Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If They Look Like Terrorists, Act Like Terrorists, Talk Like Terrorists...

...according to the BBC they are 'militants'. Today 100 people were kidknapped in Baghdad. I am pretty sure they felt terrorised. So why does the BBC insist on calling terrorists 'militants'? I can see no reason for it at all. But feel free to enlighten me. I am sure there is some politically correct reason for it.

34 comments:

machiavelli said...

It all depends on whether your average Guardian-reading, muesli-eating, sandal-wearing Lib Dem-voting BBC producer thinks their "plight" justifies their actions.

Simple, really.

Anonymous said...

I just heard them on News 24 being referred to as "insurgents"

bt said...

If they were terrorists the beeb would feel guilty about slanting the news so as to pretend that a bunch of rabid killers had a political validity.

They'd still do it, mind - but they'd feel guilty about it.
And guilt can be so stressful.

Anonymous said...

Could it possibly be because the BBC is institutionally biased against America?

Anonymous said...

if u want to go there then please call for bush nd his gang to be tried for mudering nd terrorizing a whole nation . u dont have the guts

kinglear said...

.. because pretty soon they will be the victors and as you know winners are never terrorists, just freedom fighters and glorious martyrs etc etc.
Watch this space

The jabberwock said...

Al-Beeb will be calling them 'Heroes of the Iraqi Resistance' next.

Since the appointment of Mary Fitzpatrick as al-Beeb's 'Diversity Tsar', can we now look forward to daily reports with Raghead Omar crying 'Allahu akbar' as he gives the voice-over to Iraqi snuff videos showing the killing of British and American soldiers?

Of course, this wouldn't be bias on the part of al-Beeb, but part of their policy of ensuring that reporting is "culturally authentic and accurate".

As far as I am concerned, there is no depth to which the BBC will not stoop in the name of multiculturalism.

Can I have my £130 TV tax back now, please, or do I have to go to gaol first?

Anonymous said...

jabberwock - Rageh Omaar doesn't work the BBC you stupid bastard.
He works for Al Jazeera.

As for using the word 'militants' what on earth is wrong with using a neutral word rather than using 'freedom fighters' or the pejorative 'terrorists'.

After all such neutrality is the admirable aspect of their coverage of Israeli issues.

wrinkled weasel said...

There are plenty of people in Iraq right now who have worse words than "terrorists" for the occupying armies.

Yes, sure, these scumbags are terrorists, but what I do not like is the armies of the Americans and the British being portrayed as liberators. Don't forget the atrocities carried out in our name.. Abu Graib and many others.

This fighting strictly speaking, is sectarian in-fighting, between to Muslim factions and one lot are using bombs and the other lot are sanctioning torture. It is a civil war, and whatever you call them, it is mayhem and murder for thousands of people and those responsible for setting th e scene are George W Bush and Anthony Blair.

I am afraid we are past the stage when altering the language to fit the bias is relevant. Too many innocent people have died as a result of this Government - and a majority in this country voted them into power.

I hope they have it on their conscience.

Anonymous said...

Why are we bothering to spend time debating etymology and vocabulary?

This is happening under the watch of our Prime Minister and the backbenchers daren't even vote for an inquiry in to matters. Surely it's more important to find out what is going on and fix it? I suppose it's too much to hope that Blair, Hoon, Straw, Browne, Goldsmith et al. resign en masse but they sanctioned this desperate policy.

permanentexpat said...

During the Spanish Civil War, the BBC always called Franco's troops 'the insurgents.'
The Republicans were the real terrorists but, then as now, it was very unPC to say so.

Anonymous said...

Er, surely it's you who are being PC, by demanding that they only ever use the term you approve of... yet more 'rightist' political correctness. Oh I'm sorry, they're COUNTRY SPORTS not blood sports and they're INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS not public schools.

Anonymous said...

The real problem surely is that ALL of the protagonists are acting in a fashion designed to terrorise and cow the population.

Shotgun said...

This is the same as yhe insistence of everyone to call terrorists in Iraq 'insurgents'

When I was in the forces and serving here and there, an insirgent was an outsider who came to fight in a specific theatre by covert means...

Mind you, I suppose it is good not to have tpo admite that Iraqis are fighting againts the Yanks and Brits isn't it? That would never do..it would sound a bit like Jews fighting FOR the Palestinians...politically nasty rhetoric that would be, factual or not, and of course we must keep our own propoganda strong.

Anonymous said...

shotgun - what on earth is that 'thing' looking heavenward and waving his hand meant to be?

Anonymous said...

The balanced and impartial BBC calls Osama Bin Laden a "Saudi dissident":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2794593.stm

Chuck Unsworth said...

Hang on a sec. Are these people the same as 'insurgents' or are they a new kind of animal?

I'm finding it really difficult to keep up with the nomenclature.

What's a Dissident then? Do we have a definition of what a 'Terrorist' is? Where does 'The Resistance' fit into all of this? And are the Taleban the guys in the turbans with the Kalashnikovs or the other guys wearing the Victoria Sponge hats with the RPG launchers? And who are all these guys wearing Traffic Warden's and Postmen's uniforms wandering around with assault rifles?

Is there an official BBC website that lays these definitions out? Or is just that they've all had a very jolly lunch?

I need help here.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, its part of their patronising editorial policy which can be read here.

They are of course inconsistent. Last year on the that bloody July day they referred initially to the murderers appropriately as terrorists, but then changed to bombers later in the day. They may be the British Broadcasting Corp but they can't appear to take a British line even though the British people pay their bills. The way they refer to the "British Army" drives me nuts. Its OUR army. Oh God I'm turning into Colonel Blimp...

