Author Topic: Britainís warmongering media in the spotlight  (Read 68 times)

nestopwar

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 836
    • View Profile
Britainís warmongering media in the spotlight
« on: June 23, 2019, 05:53:01 PM »

Britainís warmongering media in the spotlight
Sun Jun 23, 2019 03:27PM [Updated: Sun Jun 23, 2019 03:33PM ]  Press TV

The recent suspicious attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf have touched off a flurry of speculation in the international media as to the identity and motives of the saboteurs.

While much of the international press is agnostic on the central question as to who could be responsible, the British media stands out in its near-unanimous chorus of deflecting blame onto Iran. In fact, in this regard, the British media has out-performed their American cousins in assigning blame onto Iran as part of a broader demonization strategy.     

What is most striking about this British media strategy is the extent to which it mirrors the British governmentís position. The UK government staked out an extreme position in the immediate aftermath of the 13th June attacks on the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman by pointing the finger of blame at Iran.

This approach was exemplified by British foreign secretary Jeremy Huntís bold assertion that he was ďalmost certainĒ Iran was behind the attacks. Hunt Ė with the British media in lockstep Ė had staked out an identical position in respect to a similarly suspicious attack last month on four tankers off the United Arab Emiratesí coast.

Predictably, the British media has adopted a sensationalist approach toward last Thursdayís downing of the US drone which had violated Iranian air space. Almost without exception the press and the broadcasters dutifully stuck to the false American position that the drone had been shot down in international airspace.

Worse than that, the British press immediately indulged in warmongering, as exemplified by the apparently pro-war position of the tabloid newspaper the Daily Express. Britainís main tabloid newspaper, the Sun, chose to fan the flames of mutual suspicion and impending doom in its 21st June edition by misreporting a defensive missile show in a village near Tehran. The Sunís sensationalist reporting completely distorts the spirit of the defensive manoeuvre by making it appear as though Iran is preparing to strike key political targets in the US and Israel whilst simultaneously chanting ďDeath to EnglandĒ.

Even supposedly more responsible newspapers, such as the Times, the Daily Telegraph and broadcasters, such as the BBC and Sky News have not only indulged in misreporting Ė by reflexively relaying the American version of events Ė but moreover they have consciously tried to create the impression that the US and Iran are edging toward war.

This is despite the fact that the political and military leaderships of both Iran and the USA have explicitly stated their desire to avoid a direct military clash, let alone a major war. So why is the British media trying to whip up a frenzy about a potential war against the wishes of the central protagonists?

At this juncture it is worthwhile examining the British mediaís historical role in warmongering and whipping up tensions with a view to satisfying British foreign policy objectives.

The state broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation, came of age during the Second World War, when it was effectively the central arm of the British stateís wartime propaganda apparatus. Based on this tradition, the BBC, in tandem with the broader media establishment, has sought to justify British foreign policy adventures, primarily by way of whipping up tensions and demonising Britainís opponents.

This media-government partnership was very prominent during the Falklands conflict of 1982 when the British media fully fell behind then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcherís military intervention to take back the disputed islands from Argentina.

But arguably the best example was in the run-up to the first Persian Gulf War in early 1991 when Britain and America were trying to mobilise an international coalition against Saddam Husseinís Iraq.

At that time the British media helped the government perform an awkward about-turn in foreign policy by justifying the reversal of support for Saddam Hussein. This was a delicate public relations exercise which was central to mobilising national and international support for the British governmentís position.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and it is legitimate to ask if the British media is trying to sell a war with Iran by whipping up tensions and engaging in widespread scaremongering. In these highly delicate situations, when even the slightest miscalculation can have exorbitant costs, altering perceptions can quickly change the reality on the ground.

Thus, for instance, by attributing blame to Iran in respect of the suspicious attack on the tankers, and misrepresenting the facts in relation to the downed US drone, the British media runs the risk of fanning the flames of conflict and helping to produce a war by altering the perceptions of the protagonists and their constituencies.

As the UK foreign office minister Andrew Murrison visits Tehran today, ostensibly on a mission to de-escalate regional tensions, the British media would do well to at least temporarily cease their warmongering, if only to save the minister from embarrassment.