babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » rabble content   » babble book lounge   » The Great War for Civilization: Fisk

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: The Great War for Civilization: Fisk
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 10 March 2006 09:10 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am 2/3rd's of the way through.

Some brilliant reporting. I am a little lost as to his politics. It is like background research document which gave forth the line "The horror. The horror."

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbling_Jenn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10944

posted 10 March 2006 04:03 PM      Profile for Babbling_Jenn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm trucking along with Fisk's new book too. It's wonderful and I find that even though I'm no foreign affairs expert, he takes the knowledge I already have and builds on it nicely.

I feel like my brain has aged ten years in just 400 pages (in a good way!). Only about 1000 more to go!


From: Rural Ontario | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 10 March 2006 06:02 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did you get to the point where he is in Rafa refugee camp in Gaza, and having taken a photograph of an old Palestinian man, standing guard beside the bulldozed ruins of his toy shop watching Israeli soldiers shoot at Kytes held by children on the Egyptain side of the border, tries to decide what to caption the photo?

"Palestinian man at war with relative, watches Israelis shoot a kytes in Egypt." (or something like that.

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 March 2006 06:26 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great. That has to rank up there with Israeli soldier urinating in apartment rooftop rain catch for central water as Palestinian children look on.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Clog-boy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11061

posted 11 March 2006 07:06 AM      Profile for Clog-boy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Got the book the other day, as shown in this thread here

Haven't had much time to do any reading last few days (and the size of the book doesn't really allow me to read it in bed), so I've only read about the first 100 pages up till now. Have today off, so I intend to dig in this afternoon

Up till now, I have to say it's mighty impressive reading! The things he experienced in the first 100 pages are already enough for one man to experience during a lifetime.

Gotta go out for some groceries and then I'll dig in again.

And ps: Please keep the "spoilers" to a minimum in this thread, thanks in advance


From: Arnhem, The Netherlands | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbling_Jenn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10944

posted 12 March 2006 09:36 PM      Profile for Babbling_Jenn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No spoilers. OK.

Here are my two favourite quotes from the preface (I hope anyone reading the book is past the preface)

P. xxiii:
"I don't like the definition 'war correspondent'. It is history, not journalism, that has condemned the Middle East to war. I think 'war correspondent' smells a bit, reeks of false romanticism; it has too much of the whiff of Victorian reporters who would view battles from hilltops in the company of ladies, immune to suffering, only occasionally glancing towards the distant pop-pop of cannon fire."

And this is by far my FAVOURITE quote:
P.xxv
"I suppose, in the end, we journalists try - or should try - to be the first impartial witnesses to history. If we have any reason for our existence, the least must be our ability to report history as it happens so that no one can say: 'We didn't know - no one told us.'Amira Hass, the brilliant Israeli journalist on Ha'aretz newspaper whose reports on the occupied Palestinian territories have outshone anything written by non-Israeli reporters, discussed this with me more than two years ago. I was insisting that we had a vocation to write the first pages of history, but she interrupted me. 'No, Robert, you're wrong,' she said. 'Our job is to monitor the centres of power.' And I think, in the end, that is the best definition of journalism I have heard; to challenge authority - all authority - especially so when governments and politicians take us to war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die."

Ahh, so gooood.


From: Rural Ontario | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 14 March 2006 09:16 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fisk is a stunning writer. Rabble linked to this Fisk article discussing "emerging democracies" (i.e. brutal dictatorships the US and other imperialist powers find useful) such as some of the worse in North Africa and the Middle East

Babblers who read French might want to look up a book by a francophone investigative journalist, Gilles Perrault, "Notre Ami le Roi", about the late king of Morocco, his brutal repression of dissidents and enemies, and Western (in this case, mostly French) complicity.

The entire book seems to be available on this website. - it was put online, in Frencha and in Arabic, for the benefit of readers in Morocco where the book was banned.

[ 14 March 2006: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
goyanamasu
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12173

posted 14 March 2006 10:10 AM      Profile for goyanamasu     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Babbling Jenn quoted on what the job of a decent journalist should be:
quote:
'Our job is to monitor the centres of power.' And I think, in the end, that is the best definition of journalism I have heard; to challenge authority - all authority . . .

In two months, the movie on the Rwanda genocide based on Gil Courtemanche's novel, By the Poolside in Kigali will hit the big screen. I don't know what the English title is exactly.

I find that the book, and now the movie, is a little pretentious in its depiction of the central character, a war correspondent burned out by war. True, there are some reporters who must fall into the cynicism and a sort of know-it-all cynicism about power.

What I find, though, is that Courtemanche acts like this is a projection of himself except that HE speaks out about the threat of genocide and the inaction of the UN. Yet in reality, I find, there is too much energy and too much spin going into promotion of the book and now this movie. And it all started well over 10 years after the events in Rwanda.

Some of the people involved in this 'Rwanda industry' (as I would call it) are apologists for the Afro Fascism of leaders like Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan, Ivory Coasts. Why can't they condemn French neocolonialism AND the racism of misleaders like Gbagbo and Charles Taylor as the crunch is coming down? Why wait over a decade and pretend to be contemporary in literature and politics in the same breath?

Are those who condemn past disaster serving as apologists for the crises of today?


From: End Arbitrary Management Style Now | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 14 March 2006 11:01 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Gil Courtemanche CAN be just a bit full of himself, important as his book was in attracting attention to Rwanda. I didn't like the novel; the women were really decorations, for one thing.

Don't forget the film "Mères courage" by Radio-Canada journalist Léo Kalinda, a Rwandan Tutsi who lost most of his extended family in the genocide.

[ 14 March 2006: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
goyanamasu
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12173

posted 14 March 2006 11:30 AM      Profile for goyanamasu     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I liked Courtemanche when he was editorialising on education, language, pop culture and such in a Quebec City paper.
He did the commentary on a coffee table photo book about Quebec. Somewhere he comments that Montreal is an 'ugly' city and if you follow the meaning here you start to agree.

[ 14 March 2006: Message edited by: goyanamasu ]


From: End Arbitrary Management Style Now | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 14 March 2006 11:52 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You are right - how sloppy of me - and I know the guy! Not quite awake... I'll edit it.

Montréal is certainly not as attractive as Québec, and I can see how it is "ugly" in sort of a 19th-century industrial way - not to mention the newer outlying areas, which are ugly in the way all postwar car-dependent developments throughout the world are - including the suburbs of Québec.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 19 March 2006 06:41 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
After reading advance snippets of the book in the Independent over the last year and seeing from posts here that the book was out I went to pick up a copy to read over March break. Holy crap, is it a wrist breaker! Why the heck didn't they print it as two separate volumes!
From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 20 March 2006 03:43 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It comes from that T.E. Lawrence tradition definetly. Gibbonlike in its reach.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca