Monday, March 08, 2010
Libel Most Foul
The Independent newspaper today carries an article by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, which includes what may be the worst libel I have ever seen in a contemporary British publication.
The article is a tirade of muslim grievances, including the Prime Minister's evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. I have written before about Iraq and Afghanistan, expressing criticism, doubts and anger. But Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's accusations cause me outrage.
This paragraph in particular; it is offensive and ill-informed in the extreme. She is speaking of the Prime Minister's evidence.
Not a word about the countless Iraqis killed when we bombed indiscriminately in civilian areas, no word of sorrow, however hollow or feigned, about the dead children or those now born in that blighted land with two heads and other grotesque abnormalities. John Simpson's recent BBC report described the rising number of such births in Fallujah, picked for the cruelest collective punishment by America.
Allied forces did not bomb indiscriminately in civilian areas: that was the work of insurgents - muslims attacking different muslims. Allied soldiers know civilian casualties do great damage to their progress; insurgents often deliberately or recklessly cause civilian casualties, knowing that the allies will be blamed, in the muslim world and in the western media.
That accusation is bad enough, but much worse follows.
She accuses the Americans of responsibility for the alarming prevalence of congenital abnormality in Fallujah, and implies this is a deliberate policy of collective punishment.
That is a foul libel.
John Simpson was careful to stress there are no figures for the prevalence of congenital malformations and disease in Fallujah before the war.
The most significant fact in the BBC report is the new hospital built in the town by the Americans. No doubt that new, modern hospital is keeping good medical records and statistics.
No doubt too, many local women are for the first time receiving proper obstetric services and care.
The BBC report is a revelation of the alarming frequency of still-birth and congenital disease in such deeply in-bred communities. Cousin marriage is the custom, approved by the mullahs. Centuries of endogamy have damaged the genetic pools of such communities, with bitter consequences for their children.
I know of one hospital in Arabia which has a discreet 'bad-baby ward': it is there, but not admitted publicly. I heard of others.
In-breeding increases the risk of the following:
inherited disease, often metabolic;
childhood leukaemia and other malignancies.
These conditions are prevalent wherever endogamy is practised, including immigrant communities in Britain.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's virulence disgraces the Independent newspaper; the editor deserves severe censure.