UK: ‘A Perpetual Motion Machine Of Killing’

6 August 2020 — Media Lens

Alleged Cover-Up Of Civilians Murdered By UK Special Forces In Iraq And Afghanistan

On August 1, a rare in-depth investigative piece appeared on the BBC News website based on credible and serious allegations that UK Special Forces had executed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. The BBC article was produced in tandem with a report, ‘”Rogue SAS Afghanistan execution squad” exposed by email trail’, published by the Sunday Times.

Continue reading

Media Lens: ‘Let’s Bring In Our Pentagon Spokesman’ – Bombing Syria

5 November 2015 — Media Lens

‘Let’s Bring In Our Pentagon Spokesman’ – Bombing Syria

One of the great Freudian slips of our time was supplied by a Fox News anchor on March 24, 1999, as Nato was preparing to wage war on Yugoslavia:

‘Let’s bring in our Pentagon spokesman – excuse me, our Pentagon correspondent.’

For indeed the unwritten rule informing this type of journalism is: if you want to get close to the ‘defence’ establishment, you better be close to the ‘defence’ establishment: ideologically, sympathetically, ‘patriotically’.

A near-perfect example of this industry-wide perceptual bias has been supplied this year by BBC diplomatic editor, Mark Urban.

Continue reading

Media Lens 24 April, 2009: Protesting War – An Exchange With The BBC’s Diplomatic Editor, Mark Urban

24 April, 2009

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

On April 15, we wrote to Mark Urban, the Diplomatic Editor of the BBC‘s Newsnight programme. Urban was formerly defence correspondent at the Independent. He served in the British Army, for nine months as a regular officer and four years in the Territorials. He has hosted a series of virtual reality war games on the BBC, Time Commanders, re-enacting key battles. He is also the author of several books:

Soviet Land Power (1985)
War in Afghanistan (1987)
Big Boys’ Rules: The SAS and the secret struggle against the IRA (1992)
UK Eyes Alpha: Inside British Intelligence (1996)
The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes: The Story of George Scovell (2001)
Rifles: Six Years with Wellington’s Legendary Sharpshooters (2003)
Generals: Ten British Commanders Who Shaped the World (2005)
Fusiliers: Eight Years with the Redcoats in America (2007)

Dear Mark Urban

Hope you’re well. In your latest War And Peace blog, you write:

“In this Mesopotamian prescription of a plague on all their houses we must not forget though the opponents of the war back home as well. For while many may feel vindicated by what subsequently happened, it was their hand wringing and magnification of every set back or mis-step that played a key role in undermining the political will to achieve more in southern Iraq.”

You have misunderstood the whole basis of the anti-war protest. The argument is that the invasion was illegal, in fact a classic example of the supreme war crime – the waging of a war of aggression. The Nuremberg trials were clear that it makes not a jot of difference whether such criminality has positive outcomes – the waging of aggressive war is illegal.

Continue reading

In His Master’s Voice – The BBC’s Mark Urban does a hatchet job on Media Lens By William Bowles

4 June 2007

I don’t know how many readers follow the exchanges between the BBC and other mainstream media outlets and Medialens (there are number of them archived here in the Media section of the site but please do pay a visit to their site). There’s no doubt that ML perform a valuable service by deconstructing the language used by the MSM in their coverage of events. You can argue with their political position but what you cannot argue with is their analysis of the BBC’s overtly political slant that supports without question the USUK occupation of Iraq.

Continue reading

Media Lens: Illegal, Immoral, Unwinnable – A British Army Oofficer Replies to Mark Urban

1 June 2007 — Media Lens

Yesterday, in response to our latest Media Alert, ‘Newsnight Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban Responds,’ we received a further reply from Mark Urban.

Urban argued that our analysis “is put together by you sitting at home, sifting current events through a dense filter of ideology”. In particular, he lampooned our view of the US motivation in Iraq:

“I do however think that your desire to force all of the elements in a woefully complex situation into a simple proposition such as, ‘America’s real objective is to smother all opposition so they can pinch the oil‘, to be a sorry form of fundamentalism.” (Email to Media Lens, May 31, 2007)

Continue reading

Media Lens: The Surge – Here to Help

22 May 2007 — Media Lens

The BBC’s Mark Urban And The Independent’s Adrian Hamilton On Iraq

On the May 14 edition of Newsnight, the BBC’s Mark Urban reported from Iraq that the US troop “surge” was an attempt to “turn the tide of violence” in Baghdad. Urban did not mean it was an attempt to turn the tide of violence in America’s favour and against its enemies – the media essentially never present the war in terms of conquest and resistance. The Americans are fighting for ‘security‘, ’stability’ and ‘peace’, not victory.

Continue reading