BBC’s ‘Today’ touts ‘destabilising’ factor in the Middle East

The April 13th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today‘ programme included discussion of what was still at that time the possibility of military action in Syria by the US and allies. Following an interview with a representative from a Moscow think tank, the programme’s new presenter Martha Kearney introduced another guest (from 2:37:53 here) and an additional topic. [emphasis in italics in the original]

Kearney: “Beyond the prospect of a dangerous confrontation between Russia and the [United] States there are of course other powerful forces in the region. Israel was accused of launching its own strike on a Syrian airbase recently which left seven Iranian military personnel dead. Major General Yaakov Amidror – former national security advisor to the prime minister of Israel and former head of the Israeli national security council.”

After Amidror had spoken about lost American credibility following the US failure to respond to Syria’s crossing of its ‘red line’ in 2013 and the necessity for credibility in order to prevent chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian regime, Kearney suggested that Israeli attempts to stop Iranian arms being transferred to Hizballah (rather than Iran’s arming of a terror organisation with advanced weaponry) are “destabilising” the region.

Kearney: “But you will understand the fears that many people have about the conflict escalating beyond the borders of Syria. Ahm…many people believe that Israel was behind an airstrike on a Syrian airbase on Monday. Isn’t this possibly destabilising for the wider region?”

While Amidror was explaining that Iran is building “a duplicate of Lebanon” in Syria and that Hizballah has 120,000 Iranian supplied rockets and missiles, Kearney interrupted him.

Kearney: “But you have so many external powers operating in Syria at the moment and a warning to your country from Russia saying that the strike on the Syrian airbase carried out by Israel has only worsened stability.”

Amidror then asked Kearney if she affords similar credibility to Russian statements concerning the attempted murder of two people in Salisbury last month before stating that the Russians “know that the Iranians are building a duplicate of Lebanon in Syria” and “they know that we will not let” that come about.

Kearney – apparently unwilling to distinguish between Western strikes on targets related to Bashar al Assad’s chemical weapons and the separate topic of Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons shipments to Hizballah – then asked:

Kearney: “Is there any evidence that airstrikes are effective? After all the United States carried out an airstrike on a Syrian base last year and still we have allegations of a chemical attack this year.”  

After Amidror had taken issue with Kearney’s use of the word “allegations” he went on to state that while he did not know if the US and its allies would carry out strikes in Syria, “I know that without attack, for sure the Syrian regime will continue to use chemical weapons against civilians” and commented on the role of “the free world” in stopping such attacks.

Kearney closed the interview at that point with listeners left none the wiser as to whether Amidror had been invited in to speak about what was at the time the possibility of a US strike in Syria or about the entirely different topic of an alleged Israeli strike on an air base in Syria used by Iran’s IRGC.

Nevertheless the notion that of all the things going on in Syria, an alleged Israeli airstrike is what is “destabilising for the wider region” had been promoted to Radio 4 listeners.

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5 comments on “BBC’s ‘Today’ touts ‘destabilising’ factor in the Middle East

  1. This Kearney is either a simpleton or a person paid to put forward a simpleton’s take – in yet another effort to blame Israel for everything that is wrong in the Middle East. She is a typical BBC choice to put forward silly concepts on what is really happening.

  2. kearny-peanuts does not talk seriuously, all she says is pr and polemics and trash: strikes are not destabilizing they are STABILIZING because they show the russians they should stop destabilizing M.E.

  3. Martha Kearney comes to Today from The World At One, which has a different editorial and presenter style, and she’s a bit better than the regular Today presenters in that she tends to interrupt a little less frequently – listen to that interview and imagine what the awful Mishal Husein would have done. Hopefully she won’t fall into the regular Today approach. She does, however, fall into the standard BBC mould of having her questions and talking points set up in advance, and a determination that nothing will stop her from the path she set out on. A good interviewer would have questioned the Russian who preceded Amidror (and whose credentials as a representative of a Russian “think tank” Kearney never explored) as to why there were Iranian military on the ground in Syria, and would have brought out the line about the “several thousand” Russian military advisers in Syria whose lives the Russian was so eager to defend against a possible missile attack.

    BBC coverage on this whole issue is so inadequate that we now listen more to NPR (by internet) and Sky. Forget the BBC’s heavily-pushed DAB – Internet radio gives listeners far better coverage and choices.

  4. Meanwhile, Israel’s wonderful life-saving Iron Dome missile defence system, with its 90% success rate, has been voted the greatest Israeli invention, of all time, prior to Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations. See below:

    https://worldisraelnews.com/iron-dome-voted-greatest-israeli-invention-of-all-time/?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=IDF+Destroys+Terror+Tunnel%2C+Prepares+for+War+on+Multiple+Fronts%3B+Iron+Dome+Voted+Greatest+Israeli+Invention+Ever&utm_campaign=20180415_m144984240_IDF+Destroys+Terror+Tunnel%2C+Prepares+for+War+on+Multiple+Fronts%3B+Iron+Dome+Voted+Greatest+Israeli+Invention+Ever&utm_term=_0D_0A_09_09_09_09_09_09_09_09_09_09Read+Now_0D_0A_09_09_09_09_09_09_09_09_09

    Are you reading this Isra-hating beeboid Jonathan Marcus, after having suggested that Iron Dome was not very effective and quoting discredited Isra-hater Richard Silverstein? See BBC Watch coverage below:

    https://bbcwatch.org/2013/03/13/bbcs-jonathan-marcus-and-the-iron-dome/

  5. Pingback: 04/16 Links Pt2: Evelyn Gordon: Israel proves exceptional, once again; Amos Schocken’s Schocking Racism; Former Australian FM Bob Carr Headlining Fundraiser With Terror-Supporter – 24/6 Magazine

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