Thursday, April 03, 2003
MORE FROM THE BEEB
My thanks to reader Solomon for drawing my attention to the following article by Barbara Amiel on the BBC's Arabic reporting. I don't know whether Amiel knows Arabic, but from what I heard I would agree with her.
Out of interest, I decided to have a look at the BBC's Arabic website. The following article particularly attracted my attention: As-Sahaaf: The Invasion Forces Dropping Snare Bombs to Kill Civilians. The article reports in great detail two press conferences, one by Muhammed Said Assahaaf, Iraqi Minister of Information, and one by Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, a U.S. Central Command spokesman. Both official's statements are reported at length, but there is no attempt to verify or falsify their claims.
If we are to believe Assahaaf, then:
* The Americans British and the are using ammunition banned by international law.
You have to admire the man's nerve. The allied forces are now some 30km from Baghdad and he continues to deny that the allied attacks have had any effect. Not only that, he dares to accuse the allied forces of destroy the tombs of Imam Ali, al-Hussein and al-Abbaas. In fact, these Shi'ite monuments were severely damaged when Saddam crushed the Shi'ite rebellion and had them set alight, even though many of the rebels had sought refuge within them assuming that no Muslim, however cruel, would ever attack such holy sites.
What is disturbing is that the BBC's Arabic service presents us with this information without comment, as though some how, the lies pouring out of Baghdad can be taken in any way seriously, at least as seriously as the BBC journalists' own information on the ground. It is not without reason that the BBC has gained the reputation of being the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation.
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