NEWSNIGHT WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 22:30 BST - BBC TWO

#2
Presumably this will be followed by a study of the effects of stress and anger on blood pressure...do we think they'll even consider the possibility that things are, overall, getting better in the sandpit?
 
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fozzy

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#4
Juvenal said:
Presumably this will be followed by a study of the effects of stress and anger on blood pressure...do we think they'll even consider the possibility that things are, overall, getting better in the sandpit?
I wish the media would keep a sense of proportion over this (but hey, it sells papers) What happened the other day in Basra used to happen nearly every day to British soldiers during the 70's in NI - and barely made a few lines in the newspaper. See comments made by Col Collins.

Also, its coming towards the end of the rioting season out there now as the temprature starts to fall. In 2003 on Telic 2 it was lack of fuel that was the excuse for the agiprop merchants to wind up the locals (and yes, we did get bricked/petrol bombed and shot at). I recall the weekly riot on the main gate at the Palace after the local hot heads had stirred the shit and bought rent a crowd along for a bit of recreational stoning

This is no time to go weak at the knees and have a fit of the vapours. It seems calm out there now - I'm sure the lads on the ground know best and don't need the armchair warriors back in the UK to start with the "long screwdriver" treatment.
 
#6
fozzy said:
Juvenal said:
Presumably this will be followed by a study of the effects of stress and anger on blood pressure...do we think they'll even consider the possibility that things are, overall, getting better in the sandpit?
I wish the media would keep a sense of proportion over this (but hey, it sells papers) What happened the other day in Basra used to happen nearly every day to British soldiers during the 70's in NI - and barely made a few lines in the newspaper. See comments made by Col Collins.

Also, its coming towards the end of the rioting season out there now as the temprature starts to fall. In 2003 on Telic 2 it was lack of fuel that was the excuse for the agiprop merchants to wind up the locals (and yes, we did get bricked/petrol bombed and shot at). I recall the weekly riot on the main gate at the Palace after the local hot heads had stirred the s*** and bought rent a crowd along for a bit of recreational stoning

This is no time to go weak at the knees and have a fit of the vapours. It seems calm out there now - I'm sure the lads on the ground know best and don't need the armchair warriors back in the UK to start with the "long screwdriver" treatment.
Quite right
 
#7
Bits said:
I'll be watching it. Standby for rant. Reserve key settings 3M-3P.
Oh Sh1t better warn Mrs F that rant is imminent. Let's see what the tree huggers who have never been there and would sh1t their pants if they were told thay had to go have to say!

I can feel blood pressure rising......
 
#8
Watched it, and have to say that Simon Jenkins from the Guardian made me want to throw up. He was cynically and arrogantly dismissive of the whole matter, and kept on referring to Malaya, Aden, and Vietnam - isn't it almost touching to see how obsessed the left are with Vietnam? I notice that when that Shawcross fellow brought him up short - after he (Jenkins) asserted that Vietnam was alright after the Americans left - and pointed out how millions of Cambodians were murdered, Jenkins muttered that not that many were killed afterwards in Vietnam - is that so Mr. Jenkins, and would you care to explain the 're-education' camps opened by the Communists, or the millions of boat people, or the street level executions as the Republic of South Vietnam fell?

Jenkins seems to believe that he is the sole arbiter of public opinion, as he consistently made statements such as 'everyone believes' or 'everyone I talk to is saying' that Iraq is a disaster.....well, since he works for the Guardian, and probably only talks to fellow right-minded types such as himself, there is an element of truth in what he says. Jenkins kept facetiously saying that Iraq would not slip into civil war, but then would say that even if it did that would then be the Iraqis' business. I can gurantee that if the Coalition were to withdraw, both he and his fellow Guardianistas would be the first to shout that the West had deserted Iraq. It is easy to understand why such large sections of the public have the wrong impression of Iraq when they hold such simplistic views as Jenkins. I shudder to think what would have happened had opinions such as his held sway in 1939-45.

Sir Michael Rose was better, and stressed the need to set a date for gradual withdrawal, while still stating that the Coalition should stay put for the time being, whereas Jenkins wanted troops to be withdrawn immediately (perhaps it was just the seating arrangements, but I had the disconcerting impression that Sir Michael was being treated as if he were in agreement with Jenkins). Shawcross came across as a reasoned analyst, who admited that the situation was bad, but not irretrievable, and that the Coalition should stick it out. Ann Clwyd was at a disadvantage in not being in the studio, but despite her being Labour, I have to say that I was moderately impressed by her, as she stressed the achievements made by the Coalition. Paxman came across as a fairly non-partisan moderator, and I was glad to see him quoting Col. Tim Collins phrase viz Iraq, namely 'if you break you pay for it' - he also pressed Jenkins fairly hard.

Overall a good programme, though the discussion could have lasted longer - I believe it is on broadband on the BBC website.
 
#9
Good summary gallowglass. That was exactly the same as my take on the discussion.

The problem I felt was that any Joe Public with left-wing tendencies would be likely to have picked up on Simon Jenkins outspokenness as opposed to the calm rational air of Shawcross or Rose, or even Clwyd - who under other circumstances a left-leaning audience might have paid more attention to. He who shouts loudest...

I have to say I was surprised to see Rose sat alongside Jenkins, but I did think the choice of commentators was about as balanced as it could possibly have been, and as always the discussion was well run by Paxman.

Given the strength of feeling over these issues, certainly within this circle, I think the BBC did an extremely good job of producing a well-balanced discussion. Well done the BBC - you did a good job (and we don't say that often)!
 
#10
Have just sent the following feedback to Newsnight, via their website:

Re: Iraq - Tipping Point?

For those in military circles, there has been much concern regarding not the events of the last 72 hours in Basra, but the way that these events have been (mis)reported, and the significance of these events misrepresented within the media. Well aware of the significance and influence of Newsnight, it was with great delight that I watched one of the best presented discussions I have ever seen. The selection of the panel could hardly have been better balanced, and the direction of the discussion by Jeremy Paxman was as always superb.

It is rare for people with military connections to thank the media, but I felt it necessary to convey my thanks and congratulations to you for presenting one of the best examples of reasoned and calm debate that I have ever seen. Many of my friends are currently serving in the Basra theatre of operations, and I have no doubt that the calming influence of your keynote programme on the rest of the British media will have a postive impact on the ability of the local commanders to resolve the immediate problems in conjunction with the local Iraqi authorities.

On a personal note, the lads and lasses on the ground will no doubt find it easier to do their jobs without a British media storm back at home, which always impacts on morale, if not indirectly and more seriously on the immediate threat to their safety.

You have my personal applause for your professional production of such a superb piece of commentary. Thank you.

[I would appreciate it if you did not publish this email.]
 
#11
Simon Jenkins used to write for the Times, he's a total cnut. He got an honour recently from TCB for being perpetually wrong in 100% of his foreign affairs predictions. Actually it was "for services to journalism" and writing hefty tomes about the churches in the UK. Anyhow, shortly before we invaded Iraq he wrote a charming bit in the Times stating that HMF would morally be the lowest form of life in Iraq and Iraqi civilians the highest if we invaded. He deduced that from "Just war theory", as proposed by St Augustine in about 400 AD. Augustine also pointed out that babies cry because they are evil - which although I've been tempted to agree with - shows that he too was a little strange...

Therefore, by Jenkin's own morality it's beter for lots of British soldiers to be killed than one Iraqi civi.

They never posted my letter in reply, that pointed out that according to St Arrse Jenkins is a cnut.

But tell me how his "morality" ties in with his bleating on the box...
 

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