Red Kerry interviews the red 'expert' for the ME: Robert Fisk

Four Corners

By Jonathan Miller and Channel 4

Kerry claims “Fisk covered the region with distinction”

Fisk, an old drunk who always gets it wrong, not only gives us the Arab narrative,  he is also a master of immoral equivalence and a Jew hater from way back when. In this vid he tells us that Deputy Prime Minister of Israel,  Avigdor Lieberman is just as crazy as the genocidal crackpot Mahound Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Click here for the video

It’s a program that raises many questions, not least how can any country support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad? How can the United Nations resist calls for al-Assad to be charged and prosecuted for war crimes? But if this happens, and the President leaves office, what will it mean for Syria and the balance of power in the Middle East?

As unrest grows in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad continues to insist the violence is being driven by criminals and gangs of bandits, encouraged by forces outside Syria.

Now reporter Jonathan Miller travels to Syria to investigate what’s really going on inside the country. There, he finds a government that employs what can only be described as a “torture machine” to stop dissent. His report features devastating video evidence of men, women and children being subjected to brutal beatings, whippings and more elaborate torture. They tell how, after being detained by the police, they are passed through various levels of interrogation overseen by the secret police, or Mukhabarat.

Much of this brutality has been captured on mobile phones by Syrian civilians and activists, and uploaded to the internet every week, because they are desperate to show the world what’s happening. But the most confronting images come from videos that have been filmed by the torturers themselves.

The report takes us to Syria and Lebanon where we hear from victims and activists who have experienced or witnessed torture at the hands of President al-Assad’s forces. Their stories, and the video evidence of torture and killing, build a dossier of systematic abuse conducted by the Syrian government.

Responding to the issues raised in the story, Four Corners presenter Kerry O’Brien speaks with a leading expert in the region about Syria’s future and the consequences if Bashar al-Assad were to leave office either through force or his own choice.

“Syria Exposed”, reported by Jonathan Miller for Channel 4 in the UK and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 20th February at 8.30pm on ABC1. The program is repeated on Tuesday 21st February at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturdays at 8.00pm, and online on ABC iview.

Robert Fisk  



  • Robert Fisk – The man who is always wrong.
  • The man after whom the old LGF named their “Idiotarian of the Year” award, since otherwise he would win it every year.
  • The man after whom the verb “fisking” was invented – one of the true new words of the blog world.
  • Afghanistan
    • If Bush wants an invasion [of Afghanistan], it could become more costly than Vietnam, Robert Fisk, The Independent, 18 September 2001.
      • 58,000 American soldiers died in Vietnam. North Vietnam never fell. Rather, it won the war.
      • In the 2001 Afghan war, the Taliban regime fell before a single US soldier died from hostile fire.
      • Essentially all US deaths in Afghanistan have been caused by nation building, not by the war itself. Same in Iraq.
      • As at 2009, after 8 years of nation building, 750 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan.
    • Do you want the facts … or Fisk’s version? by Eoghan Harris, November 25, 2001 - “Fisk has now been wrong about three wars in a row. In the Gulf War he told us the Republican Guard would give the Americans a hard time: in fact, they folded. In the Kosovo War he said American bombing would not work: today Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for war crimes. And Fisk has been wrong about the Afghan War from first to last.”
    • For Fisk’s predictions during the first Gulf War see [From the Embassy, George Dempsey, 2004].


  • Iraq
    • It’s four in a row now. See Robert Fisk’s ignorant statements on Iraq.
    • Anglo-American Lies Exposed – whining wartime propaganda from Robert Fisk, 24 March 2003. He laughs at the idea that the allies are winning the Iraq war: “So far, the Anglo-American armies are handing their propaganda to the Iraqis on a plate. First, on Saturday, we were told … that Umm Qasr, the tiny Iraqi seaport on the Gulf, had “fallen”. … Then we were told … that Nassariyah had been captured. Then its “embedded ” correspondent informed us – and here my old journalistic suspicions were alerted – that it had been “secured”. … All in all, then, this has not been a great weekend for Messers Bush and Blair. … One of our own Tornadoes is shot down by the Americans … and we haven’t even totally captured the first town over the border from Kuwait. … this weekend, the quick and easy war, the conflict of “shock-and-awe” … doesn’t seem so realistic. Things are going wrong. We are not telling the truth. And the Iraqis are riding high on it all.”
    • Fisk propaganda, 1 April 2003 laughs at the allied effort: “Even the “siege of Baghdad” – a city that is 30 miles wide and might need a quarter of a million men to surround it – is fading from the diary. … I have a suspicion that what’s gone wrong has nothing to do with plans. Indeed, I suspect there is no real overall plan.”
    • Fisk propaganda, 2 April: “Anyone who doubts that the Iraqi army is prepared to defend its capital should take the highway south of Baghdad. How, I kept asking myself, could the Americans batter their way through these defences?”
    • On 9 April, Baghdad fell.
    • And yet still this ignorant man appears constantly on my radio set. Doesn’t it matter that he was wrong? Surely it counts for something??
    • Blog Irish
    • The prose of Robert Fisk by Norman Geras, July 05, 2004 – On Fisk’s sympathy for Saddam at his trial.


  • Lebanon


  • Fisking
    • Eoghan Harris coined the verb “to fisk” in 1999, meaning to do what Fisk does (sloppy, biased, one-sided argument; hopelessly wrong predictions, lack of embarrassment about said predictions, etc.).
    • The dangers of Fisking by David Pryce-Jones, uses this meaning of “fisking”.
      • Pryce-Jones talks of Fisk’s “hysteria and distortion” in his reporting on the Middle East. He describes Fisk as an enemy of the Iraqi people posing as their champion: “Perverting American purposes and practices in Iraq, fisking helps to bring about the doom that it anticipates with such glee and relish. … The Iraqis are his real victims.”
    • This definition of “fisking” has not caught on, though. The verb “to fisk” has been popularised by the blogosphere to mean “to clinically dissect someone’s shoddy argument piece by piece”. Robert Fisk is not a practitioner of “fisking”. Fisking is what is done to Robert Fisk. Also here.
    • Discussion of Fisking and Pilgerisms


  • In 2001, Robert Fisk was attacked and beaten up by ignorant pro-jihad Afghans close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. He responded with sympathy to his own assault!
    • My Beating is a Symbol of this Filthy War, Robert Fisk, 10 Dec 2001. He is sympathetic to their attack on a filthy infidel. “And even then, I understood. I couldn’t blame them for what they were doing. In fact, if I were the Afghan refugees of Kila Abdullah, close to the Afghan-Pakistan border, I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find.”
    • “Many of these Afghans, so we were to learn, were outraged by what they had seen on television … A villager [said] they had seen the videotape of CIA officers “Mike” and “Dave” threatening death to a kneeling prisoner at Mazar.” They are outraged by rough words to a captured jihadist. But they are not outraged by the Taliban’s long oppression and butchery, or the 9/11 attacks. And Fisk thinks these are reasonable people!
    • He had a glimpse of enlightenment, but he pulled back: “Did I catch the word “kaffir” — infidel? Perhaps I was was wrong.” He sticks to his belief that they are motivated by geopolitics rather than religion.
    • He says his attackers are not responsible for their actions: “there were all the Afghan men and boys who had attacked me who should never have done so but whose brutality was entirely the product of others, of us — of we who had armed their struggle against the Russians and ignored their pain and laughed at their civil war”. Because Muslims would never be violent if left alone by the West.