Funnily enough the Terrorism Act proscribes alot of these community "bombers", "attackers", "gunpeople", "kidnappers", "insurgents", and "militants" as um terrorists. The full list of "community dissidents" can be read here at the Home Office.

Anonymous said...

It is true to say that describing any one of the violent factions in Iraq as terrorists would be slightly 'Dick Cheney'... in truth, any force (sovereign or not) that make you fear for your life are terrorists. It just depends who you are. Why don't you just call them the 'Bad Guys' like the White House does. Nice and simple, easy for the voting plebs to understand.

It is a bit unfair at you to hack at the Beeb for not using 'terrorist' as a description, as I understand it, most of the Iraqi army and Police force are anti-coalition insurgents. Would it be helpful to describe them as terrorists too?

I know this probably isn't current Conservative thinking on the issue (though God knows what that is... 'we agree with the war... we think Blair is a nutter... the war has been done badly... we think the invasion was a good thing... Blair tricked us) but if you invade a country for any reason, you can expect a fightback. If you as a Western power, allied to a THE Western superpower, invade a Muslim country in the middle east... you can expect death and destruction on a grand scale. I believe most sane people were saying this even before Saddam Hussein became the greatest threat to the World since Ghengis Khan.

trumpeter lanfreid said...

I looked up the editorial guidelines, as recommended by Druid. They say "The word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term."

Unbelievable! At a time when the terrorist threat has never been greater the BBC avoids using the word. And using the phrase 'Muslim terrorist' is probably a disciplinary offence.

towcestarian said...

Look Iain, I warned you yesterday about mentioning the Middle East. The same bunch of anonymongs have arrived again spouting the usual anti-American drivel.

Personally I think that terrorist is far to nice a description of the Iraqis who are doing this to their fellow countrymen. Try psychotic, genocidal lunatics and you will be a bit closer.

Buster George said...

Can't we just use the term murdering bastards, I know that it would probably be upseting to them, afterall we can't go bringing their parentage into question as this could be considered politicaly incorrect.

poldraw said...

The word "terrorist" is used too much anyway. I for one think they should use more alternative descriptions.
Like 'fundamentalist foot fungus'.
Or 'snot'.

Anonymous said...

Terrorist usually implies a group that is fighting for a cause againsta a power which is greater. In this case the group is winning the war. The U.S. by every definition has resorted to terror to achieve it's aims. But the right wing nuts have problems with reality on that point.

Anonymous said...

Of course there is a politically correct reason for it Iain.

The BBC is institutionally pro-terrorist and anti-West, it's just pc to pretend otherwise. Try to get it straight Iain: the BBC hate the West. Just because the beeb scatters taxpayers' money over politicians (all those appearance fees) doesn't mean they support you. If we had any democracy in this country the government would stop the compulsory tax (oops, licence) swindle and make the BBC reliant on money from it's pro-terrorist (oops again, pro-insurgent supporters.

Anonymous said...

So with all those tens of thousands of innocent people in the world who have been murdered or terrorised by forces controlled by George Bush. . .the description of choice for this person is. . .

Anonymous said...

trumpeter [and iain] - despite your indignation [and whilst it may be difficult for you to believe] this approach by the Beeb is actually a bit of a defence against crap nulabour spin and double talk.

The definition of terrorism used by this nulabour government is so wide it can encompass protesters, such as pro-foxhunting people, and those people protesting FOR animal testing, and standing up against the animal rights lobby. So would you want the BBC labelling those terrorists, just because Tony's junta say they are ? Consider this example taken from 'out-law'....


The Terrorism Act of 2000 defines terrorism as including the use or threat of action designed to influence the government and made for the purpose of advancing a political cause. "Action" falls within this definition if it involves "serious damage to property" or if it "endangers a person's life, other than that of the person committing the action," or "creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public."

Dr Chris Pounder of Masons, the international law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said: "We were so concerned that we approached Leolin Price CBE QC for advice on one question: "is the firefighters dispute a terrorist action?". The answer was an unambiguous 'yes'."

Anonymous said...

iain, why are you wasting time on this, when you could be investigating why John Reid is carrying out his own review into 'terrorism' [or is it 'security'...] quite SEPARATE from the one El Gordo Brown is working on - 'It's secret but not confidential', as he put on the Today programme. I wonder what he has planned for post-Tony world?

Praguetory said...

For anyone new to the site -

Anons = Thickos with an incoherent agenda or Govt press officers

Good advice = Skip to next named contributor whose provenance and coherence is transparent

trumpeter lanfried said...

No, no, no, Anonymous said (8.55). Don't give us that old toffee. We are talking about news bulletins, not Acts of Parliament. The statutory definition of terrorism is nothing to the point.

All Iain and I are asking is that the BBC uses ordinary words, giving them their ordinary meaning. Thus: a man who goes on strike is a striker; a man who joins in a protest is a protester; a man who blows up innocent civilians is a terrorist; and if he happens to be a Muslim, blowing people up in the name of Islam, he is a Muslim terrorist.

It's not rocket science, and the suggestion that the use of the word 'terrorist' can be 'a barrier to understanding' is fatuous.

kris said...

I think I've found my spiritual home. Thanks Iain. Is there no where else in this country where people may express the same without being excoriated by the chattering classes?

Manfarang said...

A Muslim blowing people up in the name of Islam is a haraami.

rkjfyoung said...

Oh - I thought they were Iraqi Ministry of the Interior recruits.

Manfarang said...

No they are recruited by policy makers at the Foreign Office.