- At a time of growing public disenchantment with the major
media, millions now rely on alternate sources. Many online and print ones
are credible. One of the world's most relied on is not - the BBC. It's
an imperial tool, as corrupted as its dominant counterparts, been around
longer than all of them, now in it for profit, and it's vital that people
know who BBC represents and what it delivers.
- It was close but not quite the world's first broadcaster.
Other European nations claim the distinction along with KDKA Pittsburgh
as the oldest US one. BBC's web site states: "The British Broadcasting
Company Ltd (its original name) was formed in October 1922....and began
broadcasting on November 14....By 1925 the BBC could be heard throughout
most of the UK. (Its) biggest influence....was its general manager, John
Reith (who) envisioned an independent British broadcaster able to educate,
inform and entertain the whole nation, free from political interference
and commercial pressure."
- That's what BBC says. Here's a different view from Media
Lens. It's an independent "UK-based media-watch project....offer(ing)
authoritative criticism" reflecting "reality" that's free
from the corrupting influence of media corporations and the governments
- Its creators and editors (Davids Cromwell and Edwards)
ask: "Can the BBC tell the truth....when its senior managers are appointed
by the government" and will be fired if they step out of line and
become too critical. It notes that nothing "fundamentally changed
since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote the establishment: 'They know they can
trust us not to be really impartial.' " He didn't disappoint, nor
have his successors like current Director-General and Chairman of the Executive
Board Mark Thompson along with Michael Lyons, Chairman, BBC Trust that
replaced the Board of Governors on January 1, 2007 and oversees BBC operations.
- On January 1, 1927, BBC was granted a Royal Charter,
made a state-owned and funded corporation, still pretends to be quasi-autonomous,
and changed its name to its present one - The British Broadcasting Corporation.
Its first Charter ran for 10 years, succeeding ones were renewed for equal
fixed length periods, BBC is in its ninth Charter period, and is perhaps
more dominant, pervasive and corrupted than ever in an age of marketplace
everything and space-age technology with which to operate.
- It's now the world's largest broadcaster, has about 28,000
UK employees and a vast number of worldwide correspondents and support
staff nearly everywhere or close enough to get there for breaking news.
It's government-funded from revenues UK residents pay monthly to operate
their television receivers - currently around 22 US dollars, and it also
has other growing income sources from its worldwide commercial operations
supplementing its noncommercial ones at home.
- Most important is how BBC functions, who it serves, and
Media Lens' editors explain it best and keep at it with regular updates.
They argue that the entire mass media, including BBC, function as a "propaganda
system for elite interests." It's especially true for topics mattering
most - war and peace, "vast corporate criminality," US-UK duplicity,
and "threats to the very existence of human life." They're systematically
"distorted, suppressed, marginalized or ignored" in a decades-long
public trust betrayal by an organization claiming "honesty, integrity
(is) what the BBC stands for (and it's) free from political influence and
- In fact, BBC abandoned those notions straight away, and
a glaring example came during the 1926 General Strike. Its web site says
it stood up against Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill who "urged
the government to take over the BBC, but (general manager) Reith persuaded
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that this would be against the national
interest" it was sworn to serve.
- Media Lens forthrightly corrects the record. Reith never
embraced the public trust. He used BBC for propaganda, operated it as a
strikebreaker, secretly wrote anti-union speeches for the Tories, and refused
to give air time to worker representatives. It got BBC labeled the "British
Falsehood Corporation," and proved from inception it was a reliable
business and government partner. It still is, of course, more than ever.
- Consider BBC's role during WW II when it became a de
facto government agency, and throughout its existence job applicants have
been vetted to be sure what side they're on. Noted UK journalist John Pilger
explains that independent-minded ones "were refused BBC posts (and
still are) because they were not considered safe."
- Only "reliable" ones reported on the 1982 Falklands
war, for example, that Margaret Thatcher staged to boost her low approval
rating and improve her reelection chances. Leaked information later showed
BBC executives ordered news coverage focused "primarily (on) government
statements of policy" and to avoid impartiality considered "an
- This has been BBC practice since inception - steadfastly
pro-government and pro-business with UK residents getting no public service
back for their automatic monthly billings to turn on their TVs - sort of
like force-fed cable TV, whether or not they want it.
