I wanted to pay a short tribute to Robert Fisk. I mentioned his name in a comment earlier, and the reply was that the blogger had not heard of him. That’s probably not surprising – he was a British journalist, worked for British papers, and even then, I guess very few British, even, would have heard of him. He was very well-renowned in his field, winning several awards, but probably not so well-known by the public.
More than being a journalist, he was a Middle East expert. From the days of the Soviets in Afghanistan. He met Bin Laden three times. If anybody wants to gain an insight into why nineteen Saudi hijackers (a country propped up by the USA) were motivated to harm the USA so, read Fisk. Suffice it to say, these men were at war with the USA long before 2001. You might be tempted to dismiss these men as madmen, but they were far from being mad. To understand what drove them, read Fisk.
I read Fisk before my own stroke. At that time, he lived in Beirut. It won’t surprise you to learn that he spoke fluent Arabic. I lost touch with his career when I was going through my own turmoils, but I read that Fisk died at the weekend in Dublin, aged just 74. It was suspected that he had a stroke. Approximately 10% of strokes are fatal. Of all things, I remember that my own stroke came without any pain. I hope Fisk’s did, too. I think deaths are particularly sad at the moment. Even though it sounds like Fisk’s death was not COVID-related, he would still have suffered the hardship of being locked down for most of the year.