More on the fascinating chapter on Iraq, which gets better every page. The following quote appears after Robert describes the torture practices employed by the Saddam Hussein government and the routine elimination of his critics. He describes how various states preferred to ignore Iraq's human rights record and continued to supply weapons and funding:
Throughout the early years of Saddam's rule, there were journalists who told the truth about his regime while governments -- for financial, trade and economic reasons-- preferred to remain largely silent. Yet those of us who opposed the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003 were quickly accused of being Saddam's "spokesmen" or, in my case, "supporting the maintenance of Baathist regime"-- this from, of all people, Richard Perle, one of the prime instigators of the whole disastrous war, whose friend Donald Rumsfeld was befriending Saddam in 1983. Two years after Rumsfeld's initial approach to the Iraqi leader -- followed up within months by a meeting with Tariq Aziz -- I was reporting on Saddam's gang-rape and torture in Iraqi prisons. On 31 July 1985, Wahbi al-Qaraghuli, the Iraqi ambassador in London, complained to William Rees-Mogg, the Times editor that:Robert Fisk's extremely one-sided article ignores the tremendous advances made by Iraq in the fields of social welfare, education, agricultural development, urban improvement and women's suffrage; and he claims without presenting any evidence to support such an accusation, that "Saddam himself imposes a truly terroristic regime on his own people." Especially outrageous is the statement that: "Suspected critics of the regime have been imprisoned at Abu Ghoraib [sic] jail and forced to watch their wives being gang-raped by Saddam's security men. Some prisoners have had to witness their children being tortured in front of them". It is utterly reprehensible that some journalists are quite prepared, without any supporting corroboration, to repeat wild, unfounded allegations about countries such as Iraq...
I picked this quote because it resembles what people always say about Robert Fisk on his coverage. The amateur psychologist in me knows that this is because Robert's reporting causes cognitive dissonance problems to some people.
Anyways, back to read, I just wanted to share this with those who are still reading. This book is fascinating.
Posted on 21 Dec 2005