- Back on BBC's web site, it recounts its history by decades
from the 1920s to the new millennium when post-9/11 controversies surfaced.
BBC only cites one of them rather pathetically. This critique gives examples
of its duplicity across the world.
- Misreporting on Iraq - Deception over Truth
- The controversy BBC mentioned was the so-called Hutton
Inquiry into the death of Ministry of Defense weapons expert Dr. David
Kelly. On July 18, 2003, reports were he committed suicide, but they were
dubious at best. Here how BBC explained it: "a bitter row with Government"
emerged after a "Today programme suggested that the Government 'sexed
up' the case for war with Iraq in a dossier of evidence about weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq. (BBC governors) backed the report, rejecting
(PM) Tony Blair's (demands) for a retraction."
- "The row escalated over the following weeks when
editorial flaws became evident." Then came Kelly's "suicide."
It made daily headlines because he was the source of the BBC report. "The
Hutton Inquiry followed, and on January 28, 2004 chairman Gavyn Davies
resigned when Lord Hutton's findings were published. The following day
the remaining governors accepted the resignation of Director-General Greg
- True to form, BBC suppressed the truth, so here's what
we know. David Kelly, as an insider, accused authorities of faking a claim
of Iraq WMDs that could be unleashed in 45 minutes with devastating effects.
He then mysteriously turned up dead (three days after appearing before
a televised government committee) to assure he'd tell no more tales with
potentially smoking-gun evidence for proof. He apparently had plenty.
- What BBC and the Blair government suppressed, a Kelly
Investigation Group (KIG) examined and revealed. Consider these facts:
- -- Kelly's death was pronounced suicide without an autopsy;
- -- Lord Hutton was aging and never before chaired a public
inquiry, let alone one this sensitive making daily headlines;
- -- no formal inquest was ordered and was subsumed into
the Hutton Inquiry;
- -- evidence showed Kelly's body was moved twice;
- -- a supposed knife, bottle of water, glasses, and cap
reported by later witnesses weren't seen by the first ones who found Kelly;
- -- hemorrhaging from a left wrist arterial wound was
ruled the cause of death, but there was little blood to substantiate it;
other suspicious findings also suggested a thorough independent investigation
- In fact, evidence became clear that the real agenda was
cover-up. Key witnesses weren't called to testify. An anesthesiologist
specialist read two KIG accounts (of known facts) about Kelly's death and
concluded that "the whole 'suicide' story (was) phony in the extreme....He
was clearly murdered." Another surgeon confirmed that Kelly couldn't
have died of hemorrhage as reported. It's impossible to bleed to death
from that kind of arterial severing.
- Three other doctors also examined evidence, commented,
and concluded that Kelly didn't commit suicide. The doctors and KIG then
wrote an 11 page letter to the Coroner, cited their concerns in detail,
and got no response. In a follow-up phone call, the Coroner said that he
saw the police report and felt everything was in order.
- In the meantime, the Hutton report came out and was leaked
a day early to defuse a possible murder angle. Concurrently, the Coroner
refused to reopen the investigation, the Hutton Inquiry was bogus, it never
proved suicide and, in fact, was commissioned to suppress Blair government
lies, whitewash the whole affair, and end it with considerable BBC help.
- In this instance, things didn't play out as BBC planned,
thanks to correspondent Andrew Gilligan. On May 29, 2003, he delivered
what became known as his "6:07 AM dispatch" and said his source
(David Kelly) alleged that the government "sexed up" the September
dossier with the 45 minute WMD claim knowing it was false. He was immediately
reigned in on subsequent accounts, but the damage was done, and Gilligan
upped the stakes in a June 1 Mail on Sunday article.
- In it, he quoted Kelly blaming Alastair Campbell (Blair
government's 1997 - 2003 Director of Communications and Strategy) for embellishing
the dossier to provide cause for war against Iraq. The fat was now in the
fire with Kelly through Gilligan accusing the Blair government of lying
and BBC having to find an out and get back to business as usual.
- It wouldn't be simple with an exposed Campbell diary
entry revealing he intended to go after Gilligan and apparently Kelly and
do whatever it took to nail them. It all played out for days with Campbell
demanding an apology and retraction, BBC wanting it to go away, Kelly's
July death, and other Blair allies defending the government with threats
about reviewing BBC's Charter until it ended predictably and disgracefully.
