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01-11-2020, 23:14   #1
Mick Tator
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Robert Fisk - RIP

Encyclopaedic knowledge of the Middle East, upright journalist, a gentleman who will be missed. RIP
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02-11-2020, 00:41   #2
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Sorry to hear this. I have enjoyed listening to many an interview with him. Such knowledge and understanding of middle east affairs.
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02-11-2020, 08:43   #3
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RIP.
His historical account of Ireland during the emergency, "In time of War", is highly recommended
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02-11-2020, 14:12   #4
tabbey
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A great man, we might never see his like again.
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02-11-2020, 14:13   #5
Mick Tator
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RIP.
His historical account of Ireland during the emergency, "In time of War", is highly recommended

Agreed: that was his Ph.D. topic. He had a formidable memory and his knowledge extended far beyond the Middle East. A debate with him could be stopped in its tracks (in the nicest and politest of ways) by his ability to link very diverse and arcane factors into his argument and leave one dumbfounded. He never took news at face value and always questioned its source and more importantly its back-story. That’s what made him such a great journalist.
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01-12-2020, 14:34   #6
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A great man and I have some of his work, but my respect for him palled after I read an interview he did with one of the Beirut warlords, with serious blood on his hands, where he basically kissed ass for a few thousand words. Not one of his finest moments.
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02-12-2020, 23:54   #7
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A great man and I have some of his work, but my respect for him palled after I read an interview he did with one of the Beirut warlords, with serious blood on his hands, where he basically kissed ass for a few thousand words. Not one of his finest moments.
What exactly are you talking about? Do you have a link? Have you any idea of Fisk's stance on the Lebanon?
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03-12-2020, 15:40   #8
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Well I was a bit surprised too, but have a look at this
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03-12-2020, 16:11   #9
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I guess this shows that there are always two sides to any debate. However I always found him to be knowledgeable and truthful.
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03-12-2020, 19:52   #10
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Ah flip! Why isn't this stuff made public before the subject dies? Still, even on this story there might be 'two sides'. I don't know what to believe any more.
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04-12-2020, 09:39   #11
Mick Tator
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Well I was a bit surprised too, but have a look at this
The first part of that article sets the scene – manipulate a target and throw stuff at it. However, contrary to what is asserted Bob Fisk never claimed to speak fluent Arabic (actually he had more than enough to get by). It then excoriates him for using a translator. He never denied that. Every serious foreign correspondent uses local contacts as guides, translators, drivers, fixers. They arrange meetings, advise on security and their skills help understand the nuances. So the opening attack, to diminish perception of him, is against things he never claimed or hid.

The first thing to do with any report, article or research is investigate. WHO paid for it, WHAT do they want to achieve and WHY do they want it. The source you linked (‘The Critic’) is a relatively new magazine. I’m always suspicious of a publication that is less than open about who is behind it – Critic has a very bare ‘about us’ tab on its site. Where its up-front money/backers came from also is unclear. But…. David Goodhart founder of Prospect magazine supports and describes it as being "a magazine of……… conservatively-inclined thinking". Note that Goodhart is a strong advocate of reducing immigration to the UK. He also chairs ‘Policy Exchange’, a right-wing think-tank described by The Daily Telegraph’ as "the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right". You do know the Telegraph’s backers, political colours and stance?

So who is/are your link Critic’s editors? No.1 is Christopher Montgomery, who until joining was one of the European Research Group’s (ERG) inner circle. You do know that these people include Jacob Rees-Mogg and other right-wing fundamentalists, imperialists and Brexiteers? Montgomery once was chief of staff at Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. You do know what Fisk has written about the DUP? Montgomery’s fellow editor, Michael Mosbacher, was one of the founders of the right-wing magazine Standpoint and still is behind CapX, another rabid right-wing jingoistic periodical (whose backers also are unclear).

Do you really expect people like them to admire a journalist like Fisk who called out ignorant decisions by right-wingers– to name just a few - Putin, Bush (and his pawn Blair), Cameron, Johnson, Trump, and French, British, Israeli and American defence industries? His refusal to ‘tone down’ an article on the US was the main reason why he left the Times.

