who had the temerity to suggests we should go after dictators.

    I’m enjoying immensely all these BBC reports about people opposing something The Obamessiah wants to do for a legitimate reason as opposed to racism or hyper-partisanship. You see, when the BBC agrees with them, it’s not wrong. When the BBC agrees with the President’s policy, there can be no legitimate opposition, and those against Him must instead have some nefarious ulterior motives.

    Bonus bias: At no time did anyone mention His Nobel Prize for Peace. As usual.

    Having said all this, I must now say that I disagree what I believe is the viewpoint of most people here that the BBC wants this war. I think they’re all just as anti-war as always, but have had to make a very major climbdown from their reflexive approval of anything The Obamessiah does. Not a few of them are clearly questioning their faith, and it’s been quite the spectacle. The debates allowed through about the debate in Parliament and in UK public opinion also betrays a general anti-war sentiment at the BBC. Bush/Blair and Iraq will be an eternal cry for them, I think. How this will all turn out should be very interesting indeed.


  16. David Preiser (USA) says:

    When you’ve lost the New Yorker…….

    Obama Promises Syria Strike Will Have No Objective

    Attempting to quell criticism of his proposal for a limited military mission in Syria, President Obama floated a more modest strategy today, saying that any U.S. action in Syria would have “no objective whatsoever.”

    “Let me be clear,” he said in an interview on CNN. “Our goal will not be to effect régime change, or alter the balance of power in Syria, or bring the civil war there to an end. We will simply do something random there for one or two days and then leave.”

    “I want to reassure our allies and the people of Syria that what we are about to undertake, if we undertake it at all, will have no purpose or goal,” he said. “This is consistent with U.S. foreign policy of the past.”

    It’s so close to reality it’s kind of hard to tell if this is satire or not, but it reads almost like something Mardell would report with a straight face.


  17. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Oh, joy, the President will be addressing the world about Syria in a couple of minutes. There’s an awful lot riding on this, so He better step up to the plate. He’s not going to start Obombing on a holiday weekend, so there’s that. Time to dither some more regroup and rethink? Or is He still convinced, like Mark Mardell, that all He needs is a great speech to turn things around and inspire everyone?

    Can’t wait for the astute BBC analysis about what it all means, and what will happen next. Will there be any Beeboid tweets about how He’s the greatest orator of our time?


  18. David Preiser (USA) says:

    A summary of Mardell’s expert analysis of the President’s speech today on Syria:

    John Kerry said the bad people will laugh at the US if we don’t act now. The President said that action is forthcoming. But He said He hasn’t made a decision. But He said He will act. It’s a holiday weekend, so He probably won’t. But if He waits until next week, He’ll be ordering a war Russia doesn’t like while He’s in Russia. But He’ll first get Congressional approval. But He will act soon. But there’s no time frame yet. But He’ll have to start bombing now. But He said it will be a short bombing, no boots on the ground. But He won’t say when it will stop. But it’s not His fault, you see. That cowboy John Kerry is the one who ramped up the rhetoric and forced Him into war. But…..but….but….