- BBC cut a deal. Saying they resigned in late January
2004, it fired Gilligan along with Chairman Gavyn Davies and Director-General
Greg Dyke. Even they weren't immune to dismissal at a time of an "aberrant"
report that later proved true. For BBC, it was back to business as usual
under new management supporting two illegal wars showing no signs of ending
or BBC reporting truthfully about them.
- From the start, it championed Tony Blair's "moral
case for war," was a complicit cheerleader for it with the rest of
the media, and found no fault with Washington and London's blaming Iraq's
regime for what it didn't cause or could do nothing to prevent. Instead,
round the clock propaganda ignored the facts and barely hinted at western
responsibility for the most appalling crimes of war and against humanity
that continue every day.
- It's the way BBC reports on everything. Fiction substitutes
for fact, news is carefully filtered, wars of aggression are called liberating
ones, yet consider what former BBC political editor Andrew Marr wrote in
his 2004 book on British journalism: Those in the trade "are employed
to be studiously neutral, expressing little emotion and certainly no opinion;
millions of people would say that news is the conveying of fact, and nothing
- Even worse (and most humiliating) was his on-air 2003
post-Iraq invasion comment that he'd like to erase: "I don't think
anybody (can dispute) Tony Blair. He said that they would be able to take
Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating.
And on both these points he has been proved conclusively right. (Even)
his critics (must) acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and
a stronger prime minister as a result."
- So much for truth and accuracy and a free and impartial
BBC. It continues to call a puppet prime minister legitimate; an occupied
country liberated; a pillaged free market paradise "democracy;"
with millions dead, displaced and immiserated unreported like it never
- Supporting Aggression in Afghanistan
- BBC was no better on Afghanistan and considered the war
largely over when Kabul fell on November 13, 2001. The bombing continues,
but it was yesterday's news, and only Taliban "crimes" matter.
Unmentioned was how John Pilger portrayed the country in his newest book
"Freedom Next Time." He called it more like a "moonscape"
than a functioning nation and likely more abused and long-suffering than
- Contrast that description with BBC's reporting that Afghanistan
is now free from "fear, uncertainty and chaos" because the US
and UK "act(ed) benignly; (their) humanitarian military assault is
beneficial (but those) meddlesome (Taliban) are trying (to) undermin(e)
our good work." Unreported is what really lay behind the 9/11 attack
and the price Afghans and Iraqis keep paying for it.
- BBC's Disturbing Balkan Wars Reporting
- BBC's shame is endless, and consider how it reported
on the 1990s Balkan wars that evoked popular support on the right and left.
Slobadon Milosevic was unfairly vilified for the West's destruction of
Yugoslavia. Things culminated disgracefully with a 1999 seventy-eight day
NATO assault on Serbia. Its pretext was protecting Kosovo's Albanian population,
but its real aim was quite different - removing a head of state obstacle
to controlling Central Europe, then advancing east to confront a few others.
- Milosevic was arrested in April 2001, abducted from his
home, shipped off to The Hague, hung out to dry when he got there, then
silenced to prevent what he knew from coming out that would explain the
conflict's real aim and who the real criminals were.
- The war's pretext was a ruse, Kosovo is a Serbian province
but in 1999 was stripped away. Ever since, it's been a US-NATO occupied
colony, denied its sovereignty, and run by three successive puppet prime
ministers with known ties to organized crime and drugs trafficking. It's
also home to one of America's largest military bases, Camp Bondsteel, and
it's no exaggeration saying the territory is more military base than a
functioning political entity.
- Then on February 17, 2008, during a special parliamentary
session, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence. It violated international
law but got something more important - complicit western backing (outweighing
a one-third EU nation block opposition). It also got one-sided BBC support.
Its reporting took great care to ignore an illegal act, leave unmentioned
that Kosovo is part of Serbia, or explain the UN's (1999) Security Council
Resolution 1244. It recognizes the "sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" and only permits Kosovo's self-government
as a Serbian province. No longer with plenty of BBC help making it possible.
