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Establishment Journalists Are Piling on to Smear Robert Fisk Now He Cannot Answer Back
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Robert Fisk, 2010. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Mohamed Nanabhay. CC BY 2.0.

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Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous smears imaginable. He is suddenly a fraud, a fabulist, a fantasist, a liar.

What is most ironic is that the journalists doing this are some of the biggest frauds themselves, journalists who have made a career out of deceiving their readers. In fact, many of the crowd attacking Fisk when he can no longer defend himself are precisely the journalists who have the worst record of journalistic malpractice and on some of the biggest issues of our times.

At least I have the courage to criticise them while they are alive. They know dead men can’t sue. It is complete and utter cowardice to attack Fisk when they could have made their comments earlier, to his face. In fact, if they truly believed any of the things they are so keen to tell us now, they had an absolute duty to say them when Fisk was alive rather than allowing the public to be deceived by someone they regarded as a liar and fantasist. They didn’t make public these serious allegations – they didn’t air their concerns about the supposedly fabricated facts in Fisk’s stories – when he was alive because they know he would have made mincemeat of them.

Most preposterous of all is the fact that the actual trigger for this sudden, very belated outpouring of concern about Fisk is a hit-piece written by Oz Katerji. I’m not sure whether I can find the generosity to call Katerji a journalist. Like Elliot Higgins of the US government-funded Bellingcat, he’s more like an attack dog beloved by establishment blue-ticks: he is there to enforce accepted western imperial narratives, disguising his lock-step support for the establishment line as edgy, power-to-the-people radicalism.

Anyone who challenges Katerji’s establishment-serving agenda gets called names – sometimes very rude ones. Fisk is just the latest target of a Katerji hatchet job against any journalist (myself, of course, included) who dares to step outside of the Overton Window. That these “serious” journalists think they can hang their defamation of Fisk on to anything said by Katerji, most especially the thin gruel he produces in his latest article, is truly shameful. If their concerns really relate to journalistic integrity and reliability, Katerji would be the very last person to cite.

Katerji’s prime area of western narrative enforcement is the Middle East – perhaps not surprisingly, as it is the place where there is an awful lot of oil that western states and corporations are desperate to control. But one should not ignore his wide-ranging efforts to boot-lick wherever he is needed on behalf of western establishment narratives.

Here he is desperately trying to breathe life into two fairytales: that the election of the leftwing Evo Morales as Bolivia’s president was fraudulent, and that Morales was forced to resign last year rather than that he was ousted in a CIA-backed military coup. Notably, Katerji was clinging to these discredited story lines as late as last month, long after even the liberal corporate media had abandoned them as no longer tenable.

Katerji was also, of course, an enthusiastic recruit to evidence-free establishment smears that Labour was overrun with antisemitism under the leadership of the leftwing Jeremy Corbyn, the very same anecdotal claims promoted by the entire corporate media.

Not only that, but he even had the gall to argue that he was speaking on behalf of Palestinians in smearing Corbyn, the only leader of a major European party ever to champion their cause. Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer, like most other politicians in the wake of the Corbyn episode, has all but disappeared the Palestinians from the political agenda. Katerji must be delighted – on behalf of Palestinians, of course.

But Katerji’s beef with Fisk derives chiefly from the fact that the Independent’s foreign correspondent broke ranks with the rest of the western press corps over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Katerji is part of what – if we were being more brutally honest about these things – would be called the west’s al-Qaeda lobby. These are a motley crew of journalists and academics using their self-publicised “Arabhood” to justify the intimidation and silencing of anyone not entirely convinced that ordinary Syrians might prefer, however reluctantly, their standard-issue dictator, Bashar al-Assad, over the head-chopping, women-stoning, Saudi-financed jihadists of Islamic State and al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria; or who question whether the western powers ought to be covertly funding and backing these extremists.

Exercise any doubt at all on either of these points and Katerji will lose no time in calling you an “Assadist”, “war crimes denier”, “antisemite”, “9/11 truther” and worse. Then in yet more evidence of a circle jerk, those establishment blue ticks, even ones beloved by much of the left, will cite his smears as proof that you are indeed an Assadist, war crimes denier, and so on.

Here are just a few examples of Katerji engaging with those critical of the imperial western narrative on Syria, so you get the idea:

ORDER IT NOW

Back in 2011 and 2012, in what looked like the possible eruption of an Arab Spring in Syria, the arguments of Katerji and co at least had an air of plausibility. But their real agenda – one that accorded with western imperialism rather than an Arab awakening – became much clearer once local protests against Assad were subsumed by an influx of jihadi fighters of the very kind that had been labelled “terrorists” by the western media everywhere else they appeared in the Middle East.

Inevitably, anyone like Fisk who adopted a position of caution or scepticism about whether the majority of Syrians actually wanted a return to some kind of Islamic Dark Age incurred the wrath of Katerji and his cohorts.

But Fisk infuriated these western al-Nusra lobbyists even further when he visited the town of Douma in 2018 and raised serious questions about claims made by the jihadists who had been ruling the town that, just before Assad’s forces drove them out, the Syrian military had bombed it with chemical gas, killing many civilians. The story, which at that stage was based exclusively on the claims of these head-chopping jihadists, was instantly reported as verified fact by the credulous western media.

Based solely on claims made by the al-Qaeda franchise in Douma, President Donald Trump hurriedly fired off missiles at Syria, in flagrant violation of international law and to cheers from the western media.

Fisk, of course, knew that in discrediting the evidence-free narrative being promoted by the western press corps (who had never been in Douma) he was doing himself no favours at all. They would resent him all the more. Most of his peers preferred to ignore his revelations, even though they were earth-shattering in their implications. But once the official watchdog body the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) issued its report into Douma many months later, implicitly backing the jihadists’ version of events, Fisk’s earlier coverage was snidely dismissed by fellow journalists.

Sadly for them, however, the story did not end there. Following publication of the OPCW’s Douma report, a number of its senior experts started coming forward as whistleblowers to say that, under pressure from the US, the OPCW bureaucracy tampered with their research and misrepresented their findings in the final report. The evidence they had found indicated that Assad had not carried out a chemical attack in Douma. More likely the jihadists, who were about to be expelled by Assad’s forces, had staged the scene to make it look like a chemical attack and draw the US deeper into Syria.

Of course, just as the corporate media ignored Fisk’s original reporting from Douma that would have made their own accounts sound like journalistic malpractice, they resolutely ignored the whistleblowers too. You can scour the corporate media and you will be lucky to find even an allusion to the months-long row over the OPCW report, which gained enough real-world prominence to erupt into a major row at the United Nations, including denunciations of the OPCW’s behaviour from the organisation’s former head, Jose Bustani.

This is the way frauds like Katerji are able to ply their own misinformation. They sound credible only because the counter-evidence that would show they are writing nonsense is entirely absent from the mainstream. Only those active on social media and open-minded enough to listen to voices not employed by a major corporate platform (with, in this case, the notable exception of Peter Hitchens of the Daily Mail) are able to find any of this counter-information. It is as if we are living in parallel universes.

The reason why Fisk was so cherished by readers, and why there was a real sense of loss when he died a month ago, was that he was one of the very few journalists who belonged to the mainstream but reported as though he were not beholden to the agenda of his corporate platform.

There were specific reasons for that. Like a handful of others – John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Chris Hedges among them – Fisk made his name in the corporate media at a time when it reluctantly indulged the odd maverick foreign correspondent because they had a habit of exposing war crimes everyone else missed, exclusives that then garnered their publications prestigious journalism awards. Ownership of the media was then far less concentrated, so there was a greater commercial incentive for risk-taking and breaking stories. And these journalists emerged in a period when power was briefly more contested, with the labour movement trying to assert its muscle in the post-war decades, and before western societies were forced by the corporate elite to submit to neoliberal orthodoxy on all matters.

Notably, Pilger, Hersh and Hedges all found themselves struggling to keep a place in the corporate media. Fisk alone managed to cling on. That was more by luck. After being forced out of Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper for breaking a disturbing story in 1989 on the US shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane, he found a new home at Britain’s Independent newspaper, which had been recently founded. As a late-comer to the British media scene, the paper struggled not only to make money but to create a distinctive identity or gain any real visibility. Fisk survived, it seems, because he quickly established himself as one of the very few reasons to buy the paper. He was a rare example of a journalist who was bigger than the outlet he served.

