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Friday, October 07, 2005

BBC uses propaganda video to claim rebels have taken control of several western Iraqi towns

[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).

BBC_propaganda_video

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 profiles

Insurgent #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.

insurgent1
Click to enlarge

Insurgent #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.

insurgent2
Click to enlarge

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.

insurgent3
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.

insurgent4
Click to enlarge

Insurgent #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.

insurgent5
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.


He has a history

Mypetjawa has quite a bit more on Bilal Hussein. You can check it out here. How come this guy hasn't been fired yet?

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/07/2005 03:16:00 am

28 Comments:

Blogger Psycho Milt said...

"Incompetent guy just gets in the way. Doesn't he realise they're trying to film a serious propaganda movie?"
Now that one made me laugh. The third worlder standing about watching whatever utterly mundane thing you're doing (as though staring at people was entirely normal where he comes from) is a standard feature of this part of the world. After a few months here I managed to suppress the urge to shout at morons who couldn't pass by me checking my car's oil or taking out the garbage without stopping to watch. I should think psycho religious fanatics posing with guns ranks even higher on the third-worlders scale of entertainment.

10/07/2005 04:16:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

3rd World Bystander Guy?

Does have a better ring to it...

10/07/2005 05:15:00 am  
Blogger JAF said...

Sir Humphrey filets the BBC!

Excellent blog by the way.

10/07/2005 05:45:00 am  
Blogger Keith said...

I see there's about to be an independent enquiry into BBC bias. Should be interesting, eh?

10/07/2005 06:58:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Kieth, their defense (excuse)willbe 'fake but accurate'

10/07/2005 07:14:00 am  
Blogger darren said...

This should boost Sir Humphrey's ratings in the UK.
I trust you have told UK blogs, AL.
Always knew the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation could not be too trusted, but this is shameful.
Perhaps the Daily Telegraph should be told.

10/07/2005 09:54:00 am  
Blogger chris said...

SirHumphs is about to get famous. This is the post of the year.

10/07/2005 09:58:00 am  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

News organisations have always used stock footage like this to support their news stories. And to talk about the BBC supporting the enemy is garbage. I don't want my news organisations to become propaganda arms of their Governments which is pretty much what Fox News has become in the US. I should think the 'enemy' to the people of Ramadi are the Americans and the Iraqi forces supporting them.
To go back to as statement AL made in an earlier posting

"Also you say you support the war, but no democratic country can sustain a war effort without the popular support of its people. Actively pro-insurgent propaganda like this is nothing short of an attack on the support a democratically-elected Government requires to continue the war effort."

Now that I find alarming and dangerous, though you have hit the nail on the head really because one thing is for certain, this war no longer has the majority support of the people of the US and is going to be increasingly difficult to sustain because of that.

But it has nothing to do with false propaganda and everything to do with people finally waking up to the facts staring them in the face.

10/07/2005 10:37:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Ackers1, predictable Ackers1. Please elucidate. What are the 'facts staring them in the face?' The facts manufactured by the BBC? The facts manufactured by Michael Moore? The facts manufactured by Dan Rather? The facts manufactured by Reuters? The facts manufactured by Ackers1?

10/07/2005 10:47:00 am  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

How then do you explain the rather large drop in support for this war in the US Adolf? Dubya is doing his usual stirring speeches before massed audiences of soldiers but no one seems to be listening any more. The facts whoever might be manufacturing them are obviously impinging on the reality he is trying and failing to convey.

10/07/2005 11:14:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Ackers1. There is none so blind as those who cannot see. Enemy propoganda, aided and abetted by you and your leftie rabid donc mates along with a demonstrably left leaning media. Any more dumb questions questions?

10/07/2005 11:25:00 am  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

There's not much point is there Adolf when the responses are so demonstrably dumb. As I have pointed out many times here, to say the MSM in the US is left wing is a nonsense. And you might note that some some of the strongest critiques of this hapless administration are increasingly coming from the right and some of the most trenchant critics of the American policy in Iraq are coming from the military itself.

10/07/2005 11:39:00 am  
Blogger CH said...

