"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 25 September 2009

All Guns Blazing

Michael Yon, the war correspondent whose embed was summarily dismissed by the MoD, has a devastating critique of the British Media Ops in Helmand that left me open-mouthed at the revelation of blatant manipulation and censorship.  There's too much in the article to reprint but here's a very small extract:
There is the maxim that a customer can judge the cleanliness of a restaurant’s kitchen by the restroom.  After much experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have discovered another: Soldiers always treat correspondents they way they treat the local people.  When soldiers treat correspondents badly, they treat local people even worse and are creating enemies.  Those troops who brag about how they mistreat or detest correspondents are abusing and resentful of the local population, and they cannot win this sort of war.  The people will kill them and the media will bash them and they will blame the people and the media.  When a soldier alienates sympathetic correspondents, he has no real chance against mortal enemies such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, and they will defeat him.  Yet there is subtlety: for “the people,” in the case of Media Ops, is you.
The Major doesn’t deal with Afghans.  Afghans are not his target and it is not correspondents who are being denied access.  YOU are being denied access. YOU are resented and deceived, and people like Minister of Defence, Bob Ainsworth, wish to separate realities from readers.
Bob Ainsworth is covered in British blood and painfully deceptive. Henceforth, he will always be known as “Bullshit Bob” to me.
The full jaw-dropping article is here  where Yon goes into detail, names names and apportions blame.  What he has to say about Bollox Bob will have you cheering.
UPDATE:  This looks like being an MoD Day - Coffee House  has a report on the resignation of Major-General Andrew Mackay, the fifth officer to resign in the last two years: The commander angered Downing Street by stating that he was astonished by the lack of clear direction at the top. There was, he said, a sense of "making it up as we go along".’  They also link to a report on the disproportionate number of veterans in our prisons.


  1. Many thanks for the link GV. I'll read it over the weekend.

  2. You're welcome SR - try to read it sooner if you can. It's incredibly honest in a way we don't get from filtered & compliant media and there's enough in there to end Ainsworth's career. It won't, of course, since the man's without honour.


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