Readers trusted him because he not only refused to submit to his peers’ herd-think but endlessly called them out as journalistically and intellectually lazy.

Those now trying to tarnish his good name are actually inverting the truth. They want to suggest that support for Fisk was cultish and he was hero-worshipped by those incapable of thinking critically. They will say as much about this piece. So let me point out that I am not without my own criticisms of Fisk. I wrote, for example, an article criticising some unsubstantiated claims he made during Israel’s massive bombardment of Lebanon in 2006.

ORDER IT NOW

But my criticism was precisely the opposite of the blue-tick crowd now traducing him. I questioned Fisk for striving to find an implausible middle ground with those establishment blue ticks (before we knew what blue ticks were) by hedging his bets about who was responsible for the destruction of Lebanon. It was a rare, if understandable, example of journalistic timidity from Fisk – a desire to maintain credibility with his peers, and a reluctance to follow through on where the evidence appeared to lead. Maybe this was a run-in with the pro-Israel crowd and the corporate journalists who echo them that, on this occasion, he did not think worth fighting.

The discomfort Fisk aroused in his peers was all too obvious to anyone working in the corporate media, even in its liberal outlets, as I was during the 1990s. I never heard a good word said about Fisk at the Guardian or the Observer. His death has allowed an outpouring of resentment towards him that built up over decades from journalists jealous of the fact that no readers will mourn or remember their own passing.

Fisk’s journalism spoke up for the downtrodden and spoke directly to the reader rather than, as with his colleagues, pandering to editors in the hope of career advancement. In the immediate wake of his death, his colleagues’ disdain for Fisk was veiled in weaselly language. As Media Lens have noted, the favourite term used to describe him in obituaries, even in his own newspaper, was “controversial”.

It turns out that the term ‘controversial’ is only applied in corporate media to political writers and leaders deemed ‘controversial’ by elite interests.

This was unwittingly made clear by the big brains at the BBC who noted that Fisk ‘drew controversy for his sharp criticism of the US and Israel, and of Western foreign policy’. If Fisk had drawn ‘controversy’ from China, Iran or North Korea, the ‘weasel word’ would not have appeared in the Beeb’s analysis…

In corporate media newspeak, ‘controversial’ can actually be translated as ‘offensive to power’. The term is intended as a scare word to warn readers that the labelled person is ‘dodgy’, ‘suspect’: ‘Handle with care!’ The journalist is also signalling to his or her editors and other colleagues: ‘I’m not one of “them”!’

The journalists who now claim Fisk was a fraud and fantasist are many of those who happily worked for papers that readily promoted the gravest lies imaginable to rationalise an illegal attack on Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent occupation. Those publications eagerly supported lies supplied by the US and British governments that Iraq had WMD and that its leader, Saddam Hussein, was colluding with al-Qaeda – claims that were easily disprovable at the time.

Journalists now attacking Fisk include ones, like the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot, who have been at the forefront of advancing the evidence-free antisemitism smears against Corbyn. Or, like the Guardian’s Hannah Jane Parkinson, have engaged in another favourite corporate journalist pastime, ridiculing the plight of Julian Assange, a fellow journalist who puts their craven stenography to shame and who is facing a lifetime in a US super-max jail for revealing US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even the Guardian’s Jason Burke, who claims to have experienced Fisk’s lying first-hand while working for the Observer newspaper in 2001 (as was I at that time), has been unable to come up with the goods when challenged, as the pitiable Twitter thread retweeted here confirms:

Noticeably, there is a pattern to the claims of those now maligning Fisk: they hurry to tell us that he was an inspiration in their student days. They presumably think that mentioning this will suggest their disillusionment was hard-earned and therefore make it sound more plausible. But actually it suggests something different.

It indicates instead that in their youthful idealism they aspired to become a journalist who would dig out the truth, who would monitor centres of power, who would comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. To do, in fact, exactly what Fisk did.

But once they got a footing on the corporate career ladder, they slowly learnt that they would need to adopt a more “nuanced” approach to journalism – certainly if they hoped to progress up that ladder, earning the right to their blue tick, and gaining a big enough salary to cover the mortgage in London or New York.

In other words, they became everything they despised in their student days. Fisk was the constant reminder of just how much they had sold out. His very existence shamed them for what they were too cowardly to do themselves. And now in death, when he cannot answer back, they are feasting on his corpse like the vultures that they are, until there is nothing left to remind us that, unlike them, Robert Fisk told uncomfortable truths to the very end.

UPDATE:

As a reader service, I will do my best to update you on the blue ticks, especially the Guardian’s, so keen to “just add their voice” in defaming Fisk. If you see any more, please send them my way via Facebook or Twitter.

Notice how confidently these journalists join the denunciations of their dead colleague, even though the biggest “adventure” most of them have ever experienced is an expense-account lunch at El Vino’s.

Marina Hyde, Guardian columnist:

Adam Parsons, Sky’s Europe correspondent:

Tim Shipman, political editor of the Sunday Times, formerly of the Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail and Express:

Oliver Kamm, columnist and leader writer for the Times, formerly a City banker:

Janine di Giovanni, former war correspondent-for-hire for New York Times, Guardian, The Times, who now works for various “security policy” think-tanks, the UK government’s “Stabilization Unit for Fragile States”, and the Council on Foreign Relations:

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Britain, Middle East, Syria 
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  1. Robert Fisk was a good man, and brave, and true.

    Perhaps the likes of Mr. Katerjiand his ilk will attract more accurate accounts of their lives than they accorded Mr. Fisk when they, too, are dead.

    A suitable fate inevitably awaits them in the afterlife.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @UncommonGround
  2. mirpaz says:

    Envy, nothing but envy as most of these so called jornalists are just incapable of writing anything like Fisk, Helen Thomas, I.F.Stone, Jon Roppoport, Seymour Hersh…
    The above mentioned journos criticizing Fisk are just zombifying the breathing space.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend, Polistra
  3. By no means did I read all of Fisk’s articles, but of the ones I did, I found almost all to be balanced. We all have prejudices, often unknown to ourselves, but Fisk seemed to have avoided that, for the most part. The irony of Katerji’s allegations of Fisk’s bias, is that I found Fisk to be mostly critical of Syria and the Assad’s, and somewhat critical of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Additionally, he was critical of Israel at a time when no one else was.
    The comment I most remember from his articles was in the 90s, when he noted the change in the Lebanese attitude to Israeli invasions, and gave Hezbollah credit. He noted that although incursions by Israel were almost daily, invasions used to mean people in South Lebanon getting in their cars and driving to Beirut. Now, it was people in Beirut getting in their cars driving to South Lebanon to fight the invasion. That is became evident in 2008, when Israel got its ass kicked.

    • Thanks: chris
  4. @Ultrafart the Brave

    Perhaps the likes of Mr. Katerjiand his ilk will attract more accurate accounts of their lives than they accorded Mr. Fisk when they, too, are dead.

    The difference is that for Fisk a true account makes him look like a great journalist, while the others mentioned in the article will look bad if you give a true account of their lives. They would be rather happy with a false account. They are anyway insignificant, irrelevant. Once I had a hard and long discussion with Oliver Kamm in the blog of the Guardian. I really didn’t get the best impression of him.

    By the way, it would be interesting to read one day a book about journalism by Cook.

  5. I always thought Fisk went on and on too much about how the CIA funded Afghans in 1981 and then suddenly wanted to bomb them in 2002. How was this interesting? Italy killed Germans in 1918 and then they were best buddies in 1941. Alliances shift. Circumstances change. And Fisk would mention this like he was making a hugely important point that only smart people like him were aware of, which was ridiculous, since everyone knew Reagan funded the Afghan resistance. Anyhow, what relevance did that have to the reality in 2002 — that the Afghans were thought to be sheltering Bin Laden?

