Today’s Democracy Now! features a recording of an interview with reporter Robert Fisk (transcript). As per usual, Fisk has great insights to offer. His experienced retelling of what happens on the ground make up the majority of his talk. But one red meat line in this interview raises a question: (emphasis mine)
“If you go to war, you realize it is not primarily about victory or defeat, it is about death and the infliction of death and suffering on as large a scale as you can make it. It is about the total failure of the human spirit. We don’t show that because we don’t want to. And in this sense journalists, television reporting, television cameras are lethal. They collude with governments to allow to you have more wars because if they showed you the truth, you wouldn’t allow any more wars.”
If the last part is true, how did millions organized in the streets against the invasion of Iraq in the US, England, and around the world, fail to stop the Iraq war before it began? Perhaps, given the answer to the last question, Fisk doesn’t believe the public really has this power:
Amy Goodman: [Y]ou’ve covered the Israeli invasions of Lebanon, the Iranian Revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Gulf war, wars in Algeria, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the invasion and occupation of Iraq—
Robert Fisk: Enough, enough, enough.
Amy Goodman: What gives you hope? What gives you hope?
Robert Fisk: Nothing. I’m sorry. Nothing. I’m sorry. Nothing at the moment. Ordinary people, I guess. Ordinary people who speak out. People in the Arab world as well. But in terms of governments, nothing much. I may be wrong. I may be too much of a pessimist because I’ve seen too much.