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Last updated on August 5th, 2017 at 04:02 am
Geoffrey Wheatcroft notes a suggested alternative to the knighting of Salman Rushdie:
When Lord Ahmed was made a member of the House of Lords by Blair, he was paraded as a moderate Muslim voice. He sounded only fairly moderate when he said on television that “Sir Salman” was an outrage against Islam and that the government should have knighted journalist Robert Fisk instead.
He’d have been the first to win a knighthood for services to himself. Here’s Sir Robert on the death of Kurt Waldheim, in which the Nazi-linked former UN Secretary-General receives only passing mention:
All I could say … I heard yesterday … I spent months, years, investigating … I remember … I was at Amman airport … I thought …
It was an Austrian journalist who alerted me … when I told her … I recall finding … I remember how I visited Bosnia … I visited his former headquarters … I even visited his interrogation office …
I asked him what it felt like … I have his words in my own handwriting as I write this … When I left Bosnia … my Waldheim investigations … I called my foreign news editor … I saw so many parallels …
I believed a civil war would break out … The local Serbs even abused me … I did report the Bosnian war …
I well remember … I came across a second-hand copy of Waldheim’s memoirs … I should add …
All history revolves around Bob. This piece also sees the return of Fisk’s roarers:
“We’ll report it if it happens,” Barnes roared down the phone at me.
(Note the redundant “at me”.) Previous roaring appearances:
• Andrew Marr, when editor of The Independent, who first made me think about what was happening … Andrew turned round and pointed across the city. “Something’s gone wrong with the bloody weather!” he roared.
• “Fisky,” he roars, “that really is the story of Lebanon. Aren’t we are all now ‘on the mosque side of the church’?”
Fisk is quite the roarer himself, as Sean Gannon reminds us:
Corrections and clarifications have never been a feature of Fisk’s reporting on Israel. Most notoriously, he has never properly repudiated the false claims made in his April 2002 articles on the Battle of Jenin in which, despite being in California at the time, he described the “stench of death wafting out from the Palestinian city” and accused “Israel’s undisciplined soldiery” of “running amok,” massacring “hundreds” and concealing the evidence from the world.
West Bank, west coast; what’s the difference?