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DEC Gaza appeal in comparison to DEC Kosovo and DEC Congo ap

 
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David Bracewell



Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 41

Post Post subject: DEC Gaza appeal in comparison to DEC Kosovo and DEC Congo ap Reply with quote

Comparitive analysis

The real problem for the BBC on the Gaza appeal is that there is a balance deficit. The facts can simply not be construed in a way that evenly distributes blame. However, in other crises, when facts could be construed in favour of the Western consensus, all sense of impartiality goes out the window.

The Gaza DEC appeal is at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0AgUJncX4X4

If you want to see a comparison between the BBC's handling of the Gaza crisis and then of previous appeals watch this first.

The BBC has a track record of not applying impartiality standards to other large appeals. I've done a quick analysis of 2 other appeals. The first is Kosovo 1999 and the 2nd, Congo, just three months ago under Thompson's directorship:

Kosovo.

The Kosovo DEC appeal in 1999 can be found at the webpage http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/313248.stm .

It is similar to the Gaza appeal except in a few particulars, all speaking to massive establishment bias.

- the recent DEC appeal bends over backwards to say it is not interested in the rights and wrongs of the Gazan situation, just the humanitarian aspect

- the BBC used the late Jill Dando, a BBC employee to make the appeal.

Click on the "Jill Dando presents Kosovo crisis appeal"

- the BBC also links on that page to Rageh Omaar at the offices of the British Red Cross in London for an extensive report on Yugoslavian Ethnic cleansing. He also pitches humanitarian aid.

- the BBC also links to Christian Aid spokeswoman Ama Annan, at the launch of the DEC appeal, who talks of the 'circumstances'. "The difference between Albania and Macedonia (a part of Yugoslavia) is that the Albanians ...actually welcome them there".

Implicit lack of impartiality BBC style right there.

- the side stories explain the criminality of the Yugoslav (Serbian/Macedonian) regime. I've added some quotes from each of these stories.

06 Apr 99 | Europe

Serbian ceasefire rejected


"The ceasefire came in an official statement from the Serbian and Yugoslav governments, which said "all actions against the aggressive Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) will be unilaterally halted at 20:00 hours (18:00 GMT) in honour of the greatest Orthodox Christian holiday, Easter".

Reaction to Belgrade's offer was swift.

The UK Prime Minister Tony Blair called the truce plan "a diplomatic ploy" the West would "not fall for".

Nato's Secretary-General Javier Solana rejected the proposals as "insufficient."

"Before a ceasefire can be considered, President Milosevic must meet the demands established by the international community," said Mr Solana. "


06 Apr 99 | UK Politics

Indecision over refugee strategy

"For days the world has been horrified by images of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing or being forced from their homes."

"Then, Mr Blair said Britain would be welcoming refugees.

This was despite the fact the prime minister on Monday said such a policy would be playing into Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's hands."

06 Apr 99 | Europe

Nato steps up strikes

"The first of those refugees were reported to be arriving in Turkey, which has promised respite for 20,000 people escaping Serbian violence."

06 Apr 99 | Europe

Respite for some refugees


"But the airlift has its critics. The Albanian Government has protested against plans to airlift Kosovo Albanians out of the region because it says such moves further Serbian aims. "

05 Apr 99 | Europe

Kosovo aid frustrated by delays


"A BBC correspondent in Macedonia says that while criticism of the authorities has, so far, been measured, privately there is a growing sense of fury among aid workers at what is perceived as the disastrously slow movement of refugees. "

"UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook confirmed that the Nato campaign against Yugoslavia would continue until President Slobodan Milosevic pulled his armed forces completely out of Kosovo, and allowed refugees to return. "

05 Apr 99 | UK Politics

Blair promises to help refugees


""Mr Blair said: "This will be a daily pounding until he comes into line with the terms that Nato has laid down.

"It will be something that doesn't happen over night, again, we've said that from the very beginning. We have to be prepared to go on. "

05 Apr 99 | UK Politics

Short attacks refugee plans


"But, speaking during a fact-finding mission in the region, International Development Secretary Clare Short said: "Moving people out of the region is doing exactly what [Serb President] Milosevic wants." "

""We should not participate in ethnic cleansing," she said.

"People have been deported from their home, from their country - and we are the third deportation." "

""We should not act in a way that rewards Milosevic," Mr Straw said.

"What would suit him is for them to be dispersed to the four quarters of the earth." "

05 Apr 99 | UK

UK awaits refugees' arrival


"Prime Minister Tony Blair had warned earlier that bringing in refugees across Europe would be a "policy of despair" and play into the hands of Serbia's President Milosevic. "

=================================

Congo

BBC page carrying the appeal:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7739110.stm

Is once again similar to the Gaza appeal except it doesn't bend over backwards to convince listeners of its impartiality. It entirely upholds the international consensus without any regard to the type of balance demanded for Israel:

Juliet Stephenson narrates.