  6. I just read Oz Katerji’s article about Fisk. The title, Fabricator and Fraudster, suggested a long article full of details, with a careful analysis of what Fisk wrote. No, this is not the case. It’s a tiny article with just a few disparate points with no context, no analysis, nothing. It’s only a few points that lead to a ready conclusion that existed for the author before he thought about the subject. He wanted the conclusion and sought some scattered points to suggest the conclusion, nothing more. It’s valueless, useless. Insofar I think that an article with this title, Fabricator and Fraudster, is a fraud.

  7. @Bragadocious

    What’s the benchmark for determing the appropriate amount of describing CIA terrorism?
    Imperialist sovereign Italian and German states pursuing their state interests isn’t really the same as an imperialist intelligence agency purportedly representing a democratic government creating and deploying a terrorist force to overthrow a foreign government, and then using the existence of that terrorist force as a justification to invade the country taken over by the terrorist organization. Which is what the CIA did in Afghanistan.
    Fisk’s point was actually the opposite of the phoney one you just made. The CIA maintained a close relationship with the jihadists kooks from early 1979 until 2001. The mujahadeen networks managed by the CIA were involved in the destruction of Yugoslavia and the installation of US proxies like the terrorist narco-trafficking KLA in Kosovo. So a relationship very much unlike the imaginary one you described. Great success!

  8. Fisk repeatedly denigrated the Syrian government and always made sure to mention the suffering of the progenitors of the Jewish Supremacist state. Apparently it just wasn’t a sufficiently supliant genuflection.
    There is no establishment “journalism” that accurately documents the events in the middle-east, because there is no establishment journalism that refers daily to the ongoing crimes against humanity that is US-Israeli policy. Every day the headline story should be the failure to arrest and prosecute all US and Israeli federal political leadership for these crimes.

    • Agree: Pat Kittle
    • Replies: @Tom Verso
  9. @Rufus Clyde

    deploying a terrorist force to overthrow a foreign government

    Is that what you call the Afghans resisting the Soviet invasion? A terrorist force? Just so we’re clear here.

    then using the existence of that terrorist force as a justification to invade the country taken over by the terrorist organization

    If Bin Laden had been holed up in Qatar or Saudi Arabia, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan, now would there.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  10. Nope. That’s what I call the group of fundamentalist terrorists organized, funded and supplied by the Anglo-US intelligence apparatus to destablize a country on the border of the Soviet Union. Which began long before the first Soviet units attacked the Amin government forces in December 1979.
    As to your last point, I don’t see why not. It is quite evident that the arrest of bin Laden was not the US motive for invading and occupying Afghanistan.
    “As the US mobilizes for covert war in Afghanistan (see 1978 and July 3, 1979), a CIA special envoy meets Afghan mujaheddin leaders at Peshawar, Pakistan, near the border to Afghanistan. All of them have been carefully selected by the Pakistani ISI and do not represent a broad spectrum of the resistance movement. One of them is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a drug dealer with little support in Afghanistan, but who is loyal to the ISI. The US will begin working with Hekmatyar and over the next 10 years over half of all US aid to the mujaheddin will go to his faction (see 1983). Hekmatyar is already known as brutal, corrupt, and incompetent. [MCCOY, 2003, PP. 475] His extreme ruthlessness, for instance, his reputation for skinning prisoners alive, is considered a plus, as it is thought he will use that ruthlessness to kill Russians.
    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=afghanwar_tmln
    Don’t ever stop not learning. It’s your destiny!

    • Agree: Simon in London, chris
    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  11. El Dato says:
    @Bragadocious

    “and then suddenly framed them for a bombing in 2002.”

    is a better reading.

    Something that is described by The Economist as “a just and necessary war” should raise suspicions about motives.

    The US never bombed Saudi-Arabia for being an active participant. Imagine that.

    Team blue “western ‘journalists’” are the last dreck. If you feed their carcasses to pigs, the pigs puke.

    • LOL: Rufus Clyde
  12. El Dato says:
    @Bragadocious

    Fisk’s CD is on Youtube.

    • Replies: @gotmituns
  13. Without knowing enough to judge…

    1. I was very favorably impressed by Fisk’s reportage.

    2. The orchestrated denunciations read like something out of Stalinist Russia.

    Ironically, I’m reminded of the situation with Trump. What’s alarming isn’t so much the subject — be it Fisk or Orange Man. It’s the behavior of the media as they cover that subject.

    Effectively, we now have a controlled press. Perhaps they’re all just controlling themselves — but the effect is the same. We no longer get the truth — or even a variety of opinions as to what the truth might be.

    We get told what we are to believe.

    • Replies: @Sirius
  14. @Rufus Clyde

    ‘…The CIA maintained a close relationship with the jihadists kooks from early 1979 until 2001. The mujahadeen networks…’

    I’ve deliberately omitted some of your more tenditious remarks. The above corresponds very closely to what I remember.

    In the wake of 9/11, the effect was something like moving a cabinet in a very dirty kitchen. There were all these bugs suddenly scurrying for cover. All these parties, who had been playing footsie with the jihadists for one purpose or another…they all needed to put some distance between themselves and that — fast.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  15. Here is the answer to the democrats and their phony establishment media SHILLS, wondering why President Trump won’t just admit Biden won, to wit, IT WOULD BE DISHONORABLE AND A GROSS LIE TO BOOT.. That’s the short answer.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  16. @Rufus Clyde

    It is quite evident that the arrest of bin Laden was not the US motive for invading and occupying Afghanistan

    Then what was? Spell it out for us, you expert.

    And if it was something much more nefarious, why did we wait until Dec. 2001 to invade, why not years earlier? There were plenty of opportunities.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  17. @Bragadocious

    What were some of the other “opportunities”?

    By which you mean excuses, right?

  18. anon[588] • Disclaimer says:

    Who is the pearl fish and who is the sea cucumber here? Its not clear but it seems Oz Katerji and Jane Parkinson trade places often when enveloped in the liquid Syrian gas .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6NIG3KkwLE Pearlfish’s Gross Hiding Spot… Inside a Sea Cucumber BBC

  19. I can’t imagine any field in which I could dream of matching the expertise you display in your emission of logical fallacies.

    US forces began operating in Afghanistan in September of 2001. Anglo-American operatives liaised with the criminal warlords of the Northern Alliance before the end of September. Combined arms operations by US and British aerial and naval forces were in full swing in the first week of October. US Special Operations airborne troops were in Afghanistan by the second week of October, and the Marines were operating in the country by the first week of November.

    Bin Laden denied involvement in the 9/11 operation, and the Taliban asked for US evidence that bin Laden was the culprit, offering to cooperate with the US.
    “Zaeef says the Taliban is willing to cooperate with the US in investigating the 9/11 attacks, stating, “We are ready for any help according to [Islamic] Sharia law.” But he stresses that if America has any evidence against bin Laden, it should provide it to the Taliban, which has sheltered him as a “guest.””
    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&other_al-qaeda_operatives=osamaBinLaden&startpos=100

    No such evidence was forthcoming from the US government, whose military forces are active to this day in Afghanistan, an occupation for which there is not, and never was, any legal basis.

    Considering that you’re constructing your comments in a total void of factual information, you’re doing a pretty bang-up job.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  20. @Colin Wright

    “tenditious”! Please, you’re killing me! I would argue that you don’t actually remember anything related to this subject, because you never knew anything about it in the first place.

    • Troll: Colin Wright
  21. @Dr. Charles Fhandrich

    Thorazine is a hell of a drug! No guarantee of course, but it might help you.

    • Replies: @Dr. Charles Fhandrich
  22. Anonymous[343] • Disclaimer says:

    If you want me to skip an article, screenshots of Tweets are the way to do it. As I understand it some guy is dead and some people knew him, probably for something, but I wouldn’t know because of

    ALL THE SCREENSHOTS OF TWEETS!!!

  23. @Rufus Clyde

    You said arresting Bin Laden had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the invasion. And here you are going through all the back and forth between the Taliban and the American government in 2001 regarding one Osama Bin Laden.

    If he had nothing to do with it, why would you bother with that bit of history? It’s all lies, man. Just get to the real reason for the invasion already, the one you pulled out of your Canadian ass.

