Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Basra video should lay to rest a scurrilous lie

The smug superiority of the British over their peacekeeping efforts in Iraq is an insult to those of us who live there

Jasem al-Aqrab
Thursday February 16, 2006

The Guardian

Since April 2003, the people of Basra have consistently been bemused by reports that they and their city enjoy a state of calm and stability under the command of the British forces, in contrast to the north of Iraq and the so-called Sunni triangle. As someone born and bred in Basra, I hope that the recent images of British troops beating young Basra boys to within an inch of their lives will allow such claims to be laid to rest and show a fraction of the reality that has made life throughout Iraq a living hell.

When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke a couple of years ago, I recall a commentator on the BBC World Service smugly saying that the Americans were heavy-handed and undisciplined when it came to dealing with civilians, while the British were far more restrained, touring Basra in their berets as peacekeepers rather than occupiers. My estimation of the BBC World Service dipped when the other side of the picture was not presented.

The truth is that ever since the fall of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical regime, abuses and atrocities committed against Iraqi civilians have been a regular, at times daily, occurrence throughout the country, including in Basra. These have been committed by American, British and Iraqi official forces. Hearing the British prime minister describe this latest incident as an isolated case fills me and fellow Iraqis with anger.

It adds insult to very serious injury when we are told that this humiliation, torture and violence is the work of a few "bad apples". From previous experience, the most we can look forward to is a whitewash inquiry and possibly a young, low-ranking soldier being made a scapegoat. Read whole article....

Regarding the writer's comments about his estimation of the BBC World Service dropping when he realised they were not accurately reporting the general behaviour of the British Troops and their treatment of Iraqis - it just illustrates my opinion of the mainstream media. Most people think of the BBC as being one of the more reliable, unbiased news sources. I'm of the opinion that they are just better liars.


At February 17, 2006 2:07 pm, Blogger qrswave said...

I agree. The BBC are better liars.

No better way to tell a lie than to mix it up with some truth.


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