Author Topic: Robert Fisk thread  (Read 18569 times)

skdadl

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2007, 07:09:35 AM »
Fisk is burningly good through most of that (although there are problems in making such direct connections from literature, and his reading of The Tempest shows some of them). Ooh. I must use that.

It's true, y'know: reading Shakespeare was without question the most subversive thing that happened to me when I was young.

Debra

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2007, 10:55:35 AM »
Quote
The war of humiliation

By Robert Fisk

04/02/07 "The Independent" -- -- Our Marines are hostages. Two more were shown on Iranian TV. Petrol bombs burst behind the walls of the British embassy in Tehran. But it's definitely not the war on terror. It's the war of humiliation. The humiliation of Britain, the humiliation of Tony Blair, of the British military, of George Bush and the whole Iraqi shooting match. And the master of humiliation - even if Tony Blair doesn't realise it - is Iran, a nation which feels itself forever humiliated by the West.

Oh how pleased the Iranians must have been to hear Messers Blair and Bush shout for the "immediate" release of the luckless 15 - this Blair-Bush insistence has assuredly locked them up for weeks - because it is a demand that can be so easily ignored. And will be.

"Inexcusable behaviour," roared Bush on Saturday - and the Iranians loved it. The Iranian Minister meanwhile waited for a change in Britain's "behaviour".

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying President from hell, calls Blair "arrogant and selfish" - and so say all of us, by the way - after refusing to play to the crowd at the United Nations. They'll release "serviceperson" Faye Turney. Then they won't release her.

Veiled Faye with her cigarette and her backcloth of cheaply flowered curtains, producing those preposterous letters of cloying friendship towards the "Iranian people" while abjectly apologising for the British snoop into Iranian waters - written, I strongly suspect, by the lads from the Ministry of Islamic Guidance - is the star of the Iranian show.

Back in 1980, when Tehran staged its much more ambitious takeover of the US embassy, the star was a blubbering marine - a certain Sergeant Ladell Maples - who was induced to express his appreciation for Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution just before America's prime-time television news.


http://www.informationclearinghouse.inf ... e17460.htm
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

Holly Stick

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2007, 05:58:32 PM »
I guess we've missed a few.  Anyway, Fisk has more questions than answers about who did what yesterday, but a lot of people got killed in Lebanon.

Quote
...But Tripoli is the most powerful Sunni city in Lebanon - so powerful that not a drop of alcohol wets its restaurant tables - and the men and women running in terror across Tripoli's streets yesterday were also Sunnis. So are the Syrians really concocting an "al-Qaida" in Lebanon? And who are its enemies? The Nato army of the UN force in southern Lebanon, perhaps? But surely not the Lebanese army, the very same army which bravely prevented civil war last January? Yet in 2000, an al-Qaida-type group also ambushed the Lebanese army in northern Lebanon. Was this, too, supposed to be a Syrian invention?...


http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article2565126.ece
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fern hill

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2007, 08:22:52 AM »
What the hell is going on in Lebanon? Robert Fisk to the rescue:
 
Quote
Robert Fisk: The road to Jerusalem (via Lebanon)
Inspired by al-Qa'ida, a hitherto little-known militant group is behind the outbreak of bloody violence which has left scores dead
Published: 23 May 2007

They came into Lebanon last summer when the world was watching Israel smash this small nation in a vain attempt to destroy the Hizbollah. But the men who set up their grubby little office in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, some of them fighters from the Iraq war, others from Yemen, Syria or Lebanon itself, were far more dangerous than America and Israel believed the Hizbollah to be. They had come, they told the few journalists who bothered to seek them out "to liberate" Jerusalem because "to free our territory is a sacred duty inscribed in the Koran".

That the men of Fatah al-Islam should believe that the road to Jerusalem lay through the Lebanese city of Tripoli and might be gained by killing almost 30 Lebanese soldiers - many of them Sunni Muslims like themselves, four of whom it now emerges had their heads cut off - was one of the weirder manifestations of an organisation which, while it denies being part of al-Qa'ida, is clearly sympathetic to the "brothers" who serve the ideas of Osama bin Laden.

Quote
That's how these things work in the Middle East, where there is no such thing as responsibility - only a commonality of interests. Perhaps the Americans might have learnt something about this if they had not two years ago insulted the Syrians for allowing fighters into Iraq - at which point, the Syrians halted all military and intelligence co-operation with the US.

Interviewed earlier this year, another of Fatah al-Islam's leaders who called himself "Abu Mouayed", insisted that "we are not in contact with other Islamists... we are not at the point of recruiting fighters, but those who want to work with us and struggle against the Jews are welcome". He also threatened to attack the enlarged UN force in southern Lebanon which is run by four Nato generals. At the time, the PLO's officials in Nahr el-Bared claimed that they were "keeping their eye" on Fatah al-Islam. But sometime in the last two months, their gaze clearly wandered.


Independent

GDKitty

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2007, 12:54:24 AM »
Seymour Hersh told CNN International that the Siniora govt previously supported the Fatah al-Islam, at Cheney's/bin Sultan's/Abrams' behest:
Quote
In an interview on CNN International's Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh explains that the current violence in Lebanon is the result of an attempt by the Lebanese government to crack down on a militant Sunni group, Fatah al-Islam, that it formerly supported.

Last March, Hersh reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hardline Sunni jihadists.

A key element of this policy shift was an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah.

Makes yer head hurt, eh? :(

Holly Stick

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« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2007, 01:03:26 AM »
I bet the Americans were providing arms to them too.  After all, they need customers, don't they.
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sparqui

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2007, 02:52:17 PM »
As events unfold, this latest atrocity in Lebanon has US paws all over it.

Another excellent article that sheds light on this latest "terrorist" group:

Quote
Inside Narh al-Bared and Bedawi Refugee Camps

Who's Behind the Fighting in North Lebanon?


By FRANKLIN LAMB
Tripoli, Lebanon.

...Over a year ago Hariri's Future Movement (FM) started setting up Sunni Islamist terrorist cells (the PSP and LF already had their own militia since the civil war and despite the Taif Accords requiring militia to disarm they are now rearmed and itching for action and trying hard to provoke Hezbollah).

The FM created Sunni Islamist 'terrorist' cells were to serve as a cover for (anti-Hezbollah) Welch Club projects. The plan was that actions of these cells, of which Fatah el-Islam is one, could be blamed on al Qaeda or Syria or anyone but the Club.

To staff the new militias, FM rounded up remnants of previous extremists in the Palestinian Refugee camps that had been subdued, marginalized and diminished during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Each fighter got $700 per month, not bad in today's Lebanon.

The first Welch Club funded militia, set up by FM, is known locally as Jund-al-Sham (Soldiers of Sham, where "Sham" in Arabic denotes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine & Jordan) created in Ain-el-Hilwa Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon. This group is also referred to in the Camps as Jund-el-Sitt (Soldiers of the Sitt, where "Sitt" in Sidon, Ain-el-Hilwa and the outskirts pertain to Bahia Hariri, the sister of Rafiq Hariri, aunt of Saad, and Member of Parliament).

The second was Fateh-al-Islam (The name cleverly put together, joining Fateh as in Palestinian and the word Islam as in Qaeda). FM set this Club cell up in Nahr-al-Bared refugee camp north of Tripoli for geographical balance.

Fatah el-Islam had about 400 well paid fighters until three days ago. Today they may have more or fewer plus volunteers. The leaders were provided with ocean view luxury apartments in Tripoli where they stored arms and chilled when not in Nahr-al-Bared. Guess who owns the apartments?

According to members of both Fatah el-Islam and Jund-al-Sham their groups acted on the directive of the Club president, Saad Hariri.
So what went wrong? "Why the bank robbery" and the slaughter at Nahr el-Baled?

According to operatives of Fatah el-Islam, the Bush administration got cold feet with people like Seymour Hirsh snooping around and with the White House post-Iraq discipline in free fall. Moreover, Hezbollah intelligence knew all about the Clubs activities and was in a position to flip the two groups who were supposed to ignite a Sunni ­Shia civil war which Hezbollah vows to prevent.

Things started to go very wrong quickly for the Club last week.
FM "stopped" the payroll of Fateh el-Islam's account at the Hariri family owned back.

Fateh-al-Islam, tried to negotiate at least 'severance pay' with no luck and they felt betrayed. (Remember many of their fighters are easily frustrated teenagers and their pay supports their families). Militia members knocked off the bank which issued their worthless checks. They were doubly angry when they learned FM is claiming in the media a loss much greater than they actually snatched and that the Club is going to stiff the insurance company and actually make a huge profit.

Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (newly recruited to serve the bidding of the Club and the Future Movement) assaulted the apartments of Fatah-al-Islam Tripoli. They didn't have much luck and were forced to call in the Lebanese army.

Within the hour, Fatah-al-Islam retaliated against Lebanese Army posts, checkpoints and unarmed, off-duty Lebanese soldiers in civilian clothing and committed outrageous killings including severing at four heads.

Up to this point Fatah-al-Islam did not retaliate against the Internal Security forces in Tripoli because the ISF is pro-Hariri and some are friends and Fatah al-Islam still hoped to get paid by Hariri. Instead Fatah al Islam went after the Army.

The Seniora cabinet convenes and asks the Lebanese Army to enter the refugee camp and silence (in more ways than one) Fatah-al-Islam. Since entrance into the Camps is forbidden by the 1969 Arab league agreement, the Army refuses after realizing the extent of the conspiracy against it by the Welch Club. The army knows that entering a refugee camp in force will open a front against the Army in all twelve Palestinian refugee camps and tear the army apart along sectarian cracks...

http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb05242007.html

More along the same lines with reference to Hersh's excellent work:

Quote
Lebanese Army Lays Siege
To Palestinian Refugee Camp


By Peter Symonds
22 May, 2007

...According to the London-based Times, dozens of right-wing supporters of the Future Movement led by Saad Hariri, the son and political heir of Rafik Hariri, are gathered outside the refugee camp. Walid Hussein told the newspaper: “We are here to help the army. We have been carrying ammunition and water to them.” Others have been egging the army on to demolish the camp. “We wish the government would destroy the whole camp and the rest of the camps. Nothing good comes out of the Palestinians,” Ahmad al-Marooq declared to the New York Times.

There are 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, into which an estimated 350,000 people are crammed. The refugees, who were driven out of Israel in the late 1940s, and their descendents live in appalling squalor, with limited rights to work and a lack of basic services. Lebanon’s former UN ambassador Khalil Makkawi told CNN: “The situation speaks for itself. Those camps have become fertile ground for the fundamentalists, the extremists.” While sections of the Siniora government would undoubtedly like to take direct control of the camps, such a provocative move would likely plunge the country back to civil war.

The US connection

The Bush administration immediately backed the Siniora government. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declared that the Lebanese army was working in a “legitimate manner” against “provocations by violent extremists”. He refrained, however, from directly blaming Syria. White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto called for an end to the fighting, saying: “We believe that all parties should take a step back from violence.”

On the face of it, the US statements appear uncharacteristically mild. Washington has previously denounced Syria and Iran for supporting Hezbollah and other “terrorist” groups inside Lebanon. The Bush administration justifies its neo-colonial occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of waging a global “war on terror” against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. One cannot, of course, read too much into brief formal statements, behind which may lie many political motivations. But in all the media debate about the backers of Fatah al-Islam, no mention is made of the US connection raised by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh in his lengthy article “The Redirection” published in the New Yorker in February....

...Former British intelligence officer Alastair Crooke pointed in particular to the emergence of Fatah al-Islam at the Nahr al-Bared camp last year. “The Lebanese government is opening space for these people to come in. It could be very dangerous... I was told that within twenty four hours [of forming] they were being offered weapons and money by people presenting themselves as representatives of the Lebanese government’s interests—presumably to take on Hezbollah,” he explained to Hersh.

It cannot be verified whether such an offer was made. But it is certainly not out of the question that the US administration, in league with the Siniora government and the Saudi monarchy, sought to manipulate an Al Qaeda-linked militia for their own political purposes. After all, the origins of Al Qaeda lie in the CIA’s massive holy war against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Nor would it be impossible for any one of the players involved to decide that the danger of another “blowback” was too high and to turn on the group.

Whatever the case, the US and its allies in the Middle East are responsible for the destabilisation of Lebanon and have directly or indirectly contributed to the latest flare-up of bloody violence at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.


http://countercurrents.org/symonds220507.htm

An interesting background read that covers Lebanese political parties and US support:

An 'Operation Condor' in the Middle East?

By Bill Cecil
Published Jan 30, 2007 9:44 PM

http://www.workers.org/2007/world/lebanon-0208/
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GDKitty

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Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2007, 03:02:49 PM »
Wow, sparqui--thanks for all of those!  I've bookmarked them all.

lagatta

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2008, 09:00:12 AM »
The only lesson we ever learn Is that we never learn

Quote
Five years on, and still we have not learnt. With each anniversary, the steps crumble beneath our feet, the stones ever more cracked, the sand ever finer. Five years of catastrophe in Iraq and I think of Churchill, who in the end called Palestine a "hell-disaster".

