Sunday, April 08, 2007

BBC Drops Story About Victoria Cross Recipient Because It's "Too Positive"

“Context is often the first victim of activism.”

"The notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact. As I have said, it is only possible to people who have money and guns between themselves and reality."
--attributed to George Orwell

"A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."
--French writer Jean Francois Revel

“The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted. It belongs to the brave.”
--Ronald Reagan, speaking about the Challenger disaster

“The fastest way to achieve peace is to surrender.”

"People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them."
--Eric Hoffer

All of these quotes are from a list of favorites I keep. Each of them applies directly to this story:

Private Johnson Beharry's courage in rescuing an ambushed foot patrol then, in a second act, saving his vehicle's crew despite his own terrible injuries earned him a Victoria Cross.

For the BBC, however, his story is "too positive" about the conflict.

The corporation has cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.

The BBC's retreat from the project, which had the working title Victoria Cross, has sparked accusations of cowardice and will reignite the debate about the broadcaster's alleged lack of patriotism.

Alleged? It seems to me that the accusation is demonstrably true.

So what was it that Private Beharry do to earn this award?

Pte Beharry, 27, who was awarded the VC in March 2005, was the first person to receive the country's highest award for valour since 1982 and the first living recipient since 1965. He was honoured for two acts of outstanding gallantry which occurred just over a month apart while he was serving with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, in the Iraqi town of al-Amarah, in 2004.

He was cited for "valour of the highest order" after he drove a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle through heavy enemy fire in May 2004 to come to the rescue of a foot patrol that had been caught in a series of ambushes. The 30-ton Warrior was hit by multiple rocket-propelled grenades, causing damage and resulting in the loss of radio communications. Pte Beharry drove through the ambush, taking his own injured crew and leading five other Warriors to safety. He then extracted his wounded colleagues from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire.

The following month, Pte Beharry was again driving the lead Warrior vehicle of his platoon through al-Amarah when his vehicle was ambushed. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle and Pte Beharry received serious head injuries. Other rockets hit the vehicle incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew.Despite his very serious injuries, Pte Beharry then took control of his vehicle and drove it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He required brain surgery for his head injuries and he was still recovering when he received the VC from the Queen in June last year.

Stories about true heroes and true sacrifice are too much for lefties; such stories remind them of how pathetic they themselves are. It's much easier to stand up against Tony Blair or George Bush, to parade around in the street like an idiot, than to oppose true evil--after all, oppose Islamofascists and you might get your head cut off.

The BBC's decision to pull out will only confirm the fears of critics that television drama is only interested in telling bad news stories about the war.

Bad news about the war is the same as good news for our enemies. The people who make such decisions are contemptible.


Law and Order Teacher said...

I have used a few of BBC's tapes about WWWI/II and have found them to be outstanding. Unfortunately BBC is now in the tank for every socialist and left wing cause under the sun. It's a shame when news organizations cease being news organizations and become advocacy groups for a particular point of view. So much for professionalism.

Anonymous said...

Who are our enemies in the war?

Anonymous said...

What can one expect of people who believe that merely talking to a deadly, vicious enemy is a stunning accomplishment of international diplomacy and a scant step away from peace in our time? Peace is not merely the temporary absence of conflict, but our friends on the left can't seem to comprehend this. Honor? Duty? Valor? Sacrifice? Not in their dictionaries.

Can we no longer depend upon the British to defend even themselves, to say nothing of western civilization? That day may already be here, and it's not looking all that good for us.

Darren said...

Anonymous, you show your true colors by merely asking the question--even doubly so by the fact that I identified our enemy in the post.

Anonymous said...

No, I meant in the Iraq war.

Darren said...

We could start with: the people shooting at our military personnel.

Please don't play ignorant, unless you're not playing. The topic is too important.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm just wondering -- when fighting against such a broad group, is it really possible to win?

Dan Edwards said... don't get it. This brave young Brit risked his own life in order to help his 'mates. He could have run to save his own skin, but he chose to do what he believed to be his duty and show his loyalty to his 'mates'. You need to read a few things about duty, honor and loyalty. Please also note, there is no mention of this British soldier firing a single shot at the "enemy" who fired at him. Awards for valor are not granted for the number of enemies you killed. There are many good books at your local, free, public library that can teach you about the men and women who have demonstrated duty, loyalty and honor by placing themselves in harms way in the interest of helping someone.

BBC, our trans-Atlantic PBS ?

ningelito said...

^How exactly is that relevant to the topic at hand?

"Stories about true heroes and true sacrifice are too much for lefties; such stories remind them of how pathetic they themselves are. It's much easier to stand up against Tony Blair or George Bush, to parade around in the street like an idiot, than to oppose true evil--after all, oppose Islamofascists and you might get your head cut off."

Hey now, Mr. Miller. Obviously you have some strong feelings on this topic, which is understandable. But do try to not lumb all of us "lefties" into the same bag. Any "lefty" who doesn't support pure and unadulterated heroism has his(or her, of course) head too far up their idealist arse. Heroism is heroism, regardless of where or what circumstances.

"Bad news about the war is the same as good news for our enemies."
So the government should censor the press? I believe this problem came about during Vietnam (or Korea...regardless, I wasn't alive to care then.)

The beauty of living in a free, democratic country is that we, as the tax payers, have a right to know where OUR money is going. Last I checked, a fair chunk of cash is funding the military. I have nothing against where the money goes, I just want to know EXACTLY where the moolah is going!

If my taxes are funding an unjust and ineffective war, then I most definitely want to know that. Now how, you ask, am I to know that I am funding a war like that? From pictures of the war, articles, death tolls, casualties lists———much of which would be classified as "bad news."