Many people were ‘out to get’ Fisk – Israel because of his stance on what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians; the US because he was highly critical of their ignorance, ineptitude and tactics such as high-level bombing by B-52’s in Afghanistan. So too were some journalists who were resentful of his output, contacts and scoops. He had several jealous enemies. It is significant that some have waited until his death to come out of the woodwork.
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04-12-2020, 10:36   #12
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Originally Posted by Mick Tator View Post
The first part of that article sets the scene – manipulate a target and throw stuff at it. However, contrary to what is asserted Bob Fisk never claimed to speak fluent Arabic (actually he had more than enough to get by). It then excoriates him for using a translator. He never denied that. Every serious foreign correspondent uses local contacts as guides, translators, drivers, fixers. They arrange meetings, advise on security and their skills help understand the nuances. So the opening attack, to diminish perception of him, is against things he never claimed or hid.

The first thing to do with any report, article or research is investigate. WHO paid for it, WHAT do they want to achieve and WHY do they want it. The source you linked (‘The Critic’) is a relatively new magazine. I’m always suspicious of a publication that is less than open about who is behind it – Critic has a very bare ‘about us’ tab on its site. Where its up-front money/backers came from also is unclear. But…. David Goodhart founder of Prospect magazine supports and describes it as being "a magazine of……… conservatively-inclined thinking". Note that Goodhart is a strong advocate of reducing immigration to the UK. He also chairs ‘Policy Exchange’, a right-wing think-tank described by The Daily Telegraph’ as "the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right". You do know the Telegraph’s backers, political colours and stance?

So who is/are your link Critic’s editors? No.1 is Christopher Montgomery, who until joining was one of the European Research Group’s (ERG) inner circle. You do know that these people include Jacob Rees-Mogg and other right-wing fundamentalists, imperialists and Brexiteers? Montgomery once was chief of staff at Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. You do know what Fisk has written about the DUP? Montgomery’s fellow editor, Michael Mosbacher, was one of the founders of the right-wing magazine Standpoint and still is behind CapX, another rabid right-wing jingoistic periodical (whose backers also are unclear).

Do you really expect people like them to admire a journalist like Fisk who called out ignorant decisions by right-wingers– to name just a few - Putin, Bush (and his pawn Blair), Cameron, Johnson, Trump, and French, British, Israeli and American defence industries? His refusal to ‘tone down’ an article on the US was the main reason why he left the Times.

Many people were ‘out to get’ Fisk – Israel because of his stance on what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians; the US because he was highly critical of their ignorance, ineptitude and tactics such as high-level bombing by B-52’s in Afghanistan. So too were some journalists who were resentful of his output, contacts and scoops. He had several jealous enemies. It is significant that some have waited until his death to come out of the woodwork.
A lot of good research there. Thank you.

However it doesn't adresss any of the points in the article. Just because some of the people involved have views you don't agree with doesn't make the article wrong.
And I saw the link in a tweet (approving) from Marina Hyde, a Guardian columnist.
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05-12-2020, 23:10   #13
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A lot of good research there. Thank you.

However it doesn't adresss any of the points in the article. Just because some of the people involved have views you don't agree with doesn't make the article wrong.
And I saw the link in a tweet (approving) from Marina Hyde, a Guardian columnist.

No, it doesn't address several of the points because they are not worth commenting on. I suggest that you buy 'The Great War for Civilisation' - don't bother taking it out from the library, crammed with data & footnotes. a heavy read in more ways than one, it will take too long to read. It's about 1300 pages and another 150 or so of bibliography, notes, and index. The guy was no bullshixxer. After the first few chapters you will see my point.
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23-12-2020, 01:31   #14
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I had respect for Fisk as a good writer and a crusader against outside agencies making things worse in the countries about which he wrote. Unfortunately this was somewhat marred by his consistency in identifying the same entities as the culprits (e.g. the USA, Britain) to the point that it became almost unnecessary to read his articles because you knew at whose door the blame would be laid, and to the point that you would wonder when, if ever, Fisk would assign the responsibility for actions with the people who actually committed them.
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24-12-2020, 17:09   #15
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well, he wasn't shy about blaming Israel for the Sabra and Chatila massacres. Even israeli journalists who hated Fisk had to acknowledge that he was proved right.
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