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Watching them die

Robert Fisk is a great war reporter and partisan chronicler of western abuses in the middle east. But do not expect political insight

By Ian Black   December 2005

The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk (4th Estate, £25)

“To Fisk,” in the sardonic definition of the blogosphere’s media watchdogs, means to demolish tendentious views masquerading as fact—a very backhanded compliment to the British journalist whose remarkable reporting from the middle east has attracted admiration and rage in near equal measure for close to 30 years.

Based in Beirut since 1976, Robert Fisk’s mission has been, in his own words, to chronicle “the betrayals, treachery and deceit of middle east history”—most of those carried out by the Americans, British and French. He takes his book’s title from the…

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