I really don't think that the Islamofascists that we know and love today will change their battle plan just because the Sacramento Bee published an article on how badly the war is going. I'm not saying that I support the war in Iraq, I'm not saying I don't support it. I just want to know what's happening, be it good news, or really bad news.

Is that too much to ask?

Darren said...

I don't believe in censoring the press. But I do believe in excoriating them when they are exceedingly biased and don't admit that bias to their customers--in fact, they try to pass themselves off as unbiased, neutral observers.

allenm said...

What if your taxes were funding a just and effective war but the people whose business it is to communicate facts are indifferent or hostile to news of enemy defeats and enthusiastic about our set-backs? Would those people, the professional communicators, be responsible for harm done to our military by encouraging the enemy to fight on?

By the way, that's not a hypothetical question. It's well-established that the Vietnam war could have been brought to an end much earlier then it was if not for news coverage which portrayed communist defeats as victories. How many young Americans died because of the inaccurate news coverage that came through American televisions every night, delivered by "the most trusted man in America"?

So you're wrong. The Islamofascists that we know and love will change their battle plan just because the Sacramento Bee published an article on how badly the war is going. Just like the communists in Vietnam, they lose every time they stand and fight so they're looking for any ray of hope, any reason to hang on.

If you want to know what's happening in Iraq, and you're interested in the facts, you're going to have to work for it. Walter Cronkite's and Dan Rather's professional heirs understand their responsibility to ensure that the public comes to the correct conclusions and they won't leave it up to chance.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I second the point that the news media can sway the public, who sometimes depend on the news media, foolishly or unfoolishly, for accurate information. I remember returning to America from Vietnam and being told not to wear my uniform in public airports for my own safety. Of course, the short hair in the early 70s wasn't a dead giveaway. I and the other military members didn't start the war. My point is the media should give the WHOLE unvarnished truth and trust the people to make up their own minds. "Reporting" the news with an agenda is very dangerous and dishonest. It is probably no accident that the public doesn't trust the news media to be truthful.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. A bit of history first. When Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted man in America: pronounced the Vietnam war lost after the Tet Offensive, the public believed him. I'll give Cronkite and others of his ilk the benefit of the doubt and assume they honestly believed that. But it could have been reported at the time, if journalists had been honest and not predisposed to desire, indeed, to manufacture American failure, that the truth was otherwise. We know know without any doubt that the Tet Offensive was a horrendous military defeat from which the enemy never recovered. The communists did not win the Vietnam war, we--the democrat controlled Congress--surrendered. Even the communists have admitted that they knew they could never defeat us, and that people like Cronkite and John Kerry were instrumental useful idiots in our defeat.

As to Anonymous' question about whether this sort of war can be won, what a perfect view into the mindset of the defeatest left. Yes, it can be won, but not in the sense that we win wars against nation states as in the world wars or the Korean war. This is a war that will last generations, and winning will be measured by how often a 9-11 like attack occurs, by how many nations are conquered and ruled by sharia, by how long and in what ways the light of western civilization and progress continues to burn, and by where and how freedom flourishes.

We can surrender in Iraq, but if we do, our future choices will be far less palatable than they are now and we may well find ourselves regularly using nuclear weapons to ensure mere survival. In this war, there will be no easy, non-messy choices, but the only facts one really needs to know can be summed up thus:

If the Islamic terrrorists lay down their weapons, what will happen. Peace. If we lay down our weapons? Holocaust, mass murder and suffering the likes of which the world has never seen.

Can the war be won? Yes. But it can much more quickly and easily be lost due to a lack of courage and the willingness to defend freedom.

Darren said...

Mike, you're a good man. Amen to what you said.

Now, who says that Tet was a military defeat for the Viet Cong? General Giap himself.

Anonymous said...

Defend freedom? Not to get mildly off topic, but we invaded a sovereign nation. Whatever, whole different debate right there.

"If the Islamic terrrorists lay down their weapons, what will happen. Peace. If we lay down our weapons? Holocaust, mass murder and suffering the likes of which the world has never seen."

We aren't talking about laying down our weapons. We—as in the intelligent left, yes we do exist—just want us out of a war that we don't belong in. That won't create nuclear war, holocaust. But that's what you want us to believe, isn't it? That the worst possible case scenario is what will happen if we pull out of Iraq, right?

I don't believe that anyone has the right to say what the islamoterrorists would do if the US pulled out of Iraq/Afganistan/Middle East or what not. They're unpredictable, unnegotiable..everything. Mr. Miller has said the same numerous times, unless I'm mistaken.

On to Vietnam. What were we doing there? Saving the world from Communism? Last I checked, the world didn't need saving from Vietnam. What happens in Vietnam doesn't get the United States—or does it? How exactly would the US be different today if the US had not sent troops?

Note: That's a serious question.

Anyhow, I'm bored of writing. Flame on.

Darren said...

Of course, Nigel. It's *never* acceptable to invade a "sovereign" nation, is it? Dumb argument. At West Point we had to read a book, Just and Unjust Wars, by leftie Michael Walzer. Walzer outlined 6 times when war is justified, and a couple of those times it included invading "sovereign" countries.

As for Vietnam, the domino theory luckily didn't come true. However, that war, which you so casually dismiss--look at what happened there *after* the North won. Boat people, reeducation camps, the usual Communist police state. I guess since they're not white, the Vietnamese don't deserve the human dignities that you take for granted.

As for predicting what Islamofascists would do, they're rather predictable on this point. You throw up a strawman argument and then tear it down.

Your comment wasn't up to your usual standards. And can you tell me who the standard-bearer of the so-called "intelligent left" is? I would love to see the coat of arms.