Come, let us tell in Zion what the Lord our God has done

Sorry I’m a little late in getting to this, but life intrudes occasionally. I saw this the day it was posted, but didn’t have time to deal with it until now. BBC US President editor blogged about Libya and the death of Gaddafi. And it’s classic Mardell in full acolyte mode.

Gaddafi killed: A new kind of US foreign policy success

“Wow”, said Hilary Clinton as she was handed a Blackberry with the news out of Libya.

Gaddafi’s death will be a relief to President Obama and his administration. That’s on the fairly simple grounds that he backed NATO action, called for him to go, and now he’s gone.

Wait a second…..that’s not what I saw originally. I remember it well because I literally smacked my forehead, stood up, and walked away when I saw it. It’s the reason I went back to do this now. It appears that Mardell had a rethink and made a stealth edit. Fortunately, he can’t escape Google. The original post seems to be lost down the memory hole, but the opening line in question is still there:

The death of Col Gaddafi is a vindication of sorts for Barack Obama’s foreign policy, and the awkward US decision to ‘lead from behind’.

A vindication, eh? Killing Gaddafi in cold blood, without due process of law, is vindication of a foreign policy strategy? Did the BBC ever say that when Sadaam was put on trial by his own people, judged, convicted, and sentenced by his own people, that was a vindication of Bush’s foreign policy? I forget. What color is the sky on your planet, Mark? I wonder who told him to tone it down. But make no mistake: Mardell’s true thoughts were revealed in his original words. His beloved Obamessiah has been vindicated. Was it the not doing anything part that was vindicated, or the not having boots on the ground which led to a killing in cold blood without trial or due process of law that was the vindication? Yeah, whatever. Don’t bother wondering if we had put boots on the ground that Gaddafi might have been captured and granted his human rights, put on trial, etc. Nah. The Obamessiah knows best, regardless.

Has His Nobel Peace Prize been vindicated yet? FFS.

In any case, let’s recall the facts. Originally, the President didn’t want to get involved at all. In fact, He had to be dragged, practically kicking and screaming, into it. (There you go again, always wanting an unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead – ed.) At the time, of course, Mardell was trying to convince you that this was “deliberating”, not dithering. We know for a fact, however, that He really was dithering, and had to have reality shoved in His face before reluctantly agreeing to act (once again, Al Jazeera beats the BBC, eh? ) In fact, Sec. of State Clinton and her Department were complaining that it was basically amateur hour at the White House, and were thinking that the lights were on but nobody was at home. It’s also important to remember that the Libyan people themselves were asking for our help, and that Mardell himself was trying to big up The Obamessiah by saying that He felt a personal connection, an emotional attachment, to the Libyans’ cry for justice.

Okay, so back to the current post. Mardell explains that Gaddafi’s death will come as a relief to the President because that means the mission was a success. Naturally, what he really means is that ugly, barbaric United Statesians wanted him slotted, not that the President Himself would be so crass. But Mardell’s main point is that this represents the “Obama Doctrine”, of a less aggressive US. The fact that he has to then admit that we carried the main load of warmongering, and that the essential defeat of Gaddafi’s forces wouldn’t have been possible without US muscle is amusing, but then irritating because Mardell still maintains that it’s totally cool simply because we didn’t start it. I’ll leave it to others to explain how that makes sense, because I sure as hell can’t. Either we made it possible, or we didn’t, no?

Mardell’s main point here is that it’s a significant improvement over the Bush Cowboy years because the Muslims won’t view this as the nasty US imposing our will on the poor brown-skinned folk. There won’t be a generation of Libyans growing up the name “Barack”, I guess. He still sticks to his position that the President wanted to “lead from behind”, and not that He didn’t want to do anything at all. This is White House spin, and not the facts.

Let’s also recall now that Mardell himself was originally against taking action in Libya. He felt that the President frowning at Gaddafi would be sufficient, and tried to convince you that the President’s approach to this conflict was “very deliberate, very rigorous, rather academic.” It was a lie then, and it’s a lie now. The President didn’t want to do it, and had to be convinced by others to act. There’s a big difference between being unsure and trying to work it out and not wanting to do it, full stop. But Mardell constantly told you that the President was trying to figure it out anyway, and that only the uglier side of the US wanted to rush out, guns blazing.

