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Robert Silverman - Salamanca, Spain


BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE
SIGNS UP BBC IN THE
PROPAGANDA WAR

Mid-East Realities - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - 24 June 2004: More and more the British Broadcasting Corporation, the once-truly-famed BBC, is allowing itself to be dumbed down and twisted into contortions. The dumbing down aspects are more and more evident these days on the feeds the BBC provides by special contract to the PBS network in the U.S. These broadcasts are now accompanied by considerable corporate advertising coupled with financial subsidies and political news 'guidance' from the Americans. And when it comes to matters Middle Eastern the BBC for America has clearly succumbed to intense pressures to extensively and repeatedly interview analysts themselves in the pay of the Israeli/Jewish lobby and the Council on Foreign Relations - notorious among them Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, and Judith Kipper. Now this latest British Foreign Office gambit to essentially hire and use the name of the BBC to 'compete' with Al Jazeera and other Arab-world media, something the American State Department and Congress have also done since 9/11 by creating Congressional fully-funded new Arabic media to broadcast to the people in the Middle East from the U.S. on both radio and T.V.



BBC to Launch Al-Jazeera Competitor

LONDON (AP - 24 June 2004) - The British Broadcasting Corp. said Thursday it will launch a 24-hour Arabic-language TV news channel to compete with the Qatar-based satellite station Al-Jazeera.

The channel will be broadcast across the Middle East and Europe.


The new channel's $50 million in annual costs will be covered by the Foreign Office, which also provides funding for the BBC World Service's radio network.

The BBC is hoping to rival Al-Jazeera, which has aired many of Osama bin Laden's speeches and has been accused of anti-Western bias.

``After discussions about the changing media scene in the Middle East, and in the light of the growing impact of regional satellite TV services in Arabic, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked the BBC World Service to develop a proposition for a BBC Arabic television service,'' the BBC said.
The channel will offer a mix of news, information, discussion programs and documentaries, the network said.

Most programs will be broadcast from London but the channel will have staff based across the Middle East.

The venture follows the recent launch of the U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra TV station, which has been denounced by some Muslim clerics as ``propaganda.''

The BBC ran an Arabic channel in the mid-1990s but closed it after two years of operation when its backers pulled out.

The BBC is publicly funded but operates independently. It broadcasts in dozens of languages, including Arabic, on its radio World Service.


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June 2004


Magazine






About the new MiddleEast.Org
(June 30, 2004)


U.S. Ordered Brits to Attack Iran - Brits Balked
(June 30, 2004)
The order was given in secret by the U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez, who was already scheduled to be replaced, quite likely because of his involvement in the horrendous Iraqi torture scandal. But anyone who thinks General Sanchez gave the order without checking first with his neocon bosses back at the Pentagon -- Wolfowitz and Feith, who then of course check with Rumsfeld who then tells the President, Condi, and Colin -- just doesn't understand even at this late date how the invasion/occupation of Iraq came about nor how the Pentagon planning has been progressing for Iran, Syria, North Korea, just as soon as the excuses can be managed.

Bush and U.S. Exposed - book by book by book
(June 30, 2004)
This list of books exposing the Bush presidency for what it really is all about is an essential corrective to all the propaganda and TV clips constantly bombarding the American people... In many ways though some of these books are more significant, however in a TV/Movie age even collectively they will not have the same impact though they do help set a climate for skepticism and anxiety. This particular list was compiled a few months ago by USA Today so it's hardly complete at this point. But it is a good starting place for those wanting to choose a little holiday reading, however depressive, sometimes shocking, surely politically and historically depressing.

America's Baghdad - Corruption, Barricades, Boozing, Fear and Incompetence
(June 29, 2004)
Baghdad is awash with stories of the corruption, cronyism and incompetence of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which was dissolved this week.

Brits Departed Palestine Leaving Civil War - MER FlashBack
(June 29, 2004)
"Contrary to contemporary assertions, the British and the Americans have done far more to prevent democracy in the Middle East, and to inhibit independent economic development as well, then they will ever admit."

Bremer Slinks Away; CIA Slinks Forward
(June 28, 2004)
Thus now Bremer hastily and rather shamefully slinks away without much fanfare, a few days early so they say, even as Iraq continues to seeth in hatred and a slow-simmer civil war.