- Targeting Hugo Chavez and Assailing His Democratic Credentials
- BBC misreports everywhere at one time or other, depending
on breaking world events and the way power elitists view them. Consider
Venezuela and how BBC reported on Chavez's most dramatic two days in office
and events preceding them. Its April 12, 2002 account disdained the truth
and headlined "Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (was) forced to resign
by the country's military. (His) three years in power (ended) after a three-day
general strike....in which 11 people died....more than 80 others (were)
injured," and BBC suggested Chavez loyalists killed them. It reported
"snipers opened fire on a crowd of more than 150,000 (and it) triggered
a rebellion by the country's military."
- During anti-Chavez demonstrations, "Mr. Chavez appeared
on the state-run television denouncing the protest, (then BBC falsely reported
corporate TV channels it called independent ones) were taken off the air
by order of the government. (High-ranking) military officers rebell(ed)
against Mr. Chavez. (He) finally quit after overnight talks with a delegation
of generals at the Miraflores presidential palace."
- "BBC's Adam Easton, in Caracas at the time, says
there are noisy celebrations on the streets, (and former army general)
Guaicaipuro Lameda said Mr. Chavez's administration had been condemned
because it began arming citizens' committees (and) these armed groups....fired
at opposition protesters."
- In another report, BBC was jubilant in quoting Venezuela's
corporate press. They welcomed Chavez's ouster and called him an "autocrat,"
"incompetent" and a "coward." They accused him of "order(ing)
his sharpshooters to open fire on innocent people (and) betray(ing his)
- BBC went along without a hint of dissent or a word of
the truth, but where was BBC when a popular uprising and military support
restored Chavez to office two days later? It quietly announced a "chastened....Chavez
return(ed) to office after the collapse of the interim government....and
pledged to make necessary changes." In spite of vilifying him in the
coup's run-up, cheerleading it when it happened and calling it a resignation,
BBC put on a brave face. It had to be painful saying: "The UK welcomed
Mr. Chavez's return to power, saying that any change of government should
be achieved by democratic means."
- It's hard imagining Caracas correspondents Greg Morsbach
and James Ingham see it that way. Morsbach called the country a "left-wing
haven" on the occasion of 100,000 people taking part in the 2006 World
Social Forum in the capital. He said the city is "used to staging
big events (opposing) 'neo-liberal' economic policies," then couldn't
resist taking aim at Chavez. "Five hundred metres away from the (downtown)
Hilton," Morsbach noted, "homeless people scavenge in dustbins
for what little food they can find." He then quoted a man named Carlos
"who spent the last three years sleeping rough on the streets"
and felt Bolivarianism did nothing for him.
- It's done plenty for Venezuelans but Morsbach won't report
it. Under Chavez, social advances have been remarkable and consider two
among many. According to Venezuela's National Statistics Institute (INE),
the country's poverty rate (before Chavez) in 1997 was 60.94%. It dropped
sharply under Bolarvarianism to a low of 45.38% in 2001, rose to 62.09%
after the crippling 2002-03 oil management lockout, and then plummeted
to a low of around 27% at year end 2007. In addition, unemployment dropped
from 15% in 1997 to INE's reported 6.2% in December 2007.
- Morsbach also omitted how Chavez is tackling homelessness.
He's reducing it with programs like communal housing, drug treatment and
providing modest stipends for the needy. His goal - "for there (not)
to be a single child in the streets....not a single beggar in the street."
It's working through Mission Negra Hipolita that guides the homeless to
shelters and rehab centers. They provide medical and psychological care
and pay homeless in them a modest amount in return for community service.
No mention either compares Venezuela under Chavez to America under George
Bush (and likely Britain under anyone) where no homeless programs exist,
the problem is increasing, nothing is being done about it, and the topic
is taboo in the media.
- Instead in a BBC profile, Chavez is called "increasingly
autocratic, revolutionary (and) combative." He's a man who's "alienated
and alarmed the country's traditional political elite, as well as several
foreign governments," (and he) court(s) controversy (by) making high-profile
visits to Cuba and Iraq" and more. He "allegedly flirt(s) with
leftist rebels in Colombia and mak(es) a huge territorial claim on Guyana."
