RIP Robert Fisk

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Robert Fisk, veteran UK journalist, dies aged 74

The Irish Times reported that Fisk was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin after falling ill at his home on Friday, and died shortly afterwards.

Fisk won numerous awards for his coverage of the Middle East, where he reported from the 1970s, but he also created controversy for his sharp criticism of the US and Israel and of Western foreign policy.

Covering wars in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa for UK newspapers over five decades, the New York Times described him as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain” in 2005.

Born in Maidstone, Kent in 1946, he later took Irish citizenship and had a home in Dalkey outside the capital Dublin.

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Irish President Michael D Higgins expressed his “great sadness” about Fisk’s death on Sunday.

“With his passing the world of journalism and informed commentary on the Middle East has lost one of its finest commentators,” he said in a statement.

Robert Fisk was fearless in a time of cowardice. His reporting from the Middle East brought the Wests bloodthirsty foreign policy into the homes of millions.

He refused to be censored by Murdoch and always pointed out the injustice of the Palestinian occupation.

The Great War for Civilisation – The Conquest of the Middle East is one of the greatest books ever written that explores the immorality of America’s foreign policy platform.

He refused to write from an office, he was always at the front of the conflict sending reports back.

We won’t see another journalist with his courage or intelligence for a long time.

Personally, Fisk was one of the most influential journalists of my life.

His passing is a terrible tragedy for journalism and for our understanding of how damaged our planet has become because of American foreign policy.

28 COMMENTS

  1. “The Great War for Civilisation – The Conquest of the Middle East”, was a book that changed the way i looked at the Middle East. The planet has lost an extraordinary truth teller.

    • Absolutely! He deepened my understanding of the world improved my understanding of History and gave me a clear perspective on modern military strategies that has civilians as the main causalities of war . So that when Wikileaks released the infamous video that landed Assange in deep shit I knew the truth of who rules our globe was finally out there for all to see.

  2. Jonathan Cook tribute to Robert Fisk on twitter:
    Robert Fisk has died. He was not only courageous, informed and insightful, but one of the very rare journalists in the western corporate media to carve out for himself enough freedom to present an honest picture of the Middle East.
    Twitter Link

  3. Such a fine man! In spite of all the horrors he witnessed, Robert Fisk never lost his humanity.

    “War is not primarily about victory or defeat but about death and the infliction of death. It represents the total failure of the human spirit. ”

    Robert Fisk in preface to The Great War for Civilisation

  4. We may never see his like again. Robert Fisk had such mana that the mainstream was never able to sideline him like they have done with Pilger and others – and while there are a handful of young journalists following in his footsteps they may never achieve the profile and respect which made his reports impossible to ignore.

  5. Vale Robert. Your inspiration will live on in others who may well also suffer the pain of being truthful.

    I notice that the Western MSM is keeping this very low key or without mention. Sad bastards.

    • John W: “I notice that the Western MSM is keeping this very low key or without mention. Sad bastards.”

      Ha! yes indeed. A family member has observed that many obituaries of him boiled down to “I liked him until he sided with Assad”.

      No recognition, of course, of the fact that he was right to do so.

  6. Zeina Karam on Stuff

    After the September 11, 2011 attacks and the subsequent US invasion of Iraq, he travelled to the Pakistan-Afghan border, where he was attacked by a group of Afghan refugees.

    He later wrote about the incident from the refugees’ perspective, describing his beating by refugees as a “symbol of the hatred and fury of this filthy war.”

    “I realised – there were all the Afghan men and boys who had attacked me who should never have done so but whose brutality was entirely the product of others, of us – of we who had armed their struggle against the Russians and ignored their pain and laughed at their civil war,” he wrote.

  7. from 2003, Baghdad: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/robert-fisk-iraq-2003-baghdad-missile-b1533394.html
    “Of course, the pilot who killed the innocent yesterday could not see his victims. Pilots fire through computer-aligned co-ordinates, and the sandstorm would have hidden the street from his vision. But when one of Malek Hammoud’s friends asked me how the Americans could so blithely kill those they claimed to want to liberate, he didn’t want to learn about the science of avionics or weapons delivery systems.”
    Fisk maintained a reputation for accuracy. Let us not forget the far reaching implications of allowing the world to be run on artificial intelligence, which is being shown to be intrinsically flawed.
    R.i.P. Mr Fisk

  8. Robert Fisk: antisemite par excellence. He gave us the term “to fisk” i.e. the art of easily dismantling an argument, since his attacks on Israel were always so easily refuted.

    • Seriously??? You are an utter twat Gaby. Fisk DID expose Israel’s war crimes( too many to list) stiff shit if one eyed ignoramuses like you can’t handle that! He was certainly PRO Palestine. And here’s a heads up Palestinians are Semites. Israel can be and will be criticized for it’s appalling treatment of Palestinians. It takes courage to expose fascism ,Fisk had that in spades. So why don’t you FUCK OFF!?

      • Ditto, oh blind one. Clearly, you are too ignorant to even know the definition of antisemitism. It applies exclusively to jews. The germans invented the term. Surprise. Check a dictionary, ignoramus.

        • When people speak out about atrocities committed specifically by the Israeli Government, even when those people are themselves Jewish, you, Gaby, are the first around here to cry, “Antisemite!”

          Do you think this is a correct and fair use of that word?

    • Gaby: “…antisemite par excellence.”

      Fisk rightly criticised the Israeli government for its actions.

      Critique of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians isn’t anti-Semitism, you know.

      And it wouldn’t be anti-Semitism, even were it the case that Israel had always been, and still is, a model of rectitude and non-violent, turn-the-other-cheekness, and any criticism on that score was unjustified.

      The state of Israel was established very soon after I was born. There was absolutely nothing of honour or moral rectitude in its founding. Read up on the actions of the Stern Gang, if you’re in any doubt about this.

      But the western political elites – in the grip of massive guilt over the extent of the Holocaust – chose to turn a blind eye to the violence and terrorism.

      Instead those elites systematically propagandised westerners about Israel, the intention being that we would either overlook the realities, or feel that the end justified the means.

      The west chose at the time to ignore Palestinian objections, and has continued to do so.

      But the Palestinians at the time pointed out that they hadn’t in any way been responsible for the Holocaust, so why were they being forced to pay the price for it? Why indeed. It’s still a legitimate question.

  9. ” His passing is a terrible tragedy for journalism and for our understanding of how damaged our planet has become because of American foreign policy ”
    Yes Bomber well said.
    Rest in peace Robert and thankyou for your courage

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