BBC4's John Humphrys beats Blair's war drum
Listeners can not have failed to be sickened by John Humphrys bellicose
attitude to the Christian Peacemakers (BBC Today Programme, 25 March 2006).
Firstly he all but demands an apology on behalf of the British army, required
because Norman Kember hadn't fallen over himself with gratitude at the
sight of his 'rescuers'. Secondly he strongly implies that any peacemaker
in Iraq prior to the invasion (as Mr Kember had been for 6 months) is
irresponsible because they must surely have known that the army would
end up having to rescue them.
At which point...let's remind ourselves of the sequence of events.
Christian Peacemakers go to Iraq to offer support to a population almost
done to death by years of sanctions. Tony Blair claims that war is not
a foregone conclusion. 6 months later the US/UK coalition invades Iraq,
destroys its infrastructure, and fails to restore basic services. Westerners
become targets. Peacemakers are taken hostage but finally their guards
feel uneasy about the death of one of their number and tip off the UK
army as to where to find Norman Kember. SAS forces 'risk their lives'
picking up the unguarded Kembler and take him to the airport. The Christian
Peacemaker is sad to learn that a colleague has died during the ordeal.
Kembler doesn't say thank you. John Humphrys considers this to be 'begrudging'
behaviour and therefore bullies an interviewee to express gratitude on
Kember's behalf. Humphreys proceeds to imply that the Peacemakers work
is, in general, irresponsible.
I am ready to PUKE.
Humphry's wraps the interview, the war drum stops sounding, but I am
now ready to explode. I doubt I am alone.
Ends | 25 March 2006