- The account then implies Chavez is to blame for "relations
with Washington reach(ing) a new low (because he) accused (the Bush administration)
of fighting terror with terror" post-9/11, and in a September 2006
UN General Assembly speech called the president "the devil."
- Chavez's December 2007 constitutional reform referendum
was also covered. It was defeated, the profile suggested controversial
elements in it, but omitted explaining its objective - to deepen and broaden
Venezuelan democracy, more greatly empower the people, provide them more
social services, and make government more accountable to its citizens.
Instead, BBC highlighted White House spokeswoman Dana Perino saying: Venezuelans
"spoke their minds, and they voted against the reforms that Hugo Chavez
had recommended and I think that bodes well for the country's future and
freedom and liberty."
- In another piece, Inghram took aim at the country's "whirlwind
of nationalisations, and threats to private companies (are) changing Venezuela's
economic climate and threaten to widen a tense social divide." It's
part of Chavez's "campaign to turn Venezuela into a socialist state"
with suggestive innuendoes about what that implies, omitting its achievements,
and reporting nothing about how business in the country is booming or that
Chavez's approach is pragmatic.
- Instead, Inghram cites his critics saying "his plan
is all about power" (and) bring(ing) no benefit to the nation"
in lieu of letting business run it as their private fiefdom. It's how they've
always done it, Venezuelans were deeply impoverished as a result, and BBC
loves taking aim at a leader who wants to change things for the better
and is succeeding.
- It refers to his "stepp(ing) up his radical revolution
since being re-elected in December 2006." Venezuela is "very
divided" and its president "far too powerful (and) can rule by
decree" - with no explanation of Venezuela's Enabling Law, his limited
authority under it, its expiration after 18 months, and that Venezuela's
(pre-Bolivarian) 1961 constitution gave comparable powers to four of the
country's past presidents.
- BBC further assailed Chavez's refusal to review one of
RCTV's operating licenses and accused him of limiting free expression.
Unreported was the broadcaster's tainted record, its lack of ethics or
professional standards, and its lawless behavior. Specifically omitted
was its leading role in instigating and supporting the aborted April 2002
coup and its subsequent complicity in the 2002-03 oil-management lockout
and multi-billion dollar sabotage against state oil company PDVSA.
- Despite it, RCTV got a minor slap on the wrist, lost
only its VHF license, and it still operates freely on Venezuelan cable
and satellite. Yet, if an American broadcaster was as lawless, it would
be banned from operating, and its management (under US law) could be prosecuted
for sedition or treason for instigating and aiding a coup d'etat against
a sitting president. BBC ignored RCTV's offense, assailed Hugo Chavez unjustifiably,
and reported in its usual deferential to power way.
- It falsely stated RCTV's license wasn't renewed because
"it supported opposition candidates (and said) hundreds of thousands
of people took to the streets in Caracas....some to celebrate, others to
protest." Unexplained was that pro-government supporters way outnumbered
opponents, it's the same every time, and they gather spontaneously for
every public Chavez address. Also ignored is that opposition demonstrations
are usually small and staged-for-media events so BBC and anti-Chavistas
in the press can call them huge and a sign Chavez's support is waning.
As BBC put it this time: The situation "highlight(s), once again,
how deeply divided Venezuela is" under its "controversial"
president - who's popular support is so considerable BBC won't report it.
- BBC's War Against Mugabe
- On April 4, The New York Times correspondent Michael
Wines wrote what BBC often reports: "New Signs of Mugabe Crackdown
in Zimbabwe." It highlighted "police raids....against the main
opposition party, foreign journalists (and) rais(ed) the specter of a broad
crackdown (to keep) the country's imperiled leaders in power."
- Below is what BBC reported the same day in one of its
continuing inflammatory accounts in the wake of Zimbabwe's March 29 presidential
and parliamentary elections. It pitted the country's African National Union
- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) President Robert Mugage against two opponents
- the misnamed Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai
(a western recruited stooge) and independent candidate Simba Makoni.
- In its role as an unabashed Tsvangirai cheerleader, BBC
headlined: "Mugabe's ZANU-PF prepares for battle" after its parliamentary
defeat - MDC winning 99 seats; ZANU-PF 97 (including an uncontested one);
a breakaway MDC faction 10 seats and an independent, one, in Zimbabwe's
210 constituencies with only 206 seats being contested; ZANU didn't contest
one seat, and three MDC candidates died in the run-up to the poll.
