Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I have now official seen it all. David Aaronovitch over at the Guardian is bashing the Beeb for being so one-sided in its coverage of the pro and anti-war factions.

In fact, with one exception, the impression has been given, on the BBC in particular, that public and expert opinion is strongly and almost exclusively opposed to military action. This expectation has entered the cultural stratum that the majority of broadcasters exist in, and so dominates that it has become that most dangerous of wisdoms - not so much orthodox, as axiomatic.

The consequence of this has been to imagine a country in which just about everyone, bar some newspapers and most politicians, is opposed to war. Yet today's poll for the Guardian has the gap between pros and antis at just 6% in favour of the latter. So tell me, do you think that the proportions have been 38% to 44% when discovering the views of the British people? And if not, why not?

There is one exception to the rule that everyone should be against war, whether they be French, Pakistani, Jordanian or British. Nothing could disguise the message coming from Northern Iraq, where real Iraqis and real Kurds live and can speak without being murdered. They want Saddam out, they want him out now, and they want the west to do it. You can complain as much as you like (and often correctly) about the Bush administration, and doubt whether Saddam is really a mate of Osama's, but you cannot escape the desire of Iraqi democrats, liberals, Kurds and Islamists to be free. All you can do is to pretend (as the Thought for the Day preachers almost always do) that you somehow didn't hear them. So I rage at the radio, "Never mind bombs, Elaine, people in Iraq are dying now. Is this some strange form of solipsism you're suffering from in which Iraqis only count as dead if we actually kill them?"

< email | 3/18/2003 02:09:00 PM | link

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