    Bin Laden denied involvement in the 9/11 operation

    He lied. Then he told the truth 3 years later.

    Also I’m afraid most people disagree with your assessment that there was “no legal basis” for rounding up Bin Laden. Otherwise NATO wouldn’t have joined in this reckless, illegal mission. Including Canada I might add (though you guys were worthless).

    Obviously, we shouldn’t have stayed. That was unforgivable but what can you do.

  24. @Rufus Clyde

    My dear friend, beer is my only drug of choice. I don’t mind sharing it with Rudy, since he likes it so much, but the down side is that he often retires to his dog house when he’s begged me for too much of it, thus neglecting his German Shepherd watch dog duties.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  25. In other words, they became everything they despised in their student days. Fisk was the constant reminder of just how much they had sold out. His very existence shamed them for what they were too cowardly to do themselves. And now in death, when he cannot answer back, they are feasting on his corpse like the vultures that they are, until there is nothing left to remind us that, unlike them, Robert Fisk told uncomfortable truths to the very end.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

    Thanks for the article.

  26. @Bragadocious

    You are one stalwart contriver of logical fallacies, I’ll give you that.
    I certainly did not say that arresting bin Laden had nothing to do with the invasion, I said it wasn’t the motive. It was the absurd justification offered, and accepted by mouth-breathing proto-simians like you.
    The Taliban offered to cooperate with the US government and could have produced bin Laden if the US government could produce evidence that bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 operation. The US government sought no such cooperation with the Taliban, despite the fact that the two regimes were in negotiations right up until August of 2001 in pursuit of an agreement on a pipeline through Aghanistan for Turkemenistani gas to supply the Enron catastrophe in India.
    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_9/11=pipelinePolitics
    Now I doubt very much that you fought in Afghanistan, and I know that I didn’t, so I find your use of the pronouns “we” and “you” in reference to people who actually did so to be even more pathetic and infantile than your abject failure to put together a coherent comment about the subject at hand.
    NATO’s particpation in a military campaign hardly qualifies as evidence of the legality of the undertaking. The assault on Yugoslavia by NATO forces in 1999 was absolutely illegal, as was the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001. Both US-led war crimes violated Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter.
    It is not unforgivable, but it is indeed unfortunate that you did not go to Afghanistan and stay there.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  27. On Bashar Assad, if anything he seems rather better than the ‘standard issue dictator’ his brother would have been. The Syrian regime itself may be a fairly typical Arab Socialist secular dictatorship, but Assad himself seems if anything to be a civilising influence. And of course vastly better than the US-backed Jihadi rebels.

    Re the post-WW2 period when there was independent journalism in Western establishment newspapers, this may have been partly a result of contested power, but I’m not sure the Labour movement had much to do with it per se. In the Anglosphere you had an old mostly-WASP Establishment that favoured realism in foreign policy, and a rising Neoliberal power, often Jewish, that favoured ‘global democratic transformation’, but the two were largely in balance (including within the major political parties) until the end of the Cold War, when Neoliberalism achieved uncontested dominance.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  28. @Bragadocious

    If the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan then the USA invaded Vietnam. In both cases the superpower came to the aid of a client regime.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  29. Meena says:
    @Bragadocious

    US political leaders have claimed, to be sure, that the UN did authorize the US attack on Afghanistan. This claim, originally made by the Bush-Cheney administration, was repeated by President Obama in his West Point speech of December 1, 2009, in which he said: “The United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks,” so US troops went to Afghanistan “[u]nder the banner of . . .  international legitimacy.”4
    However, the language of “all necessary steps” is from UN Security Council Resolution 1368, in which the Council, taking note of its own “responsibilities under the Charter,” expressed its own readiness “to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.”5
    Of course, the UN Security Council might have determined that one of these necessary steps was to authorize an attack on Afghanistan by the United States. But it did not. Resolution 1373, the only other Security Council resolution about this issue, laid out various responses, but these included matters such as freezing assets, criminalizing the support of terrorists, exchanging police information 
about terrorists, and prosecuting terrorists. The use of military force was not mentioned.6
    The US war in Afghanistan was not authorized by the UN Security Council in 2001 or at anytime since, so this war began as an illegal war and remains an illegal war today.

    Myths around 911 Iraq war and Afghanistan war are in plenty .

    Bin Laden denied initially His later admission is seen in video Now video wa manufactured by Pentagon CIA to implicate and to shed negative light on Bin Laden and on saddam

    Pakistan was told before 911 that USA would attack Afghanistan.

  30. @Simon in London

    ‘On Bashar Assad, if anything he seems rather better than the ‘standard issue dictator’ his brother would have been. The Syrian regime itself may be a fairly typical Arab Socialist secular dictatorship, but Assad himself seems if anything to be a civilising influence. And of course vastly better than the US-backed Jihadi rebels….’

    I’m inclined to agree to the extent that Assad really would seem to have been what a reasonable US-Israel would want. His family’s regime was emphatically secular: see the way the Muslim Brotherhood was crushed. At the same time, it wasn’t creating the kind of murderous fear-state that Saddam Hussein built in Iraq. My impression was that in Syria you were safe enough — as long as you respected the limits.

    So what more could Zio-we want? Probably, sign some kind of deal for a demilitarized Golan Heights, and you’ve got another Egypt. With the exception of Hezbollah in Lebanon and her own caged Palestinian victims, Israel would then be ringed by tacitly cooperative, repressive secular states, highly unlikely to tolerate fundamentalists or terrorists of any flavor: Syria, Jordan, Egypt. It’d be the sort of situation a Bismarck would call victory.

    But no…Israel is psychotic. She wants complete, unqualified submission, without having to make any concessions at all. So Syria was to be destroyed, reduced to a bloody wasteland of warring religious factions.

    Well, we did our best to make it happen. Unfortunately, that wascally Assad, aided by the Russians and probably the perception of the bulk of his subjects that he was preferable to the alternative, is prevailing.

    • Replies: @James Charles
    , @Polistra
  31. gay troll says:
    @Bragadocious

    He lied. Then he told the truth 3 years later.

    Sure, OBL came clean about 9/11 just in time to push Bush’s struggling re election campaign over the top. What a cohncidence! Then Obama was kind enough to murder OBL in Pakistan and immediately dump his body in the sea! And Americans were deranged enough to call it justice! And our troops are still in motherfucking Afghanistan!

  32. @Rufus Clyde

    The Taliban offered to cooperate with the US government and could have produced bin Laden if the US government could produce evidence that bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 operation. The US government sought no such cooperation with the Taliban,

    Yeah, that’s not how terrorist fugitive operations work, Dufus Clod.

    In the real world, assassins are sent out to end the guy’s existence. As it should be. What do you think the Brits did in Gibraltar in 1989. (and those people were innocent)

    In your addled brain, the U.S. should have sent a team of Harvard lawyers to Kabul with classified documents and clever PowerPoint displays to convince the Taliban that Bin Laden was probably the guy. And then, if convinced, the cave dwellers might hand him over.

    Like I said, not happening.

    Maybe you Canucks should have held public hearings and gotten a court order before trying to arrest terrorist Gabe Wortman. But you didn’t. You went out and shot him. And now Nova Scotia’s toothless hicks have one less denturist.

    As for muh oil pipeline theory of the invasion, I remember how that got huge play in Canada and Britain, from the people whining endlessly about how their soldiers were in Kabul. It’s nice to have “allies” like Canada and Britain. Always ready to hold up their NATO obligations. (just kidding, you’re all 1000% worthless)

    You want violence for oil, I give you Libya, a British and French show, and backed by Obama after the Euros ran out of missiles and screamed for help. That’s the Nato that Euros and Canucks prefer.

    • Agree: Clay Alexander
  33. Your ability to weave together so many logical fallacies proves that I am in the presence of greatness!
    The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Anglo-US imperialist forces is equivalent to the killing of three terrorists in a British Overseas Territory?
    Here’s a video to help you with the one of the concepts you clearly fail to grasp:
    “Sesame Street – More and Less

    No team of Harvard lawyers was required. As I stated, and you ignored or failed to read or failed to understand, the US regime maintained relations with the Taliban until the time of the 9/11 operation. It would have been quite easy, if proof existed, for the US government to provide evidence of bin Laden’s guilt, and have bin Laden removed to a third country.

