Sunday, February 12, 2006

This Could Be Baghdad Or Anywhere, Hollywood Or Home

I can't stand the Beautiful South. Amiee thinks they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, I think they are banal and repetitive. But at least in this case they have given me a half-decent Post Title.

So, here we are again. British Troops In Horrifying Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal. Honest! Because the British media never ever lies about this kind of thing, right?

It may be true. It's entirely possible that the video I just saw on ITV News is for real. That a group of British soldiers captured a group of youths in Baghdad a couple of years ago and beat the hell out of them whilst another serviceman filmed the whole thing from a distance away and cheered them on.

If it were, part of me is revolted, part not. As Tim Collins put it during the ITV News item I just watched: "No other army in the world would be faced with attack by sniper fire, blast bombs and petrol bombs and respond with batons and riot shields. Not an Arab army, not the Americans, not the Israelis." And how true that is. If the video is for real then the Iraqi 'youths' (they are naturally 'youths' to elicit more sympathy even though the camera image gives no possible way of telling their age) could have been snipers or petrol bombers. They could have minutes before badly maimed or even killed a British soldier for all the News of the World knows. Not that it, you know, cares, because what British troops have to go through in Iraq on a daily basis isnt a newsworthy story - until they respond even vaguely in kind.

But now we get to the problem. You see, I watched the video footage, which was salivated over by ITV News in great lascivious detail, naturally. And there are several problems.

First, there is nothing, and I mean nothing to indicate where this footage was shot. It really could be Baghdad, or anywhere. Or Hollywood. Or Elstree Studios. Or the freakin West Bank, who's inhabitants have a long and proud tradition of making it up as they go along.

Second, the video is shot from just far enough away to ensure we can see soldiers brutally beating the helpless 'youths', but conveniently not close enough that we can actually see any unit insignia, national insignia, anything of the sort on these 'absolutely definitely positively' British troops.

Thirdly, the voiceover is...odd. The person 'commenting' is expressing his childish delight at the beating the 'youths' are receiving, at times roaring with laughter at a particularly good hit. Except that the camera never wavers. Try it yourselves. Put on your favourite comedy moment on the TV, hold up a thick hardback book or camcorder and see if you can hold it THAT still as you yell with mirth.

Then there is the really quite immaculate timing. Isnt it beyond convenient for the MSM that just as the Cartoon Jihad reaches its height and the British public finally begins to wake up to the threat that Islam and its adherents in our midst pose to our freedom and for that matter our very lives, this supposedly two year old video emerges. Just to remind us that, in fact, it is we Westerners who are the evil aggressors, and not the bearded crazies calling for our deaths and for a 'Real Holocaust' whom we have allowed to live in our midst. Well, the ones who arent covert CIA agents that is, which appears to be the latest bit of hilarious moonbattery to arrive in the British Blogosphere.

Lastly, there is of course the supoosed source of this supposedly authentic video, whom we are told is an ex-serviceman who is somehow supposed to have gotten hold of the footage - as if the person who took it would have happily distributed copies to all and sundry knowing he could be kicked out of the Army or even imprisoned for its content. And now this heroic whistleblower has decided to pass the tape onto that most reputable and well-read of publications, the News of the World?!?!? We are reaching realms of farce here, ladies and gentlemen.

It may turn out to be true. I am not dismissing the possibility. But even if the footage is for real, the fact that it is at this stage completely unprovable that it was taken in Baghdad, that the troops in it are British, or that it was even shot outside of a Hollywood backlot, but has still been taken by the entire MSM as gospel truth without even the most cursory attempt at authentication or verification is to me even more shocking than the idea that troops who had just been petrol bombed or shot at might have decided to administer a beating to those responsible.

Don't these media swine ever, ever learn?


Blogger p_pandar said...

I can hoestly say having been involved in a lengthy debate about this on ATW, that I am astounded at how fast people are willing to jump on the band wagon of condeming our forces. There is not a shred of evidence at the moment that this ever even happened, let alone that there were british forces involved. Even if it did and they were our troops, what do we expect? They are the Army, they are trained to inflict the maximum number of casulaties on the enemy for the minimum of our own. We then put them in a situation were there is no identifiable enemy but were they are shot at, bombed and pelted with stones, grenades, morters, rockets ect on a daily basis and expect them to do what? Hand out daisy chains? GET REAL PEOPLE. Frankly if I was there and someone had been throwing grenades at me I think Id do a little more than just give them a good kicking, I recon they showed considerable restraint.

4:33 PM  

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