Iraq war re-start and BBC militarist propaganda

This video from London, England says about itself:

Kate Hudson – “Now, Today, Tomorrow, It Is Illegal To Go In To Iraq

25 September 2014

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament (CND) speaking at emergency protest against bombing Iraq (yet again) at 10 Downing Street. “Stop denying the reality of history”. “Now, today, tomorrow, it is illegal to go to war in Iraq under the current circumstances”. “Please stop making up law as you go along”.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

The BBC‘s love-in with warmongers

Friday 26th September 2014

The broadcaster is rolling out a cast of discredited security wonks to sell the bombing in Iraq, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

The BBC has been marching a parade of crackpots and salesmen onto its programmes to “explain” why we generally need to be bombing places a lot more.

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and other “serious” shows like Newsnight are a bit obsessed with trying to turn around generally anti-war sentiment and get us more gung-ho for airstrikes. For some reason last August’s Commons vote against bombing Syria is seen as a terribly bad thing.

The arguments are usually quite crude but the talking heads sound impressive — as long as you don’t know anything about them.

So in the first week of September Radio 4 brought on former CIA head James Woolsey to explain why a good bombing would sort out Isis.

The fact that Woolsey had also argued for the Iraq invasion, which went so badly wrong that it created the spawning ground for Isis, was politely ignored.

He’s an ex-CIA boss so he must be clever seems to be the reasoning.

But while the cultural cringers in the BBC treat him seriously, in the US most people know Woolsey is a bit bananas. He was a very unpopular CIA chief around the time of Bill Clinton, leaving office in 1995. He’s hung around talking nonsense ever since.

In particular, he peddled the most ridiculous nonsense about Iraq — he didn’t only promote the war but also argued seriously that there were direct links between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, and that the Iraqis were behind 9/11.

Woolsey promoted the idea that Iraqi intelligence met the September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta in Prague before the Twin Towers attack. No meeting took place because there were no links.

At the time Woolsey was being paid by the Iraqi National Congress, a bunch of chancers spreading WMD lies in the hope that the US would put them in charge of Iraq.

In short, Woolsey’s credibility is at least open to question. But Radio 4’s Today didn’t want to ask him questions, it just wanted him to promote another mad military adventure.

Similarly, the BBC is keen on US army general Jack Keane, who is regularly asked onto its shows to say we need to get bombs in the air and troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

Keane actually retired from military service in 2003, so he has no direct experience of the invasions, insurgencies and counter insurgencies of the last decade, although he has had quite a senior advisory role for George Bush.

What the BBC never says, though, is that he has a serious financial reason to be generally belligerent. Since retirement he has made a lot of money from war.

He is an adviser to Academi. You won’t recognise that name — in fact you are not supposed to. Academi is the new name for Blackwater, the mercenary company whose enthusiasm for killing civilians helped make the Iraq occupation such a failure.

Keane is also a director of General Dynamics, one of the US’s biggest arms firms.

Back in March I complained to the BBC that it had broadcast an interview with Keane where he said the main solution to the Ukraine crisis was increased arms spending, without mentioning his day job.

I said: “He had a very obvious financial interest in recommending arms build-up, which you chose to keep hidden.” A rather embarrassed BBC said it probably didn’t matter because “it is hard to think of any senior military figure, whether current or retired, who advocates cuts in military spending.”

However, it did concede: “The programme team do acknowledge, however, that, with hindsight, it would have been better if they had mentioned General Keane’s current interests, as well as his former role.”

I’m fairly sure the BBC has forgotten that concession, and will let former generals roam the airwaves promoting war without mentioning their arms jobs.

David Cameron is currently arguing that a new set of bombing raids on Iraq and Syria are ok despite the history of failure in Iraq — or indeed the current disaster in Libya.

Cameron says we mustn’t learn the “wrong” lessons from Iraq — like the lesson that airstrikes don’t build societies.

The BBC is doing its best to help Cameron by putting forward a lot of teachers with the worst possible qualifications.

As the bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq intensifies, the British parliament is due to meet today to line up behind the US-led drive to reassert control over the entire Middle East: here.

6 thoughts on “Iraq war re-start and BBC militarist propaganda

  1. For his part, [President Evo] Morales said, “Bolivia condemns and rejects the intervention of the United States of America in Iraq, which has provoked the present crisis in that country.” He recalled that Washington had “said that Iraq possessed large quantities of weapons of mass destruction, and this ploy turned out to be one of the biggest lies in the history of imperialism.”

    The lesson of the Iraq war, Morales added, was that “wherever the United States of America intervenes it leaves behind destruction, hatred, misery and death, but it also leaves wealth in the hands of those who profit from wars, the transnationals of the arms and petroleum industries.”


  2. Pingback: Iraq war re-start, satire | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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