- Results for the 60 (largely ceremonial) Senate seats
were announced April 5 with ZANU-PF winning 30 and the combined opposition
gaining the same number. In addition, ZANU-PF announced 16 parliamentary
seats are being contested and ordered recounts for them that could change
the electoral balance. Mugabe is also challenging the presidential tally,
asked the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to delay releasing it and
wants it retabulated because of what he calls "errors and miscalculations."
- MDC officials called the move illegal, BBC seems eager
to agree, and then went on the attack the way it always does against independent
black republics. It can't tolerate them, but it's especially hostile to
Zimbabwe. It's the former Rhodesia that British-born South African businessman,
politician and De Beers chief Cecil Rhodes founded shortly after Britain
invaded in 1893 and conquered Matabeleland. UK soldiers and volunteers
were given 6000 (stolen) acres of land and within a year controlled the
area's 10,000 most fertile square miles through a white supremacist land
grab. They went further as well, confiscated cattle, and coerced the native
Ndebele people into forced labor. Brits also exploited the Shonas, they
rebelled, and a year later were crushed at the cost of 8000 African lives.
- Decades of exploitation followed, a 1961 constitution
was drafted to keep whites in power, Rhodesia declared its independence
in 1965, but Britain intervened to protect white privilege. UN sanctions
and guerrilla war followed, Southern Rhodesia declared itself a republic
in 1970, then became the independent nation of Zimbabwe (the former Southern
Rhodesia, then just Rhodesia in 1964) in April 1980 after 1979 elections
created independent Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
- Robert Mugabe was elected president, won overwhelmingly,
remained the country's leader for 28 years, and at age 84 ran again for
another term on March 29. He's called outspoken, controversial, and polarizing
but for millions in Zimbabwe (and in Africa) he's a hero of his nation's
liberation struggle against white supremacist rule.
- America, Britain and other colonial powers, however,
don't view him that way, and therein lies today's conflict. A racist UK
can't tolerate an independent black republic and uses its state-owned BBC
to vilify Mugabe and target him for regime change in a pattern all too
- In a close March 29 election, vote-rigging is suspected,
results days later weren't announced, and BBC accused ZANU-PF of knowing
and concealing them as well as governing dictatorially. With no official
totals, it stated "Mugabe....failed to pass the 50% barrier needed
to avoid a second-round run-off." It's now been announced, by law
must be held within 21 days of March 29 (by or before April 19), but AP
reports "diplomats in Harare (the capital) and at the UN said Mugabe
(wants) a 90 day delay to give security forces time to clamp down."
- BBC expects trouble, appears trying to incite it, and
denounces Mugabe loyalists as hard-line, militant and known for their violence.
In battle mode, correspondent Grant Ferret from Johannesburg (BBC's banned
from Zimbabwe because of its anti-Mugabe reporting) states: "Intimidation
is....likely to be part of the second round. Offices used by the opposition
were ransacked on Thursday night (April 3) (and) two foreign nationals
(were) detained (for) violating the country's media laws." An NGO
worker "promoting democracy" was also detained.
- Correspondent Ian Pannell joins the assault. He stresses
a crumbling economy, out-of-control inflation, people unable to cope and
talking everywhere about "a struggle to make ends meet." They
"spend hours queuing at the bank or waiting in line at a bakery where
lines stretch around the corners. Many shops have as many empty shelves
as full ones," Zimbabweans are suffering, and "80% of the workforce"
has no regular job. People survive anyway they can, there's "a thriving
black market," overseas remittances help, but "fields (are) without
crops, shops without goods, petrol stations....low or empty, women at the
side of the road begging for food, traders desperate for customers and
- There's no denying Zimbabwe is under duress, but BBC
won't explain why. It never reported that ever since Mugabe's ZANU-PF ended
white supremacist rule, he's been vilified for being independent, redistributing
white-owned farms, mostly (but not entirely) staying out of the IMF's clutches,
and waging a valiant struggle to prevent a return to an exploited past.
