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Commentary :: War and Militarism
A blogger's criticism of Robert Fisk
23 Jul 2007
Robert Fisk is one of the greatest reporters of all time. He has written some of the most insightful, biting criticisms about U.S./Israeli/British foreign policy and provided readers, in vivid detail, a vision of of the plight of people living in war torn areas of the Middle East. I have nothing but sincere gratitude to him for putting his life on the line to give us these excellent stories. But, having said this, I think he is doing a disservice to his readers by claiming his contempt for the Internet and also by his refusal to look critically into the events of 9/11.
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Robert Fisk is one of the greatest reporters of all time. He has written some of the most insightful, biting criticisms about U.S./Israeli/British foreign policy and provided readers, in vivid detail, a vision of of the plight of people living in war torn areas of the Middle East. I have nothing but sincere gratitude to him for putting his life on the line to give us these excellent stories. But, having said this, I think he is doing a disservice to his readers by claiming his contempt for the Internet and also by his refusal to look critically into the events of 9/11.

As far as Fisk's distain for the Internet, here is what he had to say about it in his latest article published in The Independent:

Robert Fisk: No wonder the bloggers are winning:

I despise the Internet. It's irresponsible and, often, a net of hate. And I don't have time for Blogopops. But here's a tale of two gutless newspapers which explains why more and more people are Googling rather than turning pages.

news.independent.co.uk/fisk/article2788619.ece

With such a broad, sweeping dismissal of the vast expanse of scientific research, political articles, commentaries, and important videos that one would never see on prime time news, calling the Internet "irresponsible" is the epitome of irresponsibility itself.

And, as far as his comment that the Internet is a "net of hate". Yes, we know that the Internet will connect people to hate-spewing Nazi propaganda web sites, as well as Zionist ones, but the internet doesn't even come close to being a organ for hate -- with its captive audience to millions -- as traditional media.

For example, Fisk should spend some time watching Glenn Beck as he gives his nightly "two minute hate" speeches on CNN. For those who don't know Beck. His job is to tell Americans how much Muslims hate us and are itching to drop a nuclear bomb on one of our cities. This vile speech often runs simultaneously with a visual of a nuclear bomb going off in the background.

Sometimes the scenarios on Beck's program don't always culminate in a mushroom cloud but are more mundane, though horrifying just the same. For instance, just the previous night Beck had on his program fiction writer and DHS terrorist-scenario creator, Brad Thor, telling American parents that their kids are in jeopardy from a Beslan-like school hostage crisis from depraved, fanatical Muslims. (So much for the notion of corporate responsibility -- this raving lunatic is given a soapbox to voice his hate courtesy of the Time Warner company who are owners of CNN).

And, if you don't get your hate from that bastion of liberalism, CNN, you could always go to Fox New's Bill O'Reilly who hates everything liberal, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough who ran one of the most vicious campaigns to get Rosie O'Donnell fired from The View -- right at a time that she was educating people about 9/11.

Broadcast news and radio oozes hate and fear to millions daily, but, just because it is corporate-sponsored does that make it any less reprehensible than what one can read on the Internet?

Granted, these organs are not Fisk's beloved print media but the print media was just as instrumental in selling the Iraq war to the American people as broadcast media. After all, who can forget Judith Miller's role in marketing the Iraq War to the American people under the aegis of the New York Times.

And, Miller's case was not an isolated one as biased, pro-government stories like the ones she filed were a constant in the months leading up to the war and after. Newspapers from around the country almost unfailingly goose-stepped along with the administration's versions of reality word-for-word, neglecting to do their perceived jobs as acting as watchdogs for the citizenry of this country by holding public officials accountable; and, that is the main point, print media is perceived to be unbiased, but it is not. It is highly controlled and manipulated by corporate and political interests.

All Americans should know about Operation Mockingbird. Here's a description of the program as reveal through details of the Church Committee of 1976:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

One can only imagine the control the CIA has over the media today when our administration has overtly given them carte blanche to disseminate propaganda favorable to the war effort. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Relations gives us some idea of how persuasive these programs are today (see:
http://oversight.house.gov/investigations.asp?ID=150

Let's face it, people are leaving print and cable news for the Internet because they are tired of being lied to -- incessantly. They have been lied to on such issues as food safety and election fraud to the rationales for the Iraq War and 9/11.

And, speaking of 9/11, this brings me to my second criticism about Fisk. I spoke with him after a event last year in which he was speaking about his latest book, "The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East." I asked him if he would look critically and skeptically into the events of 9/11. I felt that this was important to mention as Fisk's central thesis in his talks and books is that 9/11 was blowback in response to the aggression by imperialistic forces in the Middle East. I suggested to him that if he was going to make such assertions then it is incumbent for him to find out if this was indeed true as there is a body of evidence that indicates that 9/11 was an inside job.

Fisk told me that he does not have time to look into it as he is too busy reporting on events on the ground in the Middle East. I found this odd to say the least. If the central theme of Fisk's beliefs might be based on a lie, and he is promoting that lie to millions, then isn't it his responsibility to look into the veracity of that claim? After all, Fisk is quoted as saying that journalism must "challenge authority — all authority — especially so when governments and politicians take us to war" -- Miles, Oliver (2005-11-19). The big picture. Guardian Unlimited.

If Fisk is going to challenge authority, he must also challenge authorities' claims. After all, the administration uses 9/11 as the rationale for all their crimes -- preemptive war, torture, destroying the Bill of Rights. Since Fisk truly cares about the people of the Middle East, it's incumbent that he spend some time on the issue.
See also:
http://redpill8.blogspot.com
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