5 APRIL 2003, Page 32

The craven BBC

From Captain Jonathan Tokeley Sir: Three cheers for Mike Dewar (A breathtaking achievement', 29 March) and Mark Steyn (War is purgatory', 29 March)! Yes, the BBC coverage has been craven and despicable. The problem seems to be that we fight a major campaign only once a decade, and the military ignorance and arrogance of the assorted reporters and pundits — and the egg that ends up on their faces — is forgotten by the next generation of ambitious sneering hopefuls.

Not once have I heard the BBC pay any compliment, however offhand, to the magnificence of what our troops are achieving. Our military gains are immense, our casualties and their civilian casualties are extraordinarily light, and yet there is only the endless whingeing about irrelevancies. Is this loss of nerve, or just ambition?

And nobody seems to have grasped that our sense of the sanctity of life is not shared by Saddam's regime (or by the Middle East generally). Life is cheap there, and Saddam is quite prepared to slaughter his own people for propaganda purposes, knowing that our 'useful idiots' are always on hand to lap it up.

Jonathan Tokeley (Capt retd Devon and Dorset Regiment) Via email