The BBC is having a crisis. It hasn’t been able to settle on a position yet on how to report the case for military action against ISIS.
Its natural stance would be to oppose any military action as it did with Afghanistan and Iraq but with ISIS displaying unhelpful signs of being out and out evil and a vast majority of MPs voting in favour the BBC has had to hold its tongue.
That of course will only last until the first civilians get killed by allied bombs or ‘boots’ appear on the ground and ‘mission creep’ sets in.
For now the BBC settles for making sure there is no definitive answer as to whether military action is the correct course to take by continually raising ‘for and against’ questions. keeping the waters muddy. Good job the same bunch of BBC people weren’t around in WWII…Hitler would have his own show to justify his actions.
However the BBC does still like to keep up its own mantras that it nurtures and propagates, mentioning them as often as possible…..
- The Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France ‘carved up the Middle East’ and caused all the problems we see now.
- Islam is the religion of peace.
- Iraq 2003 gave birth to ISIS.
- And you can’t fight an ideology.
All of those claims by the BBC, stated frequently by its journalists, can be disproved with very little effort. Which might go to show that the BBC’s position is more political than journalism based on integrity.
John Humphrys many years ago scoffed at the idea that we could have a ‘war on terror’ claiming…‘The ‘War on Terror’ is a misnomer isn’t it? How can you have a war on an idea?’
This was a frequently repeated bit of semantics trotted out by opponents of that ‘War on Terror’.
On Saturday he repeated that claim that you can’t fight an idea with a bullet….and it was the first question on ‘Any Questions’…..‘Can you bomb away an ideology?’.
The trouble is of course you can…..if you don’t fight the ideology it will only become more established and will grow ever stronger.
And the Jihadists don’t have a problem propagating that ideology with a bullet…after all they are only doing what Bin Laden said they should do….
‘The confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know Socratic debates…Platonic ideals…nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun.
…Islamic governments have never and will never be established through peaceful solutions and cooperative councils.’
We spent 40 years fighting Communism with hundreds of thousands of troops based in Europe facing off the Soviets. Diplomacy and fine sentiments didn’t keep the Russian hordes at bay….tanks, guns and nuclear weapons did.
An ideology is only an idea when it is in someone’s brain…put a bullet in that brain and that kind of puts a stop to things….at least to the people with intentions to impose that ideology using violence.
So you can fight an ideology. It’s really very simple in concept unless you’re a smart arse journalist with an axe to grind because you’ve been caught lying about what Blair said.
Of course you have to remember that the BBC once claimed Al Qaeda didn’t exist, it was a ‘nightmare’ dreamt up by the American government, and therefore it was only an ‘idea’, a figment of the imagination…the ‘war on terror’ was therefore based on a lie fighting an imaginery foe.
The BBC might like to revisit that claim and whilst there they might like to think again about declaring ISIS ‘unIslamic’… even Muslims realise this isn’t true:
The current US strategy negates the cultural and social underlying causes for the rise of terrorism in the Middle East. The US decision-makers should realise that IS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and similar groups are not just a terrorist group but also an ideology coming from the heart of the Wahhabi-Salafi-Hanbali doctrine.
This school of thought enjoys a deal of support amongst Sunni-Arab countries. From their perspective, the US is practically re-launching the post-9/11 “war against Islam”. The fact is that the US cannot fight an ideology through air strikes.
So the religious ideology of Al Qaeda et al is one happily embraced by many Middle Eastern countries….what a surprise.
Shame the BBC doesn’t read its own material.
Speaking of which today we had this from the BBC:
Karen Armstrong argues against the notion that religion is the major cause of war.
Listening to this programme you hear many facts that you can agree with but then there comes the interpretation, an interpretation which is often distinctly at odds with the facts the same person has just laid out before us….the problem, as with the BBC, is that they allow their own prejudices and views to colour that intepretation.
Armstrong seems to have a particular dislike of Israel…she claimed the Jews for a thousand years had a taboo against going to the Holyland and setting up a state [Clearly a claim intended to undermine the existence of an Israeli state]…..and that peace for Israel means others being subjugated with merciless violence.
She also blamed the West for all the ills in the Middle East…the humiliation of Muslims subjugated by the colonialists practically overnight leading to their desire to fight the world.
She of course doesn’t even consider that Islam conquered, colonised and subjugated the populations of the Middle East and that that colonisation has been the ultimate cause of all this upheaval….as well as the medieval backwardness of those countries.
We also heard that Iraq 2003 is the cause of the Shia/Sunni rift…according to Armstrong a modern phenomenon….never mind 1400 years of conflict…or indeed the Iran/Iraq war.
Also that Iran is the key to defeating ISIS….so we must join forces with them.
Oh, and suicide attacks were invented and exported by the West.
Only 25% of Muslims really understand the Koran Armstrong suggests…curiously Armstrong tells us that it is only when Muslims go to prison that they have the time to get to know the religion in depth…and whent hey do they realise God is good and wants you to be good…hmmm…does she mean as with fundamentalists Qutb and Maududi, and oh yes , Hitler who wrote ‘Mein Kampf’ in prison…. “the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.”?
So that kind of nullifies her point that Jihadis don’t know their scriptures…. so many having come out of prison radicalised even more so.
The programme was in many respects quite surprising in its admissions about religion and violence…..however, as said, they seemed to rush back into the safety of the ‘narrative’ that the BBC also likes….Islam the religion of peace, The West the cause of all the evil in the ME, and Muslims as the victims of Western oppression, their violence merely a reaction against that oppression and humiliation.
Another surprise might be this clip on 5Live Drive [whole report from 2 hr 22 mins] the BBC played of George Bush in 2007 predicting the rise of terrorism if there is a failure to completely deal with the Jihadists in Iraq…as when Obama chose to withdraw the troops……but listen to Anna Foster trying to blame both Bush and Obama for the rise of ISIS whilst the ‘expert’ clearly blamed Obama….Bush pumped in 30,000 troops in a surge that successfully cleared out Al Qaeda….the troop withdrawal by Obama gave the Jihadists room to come back….along with Assad helping them.
Here is the Telegraph’s take on Obama:
Given how completely Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been upended by the rise of Isil in Syria, it is not surprising that the president should try and gloss over the scale of his own miscalculation when it came to the threat posed by the jihadists – but that doesn’t mean he should be allowed to get away with it.
This weekend Mr Obama had the cheek to blame his intelligence agencies for the fact that the White House was “caught by surprise” by the sudden rise of Isil.
Some spooks are already challenging the basic truth of this, but intelligence aside, what Mr Obama conveniently glosses over is that it was his decision to let Syria burn that created the chaos – and that a good many people, from his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downwards, warned him loud and clear of the risk he was taking by doing that.
It was Obama’s decision to let Syria burn.…and Ed Miliband’s…who influenced Obama.
It is curious how Miliband rarely seems to get a mention in all of this. Just how much blame can be attached to him for the rise of ISIS?
The BBC doesn’t ask.