    Can’t teach a fantasist dog new tricks, so I see you’re still using the “we’ and “you” to pretend that you are somehow an active participant in these events.

    You are unable to formulate any kind of argument against the proven fact that the US state was negotiating with the Taliban, both to further the interests of Enron, in which individual members of the Bush regime were personally invested, and in pursuit of the US state energy policy of the day.
    I feel for you. It must suck to suck.

    Gabe Wortman was a deranged criminal who was killed in the middle of a murder spree. If, in your barely functioning mind, you can equivocate that action to an illegal combined arms operation spanning almost two decades, entailing the deployment over that time of a million foreign soldiers, then you’re basically creating your own bizzarro reality.

    You betray the sophisticated inner life and world-view of a Homer Simpson with your infantile jingoistic assertions about the armed forces of Canada and the United Kingdom. For over seventy-five years it’s been well-known amongst people who actually serve that there is no greater repository of low-functioning dunces than the US military. They’re generally seen as being a cut below even the unfortunates who end up in either the Canadian or UK forces. One of the first things I was told by a Warrant Officer when I was seventeen was how amusing it is to see US soldiers dragging their weapons by the slings when they go on winter exercise. These accounts are always the same, whether the events occurred in 1955 or 2015. Which is neither here, nor there, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with me, nor with any aspect of the article or my comments.

    Just as I do not believe for one second that you have served in a war theatre, I don’t believe that you were in any position to know what got “huge play” in either Canada or the United Kingdom.

    Your account of the destruction of Libya is as incoherent and rooted in nothingness as your sentiments about the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The criminal “no-fly zone”, which was in fact a free-fire NATO flying zone, was approved on March 17, and US naval and aerial forces began assaulting Libya on March 19.

    You don’t seem to actually know anything about these matters, yet you are clearly compelled to make these weird, emotion-derived statements. As an alternative, you could pick a subject and learn something about it, or perhaps you could try one of these instead:
    “How to use a Fidget Spinner!’

    • Agree: dimples
    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  34. Fisk did great work exposing the Syrian gas attack BS used as false flags. “Assadist” is a new CIA slang term to label anyone who opposes the US war machine’s effort to destroy Syria. Anyone who knows what really happened there this past decade is appalled and proud to be called an Assadist.

    • Replies: @InnerCynic
  35. DOUBTFUL says:

    Hell NO! I do NOT endorse Smoothiex12 link to his Blogspot article bashing Solzhenitsyn. I was trying to find a way to react negatively to his patriotic diatribe!
    ONE word about his ‘Soviet’ apologetics. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME! (OR BLATANT Wall Street supporter?)
    Concerning his ‘great historical analysis?” Mere Soviet DENIALISM of
    “American” Wall Street’s -1917 “Russian” Revolution endorsement,
    financial support, support for Soviets by Hammer & co for Wall Street,
    Wallstreet assistance with destruction of anti Red Army White Russian assistance,
    Wall Street’s AmerIcan MEDIA support of “Soviet” Barbaristic Genocide a la Pullitzer Durante.
    Wall street’s voluminous stream of then state of the art US weapons in WW2 to Stalin,
    Maybe Solzhenytsin wasn’t a great literarian, he was a HISTORIAN & an eye witness to Wall Street’s project of Soviet butcherism. THAT makes his work a primary source.
    I could go on and on, but until Smoothiex acknowledges the STAGED Soviet collapse a la KGB Golitsyn, and SOVIET undermining of Christian Western civilisaton by KGB a la Yuri Bezmenov, now FSB, that never stopped and still continues today by Wall Street’s “Russian” RT project, he ain’t worth pigeon poop as a judge on true history or historic sources. But perhaps this not so smooth talker is a 200 years Wall Street apologist. Nuff said.
    Sorry Mr. Unz, couldn’t find another way of reacting to a worthless “news” link. Perhaps you should include comments to newslinks too

  36. Ghali says:

    Isn’t Robert Fisk an establishment journalist? He works for the Independent. The most anti-Arabs/Anti-Muslims propaganda outlet. For decades, Fisk saw the people of the Middle East (Arabs, non-Arabs, Muslims and Christians) through an imperialist-Zionist (Anglo-Zionist) lens.
    Fisk anti-war rhetoric is conditioned. He said and wrote like: Arabs are bad people and we shouldn’t go to war. I remembered, Fiske attacked Saddam Hussein on a daily basis, which had nothing to do with anti-war. One can write a long book about Fisk rhetoric, but this comment is sufficient.
    Anyone remember what Fisk thought about Julian Assange incarceration?

  37. DOUBTFUL says:

    Mr. UNZ. please remove my endorsement on the NEWS link of this fallacious article by Smoothiex on Solzhenitsyn. Merci.

  38. Fisk was the last of the breed—a true journalist.

    Since getting fired by a news-rag clear back in ’73 and then publishing my own independent journal for a few years; I have called myself a “recovering journalist”. Wonder why? Whoever owns the presses and the distribution network calls the shots.

    Like close to 90% of all Americans, reporters, photographers and even editors are merely working-class slobs who maybe still are required to keep up pretenses by wearing neckties. Journalists are just Johnny Paychecks—not classically middle-class at all.

    • Replies: @DOUBTFUL
  39. Ghali says:
    @Ghali

    I have to add that Oz Katerji is nothing more and nothing less than a bigoted Fascist. He is a conman who will do anything on behalf of the Israeli Nazi regime.

    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
    , @Ghali
  40. @Ghali

    He said and wrote like: Arabs are bad people

    A citation would be nice.

  41. DOUBTFUL says:
    @Majority of One

    Certainly not the last. The last of the true journalist Mohicans are in neglected smaller alternative media, like James Corbett, Dan Dicks, etc. But because people stare themselves blind! at their Mainstream “MEDIA” (“Oh I wonder what the NYT said about that!”) they are still in bondage to them, captivated by their idols, unable to totally break away, probably out of fear they won’t be taken serious by the other stockholm syndrometised mainstream media victims. Why? Because you will be ostracised by the sophisticated rich lunch tables of American highschool lore condemned to be bullied as not-Media-savvy nerds. Probably half of UNZ readers don’t even know who James Corbett is. See, in their desire for significance they need to still kow tow to “the pundits” instead of fully breaking with them. And thus we – the remnant who do learn – are condemned to repeat history because of those who refuse to learn from it, or from him, like Swinden of the 1951 NYT who exposed the “Media” so long ago in his famous quote…

    “There is no such thing at this date of the world’s history in America as an independent press. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write his honest opinion, and if you did, you know beforehand it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things. and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allow my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours, my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it, and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and the vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks. They pull the strings, and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

    Perhaps Fisk was sincerely trying to get some truth into the mainstream by some compromise. I could perhaps believe that. It seemed like he loved Middle Easterners in Lebanon at least.

    • Thanks: Majority of One
    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  42. GMC says:

    Another great example – of what people will do for a job and money – no more, no less. They are all bought off and must feed off one another because it’s the only way they can sell their lies. There re so many bought off snakes in America, they are turning against anyone that didn’t buy into the lies and deception of the USG. Mr Fisk made his name, the old fashion way – he Earned it – unlike the fakes we see today.

  43. Hey Rufus, A cut below? I’ll take our SEALS over the Brits SAS or your limp wrist Mounties any day of the week. Canadians are nothing but know it all, jealous, lackluster, generic American wanabees. Now go make a snowman.

    • Replies: @gotmituns
    , @Rufus Clyde
  44. cranc says:

    Fisk on 9/11 inconsistencies:
    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/robert-fisk-even-i-question-the-truth-about-911-28461961.html

    I think he was an honest man, hobbled by his position, trying his best.

  45. @Rufus Clyde

    Thank you.