In fact, Mardell was so against the notion that the US was going to save the day that at one point he even praised the President for making the UN relevant again. This is the same UN, mind, that’s now whining about how Gaddafi didn’t get his human rights affirmed before he was whacked. Who didn’t see that coming?

I won’t bother to get into a discussion about how US involvement was illegal anyway, because the President actually needed Congressional approval to send troops out in this case, where Libya wasn’t relevant to immediate US foreign policy and security needs, or that some people like St. Michael and St. Jon (Moore and Stewart) were displeased, as the BBC censored all of that. They’re both totally cool now because they support the Occupiers, so forget about old news that might make the President look bad.

Mardell continues his in blog post to reassure you that it’s great because the Libyans will think they did it themselves, and didn’t have it forced on them by Western Imperialists (he doesn’t use those terms, but that’s what he means). If that’s the case – if Gaddafi’s killing in cold blood vindicates that strategy – then why was it so great for the President to dither over it for weeks?

This is where it becomes clear that Mardell was spinning for Him the entire time. If the President’s plan the whole time was to bomb from afar and let the Libyans themselves do the heavy lifting on the ground, then why dither deliberate about whether or not to get involved? If “leading from behind” was the plan all along, why did He have to have His arm twisted to do it?

Even Mardell admits it, sort of:

In the end it was fear of being judged a moral failure that drove the decision.

Ah, yes. He wanted to be “on the right side of history”, right?

The president was told that thousands could die in a massacre in Benghazi and he wasn’t going to be held responsible for that.

Hell, even the odious, now departed, Matt Frei was worrying about that before Mardell was. And Mardell is still trying to tell you that this is a success story.

But if President Obama’s policy has been a success on its own terms, it leaves others in the US deeply worried. They don’t think their country should encourage, cajole, help and guide. They think it should lead – that it should be seen to lead in fact and in deed.

And if it doesn’t it is not clever – it is defeatist, and will inevitably lead to a diminution of power. They may raise their voices, not today, but when the dust settles.

It’s worth repeating: Forget that Sadaam was captured without harm, put on trial by his own people, and sentenced in a court of law by his own people, according to the laws of his own country. Mardell will hate that to his dying day, yet the cold-blooded killing of Gaddafi, without trail, without legal justice, is a success, a vindication, in his view. How twisted can you get?

In Mardell’s biased worldview, the President’s plan was a success, even if He didn’t actually have this plan and it was forced upon Him. Cold-blooded killing is vindication, whereas a trial according to the laws of the country concerned is Cowboy justice. No effort is spared at the BBC to praise Him and prove to you that He knows best.

Bin Laden’s Death: Illegal Assassination or Legitimate Target? Depends On Who’s President…..

Have Your Say, 2001:

Can state assassinations be justified?

US President George Bush has told the CIA to find and destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network.

The president has given the agency the green light to do “whatever is necessary” – which could include an assassination attempt – and has given it £700 million in funding to carry out the mission.

The operation will include the CIA working with commandos and other military units to act immediately on intelligence uncovered by American spies about enemy targets.

Should the CIA have been given the go ahead to assassinate Bin Laden? Can such actions ever be justified?

Have Your Say, 2011:

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden dead: Your reaction

BBC News website readers in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been sharing their views on the death of al-Qaeda’s founder and leader, Osama Bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden evaded the forces of the US and its allies for almost a decade, despite a $25m bounty on his head.

Enough said.

UPDATE May 3: Der Spiegel asks the question the BBC has curiously stopped asking:

Was Bin Laden’s Killing Legal?

The Bias That Keeps On Coming

Mark Barlex (BBC News On Demand Editor) quoted on the BBC College of Journalism twitter account:

The link takes you to this BBC video report of the Iraqi guy throwing his shoes at George Bush, complete with different camera angles and a slow motion replay.

