Updated: June 26, 2011; added Transcript
September 26, 2010 (SOAPBOX #74)
Cindy holds a very in-depth interview with British journalist, Robert Fisk, who has been living in the Middle East and reporting from there for decades. He is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent and has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported from the United States’s attack on Afghanistan and the same country’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fisk holds more British and International Journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. He reported the Northern Ireland troubles in the 1970s, the Portuguese Revolution in 1974, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iranian revolution in 1979, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A vernacular Arabic speaker, he is one of few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, and did so three times between 1994 and 1997.
His awards include being voted International Journalist of the Year seven times. Fisk has said that journalism must, “challenge authority, all authority, especially so when governments and politicians take us to war.” He has quoted with approval the Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “There is a misconception that journalists can be objective. … What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centres of power.” He has written at length on how much of contemporary conflict has its origin, in his view, in lines drawn on maps: “After the allied victory of 1918, at the end of my father’s war, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. In the space of just seventeen months, they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and most of the Middle East. And I have spent my entire career – in Belfast and Sarajevo, in Beirut and Baghdad – watching the people within those borders burn.” Please use the link above to listen for today’s today’s fascinating discussions!