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A selection of e-mails will be published on this page after the programme on Sunday, 27 April. Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for purposes of clarity and length.
The e-mails published will be reflective of the messages we have been sent.
I have read this shocking storey of Mr. Hamoodi. This story will creat lots of bin laden's. In my opinion the war in Iraq has just started and there is going to be more blood shed on both sides. I think Blair should with draw British troops from Iraq as soon as possible. The British troops should not involve themselves in street fighting like Afghanistan.
I watched last nights programme and was very proud of the wonderful job our soldiers are doing,working with the local leaders. I was pleaseantly suprised with the well balenced,unbiased reporting that has sadly been missing from the BBC lately.a very good programme.
I too was disappointed with the quality of this programme. It was propaganda - and it is good that other have seen this! Where were the searching questions about the water supply and when will it be available? Why was the Brigadier allowed to get away with being generous for not charging for water convoys? We have had Orla Guerin reporting on the lack of medical supplies in Basra - but this is not mentioned by Jane Corbin. Is there a problem? Is the British Army doing anything about it? If so why not give them credit? If not should not the BBC highlight it? There seems to be a problem with balance and perspective from the BBC.
I thought this edition of the Panorama programme was disgraceful in that is was fawning to the Bush/Blair axis and lacked impartiality and rigour. It amounted to no more than propaganda in my view. Moreover, I would expect Panorama's journalistic skills to be allocated to problems that exist in the UK, not to a far away land that has nothing to do with the lives of ordinary UK citizens. The fawning nature of the programme almost implied that life in the UK is idyllic, a land of milk and honey, and where human rights are respected unconditionally. Viewers should remember that it was only 90 years ago that the British officer class regularly assassinated British foot soldiers - hardly an affirmation of a human right to life. Viewers should also remember the scale of homelessness on the streets of the UK, and the stingy and punitive nature of the social security system that is supposed to provide a safety net for those unlucky enough to fall on hard times. Why doesn't Panorama take on these issues instead of making programmes that are completely irrelevant to the lives of most UK citizens?
I wish to congratulate the programme makers of Panorama's 'Battle for Basra' for making such an excellent programme. The portrayal of the grief and dignity of the beareaved Basra family was handled in a most sensitive manner. All concerned deserve the highest praise.
I found this programme compelling. As an opponent of the war I was very impressed with the quiet and considered approach of the forces in gaining the confidence of the people of Basra. I hope you will compile and broadcast a sequel showing how success is finally achieved in a better life for the people.
I saw your Panorama programme yesterday (Sunday the 27th of April) And was disappointed with the one-sided story of the 'Battle for Basra'. Jane Corbin made many unsubstantiated claims such as 'the Ba-ath Party fighters were shooting on Iraqi civilians'. Ms Corbin used the MoD footage without questioning the motive and authenticity of such footage, knowing the lies that Britain and US forged against Iraq (e.g. evidence of Iraq importing nuclear materials from Africa which turned up to be a lie). I used to be a fan of the BBC for a long long time but the BBC coverage of the war and their reports after the war were a huge disappointment to a large number of their audience including myself. I hope the BBC will cease to be a mouthpiece for the British Government and starts to do the honourable job of reporting the hidden truth about this messy war on Iraq.
I have great sympathy for the suffering of the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein, and their continued suffering in this interim period after the Second Gulf War. This, however, is set against my own personal experience. I spent 18 months in prison between 1992-93, and understand that individuals are pawns to international politics. I committed no crime, I drove into a disputed area, and the UN failed to protect me. I lost my family, house and my health suffered. The people of Iraq should be allowed to decide their own future, George Bush should realise that to camp US troops in Iraq will cause long-term irreparable damage. Iraqis looking for 'compensation' from US/UK govts should realise that external victims of the Baath regime have received nothing, The British Government told me to take up my claim for compensation with Saddam's courts! I hope all of this distress has an outcome that helps all involved, whether they wanted to be involved or not.
All I can say is I am proud of what the British army have done, and continue to achieve.
