Customer Review

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, January 18, 2007
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This review is from: Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (Nation Books) (Paperback)
As Fisk tells us this book is not an academic history of the wars in Lebanon but rather a personal narrative of a news reporter based on his mountain of notes, a profession in which he is just the best. This leads to some confusion for a reader who has to stay with him as he jumps from place to place, army to army, party to party, and even time to time. It also takes a strong stomach as he forces us to read about the reality of modern "war", the ugly brutality of what modern weapons can do in dismembering pitiful, innocent human beings. Over and over. As he says, "So far as armies and militias go, there are no good guys in Lebanon." While none of them including the PLO come out as heroes the Israelis certainly do not look good, not just in the brutality inflicted on the Lebanese but in their racist arrogance and lies they often told to cover up their actions. For exposing these Fisk was, as usual, subject to attack by the ubiquitous Israeli lobby in the US including the dreary and false charges of "anti-Semitsm". He is one of the few foreign reporters who has called attention to the Israeli practice of falling back on "the Holocaust" or accusations of anti-Semitism when caught out in one of their military outrages.

This book although a difficult read is particularly educational for Americans who may have opinions about Lebanon formed by the usually inadequate US media.

Fisk is British but lives in Lebanon. He was educated in Ireland and has somewhat Irish outlooks which I think give him a certain sympathy for those without power. I note that when on leave he went to the remote west of Ireland rather than the fleshpots of Europe!

Lastly, his bravery in reporting literally under fire is unique as far as I know, except for a few of his other companions such as his friend the kidnapped Terry Anderson and a few others from several nations and the brave United Nations soldiers. His final chapter about the Israeli attack on the UN base at Qana with its Fiji soldiers and many civilians is shocking and a fitting finale to the book.
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