    You’re showing great patience with one of the Ugliest Americans on this website. (The armchair militarism, Exceptional! machismo, and pseudonym are so over the top that “Bragadocious” may be a troll.) What you’re doing is informative and important — Uncle Sam’s history and ongoing conduct in Afghanistan are often ignored and obscured, even here at unz.com.

    Suggestions borne of experience: stick to your facts and calling out what your adversary keeps dodging, be careful to use the correct REPLY button, and don’t let B push yours.

  46. @Ghali

    Anyone remember what Fisk thought about Julian Assange incarceration?

    If you do, please elaborate. Thanks.

  47. ThereisaGod says: • Website

    Before the internet “alternative” journalists in the UK (who were particular about truth and decency) used to call their mainstream colleagues “the reptiles”. Nothing has changed about the Scribes in rather a long time.

    Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23)

    [MORE]

    23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[b] by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.[d]

    15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell[e] as yourselves.

    16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

    23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

    25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

    27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

    29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah,[f] whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

    • Thanks: GMC
  48. Anonymous[263] • Disclaimer says:

    Twitter is useful in letting us easily spot who are the fully-owned stenographers of Western intelligence agencies.

  49. Mr. OZ just likes to fire off one tweet after another. Thats his excuse for being a journalist. The other parrots simply chime in with his echo chamber.

  50. @Carlton Meyer

    Being called an “Assadist” is like being called a “climate denier”… the usual absurd Maoist propaganda.

  51. Anonymice says:

    Making a career of discrediting Fisk posthumously is a mark of cowardice, because only cowards and attack vultures will demean a dead journalist of Fisk’s courage and integrity.

  52. @Colin Wright

    ‘If Assad made peace with Israel in 2008, there would be no Syrian war ex-PM
    Ehud Olmert explained that “Assad did not come to Ankara to meet me, and thus he lost himself and his country an opportunity for peace with Israel, so if he agreed with me and met me and signed an agreement, he would not have reached the civil war in Syria,” he said.’
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/if-assad-made-peace-with-israel-in-2008-there-would-be-no-syrian-war-ex-pm/

  53. gotmituns says:
    @Clay Alexander

    Sir, I don’t think insulting Canadians is appropriate.

    • Replies: @Fred777
  54. Jake says:
    @Bragadocious

    How simpleminded are you? I know many people today who are far from clear on the fact that the US funded the Afghans in the 1980s and then decided that the fruit of their works were evil and needed to be toppled, without the US ever taking any blame.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  55. sarz says:

    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/12/01/the-angry-arab-robert-fisk-the-decline-of-western-reporting-on-the-middle-east/

    Okay, Jonathan, here’s someone who has been calling out Fisk’s less than splendid journalism for years.

  56. gotmituns says:
    @El Dato

    So What? War is war. We human animals kill each other and have been doing it for centuries. Whining about it changes nothing.

  57. Anyone that still takes U..S. establishment media serious, is begging to be short changed on the truth of what ever they write.

  58. @James Charles

    Thanks for an excellent link.

    Nice to get indirect confirmation straight from the horse’s mouth that it was never really a “civil war” in Syria, but apparently an Israeli (and US/KSA) operation to topple an independent-minded leader who put his people first.

    Of course, Ohlmert would have demanded from Assad a complete sell-out of Syria’s future, i.e., cessation of support to Hezbollah and any relationship with Iran, thus spelling a death sentence for Southern Lebanon, and thereafter Syria itself. Assad rightfully refused to deal with the duplicitous, murderous Israelis and thankfully those pesky Russkies saw the light when apparently Iran’s Soleimani came to Russia and explained why they should back Assad with military support against the then-rampaging jihadis, as they (Syria, Iran and Russia) all had a common interest in stopping the onslaught of the Israeli/KSA/USA-backed terrorists.

    Quite telling (which the article makes clear) that Merdegun (the Turkish turd-cannon) was behind the proposed meeting, as it says much about his relationship with Israel as well. I understand he is not Donmeh, but he might as well be.

    Again, thanks for an excellent link.

    • Thanks: Rufus Clyde
    • Replies: @James Charles
  59. Tom Verso says:
    @Rufus Clyde

    I agree:
    I consume volumes on the Middle East history and contemporary issues; but I never paid any mind to Fisk:

    “Robert Fisk Joins International Council of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocid” … (in Jerusalem – no less).”

    What more needs to be said?

    • Replies: @AnonStarter
  60. Ronnie says:

    Many of these people who have atacked Fisk are Jews and those seeking to suck up to Jews in order to advance their slimy careers – the Jews hated Fisk because he supported the Palestinians and always damned Israel with faint praise – his appreciation of Israel was especially and appropriately sardonic – and he saw through all of their mendacious and duplicitous moves – Fisk will be missed as a global figure who well understood and scorned the Israeli plans to marginalize the Palestinians and deny them justice. As usual the Jewish response to Fisk’s death as to Corbyn’s rise, are so far over the top that they will draw suspicious attention to their malevolence.

    • Agree: Pheasant, Rufus Clyde
  61. Pheasant says:

    Katerji looks Jewish.

  62. JimDandy says:

    It is not at all uncommon for women to get sexually aroused when they are pulled down on their knees and “forced” to perform fellatio. Those who make up the MSM revel in their own subjugation–they love to dutifully pleasure their tyrannical, dominating Zionist masters.

  63. Agent76 says:

    Sep 5, 2016 9/11 Suspects: Rudy Giuliani

    Mayor Giuliani oversaw the illegal destruction of the 9/11 crime scene and is criminally liable for the deaths of hundreds of emergency workers for not passing on prior warnings about the collapses of the Twin Towers.

    September 07, 2016 September 11, 2001: The 15th Anniversary of the Crime and Cover-up of the Century “What Really Happened”?

    New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be trucked away and shipped to China – an order that constitutes disturbing a crime scene – which is a federal crime.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/september-11-2001-the-15th-anniversary-of-the-crime-and-cover-up-of-the-century/5544414

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  64. Fred777 says:
    @Bragadocious

    “Is that what you call the Afghans resisting the Soviet invasion? A terrorist force?”

    Well “terrorists” are what the USG calls any local inhabitants who resist Americas invasions.

    • LOL: Rufus Clyde
  65. Fred777 says:
    @gotmituns

    Not after the War of 1812 anyways.

  66. @James Charles

    ‘‘If Assad made peace with Israel in 2008, there would be no Syrian war ex-PM
    Ehud Olmert explained that “Assad did not come to Ankara to meet me, and thus he lost himself and his country an opportunity for peace with Israel, so if he agreed with me and met me and signed an agreement, he would not have reached the civil war in Syria,” he said.’’

    That’s an interesting example of just how deranged Israel’s outlook on the world is.

    I find Olmert’s ‘explanation’ morally indistinguishable from that of the crazed vagrant who assaults a passerby who fails to acknowledge him or give him money.

    Remember the black ‘hug man’ in New York City — who assaulted pretty girls who wouldn’t let him hug them?

    That’s Israel — collectively. A six-million strong, nuclear-armed, violent psychotic. Look at the murder they just committed in Iran.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  67. Che Guava says:

    Robert Fisk, a very brave journalist, mostly correct, may he rest in peace.

    Jonathon Cook, still a loyal Guardianista except (perhaps) on Palestine, trust in his words, because of both the immediate present and the not too far past, is very difficult or impossible.

    • Agree: Agent76
  68. @Jake

    I’m simpleminded? Hey moron, an entire movie was made about the U.S. military helping the mujahideen. That movie was called Rambo. You miss it?

    “The fruits of their works were evil and needed to be toppled”

    Only if you consider the mujahideen and the Taliban to be one and the same. Idiots like you and that Rufus character do this all the time. They weren’t the same at all. Let me share some names of the mujahideen top brass.

    Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — NOT Taliban
    Mohammad Yunus Khalis — NOT Taliban, though he didn’t fight them when they took power
    Burhanuddin Rabbani–NOT Taliban
    Ahmad Shah Massoud– NOT Taliban
    Abdul Rasul Sayyaf–NOT Taliban

    I could go on. The Taliban were not the mujahideen. Is this getting through? Most of the mujahideen became the Northern Alliance. Now who’s the idiot?