Excellent programme. I think it showed the world clearly that the people of Basrah were happy with their liberation from the tyrant and the that the only people who defended the regime were the Baath party members and some Arab national fanatics, many of them, as I heard, were paid by Saddam directly or to their families in the event of their death thousands of Dollars. It showed that nobody from the Iraqi people liked the tyrant regime and you could tell that from their feelings which were mixed with fear in case the coalition forces would let them down as they did in 1991. However they could have won the hearts of people more if they had managed to prevent the looting and restore the security, the water and electricity supplies as soon as they could. I am sure the people of Basrah and all Iraqi people would have felt happier if the British forces provided evidence of the death of "chemical Ali" who was responsible for the genocide of thousands of people in the North and the south of Iraq as well as the people of Kuwait when he was appointed as a governor there. The fact that we do not know of his fate or the fate of Saddam or his sons make us all Iraqis worried in case he reappears one day and takes the power again once the coalition forces leave Iraq.
Well reported by Jane Corbin on the battle for Basra. Most of the people of Basra were pleased to be liberated from Saddam, but there was a lot of sadness with all the death's of civilian┐s and soldiers. I must point out the 2 soldiers killed was Irish Guards not Scots Dragoons.
Jane Corbin's Basra report was the best documentary I have seen since the fall from power of the Iraqi dictatorship. The impression that I have though, is that it will be necessary for the British military to remain there in strength, for the foreseeable future. The main need appears to be the policing of such a large city. Why cannot civilian policeman be brought in to help reduce the multitude of tasks performed by British troops? There were many countries in Europe or elsewhere that supported the coalition vocally but not militarily - cannot they assist ie. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Japan and many countries in Eastern Europe? Once this function has achieved a degree of stabilisation, it will surely help the infrastructure of Basra to recover and give the people more confidence to look to a better future. So lets have more regular documentaries from the BBC on the areas of Iraq liberated by coalition forces - this one was first class.
I was in Basrah on 8 May 1945 and wrote;' Now the war is over, the peace will be more difficult as there is no single aim, as in the war.' Nothing changes.
Well I managed to sit through the first twenty minutes of 'The Battle of Basra' before switching off. How the BBC were ever condemned for being pro-Iraq is a mystery to me. As usual, the impotence of the reporting was astonishing. Jane Corbin sat there dreamy-eyed and wondrous while Major Duncan McSporran regaled her with fairy tales from the Arabian Nights. Surely with a name like Duncan McSporran she should at least have been suspicious that the whole thing had been set up by Chris Morris? Sadly, she fell for it hook, line and stinker. Of COURSE it was the retreating Iraqi army who'd tampered with the water supply in Basra. Unquestionable. So where was the other side of the story? Why didn┐t she question him about the fact that it was American and British bombs which destroyed the power supply to the pumping stations on the 21st of March? Just before the water supply had been cut-off, the US/UK troops in Basra had been met, not with open arms and rejoicing as expected, but hard cold stares and defiant chants. Infuriated, the Americans and British began to bomb the city. Even the Red Cross and a Norwegian Christian aid group working on the scene commented that the inhabitants of the city were being punished for not rising up. Although the lack of water and sanitation brought Basra to its knees within a few days, the British army continued to withhold or delay vital food and water supplies for weeks. Why, for example, didn't Jane ask McSporran why the British army had shelled the food warehouses on 28th March, destroying 76,000 tons of food? We currently have a Prime Minister who may one day be indicted for war crimes. The situation in Basra is certainly criminal in terms of what the British troops have put the people through in the last few weeks, and you had the chance to seriously investigate their misdemeanours.
So this is how the BBC spends our licence fees, producing crass propaganda worthy of Pravda under Brezhnev or today's Daily Telegraph. No doubt many viewers will believe long-suffering Iraqis have welcomed US and UK troops with open arms and forgiven their masters for 12 years of sanctions and a further 10 years of support for the Baathist regime before US Ambassador Glespie gave the Iraqi leadership the green light to occupy Kuwait. I am frankly sickened. The fact is a deliberate policy of destabilisation paved the way for this invasion. After investing hundreds of billions of dollars in two Gulf Wars, patrolling the illegal no-fly zone and enforcing sanction, are we expected to believe the occupying powers will hand over control of the world's cheapest oil to a democratic Iraq? My bet's on Chalabi assuming power after two years of US administration.
