Well, today is the day – the 5th anniversary of the liberation of Iraq and I have been watching and listening to the BBC coverage, have you?
Last evening’s “Newsnight” was a special devoted to the Iraq situation five years on and a more one-sided programme one could hardly conceive. I believe that the BBC aligned itself from the start with the anti-war pro-Saddam rabble and not a lot has changed since. The Newsnight mood music and the tone of the voice-overs was sombre, and even the charts that showed JUST how successful the Surge has been were caveated to ensure that no good news was let out untainted.
There was an interview with Jonathan Powell, the man who is so steeped in appeasement care of his work with the murderous IRA that he thinks we should be talking to Al Qaeda, Hamas et al. Then there was a panel of experts in the studio weighted 3:1 against the liberation, sorry, I meant occupation. (Always best to get the terminology right) There was Charles Kennedy, the uber liberal who wants troops taken out right now , no matter what the Iraqis think. Kennedy got away with blue murder making all kinds of claims suggesting that he was on the high moral ground when in fact he lies in the moral sewer. Then there was a former assistant to the first Iraqi PM who had nothing good to say about the US liberation. He was also a dissembler of the truth, lying through his teeth when he claimed AQ had no presence in Iraq prior to the war. Then there was a “wise old cove” from our diplomatic service, who had been based in Basra, whose insights extended to a complaint that there was no post-victory plan in place and it was all chaos. I wonder which wars he could point to that were on an orderly and bureaucratic basis?
Finally, the only voice in favour of what has been done was Richard Perle. With 3 voices against his, the BBC stacked this to ensure that the anti-war “all is doom and gloom” message got across loud and clear. Was there NO UK commentator that Newsnight could find to both defend the liberation and indeed warmly applaud what has been done by our armed forces?
I laughed when the anti-war panel all agreed that “everyone” knew that victory over Saddam would be quick. Total rubbish. At the time, we were regaled by the BBC over the prowess of the elite Iraqi Revolutionary Guard, and how they would constitute a formidable opposition. Remember? As we know, they scarpered when faced with the US armed forces.
It struck me that this was NOT a debate on the war in Iraq five years on, this was a debate on how the war had all gone wrong. This was a typical pre-determined BBC set-up, and I felt sorry for Richard Perle. Paxman is idolised by some as the tough talking no-nonsense journalist but he let Kennedy and co get away with some outrageous claims.
Questions he might have asked could have included;
Is it morally right to allow genocidal butchers like Saddam to stay in situ rather than risk military action?
What was Churchill’s post-war plan?
With Al Queda declaring Iraq the front-line in its war with us, what message would a sudden withdrawal send?
With US troops still in Germany and Japan 60+ years later, does that make these wars a failure? What about the failure of the EU and UN to rally behind this liberation?
Apart from the Ba’athists, who obviously enjoyed patronage from Saddam and have been resentful ever since, how do the rest of the Iraqi people feel five years on?
There IS a real debate to be had here but the BBC is not facilitating it. How about balancing the panel so we can have it? How about starting from the point that Saddam headed up a degenerate tyranny that funded terrorism and propagated genocide. Five years on, we have one less monster in power, an Iraq that is showing signs of improvement, and whilst it may not be a fully functioning Jeffersonian democracy, it is way better than what is was.