vanessa beeley

BBC rewriting history in Syria for Global Britain
Vanessa Beeley, May 17 2022

True to form, the BBC appears to have been tasked with revisionism on the history of the UK role in the destabilisation of Syria and the failed UK/US-led regime change campaign that began pre-2011. A new BBC “drama” has been released. Entitled “Red Lines” it has been written by ‘Sir’ Craig Oliver and ‘Sir’ Anthony Seldon. Oliver is former Director of Politics and Communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who pushed hard for UK military intervention in Syria after the 2013 alleged chemical weapon attack attributed to the Syrian government. Oliver was previously Controller of English news output for BBC Global News. The BBC led the regime change narrative charge against Syria from the outset of the externally orchestrated war launched in 2011. Seldon is a honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street. As an author, he is known in part for his political biographies of Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May. I am sure there is no conflict of interest (sarcasm intended) involved in writing the history of the war against Syria incubated and managed by at least three of those political leaders. I asked former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, for a brief review of what we might expect from this BBC effort to whitewash the UK Foreign Office role in destroying Syria and collectively punishing the Syrian people for eleven long years. This is what he said:

The saying goes that victors get to write the history of conflicts. In the case of Syria it’s the opposite: the losers write the history. We may have lost control of most of Syria and seen Russia assert itself there but with our monopoly on public understanding of international events through our control of mainstream media we can still rewrite history. ‘Our BBC’ as the state broadcaster currently styles itself, hoping some of the glory of ‘our amazing NHS’ will rub off on it and help to stave off defunding, gives a prize example of rewriting history with the docu-fiction being served up as ‘Red Lines’. Truth is turned on its head with every premise of this crock of nonsense.

  • No, Syria did not use chemical weapons in 2013, that was a fabrication.
  • No, Russia did not facilitate the hiding of stockpiles of chemical weapons, Russia actually helped coax Syria into abandoning its chemical weapons, with international inspectors combing the country and confirming every part clean except the jihadi-controlled areas.
  • No, MPs did not ‘withhold support’ for bombing Syria, they refused to be browbeaten and voted down what might have turned into a reprise of the invasion of Iraq.
  • No, the episode did not illustrate the unwisdom of allowing our adversaries to cross red lines, it illustrated our imperial arrogance in setting red lines in other people’s countries, it illustrated how we had learned nothing from Iraq, except how better to control the narrative and thereby public support for aggression, and it illustrated that we were ready to mount ‘humanitarian interventions’ to justify those aggressions.

With the hindsight of today the episode also illustrated that the historic parliamentary vote against bombing represented the high water mark for the peace party in Britain and that ever since the warmongers of every party have had the ascendancy. The parliamentary vote shook the British security establishment to the core. Possibly for the first time ever (In 1855, a similar Commons rebellion occurred on a Crimean war vote – RB) the people as represented by a brave majority of their MPs had stood their ground against the state in a matter of war and peace. No wonder the establishment is now trying to exploit whipped-up popular feeling over Ukraine to rewrite history and gaslight the people into believing that the brave, principled vote against aggression in Syria was an aberration. That the BBC should lend itself to serving the ends of their puppet masters in this way may help it to save the licence fee, but it will be a tawdry success.

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