BBC lies again.

The BBC is paid $5bn per year by British taxpayers to provide supposedly high—brow news analysis. But when you read BBC—published rubbish such as: 'Analysis: Growing Shia discontent', one has to wonder whether we are dealing with bias or just plain stupidity.

This report, by Paul Wood, appeared on the BBC News website Monday 5th of April, 2004.

(Just as an aside, Paul Wood was one of the BBC journalists in Iraq during the last days of the war. He clearly exhibited 'bunker syndrome' mentality during the fall of Baghdad, naively soaking up almost every outrageously deceitful word spoken by Saddam's favourite comedian, The Minister of Disinformation.)

His article starts with:

'There has been Shia unrest in both Baghdad and the southern city of Basra.'

It's the typical BBC journo's generalization just to confuse anyone who hasn't yet noticed that it's actually a very small minority of Shia causing the unrest.

'More than 40 Shias and a number of coalition soldiers have been killed in the violence over the past 24 hours. It was not supposed to be like this.'

It wasn't? I recall being told over and over again by the BBC and the rest of the liberal press that it was supposed to be a lot worse than this.

'The Shia were, above all, the people the US and Britain came to Iraq to liberate.'

Wasn't this war all about oil? And wasn't this war about WMD that haven't been found yet? Not anymore — according to the BBC's Paul Wood — it was about liberating the Shia.
'What has gone wrong? Well, the first and most important thing to stress is that this is not a general Shia uprising'

If it was the first and most important thing to stress, why not mention it at the start of the article? Why go through the obvious charade of semantically inferring that it may be a general Shia uprising, sustain that belief over a few paragraphs, and only then — clarify the situation?

In fact, Paul Wood's analysis is so banal that it wouldn't be surprising if some people had actually struggled to even reach the enlightening bit. They are probably in their local pub right now, telling anyone who'll listen that there's a general Shia uprising in Iraq.

'The trouble is coming from supporters of the radical young cleric, Moqtada Sadr, who has 10%, maybe 15% of Shias behind him.'
This translates into approximately 7% — 9% of the whole Iraqi population. To put it into perspective, the nationalist right wing in France, led by Le Pen, won over 15% in the last French elections.

'The moderate Shia cleric whom the US had pinned its hopes on in Iraq was murdered on the steps of the holy shrine in Najaf, in the first week after Saddam Hussein's forces were defeated.'

And guess who the prime suspect is? Isn't it strange how the BBC leaves out vital information when it suits them?

A warrant for the arrest of Moqtada Sadr has been issued in relation to the murder mentioned above. For some odd reason, the BBC has decided there's no relevance in the fact that the murder suspect is the very same person who is behind all of the Shia unrest.
It's all just a big coincidence and the audience shouldn't worry their pretty little heads over it.

This so—called 'analysis' ends with:

'In the long run, whether the British— and American—led coalition do win the war in Iraq, that will depend on the Shia.'

Well that's partly true, though the grammar is terrible. Surely with a tax take of $5bn a year the BBC could afford some decent editors.

But the really incredible aspect of this article is that it only once mentions Moqtada Sadr, who as we all know, is the driving force behind the unrest. The only conclusion one can arrive at is that the BBC is willfully underplaying the true source of the current troubles in Iraq, in order to make it appear as if the Shia are uprising on masse against the Americans all on their own.

And just to rub it all in, the title of the link for this so—called 'analysis' from the BBC's main news page is:  'Why Shias in Iraq have turned against their liberators'. Once again they have to bend the facts and imply that it's a general Shia uprising.

Compare the two side by side:

'Analysis: Growing Shia discontent' is the official title and:

'Why Shias in Iraq have turned against their liberators' is the link title.

The fact is that the majority of Shia wants nothing to do with the unrest but the BBC doesn't really want their audience to know the truth.

Michael Morris is our London Correspondent