[Update - note to new readers: This is a New Zealand blog, not a Brit one. As you were.]
The BBC is now running video from Ramadi containing the same locations, props and actors as described in our previous post
on AP/Reuters photographer Bilal Hussein. To view the Windows Media or Real Video clip go here
and click on the link in the right sidepanel called "See areas where insurgents have imposed their rule" (yes that's right - some things are beyond parody).UPDATE: Apparently the morning show on Sky UK News (that's Rupert Murdoch's news channel for the UK) have been broadcasting the same footage (thanks Adolf).
Below are the key initial scenes from the video together with the transcript of the accompanying BBC voiceover. You'll notice the reporter is 'Richard Galpin', reporting from Baghdad not Ramadi.
BBC voiceover: "Insurgents on the streets of Ramadi, just to the west of Baghdad."
BBC voiceover: "In many towns along the Euphrates Valley to the borders with Syria, the rebels have taken control despite several previous American offences to dislodge them."
Note the BBC is using this video footage to support its claim 'rebels have taken control despite (incompetent?) American military efforts'.
Now it's quite clear from yesterdays post
that the guys in the first two frames above were posing for, if not being directed by, AP/Reuters photographer Bilal Hussein. They were probably filming in a quiet area of Ramadi (assuming it is Ramadi), as there is no evidence of nearby fighting or even major damage to surrounding buildings. Therefore there is no rational way these video clips and photographs could be considered evidence for what the BBC is portraying. Clearly the Beeb has already decided the storyline of Iraq, and the insurgent propagandists in Iraq are simply providing them with the input video footage.
Does the BBC Charter
encourage supporting the enemy? Somehow I doubt it.
The BBC footage fills out the information already available to us in the six AP/Reuters photographs. It's now clear there were five actor-insurgents involved in scene, all of whom appear to be posing for the photographer and video-cameraman.Actor profilesInsurgent #1: Homeboy.
Homeboy likes to pose in a dramatic, though immobile, fashion. He holds a Hungarian-made SVG sniper rifle one-handed like Rambo and usually pointing up into the air (safety first). Homeboy wears a dark grey-blue shirt possibly with vertical stripes, and wears baggy black pants with some sort of white flare near the ankles. Thanks to our commenters for identifying the sniper rifle.
Now the number of times this guy is featured was surprising. He's the subject of two photos by Hussein, but he's also present in a few different scenes from the BBC video clip. Oddly enough these scenes are separated by completely unrelated footage of burning cars and US helicopters flying overhead - almost as if the producer of the BBC video was trying to create a C-grade Hollywood action movie rather than report the news.
Click to enlargeInsurgent #2: Pale shirt guy.
Pale shirt guy doesn't do much except lie around and stick his hand near the dangerous parts of his light machine gun. Is he the product of urban warfare experience - or an actor drafted to participate in a propaganda film? Pale shirt guy features in quite a few photos, but I haven't bothered to include all of them here.
Click to enlargeHe has a history Insurgent #3: Shy Guy.
Shy Guy is only featured in the background of one photo, and is probably the subject of a scene in the BBC video clip. If you compare both closely, the pants and shirt are the same colour, and his shirt seems pinched near the waist. This scene is a little odd - almost as if the cameraman had walked around the edge of the building trying to film his shy friend, who retreats into an alleyway.
Click to enlarge Insurgent #4: RPG Guy.
RPG Guy doesn't do much except pretend to hold his RPG. I don't have any infantry training, but wouldn't the blastback from an RPG firing knock over anyone kneeling like that? Like Insurgent #2, this guy seems more of an actor than a hardened urban warfare rebel insurgent.
Click to enlargeInsurgent #5: Incompetent Guy.
Incompetent guy just gets in the way. Doesn't he realise they're trying to film a serious propaganda movie? In one photo he's standing behind RPG Guy, looking a bit out of place. And at the very end of one scene in the BBC video his leg is seen intruding into the frame (see the red box). It's more obvious in the actual video - you can clearly see his light brown-grey pant leg. Unfortunately the BBC has edited out the rest - clearly having some guy wander around would have ruined the 'ambience' of the video clip. Must make the insurgents look mean.
Click to enlarge
When will the madness stop!
The Beeb is presently using a clipped section of one of the propaganda photos to highlight a feature on "Iraq's insurgents". Speaks volumes, doesn't it. About the BBC I mean.
Mypetjawa has quite a bit more on Bilal Hussein. You can check it out here
. How come this guy hasn't been fired yet?