This was a superb programme, fulfilling a much-needed requirement. So often, we only see the headline-grabbing dramatic events, but this documentary gave a fascinating and, I think, well-balanced insight into the difficulties faced by the civilians and troops. The generally positive attitude and constructive interaction between the British army and the inhabitants of Basra was encouraging. On the evidence presented, we can be proud of the bravery, skill and humanity of the British military personnel. The stoicism of the Iraqi civilians came across clearly, and made a strong impression. Inevitably, there's a risk that politicians will lose interest, but programmes like this should help to reduce that risk. I hope the programme is seen by a wider audience outside the UK.
Well done to Jane Corbin for being in Basra - a pity she had so little to offer despite a golden opportunity to re-assure relatives of those who carefully fought their way into the city as to what British troops, among others, were doing. She was either denied access to see the full picture - given her approach and the little she put across, I could see little value in enabling her to do more - or she was not researching her topic in a manner up to Panorama standards. A disgraceful waste of a programme.
I have always respected panorama for their fairness ,but tonight┐s show was all propaganda that show should only be aired in military quarters to boost moral.
In response to Faye Hall, the reason the programme featured British soldiers was because there are no American troops in Basra.
Very well reported programme by Jane Corbin ...but such a disappointment that she had to end in a "down", not much of a comfort for the relatives of troops still serving there (myself included). I am saddened that the BBC has seemingly been incapable of putting on any programme connected to this war that has given out good and encouraging news of our very brave and courageous soldiers.
I was surprised to see the apparent unwillingness of the Iraqis to help themselves. There was plenty of standing about and shouting of "We want this and we want that." but you didn't see people showing up and saying that they could help to restart the water or power systems or clear the rubble. If there was the same amount of energy put into positive action as grumbling and moaning they might find their situation improving at a better rate.
Good programme and unbiased account from the people of Iraq. The family member summed it up that the regime is now gone, the most important thing next to his loss. It will be wise to remember how the opinions of the Iraqis in this programme show up the sensationalism of the press over the Iraq War reporting (not TV).
I thought that the information you presented was very slanted towards the British soldiers - no mention was given to the Americans who have fought and died or are still there maintaining the peace and trying to help the people rebuild. It sounded as though the British soldiers were the only ones there fighting the war. While you obviously did your research, I believe you did not present the picture objectively. This is a tragic war and should be reported honestly without bias.
Jane Corbin's report tonight on the battle for Basra showed us the true cost of the war on the people of Iraq, Basra in particular. On the whole the people of Basra were pleased and relieved to have been liberated from Saddam Hussein's regime. There was anger as well from some of the population from the consequences of the attacks on Basra. One family who had lost ten family members in one attack by the coalition forces had a very sad story to tell, which I am sure touched many viewers. The youngest victim was an eight year old girl, which I thought was very sad. There clearly is a lot of work left to be done on restoring relations and trust in Basra, which I think is going to take along time to do. I am not convinced that the aftermath of the attacks and Saddam Hussein's regime were thought about by America and Britain before the war.
Battle for Basra was undoubtedly the most powerful documentary I have ever seen. It is a striking example of the impartiality of the BBC and a credit to the corporation.
Jane Corbin ended the show by saying the British army came to "liberate" the Iraqi people. She knows this is not true. The British army, following the US forces, invaded Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein of WMD. That's what US/UK politicians were claiming before the invasion. Why does Panorama distort history?
Seemed like Government propaganda to me - like most of BBC programmes, as compared with Channel 4.
I hope that John Major and George Bush Senior were watching this program - the legacy of their betrayal of Basra and the Iraqis in 1991 is coming back to haunt us. Let's hope that Blair and Bush don't walk away too soon. Ignore the George Galloway┐s of this world, we will have to stay until the Iraqi Police and Army are rebuilt. Iraq may need far more support from the UK and the US than Blair and Bush imagined if the military victory is not to be squandered.
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