- Doing it hasn't been easy, however. It's meant getting
little or no outside aid, bending the rules, restraining civil liberties,
banning hostile journalism like BBC's, but up to now (most often) holding
reasonably free and fair elections and winning every time. Despite Zimbabwe's
problems, Mugabe's popular support has been strong, especially from the
country's war veterans who didn't fight for freedom to hand it back to
new colonial masters.
- But it looks like that's where Zimbabwe is heading. The
March 29 election showed weakness. The opposition made it close and forced
a runoff (unless a retabulated count shows otherwise). It controls the
parliament (barring a retallied change) and has strong western support
that smells blood. Behind the scenes, regime change is planned and this
time may succeed. An 84 year old Mugabe's time may be passing - if not
- Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed, drought problems have
been severe, food and fuel shortages are acute, 83% of the population lives
on less than $2 a day, half the people are malnourished, more than 10%
of children die before age five, and the country's HIV/AIDS rate is the
fourth highest in the world. In addition, average life expectancy plunged
to 37.3 years, inflation is out of control, conditions are disastrous,
and it was mostly engineered by 2002 western-imposed sanctions.
- Fifteen EU member states and Australia support them plus
America after passage of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act
of 2001 (ZIDERA). Its effect has been devastating on an already weakened
economy. It cut off the country's access to foreign capital and credit,
denied its efforts to reschedule debt, froze financial and other assets
of ZANU-PF officials and companies linked to them, and effectively brought
the economy to its knees.
- ZIDERA states that economic and other sanctions will
be enforced until the US president certifies that the "rule of law
has been restored in Zimbabwe, including respect for ownership and title
to property....and an end to lawlessness." Unmentioned is the Act's
real purpose - restoring white supremacist rule, exploiting the black majority
and doing to Zimbabwe what's happening throughout Africa and in nearly
all other developing states.
- If Mugabe goes, the IMF can swoop in with a promised
$2 billion (renewable) aid package for a new MDC government with the usual
strings attached - sweeping structural adjustments, privatizing everything,
ending social services, mandating mass layoffs, crushing small local businesses,
escalating poverty, and returning the country to its colonial past under
new millennium management under a black stooge of a president to make it
all look legitimate.
- BBC has a role in this, and it's been at it for decades.
It's waged a multi-year anti-Mugabe jihad and seems now to be going for
broke. For days, broadcasts practically scream regime change. Reports are
inflammatory, visibly one-sided, with correspondents saying (MDC's) Tsvangirai
won, election results are being withheld, no runoff is necessary, and when
it's held Mugabe will use violence to retain power.
- On April 5, BBC quoted Tsvangirai accusing Mugabe of
"preparing to go to war against the country's people (and) deploying
troops and armed militias to intimidate voters ahead of a possible runoff....thousands
of army recruits are being recruited, militants are being rehabilitated
and some few claiming to be war veterans are already on the warpath."
- Tsvangirai wants the courts to force officials to release
the results, Zimbabwe's High Court is hearing MDC's petition, but earlier
it was claimed "armed police prevented MDC lawyers" from petitioning
the Court to get them. BBC quoted one of them saying "police had threatened
to shoot them," then quoted Tsvangirai again saying Zimbabwe's central
bank was printing money for bribes and government-financed violence and
- BBC also suggests that international intervention is
needed "to prevent violence if a second round is held (because) violence
and intimidation (have) been characteristic of past (Zimbabwe) elections."
It quotes another MDC spokesman saying ZANU-PF will "use a runoff
to exact revenge....it's a strategy for retribution."
- Its correspondent Peter Biles reports "the ruling
party remains divided....many (want) a change of leadership, and believe
under Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe has no future." BBC hammers at this daily
in a full-court press to force out Mugabe either willingly or with outside
intervention, and now is the time.
- A broadcaster is supposed to be neutral, fair and balanced
and BBC states "Honesty and integrity (is) what (it) stands for."
BBC is dedicated to "educate (and) inform, free from political interference
and commercial pressure."
- The US-based Society of Professional Journalists states
in its Preamble that it's the "duty of the journalist (to seek) truth
and provid(e) a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. (They
must) strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional
integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility....Seek truth
and report it....honestly, fairly, courageously."
- In serving power against the public interest for 86 years,
BBC fails on all counts.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays
from 11AM - 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished