The Lies and Distortions of Robert Fisk

• Views: 3,932

At Commentary, Efraim Karsh delivers the definitive fisk of Robert Fisk’s latest work of error-riddled agit-prop: The Great War for Civilisation.

It is difficult to turn a page of The Great War for Civilisation without encountering some basic error. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not, as Fisk has it, in Jerusalem. The Caliph Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was murdered in the year 661, not in the 8th century. Emir Abdallah became king of Transjordan in 1946, not 1921, and both he and his younger brother, King Faisal I of Iraq, hailed not from a “Gulf tribe” but rather from the Hashemites on the other side of the Arabian peninsula. The Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in 1958, not 1962; Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, was appointed by the British authorities, not elected; Ayatollah Khomeini transferred his exile from Turkey to the holy Shiite city of Najaf not during Saddam Hussein’s rule but fourteen years before Saddam seized power. Security Council resolution 242 was passed in November 1967, not 1968; Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, not 1977, and was assassinated in October 1981, not 1979. Yitzhak Rabin was minister of defense, not prime minister, during the first Palestinian intifada, and al Qaeda was established not in 1998 but a decade earlier. And so on and so forth.

The deeper problem with Fisk’s work is not the sort of thing that can be fixed by acquiring a better research assistant or fact-checking apparatus. Facts must be placed in their proper context, after all, and this demands a degree of good faith that Fisk utterly lacks. Indeed, so blatant and thoroughgoing are his ideological prejudices that his very name has entered the lexicon of the Internet as a synonym for systematic bias. Among the online commentators known as bloggers, the verb “to fisk” has come to mean a point-by-point rebuttal of an egregiously slanted piece of writing—like, classically, a Fisk dispatch from the Middle East.

The precise angle of his tilt has been confirmed by Osama bin Laden himself, who, in a videotaped message on the eve of the 2004 presidential election in the U.S., commended Fisk by name for his incisive and “neutral” reporting. On Planet Fisk, there are bad guys and there are victims, and the victims—the Arabs—can do no wrong, at least none for which they are ultimately responsible. Thus, one comes away from his current book hardly realizing that Lebanon was under a repressive Syrian occupation for most of the 30 years that Fisk has made his home there. The only hint arrives three pages before book’s end, when he notes the prompt withdrawal of Syrian forces following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a crime in which Damascus was deeply complicit.

Read the whole thing…

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 200802We took the weekend off. The hurricane had nothing to do with it. It hit us but not really.In fact it was so light that we would have been working anyway.Instead we got up late, made pancakes and relaxed all ...
dangerman
19 minutes ago
Views: 22 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Orville Peck - Smalltown Boy (Official Audio) Official audio for Orville Peck’s cover of "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat out now: orvillepeck.lnk.to Pre-save / Pre-add Orville's new EP Show Pony here: orvillepeck.lnk.to Amazon - orvillepeck.lnk.toApple Music - orvillepeck.lnk.toiTunes - orvillepeck.lnk.toSoundcloud -  orvillepeck.lnk.toSpotify - orvillepeck.lnk.toYouTube Music - orvillepeck.lnk.toYouTube -  orvillepeck.lnk.to Follow Orville PeckFacebook - facebook.comInstagram - instagram.comTwitter - @orvillepeck orvillepeck.com LyricsTo ...
Thanos
6 hours, 22 minutes ago
Views: 78 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Norah Jones - to Live "To Live" is taken from Norah's newest album 'Pick Me Up Off The Floor,' out now and available to stream/download here: norahjones.lnk.to Connect with Norah:norahjones.cominstagram.comfacebook.com@NorahJones See Norah live: norahjones.com Music video by Norah Jones performing To Live. © 2020 ...
Thanos
4 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 337 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Future Islands - for Sure (Official Video) 'For Sure' by Future Islands, out now on all platforms: futureislands.ffm.to A Film by Samuel Jerome MasonFinishing by John HarrisonRendered with GarageFarmSpecial Thanks to Anna, Jemima, Mike, Willy, Saad, Eric, Arsen Perish the painI was impoverishedThose ties that windAnd ...
Thanos
4 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 347 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Get on My Wave I wrote and produced “Get On My Wave” with Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas the day we met last summer. I’ve struggled with releasing the song during the pandemic because it felt too happy; detached from the tumult of our ...
Thanos
4 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 339 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy - UN DIA (ONE DAY) Stream "UN DIA (ONE DAY)" on your favorite streaming platform: jbalvin.lnk.to Subscribe to my YouTube channel here: youtube.com Connect with J Balvin on socials: instagram.com@jbalvinfacebook.comtiktok.com LYRICS Dua Lipa:You know sometimes I think about us Now and thenBut I never ...
Thanos
4 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 339 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Travis - a Ghost (Acoustic Isolation Video) The official Acoustic Isolation Video for A Ghost by Travis. The new album 10 Songs is out 9 October, pre-order now: travis.lnk.to Listen to A Ghost: travis.lnk.to Production Company: Gezellig Studio  Video Director: Fran Healy Cinematographers: Clay Kryst, Sam ...
Thanos
5 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 443 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Amy Macdonald - a Piece of My Heart (Brand New Song) I’ve written a little song about this mad situation... 💥🎸 Lyrics by Amy Macdonald: Nobody ever could see just what was coming, nobody thought that it was true, And nobody knew that we would miss each other, quite as ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 600 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Modern English - I Melt With You (From Quarantine) Modern English - I Melt With YouSubscribe to Modern English on YouTube: youtube.com Shop Modern English merchandise: shop.bandwear.com Listen to the single "I Melt With You"Apple Music: music.apple.comSpotify: open.spotify.comAmazon: amazon.com LYRICSMoving forward using all my breathMaking love to you ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 570 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
The Killers - My Own Soul’s WarningMusic video by The Killers performing My Own Soul’s Warning. © 2020 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. vevo.ly
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 612 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook