Wednesday 16 October 2019

Jon Sopel reports

It is striking just how far Jon Sopel goes these days in turning his reports for BBC News into out-and-out anti-Trump editorials. 

He was so focused on pinning the blame on Donald Trump on last night's BBC News at Ten that he failed to spot a 'misspeak' by Mike Pence. (Mr Pence meant 'Syrian Democratic Forces' ).

Here's a transcript:

BBC Newsreader: Turkey is continuing its military offensive in northern Syria - aiming to defeat Kurdish forces, whom they regard as terrorists, and to create a buffer zone to resettle millions of Syrian refugees presently in Turkey. The conflict erupted after Donald Trump withdrew US forces, creating a vacuum in Kurdish-controlled areas - into which Turkey stepped. Today, Syrian government forces - supported by Russia - continued to move to areas once occupied by the Kurds, whom they've now agreed to support. President Trump's action has been widely condemned for altering the balance of power in the region. Tomorrow, Vice-President Mike Pence will travel to Turkey for talks. Our North America Editor, Jon Sopel, reports from Washington.  
Jon Sopel: The extraordinary American retreat, in one selfie video. A Russian wearing a New York Yankees cap playfully shows us around a newly abandoned US military base in northern Syria. The Russians are gratefully filling a vacuum. And as if to underline this major power shift in the Middle East, just look at the welcome the United Arab Emirates were laying on this morning for the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, as they gave him the red - well, blue - carpet treatment. But it's a very different picture on the ground in northern Syria, where the Turks continue their bombardment. And don't think it's just Kurdish fighters that are the target. If you strike residential areas, then children who know nothing of this conflict will be its victims too. The fighting has prompted the UK to join some other European nations in suspending arms sales to Turkey. In Washington, the President has faced a barrage of criticism, and there are signs the pressure is beginning to tell, with tougher sanctions being imposed against Turkey. 
Donald Trump: We want to bring our soldiers back home. And we're being very tough on Turkey and a lot of others. We're asking for a ceasefire. We've put the strongest sanctions that you can imagine, but we have a lot in store if they don't have an impact. 
And the result of the pressure can be seen by comparing the difference in tone between Donald Trump last week and the vice-president, Mike Pence, last night:
Mike Pence: Syrian Defence Forces have been a strong ally of the United States.  
Donald Trump: They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy, as an example... 
Mike Pence: Well, the United States of America did not give a green light to Turkey to invade Syria.  
Donald Trump: But he said, "I want to go in, I want to go in," but he's been telling me that for two and a half years.  
Mike Pence: The President is very concerned about instability in the region.  
Donald Trump: They're there, and we're here - we're many miles away. 
The ledger on Donald Trump for these past ten days is pretty harsh. He stands accused of betraying America's Kurdish allies, of allowing Islamic State to regroup, of creating a humanitarian disaster, of giving Russia, Syria and Iran a major strategic victory. On the upside, he is bringing 1,000 US troops out of Syria. But they're not coming home. They're being redeployed to Iraq. A week of artillery fire, bombing and fighting has claimed the lives of many civilians, and prompted at least 160,000 to flee their homes. All a result of one phone call between President Erdogan and Donald Trump. Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington. 


  1. John Sopel in Washington reports on a Russian in Syria.

    Time to bring our 'journalists' home?

    1. Yes but that will mean they will all be suffering from PTDS - Post Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  2. What the BBC and MSM never do (because they had a key role in developing the policy) is look back at how we got here. We got here because of the hubristic belief in the "Arab Spring" which was in reality mostly a Muslim Brotherhood revolt. The Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, global media, the USA and the EU formed an alliance to bring about regime change in Syria and remove Russian influence (Russia was essentially the Assad regime's protector and had its own base in one of Syria's ports). Assad was to be removed - in that case the UK betrayed him, since we had for several years been promoting him as a reformer and a good guy (as if).

    So "we", with the EU, BBC and Sky News to the fore, pursued this disastrous policy which led to half a million deaths, five million people displaced from their homes and millions of migrants trying to get into the EU (or claiming to be Syrians in order to do so).

    It was a complete and utter failure of globalist politics but the BBC want us to believe it was all Trump's fault somehow.

    Even if we had succeeded in removing Assad does anyone really think there would have been peace? No, the Jihadists would have first seen off any genuine democrats and then would have descended into fighting amongst themselves while Russia would have taken its revenge by backing certain factions. Turkey would have wanted its own Jihadists to win. The Kurds would of course have been involved. IS would have been thriving in the chaos. The outcome would have been the same: huge numbers of deaths, disregard for human rights and millions made homeless.

    This isn't being wise after the event - we already had the example of Libya before us to see what would happen.

    The EU have to carry a lot of blame. I think they have this long term fantasy strategy that they turn all the North African and Arab states into functioning democracies (while Islam still holds sway, of course), so that the Mediterranean becomes an "EU lake". The EU would then form a huge economic union with these new democracies, similar to the EEA. This is the fantasy narrative...Of course Russia is the bogey figure, not entirely without reason...Russia had already bested the EU in Georgia and Ukraine and made things difficult for the EU in the Balkans. Russia was Syria's protector and ally. You can see why the EU thought Syria was a juicy plum ripe for the picking.

    Not for the first time, the EU foreign policy led directly to a bloody debacle.

    1. No need to 'think', they do!

      "The policy of the European Union towards the North African and Middle Eastern countries seeks to encourage political and economic reform in each individual country in due respect for its specific features and regional cooperation among the countries of the region themselves and with the EU."

  3. It has been utterly sickening how the entire Western MSM has basically ignore actual culprits in their TDS obsessions. But Sopel plumbs uncharted depths. I hope his 500 battery is flat next time back.


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