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October 9, 2002
10:43 PM   Subscribe

Before we go to war based on whether or not Saddam (or the UN Security Council...) agrees to the Bush administration's proposed UN resolution, would anyone care to discuss what their proposed resolution actually says?
Apparently, the text of the resolution isn't in the public domain... but things leak. According to this article, the resolution allows the UN or its members (including the US) to station armed guards in Iraq, establish no-fly and no-drive zones, and create exclusive ground and air transit corridors. Robert Fisk, one of England's most respected reporters, believes the resolution is a poison pill, designed to lead to "regime change", whether he accepts it or not. So, what else do we know about the proposed resolution, and why isn't anyone talking about it?
posted by insomnia_lj (32 comments total)

 
Fisk is controversial here on MeFi, man
He has been in the past

btw The Serbia comparison really is clumsy. Milosevic's at the Hague now, remember? Something to be happy about.

If Fisk wants to argue that Iraq 2002 = Serbia 1999, well, it's not that bad.

Seeing Saddam on trial at the Hague with Milosevic would be cool
posted by matteo at 2:48 AM on October 10, 2002


Robert Fisk, one of England's most respected reporters

LMAO.
Read this piece of poo by Robert Fisk and see if anyone respects you in the morning.
posted by owillis at 2:55 AM on October 10, 2002


The only reason Milosevic is at the Hague is because there was a military intervention... but the intent of the UN is to allow for inspections, not to have the US invade Iraq.

So, yeah... it's quite bad, in that it would mean the US will go to war, thousands of innocent people will die, and international law will be put through the shredder.

Other than that, though, it's just peachy...
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:02 AM on October 10, 2002


Are the general assembly meetings open to the public? How come they're not on C-SPAN? It would be nice to see how disgusting most of the world's governments really are.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:02 AM on October 10, 2002


Thousands of innocent people will die in Iraq if the US doesn't go to war. Actually, more people, over the course of a year or two more of SH.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:07 AM on October 10, 2002


Owillis, is your critique against that particular article by Fisk because he was forgiving? That he didn't blame his assailants for being angry about Westerners, because he understood why they felt that way? That somehow the statements he said about why his attackers might be angry weren't accurate? What is your point?!

Did Fisk say that he deserved to be attacked? Did he say that anyone deserved to lose loved ones or that acting in violence was justified? No, he did not. What he did show was understanding and an element of forgiveness... two of the victims of the war on terrorism.

So, what we are looking at is something equivalent to "Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do."
Do you *really* have a problem with that sentiment?

Admittedly, the article by Fisk was very personal. How could it not be? But this is a person who has lived his life amongst Arabs, who values them as humans, and who no doubt could have no greater aspiration than for Arabs and Westerners to live together in peace. If he personally doesn't blame his attackers, that is a personal matter for him, not an indicator that he's lost his credibility.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:17 AM on October 10, 2002


I could just as convincingly argue that thousands of innocent people will die in Palestine and Israel unless the UN intervenes or the US uses force to put an end to the killing... your point being?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:20 AM on October 10, 2002


Owillis, is your critique against that particular article by Fisk because he was forgiving? That he didn't blame his assailants for being angry about Westerners, because he understood why they felt that way? That somehow the statements he said about why his attackers might be angry weren't accurate? What is your point?!

Not to speak for Oliver, but I suspect his point was that your claim that Fisk is "one of England's most respected reporters" is pretty much objectively false (unless you want to tack on a big old proviso, like "...among the far Left"). Anyone who is so deep into Western self-hate that they can't bring themselves to criticize other human beings who beat the shit out of them solely for where they were born does not command "respect." And, of course, it's all the more ironic that Fisk possesses this deep well of "understanding" and "forgiveness" for murderers and thugs, but doesn't appear to have any understanding or forgiveness for England, the U.S., or their citizens.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:31 AM on October 10, 2002


"one of England's most respected reporters" is pretty much objectively false (unless you want to tack on a big old proviso, like "...among the far Left"

I live in England and I would back the claim that Fisk is "one of England's most respected reporters", and not just by the far left (whoever they are in this situation). How would you justify your claim that this is 'objectively false'? with your own subjective opinion?
posted by niceness at 6:48 AM on October 10, 2002


...claim that Fisk is "one of England's most respected reporters" is pretty much objectively false (unless you want to tack on a big old proviso, like "...among the far Left"). Anyone who is so deep into Western self-hate that they can't bring themselves to criticize other human beings who beat the shit out of them solely for where they were born does not command "respect."

Anyone prepared to conclusively state from a transatlantic psychoanalysis of an individual, based solely on a not-very-deep dip into their writings that they are "deep into Western self-hate" will struggle to lay claim to any objectivity IMO.

it's all the more ironic that Fisk possesses this deep well of "understanding" and "forgiveness" for murderers and thugs, but doesn't appear to have any understanding or forgiveness for England, the U.S., or their citizens.

With the exception of pretty much every single article he has written about 11/9.

Portraying his stance as attacking citizens of nations affected by 11/9, rather than the maneuvering for political capital by governmental interests (including arab, as well as western governments) is either lazy or deceitful. Possibly both.
posted by bifter at 6:52 AM on October 10, 2002


incidentally: Believe it or not, there are reporters in the UK who are respected by left and right, there are right leaning reporters who write for left leaning newspapers and magazines and vice versa. Luckily, opinions aren't always based on narrow-minded views of which 'pigeon hole' you fit into.
posted by niceness at 6:52 AM on October 10, 2002


Luckily, opinions aren't always based on narrow-minded views of which 'pigeon hole' you fit into.

I would never argue to the contrary. But I see no evidence that Fisk is actually "one of England's most respected reporters." There is plenty of respect heaped upon him by those who agree with him, to be sure. But (unless reporters aren't very respected in England), I don't see how he could be one of the "most respected."

When the left-of-center The New Republic finds him laughable, it's hard to claim with a straight face that he's widely respected.

it's all the more ironic that Fisk possesses this deep well of "understanding" and "forgiveness" for murderers and thugs, but doesn't appear to have any understanding or forgiveness for England, the U.S., or their citizens.

With the exception of pretty much every single article he has written about 11/9.


OK, he's "understanding" and "forgiving" of the people who beat the shit out of him because he's a Westerner. But when John Malkovich makes an (admittedly stupid though clearly hyperbolic) comment that he'd like to shoot Fisk, all of the sudden Fisk is neither forgiving nor understanding:

"How, I ask myself, did it come to this? Slowly but surely, the hate has turned to incitement, the incitement into death threats, the walls of propriety and legality gradually pulled down so that a reporter can be abused, his family defamed ... his life cheapened and made vulnerable by an actor who--without even saying why--says he wants to kill me."

So Fisk believes Malkovich "cheapened" his life and "made [him] vulnerable," but the people who actually tried to kill him were worthy of understanding?

And congratulations on considering yourself sufficiently knowledgeable to label me "lazy or deceitful" when you, in fact, know absolutely nothing about me.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:32 AM on October 10, 2002


Oh, it's probably also worth remembering that Fisk predicted the U.S. would be defeated in Afghanistan, and that the war would cause a terrible humanitarian crisis across Asia. Being proven grievously wrong does tend to damage one's respectability.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:37 AM on October 10, 2002


If Fisk wants to argue that Iraq 2002 = Serbia 1999, well, it's not that bad.

No, he's arguing that Iraq 2002 = Serbia 1914.

I suspect his point was that your claim that Fisk is "one of England's most respected reporters" is pretty much objectively false

That's pleasant: a subjective claim of objective knowledge. niceness is right: even hacks on the right respect Fisk for his experience of the region and his willingness to put himself in the line of fire. And his refusal to be browbeaten. The foreign correspondents' club generally saves its politics for the copy, not for each other.

When the left-of-center The New Republic finds him laughable, it's hard to claim with a straight face that he's widely respected.

It's also hard to claim with a straight face that TNR is 'left-of-center' [sic], especially with respect to the Middle East, where Marty Peretz's head needs extracting from Sharon's arse with forceps and Vaseline. That alone shows that your own judgement would be worth laughing at, if you didn't appear deadly serious. It also raises questions over your capacity to speak 'objectively' about the subject.

And congratulations on considering yourself sufficiently knowledgeable to label me "lazy or deceitful" when you, in fact, know absolutely nothing about me.

You, personally, may not be lazy or deceitful; your replies certainly were. Oh, and ignorant, as well. That good enough?
posted by riviera at 7:42 AM on October 10, 2002


it's probably also worth remembering that Fisk predicted the U.S. would be defeated in Afghanistan, and that the war would cause a terrible humanitarian crisis across Asia.

Citations, please? And the U.S. isn't even close to 'winning' yet, unless that's another of your facile conclusions.

Being proven grievously wrong does tend to damage one's respectability.

As you've proved yourself.
posted by riviera at 7:44 AM on October 10, 2002


But I see no evidence that Fisk is actually "one of England's most respected reporters."

Robert Fisk is Britain’s most highly decorated foreign correspondent. He has received the British International Journalist of the Year award seven times, most recently in 1995 and 1996....Fisk was the winner of the Amnesty International UK Press Awards in 1998 for his reports from Algeria and in 2000 for his articles on NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. He was awarded the John Hopkins SIAS-CIBA prize for international journalism.

Disagree with what he says by all means but don't rewrite his reputation based on your limited knowledge of him.

on preview - and what Riviera said beautifully.
posted by niceness at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2002


It's been my suspicion all along that the Bush game plan is to: ram through this resolution (which by the way seems to effectively give GW the all the power - and more! - of a Roman Caesar. Make war on whomever, wherever. Cool) and then string out the inspections for a while. But the inspections will inevitably fail because 1) Saddam wants to keep whatecver he has 2) Iraq - rightfully so - doesn't trust UN inspectors because the US CIA infiltrated the teams with agents and used the intelligence to bomb Iraqi targets. [this is well documented]. 3) Of course, no one wants mandates shoved down their throats 4) Most importantly, the US wants inspection to fail so that it has a bulletproof - UN supported! - mandate for war. Rah! Rah!

I think the Bush adm. will try and drag out the war to keep it around as a boost for GW in '04. Of course there's all that OIL to mind also. (the minor issue of the oil, that runs our petrochemical world. Oil....sweet delicious oil) Maybe, though, they'll just roll over Iraq, keep the troops arpound, and go for Iran next. Jim Baker's Institute is pushing for strike on Iran. It's likely that Wolfy/Rummy/Cheney concur. go WAR! go WAR! Rah rah rah!
posted by troutfishing at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2002


Having lived in England for some time, I can say that Fisk is very well regarded. Not sure if that has changed in the wake of 9/11 or not, as I haven't been there. But at least 2 years ago he was considered one of the best foreign-desk reporters out there. Further more I don't think it's quite fair to say he is a leftist. I imagine his personal politics might run all across the board, but he is a big critic of Israel and US policy in the Middle East, which gets him allied with the left, however that doesn't necessarily mean he's a leftist.
posted by cell divide at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2002


Robert Fisk, respected foreign correspondent, mouthpiece for the dispossessed, self-hating Westerner. I'm sure he's a pleasant, intelligent man, but his reporting is biased and his reporter's persona, if not the body housing it, exhibits strange signs of psychoanalytic curiosities.

And I'll certainly agree with him. The UN resolution must be written such that the inspections may succeed, otherwise they are just another exercise in hypocrisy. I'm very glad to learn that the "muscular inspections" paradigm is being backed by the US. If Saddam finds this unacceptable, that's all the better -- we'll have an excuse to cut his shit head off. With UN letter in hand.

And just like in Afghanistan, the Iraqi people will probably rejoice. Maybe not all. But a 4:1 ratio favoring liberation doesn't seem unlikely.

We can only hope Robert Fisk goes there, blunders into an anti-Western crowd -- remember, these are the people for whom he believes he's sermonizing -- and gets beaten up some more. It will be amusing, once again, to see the contrast of excusing one while condemning the other.
posted by dhartung at 9:55 AM on October 10, 2002


Well after the Jenin reporting, I don't have much respect for the British press in general. Riv-"more power to the terrorists"-iera respects Fisk, apparently. Well you can judge a man by his friends.
posted by quercus at 10:35 AM on October 10, 2002


Well you can judge a man by his friends.

It's even easier to judge someone, quercus, when he comes up with as twattishly stupid and vacuous a reply as yours.

And dhartung: coward much?
posted by riviera at 10:49 AM on October 10, 2002


insomnia_lj : I could just as convincingly argue that thousands of innocent people will die in Palestine and Israel unless the UN intervenes or the US uses force to put an end to the killing... your point being?!

that's a workable idea. but who do we replace the palestinian authority and hamas with once we take them out?

heh.
posted by wrffr at 11:00 AM on October 10, 2002


You, personally, may not be lazy or deceitful; your replies certainly were. Oh, and ignorant, as well. That good enough?

Oh, yes. Thank you for educating me, riviera. You are the fountain of all knowledge and the person responsible for deciding whether statements are ignorant. I am humbled in your presence.

it's probably also worth remembering that Fisk predicted the U.S. would be defeated in Afghanistan, and that the war would cause a terrible humanitarian crisis across Asia.

Citations, please? And the U.S. isn't even close to 'winning' yet, unless that's another of your facile conclusions.


1. But unless we do so, then we are facing a conflict the like of which we have not seen since Hitler's death and the surrender of Japan. Korea, Vietnam, is beginning to fade away in comparison.

2. It's an important question because, once winter begins in Afghanistan, a tragedy is likely to commence, one which no spin doctor or propaganda expert will be able to divert. We'll say that the thousands about to die or who are dying of starvation and cold are victims of the Taleban's intransigence or the Taleban's support for "terrorism".
posted by pardonyou? at 11:29 AM on October 10, 2002


pardonyou? I don't doubt your point, but the first link you mention has a full text of:

But of course, the United States will want to strike back against "world terror'', who can blame them? Indeed, who could ever point the finger at Americans now for using that pejorative and sometimes racist word "terrorism''? There will be those swift to condemn any suggestion that we should look for real historical reasons for an act of violence on this world-war scale. But unless we do so, then we are facing a conflict the like of which we have not seen since Hitler's death and the surrender of Japan. Korea, Vietnam, is beginning to fade away in comparison.

His point in the first link you make is not that Afghanistan will be a terrible crisis, but that if America does not seek to learn about its enemies, it will be dragged into a wider conflict that might could be the world's largest in a long time. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this sentiment, he isn't saying what you say he's saying, which he does say, I think, in your second link.
posted by cell divide at 11:50 AM on October 10, 2002


You are the fountain of all knowledge and the person responsible for deciding whether statements are ignorant. I am humbled in your presence.

Pardonyou: Fair enough you have a different opinion but on the subject of Fisk's British respectability you were just plain wrong...and ignorant, a quick Googling would have proved such.
posted by niceness at 12:05 PM on October 10, 2002


Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this sentiment, he isn't saying what you say he's saying, which he does say, I think, in your second link.

You're right. And I may have overstated my first claim. But not by much -- Fisk clearly believed that the U.S. was in for a monumental struggle in Afghanistan that would dwarf Vietnam, and that the U.S. stood a good chance of losing. From this article, written after the start of the war, Fisk's opinion of how things were going is telling:

So far, he hasn't put a foot wrong. If Osama bin Laden did plan the 11 September attack in America – and still we wait to see the "overwhelming" proof Tony Blair has talked about, not the seven paragraphs of inference attached to British evidence about the earlier US embassy and warship bombings – then things are unfolding pretty much as he wanted....So far, then, Mr bin Laden is winning, and the Taliban – the "protectors of terrorism" – have turned into "tenacious warriors" according to the Pentagon's very own rear admiral spokesman...
posted by pardonyou? at 12:18 PM on October 10, 2002


Pardonyou: Fair enough you have a different opinion but on the subject of Fisk's British respectability you were just plain wrong...and ignorant, a quick Googling would have proved such.

Actually, I did just that, which led me to the conclusion that he could not possibly be "one of the most respected journalists in England." I could not find one major news source that that referred to Fisk's opinions as worthy of particular respect or expertise.

But if you're telling me that he really is one of the most respected journalists in England, then who am I to argue? Consider me ignorant.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:24 PM on October 10, 2002


No, he's arguing that Iraq 2002 = Serbia 1914.

As are many. In addition, the pesky historical geneology of the particular tactic Fisk notes (of demands leading to a loss of sovereignity -- "No Iraqi government – even a Baghdad administration without the odious Saddam – could ever accept such a demand") contained (how surprising!) a most charming uncle....seen February 12, 1938, when a certain A. Hitler presented a list of demands to the Austrian Chancellor that made a mockery of Austrian independence.

Fisk: "He's not meant to accept this. Which is why the Anglo-American draft for the UN is intended to give us war, rather than peace and security from weapons of mass destruction."

Fisk is controversial here on MeFi, man
He has been in the past


The argument here turns IMMEDIATELY into whether or not someone is "controversial" or "respected". Here's a novel idea: how about commenting on his ideas, rather than endless ad hominem swill about his "reputation"?

Duh.

And of course, we could always insinuate (without support) an Axis I diagnosis:

...his reporter's persona, if not the body housing it, exhibits strange signs of psychoanalytic curiosities.

Now there's real cogent analysis and argument based on thought. What would you diagnose, Freud?

We can only hope Robert Fisk goes there, blunders into an anti-Western crowd -- remember, these are the people for whom he believes he's sermonizing -- and gets beaten up some more.

An absolutely despicable comment. But then again, morality really boils down to "might makes right" and a good beating will show 'em, eh?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:04 PM on October 10, 2002


endless ad hominem swill

The... irony... so... delicious...
posted by owillis at 2:08 PM on October 10, 2002


As was said earlier, Fisk was awarded the British International Journalist of the Year award seven times at the British Press Awards. These awards are voted on by his peers. He's won this award more than any other individual. Based on that, I think the phrase "one of England's most respected reporters" is more than justified, regardless of what you or John Malcovich might think.

Frankly, I don't think most of Fisk's critics really know enough about what he feels to adequately judge the man. In this coverage of a speech he gave, he says some things that may surprise his critics:

'(Fisk) was always very clear about demarcations between speculation and known facts'

'While (Fisk) referred to Yasser Arafat as "a corrupt, despotic little man," he believes that "every attack by Ariel Sharon leads to a mass grave."'

"Fisk thinks that both Arafat and Sharon are essentially reactive personalities, that they don't plan very far ahead, so the potential for disastrous miscalculation is high."

"While being quite critical, as we expected, of Israel, Mr. Fisk made sure to point out that it has taken two sides to create a volatile standoff." He suggested that "in the Muslim world there is little self-criticism, no self-questioning, a tendency to fall back on myths."


However, this post wasn't really about Fisk... it was about the text of the proposed US resolution, which appears to give the US military the authorization to run their own show, occupy a foreign power, spy on them, set up armed checkpoints within their country, and, quite possibly, subvert and overthrow their government.

Given that the Bush administration is gaining congress' support based on the premise of initially seeking disarmament under the UN auspices before resorting to military action, is this a good or fair resolution... or a pretense for war?
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:05 PM on October 10, 2002


Oh, and just as a further note, I do agree with owillis that ad hominem attacks are unacceptable... but it may be worth considering whether such personal attacks on Mr. Fisk are justified.

"We can only hope Robert Fisk goes (to Iraq)....and gets beaten up some more. "

Ugly sentiments make an ugly world.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:22 PM on October 10, 2002


We can only hope Robert Fisk goes there, blunders into an anti-Western crowd...and gets beaten up some more. It will be amusing...

Dhartung, what was your opinion of those Palestinians who celebrated the September 11th attack?
posted by niceness at 4:00 AM on October 11, 2002


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