Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Fisk : Democracy, No!

Robert Fisk bemoans the removal of someone who at least made the trains run on time.
ROBERT FISK: ...people say to me, look. I don't care if you got rid of Saddam Hussein. No, we didn't like him, but at least with Saddam Hussein, we had security. Our children went to school in the morning. Although we didn't have free speech, we knew that if we obeyed the rules, we would be alive. Now, that is not praise of Saddam Hussein. He was a cruel dictator. We helped to prop him up. We started him off in the first place. But if the alternative is carnage on the scale we're now seeing, what do you think that the Iraqis want? I mean, history shows that what Bush did, and what Kerry thinks he might be able to do, cannot work, especially in Iraq. I'm writing a new book about history and the folly of history and the inability to escape from it....
Afghanistan is not a success. Human rights organizations are already pointing out that the polls are hopelessly flawed, that the candidates in some cases are working for the warlords...There has been some reconstruction work. Some people have gone along to put their names down for a vote, but given the warlordism, the vote is likely to prove meaningless, if it does take place. I don't think, by the way, that the elections are going to take place in January or any time soon afterwards in Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Fisk, thank you for joining us, of The Independent newspaper in Britain, a long-time middle East correspondent for that paper, voted year after year the best foreign correspondent by British editors and reporters. This is Democracy Now!
And she said it without a trace of irony.

But perhaps I'm being too harsh? Fisk also says:
Both in Afghanistan and in Iraq, we have profoundly failed because we have not done our work as we should have done internationally through the United Nations. And that, unfortunately, is why the bin Ladens of this world can continue to flourish and can continue to stage their war.
So invoke the mystic incantation "UN" and all would have been well?
It would be pointless to remind Robert Fisk of what happened to the UN envoy to Iraq. It would be equally futile to try to unravel the tortuous logic that leads to the conclusion that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda exist because, what, the US and the UN are at loggerheads? The Bin Laden and Al Qaeda Islamofascists, and for that matter the Junjaweed currently masscring blacks in the Sudan, exist because the United Nations is just as impotent, and even more corrupt, than the League of Nations ever was.

For someone so well versed in history, he hasn't learnt the lessons of Munich - for using his logic, if France and England had just let the League of Nations handle the little dispute in Poland, all would have been well, with no need for a World War. On facts, Fisk is pretty good. On analysis, abysmal.

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