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The role of the BBC

My own view is that the BBC has a key part to play in all of this! 
The support of the UK is very important to the US. The UK government 
can only give unquestioning support if it is not strongly challenged 
on the home front. One can discount Parliament and the newspapers for 
obvious reasons. The major influence on public opinion is the BBC 
(more than ITV from whom we can expect less) and both during the Gulf 
War and now, the BBC has come under attack from our leaders which 
shows how important their role is.

The BBC do distort their reporting eg over emphasis on 'Saddam',
qualifying comments from Iraq but stating as fact UK comments etc.
[I would argue that the UK's mess in Northern Ireland was able to
continue for so long because of a similar approach]. The biggest
danger, however, is that of omission. There was going to be a 
documentary on President Assad of Syria saying how bad he was - this 
was shelved when the Gulf War was being mounted. Iraq felt strongly 
that Israel was being treated differently (having occupied land and 
annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights). The papers 
relating to Iraq's longstanding claim to Kuwait from Edward Heath's 
time as prime minister (due for release) were buried. Mounting 
concern and protests by UK citizens was minimised by the BBC's 
reporting. Eloquent opponents of British policy did not appear on 
prime time news eg Edward Said and Tony Benn. Are casualties 
mentioned on the 9 or 10 o'clock news? The BBC often refers to 
the 'oil for food' arrangement. This is convenient but fails to 
include that a proportion of the oil revenue is going to Kuwait which 
apart from being enormously wealthy has already paid a lot of money 
over to the UK & US to fund the War on Iraq. The BBC could at 
least say 'the so-called oil for food' arrangement. The BBC keep 
repeating how Iraq must conform to UN resolutions but fail to 
clarify when the US and UK act without authority from the UN. Have 
you heard repeated on the news the UN figures on the deaths of 
children in Iraq as a result of sanctions? Have we seen a BBC 
documentary on the effect of sanctions on Iraq? Yet the sanctions 
have been going on for longer than the 2nd World War and are far more 
damaging than what the UK suffered then. What is more our Government 
is one of the prime movers and yet we do not feel any ill effects so 
it is all the more important for the population to be kept informed.

I would suggest that a prime target for lobbying and challenging is 
the BBC and to a lesser extent ITV.

I do not have access to the facts but I have been told that the BBC 
in their Arab Language World Service broadcasts greatly play down the 
role of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in hosting US and UK troops and 

> Even when the BBC releases 'information', it turns out to be
> disinformation.  ALL of these facts came into the public arena between 17
> and 21 December; they were already in the German press before
> christmas. The BBC, however, waits until 6 January before publishing
> details which it claims have only just been discovered. 
> Jeff Vernon

Mark Parkinson
Head of IT and Computer Services
Bodmin Community College
Cornwall PL31 1DD
United Kingdom
tel: 01208 72114
fax: 01208 78680
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