The sad delusions of Robert Fisk

Fisk is definitively fisked over his absurd argumentation in opposing the EU's ban on Hezbollah's military wing

by Jeremy Havardi on 25 July 2013 12:06

Robert Fisk seems to think that there is little difference between elected governments and terrorist organisations. At least, that is the impression you get from reading his latest bizarre diatribe in the Independent which laments the EU's recent decision to proscribe Hezbollah's military wing.

Fisk recalls how 'an equally spooky organisation used real British passports to engineer a political assassination in the United Arab Emirates not long ago, a nation whose “militant wing” will go on meeting EU diplomats: Israel'. He was referring to Mossad's alleged assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a senior figure within Hamas who was busy smuggling Iranian arms into Gaza.

Fisk continues his exposé of alleged hypocrisy by noting another political leader whose 'militant wing' has not been proscribed by Europe but who nonetheless 'signs off on casual executions' and uses 'a wondrous machine called a drone' in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But as his name is Obama, we are happy to do business with him.

In Fisk's eyes, Hezbollah has been the victim of a gross double standard. Why should it be left in the cold, Fisk asks, when the more sophisticated 'lawless butchers' in Washington and Jerusalem remain our good friends?

It simply never occurs to Fisk, or his fellow travellers on the radical left, to question such grotesque moral equivalence. Democratic governments engaging in counter terrorism are deemed to be on the same moral level as jihadi organisations dedicated to slaughtering 'infidels'.

Removing Al Qaeda commanders through drone strikes or carrying out extra judicial killings is seemingly no different to murdering tourists in Burgas or bombing civilians in Argentina. All that matters is the tally of dead bodies from such operations and with the presumption that western intervention is automatically illegitimate and colonialist, the western powers are deemed to be no better than any rogue terrorist entity.

Such blurring of the moral boundaries is a cruel mockery of the victims of terror. Yes civilians are killed in operations against terrorists, tragically so; but to ignore the question of intent is to engage in a pitifully low level of moral reasoning. It is an insult to our intelligence.

Fisk tries to justify his critique by pointing out that Britain maintained contact with Hitler until the start of the Second World War. 'I guess times change' he says. To which one should add, and thank goodness for that too.

The appeasement of dictators from times gone by is a lesson is how not to surrender to violent demagogues in the 21st century, not a template for further appeasement. It is better to rectify egregious mistakes from the past than repeat them for the sake of historical consistency. But instead, Fisk laughs at the west for banning Hezbollah and mocks the decision to cut off Assad.

Fisk's reference to Hitler is instructive. If he bothered to look into Hezbollah's ideology, he would find that the terrorists have more in common with the Nazis than he imagines.

Hitler's plans for imperial conquest were, after all, accompanied by a pathological hatred of Jews which culminated in the Final Solution. Hezbollah are galvanised by a similar strain of Jew hatred and a passionate desire to leave the Middle East 'Judenfrei'. Hassan Nasrallah has been quoted as saying, "If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli."

The Hezbollah affiliated Al Manar TV station broadcast an anti-semitic series Ash-Shatat ("The Diaspora") depicting hook nosed Jews purporting to plot the takeover of the world. There are constant references to ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ while Jews are shown as violent, treacherous, manipulative and evil. Like Hamas, Hezbollah is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

But to identify Hezbollah's virulently racist ideology would spoil the argument for Fisk, and perhaps justify what the Israelis have been saying all along. For a man who has made a career out of demeaning Israel's behaviour, that simply wouldn't do.

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