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  69. chris says:
    @Bragadocious

    If Bin Laden had been holed up in Qatar or Saudi Arabia, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan, now would there.

    That’s what you think; what about Iraq?

  70. @Bragadocious

    Yet another towering logical fallacy, but really, just a lie. I have in no way confused the warlord gangster allies of the US imperial host in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pointing out in another comment, which again, you either failed to read, failed to understand, or ignored, that Hekmatyar, a monstrous criminal, received the lion’s share of US slush. You really don’t have a clue. Maybe get some assistance with the application form, and take night classes at Clown College.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  71. @DOUBTFUL

    James Corbett is the farthest thing from a journalist. He espouses an infantile Amway salesman’s view of the world, never missing an opportunity to denigrate “collectivism”. He can’t quite seem to grasp the fact that we’re not ruled by socialists, we’re ruled by plutocrats who justify their position with Corbett-style “free enterprise” tripe.

  72. Looks like we have another oracle from the great white north. Here’s a news flash tough guy mocking the American military is not “appropriate” either where I come from it’s a good way to get your teeth rearranged. You got a problem with the U.S. government so do I but don’t belittle the man in the field.

  73. @Clay Alexander

    You confused your fatuous sentiments with a reasoned argument. Cute! Seems to be a lot of that going around. Is it a Covid symptom, perhaps? Unlike you, I’m not a fan-boy of the military, but you’re too poorly informed to even make your pointless insults. JTF2 constitutes the Canadian state’s elite special forces unit, not the RCMP. Emotion-driven, ignorant, and jejune is no way to go through life, son.

  74. @Rufus Clyde

    Haha, you pitiful, lying Canadian commie.

    You’re on record for calling the anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan “terrorists.” Only a commie would say that.

    You’re on record for conflating the mujahideen with the Taliban.

    deploying a terrorist force to overthrow a foreign government, and then using the existence of that terrorist force

    Own it, commie.

    (Awaits another 2000 word hasbara about muh logical fallacies sprinkled with “insults” that have as much impact as a Canadian movie/tv show/play.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  75. @Agent76

    Never forget Rudy’s good pal when considering 9/11. Fortunately, ol’ Bernie could count on the benevolence of friend to the working man, Drumpf.
    http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=bernard_kerik

    Donnie the Swamp Drainer!
    “Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, pardons ex-NY police commissioner Kerik, ex-49ers owner DeBartolo — and Michael Milken”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/18/trump-expected-to-grant-clemency-to-rod-blagojevich-bernard-kerik.html

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Itch
  76. @Tom Verso

    Well, if you’re part of the mainstream media, it’s widely understood that you won’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth where Middle East history and current events are concerned. Even if Fisk had been one of the establishment, he was a far sight better than his peers in broadening the Overton Window.

    Which is why he’s being posthumously savaged.

  77. No coincidence that Winston Smith’s job was re-writing the news as The Party dictated, smearing former heroes as traitors.

    If Fisk was a “fantabulist” he would no doubt have gotten along much better with Rupert Murdoch, and would have stayed on at the Times of London.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Itch
  78. @Clay Alexander

    The tough guy talking about knocking people’s teeth out online. Lighten up, Francis. It’s a fact, which seems to really put your panties in a knot, that soldiers from Commonwealth countries are not inclined toward your adulation for the quality of the average US serviceman. Unfortunately you got triggered, but that’s life, isn’t it?

  79. @Bragadocious

    You are just fired right up about showing off your complete lack of critical reading skills. Good for you!
    The Anglo-US intelligence apparatus formed, funded, and supported fundamentalist moslems in an effort to destabilize the Soviet periphery. And these fundamentalists were terrorists. The principal recipient of US funds, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was likewise a terrorist, and a major narcotics trafficker. The US allied again with Hekmatyar in 2001 to overthrow the government of Afghanistan, the Taliban, a group of fundamentalists headed by Mohammed Omar, who, like Hekmatyar, had been a terrorist deployed by the US in their efforts to destroy the Soviet-allied government of Afghanistan.
    I really do admire you. You fail, and fail, yet are in no way deterred. And that’s something!

  80. @Clay Alexander

    Here’s a news flash tough guy mocking the American military is not “appropriate” either where I come from it’s a good way to get your teeth rearranged.

    The whole point of punctuation is to get your point across to the reader. There are at least two periods or commas missing in this run-on sentence. There are multiple places they could logically go just from the word order, each with different meaning. After taking a full minute trying to figure out where you intended them to be, I decided that I couldn’t care less what point you wanted to make.

    It takes 30 seconds of care to punctuate before you press publish. If 1000 readers take one minute each to figure your meaning out, perhaps we have a class-action cause for 16 hours of wasted time.

  81. Sirius says:
    @Colin Wright

    A Stalinist type denunciation–I couldn’t have put it better. And all by cowards who waited for the moment when Fisk couldn’t respond.

  82. Sirius says:
    @James Charles

    Couldn’t that be construed as an admission that Israel fomented the war in Syria or at least threw fuel on the fire?

    • Replies: @Mustapha Mond
  83. @Rufus Clyde

    Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich

    Blagojevich makes a pretty decent case that he was set-up not for corruption but for opposing corruption. That possibility never occurred to me at the time, but it appeared to be a distinct possibility after Biden bragged about how he had Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired. Again allegedly for Shokin’s corruption but clearly not so. Just the opposite. Shokin had been in office for barely a year.

    Corruption destroys societies from within. Insidiously and inevitably.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  84. @Spogus Bogus

    No coincidence that Winston Smith’s job was re-writing the news as The Party dictated, smearing former heroes as traitors.

    Also no coincidence that Orwell’s 1984 is now seen as more of a How-to Manual than as science fiction.

    To be sure, it was never science fiction. More like forbidden history.

  85. @Peripatetic Itch

    What evidence do you have that Blagojevich was set up? And what exactly does it have to do with Viktor Shokin? Do you really believe that the fact that Biden intervened to remove a Ukrainian state official is evidence that such an official was not corrupt? Do you suppose that Shokin got to the position he did in the post-coup government of the Ukraine because of his moral rectitude?

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Itch
  86. Rufus, you’re just a pompous egghead who can’t help being what he is and I understand that but who the hell is this “peptic ulcer” creep checking punctuation? I’m going to take a wild guess he’s another commonwealth expert (on everything). I would love to meet one or both of you anytime, anyplace.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  87. @Sirius

    Agree completely. See my comment on same at #60, supra.

    Nauseating, isn’t it?

  88. @Rufus Clyde

    Do you really believe that the fact that Biden intervened to remove a Ukrainian state official is evidence that such an official was not corrupt?

    It’s really quite hilarious that you accuse me of making an inference about Viktor Shokin’s rectitude when you make pretty much the opposite inference in your very next sentence. You are quite willing to convict him of corruption on Biden’s say-so and nothing more.

    The Ukrainian energy giant Burisma was notoriously corrupt, even under the pre-coup government. Its owner was a government minister doling out natural-gas licenses to his own company in an obvious conflict of interest. It then raked in several billions in a little scam on the Ukrainian populace, in which it shipped cheap Russian gas through Ukraine and across the border into Europe. It then turned the gas around and sold it to Ukrainians as expensive European gas.

    Burisma was under active investigation by Shokin and Shokin’s office. They had even made official raids in this connection. Burisma hired Joe Biden’s crack-addict son Hunter to squelch the investigation. Hunter could not even speak Ukrainian.

    The Ukrainians have telephone tapes of Joe Biden telling then-President Poroshenko to fire Shokin and to raise Ukrainian tariffs on European gas. Poroshenko fired Shokin and Shokin has sworn to affidavits saying why he was fired. He was even poisoned and near death for some time. John Solomon has all the documents.

    Biden admits he extorted the firing and approved the hiring of a replacement who was an ex-convict. He also allowed that Obama was in on it. John Kerry has said he too was in on it, and his step son was a business associate of Hunter.

    Blagojevich’s conviction had to do with supposed corruption related to Obama’s senate seat in Illinois, which has itself a long history of corruption. The DOJ and FBI have a history of corruptly charging politicians with corruption, as they did with Senator Ted Stevens, who was exonerated but only after losing his bid for reelection after 40 years in office. Same judge who persecuted General Michael Flynn.

