Entries in 'war' - Eye on the News


BBC: 'Early' End to a Ten Year War and Occupation?

BBC News - 11 January 2013

Following Barack Obama's announcement that US troops in Afghanistan will have 'a different mission' this spring, noting that 'our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed', the BBC have misleadingly headlined the story with 'Early Afghan combat handover agreed' and 'US to end Afghan combat role early'.

If, for example, Russia had occupied a country for over ten years and then made an announcement that they would change mission in a few months, promising to still fight 'when needed' and leave 66,000 troops there until 2014, it would be hard to imagine the BBC citing this as an 'early' end to the occupation. The headline, apart from hardly representing the reality of the story, appears to identify with the rhetoric of the US and UK governments.

Early Afghan combat handover agreed

US to end Afghan combat role early


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Iraq internal violence is used to call for prolonging of US occupation

BBC News - 14 September 2011

A report about violence in Iraq ends by raising a question about whether US should end their occupation. In this and many similar reports, the assumption is made that the military occupation provides the only possibility for ending the violence in Iraq.

Although violence has dropped from its peak in 2006 and 2007, the attacks have prompted concerns about the US completing its withdrawal of troops from the country in December.

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Wasted money on wars: blame the invaded

BBC News - 29 August 2011

Like many reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the recent report about $30bn wasted on wars by the US (which results from an opinion piece in the Washington Post) discusses corruption on the part of the invaded countries, but does not question the integrity or conduct of the invading countries, portraying them instead as working in the best interests of everyone.

US-funded projects in those two countries also risk going to waste because host governments are unable or unwilling to sustain them.

In one case, $300m was poured into a sophisticated power plant in Kabul which the Afghan government will not be able to run, and a programme worth $11.4bn of facilities for the Afghan national security forces is likely to be unsustainable.

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NATO not mentioned when reporting on Libyan rebel's human rights abuses

BBC News - 14 July 2011

Reporting on human rights abuses by the rebels in the Libyan war, the BBC has neglected to mention NATO's involvement anywhere in the article on the subject. After months of reporting on NATO's help for the rebels in the attempt to overthrow Col. Gaddafi, this is a clear example of omitting important information from the story.

[Headline]: Libyan rebels abused civilians: Human Rights Watch

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Which is worse: killing civilians or spending money to do it?

The Telegraph - 20 June 2011

In an article appearing to question how worthwhile the bombing of Libya is, the Telegraph suggests that Britons are more concerned about the financial cost of the war than the killing of civilians by NATO bombers.

The question many Britons will be asking today is not whether casualties are avoidable, but whether this countryís involvement in the Libyan conflict is worth the massive resources we are deploying to it.

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Can reporting about Libya be at least as upfront as politicians?

BBC News - 15 June 2011

Despite numerous calls from western leaders for the Gaddafi regime to step down, much of the BBC News reporting continues to claim that NATO action is humanitarian intervention (today's example is this article about Gadaffi not being invited to the Olympics.

British troops are part of a NATO mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya aimed at protecting civilians.

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Did Iraq say that, or was it the US speculating?

BBC News - 10 June 2011

Reporting on the speculation of US defense secretary nominee Leon Panetta that Iraq will ask the US troops to stay beyond 2011, the BBC have chosen a misleading headline on their front page. The link on the front page says "Iraq 'to request' troops to stay" for this story

Iraq 'to request' troops to stay

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Interview synopsis based on strong presupposition

BBC Radio 4 Website - 7 June 2011

Following an interview with former UK soldier Joe Glenton, discussing why he could morally no longer support the war in Afghanistan, the synopsis for the interview suggests that by staying at war, he would "honour his commitment... to the people of Afghanistan". This of course suggests that the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan were based on altruism, something now widely disputed by the general public.

But what he experienced there led him to make the hardest choice of his life.. to honour his commitment to his colleagues and the people of Afghanistan or abandon his men, break his promise and run away to the other side of the world

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Picking the right words to create a headline

The Telegraph - 9 May 2011

In their continuation (onto page 2) of one of their front-page stories (Obama's shifting attitude towards Pakistan), the Telegraph have creatively made the headline Bin Laden 'had inside help' from the following quote by Barack Obama:

"We think that there had to be some sort of support network for Bin Laden inside of Pakistan. But we donít know who or what that support network was. We donít know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and thatís something that we have to investigate"

Bin Laden 'had inside help'

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People were shot, but it's a 'propaganda disaster'

The Telegraph - 22 March 2011

After US soldiers shot and injured six people in Libya, James Kirkup at The Telegraph reduces the significance of the incident to a "potential propaganda disaster".

Rob Crilly at The Telegraph reports on the crash without even discussing the shooting of Libyans, but rather focussing on descriptions of the "revolutionary military people" in a strong propaganda campaign to make the intervening forces appear heroic.

In a potential propaganda disaster, the rescuers opened fire on Libyans who were trying to help the pilot, injuring six of them.

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Assumption that Iran has nuclear weapons

BBC News - 21 January 2011

Reporting on Tony Blair's time at the Chilcot Inquiry, the BBC make an unfounded claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme:

Asked whether what had happened in Iraq had made the risk from Iran and other countries developing nuclear weapons worse, rather than better, he said: "I don't think so."

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