Posts Tagged ‘The Independent’

Weeks after Iran officially announced it would replace the U.S. dollar—its value heavily dependent on Middle East oil trading—with euros in its foreign exchange holdings, The Independent Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk’s article, “The Demise of the Dollar,” breaks the story that: “In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the U.S. currency for oil trading” by 2018. I wrote of the alliance between Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) here in June.

Russia Today (RT) reports on Mr. Fisk’s exclusive (3:25):

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Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah comment on UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1850, the UN’s first resolution regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict in nearly five years.

EXCERPT from The Electronic Intifada – “Security Council undermines justice and UN Charter”:

Before analyzing what is in the resolution, it is important to note what is not. Under the UN Charter, the Security Council’s primary responsibility is to act to maintain “international peace and security.” And yet the new resolution makes no mention of Israel’s 4 November ground and air attack on the Gaza Strip killing six Palestinians and leading to the collapse of the six-month-long truce Israel negotiated with Palestinian resistance factions. It does not mention the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza deliberately reducing 1.5 million people to eating animal feed and scavenging garbage while dozens die for lack of medical care. It ignores the desperate warnings of a mounting humanitarian crisis by officials of [UN Relief and Works Agency], the UN agency for Palestine refugees, as they shut down food distribution to hundreds of thousands of persons because Israel would not allow supplies in to Gaza.

The resolution makes no mention of these unconscionable crimes even UN officials have termed “collective punishment” — a grave breach of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Conventions by which Israel is bound as the Occupying Power in the Gaza Strip (Israel’s so-called “disengagement” in 2005 does not absolve it of these responsibilities). If the Security Council were minimally abiding by its own responsibilities it would refer Israeli political and military leaders to the International Criminal Court for arrest and trial at The Hague for these crimes as well as their escalating threats against an occupied, colonized people who have few means of self-defense. Indeed, the resolution does not even mention the word “occupation.”For the Security Council to ignore Israel’s detention and expulsion of UN human rights envoy Richard Falk just a day before it passed the new resolution sends a clear message to other outlaw regimes that UN authority can be trampled on with impunity.

Instead, resolution 1850 is full of deceptive language. The world’s highest international body welcomes, for instance, the 9 November “statement from the Quartet,” and the “Israeli-Palestinian Joint Understanding” announced at the Annapolis summit a year earlier. The Security Council also “Declares its support for the negotiations initiated at Annapolis” and its “commitment” to their “irreversibility” — whatever that means.… [read the full article]

And the absolutely amazing sage, Robert Fisk of The Independent (left), comments that ‘no one in 1967 thought the Arab-Israeli conflict would still be in progress 41 years later’ because of UNSC Resolution 242.

EXCERPT from The Independent – “Robert Fisk’s World: One Missing Word Sowed the Seeds of Catastrophe”:

It was passed in November 1967, after Israel had occupied Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai and Golan, and it emphasises “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.

Readers who know the problem here will be joined by those who will immediately pick it up. The Israelis say that they are not required to withdraw from all the territories – because the word “all” is missing and since the definite article “the” is missing before the word “territories”, its up to Israel to decide which bits of the occupied territories it gives up and which bits it keeps.

Hence Israel can say it gave up Sinai in accordance with 242 but is going to keep East Jerusalem and much of the West Bank for its settlers. Golan depends on negotiations with Syria. And Gaza? Well, 242 doesn’t say anything about imprisoning one and a half million civilians because they voted for the wrong people. No one in 1967 dreamed that the Israeli-Arab conflict would still be in ferocious progress 41 years later. And as an Independent reader pointed out a couple of years ago, the Security Council clearly never intended the absence of a definite article to give Israel an excuse to stay in the West Bank. Alas, our reader was wrong.… [read the full article]

– More of “Robert’s Fisk’s World” at The Independent

“War, Geopolitics, History” – lecture by Robert Fisk, introduced by Prof. Noam Chomsky



“Whenever I’m in Tajikistan, My Mobile Phone Says I’m in Dubai” by Robert Fisk, The Independent:

An oddly similar parallel has emerged since the election of Obama. During the campaign, President Ahmadinejad of Iran announced that the “Israeli regime” would be destroyed. That’s actually what he said in Farsi – not “Israel”, though the distinction might appear to be splitting hairs. Immediately, Mrs Hillary Clinton announced that if Tehran attacked Israel, she would “flatten Iran”. And now she is to be secretary of state, the Iranians are understandably a little bit angry. Was the new pussycat in the State Department going to take over from the previous pussycat by threatening violence against Iran when Obama supposedly wants “dialogue”?

And a kind of inverted hypocrisy immediately followed. Mrs Clinton, American “officials” let on, should not be taken too seriously because this was an election campaign. Indeed, Obama – putting distance between the mutual recriminations of both Democrat candidates a few months ago – this week blithely dismissed their own election speeches. What he meant was that they both told lies to get votes. Yet the crackpot president of Iran’s threat was still to be taken with the greatest seriousness. Not difficult to get the message, is it? The future secretary of state should not be believed when she threatens Iran – but Iran must be taken seriously when it threatens Israel. [read the full article]


A public talk with Robert Fisk — introduced by Noam Chomsky.

Wikipedia– Robert Fisk:

Robert Fisk (born July 12, 1946 in Maidstone, Kent) is an award-winning British journalist and author. He is the Middle East correspondent of the UK newspaper The Independent, and has spent more than 30 years living in and reporting from the region. [1]

Fisk has been described in the New York Times as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain.” [2] He covered the Northern Ireland Troubles in the 1970s, the Portuguese Revolution in 1974, the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, the 1979 Iranian revolution, the 1980-88 Iran–Iraq War, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He has received numerous awards, including the British Press AwardsInternational Journalist of the Year award seven times. Fisk speaks vernacular Arabic, and is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden – three times between 1994 and 1997.[3] [4]

Fisk has said that journalism must “challenge authority — all authority — especially so when governments and politicians take us to war.” He has quoted with approval the Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “There is a misconception that journalists can be objective … What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centres of power.” [5]

He has written at length on how much of contemporary conflict has, in his view, its origin in lines drawn on maps: “After the allied victory of 1918, at the end of my father’s war, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. In the space of just seventeen months, they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and most of the Middle East. And I have spent my entire career — in Belfast and Sarajevo, in Beirut and Baghdad — watching the people within those borders burn.” [6]

Robert Fisk discusses the Middle East after a lengthy topic preface from Prof. Noam Chomsky. Mr. Fisk and Prof. Chomsky take questions after Mr. Fisk’s lecture.

Mr. Fisk is an amazing storyteller with an extremely sharp mind and open heart, making him one of my favorite journalists and lecturers.

War, Geopolitics, History: Conflict in the Middle East” (1:41:44):