Monday, September 13, 2004

Robert Fisk ...

.. really is - well, let's say I find much to disagree with. I've just read his description of how on the morning of Sept. 11, flying to the States, he "told the captain, and how the crew and I prowled the plane to look for possible suicide pilots. I think I found about 13; alas, of course, they were all Arabs and completely innocent. But it told me of the new world in which I was supposed to live. "Them’’ and "Us’’. ".

Who told you ? You found 13 potential hijackers. How ? What criteria did you use ? Was it just coincidence they were all (alas) Arabs ? Or is that (as I assume) what you were looking for ?

If so, that was your choice, your decision (and in the circumstances a wise one). Don't tell me someone told you 'of the world you were supposed to live' in. You were perfectly at liberty to check for crucifixes or yarmulkas if you thought that was a more likely indicator of a potential hijacker. Don't try to blame someone else for your decisions.

But this - at his mother's funeral - is - well, I could find words for it.

"But I also remember, at the service in the chancel of the little stone Kentish church, that I angrily suggested that if President Bill Clinton had spent as much money on research into Parkinson’s disease as he had just spent in firing cruise missiles into Afghanistan at Osama bin Laden (and it must have been the first time Bin Laden’s name was uttered in the precincts of the Church of England) then my mother would not have been in the wooden box beside me."

That little anecdote says more about Robert Fisk than all of his Indie pieces put together.

UPDATE - Harry (we can't go on linking like this - people will talk) and Natalie (at samizdata) both give Fisk the wet-fish treatment. So does Norm.

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