Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Robert Fisk on Al Jazeera

In stark contrast to the likes of CNN and Fox News, Al Jazeera actually tends to have substantive coverage of issues that will never be discussed in the mainstream corporate media -- which perhaps explains why the U.S. government is always trying to kill their journalists.

A little over a week ago, Al Jazeera's Riz Kahn interviewed Robert Fisk, a long-time war correspondent who reports for the British newspaper The Independent, on the state of journalism, the Middle East, and the U.S. presidential election. 

Below are a few exchanges I thought were particularly noteworthy, as well as the full video of the interview itself:

On Journalism: I think that the great challenge facing journalists today is that we allow the presidents, and prime ministers and generals, and indeed our journalists, to set the narrative of events instead of challenging authority.

On The Obama/McCain-Endorsed "Good War" In Afghanistan: I call this war Iraqistan now. The idea that, you know we started off by declaring victory in Afghanistan, and then we rush off and declare victory in Iraq, and when we've lost in Iraq we're rushing back to win the war for the second time in Afghanistan, and starting a third one in Pakistan. This is madness, this is preposterous, but we're constantly locked onto the narrative -- and we've got to hate Iran too because supposedly they're going to bomb everybody. I think this is a ridiculous story we're being fed. 

On The Prospect Of "Change" Under McCain Or Obama: The bombs will go on falling as usual. It won't make the slightest difference. U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East is not going to change. The saddest thing is we find lots and lots of Arabs who keep saying to me 'oh, you know Obama, he's the guy we want because he grew up poor.' And of course most Arabs are poor -- they shouldn't be, but they are -- it's not going to make any difference. Obama, McCain -- it's going to be the same policy.

Now, for the tape:

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