    Blagojevich, a Democrat, claims he was set up and I’m inclined to believe him, as was Trump, it seems. I have no proof, and did not claim any.

  89. Polistra says:
    @Bragadocious

    Will someone please show me where and when Osama made this admission?

  90. Polistra says:
    @Colin Wright

    She wants complete, unqualified submission, without having to make any concessions at all.

    This is a tribal thing. It’s in their blood. This is how and why they’ve endeared themselves to every other people on earth, throughout the entirety of recorded history.

    They truly believe that if they grind everyone underneath their boots, they will ensure their own safety, and even the respect they’re certain is their due.

    This is also how and why they are hurtling the United States of America–their greatest prize ever–straight toward its own hideous demise.

    • Agree: JimmyGee, Charon
  91. @Ghali

    Using the term “Israeli Nazi” is extremely unfair…

    …to Nazis.

  92. @Clay Alexander

    You are definitely the toughest man on the interwebs. Congratulations, champ.

    • Troll: GeneralRipper
  93. @Peripatetic Itch

    You stated that the possibility that Blagjoevich had been set up didn’t occur to you until Biden bragged about his dispatching of Shokin, and you followed that up by claiming that Shokin was fired for the opposite reason of being corrupt. You didn’t make an inference, you made an affirmative statement about Shokin and corruption.
    I have no idea whether Shokin is corrupt or not, but the fact that Biden claimed to have driven him out of office is not evidence that he wasn’t.
    As I said, it seems highly likely that Shokin was corrupt given his position in an entirely corrupted Ukrainian government, one in an unbroken chain that has spanned the Soviet and post-Soviet era.
    At the outset of your disjointed emission you stated that Blagojevich makes a pretty good case that he was set up. Then you turned around and said you have no proof and never claimed to have any. If you have no proof, then how can you possibly assess whether Blagojevich makes a good case or not?

    • Troll: Majority of One
  94. @Peripatetic Itch

    Currently, the FBI exists primarily to CREATE criminals. How does crime pay? If you happen to be a law-enforcement bureaucrat you need crime in order to rise up the administrative scrotum-pole and to keep those bennies flowing both before and after you retire.

    Consider that J. Edna Hoover, the self-hating drag-queen ran the agency for decades. Their very headquarters building bears that bitches’ name. An atmosphere of bureaucratic corruption has permeated that organization since its creation. Hoover kept blackmail files on anyone of importance who he wished to intimidate and control. Those files disappeared on his long-overdue demise.

    Maybe we do and maybe we do not need a federal law enforcement agency, But we absolutely do NOT need the Feebees. They can lie like rugs to people they “interview’, but as General Flynn allegedly lied to them, he was arrested, tried and found guilty based on politically-motivated “evidence”. That they may have done so to Senator Stevens and to Congressman Blagoyevich does not surprise me a bit.

    Clearly the FBI needs to be removed from the scene and justice would suggest that General Flynn would be the logical candidate to arrange the dismantling and to initiate investigations of wrongdoing, inclusive of testimony by their victims and then to arrest the perps and haul them before a military court on charges of treason to the republic.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  95. @Majority of One

    “justice would suggest that General Flynn would be the logical candidate”? It’s always amusing when a Drumpftard twists himself into a self-contradicting knot. You want unconstitutional military tribunals to be used to pursue “traitors” to the Republic? Due process was the first thing that went out the window with the Patriotic Act, and you’re calling for further repression of that right in the name of preserving the Republic. And you’re cheering to have a Turkish agent installed to manage this totalitarian operation. You folks never disappoint.

    • Replies: @Majority of One
  96. Incitatus says:

    ‘Pity the Nation’ and ‘The Great War for Civilisation’ rank high in recent ME history. Read them and decide for yourself.

    RIP Robert Fisk.

  97. These presstitutes wish to give eachother a journalasm in public

    by implamounting the latest bwananamango strap on mockingbird teleprompters freely available from the

    BillHillzeebub foundation

    Robert Fisk has moved on from deep state lilliput with no strings attached

  98. Syd Walker says: • Website

    Excellent article Jonathan.

  99. @Mustapha Mond

    From the ‘horses mouth’?

    “You can’t understand the conflict without talking about natural gas
    By Maj. Rob Taylor
    Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.
    In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”
    http://armedforcesjournal.com/pipeline-politics-in-syria/

    • Replies: @Majority of One
  100. @Rufus Clyde

    Rufus Goofus: “Turkish Agent”? Where did that come from? “The Patriotic Act”? No, that’s just a twist on the semantics the enemy uses. The proper term is “The Patriot Suppression Act.”

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  101. @James Charles

    You trust the Armed Forces Journal? Primary reason for the onslaught by the various elements of the Cabal-controlled countries is that I$rael wants Syria taken down so they can implement their “Eretz Yisroel” Scheme: “Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates”. So it’s about water, oil and control over the Suez Canal by that facility’s original financiers—the Roth$child Crime Clan.

    • Replies: @James Charles
  102. @Rufus Clyde

    Absolutely!! Furthermore, while the so called American elite or intelligent American’s have, in the main, always knocked beer as a “white trash”, low class, illegitimate beverage, LOL, beer was the regular beverage of choice for so many of Europe’s Nobel prize winners . Now by reporting this, I’m not suggesting anything about my own person…./PEACE

  103. @Majority of One

    “Chomsky has made the point that the US could topple Assad in a couple of days if it wanted to. All the State Dept need do is request that Israel move sections of the IDF towards the border with Syria. The Syrians would have to deploy on that front, and the Jihadis would be free to move further into the country. It could be done with virtually no risk to Israeli forces.
    The fact this hasn’t happened implies that US and Israeli planners don’t really want to see Syria destroyed, just fatally weakened, and Hezbollah severely discomfited.”
    https://ianjsinclair.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/is-noam-chomsky-right-that-the-us-doesnt-want-regime-change-in-syria/

    • Replies: @Majority of One
  104. @Majority of One

    No, it’s called a typo. But that’s one hilarious parody of a paranoid dunce you’re doing. High five! Did you get the impression that I was in favour of the Patriot Act? I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me if you did because you don’t seem to be too bright. Flynn had to register as a foreign agent as he was working for a Turkish scumbag enmeshed with the Turkish state. Because Flynn is just another devious, greedy scumbag. Keep up the derping!

    • Replies: @Majority of One
  105. @James Charles

    Chomsky has a dog in the fight. A move by the I$raeli on Syria would result in perhaps thousands of Hezbollah missiles raining down on Izzy bases, Haifa’s petroleum infrastructure, Dimona and the elite suburbs of Tel Aviv. The Zionists know this and also that last go-round with the Hez, they got their asses whipped and had to slink out like frightened puppydogs.

    • Replies: @James Charles
  106. @Rufus Clyde

    Please learn to put “Patriot Act” in quotes as it is an enemy trope. The proper term is the Patriot Suppression Act, because that is precisely what it is, unlawfully disassembling the Bill of Rights as it does.

    “Not too bright”? If you want to engage in an intellectual debate with me, please be my guest. BTW, what, exactly is a “parody of a paranoid dunce”? Our Deep $tate is a perfect parody of a branch of a republican form of governance. Some 60 million political illiterates voted for the Kamala’s Foote/Biden ticket. Calling them dunces might be a bit unkind—primarily to dunces—who are not expected to know better.

    • Replies: @Rufus Clyde
  107. @Majority of One

    I was unaware of a grammatical rule requiring that quotation marks be placed around enemy tropes. That must be a new thing since I left elementary school. Thanks for the heads-up.

  108. Well, it really is all about whether you love Israel enough.

    Fisk could have been a patent mediocrity; if he’d loved Israel the bestest, he’d be getting eulogized right now.

    Since he was instead critical of Israel, he’s being vilified — and, you will note, in lock step.

    It’s quite telling — but not about Fisk.

  109. @Majority of One

    He did not say “A move by the I$raeli on Syria “. He said “Israel move sections of the IDF towards the border with Syria. ”

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