A few minutes later there was a further tweet highlighting another one of Barlex’s favourite BBC online items:

The BBC’s position on American politics summed up in two tweets.

On the subject of BBC echo-chamber Obama-loving Republican haters, there was a typically biased discussion about Sarah Palin hosted by self-important left-luvvie coke-snorting fame junkie ex-children’s TV presenter Richard Bacon on his Radio Five Live show yesterday. A perfectly nice American woman who – horror of horrors! – likes Sarah Palin had to endure Bacon’s continuous sneering and the negative comments of two journalists from anti-Republican publications (Newsweek and the Guardian). Another fine example of what passes for balance on the BBC.

Bremner vs Bush

Among the comments to the previous post I particularly liked this one by Joe N:

What I found rather cute in the R4 documentary, was the way it tried to be reasonable, but resorted to “mockumentary” tacktics anyway.

They had a voice-actor imitating President Bush at each segment, and when they played a series of quotations by him, the background music was of rural banjo fuges, as though it meant to cue the pavlov’s dogs of the listening audience a seeming reference to the movie “deliverance”.

The arrogant, culturally ignorant bastards at the BBC don’t even realize that there is no such tradition in Texas, and that he doesn’t comre from the Appalachian or mountain-south traditions associated with the type of fade-in/fade-out music they played.

Really – they are idiots willing to employ what they think they know about a folk culture to abuse someone! It’s about as sophisticated and shows as much a lack of depth of familiarity as a would-be photo-montage of Barack Obama with a watermelon and a bucket of fried chicken.

I assume Joe N is referring to this programme in which the impressionist Rory Bremner “considers the rhetorical evolution of George W Bush from gaffe-prone candidate to grandiose war president.”

I caught the end of the programme. It could have been worse, I suppose. At least it allowed various of Bush’s speechwriters and so on to have a word, though of course the beginning and end of each segment had to be according to the BBC narrative. I did notice one thing – after actually praising Bush for some good rhetoric, the inevitable contrasting Bush-is-stupid bit was the occasion where Bush said that he was “proud to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hands cut off by Saddam Hussein.”

Ha ha ha.

Now, given that the BBC researchers managed to dig out from the archives a clip of his actual words (52 minutes in) then the programme-makers must have known the context in which this speech was made. The link takes you to a post at the Volokh Conspiracy blog, which (unlike the BBC or the Slate magazine feature that prompted Eugene Volokh’s post) gives the next few lines of the speech:

I’m honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein. I’m with six other Iraqi citizens, as well, who suffered the same fate. They are examples of the brutality of the tyrant.

I am also here with Marvin Zindler, of Houston, Texas. I appreciate Joe Agris, the doctor who helped put these hands on these men; Don North, the documentary producer who made a film of this brutality, which brought the plight of these gentlemen to the attention of Marvin and his foundation. These men had hands restored because of the generosity and love of an American citizen. And I am so proud to welcome them to the Oval Office. . . .

Bush was able to shake this man’s hand because he was among several men who had just been provided with artificial hands by US surgeons. That was what occasioned the speech being made at all. He was saying, wasn’t it great that they did, once again, have functioning hands despite the barbaric punishment inflicted upon them.

As I said, the programme makers must have understood those circumstances. But they – and Rory Bremner – chose a cheap laugh over explaining them.


. Well, I appeared on BBC NI “Nolan Show” yesterday to discuss the US Presidential visit. I was there as a lone voice supporting the war on terror (Islam) and offering a warm welcome to the elected leader of the United States. I was up against the leader of the “anti-war” protesters – a wacko who considers President Bush a war criminal and referred to US military as “occupying forces” Now I expect deranged comment from the hard-left “Student Grant” types such as the guy I debated with on-air but the thing that really got me was the chuckling of the host – Steven Nolan – at the spectacularly ignorant comments of those who phoned in. Their considered opinions went along the lines of Bush was stupid/ a terrorist / a fraud / etc. This is witty, apparently. The BBC that was shilling faux outrage yesterday at the security costs for the Bush visit was the SAME BBC that delighted in the Clinton visits here with nary a word about the costs. Then again, Bubba Bill was their kinda guy and Bush is the anti-Christ. All in all it was a frustrating experience, my desire to talk on the matters of substance irrelevant when the key message was that Bush is not wanted by the political left who control the BBC and infest its programmes.


