by Dr David Hookes
Dear BBC News
Your coverage of the alleged poison gas incident, which has led your news bulletins today, is a complete disgrace.
You, at the start, concede that the video footage cannot be verified but by the end of the report you are assuming, with NO evidence, that it was most likely the Syrian Government. Pictures are shown of a helicopter dropping something. No questions are asked about where the helicopter came from or whether it had Syrian air force markings. No mention of the recent UN investigator that who had said that the earlier incidents were more likely to be the responsibility of Free Syrian Army or its Al Qaeda allies, the Al Nusra brigades – surely in this context a very relevant piece of information.
You then interviewed someone who had been head of chemical warfare unit of the British army. You did not tell us for whom he was now working, or comment on the fact that it was very convenient to have such an expert on hand to generally support the view that it was nerve gas attack although, also as an aside and sotto voce, briefly saying it could also be due to CS gas. The latter comment was ignored.
Your studio commentators seemed extraordinarily keen to establish that ‘a red line had been crossed’. In other words you were helping to give the war-mongers a reason to start a large scale bombing campaign or whatever they are planning. In my view that will make your organisation complicit in war crimes if and when they occur, as you were when you failed to critically examine the case for WMD in Iraq and thus helped Blair to commit war crimes.
You have NEVER pointed out that the Syrian Government has agreed to negotiate with the rebels under the terms of the UN (Kofi Annan) and Russian plan of nearly a year ago and agreed to the recent Russian/US proposals for negotiations but it is the FSA et al who have refused to negotiate. You have NEVER pointed out that their position is completely absurd and unrealistic, that is, to expect ASSAD to step down as a PRE-condition for negotiations.
You have NEVER pointed out that it is illegal in international law to arm external insurgents against a UN-recognised Govt.
You NEVER point out that the so-called FREE Syrian Army is supplied with arms by the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar as proxies for US, and so is unlikely to be truly interested in democratic freedoms.
In short, you seem to have appointed yourself chief propagandist for the war party (Obama, Cameron, Hollande et al).
You are a publically-funded institution and thus obliged to represent the public interest NOT the interest of governments and war profiteers.
Dr David Hookes
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
BSN Editors Note: See also:
Dr David Hookes Climate Changes, Labor And The Economy