  • Success Has A Thousand Fathers: But who would have guessed that one of them was Robert Fisk? – Fisk says in 2003 that “We have captured Saddam”. Fisk! One of the people who did more than almost anyone to prevent the capture of Saddam! Now he pretends he is part of the movement that liberated Iraq!
  • Review by Efraim Karsh of Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation

  • Good stuff by Fisk:
    • Let’s give credit where it is due. Fisk has not made the mistake of many leftists of supporting the vile Iraqi resistance.
    • And my attention was drawn to this article: Conspiracy of silence in the Arab world, 10 February 2007, where he complains that Arabs do not protest Arab-on-Arab violence, only violence by the West and Israel. He complains at the silence of the Arab world about the Iraqi resistance as it slaughters Muslims. In among his usual attacks on the west and Israel, he has a good point: “When the Hama massacre occurred, neighbouring Arab states were silent. … Just as the imams and scholars of Islam were silent when the Algerians began to slaughter each other in a welter of head-chopping and security force executions in the 1990s. Just as they are silent now over the mutual killings in Iraq. … where are the sheikhs of Al-Azhar and the great Arabian kingdoms when the Iraqi dead are fished out of the Tigris and cut down in their thousands in Baghdad, Kerbala, Baquba? They, too, are silent. Not a word of criticism. Not a hint of concern. … But when does Arab blood become less sacred? Why, when it is shed by Arabs. It’s not just a failure of self-criticism in the Arab world. In a landscape ruled by monsters whom we in the West have long supported, criticism of any kind is a dodgy undertaking. But can there not be one small sermon of reprobation for what Iraqi Muslims are doing to Iraqi Muslims?”
    • Good for him. However, one could argue that Fisk’s entire career is based on an excessive focus on violence by westerners, instead of violence by non-westerners.

 Which puts him in the Pilger camp. Yvonne Ridley sends her regards…..

5 thoughts on “Red Kerry interviews the red 'expert' for the ME: Robert Fisk”

  1. Fisk doesn’t like noisy Jews, he wants them to go quietly in the ovens:

    Robert Fisk: Why Avigdor Lieberman is the worst thing that could happen to the Middle East

    Only days after they were groaning with fury at the Israeli lobby’s success in hounding the outspoken Charles Freeman away from his proposed intelligence job for President Obama, the Arabs now have to contend with an Israeli Foreign Minister whose – let us speak frankly – racist comments about Palestinian loyalty tests have brought into the new Netanyahu cabinet one of the most unpleasant politicians in the Middle East.

    The Iraqis produced the hateful Saddam, the Iranians created the crackpot Ahmadinejad – for reasons of sanity, I leave out the weird ruler of Libya – and now the Israelis have exalted a man, Avigdor Lieberman, who out-Sharons even Ariel Sharon.

    A few Palestinians expressed their cruel delight that at last the West will see the “true face” of Israel. I’ve heard that one before – when Sharon became prime minister – and the usual nonsense will be trotted out that only a “hard-line extremist” can make the compromises necessary for a deal with the Palestinians.

    This kind of self-delusion is a Middle East disease. The fact is that the Israeli Prime Minister-to-be has made it perfectly clear there will be no two-state solution; and he has planted a tree on Golan to show the Syrians they will not get it back. And now he’s brought into the cabinet a man who sees even the Arabs of Israel as second-class citizens.

    Lieberman’s first visit to Washington will be a gem. AIPAC – posing as an Israeli lobby when in fact it works for the Likudists – will fight for him and Lady Hillary will have to greet him warmly at the State Department. Who knows, he might even suggest to her that she imposes a loyalty test for American minorities as well – which would mean demanding an oath of faithfulness from Barack himself. The horizon goes on forever.

    In Egypt, Avigdor Lieberman will have a tough time. Hosni Mubarak can be a soft touch for the Americans but it was Lieberman who, complaining that the Egyptian President should visit Israel or “go to hell”, deeply offended a man who has taken great risks in maintaining his country’s peace with the Israeli state.

    Egyptians have been outraged to read in their newspapers that Lieberman has talked of drowning Palestinians in the Dead Sea or executing Israeli Palestinians who talked to Hamas. Last night, a supporter of Lieberman appeared on Al Jazeera television to describe Hamas as “an anti-Semitic, barbarous organisation” – even though Israeli army officers spoke openly with this supposedly “barbarous” group both before and after the Oslo agreement.

