The Age of the Warrior: Selected Writings

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
The Age of the Warrior: Selected Writings


N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture


Robert Fisk: When we go to war, we are all putting on hoods and pulling the hangman's lever. And as long as we send our armies on the rampage - whatever the justification - we will go on stringing up and shooting and chopping off the heads of our 'criminals' and 'murderers' with the same enthusiasm as the Romans cheered on the men of blood in the Colosseum two thousand years ago.'

I will try to add some of his ideas and interesting quotes as I read the book.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

-"the lies that formed a bodyguard for our invasion troops in 2003"

-"A reporter's supposed lack of 'bias' - which, I suspect, is now the great sickness of our Western press and television - has become the antidote to personal feeling, the excuse for all of us to avoid the truth."

-Fisk got into the habit of calling the British PM, "Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara". This name comes from the greatest British defeat at the hands of a Muslim army in history; WW1 vs. the Ottoman Turks.

-"Indeed, the use of power to terrorize us - to put more fear in our hearts than any 'terrorist' is capable of doing - seems to me to be one of the most frightening and damning characteristics of our age."

-"It is this dilution (of memory), this wilful refusal to see and recognize cruelty, which will push us back into the inferno."

-Fisk recounts something that enrages many Arabs about the US. The US administrations, over the years, are in the habit of telling Arabs how much the US admires and loves them. This expression of affection is inevitably [i]immediately[/i] rfollowed by another merciless bombing of men, women and children: whether Reagan in Libya, Bush I in Iraq, or Clinton in Sudan.

Perhaps the recent US habit of bombing weddings in Afghanistan is merely a continuation of this expression of "love". [i]We love you, and here are our bombs to prove it.[/i] And isn't love described sometimes as fireworks?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture


Fisk: You've got to fight. It's the only conclusion I can draw as I see the renewed erosion of our freedom to discuss the Middle East. The most recent example - and the most shameful - is the cowardly decision of the New York Theater Workshop to cancel the Royal Court's splendid production of [i]My name is Rachel Corrie.[/i] It's the story - in her own words and e-mails - of the brave young American woman who travelled to Gaza to protect innocent Palestinians and who in March 2003 stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer in an attempt to prevent the driver from destroying a Palestinian home. [b][i]The bulldozer drove over her and then reversed and crushed her a second time.[/i][/b] 'My back is broken,' she said before she died.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Fisk wrote a column last June during the Hamas-Fatah fighting in Gaza that dealt with Western hypocrisy and pretense at supporting democracy. The Palestinians voted "the wrong way" in 2006 and the West decides it doesn't like democracy after all.

"Corruption," said Fisk, " ... of Mr. Abbas's Fatah and the rotten nature of the 'Palestinian Authority'" ... is why Palestinians voted for Hamas. And the West rewards Abbas with more favors.


Fisk: I recall years ago being summoned to the home of a PA official whose walls had just been punctured by an Israeli tank shell. All true. But [b]what struck me were the gold-plated taps in his bathroom.[/b] Those taps - or variations of them - were what cost Fatah its election. Palestinians wanted an end to corruption ... and thus we, the all-wise, all-good West, decided to sanction them and starve them and bully them for exercising their free vote. Maybe we should offer 'Palestine' EU membership if it would be gracious enough to vote for the right people.

[b]The men of the gold-plated bathroom fixtures; [/b]these are the people the "democratic" countries of the West subsidize and support.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

One more set of quotes from Robert Fisk. The book is a good, quick read but the writing is a little too touristy and the lessons too shallowly liberal for a gold star from this reviewer. It gets a positive review nevertheless.

One or two of the short pieces which this book consists of is about [i]The torturer who lived near the theatre.[/i]These articles have a Canadian connection.

[i]Scorched[/i], a play by Wajdi Mouawad, a Canadian of Lebanese origin, is "a story of love, family honour, civil war and barbarity," says Fisk. I'll say.


The plot is simple. Nawal, an old lady, dies in Canada, and her son and daughter try to discover - from two sealed envelopes left to them by their mother - why she had remained silent for years before her death.

It turns out that Nawal was made pregnant by her Lebanese lover, years before, and discovers after searching for her long lost child that he is none other than a man who was later her torturer and rapist. "The torturer is the father of the son and daughter in Canada," says Fisk. "He is also their brother."

Thing is, [i]Scorched[/i] was based on true stories. There really was a place called Khiam prison, a place so horrific and sadistic that "the Israelis even banned the Red Cross from visiting their foul prison." After the Israeli army retreated under fire, around 2000, all the torturers fled across the border into Israel for safety.

After watching [i]Scorched[/i] in Canada, Fisk goes backstage and lets the actors know that they were, in some cases, playing real people.


They didn't know that Israel had farmed out Khiam's torturers to Western countries as 'refugees' - on the grounds that they would be killed if they returned to Lebanon. The Israelis, of course, didn't mention their role in Khiam's horrors - which is why, several years ago, two members of the RCMP turned up at my home to ask if I could identify any torturers who might have been given asylum in Canada. I told them that their names were now written on the gates of Khiam prison.

But I do know that one of the torturers - who appears in [i]Scorched[/i] as Nawal's rapist - is believed to have found guilty sanctuary in Toronto ... [M]aybe he will drop by for a ticket this month, just to enjoy the suffering he caused in a faraway land to which he will never dare return. Would that be history? Tragedy? Or art?

Good for you, Robert Fisk.

[url=]Khiam Prison [/url]

[url=]A collection of articles by Robert Fisk[/url]

I was able to find Fisk's articles on this at [url=]Lebanon-Today. [/url] It's a bit of a search, but if you are persistent, you'll get there. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 31 July 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

jeff house


The men of the gold-plated bathroom fixtures; these are the people the "democratic" countries of the West subsidize and support.

Well, I am glad that it was only gold-plated, and not real gold.

Prices are dropping, too!


Now, I am sure that the side YOU support, the undemocratic theocracy, Iran, NEVER spends $129.00 on THEIR bathroom fixtures!

I know that because they let everyone in to look around! (Ok, they don't, but I congratulate you on your touching faith in their proletarian simple taste.)



Originally posted by jeff house:
Now, I am sure that the side YOU support, the undemocratic theocracy, Iran, NEVER spends $129.00 on THEIR bathroom fixtures!

I know that because they let everyone in to look around! (Ok, they don't, but I congratulate you on your touching faith in their proletarian simple taste.)[/b]

Jeff you are a one trick pony and the trick is old and tired.


You have no respect for the majority of people in Iran who have good reason to hate their government. Western intervention to turn Iran into the same situation as Iraq is going to help them how? Shock and Awe was a war crime, why replicate it? How many innocent Iranians should we bomb because bastards control their government?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Well, what's frankly rather hilarious is that Jeff is flinging dung with his comments about gold-plating based on the remarks of a liberal, Robert Fisk, whose views are much closer to his than my own.

Thanks for the giggle, Jeff. You big beast.

Edited to add: [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 31 July 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


I don't like the undemocratic theocracy in Iran at all. And I really, really hate theocracies, including the Vatican version (and its attempts to influence policy in Italy).

But the Iranian people MUST be defended against belligerent imperialism.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture



By Wajdi Mouawad
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Directed by Richard Rose
Starring Valerie Buhagiar, Sergio Di Zio, Jerry Franken, Sophie Goulet, Janick Hйbert, Nicola Lipman, Sarah Orenstein, Alex Poch-Goldin, Paul Rainville
From November 13 to November 29
Preview: November 12

[b]in Winnipeg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [/b]