Robert Fisk, intrepid war correspondent, dies at 74

Robert Fisk, a ruthless journalist who was widely praised by colleagues and contestants for his frequent non-cooperation from many eras of the Middle East, but who was not disappointed by some critics, who were sometimes desperate people Tough to die, died Friday in a hospital in Dublin. He was 74.

According to his editors in the British newspaper The Independent, he suffered a severe stroke.

With muscular reporting and writing style on foot, Mr. Fisk, who had British and Irish citizenship, was involved in both war and civilian affairs in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel and its Palestinian territories in the Middle East and beyond. Covered. , Northern Ireland, Algeria, and Lebanon, where they made Beirut their base for a long time.

“You can reach the truth without not being there,” he said “This is not a film,” is the documentary about his work in 2019. Over the course of nearly five decades, the final three for The Independent, Mr. Fisk were indisputably there.

He made no pretense of following traditional notions of journalistic objectivity, essentially arguing that in some situations there was no “other side”.

“I think it is the duty of a foreign correspondent to be neutral and impartial in favor of those who suffer, whatever that may be,” he said in a speech in 2010 at First Congregational Church in Berkeley, California. His apostles earned him. Many accolades; Seven times he was named International Journalist at the British Press Awards.

He had three interviews with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. Mr. Fish wrote In the independent In 1993, bin Laden, still universally known as the leader of Al Qaeda and the mastermind of September 11, 2001, attacked the United States, “every inch looks like a mountain warrior of the Mujahideen legend.”

But he stopped well by being a star. In 1996, a bin Laden official called and asked Mr. Fisk to go to Afghanistan for a meeting. Mr. Fisk, who spoke the Arabic language, later recalled, saying to the man, “Call me back in a week.” He wasn’t about to “snatch his fingers and then I come” to tell the “San Francisco Chronicle” in 2003. He would later characterize the 9/11 attacks as “a hate crime against humanity”.

Mr. Fisk was strict on those he perceived to be oppressors, although his critics said he could be unreasonably harsh. Its dealings with Israel and the Palestinians were frequent targets, as were its misconceptions in the United States and the Middle East. He could get rough on fellow news collectors, whom he dismisses as guilty of “hotel journalism”, making his brand of shoe-leather reporting dodgy.

He also did not spare the political class in Lebanon. Lebanon “was one of the most educated countries in the region,” he wrote After the August Port eruption which greatly flattered Beirut. “And yet,” he said, “it cannot move its posture, supply its electric power, cure its sick or protect its people.”

His sympathy for the Dalits, while realistically, on the occasion made him feel somewhat strange. One such example came in December 2001 when he was reporting on Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. After he was beaten by Afghan refugees, Mr. Fiske, who often referred to himself in the third person, wrote that he was in his position, he would have done the same: “I would have attacked Robert Fisk. Or any other western I could find. “

More often than not, his reporting ran counter to gaining knowledge. It is suspected, however, that he was eager to adopt over-enthusiastic ratings at times.

During Syria’s disastrous civil war, Mr. Fisk found himself accusing those reports of skepticism by critics of siding with Bashar al-Assad, the country’s president. Government launched chemical attacks In the Damascus suburb. In the years following the 9/11 attacks, he speculated, without any evidence, that the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which had gone down over the area of ​​Pennsylvania, might have been hit by a missile.

Nevertheless, his decision often proved to be on the mark. For example, they correctly observed 1993 Oslo Accord There will not be true peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. And compared to some others, he anticipated the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Robert Fisk was born on July 12, 1946, in the town of Maidstone, England, southeast of London. He was the only child of William Fisk, a town official and World War I veteran who kept a diary of the horrors of that conflict, and in later years Peggy (Rose) Fisk, an amateur painter who became a Maidstone magistrate.

When he was 12 years old, Robert watched the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film “Foreign Correspondent” and decided that this would be his life. He graduated from Lancaster University in northwestern England in 1968. Much later, in 1983, he earned a doctorate in political science from Trinity College, Dublin, his thesis on Ireland’s neutrality and relations with Britain in World War II.

Mr. Fisk worked for several small newspapers before joining The Sunday Express and then in the early 1970s, The Times of London. He covered the troubles in Northern Ireland, then moved to Beirut in 1976, soon after the outbreak of civil war there; This will become a decade-long migration. He left both The Sunday Express and The Times after controversies with the editors and in 1989 signed with The Independent, an independent newspaper.

From 1994 to 2006, Mr. Fisk married an American-origin journalist, Lara Marlow, now a Paris-based correspondent for the Irish Times. A few years after participating, she married Nelofar Pazira, an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker and human rights activist. He is her only immediate survivor.

Mr. Fisk wrote half a dozen books, the most prominent of which were “PT the Nation: Lebanon at War” (1990) and “The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East” (2005). In a later book, he described how the winners of the First World War reshaped the world map, creating the boundaries of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and the Middle East.

“And I,” he wrote, “my entire career – in Belfast and Sarajevo, in Beirut and Baghdad – watching people burn within those boundaries.”

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