    But the growth of such an extremist administration in Israel and the hopeless response of the Obama administration to the so-called supporters of Israel who destroyed Freeman’s career, can only be dangerous news for the Middle East. The Jeddah-based Arab News called the Freeman disaster “a grave defeat for US foreign policy”. But while uttering all the usual platitudes, the Arab press has been playing up the pusillanimous remarks of US press secretary Robert Gibbs when asked why Obama was “standing mute” in the Freeman affair. “I’ve watched with great interest how people perceive different things about our policy and during the campaign about whether we were too close to one group or too close to the other. So I don’t give a lot of thought to those.” Asked for “straight answers”, Gibbs said: “I gave you as straight a one as I can get.”

    This was almost as funny as The New York Times when it attempted last week to explain why Lady Hillary was frightened of offending the Israelis during the formation of the Netanyahu government when she described the destruction of 1,000 Palestinian homes as “unhelpful”.

    Her caution in the Middle East, it explained, was “a reflection of the treacherous landscape in the Middle East, where a misplaced phrase can ruffle feathers among constituencies back home”. You bet it can – and when Mr Lieberman comes to town, we’ll see who those feathers belong to.

    Their owners would do well, however, to dwell on the incendiary language of Avigdor Lieberman. He speaks like a Russian nationalist rather than the secular Israeli he claims to be.

    I covered the bloodbath of Bosnia in the early Nineties and I can identify Lieberman’s language – of executions, of drownings, of hell and loyalty oaths – with the language of Messrs Mladic and Karadzic and Milosevic.

    Lady Hillary and her boss should pull out a few books on the war in ex-Yugoslavia if they want to understand who they are now dealing with. “Unhelpful” will not be the appropriate response.

  2. The surrounding Arab countries would do well to take a cue from Israel and conscript their females after seeing the conscripted fit Egyptian soldiers beating the females in the streets it would only make sense so they would have a way to be constructive in their lives otherwise they keep hitting each other and the women are fat and unhealthy… Egypt in a nutshell

  3. The Mystery of Robert Fisk’s Reporting
    By Nadia Khoury
    It’s looking worse by the day for the reputation of journalist and best-selling author Robert Fisk, who is fighting off accusations that he made up some of his most sensational stories of carnage and war crimes while hanging about in hotels with the other journalists he seemed to so despise.

    The latest bit of circumstantial evidence to add to the growing mystery; a little mystery going back some decades. We have two accounts of the Shatila massacre by Christian militiamen in Lebanon. One was written by a Dr. Franklin Lamb, allegedly a friend and ally of Fisk, recounting a letter he’d received from one Janet Lee Stevens:

    As you [Janet] later wrote to me in your perfect cursive, “I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit…”

    Then we have Fisk’s version:

    But there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall.

    Naturally, two witnesses to the same event would be expected to include the same sorts of details. Yet this particular blurb was remarkably exact on presenting these same details. Was Fisk’s account derived from his own eyes or from someone else’s?

    Nadia Khoury is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist

  4. What a stupid man:

    Raymond Ibrahim: Robert Fisk Demonizes Mideast’s Persecuted Christians

    Over at PJMedia (via, I show how Mideast journalist Robert Fisk gets it wrong, yet again — only this time he facilitates the sufferings of Christian minorities in the Middle East:

    Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for the U.K.’s widely-read Independent, recently showed why it is that Islamic jihadists and terrorists, including the late Osama bin Laden, strongly recommend his propaganda to Western readers.
    In a recent article, Fisk goes out of his way to demonize the abused Christian minorities of the Middle East for supporting those secularist leaders most likely to preserve their freedoms and dignity. For instance, after portraying the Middle East’s “old guard” in the worst possible terms, he complains that “Ahmed Shafiq, the Mubarak loyalist, has the support of the Christian Copts, and Assad has the support of the Syrian Christians. The Christians support the dictators. Not much of a line, is it?”

    In Fisk’s way of thinking, Christians of Egypt and Syria are freedom-haters because they support secularists, whereas the Sharia-pushing Islamists are freedom-lovers for not.

    “Not much of a line, is it?”—especially from someone who supposedly lives and travels in the Middle East and is deemed an authority on the region. Completely missing from his narrative is why Christians are supporting Shafiq and Assad: because the alternatives, the Islamists, have been making their lives a living hell…

    Continue reading.

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