I was just watching ABC News on Sky 54, and saw a familiar face. It was a story about the White House spy and they had an expert talking about it - he was retired FBI agent Jack Cloonan (or something similar), the same guy who made an appearance in Farenheit 9/11.

10/07/2005 01:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be back to watch the continued skewering of a MSM rated producer!

This IS FUN!

FM, Orange Park FL, US

10/07/2005 02:48:00 pm  
Anonymous alanH said...

The war is indeed losing support, but not so much because of "lies" or anything like that, but because of yes, the "MSM"'s skewed coverage, but not only that. Every time Bush makes another speech repeating of how the enemies have a twisted ideology, yada yada, he loses people who know all this but want to hear more in the way of strategy and also more in the way of what is improving there. Also there have been many blunders of execution which have not been corrected, or at least corrected in a publicized manner.

The situation is more complex than either "Bushitler lied!" or "It's all the MSM/lefties' fault.

alanH

landv.net

10/07/2005 03:56:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Alan H I'm sure you're right but the only way to deal with dyed in the wool lefties is to hit them over the head with a piece of four by two. Trouble is, you damage the timber.

10/07/2005 04:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Dave Hardy said...

The RPG is supposed to be near-recoiless, altho with that guy's stance almost any kick would bowl him over.

But it does have one heck of a back-blast, so if the user had fired, Incompetent Guy would at least have needed a new set of ear drums. (The rocket doesn't have a nice, smooth, liftoff. It has to burn the initial charge (that sends it flying until the main motor kicks in) in the first couple of feet (else the gasses vent into the shooter's face). So the launch is more a slightly controlled explosion than what you'd think of as a rocket taking off. Standing to the rear at about a 45 degree angle, Incompetent Guy would have a most unpleasant experience if the guy fired. The fact that he doesn't even have his fingers in his ears suggests he knew there was no risk of that.
Note also the fellow with the machinegun initially had a position where he could not see to his right and was completely vulnerable there, and now is relaxing, squatting back. He, too, seems rather uninvolved, if not bored.

10/07/2005 04:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Lawrence of suburbia said...

There staged photo's. Go too Micheal Yon's web site. I've got better Photo's doing WWII reenactments. There possers!
That's why they blow things up.

10/07/2005 05:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>I don't have any infantry training, but wouldn't the blastback from an RPG firing knock over anyone kneeling like that< No firing an RPG is rather like firing a US 66mm LAW (Light Anti Tank Weapon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAW_(weapon) ), the same physics is involved. The fire and throw away LAW has been on issue with US and UK forces for yonks. The system is recoilless because it simply launches a rocket, no recoil forces are imparted to the tube or firer.

You have to watch that you have space for the back-blast though and that includes walls, though the back-blast is not nearly so hectic as a recoilless rifle such as an 84 mm Carl Gustaff (also used to be UK issue).
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m3-maws.htm

The shots and footage remind me very of similar propaganda scenes, with a similar aim often taken of Provisional IRA 'volunteers' in South Armagh in Northern Ireland.

10/07/2005 08:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you read lefty comments here and in other blogs, please remember that they tend to believe the patently absurd notion that "war is never the answer". Such a historically inept view of the world says volumes about their ability to think critically about the world around them. So something that is "staring them in the face" is likely to be something you or I cannot even see.
To look at polls about Americans' view of Bush's handling of the war, and to draw the conclusion that the war is losing support is naive. I for one am dissapointed in Bush's handling of the war. I wish he had ordered Fallujah to be leveled once the population had fled. I wish he had ordered An Najaf to be overwhelmed, with the Mahdi Army wiped out. I'd like to see the borders with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran patrolled and sealed, with violations resulting in strikes within those countries. The polls never ask whether the support for Bush's handling of the war is eroding because people want more, or fewer, attacks on terrorists. And for good reason. Those who want to see more terrorists killed, get lumped in with those who want to see the terrorist win in Iraq. And simpletons like the lefties who write to this post, buy into it with no more critical thinking than goes into using slogans like "war is never the answer" and "we support our troops, bring them home now". The BBC isn't the only news organization that would rather see the terrorists win in Iraq than see the west, and the Iraqis themselves, win.