. If you want a laugh, I suggest you read these comments on the BBC “Have your Say” page concerning the imminent arrival of US President Bush to the UK tomorrow. I particularly enjoyed Muhammad (sic) Adam’s comment that “Bush is the world’s biggest terrorist and murderer. He should not be allowed into the UK. His presence in this pure land violates its sanctity. Bush has not done anything good for his nation, or for any nation for that matter ever since he took office. He should be arrested for crimes against humanity, for genocide, for international terrorism.” I think Muhammad may be articulating BBC policy on this topic as they prepare for a hurricane of protest at the Bush visit. I’ve been invited on the BBC Northern Ireland Nolan Show tomorrow morning as someone who supports the President’s record on te war on terror. Guantanamo is one area that I suspect will be tackled, with the likes of Shamnesty International’s street burlesque in orange jumpsuits through Belfast city centre being give considerable media time by the BBC. My only problem with Gitmo was that enemy combatants made it that far. A gulag of our times that allows inmates to put on weight is a gulag too far. I know the hard-left will be out in full-on moonbat mode tomorrow, whinging about all the imperfections of the US President without anything substantial to say about the Islamic pathology that brought us 9/11, 7/7, Madrid and Bali to name but a few. Bush derangement syndrome will be evident in BBC new coverage over the next 48hrs and I will report back on my experience tomorrow.

The Today Programme …

Sarah Montague (for it is she, 15 minutes in (RealAudio)) : “Sean Penn, we’ve discussed your new film, now tell us about your politics, you’re known for your strong views, you’re opposed to the Iraq war, you’re opposed to the way America’s dealing with Iran … why aren’t your films more overtly political ?”

SP: “There’s nothing more political than to be proactively human …”

SM: “And your project for Iran is to .. to get the way that America – the administration – President Bush’s administration – is dealing with it changed. What would you have them do ?”

SP: “Understand that people are people everywhere … shared humanity that we all have …”

SM: “But President Bush wouldn’t say that”

SP: “Yes, he would lie that way … spin and fear … people give in to letting killers kill”

“Sean Penn, it took a long time, but we got there in the end. Thank you.”

James Naughtie (for it is he, 20 mins in (RealAudio) : “You will know that Norman Mailer is dead … well last year he wrote a book about the trials and tribulations of George W. Bush … here’s a reminder of what he said …”

The late NM: “Bush uses “evil” as a narcotic …”

JN: “And there’s plenty more where that came from – you can hear the whole thing on our website”

This may not be a verbatim transcript. But it “illustrates a wider truth”.

(See also Ry Cooder, Burt Bacharach, Randy Newman, John Prine, Patti Smith).

What they cover, and why

When the US lower House votes on a military funding deadline (a long acknowledged and anticipated event), the BBC has no need, and I would argue, no right, to make that its headline. Yet it does.

It is internal US politicking, and given the primacy of both President and Congress, of little moment.

Meanwhile, to the right on the BBC front page is a totally pointless video entitled “Dubya Dances”. Notwithstanding the inappropriateness of using Bush’s ill-intentioned nickname, it’s simply a clip of Bush dancing at an African anti-malarial meeting. Not only does this have no purpose save to make Bush look ridiculous excerpted from context, it also demeans the seriousness of his program to help Africa with malaria (which, I should add, they do cover, in routine fashion), and would no doubt irritate many US conservatives at a time when the lefty politicians are rooting for US defeat in Iraq.

It tallies quite well with the BBC’s general desire to caricature Bush though, after the fashion of the BushHitler posterthey gave such pride of place to.

Ps. I wonder where they get their “Dubya dancing” fancies from? Not things like this, I hope?