But we have used these parallels before and they have drifted away in the Tigris breeze. Iraq is swamped in blood. Yet what is the state of our remorse? Why, we will have a public inquiry – but not yet! If only inadequacy was our only sin.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2008, 03:37:06 PM »
Just Because You've Got a Canadian Passport Doesn't Mean You're "Safe" Fearful Lives in the Land of the Free

the Canadian intelligence service -- a truly silly institution called CSIS  :rotfl:
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Toedancer

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2008, 11:15:55 PM »
Obama/Biden, McCain/Palin clueless to Palestine/Israel.
Independent
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Antonia

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2008, 11:35:01 PM »
Enough about Israel already.

Quote
How constant attention from the candidates hinders the Jewish state.
By Shmuel Rosner
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008, at 4:01 PM ET
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
-- Dag Hammarskjöld

Debra

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2009, 09:35:37 AM »

Robert Fisk’s World: The West should feel shame over its collusion with torturers


Quote
No, I don't think Canada as a nation is to blame for all this. But the West is. For it is our public servants in government and our secret service thugs who have been in league with all these perverted men around the world. Indeed, even when Almalki was freed from his Syrian prison, Canadian embassy officials in Damascus would not allow him to stay in their building and ordered him out when the embassy closed at 4pm. One of them reportedly later told Almalki that Canada regularly gave passports to the families of leading Syrian officials. Can this be true?

I do know that the Syrians quite recently complained mightily to the Americans as well as the Canadians. First, the West sent its prisoners to be tortured in Damascus – and then complained that Syria abused human rights! Quite so. Bashar Al-Assad has put a stop to quite a lot of torture in Syria and now that President Obama is sending his cohorts to woo the Syrians, they presumably won't be called on to do America's (or Canada's) dirty work any more.

But I want to know why those complicit in Almalki's torture – the letter writers, the composers of questions – cannot be tried in court. They are, at the least, accomplices to human rights abuses. So are the Brits who went to question tortured men in Guantanamo. Even more so are the American perverts who indulged in their own torture in Afghanistan and Iraq – and yes, I have noted that our dear President Obama is allowing the illegal detention of prisoners at Bagram in Afghanistan to continue. But what else would you expect from a man whose secretary of state, Lady Hillary, far from going to the Palestinians whose homes were going to be destroyed by the Israelis in Jerusalem and denouncing this outrage, said merely that the home demolitions were "unhelpful".
'
The Indepentent
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skdadl

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2009, 10:04:06 AM »
Excellent column -- wish I'd written all but one phrase in it.

Fisk is absolutely right about our guys needing to face some kind of investigation in at least eight cases where some version of what happened to Almalki amounts to violations of international law, some of those violations rising to the level of war crimes. The RCMP, CSIS, DFAIT reps, and then presumably various executive officers who directed or condoned their activities have all been complicit. We need to know exactly who did what, who authorized what, and we need to compensate all the victims, not just Arar.

This is frustrating partly because so much investigating has already been done (and that's true in the U.S. and the UK too). What serious process could we move ahead with?

A public accounting is necessary for two reasons: first, to give some of these agencies and their political masters a sharp yank on the chain, to make sure this crap stops yesterday; and second, to raise awareness among Canadians of just how wrong many have been through this awful time, how poisoned our entire political culture has been by the general willingness to go along with repressive measures. Most of us have seen the appalling comments that turn up on the national news sites from people who seem to have no idea how necessary it is to defend the basic principles of international law. It's worrisome just how low the general culture has fallen -- we need some legal authority to start doing some edumacating, I think. I just don't know how that's done at the moment, given our truly awful political landscape.

ETA: The one line of Fisk's that I wouldn't have written is that apologia for Bashar al-Assad. C'mon, Robert: "put a stop to quite a lot of torture in Syria" is 'way beneath us. You don't have to want to see the demonizing of Syria continue to refuse to lie about what they have done and continue to do, not just to our citizens but to their own. The Palestine Branch prison in Damascus wasn't set up to deal mainly with Westerners, eh?

jrootham

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Re: Robert Fisk thread
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2009, 12:59:51 PM »
I don't know about that. "Putting a stop to quite a lot of torture" in Syria is a pretty low bar.  Is the statement factually correct?  Given Fisk I'm inclined to believe it.  Not going to make me believe that Syria is a wonderful place, though.

 

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