Baghdad Shuffle
(June 28, 2004)
It's historic alright. A huge historic bungle that is quite literally exploding in their faces as they try to appear to go but actually stay with their carefully chosen Iraqi faces now out front. Over the weekend on ABC News one of the neocon political commentators made a little mistake and clearly called the American-appointed 'interim Iraqi Prime Minister' a "CIA agent" -- it was a rare moment of candor in public in today's confused, uptight, and secretive Washington.

Kurds on 'the return' - Palestinians into ghettos
(June 27, 2004)
Substitute "Palestinians" for Kurds, and "Israelis" for Arabs, and there is a whole different twist to 'the return' of the Kurds featured in this front-page New York Times article last Sunday. Another great irony of our times is that even as the Americans and the Israelis help facilitate what the Kurds are doing in Iraq they demand the Palestinians give up their 'right of return' even though it is enshrined in many U.N. Security Council resolutions going back to 1947...

Worst Crisis Since WWII?
(June 26, 2004)
"the most foolhardy civilian leadership in the modern history of the United States." (Newsweek) "A vacuum has opened up at the heart of world politics where US leadership ought to be found." (Financial Times) "The unpalatable truth is that the Bush administration has failed in almost everything it has touched."

The Historical Moment - MER Flashback Four Years
(June 25, 2004)
MER FLASHBACK to 25 June 2001: Months before what is now known as "9/11" MER published these articles indicating that a major strike by Osama Bin-Laden against the U.S. was imminent and that the Israelis were more determined than ever to subjugate the Palestinians. We wrote at the time: "In these conditions any spark can ignite the blaze; and sometimes such giant fires consume more than was originally anticipated, sometimes even those who start them."

BBC Hired by British Government to Broadcast TV to Middle East
(June 24, 2004)


More Readers' Comments from Around the World
(June 24, 2004)
Just some of the many Readers's Comments continually pouring in to MER from around the world.

Thank you for previewing the new MiddleEast.Org
(June 23, 2004)


Cheney and Rumseld "linked to murder" of CIA scientist in cold war years
(June 23, 2004)
Secret documents have revealed US Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld are "linked to the murder" of a senior CIA scientist.

It's Now the Second Half of 1948
(June 23, 2004)
As always Professor Tanya Reinhart from Tel Aviv University writes with extraordinary insight. "...the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'."

Information Warfare - Israel Wins Big
(June 22, 2004)
For 10 years Tim Llewellyn was the BBC's Middle East correspondent. In this passionately argued polemic he accuses British broadcasters, including his former employer, of systematic bias in covering the Arab-Israeli conflict, giving undue prominence to the views of the Israelis while all but disregarding the roots of the crisis and what is being done to the Palestinians.

Gearing Up for IRAN and North Korea
(June 21, 2004)
"...waiting to confront Iraq would have allowed the United States to confront more immediate dangers.... Because our military is stretched so thin in Iraq, we cannot threaten military action in Iran or North Korea." Martin Peretz and The New Republic

REVOLT in WASHINGTON
(June 20, 2004)


Nader Speaks to Buchanon
(June 15, 2004)
He's going after the real conservative vote, so he says.

Crusade II - Reagan first brought the neocons to power
(June 09, 2004)
Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams, Bush...and the list goes on. Those who have recently led the crusade to invade Iraq, subjugate the Palestinians, and fight Islam, were brought to power in Washington for the first time some 23 years ago when Ronald Reagan of the once far-right was victorious over Jimmy Carter of the once mid-left in American politics. And some now forget that the man who greatly helped bring Ronald Reagan to power was none other than George Herbert Walker Bush, former head of the CIA, who now became Vice-President for the next eight years and then himself succeeded Reagan as President in 1989.

Realities of the "Reagan Plan" for the Middle East
(June 06, 2004)
The seeds for the Intifada and for Israel's increasingly aggressive escalating occupation of and dispossession of the Palestinian people were sown in the years of the Reagan Presidency. Indeed it was Ronald Reagan who first brought what we today call the "neocons" to power in Washington, and the right-wing Republicans who forged such a close alliance with the Israeli Likud of Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon which had come to power in Israel in 1977 for the first time.




© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved