20 August 2008

Oh, where is the fisking of yesteryear?

I don't know about you, but I am feeling nostalgic about the years when there was some rich fisking material in the works of Fisk. When one could sink one's teeth into some juicy fact-shuffling, ignorance or the usual passion for things un-Western (or, rather, anti-Western).

I realize that it is over for a long time since that infamous beating. Whether it caused some neurons in that brain to go boing (or whatever the neurons do when knocked about) or the impact was more of psychological nature, I wouldn't presume to guess. Still, one could only hope, even in vain, for the return of the good old Fisk.

So I confess freely to taking a shufti at the pages of Indy now and then to see whether there is some fisking to do on Fisk. Shame, I know, but old habits and all that. And of course, one couldn't really fisk something like this:

Robert Fisk's World: A region boiling with tales of kings, gangs and war

So, according to the anonymous editor of Indy's online pages, there is already a whole world belonging to Fisk. It makes sense, actually, since the man has been cooking on another planet for quite a long time, and obviously by now it's a fully populated world.

What is encouraging, however, that the Master is again sticking the word "Israel" into his texts. In this one it appears four times, even when the article is not about Israel as such - OK, here I am being wrong - in that world of Fisk Israel is over every table and under every bed, so there...

Let us dispose of the mentions of Israel first:

  1. ...American reporters are so fearful of being criticised by Israel that their work is bland to the point of incomprehension...
  2. ...David Petraeus, the US commander who has turned anarchic Iraq into a tourist paradise with just one surge and a lot of walls (or "fences" as we would have to call them if they were built in Israel).
  3. Since 2006, the US has given about £170m in military assistance to Lebanon – Israel, of course, gets £1.5bn year – which includes Humvees, ammunition and lots of new blue police cars.
  4. Yet still the Middle East debates whether Israel or the US will bomb Iran. Personally, I don't believe this will happen...
I don't see any special need to comment on the above, aside of that last one: I was quite sure that this wouldn't happen till I read it. The man is a walking reverse prophet. Take his prophecy and bet all your money on the opposite - you can't go wrong.

Well, so what is the article about after all? Here is my attempt to gather some points:
  • Two groups from Moscow fought it out with Kalashnikovs amid Dubai's architectural masterpieces.
  • [news items are] bursting into the papers when I'm on holiday or flying back to Beirut from Los Angeles, or, most awful of all, when I'm marching into The Independent office in London for a rare visit.
  • ...journalists are often more interesting to talk to than to read.
  • The Middle East is currently boiling with rumours about the state of the monarchy in Morocco.
  • Engineers in Dubai have apparently noticed that the carriages on the largely overhead track will be so narrow that passengers will not be able to carry baggage on them.
  • Petraeus saw Lebanon's new President, Michel Sleiman, and the acting commander of Lebanon's army, General Shawki el-Masri...
  • Less than a week after Petraeus's visit, Sleiman was to pay his first presidential visit to Damascus, Did the American general perhaps have a few requests to make of President Bashar al-Assad via Sleiman?
  • Well, if America bombs Iran, the Islamic republic's missiles are likely to come hissing towards US forces in Qatar [do you hear that zipper opening sound?]
  • I received a letter last week from an old friend whose son has just returned from military duties in Iraq. And he's been wandering the Pisgah mountains in the US with a group of schoolkids in an area where he noticed a lot of military training going on a year ago...And I looked carefully through my friend's snapshots of rocky mountainsides and thick forests. And, darn me if they didn't remind me of the Elborz mountain chain just outside Tehran.
This is it, more or less. Reach your own conclusions from the above. The man is not known for any outstanding acts of gratuitous violence, rather the opposite - he is always ready to be beaten, as long as the beating is administered by some anti-American element, if possible of agricultural persuasion. So there is no urgent need to see him off to a funny farm.

But no, nothing to fisk here... move on, people...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.