On the BBC page under 'Latest News" there are recent stories on war crimes of 2 militia leaders.

"LATEST NEWS

Congo warlord denies war crimes
Rwanda arrests Congo rebel leader"

The 'key story' also follows Thomas Lubanga's trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

There is a profiles dropdown for

Kabila

- who is profiled in an overwhelmingly positive tone:

"Named as president at the height of a messy conflict involving numerous rebel groups and foreign armies, he helped steer the country through the end of the conflict and the potential hazards of the elections, which many feared could reignite the war. "

The most critical comment:

"After two years in office, Mr Kabila has been accused of doing little to tackle DR Congo's vices of corruption, poverty and insecurity.

Although he has restructured the mining sector, redistributing contracts. "


Nkunda.

Overwhelmingly negative with no balance exept for the claims he makes for himself

Charges

"His force, estimated to be several thousand strong has remained around Goma, always a potential threat to DR Congo's precarious peace."

---

"He was accused of committing atrocities in 2002 as a commander in the diamond-rich town of Kisangani.

Similar charges were also made after his forces captured Bukavu."

---

"It was only in 2007 that he agreed for his forces to set up "mixed brigades" with the Congolese army.

And then only to pursue the remnants of the Hutu militias who had committed the genocide in Rwanda and then fled into DR Congo, after his former comrades in the RPF seized power in Kigali. "


BBC Balancing statements

"Rebel General Laurent Nkunda has long sought to portray himself as the only man who can protect his Tutsi community in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo from Hutu forces."

---

"He said he was protecting Congolese Tutsis from "genocide" - an emotive word following the slaughter by Hutu extremists of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda 10 years earlier. "
Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:17 am
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David Bracewell



Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 41

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Thompson,

The BBC’s own record shows that for DEC appeals there is no regard to impartiality. It has prevented previous DEC appeals - most notably the one for Southern Lebanon, but the ones you have permitted have been surrounded by reports that take sides.

The following 2 appeals breached your own criterion in terms of currency and controversy. Here is what you outline to your own BBC staffers :

“But there is a second more fundamental reason why we decided that we should not broadcast the appeal at present. This is because Gaza remains a major ongoing news story, in which humanitarian issues - the suffering and distress of civilians and combatants on both sides of the conflict, the debate about who is responsible for causing it and what should be done about it - are both at the heart of the story and contentious.”

Here is the BBC’s record and in the Congo case, your own.

Kosovo: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/313248.stm

This is your page for the DEC appeal by the late Jill Dando. It is at the height of the NATO bombing campaign. It links to articles which are only partial to the NATO bombing. Here are some quotes from the articles linked to on that appeals page.

"The first of those refugees were reported to be arriving in Turkey, which has promised respite for 20,000 people escaping Serbian violence."

"But the airlift has its critics. The Albanian Government has protested against plans to airlift Kosovo Albanians out of the region because it says such moves further Serbian aims. "

"Mr Blair said: "This will be a daily pounding until he comes into line with the terms that Nato has laid down.”

International Development Secretary Clare Short said: "Moving people out of the region is doing exactly what [Serb President] Milosevic wants…We should not participate in ethnic cleansing," she said.

"We should not act in a way that rewards Milosevic," Mr Straw said. "What would suit him is for them to be dispersed to the four quarters of the earth."

"Prime Minister Tony Blair had warned earlier that bringing in refugees across Europe would be a "policy of despair" and play into the hands of Serbia's President Milosevic. "

There is no balance of any significance from the Yugoslav side. The narrative of preventing ethnic cleansing that supposedly took place +prior+ to the bombings has been shown by the UN to be false. The ethnic cleansing as well as flight from NATO violence itself was triggered by the NATO bombing. This is not at all reflected in the stories, which carry only the NATO narrative.

====================

Here is a DEC Congo appeal that took place under your directorship. At the time of the appeal militia leader Laurent Nkunda was threatening to topple the government of Joseph Kabila. That is, this appeal under your directorship also breached your own criterion in terms of currency and controversy.


Congo: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7739110.stm

On this page the BBC reports overwhelmingly from the side of the Congo leader Joseph Kabila and with no comment on his own army’s widespread and documented human rights violations. These violations were reported by HRW, Amnesty and the UN and include arbitrary executions, rape, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment..

Both Kabila and the rebel leader Nkunda are profiled. Kabila’s profile is, outside one statement saying he was “accused of doing little”, universally positive.


"Named as president at the height of a messy conflict involving numerous rebel groups and foreign armies, he helped steer the country through the end of the conflict and the potential hazards of the elections, which many feared could reignite the war. "

Nkunda’s profile is an utter condemnation with the only counterbalancing statements being made by Nkunda himself.


