Jan 12, 2009

War Reporting

I was driving home from work and listening to the radio when I heard Robert Fisk for the first time on KPFT. Mr. Fisk is a journalist who has reported for more than 30 years on war and on the Middle East. I am glad that I could find the video for the talk that I listened to, because I really wanted to share his words and his perspective. He describes the media coverage of the war and how the people of America and in Europe are not being shown the truth of the war, but instead we are being fed a sanitized version, so that the war will be more palatable for us, so that we will continue to tolerate it. He is straight forward in his criticism and I have no doubt the US government is keeping an eye on him (at least through our last administration), but he speaks the truth from his heart and I have to admire his fearlessness in saying what he thinks. Mr. Fisk admits that he does not have optimism for either staying in or exiting the war, because our position is impossible either way, and I tend to agree. We are stuck in a damned if we do and damned if we don't scenario that will keep us from succeeding or withdrawing for a long time to come.

While listening to Mr. Fisk, I stopped at the grocery store and found myself unable to leave my car until he finished speaking. The program was Alternative Radio (alternativeradio.com), and it has made me a fan of Robert Fisk and of AR. Towards the end of this lecture, Mr. Fisk reads from a letter sent by a US marine to his father. Mr. Fisk describes the letter, which tells of the futility of our occupation of Iraq, as eloquent. I have never heard a soldier's perspective stated as clearly and beautifully as this letter was written.

The lecture is about an hour long. If you don't have time to listen to it in one sitting, then save it to your favorites and go back to it. The letter from the soldier is at about 47:00.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link - very good discussion. -- matt

finijo said...

I think so too. Mr. Fisk just sold me on his latest book (the 500 page book, not the 1300 page book - lol).

Anonymous said...

Most ... prescient. Yeah, he's pretty much spot on. I have a copy of the movie "ZULU!" BTW. My Mom didn't want to accompany her (seven 1/2 y.o.?) son to see a war movie, so I saw it as the first movie I saw alone in a theater in Dallas when it came out; it made quite an enduring impression. (BTW again: the war chant before the final battle in "ZULU!" with Michael Cain, inter alia, is borrowed as the war chant before the opening battle of "Gladiator" with Russel Crowe, inter alia.) And, I smiled at the reference to Crassus: I ... presciently ... scanned a copy of a new book last year about his demise in Mesopotamia. (Didn't buy it yet; my reading list is toooooooo long already.)

finijo said...

Thank you for the comment, and I am pleased that you liked the video. I have seen Zulu and remember it to be a very good movie, albeit quite gory in parts. Intersting fact about the war chant - I have seen Gladiator, but did not recognize the war chant. I will pay attention when I watch that film the next time.

I tried to find your comments/blog on the ADN, but was unable to locate it. My own user error on the site, I'm sure. I will have another go at it tomorrow.