The hypocrisy of Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk, a once respectable journalist, is now a rambling conspiracy theorist penning apologias for the likes of Hezbollah, the Assad regime and Putin’s regime in Russia. These views are driven by his anti-Western ideological bias.

In his latest disingenuous piece he launched an attack on Charles Lister, a respected expert on terrorism in Syria and Iraq. In the article he implies that Lister is an al-Qaeda apologist. He bases this view on an article by Lister on al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. However, judging from the content of Fisk’s article one wonders whether he actually read it.

In his article, Lister clearly warns about the danger of the al-Nusra front creating an emirate in northern Syria. Whether or not you agree with Lister’s policy recommendations, no one who has actually read the article properly can say this is a puff piece on Jabhat al-Nusra. How Fisk can suggest after reading the article that Lister is trying to falsely portray Jabhat al-Nusra as ‘moderate’ is pretty remarkable. More importantly, it is even more worrying how this was not fact-checked by those in charge of doing so at The Independent.

Not only is Fisk’s claim incorrect, offensive and actually laughable on its face, it also comes from a man who in the past few years has explicitly apologised for Hezbollah and the fascist Assad regime who together, in trying to preserve Assad’s brutal dictatorship, are responsible for the deaths of several of the over 250,000 Syrians killed since 2011 in their suppression of the Syrian revolution.

For instance, he has repeated the falsehood that next to no moderate opposition exists in Syria. Even popes get removed for insanity yet this pro-fascist hack and conspiracy theorist Robert Fisk still has a job at The Independent.

This series of tweets by Lister displaying articles in which he writes about Jabhat al-Nusra being a threat thoroughly refutes the absurd implications penned by Fisk of Lister portraying them as a moderate organisation.

The irony of this is Fisk once wrote a fawning piece giving a sympathetic portrayal of Osama Bin Laden in 1993. He described him as a “warrior” and gave the impression that he was a “shy man” who was only interested in running his construction industry. The piece is so bad one could be forgiven for thinking it is satire.


It is not only this that makes Fisk a hypocrite. Fisk warns us to be wary of the word ‘terrorist’. He believes that it is a pretext used by Western governments to legitimise state sponsored violence, violate civil liberties, suppress dissent domestically and oppress Middle Eastern societies. However, he has no qualms about falsely suggesting someone is an al-Qaeda apologist when it suits his ideological thrills and his obsessive anti-Western agenda.

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