Monday, April 21, 2008


Robert Fisk has always had a lot to say on the Middle East, and deservedly so. In London last week he commented that if modern reporters would read and consider history books in their reporting they would know that Churchill spoke about a "wealthy, crowded Jewish state, armed to the teeth" as early as 1937. The Guardian, which reported this story, produced Rachel Cook's candid interview with him in Beirut the next day. A month ago, Fisk pronounced that after five years in Iraq and we still haven't learnt our lesson. More recently, after an engagement in Ottawa where he stated that the audience was at liberty to condemn Israel and America, he has shifted his focus slightly, to Bush. He has come to the conclusion that Semantics can't mask Bush's chicanery. I personally think that chicanery is too strong a word for Bush as it implies a certain craftiness, which Bush, but not his close circle, lacks. Nevertheless, Fisk clears up the vagueness surrounding the actual casualties and deaths in the war and what has (not) actually been accomplished. His analysis and comments, such as the prevalence of "re" in Bush-speak, nicely complements other elucidations made on the occasion of the war's fifth anniversary (see Barackidiness2; for Iraq in general. Middle East Mess, Duped and Iraq Bits; for Bush's qualifications, Can the English Language Survive George Bush? and his phonetic teleprompter). Although I agree with and enjoy most of his pointed remarks, Fisk always provides enough fact and sentiment to tone down the offensive ones.

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