Thursday, October 11, 2007


General Sir Richard Dannatt's remarks about the resistance in both Iraq and Afghanistan must have embarrassed someone with a Brown-nose. As you already know, hardly a newspaper or television show in the English-speaking world touched the story, conveniently averting their gaze to other aspects of the speech. The BBC was one such example. So, someone decided to e-mail Helen Boaden - head of BBC News - about this shocking ommission of what was surely one of the most surprising parts of the General's speech, and got the following reply:

Thank you for your recent email. Having looked at the whole of General Dannatt's speech, I think the online report did a good job of summarizing the main news points. If you look at what the general said in context, he does not suggest that the British army is fighting people who only want "jobs, money, security and hope" but a hard core of people who "offer violence against each other".

From the portion of Dannatt's speech that Boaden then goes on to cite:

So, because as an Army we are enemy focussed, some words on our adversaries in southern Iraq. The militants (and I use the word deliberately because not all are insurgents, or terrorists, or criminals; they are a mixture of them all) are well armed - certainly with outside help, and probably from Iran. By motivation, essentially, and with the exception of the Al Qaeda in Iraq element who have endeavoured to exploit the situation for their own ends, our opponents are Iraqi Nationalists, and are most concerned with their own needs - jobs, money, security - and the majority are not bad people.

Did you see that? Dannatt clearly suggesting that the British army's foes in Iraq are "essentially", with exception of the tiny 'Al Qaeda' element, "Iraqi Nationalists" who are "most concerned with their own needs"; and that "the majority are not bad people". Did you notice that? So, Dannatt didn't in fact say what he did in fact say, and the BBC did a "good job of summarizing the main news points" by ommitting one of the main news points. There must be something behind such a transparent refusal to face reality, and I'm sure that whatever it is, it reeks of the tedious authority of a Ministry of Defense mandarin.