Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year- and see the Beeb's grey matter stewing as they struggle to reallign in the face of new 'realities on the ground'.

Jeremy Bowen comes close to endorsing the neo-con revolution in the Middle East. Close, I say.

But first a little linguistic analysis. It's always noticeable how odd contortions of language are used when people want to soften the truth (ie. approach a lie). Jeremy Bowen gives a modest example with his intro:

'Oppression and violence and the doings of despotic regimes can seem to drown everything else out.' (in the Middle East)

The thing I notice is this triplicate 'Oppression and violence and the doings of despotic regimes...'

Just where is the oppression and violence disassociated with despotic regimes? Of course one might say he means terrorism, but this disjunction of several ills from the well-known despotism of the region seems unjust. Terrorists are merely aspiring despots, or tools of the same. One senses that Bowen is trying to blur distinctions into a 'we are all sinners' point (and the Israelis in particular, as usual). Naturally the BBC journalist carries round an instinctive awareness of an international audience that encompasses many who disapprove of Israel and the US and all that they do, and only a few jews.

Enough of the bad. What's good about Bowen's piece is that it identifies very forthrightly the locus of reform in the Middle East:

'there are signs of change.

They go back, in one way or another, to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.'

Yay. Iraq war good. At last.

Well of course, as I said, not quite. Bowen picks up John Simpson's point about bombing in Jordan being caused by the US invasion of Iraq- 'The violence will continue, and across the Middle East governments are worried that it will spread their way.

In Jordan, it already has.'

That really is Beeb-think in action, since it really flies in the face of the analysis of the Jordanians themselves, who blame not GWB but Al-Zarkawi- producing headlines and initiatives like this one (just as an evil neo-con of Rovian intellect might have planned away back).

It almost annuls the impact of saying 'Thanks to the Americans, Iraq had elections in December 2005.' , but not quite.

And then of course Bowen makes the obligatory anti-neo-con point that islamists may actually be popular, so democracy will work against America.

Maybe so- though he ignores contrary indicators like the response of Jordan to the bombings- but his point's a dud:

'The Americans are discovering that the problem with democracy is that it can produce results that you don't like.

That's just the way it is.'

Huh- very bluff. Very Yorkshire.

America- the country that knows more about democracy in terms of consecutive experience of it than any other. People there apparently haven't figured that votes can go against them, over the four centuries they've been experiencing it. I think the point has been demonstrated amply that where democracy endures and a commitment to it is made over time, despots shrivel and fall away- but the Beeb haven't quite figured that one out yet. But its what we all want, isn't it?

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