BBC Two’s ‘Inside Obama’s White House’: unchallenging and uncritical

BBC Two has been showing a series titled ‘Inside Obama’s White House’ and the third episode of that programme – already shown on March 29th and to be broadcast again tonight at 23:15 local time – addresses the topic of the US president’s record in the Middle East.

Obama prog ME

The synopsis to that episode – titled “Don’t Screw It Up” – reads as follows:Obama prog synopsis

“Episode three explores how Barack Obama set out to end George Bush’s wars in the Middle East and reset relations with the rest of the world. In Cairo he speaks to the Arab world, calling democracy a human right. Two years later when protest erupts in Tahrir Square, the president is torn between secretary of state Hillary Clinton and defense secretary Robert Gates, who believe Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak provides regional stability, and his young advisors, who are in tune with the promise of the Arab Spring. Before long, a similar test arises in Libya, Hillary Clinton changes her position to back military intervention and Obama agrees to join allies in airstrikes against Colonel Gaddafi.

In Syria, when shocking evidence shows the use of chemical weapons, Obama decides to bomb. But when the British Parliament votes against intervention, he decides he needs the backing of a reluctant Congress. Foreign secretary William Hague explains why the British parliament voted against intervention in 2013 and President Obama explains why he then decided to seek the backing of Congress.

This episode also explores how Obama scored a big win when he negotiated a secret deal to end the nuclear threat from Iran – behind the backs of his closest allies. Secretary of state John Kerry tells how he worked through the night, with President Obama on the phone, to secure the outlines of the deal.”

Given the BBC’s record of uncritical promotion of the US administration’s view of the negotiations with Iran and the resulting JCPOA, it is hardly surprising to see that issue presented in this programme as a “triumph”.  Remarkably, Middle East perspectives of Obama’s decisions relating to the region do not get a platform in this programme and perhaps most notably the US president’s spin concerning his retreat from his self-imposed ‘red lines’ in Syria goes unchallenged.

Previous episodes are available to viewers in the UK on iPlayer here.

 

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4 comments on “BBC Two’s ‘Inside Obama’s White House’: unchallenging and uncritical

  1. Of course, the Beeb wouldn’t want to draw too much attention to Obama’s use of anti-Semitic tropes to force the Iran deal upon an unwilling Jewish nation:
    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/192751/crossing-a-line-to-sell-a-deal

    And, of course, Obama ignored not only the views of the Israeli majority but also the views of the majority of Congress, a plurality of the American public, and the views of all of the USA’s Sunni allies.

    To squelch critics, Obama supporters insisted Jews (and others) opposing him disloyal to the USA. The concept that disagreeing with the Supreme Leader is disloyalty to the country, is frighteningly reminiscent of the fuehrerprinzip.

    Far be it for the Beeb to thoroughly discuss any of this.

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