Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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'Foreign Correspondent' in the Middle East:
Conversation with Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent, The Independent; December 14, 2006 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Robert Fisk who is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper of Great Britain. He has lived in the Middle East for almost three decades and holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. He is the author of Pity the Nation: A History of the Lebanon War, and most recently The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East. Robert Fisk is visiting Berkeley to speak at a meeting of MECA. MECA is the Middle East Children's Alliance, and is committed to protecting and advocating for the rights of all people, especially children.

  1. Background ... veteran father ... early study of history ... "Foreign Correspondent" ... choosing journalism ... education and early career ... Ph.D. in political science ... Irish history
  2. Being a Journalist ... journalism as history ... a depressing life ... freedom to report truthfully ... the importance of being at the scene
  3. The Press and the Powerful ... watching leaders lie ... current leadership with no war experience ... crimes against humanity ... parasitic relationship of press with powerful ... soldiers and journalists
  4. Wartime Journalism ... determination to speak freely ... euphemisms and desemanticization ... covering up the ugliness of war... life-changing event: Sabra-Shatila massacre ... passionate truth-telling ... myth of "impartiality"
  5. Militants and Moderates ... bin Laden ... Arafat ... Sharon ... Saddam Hussein ... ordinary Muslims ... communities of faith vs. the powerful
  6. Conclusions ... pessimism ... survival ... no regrets ... advice to students

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