'The Beeb' Can't Hide Bias In Report on Bush Keynote At NATO Summit
Our friends over that the BBC can’t disguise their bias as they crudely misreport the context of President Bush’s speech at The Riga Conference in Riga, Latvia. It seems that Auntie may think she knows best but in reality her reporting is more of the same from a news media that increasingly views the United States as an adversary rather than an ally.
The report, Bush berates hesitant NATO allies, makes no attempt to employ objective professionalism as it attempts to deliver an underhanded invective under the guise of a news story.
US President George W Bush has berated Nato members reluctant to send troops to Afghan hotspots, demanding they must accept “difficult assignments”.
Speaking just before a Nato meeting in Latvia, Mr Bush said members must provide the forces the alliance needs.
Quite frankly, they are full of crap.
I read the President’s speech and there is no sense of berating rhetoric. The President is simply noting that NATO nations have a critical stake in successfully defeating terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He even went out of his way to extend every diplomatic courtesy as he complimented NATO's successes despite the fact that many participants have opted out of dangerous missions by way of a “red card”.
The most basic responsibility of this Alliance is to defend our people against the threats of a new century. We’re in a long struggle against terrorists and extremists who follow a hateful ideology and seek to establish a totalitarian empire from Spain to Indonesia. We fight against the extremists who desire safe havens and are willing to kill innocents anywhere to achieve their objectives.
NATO has recognized this threat. And three years ago, NATO took an unprecedented step when it sent allied forces to defend a young democracy more than 3,000 miles from Europe. Since taking command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, NATO has expanded it from a small force that was operating only in Kabul into a robust force that conducts security operations in all of Afghanistan. NATO is helping to train the Afghan National Army. The Alliance is operating 25 Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are helping the central government extend its reach into distant regions of that country. At this moment, all 26 NATO allies, and 11 partner nations are contributing forces to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. They’re serving with courage and they are doing the vital work necessary to help this young democracy secure the peace.
We saw the effectiveness of NATO forces this summer, when NATO took charge of security operations in Southern Afghanistan from the United States. The Taliban radicals who are trying to pull down Afghanistan’s democracy and regain power saw the transfer from American to NATO control as a window of opportunity to test the will of the Alliance. So the Taliban massed a large fighting force near Kandahar to face the NATO troops head on. It was a mistake. Together with the Afghan National Army, NATO forces from Canada and Denmark and the Netherlands and Britain and Australia and the United States engaged the enemy — with operational support from Romanian, Portuguese, and Estonian forces. According to NATO commanders, allied forces fought bravely and inflicted great damage on the Taliban.
General David Richards, the British commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, puts it this way: “There were doubts about NATO and our ability to conduct demanding security operations. There are no questions about our ability now. We’ve killed many hundreds of Taliban, and it has removed any doubt in anybody’s mind that NATO can do what we were sent here to do.”
Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, and drug traffickers and criminal elements and local warlords remain active and committed to destroying democracy in Afghanistan. Defeating them will require the full commitment of our Alliance. For NATO to succeed, its commanders on the ground must have the resources and flexibility they need to do their jobs. The Alliance was founded on a clear principle: an attack on one is an attack on all. That principle holds true whether the attack is on our home soil, or on our forces deployed on a NATO mission abroad. Today Afghanistan is NATO’s most important military operation, and by standing together in Afghanistan, we’ll protect our people, defend our freedom, and send a clear message to the extremists the forces of freedom and decency will prevail.
Every ally can take pride in the transformation that NATO is making possible for the people of Afghanistan. Because of our efforts, Afghanistan has gone from a totalitarian nightmare to a free nation, with an elected president, a democratic constitution, and brave soldiers and police fighting for their country.
Over 4.6 million Afghan refugees have come home. It’s one of the largest return movements in history. The Afghan economy has tripled in size over the past five years. About two million girls are now in school, compared to zero under the Taliban — and 85 women were elected or appointed to the Afghan National Assembly. A nation that was once a terrorist sanctuary has been transformed into an ally in the war on terror, led by a brave President, Hamid Karzai. Our work in Afghanistan is bringing freedom to the Afghan people, it is bringing security to the Euro-Atlantic community, and it’s bringing pride to the NATO Alliance.
There is no room for reporters who simply can’t help themselves when it comes to injecting their own personal bias into news reports. These hacks have infiltrated every corner of the media world. They are a great tool for terrorists, murderers and criminals who recognize them for their propagandist value.
You can read the entire text of the President Bush’s speech here. Give that a good read and put some distance between your lunch and a cursory reading of the BBC version; unless of course you want to experience lunch twice.
Terry Trippany is an editor and contributing writer at Webloggin.