“His (Nkunda’s) force, estimated to be several thousand strong has remained around Goma, always a potential threat to DR Congo's precarious peace."

"He (Nkunda) was accused of committing atrocities in 2002 as a commander in the diamond-rich town of Kisangani.”

Your balance:

“Rebel General Laurent Nkunda has long sought to portray himself as the only man who can protect his Tutsi community in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo from Hutu forces”

====================

There is one commonality in these two appeal pages. The almost completely uncritical BBC narrative of Western-backed progress is wholly accessible for any reader to link to.

The common feature of the two rejected appeals in which Israel is involved is the disproportionate use of criminal violence by Israel, for which there is no counterweight of criminality from the other side. I suppose you have already imagined a page like the above two, but with Israeli war actions being at the heart of the reason for the appeal.


Yet Israeli war actions were at its heart and it is not partial to point this out. It boggles the mind that this is seen as controversial. When taken in conjunction with the above 2 appeals, which do link to multiple narratives which have proven to be wholly partial and inaccurate, it makes you wonder about the ethical centre of the BBC.

Thanks for your time

David Bracewell










Last edited by David Bracewell on Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:54 am; edited 2 times in total
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:34 am
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David Bracewell



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Posts: 41

Post Post subject: BBC DEC appeal - atrocities of Kabila's forces hidden Reply with quote

The BBC webpage for the DEC Congo appeal linked to a profile of Laurent Nkunda, Rebel leader (recently captured), and outlined acusations of large scale human rights abuses:

"“His (Nkunda’s) force, estimated to be several thousand strong has remained around Goma, always a potential threat to DR Congo's precarious peace."

"He (Nkunda) was accused of committing atrocities in 2002 as a commander in the diamond-rich town of Kisangani.”


The BBC webpage for the DEC Congo appeal linked to a profile of President Joseph Kabila with no comment on his own army’s widespread and documented human rights violations.

Outside one statement saying he was “accused of doing little”, every other facet of the profile was positive.

Here is an example

"Named as president at the height of a messy conflict involving numerous rebel groups and foreign armies, he helped steer the country through the end of the conflict and the potential hazards of the elections, which many feared could reignite the war. "

Here is the reality documented by amnesty international:

Report 2007 from Amnesty International on Government of Congo

http://report2007.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Africa/Democratic-Republic-of-Congo

Following quotes pertain to the Government Armed Forces of Congo:

"FARDC forces were responsible for the majority of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law reported during 2006, including unlawful killings, rapes, acts of torture, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions and looting. FARDC units failed to protect civilians from attack by armed groups."

"Rape of women and girls by government security forces or armed groups remained widespread in all areas of the DRC."

"Thousands of girl child soldiers who should have entered the national DDR programme were not accounted for. Many had been forcibly recruited and used as sex slaves by adult fighters. Many commanders and fighters resisted releasing the girls, considering them as their sexual possessions. Other girls, fearing further discrimination and social exclusion, avoided entry into the DDR programme. There was no systematic government effort to trace these missing girls or to offer them appropriate demobilization and reintegration support."

" In August, agents of the Congolese National Police (Police Nationale Congolaise, PNC), reportedly raped 37 women and girls from the village of Bolongo-Loka, Equateur province, and subjected other villagers to acts of ill-treatment and torture. The military authorities later arrested nine individuals, including seven PNC agents. They had not been brought to trial by the year's end."

"In August, 84 people, mainly fishermen but including women and children, from N'galiema commune in Kinshasa were detained by members of the Republican Guard , a military force under the command of President Joseph Kabila. They were accused of being "rebels" loyal to Joseph Kabila's electoral rival, Jean-Pierre Bemba. They were forced to strip naked and subjected to sustained beatings. A number of them were reportedly tortured in other ways. They were then placed in a confined cell and held for 48 hours without food. They were later released without charge.
"

"Acts of torture and ill-treatment, committed by government security services and armed groups, were routinely reported across the country. Arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, including incommunicado and secret detention (sometimes amounting to enforced disappearance) and prolonged detention without trial remained commonplace. Extremely harsh conditions were reported in most detention centres and prisons, in many cases amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

"Some perpetrators of human rights abuses were brought to justice. However, impunity persisted in the majority of cases and the government awarded certain armed group leaders command positions in the FARDC, despite well-founded allegations against them of serious human rights abuses. These included Peter Karim and Mathieu Ngodjolo, commanders of two Ituri armed groups who were appointed as colonels in the FARDC in October. Their forces were granted so-called amnesties.
"

Two other organisations, the UN and HRW, also made reports on largescale government troop violations alon with those of other militias.

HRW report on government troops and rebel violations in Congo:

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc1007webwcover.pdf

Report from IHT on UN report abhorring human rights abuses by both Congolese government and rebel troops.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/28/news/UN-UN-Rights-Congo.php
Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:00 am
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