10/08/2005 12:49:00 am  
Blogger Klaus Meyer said...

AL, did you show this to BBC complaint's department?

10/08/2005 01:20:00 am  
Anonymous Michael Adamms said...

Anonymous's post at 12
:49 said it well. I will only add that the Ledftwardness of Amereican media is a relative thing. No, they're not as Left as British media. Yes, they support more government intervention at home and less abroad. Yes, they repeat "tax cuts for the rich," two years after these tax cuts have resulted in wealthy people paying a bigger portion of the taxes, and overall revenues rising. Yes, they continue to repeat the meme that President Bush did some funny business, four years ago in Florida. When I was Democrat, I was a precint chairman. and the Pct. Chair of the majority party is usually the election judge. Space prevents me from giving the details, but, it was the Democrats who tried to steal that election, and whose actions drove me from that party forever. I don't know why the Left supports fascists like Saddam and the holdouts, but, they supported Hitler, when it suited some "larger purpose."

10/08/2005 01:22:00 am  
Blogger Maddad said...

I might be mistaken, but "shy guy" looks like a girl. Just doesn't stand right.

10/08/2005 03:10:00 am  
Anonymous Sprockett said...

I am very amused by the concept that because of biased polls taken by MSM outlets, they tell the whole story for the United States. I work and live in the San Francisco area and I can tell you that alot of people here never wanted this war (I never wanted this war but felt it was the only viable option), but that for those of us who support the war (and even here in the heart of lefty politics there is a good size group of us) our support has not faltered one bit.

In fact a number of us would like to see a direct return to prisoner executions of previous generations and stop this silly game of civilized treatment for these monsters at places like Gitmo, my daughter is 10 and if left up to the naive and looney left we'd all have a giant hug, sit around a campfire and sing love songs while the radical islamists plotted to kill more innocents by any means possible. I fear for her life when so many people in this country and in the UK have this twisted idea of how to achieve peace, it seems especially in the UK you've forgotten what a man named Hitler did to your country, and that happened AFTER an agreement was struck with him to have no aggressions towards the homeland.

You people on the left live in a fantasy world where nothing gets critically thought about, this piece simply proves what so many of us have been saying for years, quite simply that the media lies! and only fools without the will or mental power to question it believe everything they see and hear. The MSM has become the tour de-force of the DIS-Information age, you can't trust anything they say and that even goes for Fox News which always vilified by the left.

So instead of griping about the war why not do sit down and do some real thinking, if the AP is staging video to "Make Their Point", what does that say about your position on the war??

10/08/2005 04:13:00 am  
Anonymous Mikey said...

As a matter of fact, they have the same video over at jihadunspun.com (http://www.jihadunspun.com/intheatre_external.php?article=104702&list=/home.php&), where they describe it as "an excellent piece of footage by Global Islamic Media."

10/08/2005 06:22:00 am  
Blogger Ted C is Me said...

So Bilal Hussein/"stringer" and the Beeb cameraman were shooting (if you'll pardon the expression) at the same time, for efficiency's sake?

Does this remind anyone else of Pallywood?

http://seconddraft.org/movies.php

Perhaps we can call this particular film industry "Pallywood East"...or would "Rank Iraq" be more accurate? Maybe we can get "Homeboy" to bang the gong before the movie starts...

10/09/2005 12:09:00 am  
Blogger Ted C is Me said...

Dave Hardy: Maybe we should call "Incompetent Guy" a new name -- how do you like "Deaf Guy?" No? "Toasty Guy?"

Your point about there being no danger of grenade launch is bang on target...again, if you'll pardon the expression.

Shit, this is fun.

10/09/2005 12:13:00 am  
Blogger h said...

Nice job. Fascinating stuff. I'll bet it ties in with the uncanny ability of photographers to be at the scene of the assasination of Iraqis who are trying to make democracy work.

10/15/2005 08:19:00 am  

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