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'Greatest Journalist of His Generation': Robert Fisk, Veteran War Reporter and Fierce Critic of US Imperialism, Dead at 74

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/02/greatest-journalist-his-generation-robert-fisk-veteran-war-reporter-and-fierce


Let the re-appraisals of Fisk’s contributions to non-ideologically warped journalistic reporting commence. I was caught in the cross-fire and have yet to form any firm basis of evaluation for the reams of Fisk reportage I read and often angered me through my formative years. How much was individual opportunism and careerism rather than ideological commitment?

I do recall a journalist I respected enough to correspond with on his peripatetic coverage of global hot spots from his base near Fleet Street and who was a stalwart in coverage by THE INDEPENDENT had some public criticism he was willing to share and subject to peer review about Robert Fisk’s prioritization of Muddle Eastern coverage and ideological biases of reportage in the making of the demagogic crusading reporter that Fisk cultivated.

This journalist, Adel Darwish, co-wrote a very important and lasting credible book of reportorial hard science, economics and geo-politics titled always presciently especially in 1993 Water Wars: Coming Conflicts In the Middle East discussed here:

Just some questions I hope other questionable characters like Jeremy Corbyn will lead public discussions of over the coming years of necessary progress in countering wealth concentration and rise of a new Feudal Order led by the financializing Feudal Lords of HIgh FInance who produce nothing…

Adel and not Fisk wrote much about the Financialization of the UK’s economy to the detriment of the nation’s citizens and Wage Slaves rather than the investment class that could always pick up and move to buy comfortable properties in Canada, Australia the U.S. or rest of the EU. Here in the U.S. I’m glad we have reporters like David Dayen capable of writing in the Public Interest rather than the careerist Private Interest:

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion List and Looksee

One of the very best, RIP, Mr Fisk.


“The great war for civilization” by Mr Fisk, was one of the best history books i’ve ever read.


Twitter wonders why Fisk hasn’t been on Democracy Now! in seven years. Now I wonder, too.

Similarly missing in recent years has been Aaron Maté and John Pilger. Aaron Maté notes Stephen Cohen, who also died recently, was blacklisted from Democracy Now! since early 2017.


Matt Taibbi recently noted he was the last Russiagate skeptic on MSNBC, also in early 2017, but I think we are already aware of what MSNBC is.


Robert Fisk was one of the last remaining, knowledgeable voices we had regarding objective truth, especially in international matters. RIP. Truly a loss for us all.

Aaron has been reporting on The Grayzone, as well as Twitter.

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He was what a journalist should be, expressing truth and empathy for victims.

I recall an article by him where he stops to talk to a Syrian tank crew who were waiting to be the earliest target of an expected Israeli air attack and how Fisk was anxious to remove himself from the vicinity before that happened, writing with sorrow and pity for those soldiers who were under orders to remain and were destined to die.


The Great War for Civilization provides a comprehensive overview of the Middle East and the West’s relation to the region. What is especially effective is how Robert Fisk maintains historical context for near-contemporary events, linking the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the “great war for civilization” (AKA the First World War) and the subsequent carving-up of the Middle East by the European powers to the consequences of those actions to illustrate how they are simply the same old imperialism gripped by the same old hubris, myopia, and misery.

Not that I’ll claim to be an expert, but Fisk’s sweeping understanding combined with his talent for eliciting empathy through identifying individuals impacted by events provides a rich guide to a region made volatile by “Western civilization” that can be referred to again and again to make understanding clearer.

It was with great sadness that I noted Robert Fisk’s passing over the last weekend. His insight, candor, and compassion will be greatly missed, but he leaves his lasting legacy in works such as The Great War for Civilization.

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During the Iraq war I relied heavily on both CD and Fisk for news. I greatly appreciate the work he did.

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Not many people/journalists around these days with the same calibre as Fisk.